For more than fifty years, the Wheeler family have welcomed guests to their gorgeous country house on the shores of Lough Swilly. Their achievement in the world of Irish hospitality is simply 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. Of course, they don't. In fact, and indeed the last couple of years have seen radical changes as they have simplified the offering in The Cook & Gardener restaurant, and have simultaneously opened The Tap Room, creating one of the most original collaborations in Irish food. Today, the Tap Room is home to Slow Food Co pizzas, which are extraordinarily fine, and home also to the beautiful beers of the nearby Kinnegar Brewery. Put alongside the genius of the Wheeler family when it comes to service and hospitality, it means that Rathmullan House today 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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