A magical and romantic getaway at Castle Leslie

Posted on: 19 June 2017 by 50connect editorial

Mars Webb visits the charming Castle Leslie in the south of Ireland for a luxurious weekend of relaxation and fine dining.

The Lodge

In search of a quick escape for one night not too far away from Belfast in Northern Ireland, Castle Leslie beckoned. Located in the south of Ireland, in the gorgeous village of Glaslough, County Monaghan it’s just over an hour away from Belfast and proved to be the perfect romantic getaway for a birthday celebration. 

Nestled in the beautiful Irish countryside the hotel is surrounded by ancient woodlands with beautiful old trees and gorgeous lakes to walk around and explore.

The Castle

Still privately owned by the Leslie family and in trust, the Castle was booked out for a wedding so we were unable to stay there but, when the guests checked out at noon on Sunday, we headed in to explore. It truly is a wonderful castle with a charm and magic all of its own. The interior is magnificent with the grand gallery for dining and the elegant hand-painted Blue Room. The bedrooms, we were told, are all different and very individual – we will definitely return again to stay in the Castle. The views are breathtaking stretching across the lake and there is so much to explore in the grounds and gardens or, one could simply sit on the terrace, relax and take in the beautiful countryside.

The Lodge

We stayed at The Lodge, situated at the entrance to the Estate in one of the Classic rooms. The Lodge has 29 bedrooms, and our room was perfect with a wonderful king-sized bed and views that overlooked the equestrian courtyard. Our room was spacious and the bathroom was marvellous with a comfortable Victorian roll top bath. The bed was very comfortable with big pillows and the room was nicely decorated with personal touches and beautiful artwork on the walls.

Bedroom in the lodge

Amenities

We were greeted with a warm welcome by the staff who guided us around the hotel. There are excellent equestrian facilities if you want to ride, which we didn’t, and there is a boot room full of wellington boots for anyone wanting to ride or explore the Estate. The Estate is fully geared up for activity seekers with a range of lessons including riding, archery, clay pigeon shooting and fishing so, if you want a more active break, there is plenty to do.   

The evening we arrived we went for a wonderful walk around the lakes, visited an old church on the grounds and explored the wetlands area. With a mixture of longer and shorter walks, the grounds are beautiful and well worth exploring.

The Spa

The spa is located in the Lodge; the staff are fabulous, so friendly and welcoming. There’s a wide range of treatments available to suit all needs but I treated my husband to a full-body massage, which he very much enjoyed, while I had a pedicure and manicure which were excellent. The Spa has a hot tub and chill out rooms making the whole experience very relaxing. 

Snaffles restaurant

Dining

We booked a table in the fine dining restaurant, Snaffles, where we had the most exquisite meal. The restaurant wasn’t very busy and it had a lovely ambience and feel. The staff were very knowledgeable, friendly and passionate bout the food they served which made for a pleasant evening. We didn’t go for the tasting menu but the food brought to our table was beautifully presented and tasted amazing. There were lots of little dishes such as leek & potato soup scented with truffle oil which was delicious and a cod fritter and cucumber salsa which I wasn’t overly keen on as it could have taken a little more flavour.  I had a fillet beef dish with a cassoulet that was divine and for pudding, a raspberry plate with raspberry pannacotta, raspberry ganache in filo pastry, raspberry marshmallows and a sorbet – a heavenly dessert. Cost wise, with a couple of glasses of wine, the bill came in around €150 but it was certainly worth every penny. For breakfast, we ate like kings. The quality of the meat and variety of food on offer from full Irish to continental was delicious. 

Overall verdict

I can’t wait to go back and, next time, would love to stay in the Castle. I'd also happily dine at the more casual restaurant Conor’s Bar, which is described as the social hub of the estate and where the food looked equally wonderful. It’s a beautiful hotel and definitely has an air of grandeur, combining luxury with relaxation. The staff are warm and welcoming and the spa is perfect if you don’t want a pool-type break. It’s definitely going to be a sneaky little getaway for us and I am already hankering another night away in the next few months.

Prices

A single-night break for two with breakfast, dinner for two in their the Two AA Rosettes restaurant with a full body massage, pedicure and manicure all in came to roughly €440, so not a cheap break but by booking late we missed out on any deals. We could have opted for the less expensive dining but wanted to celebrate a birthday in style.

For more information and to book your stay visit Castle Leslie

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