The winding highways and byways of wondrous Wicklow are a bit of a treat in themselves to travel along. The way the light majestically reflects on what seems to be far more than the declared ” 40 shades of green”. From Mountains to Valleys, rolling streams to moss covered rocks, the Garden County is a feast for the eyes.
Situated in a secluded Wicklow Valley, BrookLodge & Macreddin Village is a
Country retreat with an extensive array of facilities to ensure you relax and recharge fully throughout your stay.
A key food destination, hosting the renowned Strawberry Tree Restaurant, Ireland’s first certified Organic Restaurant and La Taverna Armento an Italian inspired bistro.
The luxurious Wells Spa, an adult only destination spa offers a variety of treatments including Body Treatments, Facials and Massage along with Holistic Therapies ensuring you will definitely find a treatment that is perfect for you.
We booked a Mezzanine Suite for the night. Conveniently located on the first floor, this spacious suite was a bright and airy space exuding a serene sense of calm. The large sash window overlooking the river ensured our room was filled with the lullaby of the flowing river water and Spring birdsong.
A super deluxe King bed and full size slipper bath occupied the top floor of the mezzanine, with the ground floor designed for enjoying drinks, room service if you are so inclined and a flat screen TV complete with Netflix mounted above an inserted fireplace.
We chose to dine in The Strawberry Tree, as much as we love a good Italian feast the opportunity to experience Ireland’s first Certified Organic Restaurant was too good to miss.
The walk from the lobby to The Strawberry Tree brought us through a hallway where the window sills and various cabinets were heaving with glass bottles filled with various fruit and vegetable ferments. Then a short stroll along the wooden decked footpath brought us right to the door. The picturesque grounds add beautifully to the sense of occasion when it comes to embracing a night of fine dining.
The menu read like a real treat with an enviable wine list to accompany it. Hyper local produce without any pretence. Provenance is to the fore and detailed under each dish.
Our dining experience kicked off with a hearty bread basket alongside which we were presented with a pre-starter of a mini meatball atop Jerusalem artichoke foam. A delicious little bite of juicy ground beef complimented by the mild sweetness of the artichoke foam.
The first starter of the evening, Confit Salmon, Wild Squid Ink Aioli, Cucumber. This dish tasted every bit as light and bright as it looked on the plate. The delicate salmon elevated beautifully by the distinct brininess and salinity of the wild squid ink aioli.
Beautifully plated Kilmore Quay Wild Mackerel with Fermented Vegetables was up next. The lush, oily flesh of the mackerel lacerated by the subtle tang of the fermented vegetables. This dish awoke every single tastebud. As much as we both love classic starters such as scallops and pork belly that seem to appear on almost all hotel menus, it was refreshing to have this light and flavour packed start to the meal.
The sweet and sharp zing of our Orange, Lemon Sorbet, Pickled Blueberries palate cleanser had us ready to take on our main courses. It is worth pointing at this stage that the service is impeccable. Unobtrusive with just the right amount of time allowed between each course.
Before our 30 Day Aged Beef Fillet even arrived at the table the scent of it wafting through the restaurant had our mouths watering. We requested to have it cooked medium and it was just that. The knife glided through this superbly seasoned hunk of beef as if it was butter. Accompanied on the plate by beef fat onion and full bone gravy, this was a meaty main course to remember.
A dish of crispy roast potatoes, honey roast carrots and steamed cauliflower to share complimented both dishes beautifully.
Speaking of both dishes! Despite having two fish starters we couldn’t resist ordering the Kilmore Quay Wild Halibut. A generous fillet sat atop a fennel, whey and wild pine sauce. The sweet flesh of the fish taking on the mild anise and herbal perfume of the fennel and wild pine respectively.
Our wine of choice for the evening was a bottle of the very rich and elegant Castello Banfi, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy 2016. Breaking all the rules by enjoying a Brunello with fish dishes but due to the superb seasoning and accompanying fermented vegetables, it actually paired really well. Sometimes rules are worth breaking. This velvety juice bomb was worth the splurge at €104. The wine list is curated to perfection with plenty to choose from at all price points.
Chocolate or Cheese? Why choose when you can have both, right! The Organic Chocolate Plate was unabashedly orgasmic. Comprised of a perfectly molten chocolate fondant, a sliver of rich torte, a miniature mound of chocolate mousse and cooling mini magnum. This pure organic dark chocolate marvel has etched itself firmly in our bank of food memories.
A Selection of Soft-Ripe and Hard Matured Irish Organic and Raw Milk Cheeses with a little 30 year old Tawny Port for good measure and we were ready roll, quite literally, back to our room.
The five course menu is exceptional value at €69 per person.
As we strolled around the grounds we ambled up the very quaint and cosy Actons Country Pub. The temptation for a nightcap took hold and we were soon settled in a gorgeous little snug. The pub is such a lovely addition to the overall chilled out vibe of BrookLodge & Macreddin Village.
We decided to make the most of our gorgeous suite and ordered breakfast to the room. A delicious spread to fuel us for a day of exploring so much of the natural beauty that Wicklow has to offer.
If a peaceful retreat in an idyllic location with phenomenal food appeals to you, you cannot go wrong with a trip to BrookLodge & Macreddin Village.