Monday, March 28, 2011
Cliff House Hotel - Our New Favourite Place
I was brought up in a family which prided itself on the non-celebration of birthdays. Birthday cards were regarded as a frivolous waste of money, presents a huge extravagance and birthday parties the exclusive privilege of princesses and Middle Eastern dictators. And my cousin. Like something special for your 9th birthday? OK here is a wire brush, now scrape the rust off that fence and, if you are really good, we will let you paint it next week.
Over the years, I have managed to avoid disappointment by continually adjusting my birthday expectations downwards. So it was that I approached my 42nd birthday with my hopes pitched at what I thought was just the right level, callibrated as close to zero as makes no difference. So there was considerable excitement when my wife surprised me on Friday morning with a booking for the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford.
I had visited the Cliff House on a number of occasions on work, tasting wine with their charming and knowledgable sommelier, Anke, but I had never stayed or eaten there. It was Pam's first time, so I let her do the obligatory jawdrop on seeing the view for the first time.
Everything about the Cliff House is class. Enough has been written about Martin Kajuiter's food by more knowledgable people than me, but the meal was excellent. The rooms are fantastic, the spa seems very good (although, as usual, wasted on me), the views mesmerising, the staff unerringly polite and professional, breakfast outstanding.
Ardmore itself is a really nice place, we did a lovely 45 min cliff walk after breakfast, then went for a walk on the beach followed by coffee in the White Horses. We were there for less that 24 hours, but felt away from it all.
Yes, it is expensive, but we felt we got great value and it is well worth the money for a special experience.
We will definitely be back.
Posted by Gabriel Cooney at 9:02 PM