Kelly's Resort Hotel
Whoever said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks has never been to Kelly's Resort Hotel in Rosslare.
Bill and Laura Kelly and the team have used lockdown to streamline the entire operation of their hotel and its sister establishments - the Cafe; the Deli; the La Marine Bistro – whilst also creating new kitchen gardens.
Out in front of the hotel, a new zone for casual daytime eating has been fashioned around a Citroen food van, an Airstream, and a glam South African safari tent. The food is classy beach food: ancho chilli taco; poke bowl; Yellowbelly beer-battered monkfish.
Table numbers indoors have been reduced, seating plans have been rearranged and, in tandem with the outstanding fresh garden produce from their allotments and polytunnels, the net result is simple: after a mere 126 years in business, Kelly’s Hotel has never been better.
On a recent Tuesday evening, the dining room purred with the energy of a fireball and the sleekness of an otter. Eugene Callaghan and his kitchen team have raised their game once again, showcasing the produce grown by Deirdre Howlin, the head gardener.
The dishes express the sweet heat of the sunny south east: veal with tomato, basil and courgette; halibut with asparagus and hollandise; scallops with cauliflower purée; Wexford strawberries with whipped ice cream.
Chef Callaghan, back in the day, was the first ever winner of the Roux Brothers scholarship, and – in contrast to the funky food served outside – his dishes bask in sophisticated classical tropes: verrine of guava compote; brandy and peppercorn cream; beurre blanc; sauce Milanaise.
Kelly's Hotel offers what is simply one of the finest experiences in Irish hospitality.