A luxury Country House Hotel with top class dining options makes Marlfield House the perfect option for an overnight escape.
Our romantic getaway got off to a great start – we walked through the glass doors at Marlfield House and were greeted with a nice glass of bubbly, while a string quartet played in the lobby! Prosecco with elderflower, is not something I can say I had tried before, but it was so refreshing we opted for a second glass. We were on a rare night away without the kids, so we decided to make the most of it.
There was a wedding showcase at Marlfield House and love was certainly in the air. Young couples were everywhere and it immediately struck me how Marlfield, although a Country House Hotel, could also appeal to a younger clientele. Although 200 years old, the Regency style Marlfield House successfully mixes traditional and modern furnishings to offer it’s own unique style. It was not only the interior that looked impressive, but with blue skies and warm sunshine, the exterior and gardens looked stunning. If you have your wedding reception at Marlfield House, you have exclusive use of the house and it’s nineteen bedrooms – I am sure they booked lots of weddings that day.
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A pretty autumnal day here in @marlfieldhouse 🍂 – can you spot me on the bridge? I’m here for a night away with Cormac and no kids! We arrived in time for lunch as it’s less than an hour from Dublin and had a fab meal in the conservatory restaurant. It’s beautiful here – check it out on my stories. #hosted . . . . . . . . #marlfieldhouse #irelandsbluebook #countryhouse #wexford #ireland #discoverireland @visitwexford #irelandsancienteast #luxurylifestyle #luxuryhotel #irishtravelblogger #travelblogger #travelgram #ireland_gram @irelandsancienteast @tourismireland @irelandaily @instaireland #relaischateaux @relaischateaux #irishcountryhouse #autumn #autumnleaves #bridge #reflections @irelandsbluebook
Marlfield House is a luxurious boutique hotel in Gorey, County Wexford and has just recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. It is owned and managed by the Bowe Family who have been constantly upgrading it, adding extra bedrooms and dining options since they bought it. Over the years they have entertained Bono, Tom Hanks, Stephen Spielberg and Robert Redford so I felt in good company!
Set on forty acres of gardens, we enjoyed walking through the woods and across the bridge over the lake. A pheasant flew right in front of us, something I hadn’t seen in many years, and their resident peacock, George, was happy to keep us company on our stroll around the gardens too.
Dining at Marlfield House
We arrived at lunchtime and went straight to the Conservatory Restaurant. Warm sunshine filtered through the floor to ceiling windows. The walls are hand painted with a collage of green leaves, and the aroma of fresh flowers filled the air – the setting was superb. The Conservatory Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant that has won multiple awards, including Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year in 2017. Many of the ingredients are grown in the surrounding gardens and the meat and fish are all locally sourced.
We ate from the Sunday lunch menu. Portion sizes were huge, but that didn’t stop me devouring my starter of pan seared scallops with a garden herb risotto. The scallops were so juicy and I loved combination with the risotto. This was followed with pan fried Kilmore Quay halibut, which was served with a tasty combination of chorizo and tomato crayfish salsa.
Cormac had a fillet of beef, which was perfectly cooked and full of flavour. We forced ourselves to have dessert (for research purposes of course). I tried the Marlfield Rhubarb cheesecake, which was probably the only thing that I wasn’t overly enamoured with. Cormac had the chocolate plate and he loved it. Whilst we were guests of Marlfield House, our three-course lunch was priced at €45 including tea or coffee, which I thought was great value.
Breakfast is also served in the Conservatory Restaurant, so if you happen to be visiting and don’t opt to have lunch or dinner there, you can still enjoy the excellent service and views of the garden at breakfast time. We had a formidable feast. The buffet was extensive, they even had a fresh honeycomb on display, which I can only assume came from a beehive on the grounds.
I enjoyed a tasty bowl of granola with fresh fruit and yogurt, and followed that with double poached eggs with avocado on sourdough bread. I loved that the suppliers were listed at the end of the menu, and full praise goes to neighbours Samuel and Monica Allen for their delicious free range eggs! The full buffet and the a la carte breakfast menu are included in the cost of your stay.
Incidentally Marlfield House also offers afternoon tea in the conservatory, or on the terrace overlooking the gardens.
The bedrooms at Marlfield House
We retired to our large suite after lunch, the Moreland Room, which had a king-size four-poster bed and a seating area with a fireplace. Double glass doors led out to a small garden terrace were there was a seating area for two, almost like our own private garden. It was a beautiful room, although the furnishings were a little fussy for my taste.
