Every so often I head down to Dublin with friends, normally spending the weekend in the city centre. However, this weekend past myself and Barry took ourselves off to Lucan, which is situated in south Dublin, just 13km from the city centre. We were spending a few days in Finnstown Castle Hotel, just under two hours outside Belfast on the Newcastle Road in Lucan.
From the moment we arrived on Friday evening, we were blown away by the place. The impressive drive up to the hotel, and the stunning grounds with fountains and lit up bandstands really made us feel like we were in for a treat.
We were placed in a “Garden Suite” which was in a separate building to the main hotel. Upon arrival to the room we were greeted with a bottle of wine, chocolates and a fruit bowl which we thought was a lovely touch. After unpacking we headed to the main building to “Jim’s Bar” which is a nice lounge with dark wood furnishing and big fireplaces. Think a typical old Irish bar. There, we tried a few of the cocktails on their menu (around €8 each) , with the ‘Cocktail of the Day’, French Martini, getting a special mention!
On Saturday we thought we might go into Dublin City Centre but, in the end, we ended up staying at Finnstown all day! That morning we headed to the ‘Peacock Restaurant’ which is a lovely restaurant overlooking the gardens. (As a side note, the hotel has a number of peacocks around the grounds so every so often they pop up! Lovely to see!) The breakfast in the restaurant is buffet style, with cooked breakfast, cereals, fruits and pastries on offer. Of course, we went for the big fry ups!
After breakfast (and a little time for the fry to settle!) we went to the hotel’s Health and Leisure Club. The leisure facilities are complimentary for all guests and include a gym, indoor swimming pool, steam room and tennis courts. On Saturdays the leisure club is open 8.30am to 6pm. Not ones for gyms, we went straight for the pool and steam room and spent about one hour there!
Once we’d finished and showered up, it was back to Jim’s Bar to relax and watch the Liverpool v Everton football game. Barry went for the Guinness, which I’m told was good! The bar includes a pool table and a number of big screens so pretty good for sports fans!
At 3pm then once the game was over, it was back up to the ‘Drawing Room’ (with high ceilings and period features) for some Afternoon Tea. It’s €25 per couple and you get sandwiches, scones, fruit cake and pastries as well as choice of teas and coffee. I’m a big fan of Afternoon Tea (as you’ll know from this blog) so it was really enjoyable! After the high tea, we decided to explore the grounds a bit more and had a walk around the beautiful gardens!
That night, as if the fry and afternoon tea wasn’t enough, our voucher included a four course meal each! I don’t know how we fitted it all in! For starters I chose the Deep Fried Wedges of Irish Brie while Barry had the Seafood Chowder. For mains I picked the Baked Supreme of Free Range Chicken, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with chorizo, sun dried tomato and goats cheese. Barry had the Crispy Roast stuffed Duckling. Both came with potatoes and vegetables.
By dessert we were completely stuffed and just shared a Raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake, rather than a dessert each. The whole meal was fantastic- beautiful food! As I said, we had a voucher but otherwise the dinner costs €35pp for four courses. We were hoping to make it back down to the bar as there is live music from 10pm every Saturday night but we were just too full! No doubt it would have been good craic!
On Sunday we had breakfast before checking out at 11am, arriving back up in Belfast just before 1. All in all, it was the perfect weekend! We go on weekends around Ireland regularly but we both agreed this has been one of our favourites!
One of the peacocks