Lyrics by Rosie Davis
Renowned for over 5,000 years of fascinating history, Ireland’s Ancient East is the cradle of Irish culture and home to age-old myths and mysteries. Set amid lush landscapes and charming towns, framed by the River Shannon and the Irish Sea, these counties are some of the most scenic on the map.
For an idyllic hideaway that combines beauty and hidden history, exploring Tipperary is not to be missed. At the heart of this county is the Rock of Cashel, one of the most famous sites that forms part of the country’s revered Historic Heartland. Cashel Palace is on its doorstep and is the perfect place to refresh yourself and take inspiration from the rich history and unspoiled charm of the area.
Built in 1728 by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, one of the most renowned architects of his time, this red-brick Palladian masterpiece served as the residence of a distinguished line of archbishops for decades. It was turned into a hotel 60 years ago by English millionaire businessman Lord Brockett and has become a favorite among Hollywood’s elite, with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy known to visit.
Unable to stand the test of time, its doors finally closed in 2014. Fast forward to March this year when Cashel Palace officially welcomed guests once again, thanks to a multi-million dollar makeover. euros donated by billionaire Irish racehorse breeders and former shareholders. at Manchester United Football Club, John and Susan Magnier.
Set back from a quaint Irish main street, the hotel’s beautifully symmetrical exterior invites you to stroll down the long driveway lined with perfectly manicured yew trees.
Entering the ornate colonnaded entrance hall, you encounter hearty fires smoldering in the grates of two fireplaces, both flanked by sumptuous sofas, oversized ottomans and a selection of books and morning papers, encouraging guests to really feel at home. .
Beyond the hallway, the first Georgian spiral staircase takes center stage, with hundreds of intricately hand-turned banisters. There are nods to the hotel’s equestrian heritage, as London designer Emma Pearson combines traditional country chic with a modern twist in the carefully selected interiors.
42 rooms make up this lovingly renovated Relais et Châteaux property, giving guests the choice of staying in the main house or in the stylish new extension, just next to the main building.
Each room retains an incredible sense of character and historic charm, but the most luxurious suites are in the original main house and new garden wing. Suites in the main house contain high ceilings and original features such as carefully restored woodwork and fireplaces, while suites in the garden wing adopt an elegant neo-classical style.
We stayed in the Garden Suite in the Garden Wing; a room large enough to rival many London apartments. The bedroom has a large 1.80m super king bed while the adjoining living room has a dining table, kitchen area and a plush sofa bed. A large private patio is accessed through two sets of double doors, with the extensive hotel gardens which have been beautifully redesigned by landscape architects, del Buono Gazerwitz, just steps away.
Soft tones of pastel pinks and sage greens keep the color palette modern and fresh, while the bathroom is awash with luxurious white marble walls. The wide selection of Memo Paris toiletries, the free mini-bar regularly replenished throughout the day and the free overnight shoe cleaning service are just some of the thoughtful amenities that make up your stay.
When it comes to dining, Cashel Palace offers a masterclass in contemporary Irish cuisine. Working closely with local farmers and artisan producers to source as much locally as possible, their restaurants are designed to offer customers an authentic taste of Tipperary.
Executive Chef Stephen Hayes leads their formal dining offering, The Bishop’s Buttery. Located underground, the original vaulted ceilings showcase the building’s fascinating history, as guests sit by the crackling fire to savor three- and four-course Table d’hôte lunch and dinner menus.
Salted foie gras, tender beef tenderloin and rump of lamb, as well as a selection of local seafood including black sole, wild turbot and red tuna, make up the varied and deliciously crafted menu. Private dining options are also available for guests wishing to host up to 14 people for an intimate celebration.
Guests wanting a more casual dining alternative should visit the quintessentially Irish gastropub, Mikey Ryan’s Bar and Kitchen. Set in grounds adjacent to the hotel, guests can enjoy alfresco summer dining in this expanded bar, restaurant and garden. Having reopened in 2017 before the hotel itself, Mikey Ryan’s has established itself as a local favorite.
West Cork scallops, 28-day dry-aged beef with potato terrine and a sumptuously light chocolate panna cotta are some of the most popular choices on the menu. There is also a refurbished Horse Box Bar which serves pints of the finest Guinness to visitors in the garden.
Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in the Queen Anne Lounge, which has stunning views of the hotel’s manicured gardens and the famous Rock of Cashel. Traditionally served with your choice of tea or champagne, customers are treated to a selection of sandwiches and sweet treats, with the homemade fruit scones and Tipperary lemon roll among the most delicious choices.
Overlooking the hotel’s beautiful gardens, the state-of-the-art spa is the perfect place to unwind during the day. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, the luxurious, light-filled spa includes a 17-metre swimming pool (five meters of which is outdoors), open-air seaweed baths, a relaxing Jacuzzi and steam rooms. Treatments are available from a talented team of practitioners, with expert facials from leading skin specialist, Olga Kochlewska, as well as hair appointments from Mary Quinlan Hair.
Next to the spa is the gym which maintains the hotel’s commitment to sustainability with eco-friendly machines and workout equipment. Freshly prepared jars of fruit and chilled recyclable water bottles are on hand to keep you refreshed during your workout.
Given the hotel’s roots, it’s only natural to find a dedicated program of equestrian experiences at your fingertips thanks to the hotel’s knowledgeable equine concierge. The Magnier family have been at the heart of Irish Thoroughbred racing for generations and offer guests a taste of their passion and heritage with a trip to their famous Coolmore Stud just a few miles away.
There is also a range of riding experiences for all ages and abilities, with private treks and lessons available for guests of Tipperary Mountain Trekking Centre. Clare Leon, the owner of the centre, is a wealth of knowledge as she leads the horse treks from her stables in Tipperary through the ancient and beautiful Irish foothills. As much a history lesson as a riding lesson, prepare to marvel at the incredible stories that will be uncovered as you explore the beautifully rugged countryside terrain together.
The hotel may be grand and ornate, but the staff’s down-to-earth, friendly attitude is anything but; The staff will be happy to arrange private transfers so you can enjoy these experiences at your leisure.
Cashel Palace stands proudly in the shadow of one of Ireland’s most iconic medieval sites, the Rock of Cashel. The original ‘Bishop’s Walk’ continues to serve as a private path through the hotel grounds, giving guests direct access to one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions within minutes. Set on a dramatic limestone outcrop with stunning countryside views, the group of buildings includes a Romanesque chapel, a Gothic cathedral, an abbey and a 15th century tower house.
In a word
Irish hospitality is renowned the world over, and with a stay at Cashel Palace, you can see why. No request is too much for the hotel staff, who welcome everyone with the same warmth and affection usually reserved for family.
Contrary to what the famous words of John McCormack suggest, the road to Tipperary is not so long and for the ultimate country retreat in this beautiful and charming Palladian mansion, it is a journey well worth taking. to be done.
Address: Main St, St. Dominick’s Abbey, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, E25 EF61, Ireland
Call: +353 62 62002
E-mail: [email protected]helpalacehotel.ie