Interesting antiques and paintings contrasted the modern amenities of flat screen TV’s, trouser press and Floris toiletries. Bottled water and fresh fruit was in our room and awaits all guests on arrival.
I loved the marble bathroom which came with a free-standing bath, a large shower and two pretty round windows that overlooked the gardens. Needless to say I had to try out the bathtub!
All nineteen bedrooms are uniquely decorated and I was really impressed with the standard and classic rooms. They were more modernly furnished than our own suite, although in keeping with the traditional style of the country house.
For larger parties or families, the recently renovated two bedroom cottage, Duck Lodge is ideal. Contemporary in design, this features an open plan kitchen and living area. You can opt to enjoy a night in with room-service from Marlfield House or the Duck Restaurant if that takes your fancy.
The Duck Restaurant
Speaking of the Duck, this is where we dined for dinner. I had heard many great things about this restaurant and it didn’t disappoint. Located just across the courtyard in restored stone buildings that were once the coach house, a potting shed and gardener’s tool shed, it offers a unique atmosphere in a rustic setting. The cuisine is more modern than the main house but is equally as good. The relaxed ambiance and the alfresco terrace give it an upmarket café feel. I could see myself popping down for lunch with the kids in the summer time. It is located only twenty minutes drive from Brittas Bay where we go regularly as a family. The menu is kind of quirky too, with sharing platters called ‘beaky bits’, starters described as ‘peckish duck’, main courses are the ‘whole duck and desserts are the ‘fat duck’ – although I thought the latter might put me off having dessert!
Similar to the Conservatory Restaurant, the chefs use the supply of fruit, vegetables and herbs from the extensive gardens, whilst meat and fish again are locally sourced. We enjoyed cocktails in the bar before sharing some beaky bits of tasty homemade hummus. I opted for two ‘peckish duck’ salads for starter and main course, thinking they would be light, but in fact they were both substantial. The Vietnamese beef salad was bursting with flavour and the black pudding salad with pancetta apple, walnuts and Cashel Blue cheese was the perfect choice to compliment my red wine! Cormac opted for the seafood chowder to start and the baked fillet of seabass and prawns with pappardelle pasta, for main course. I forced myself to have the apple and mixed berry crumble with vanilla ice cream and Cormac opted for the bitter chocolate and orange tart. Every dish we had in the Duck was modern, tasty and very reasonably priced.
The phrase “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck'”– sprung to mind. Believe everything you have heard about The Duck Restaurant, it is terrific.
Marlfield House is renowned for its hospitality and service and we found the staff so attentive throughout our stay. It is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book, a luxury collection of unique Country Houses, Historic Hotels and Castles in Ireland and also a member of Relais & Châteaux, an association of the world’s finest hoteliers, that has exceptionally high standards for excellence in hospitality. Laura Bowe was at hand, welcoming all guests and ensuring their stay exceeded expectations and that they enjoyed their meals. I loved her personal touch and her sense of pride in Marlfield that only comes from being a family owned hotel. Animals greet you as you walk around the grounds, horses, dogs, ducks and of course George the peacock, all help to enhance the atmosphere.
I’m a big fan of Country House Hotels, I like the intimacy and the feeling that you are staying somewhere with many stories to tell, rather than a soulless skyscraper. I was delighted when Ireland’s Blue Book invited me to stay at one of their hotels and Marlfield House was the obvious choice for me. Located in Gorey, I really liked that it is only an hour’s drive from Dublin. We were able to have lunch and dinner in both restaurants and enjoy a stroll on Curracloe beach, before returning home the following day. It has been a long time since Cormac and I strolled on a beach without kids!
If you fancy staying for two nights or more, I would suggest exploring the local area as facilities on site are limited. Marlfield House is conveniently located close to many of Wexford’s top attractions, including Dunbrody Famine Ship, Tintern Abbey, The Kennedy Homestead, Loftus Hall and Hook Lighthouse, – the oldest working lighthouse in the world! Not only is it one of Wexford’s top attractions, but it is one of Ireland’s too.
Price and where to book:
Marlfield House is exceptional value for a hotel with cuisine of such a high standard. Prices from €119 per person for bed and breakfast and dinner in the Duck Restaurant or €140 for bed & breakfast and dinner in the Conservatory Restaurant. Visit MarlfieldHouse.com or Ireland’s Blue Book.ie for more details.
This post was sponsored by Ireland’s Blue Book but all views, as always, are my own.