We paid the entrance fee to see the grounds of Ashford Castle and have lunch at the Cottage. Cullen's At The Cottage opens at lunch time, so we decided to walk the grounds first. It was a real treat despite the overcast weather.
The service at Cullen's At The Cottage was excellent. We had our choice of a booth right away when they opened, and were served quickly. We had the Cobb salad, soup of the day, and the club sandwich with a pot of tea. We were too full to eat our scones so our waiter put them in a bakery box and included two individual jars of jam tucked inside for us to enjoy later.
It's worth the entrance fee to walk the lovely grounds of the Ashford Castle, and if you are lucky you will see and hear the bagpipes being played when a boat returns to the dock, and maybe even see demonstrations by the falconry guides.