We returned to our B&B early in the afternoon for a nap as our dinner didn't start until 8:30. The dinner was fabulous. They had bagpipe music and violin and harp music. We ate with our fingers - novel for our son as he has to eat chips (french fries) with his fork at school. He fell asleep during the show at the end and we carried him home.
Favorite Dish: Menu
Aperitif – Bunratty Mead ~ Spiced Parsnip Soup ~ Spare Ribs with Honey & Whiskey Sauce ~ Breast of Chicken with Apple & Mead sauce, served with potatoes and seasonal vegetables. ~ Rastin (Fruit of the Forest Mousse on a Biscuit Base ~ Coffee / Tea
I expected to do the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle, but the tour group took us to Knappogue Castle near Quinn. This sounds like a more authentic experience but we had fun with what we did.
The Castle, last of a series on the same site, was built around 1425. During the 16th and 17th centuries it was an important stronghold of the O’Briens - Kings and later Earls of Thomond (North Munster). The Castle was restored in the early 1960's and is considered the best example of its type.
Banquet Sitting Times
Two sittings nightly at 5.30pm and 8.45pm.
Favorite Dish: * Guests reach the Castle after a short atmospheric walk through Bunratty Folk Park to the castle gate where a kilted piper plays a tune of welcome. Cross the drawbridge and enter the castle to the 'Bite of Friendship' offered to protect you within the walls of the castle.
* To the Upper Great Hall, resplendent with tapestries and furniture of the 16th Century, where you will receive a goblet or two of Mead. The Butler relays the history of Bunratty and you can enjoy a medieval madrigal by the Castle Singers. It is here that the Earl & Lady are crowned for the evening before descending to the banquet hall where bench seating, candle-light and long oak tables reflect the Banqueting style of the medieval era.
* The 4 course meal is a pleasant balance of contrasting Irish meat dishes served during the period and is accompanied with music and song.
* The entertainment programme afterwards takes the form of a selection of Irish medieval and traditional songs and instrumental music by 11 Entertainers.
Aperitif – Bunratty Mead
Spiced Parsnip Soup
Spare Ribs with Honey & Whiskey Sauce
Breast of Chicken with Apple & Mead sauce,
served with potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
(Fruit of the Forest Mousse on a Biscuit Base
Coffee / Tea
Adult: €55.00 Child (6-9yrs): €27.50 Child (9-12 yrs): €41.25 (rates effective April 1st 2007 - March 31st 2008)
We didn't (or at least I didn't) want to eat dinner in a fancy place, so we went to Kathleen's Bar. I got a cranberry juice for €2.40, and my grandson's coke was the same price.
He had the handcut 8 oz cheeseburger, bacon, salad and chips (fries) for €14.50. He wanted catsup, but I didn't think to ask for it and don't know if we could have gotten it anyway They did give him some kind of steak sauce. He didn't like the cheddar cheese on the hamburger.
I had a steak sandwich (€12.95) on toasted foccacia, salad and jacket potato and the steak was tough. But it was too much for me to eat, so we didn't get any of the desserts which looked good albeit expensive at €5.50 each. They had carmelized lemon tart with creme fraiche, bread and butter pudding with ice cream, chocolate brownie with fresh cream, and vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce.
My grandson took my camera and stood on a bench to get a birds eye view of the table.
Favorite Dish: The bill before tip was €32.25, which I thought was quite expensive for a couple of sandwiches and a coke and juice.
There were a couple of places to eat inside the park. We did not stop at MacNamara's. My daughter cautioned me that Irish pubs weren't as child friendly as the ones in England, and it just didn't come into view at a time for eating.
I saw two places on the way in to look at the buildings. One was the Country Kitchen, and the other was the Tea Room. I thought hot tea would be good on a damp day, so we went to the Tea Room and I got tea and scones, and my grandson got hot chocolate (€2.20) and a homemade apple tart (€ 4.00). Also available was soup, sandwiches (€3.40 to €3.85) and wraps (€4.50). In addition to tea and hot chocolate, they had available Coffee, Cappuccino, Milk, Still Water, and Mineral water to drink.
We sat at tables and benches, and the place was fairly crowded. I grabbed a seat where a man was sitting, and he said it was OK to sit there although his wife was coming along and they were with friends.
I later found out that my grandson hates tea, and would rather have had a soft drink, and that he doesn't care much for scones. He did like the apple tart.
Favorite Dish: The website says
MacNamara and Sons at the top of the village street is a fully licensed working pub in the style of an old fashioned hotel bar and provides modern catering facilities. Be sure and drop into Mac’s for a pint! The pub is furnished to reflect the lifestyle of the time and the fact that the publican not only sold drink in former times but also traded in groceries and hardware.
