Been There: BrookLodge Hotel & Macreddin Village
Hello Mint-Maggers! Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I’m delighted to be sharing the first in a new series of articles on the MintMag where we’ll be reviewing everything from hotels to restaurants, spas to salons! We want you to come to us whenever you’re needing a recommendation, just like you would ask a friend. We know how important it is to get a trusted opinion on a place, and with our critical eye, that’s just what we’ll give you!
So, first on the list, BrookLodge in Wicklow. I headed there on Friday for the weekend with my other half for some much needed R&R. The hotel is set in it’s own little man-made village with restaurants, pubs, a spa, golfing range and even it’s own church! It’s the perfect countryside getaway with your partner or girlfriends, or an idyllic spot for a wedding (i’ve been to one here before and it was bliss!)
After a wonderfully warm welcome from the staff we checked into our room. It was traditional and cosy, with views out to the gardens (and the wandering ducks and chickens). As well as complimentary bottled water, there was a fresh fruit basket, chilli chocolate and homemade spices on the desk which was a lovely added touch to arrive to.
We arrived late afternoon on the Friday so relaxed in the Waterside Lounge with a cheeseboard. The big comfortable armchairs and sofas are perfect for sinking into for hours with a glass of vino (there’s me, sinking, and probably on the Mintstagram!)
The village is known for it’s organic, free range (that’s where the chickens come in), and wild food options. You can buy their homemade produce there and even take away fresh eggs from the basket in reception when you’re leaving.
On Friday evening, we went to La Taverna Armento for some delicious Italian offerings. After a complimentary glass of prosecco on arrival (brownie points!), we immersed ourselves in the relaxed, traditional atmosphere and ordered two of their wood fired pizzas. They were cooked perfectly and filled with flavour, just the comfort food we were after. The meal was finished with a deliciously light tiramisu just to be extra glutenous!
The next morning we entered The White Room where an array of cereals, fruit, pastries and juices were on offer. I helped myself to a little taster of a few and the homemade granola is definitely a must have. The cooked breakfast, and my poached eggs, was hearty and wholesome, and all washed down well with a big pot of tea.
Saturday afternoon brought some much needed spa time and a half hour back massage at a very reasonable cost of €40. The therapist was thorough and tailored the treatment to my achy areas, afterwards giving me a glass of homemade smoothie and leaving me to further unwind in the relaxation area. All the facilities in the spa are great however it was disappointing to see that the outdoor hot tub was closed for repairs, as that’s my favourite bit!
After all the soaking, we went for a lazy stroll around the grounds and sat on the patio soaking up the sun with a drink. It’s such a relaxing environment to really allow the mind to switch off – I could waste away many an afternoon there! Later that evening we went for a drink in Actons Pub, another fine establishment on the grounds, before heading to dinner in the Strawberry Tree. It’s the only certified organic restaurant in Ireland, with most of the food farmed in the area or foraged by their own chefs.
The dark and dramatic decor created a sophisticated and warm atmosphere – that paired with the on-point service made the food taste even better! We went for the set menu (€65), which including an amuse-bouche, a starter, a pallet-cleansing option of soup or sorbet, main course and dessert. I have to say, I couldn’t fault the food at all.
All in all our stay was delightful. My only negative point to note, and it’s not the hotels fault but natures, is that if you’re a light sleeper I would advise on bringing earplugs just incase the crows and cockerel are acting up outside, they can be rather loud!
See you again soon I hope BrookLodge, and thanks for the lovely stay! Louise x