Avalon House Hotel
Avalon House Hotel is the most charming hotel to have opened in Ireland in recent years. Where other modern hotels trade on gimmickry and novelty for the sake of novelty, Avalon aims instead for the fundamentals – the hotel is beautifully designed, it is supremely comfortable, the service crew are top notch, and the cooking, from head chef Cathal O'Dowd, is soulful, modern, informed and delicious. Mr O’Dowd has gatehred around him a team of first-rate artisan producers, so his food really sings the son of the region – Kilkenny lamb with Drummond House garlic; Ring’s farm chicken with courgette flower; Village dairy whipped buttermilk with Glascairn estate strawberries. This is subtle, nuanced, delighting food, and very much the right food in the right place, with its avoidance of flamboyance and pyrotechnics. The bedrooms and public rooms have been beautifully realised, and Avalon House is an oustanding new getaway in Ireland’s most pristine county.