You cannot understate the importance of Viewmount House to the hospitality culture of the Irish Midlands. In creating one of the most significant modern country houses, owners Beryl and James Kearney have done an inestimable service to their county and their region. They have done it by offering superb hospitality, and great modern Irish cooking, in a great country house and restaurant. In the VM restaurant, chef Robert Groot Koerkamp has succeeded Gary O’Hanlon, and Mr Koerkamp’s clean, bright modern cooking strikes just the right note in the swaddling comfort of this fine room. The cooking is classic in style, but with a lot of modernist attitude: duck with black garlic and popcorn; 48-hour featherblade with potato foam; quail with smoked potato; slow-cooked apple with doughnut. He is helped, also, by a young team of enthusiastic, smart young locals, who bring great charm to the operation, working alongside Beryl.
To really get the best of Viewmount House, and the excellent VM restaurant, you simply have to stay the night. Mr Kearney’s patient, studious searches through the auction rooms of Ireland means that here is a house where every aspect of furnishing in the public and private rooms is apposite, appropriate, and understated. And their signature Boxty Benedict, at breakfast, is one of the nicest, and most original, things you can eat for breakfast anywhere in Ireland. Viewmount is a true star.
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