The Butler Arms
The Huggard family’s Butler Arms Hotel, which enjoys a smashing location on the Ring of Kerry, has won a considerable reputation for fine cooking, which they serve in their Charlie’s Restaurant – the Charlie is, in fact, none other than Charlie Chaplin, a frequent guest in the hotel – and you can also enjoy this fine cooking in the Fisherman’s Bar, and in the bright, colourful Chaplin Conservatory. All the rooms suit the classical style of the cooking: Derrynane crab au gratin; beetroot and gin-cured salmon; scallops with parsnip and apple purée and black pudding; monkfish with chorizo, tomato and basil. Great sea views are a major attraction from the hotel's front rooms – the hotel is directly across from the ocean – give you the real spirit of the Wild Atlantic Way, and the Ring of Kerry. Do note that they offer a two-night stay, with one dinner in the conservatory and a boat trip around the Skelligs, as one of their special offers.
Not only does the menu in Charlie’s Restaurant in the Butler Arms look like every other hotel menu, it reads like every other hotel menu. That, however, is the only point of convergence, because the cooking in Charlie’s is exceptional. Even if what you order sounds cliched – we had Glenbeigh oysters, and goat’s cheese mousse to start, then scallops with black pudding, and sole on the bone – the freshness, expertise and finesse of the food will just blow you away. A new entrance to the dining room in 2019 made it more accessible to walk-ins, so there is a real Waterville, Ring of Kerry energy to the room. The Huggard sisters, Louise and Paula, and chef Craig Newell, together form quite a team, and the Butler Arms is on tip-top form.