It's always marvelous to see a grand country house re-animated and re-born by a new generation for a new generation, and Simon O'Hara and Christina McCauley are propelling the pristine Coopershill, in east county Sligo, to a new level of achievement, and acclaim, the seventh generation of the family to reside here. Coopershill has always been one of the most immaculate of the Irish country houses, and the housekeeping and comfort gladden the heart. Every aspect of this couple’s endeavour – cooking, design, development – articulates a straining for the just-right note of comfort and welcome, from the roses on the dressing table to the precision of the turn-down, from the gleam of the cutlery to the unpretentious grace with which they both inhabit this big monolith of a house. Ms McCauley is a cook with a sure touch, a light hand, and she works according to nature’s timetable: smoked venison with garden salad; Riverstown lamb with pesto; Killybegs crab tart; black sole with white wine sauce; gooseberry tart. Some of her cooking can stop you in your tracks, so clean and crystal clear are the flavours.
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