Ballynahinch Castle is heart-stoppingly beautiful. For first time visitors, immediately enraptured by both the stoic grandeur of the castle and its lushly sensual gardens, and lulled by the quiet hospitality of manager Patrick O’Flaherty and his team, it can feel as if you have arrived in nowhere other than the Garden of Eden itself. Ballynahinch is an ode to nature, but what makes it special is the fact that the team here, and their work, chime so perfectly with the loose-limbed informality of the castle and its grounds, making it seem as if the whole edifice is floating in Connemara, loosed from terra firma. The cooking in the Owenmore Restaurant is apposite and perfectly judged, and the atmospheric formality of the room – and the incredible views – make dining truly special. But this formality is perfectly juxtaposed by the spontaneity and craic of the Fisherman’s Pub, quite the loveliest place to have a drink, either berfore or after dinner. Ballynahinch allows you to enjoy a grand castle in the West in the most intimate way imaginable.
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