The Twelve Hotel
“A joyous experence” was how a friend described his stay at The Twelve. Mind you, he wasn’t finished with that, as he went on to say: “Everything you write is correct - even understated possibly.”
Wow! Is he right? Probably. Critical sobriety means that we have to always keep a little distance, and be as even-handed as we can be. But everyone else in The Twelve isn’t holding back, and the energy in this smart modern hotel is powerful: people love it to bits. What did our friend love? All of it: the bakery; the bar; their pizzeria, Pizza Dozzina; and Upstairs, their smart and serious restaurant. Manager Fergus O’Halloran marshals one of the best teams in the West, and evereything in The twelve chimes perfectly. Joyous is right.
Upstairs at West
Martin O’Donnell’s cooking enjoys a true sense of being in the moment. It’s as if he has somehow managed to improvise every dish that comes from the kitchen in Upstairs @West and, even though the complexity of his food means this is impossible, the combinations look and taste wonderfully spontaneous. He’s a keen forager, so he’s alive to what is available and what is seasonal on the nearby coastline but, in truth he has all the skills: here is a guy whose brown bread can make you go Wow! The best way to sample his food is via the tasting menus, when a parade of apposite dishes gives you some of the best tastes of the West: smoked salmon and crab with sea lettuce; ceviche of lobster with lobster dumpling; loin of lamb with sweetbreads. The wine list has won many awards, and deserves them all.
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