Having stopped at Knockranny House for lunch last year on our way to Connemara, we decided to take an overnight stay as part of this year's trip. The hotel itself is situated in a quiet location on the outskirts of Westport, and enjoys a stunning view of Croagh Patrick. The interior is beautiful, with impressive staircases, high ceilings, plush carpets, elegant furniture. The bedroom was of a
similar high standard. We settled in and anticipated a wonderful gastronomic experience from La
Fougere restaurant (which, apparently, has won more awards than you could shake a stick at).
To say that our experience was one of bitter disappointment would be a real understatement. The evening was an unmitigated disaster. Firstly, the restaurant's procedure for seating guests at their tables was a shambles. While we dutifully queued at the entrance, another guest simply
pushed past us and made for the last remaining window table. We consoled ourselves with the
expectation of a fabulous meal. Second disappointment. We chose a duck parfait as starter, and received a minute "sample". Tasty enough, but hardly adequate. Should have brought my
microscope perhaps? For main course we had one sea bream, one pork fillet. The fish was bland, dry and tasteless. The pork dry and tough. Accompanying vegetables (one croquette potato each and a couple of spoonfuls of cabbage - yes, cabbage!) did little to satisfy our fairly normal appetites. Nouvelle cuisine is so dated, and no amount of abstract art work on a large empty plate can compensate for a stingy lack of calories. Allegedly this restaurant has received
many awards for excellence - all, presumably recommended by "experts" with non-existent palates and in desperate need of psychiatric help. To make matters worse, service was very sluggish. There's no way one should be expected to wait 20 minutes between courses, especially at the prices we were charged. The crowning insult (culinary) came the next morning at breakfast. Feeling rather hungry, I ordered poached eggs with potato cake. I should have known better. On the plate set before me were two poached eggs and one small disc the size of a 50 pence coin (this was the potato cake). Thank you Knockranny. You do have a beautiful hotel, your rooms are magnificent, but you might need to think again about feeding your guests. We're not all anorexics or elderly and infirm.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Family owned and run, Knockranny House Hotel & Spa is one of Ireland's finest 4* hotels. Set in secluded grounds on a hillside, this luxury hotel stands proudly overlooking the picturesque town of Westport and enjoys breathtaking views of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay's islands to the west and the Nephin Mountains to the north. The welcoming atmosphere at Knockranny House Hotel begins with the open log fires in the reception hall, and is carried throughout the property with its antique furniture, excellent spa facilities, superb cuisine and friendly service, creating a genuine sense of relaxed warmth and hospitality. It was previously voted as AA Irish hotel of the year. Knockranny House Hotel & Spa is the perfect base for a touring or activity break or just to simply relax. So whether you come west to explore the Wild Atlantic Way or relax in Spa Salveo, we will do all we can to ensure you have a wonderful stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Knockranny Hotel Westport