Originally (if our plane had not been delayed for 6 hours), I was going to go to Durty Nellie's to have an early pub meal. But by the time we actually got to Bunratty, I was too tired to go out, so we missed dining here.
Durty Nelly's has three bars and two restaurants
The Main Bar
The Upstairs Bar
The Local Bar
The Oyster Restaurant
The Loft Restaurant
The Loft has sloping ceilings, rafters and bold beams, gleaming and glistening with copper and brass and an extensive A La Carte menu which follows an international theme.
The Loft Restaurant is open from 18.00 hours Monday through Saturday.
The Oyster Restaurant is located adjacent to the downstairs bar
Lunchtime specialities are roasts, from rib of beef to leg of lamb, as well as traditional favorites, boiled ham and cabbage, or Irish stew. An extensive A La Carte menu features
homemade pate, crab salad, oysters, prawns, mussels and more amongst its starters.
Main courses range from a selection of steaks, fish, chicken dishes, roast duckling, scallops and smoked salmon.
The Oyster Restaurant is open 7 days per week.
Favorite Dish: The Main Bar - The old stone floor strewn with timber shavings complements the atmosphere in the Main Bar. With food served throughout the day and nightly sing-songs, it is the perfect place to unwind. Experience the magic of a hot toddy beside the open fire on a cold winters day.
The Upstairs Bar - A quieter area with polished oak wood floor, it is the ideal bar for a pre dinner drink while perusing the menu from the adjoining Loft Restaurant. ..
The Local Bar - Through the windows of the Local bar, with its original flag stone floor, you can view the Owenagarney river as it flows against the gable wall on its way to join the river Shannon whose final destination is the Atlantic Ocean. Last three photos of the river from the castle.
I have not gone to this bar, but one of the men on the tour did go. He is in the fourth picture at the medieval banquet. One of his goals was to drink in as many bars as possible.
Favorite Dish: History according to the website: In 1823 Charles Bianconi opened a coach service linking Limerick, Ennis & Bunratty. Evidence indicates that the building was used as a scheduled stop for the Bianconi coaches with the ground floor being used for the stabling of the horses. In 1927 the building became the local creamery, it was used as a creamery until the early nineties, and in 1999 it was converted to an authentic Irish pub & restaurant.
The Creamery Bar [has].. the original steam generator and pipes as its center piece serves the finest pint of Guinness. Friendly and Efficient staff are there to greet you while you sit at the open turf fire. There are plenty of photos regarding the history of the creamery, the Bunratty area and the people of Bunratty. ... bar stools are original milk churns.
The tour offered a 'full Irish breakfast" each morning.
At Bunratty, this consisted of a base of scrambled eggs and what they called bacon, but we would call Canadian bacon or ham. I tried to stay away from the salty meats because of the swelling in my ankles, but I ate the eggs. To earn the title of a "full breakfast" a number of other ingredients are expected. In this case, we had
* grilled tomatoes
* fried mushrooms
* black pudding
* baked beans
* sautéd potatoes
* condiments such as brown sauce and ketchup
There was also cheese, cereal (hot and cold), apples and bananas, sweet rolls, bread rolls, butter and jam, juice and milk accompanied by tea or coffee
We didn't want a fancy restaurant because we were so tired from our trip, so we never ate here. The hotel caters to a lot of weddings, so they may occasionally take up this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: The website says "Our Round Room Restaurant which offers an excellent range of modern Irish cuisine, all carefully prepared by our Brigade of Chefs who takes full advantage of our areas superb local produce to create our cuisine. Wines selected from around the world combine to make a truly enjoyable experience and one to be savoured.
Go back to a time before knives and forks were used to a great Banquet Hall with long oak tables, benches and candle light.
An evening to be remembered.
Favorite Dish: The Menu is as follows:
Spiced Parsnip Soup
Traditional Spare Ribs
Breast of Chicken with Apple & Mead sauce, served with potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Traditional Rastin with a Blackberry Mousse and Fruit of the Forest.
The traditional welcome drink served at Bunratty Mediaeval Banquet is Mead.
This drink is a blend of wine and honey. In olden times it was traditionally drank by newly married couples for one month (or moon) after their wedding.
Hence the name 'Honeymoon'.
MacCloskey's is a up-scale restaurant in the town of Bunratty. It's fairly expensive, but the food is excellent. If you decide to forego the dinner-theater-like atmosphere of the Medieval Banquet, you can go to McCloskey's for a fine dining experience, then head over to Durty Nelly's pub for free entertainment. Add the Guinnes tab, and you still spend less than the 'Banquet'!