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“AN EXCELLENT BED AND BREAKFAST TO STAY IN CORK” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Garnish House

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Garnish House
Ranked #3 of 61 Cork B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“AN EXCELLENT BED AND BREAKFAST TO STAY IN CORK”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2013

6 of us went to visit cork. We booked our room in Garnish house B&B. Their welcome tea with freshly made cone and cakes was wonderful so is their breakfast
. Land lady is very caring and friendly . It is conveniently situated

Room Tip: this place have also self contained apartment. we spent a night . very good and quite.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Afsaruddin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2013

Captured by Cork,
(or, how to really enjoy yourself during a weekend in what has to be one of the finest cities in Ireland and relive those nostalgic memories of youth.)


It may be a long way to Tipperary, but it’s as far to Cork. Cork City that is. Now whether you stay in the Hayfield Manor, or, as we did, in Garnish House, a Guest House out near the University, your stay in this city will be memorable.
My first encounter with this noble city was all of forty years ago, having camped down at Kinsale in a tent that let in more water than it kept out, we decided on the last night to treat ourselves to a really good meal. Four stalwart lads invaded Cork City, where we were told by a lovely Bord Failte girl that the only place for a steak was The Oyster Tavern.
We were not disappointed that night as I first became acquainted with a Porterhouse steak. This was of such a size that it would have fed a family at Sunday dinner. Grilled over red-hot charcoal and served by a tall gentleman of elegant manner in a dress suit, of whom we were in awe and thought must surely be the owner, this was a meal to remember. He looked kindly on us did that gentleman with the cadaverous countenance, and did not make us feel out of place, which we probably were, as he gently advised us on the subtleties of steaks and their accompaniments.
Over the years I have often thought nostalgically of that fine waiter in a little tavern up a tiny alley off Great Patrick Street, the main street that curves through the centre of the city. If I ever heard of anyone going to Cork, I always told them about The Oyster, and never did anyone speak ill of it. In fact, it seemed from their description as if the waiter they had encountered was the one who had been there all those years ago.
Now forty years later, it was time to relive the adventure of the Porterhouse steak. Staying in Garnish House, a most elegant establishment that modestly called itself a guesthouse, but was worthy of much greater status, and where the breakfasts were of gargantuan proportions, we had foregone the usual huge repast in anticipation of the feast yet to come.
As we walked into the city, I told herself of that meal of long ago, of the succulent juices that oozed over the plate from a well-hung steak seared over red-hot charcoal. The taste of the gravy made from the meat’s own juice that clung to the palate long after. The huge hand-cut chips from local potatoes, crisp and golden beside the gigantic field mushrooms dripping with butter. And the smooth well-poured pint of the black stuff. Followed by, of course, a dram or two of Jameson’s.
My cheeks drew in and the juices ran at the anticipation of this pilgrimage from the past.
Down Great Patrick Street and there outside the alley was the old gaslight with its sign, albeit somewhat rusty, with the one word, “Oyster.” All those years I had waited, eaten in restaurants of haute cuisine around the world, sampled food of every nationality, worshipped at the Altar of Gluttony and now had arrived at the Mecca of that memorable meal.
Not to be.
Frantically I searched up and down that alley, but nowhere was that, or indeed, any other restaurant.
The rest of that night is best glossed over as solace was taken in a local hostlery. Apparently “The Oyster” had closed its doors the previous month.
But. Cork City is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Listen to the variety of languages in the streets. Go into a café and watch the animation of the faces.
And it’s the attitude that’s great.
“Ah sure those shoes’ll nivir fit ya. Go down to O’Dwyer’s, they’re only half the price ye’ll pay here!”
Or.
“A point?” ( It took me some time to realise that this was in fact not a small dot, but indeed a pint in the vernacular Cork idiom!)
“Ah, ye’ll be wantin’ to go to …..”
Cork is built on two rivers, so that much of the time moving round the city is over bridges. Remember where you park the car. It’s easy to forget which bridge the car-park is beside, and panic and call out the Garda Siochana to report a stolen car which the Gard will kindly suggest might be in the other car-park…and of course that’s where it was.
It was Saint Finbarre who founded this city with his monastic school around 650 A.D. and the Cathedral which bears his name with its fine rose window and elaborate mosaic pavements is worth the visit.
Or Shandon Church with two sides of the tower in red sandstone and two sides in white limestone. “Partly coloured like the people, red and white is Shandon Steeple,” goes the local doggerel. The famous chimes of 8 bells can be rung by visitors for a few Euro. It was known locally as “the four faced liar” as each of the four clocks on the church used to show a different time. Now modern technology means they all show the same time. Ah well, it’s progress!
