There is something about the proximity to Cork that makes Waterford extremely appealing to me and indeed other Corkonians. That being said if Faithlegg House Hotel were in Timbuktu then having been there once, it’s extremely likely that I would travel there again for their splendid hospitality. I have pitched myself in recent times as quote the hotel traveller, having a preference for unique properties rather that the standard concrete jungle of a more corporate hotel. Never is that more important than on your big day. Alas I was not attending a wedding but having a one-night sojourn whilst visiting some of my favourite businesses in the Deise.
I love the homely atmosphere at Faithlegg, it’s quite grand from the outside, the 18th century mansion vibe still very evident. Inside they have kept the integrity of the building but have updated it perfectly for modern comforts. The décor is splendid, and each area is perfectly thought out. If you had landed me here and told me it was five star, I wouldn’t have argued. It does have warmth that the bigger properties sometimes lack. I loved the individual styles of the rooms too. There is nothing samey about it. I could almost imagine myself living there, such is the level of comfort. A lotto win and I would consider making it my home. The grounds are so beautiful and scenic.
I met the chef too who is an absolute lady and so passionate about local. The food is superb. One of the thing I feel Irish hotels do better than many is breakfast and let me tell you this was no exception. It’s really no wonder that chef Nevin Maguire chose Faithlegg as his location to shoot his Christmas Special. The breakfast is served on a tiered plate with sweet options as well as a healthy mini smoothie. Pastries, breads and scones are all present. We have many national dishes in Ireland. There is, however, one thing that seems to tie us together across class and background: the great full Irish fry up. It typically includes sausage, rashers and eggs (fried or poached) on toast or brown bread. There should be tomatoes or possibly grilled mushrooms, sometimes a few sautéed potatoes. Then black / white pudding if you’re feeling feisty and I am always feisty. The main breakfast is cooked to order, so is perfect for a fussy eater like me. Nothing is more appetising than a freshly cooked full Irish with eggs exactly how you like them.
I opted for dinner in the bar, a perfect steak with onion rings. It is an unflashy luxury and Irish beef has long been renowned as some of the best in the world and for me it isn’t a food, it’s an institution. Steak is reliable, but almost never exactly alike and that is why I judge a kitchen on its ability to satisfy my need for a good piece of medium rare sirloin. Simple; little slices of joy, with a nice wine pairing which the bar tender was happy to suggest. In terms of portion sizes, they were good with no real unnecessary faff. I indulged in a Gin too and they have my favourite Schweppes tonic, so they get extra points for that.
A few things to note, it’s out about 10km from the City, so is peaceful but still has all the amenities you need for business or pleasure. As a female travelling alone, the bar was a perfect spot for me to dine and have a glass of wine. Most of the other customers are guests at the hotel so it has a safe feeling as a lone traveller. The meeting rooms are well lit and perfect for a group. It caters for about 90 weddings a year so you can see where their strengths lay for sure. The team operate seamlessly, certainly being helpful without intrusive.
The rooms are comfortable and really quite which is perfect for rest. i can sometimes find it hard to sleep in hotels but honestly i had no such issue here. The room i stayed in was the New Geneva Suite and it was lovely to have somewhere to relax. There was a lovely bath with a separate shower and they have lovely shampoos etc. from Voya.
The other guests were a combination of lovebirds, golfers and corporate travellers. There are no noisy coaches or bustling groups, so it is the perfect place to relax and have a getaway. It does have a lovely atmosphere though and is ideal for a break away from it all. They have a great afternoon tea also if you did want to be completely indulgent. If a break away is out of the question, then a meal or afternoon tea is an opulent treat. Baby showers are big business in the smaller function / conference rooms with a big emphasis being placed on great food and of course the Instagram-able surroundings. Private dining for small groups or wedding rehearsal dinners have become increasingly popular also.
I didn’t on this occasion get to try the Spa, although I did get a quick peek and it is gorgeous. Upon my return I am going to do two things, firstly stay more than one night and secondly enjoy all the amenities.My birthday treat will be Faithlegg, i couldn’t think of a better place to turn 41.