Fall is a time of rich russet landscapes and abundant produce, and with the leaves beginning to change colour and the air growing noticeably cooler, The Lodge at Ashford Castle is the perfect place to make the most of the new season. Whether you’re looking to while away the longer nights sampling the hotel’s fantastic food and wine, keen to savour the colours of County Mayo’s landscape or try your hand at foraging, here’s why you should visit Ireland this Fall.
The Ashford Estate’s gardens and stunning natural landscape that surrounds the property are a sight to behold at any time of the year, but are particularly lovely as the leaves begin to fall during the fall months. Take a walk and admire the riot of orange and red leaves, or stroll through the woods and appreciate the changing of the seasons in these ancient, peaceful woodlands.
If the foraging at Ashford Castle is good enough for the Lodge at Ashford Castle’s Head Chef Jonathan Keane, it’s certainly worth checking out. Keep your eyes peeled in the woods and on the secluded pathways and around the lake and you’re in with a good chance of discovering a bounty that includes mushrooms, edible flowers, wild herbs and fruit. Be inspired by the menu at the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, Wilde’s at the Lodge, which incorporates foraged foods from the estate in its dishes, such as the Foie Gras with blackberry, wood sorrel and ginger
The Lodge at Ashford Castle’s assortment of Family Packages make it the ultimate destination for a fall Irish getaway. Highlights include the Midterm package, which allows the whole family to experience the luxury of this unique hotel whilst also taking full advantage of the many activities on offer. Revel in the comfort of a newly refurbished family Quay Suite before taking part in a spot of foraging with the chef or exploring the estate on two wheels on a family bike ride. Tuck into a hearty full Irish breakfast every morning and enjoy dinner in the Quay Bar, which is known and loved for its locally sourced tasting plates.
As the nights draw in and the temperature cools, it’s a great time to indulge in The Lodge at Ashford Castle’s fantastic food. From exquisite Afternoon Teas to Sunday Lunch with all the trimmings, there are plenty of delicious activities to keep guests occupied. Taken in Wilde’s, the playful Picnic Afternoon Tea is both fun and delicious, combining locally sourced savouries like Andarl Farm pork pie and Burren Smokehouse salmon, cream cheese and pickled cucumber fingers with a selection of enticing sweet treats like espresso Tiramisu and Bea Tollman’s famous cheesecake. The Lodge at Ashford Castle’s Chef Jonathan Keane also rustles up a fantastic Sunday lunch, which utilises the best Irish produce, such as black pudding fritters served with apple compote and apple salsa, supreme of Irish chicken and an Irish Farmhouse cheese plate.
Alongside its gourmet dining options, the Lodge also prides itself on its wine collection. Work your way through the expertly chosen wine list, which showcases prestigious vintages from the best-known wine growing regions in Europe alongside fantastic New World wines. Look out for the Bouchard Finlayson bottles from South Africa; this winery has won numerous awards for its creations, such as Hannibal, a red blend that’s oak matured for 16 months and has hints of cherry and spice. The ideal winter warmer, it works well paired with red meat and Italian flavours.
The Lodge at Ashford Castle is also home to a distinctive and varied collection of artwork. Whether in the hotel restaurant, bar or guestrooms themselves, each piece of artwork has been carefully selected and visitors can admire an impressive collection that combines eye catching creations like sculptures from South Africa with original art from America, Britain and Holland. Take time to appreciate the works on display, from the lively prints in the Quay Bar and Restaurant, which include a colour silkscreen of ‘The Baron Entertains’ by Beryl Cook and a vivid, abstract South African landscape by Michael Alan Costello, to the serene Waterford Quay canvases by Kevin Sanquest, which take pride of place in the private dining area.
Make the most of all that The Lodge at Ashford Castle has to offer this autumn with our fantastic Midterm Package.
Image Credits: All images courtesy of Red Carnation Hotels.