For more than fifty years, the Wheeler family have welcomed guests to their gorgeous country house, on the shores of Lough Swilly, in far north County Donegal. Their achievement in the world of Irish hospitality is immense, and they are amongst the greatest hospitality dynasties in Ireland, standing alongside the Kellys, the Allens, the Foyles, the Vaughans, the Treacys, the O’Callaghans, the Maguires, the Greens, the O’Haras. The beauty of the house and the grounds, and the stellar quality of the cooking, means they could coast by on their reputaion of half a century. But with both The Cook & Gardener restaurant, and the boisterous The Tap Room, they have created one of the most original mixtures of eating in one destination in Ireland. The C&G is smartly informal, whilst The Tap Room is home to Slow Food Co pizzas, and also to the beautiful beers of the cutting-edge Kinnegar Brewery. Put alongside the genius of the Wheeler family when it comes to service and hospitality, and it means that Rathmullan House is as spry and limber as ever, fifty years young, not fifty years old.
The Tap Room
The Tap Room, at Rathmullan House, fuses the hospitality of Mark Wheeler with the pizzas of Kemal Scarpello and the craft beers of Rick le Vert. Together, this trinity of talents has carved out a monster success, and after they lowered the pizza oven into the original kitchens in the basement and got everything up and running, they soon found that 200 people a day were turning up for Donegal beer and Donegal pizza. It’s no surprise: the beers are superlative, the pizzas are benchmark, and the informality of the set-up – pizza and beer in a country house?! – suits the unpretentious nature of Rathmullan. So, if you are hungry for the Bianco, the Paysanne or the Spaniard pizza, and a glass of Kinnegar’s Swingletree, Rathmullan is the place.
More along the Donegal coast
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