Always on the look out for new and exciting experiences, an advertisement for Finn Lough Resort whetted our appetite enough to make us want to find out more. Visiting the website, we knew right away that if we were going we wanted to stay in one of the bubble-domes. Booking about two months in advance made the hefty price tag more manageable and certainly gave us something to look forward to.
Sitting pretty on the banks of Lough Erne, Finn Lough Resort is the stuff of dreams for any nature loving souls. A calmness descends upon you as soon as you enter the grounds. A very understated car park and reception area lead you right through to a series of tastefully designed rooms. A roaring fire and homemade cookies set the tone for the warmth, comfort, relaxation & deliciousness that lay ahead.
A games area, filled with board games and books is the perfect little den to chill out in. Leading from this room is the unimposing bar which has its own private whiskey room right along side it, an Aladdin’s Cave for whiskey enthusiasts. Looking around the cosy bar area we spotted a large sliding door and being the inquisitive types, we had to have a peep. When we viewed the website there had been no mention of this very opulent Cinema/Netflix room. An array of luxuriously upholstered seats and copper side tables made us want to sink in for our pre-dinner drinks. Watching an old movie and sipping a couple of delicious cocktails, is there anything nicer?
An exhilarating golf cart trip through the rich woodland of the estate brought us to our glorious Bubble Dome. We stayed in Premium 1. A transparent sphere structure with nothing more than invisible walls separating us from the forest and a sky full of stars. This was one very special experience. The Premium Bubble Domes house a large luxurious bathtub. Complete with bath tray to hold your complimentary fizz while you soak under the stars. A decadent four poster bed, complete with electric blanket ensures complete warmth & comfort.
Two rocking chairs and a table full of treats are just some of the touches that help you settle into your bubble making it feel so special and personalised. We even had a vintage style record player and being music lovers this added even more of a novelty factor to our night of living in a bubble.
Sadly we did not allow enough time to avail of The Elements Trail, which we immediately regretted upon hearing all about this unique Spa experience. However, this provides a very viable reason to return…..as if we needed one!
Finn Lough do not boast nearly highly enough about the exceptional level of culinary skill that is displayed in the very classical on site restaurant.
Dinner in Finn Lough is very reasonably priced as follows: Main Course £24.50 – Two Courses £31.50 – Three Courses £38.50
We were settled in for the night and more than eager to indulge in all three courses. To start we chose the Duck Confit, Duck Egg, Hazelnut and Celeriac. A rich dish of tender duck with crispy skin, deciding to have it without the Duck Egg, the Hazelnut and Celeriac made for many delicious and flavoursome forkfuls.
Our second starter was Wood Pigeon, Mustard Lentils, Carrot, Star Anise. A gorgeous piece of game with the addition of mustard lentils and the spice of Star Anise adding an extra layer of depth to the rich flavour.
Our first main course was Seared Cannon of Venison, Aromatic Red Cabbage, Parsnip, Bitter Chocolate. Perfectly pink and full of flavour, a generous helping of this delectable meat had its robust flavour enhanced even further by its comrades of aromatic red cabbage, parsnip and that nuance of earthiness from the bitter chocolate just coming through. Excellent execution of a well thought out dish.
For our second main course we went for the Erne Pork – Slow Cooked Pork, Braised Belly, Black & White Pudding Terrine, Carrot, Wholegrain Mustard, Armagh Cider. Clearly feeling carnivorous, the second rich meat dish on our table was yet another flavourful force to be reckoned with. Tender slow cooked pork slices along with beautifully moist braised belly provided mouthfuls of pure pleasure, enlivened with the tang of Armagh Cider & wholegrain mustard.
This dish, and in fact all of the dishes in Finn Lough highlight the value that well sourced ingredients add to a meal. Undoubtedly, the skill and finesse of the Chef’s ultimately brings out the best possible use of these ingredients, culminating in a spectacular evenings dining.
On to something sweet, our first dessert was Chocolate Delice & Pistachio Cream. Stunningly sumptuous this Chocolate Delice delivered many spoonfuls of pure bliss. Rich flavours of both milk and dark chocolate cut perfectly by the nutty, earthy flavour from the pistachio cream.
The final dish of the night was a deconstructed Poached Pear Cheesecake. The lighter of our two desserts, a creamy cheesecake with a welcome depth of texture from the poached pears.
The opportunity to spend a night in a real life, inflated super size snow globe was certainly a very special, unique and memorable experience. Finn Lough is a bucket list essential. An unforgettable experience that will be forever etched in the memory of those that visit this magical place.
WRITTEN BY KEITH MAHON & OLIVIA BYRNE