Now it might not be very often you need to a place to stay in County Donegal, Ireland. However, the scenary is breathtaking, and the people friendly.
Last year I got married and as my now in laws are from Donegal, we had the wedding over here. We took some time to select our reception venue, but decided upon Harvey’s Point just outside Donegal town.
The drive to the hotel takes you off the main road and around Lough Eske, about 5 minutes from the main road. From the outside it perhaps doesn’t look much, but from the moment you enter the front doors and smell the peat fires everything is perfect.
Now the wedding was in November, so you may think this a bit late to be doing a full review. However as a gift from the hotel we received a voucher for dinner, bed and breakfast, which we have made use of this week.
The thing about Harvey’s Point that really stands out is the level of service. Every member of staff you see greets you with a warm smile and a hello. It doesn’t sound like a big thing, but it makes you feel welcome and valued.
Now the rooms. We were in an Executive suite. A huge room with a TV bigger than our own. It means that you can not only sleep in wonderful king sized comfort, but properly relax or eat in the room, which also had a view of the Lough. The bathroom was about the size of our living room, with a bath and shower big enough for two, a double sink and seperate dressing mirror with lights round so I could do my make up for dinner (this blog post is the shared thoughts of me and my wife @donnalecky)
So the room was amazing. Dinner at the wedding was in the style they do their Sunday lunch. A starter buffet – with a room full of different dishes to choose from (and I do mean a room) then soup, then main course (on Sundays this is a carvery of 4 or 5 different meats) then the starter room has transformed to – the dessert room. Including fresh crepes made to order. One nephew at the wedding ate so much he was sick, but still went back for more.
Our dinner was in the resturant which again overlooks Lough Eske. This was a fine dining experience. What I love about those is the extra bits – am amouse bouche of carrot and lemongrass with a coconut foam – wonderful. And a choice of 3 different breads with a trio of dips – a pesto, oil and a salsa. Another thing about Harvey’s Point is you feel you can ask for me – as the lady at the table next to us did.
Starters were black pudding for me, served with a white onion sorbet, blue cheese and pear – amazing. Donna had tortillini stuffed (and it was rammed) with duck and with a mini dug leg and chicken jus. Also amazing, thhough we felt I won (just).
Next up Donna had brocolli soup with roased garlic and almonds, and I had a melon sorbet – both also amazing.
For main I had beef which was accompanied with triple cooked chips. These were I believe the best chips I had ever tasted. I have tried Rick Stein’s Padstow chip shop offering, but these were just brilliant. The beef also wonderful.
Donna had rabbit – a new thing for her – and she loved it. Generous servings of potatos and vegetables too.
Dessert. Now – had clocked the cheese board on the way in – it looked great, but I couldn’t manage it and was forced to go for the lemon tart (best ever tasted etc etc). Donna however manned up and was given the tour of the board by the maitre’d – all Irish cheeses and much more generous than most cheese boards – we had to get it sent up to the room to finish it, but not before we had taken a stroll around the grounds, then sat in the bar in arm chairs in front of the peat fire and had a drop of whiskey before retiring for the night to finish the cheese.
A great night’s sleep is best followed by a great breakfast, and the breakfast does not disappoint. Full selection available – fresh fruit, meats, cheese, croissants pastries and breads, porridge as well as the usual hot food plus gammon which is carved to order.
We checked out after another bath and then sat and read in the bar until lunchtime. More lovely food! Chowder for me, mussels for Donna.
All in all, a very relaxing stay, and we hope to return again.