Many of the streets of Cork were built over open water, and the landing stages of local merchants, where sailing ships from the Levant and Cathay once nuzzled their anchor chains, are still there.
Great Patrick Street is built over a river, hence the pronounced curve. And indeed the steps up to some of the buildings hearken back to when these were landing stages.
Much as the hills of the city go up and down, so do the voices of the citizens with their sing-song cadence.
This is a city to enjoy. Whether sitting listening to the soft lilt of the West or the foreign tongues, or wandering the streets and looking in the shop windows, or sampling the music of the night in the cellars and pubs. Whatever dream haunts you, this city might just have the answer. Let it wash over you and seep into your bones whether at the Mass or sitting on a bench, this city will have something for you.
If you’re a fan of Jazz, this city is for you. Come in the last weekend in October for the Annual Guinness Jazz Festival. This is when the city pulses and throbs with the rhythms of Count Basie, Fats Waller, Dizzy Gillespie all day and all night.
Or if your preference is for browsing through little shops hoping for the non-existent bargain, visit the Paul Street area, a former back street now converted into a thriving shopping area of restaurants, boutiques, craft shops and bookshops in the heart of old Cork. It has to be said that it is different from the usual trendy street that most cities have nowadays. There is a French feel about this part of the city which isn’t surprising as this was part of the Old French Quarter in the seventeenth century when Huguenots fleeing from persecution in their own country, settled here and started trading.
Not too far away is the entrance to the English Markets where amongst the usual produce are products peculiar to Cork. Drisheen, a mixture of dried sheep’s blood and herbs in a long pudding skin. Or Crubeen, pigs’ feet boiled “with the hoof on!” And Trotters. Sheep’s feet boiled in water.
It’s worth going down to Kinsale for the day, or indeed a few days. Washed by the warmth of the Gulf Stream this little town plays host to a variety of plants not thought of as belonging here. There is a warmth in the air that is almost Mediterranean. At night sit out in the balmy air that drifts in from the warm waters of the South, which started down near the Equator and washed the shores of Mexico. Kinsale is not just a village on the coast. It is highly cultured with a sophisticated and discerning population.
And seafood of course is one of the main dishes on this warm seaboard that teems with an abundance of fish. Try the Mussels Mariniere cooked in white wine with a little garlic and parsley, the juices mopped up with fresh crusty bread from the local bakery, the aroma from the ovens lingering in the still night air. Or the langoustines seared over charcoal, the gentle smell of the charred shells anticipating the feast to come.
And if wild Atlantic salmon is your dish? Caught twenty miles up the river having spent three years across the ocean in the Sargasso Sea, and now responding to the timeless urge to breed in the place it was spawned, it seemed a pity to eat such a noble creature. Wrapped in soaked newspaper, (the Irish Times of course), stuffed with herbs grown on the hillside near Old Kinsale Head, and steamed to perfection over the very hottest of charcoal, the succulent flesh falls off the bones.
Old Kinsale Head is worth visiting to look out over the deceptive and anonymous waves to where the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1915 with the loss of a thousand lives.
Most tourist towns boast art galleries where pretty pictures of such-and-such a famous glen or tower or mountain by local artists can be bought, but here the galleries stock quality work not only home-grown, but from abroad. And expensive as well.
Not far from Cork is Cobh, or Queenstown which is actually the Port for Cork and it was here that the Titanic made the final landfall before setting off on the fateful journey as had many an emigrant to the Americas before.
Or venture into the West of the county where thunderous surf pounds the beaches around Clonakilty. Here we stayed in a cottage up a boreen beside a zinc mine with the rustic name of, “Our Lady’s Well Mine.”
A pastoral idyll with echoes of Arcady, except for the blast of gelignite every day at noon.
It can be so hot here on the beach that the sand will burn your feet as you walk out to the water. And when you get into the water be careful of the jellyfish the size of dinner plates, to say nothing of the sea urchins…
Or if you believe in it, you can kiss the Blarney Stone on the top of Blarney Castle, about ten kilometres from the City. The legend derives from Cormac Teige McCarthy who, when he promised loyalty to Queen Elizabeth l, but would not give in to her, got the response from the Queen that he was giving her, “a lot of Blarney.” If after climbing the Medieval stone staircases, hanging upside down over the edge of the castle you still feel like kissing the stone, well and good. Me, I can’t help thinking about everyone else who has kissed it!
It’s a long oul drive to Cork, but not so bad now the Drogheda by-pass is opened with that incredible futuristic bridge lit up by ultra-violet light at night. And don’t you just love the signs that announce, “Toll Plaza 8Kms. Ahead”, where you have to have one Euro thirty for the fare which you throw into a wire basket and the computer counts it quicker than you can and flings open the toll-gate.
But if the drive still seems too far, well you can always fly to Cork…

