Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Relaxing Break at Inchydoney Lodge

Last weekend I was delighted to be invited, along with a few other food bloggers, to the award-winning four star Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa for a weekend of pampering. I've never been there before and it was actually my first visit to West Cork. The hotel is situated just outside Clonakilty, which is a drive of approximately four hours from Moate. It always seemed a little too far to travel, especially with the children, however after taking the journey I realise that it's not such a long haul. The drive south is so picturesque and there are numerous options of pretty towns to stop at along the way. 

It was just Diarmuid and Millie that joined me for the weekend, while the boys were perfectly happy to be dropped to their cousin's house. We arrived a little later than planned on the Friday evening so there was only time for a freshen up before accompanying the group for a very delicious meal at Dunes Pub & Bistro . I happened to be seated beside Des O' Dowd who's the owner of Inchydoney. A very down to earth man who was more than proud to proclaim that the hotel provides great employment in the area, not only by  the staff he employs but also by the strong focus of sourcing the restaurant's ingredients locally. This was ever evident on Saturday night when we were joined for dinner by many of the hotel's local suppliers. A great opportunity for us as food enthuastias to chat with world class food producers such as Clonakilty Black Pudding, Ummera Smokehouse, Devoy's Organic Farm, Shellfish De La Mer, Coolcower Meats and Caherberg Free Range Pork Ltd & Rosscarbery Recipes.  




For me, a deciding factor of which hotel we choose to stay in can often come down to what activities are in that particular area. Inchydoney definitely ticks the box for this one as there were so many exciting activities within a close proximity to the hotel and many that the children could partake in. The hotel is working with many of these companies and can have a full activity programme organised for you, before you arrive for your stay. I have one man in particular that has been dreaming of getting on a surf board for some time and just to the right of the hotel West Cork Surf School is situated. Throughout our stay I could see many out enjoying the waves. Another activity that I know the children would love is Whale Watching but one activity that I'm sure we'd all really love is the Sea Kayaking. At the dinner, on Saturday night, I was sitting next to Jim and Maria Kennedy - such an interesting couple. They run Atlantic Sea Kayaking and they offer a huge range of kayaking courses to include seaweed foraging and even children's summer camps. I'm actually already looking forward to booking us in for one of their courses, when we return to Inchydoney. Other activities in the area include golf, beach walks  or maybe just go enjoy a dip in the sea.


There is a package available at the hotel called 'Fish for your Dinner', whereby you get to go on a half day fishing trip and whatever you catch will be cooked up for you in the restaurant that evening. After breakfast on Saturday we headed out to sea and most of us actually managed to catch some fish. I've never been fishing before and what an amazing experience it proved to be. A lovely leisurely way top spend a Saturday morning.

Saturday's lunch was scrumptious and consisted of a bbq which included the fish that we caught that morning.
After some fabulous treatments at the spa we enjoyed a brisk walk on the beach and then a relaxing cuppa in the hotel's beautiful residence lounge.
I love a hotel to be 'child friendly' and what is on offer at Inchydoney would most certainly encourage me to return with the children. As well as having a very well equipped children's lounge and a snooker room there is the option of  taking out some kites, hula hoops or frisbees from the reception. To add to this a packed picnic basket can be availed of, to make a truly memorable day at the beach.
Before dinner we had a very informative talk form Jim Kennedy and Sally McKenna on the marvellous benefits of seaweed.  For something so rich in nutrients it is hard to believe that it is available to us for free!
Some of the impressive dishes that were served us for dinner. The top right photo was dessert!
What a beautiful view to enjoy over breakfast.

Part of the extravagant breakfast display. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the Bircher Museli.


A really nice touch is that at reception there are delicious home-made goodies available to purchase. A very convienient present or just a nice treat to bring away with you from your luxury break.

We were invited to the hotel as guests of Conway Communications and I'd like to especially thank Anri from Conway and Ruth McCarty from Inchydoney for making the whole experience of West Cork so memorable. We are really looking forward to returning with the children.

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa
Clonakilty

Cork
+353 (0)23 883 3143 

8 comments:

Aoife Mc said...

Looks like you had an amazing weekend! So sorry I couldn't be there.

Nessa Robins said...

It was fabulous Aoife! What a pity that couldn't make it, but we'll get to catch up soon :)

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Nessa, thanks again for taking us with you on another journey. So cute how even while on break from your little ones you thought about all they would like the next time you go back. My oldest is now 31 and I still go places and think how he might enjoy this or want to see that. We are never done parenting. Thank God, best job ever.

Clare - An American in Ireland said...

It was so fabulous!! And so happy you caught some fish and enjoyed the boat outing (thank God for seasick pills, that's what I say!). Love the breakfast buffet pics, it was one of the best breakfast layouts I've seen at a hotel. So glad we got to chat a bit, though not nearly enough. :) Next time!!

Nessa Robins said...

Donna, I think no matter how nice a place is that you visit, it's always more special when shared with loved ones!

Nessa Robins said...

Well Clare, that was the one and only fish that I caught and unfortunately it was a little small, so I had to set it free! I know you were much more successful out at sea. I'm looking forward to reading all about it on your next post :)

Magda said...

You had great weekend Nessa :)
I love the first photo and whole story. It is so descriptive

Nessa Robins said...

It was a really lovely weekend, so I was happy to share it! Thanks Magda!

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