Room Tip: be really nice to the owner
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank james_m186470
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glanmire, Ireland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2013

I stayed in Garnish House last night. The one thing I will say about the place is that that girl who met me was most pleasant, courteous and helpful. After that, the place is a typical last-paw celtic tiger rip off ! I paid 80euro i.e. hotel prices for a room you couldn't swing a cat in , never mind a tiger. I couldn't open the window because the room was over the kitchen and they start making the next morning's breakfast at about 1am which meant that I couldn't breathe for the fumes of bacon etc. The selection for breakfast was very good - but to be open having slept with the smells of it all night, I couldn't enjoy it. In summary - there are plenty of good hotels at this price in Cork - don't fall for this one ... a B&B at hotel prices.

Room Tip: Not room number 10 anyway. And don't fall for the 'suite' - its a bedsit down the road !
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ttripster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livorno, Italy
Level Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2013

Owner and staff extremely warm and welcoming. We had a room in the house across the street and we could use the kitchen as if it was ours. Plenty of private parking. Breakfast was excellent. The only negative note is that accomodation spread over 3/4 different houses made WiFi connection quite poor. Apart from that, the B&B is surely recommended, even if the city itself is, in my humble opinion, a little disappointing.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gigiballa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013

I chose this place based on price and ratings. Overall we were satisfied, but the place didn't live up to the reviews. This B & B is spread over three or four properties, and our room across the street from the main area did not have very strong internet. There was no lock to the back door, and also I detected a faint smell of mold ( although to be fair, my wife and son didn't.) The concierge/owner treated us to scones and tea when we arrived early, which was nice. In the morning the breakfast has very European clientele and ambience about it. The food was good, but it wasn't the best breakfast that we had in Ireland. However, I would recommend this place to friends.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JKenney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level Contributor
33 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013

From being welcomed with afternoon tea to the wonderful owner and staff it was a wonderful stay. The food to die for. Rooms small but European small but clean and very comfortable. I would not hesitate to stay here again and recommend...

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tp136
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
160 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013 via mobile

The room was comfortable and seemed to have been refurbished recently. The afternoon tea on arrival was great and it was the best breakfast during 4 weeks of travel around Ireland. I enjoyed the porridge with whiskey but there was a very wide choice available. The local recommendations for dinner were also good.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Phil T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Garnish House

Property: Garnish House
Address: Garnish House Western Road, Cork, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Cork > Cork > Mardyke
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 61 B&Bs / Inns in Cork
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Garnish House 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy our welcoming tea with home-made scones and cakes upon check-in and our by now famous gourmet breakfast, in Cork City premier guesthouse accommodation...GARNISH HOUSE... AA & RAC rated 4-star luxury guesthouse offering superb B&B accommodation in the heart of Cork. Located on the Western Road, Garnish House's neighbors include the picturesque campus of University College Cork, the tranquil riverside walks of Fitzgerald's Park and the historic Cork Gaol -- with a city's worth of exciting dining, entertaining and shopping options only ten minutes' walk away.The ideal base for exploring Cork City's historic attractions such as the English Market, St. Finbarre's Cathedral and the Shandon area, Garnish also provides easy access to Blarney Castle, fishing and foodie heaven Kinsale and Cobh (pronounced 'cove'), home to the Titanic Experience and famously the last stop of the doomed liner. Guests of Garnish enjoy amenities such as 24-hour reception, ample parking, a wide variety of room types (including self-catering apartments and a 3 to 7-bedroom townhouses), complimentary WiFi & the very best of Irish B&B hospitality, starting with complimentary tea on arrival. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Garnish House Hotel Cork

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