Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Step House Hotel - An elegant stay!

A sleepy little village in the heart of County Carlow. A main street and on one side is the Step House Hotel. A boutique hotel and thee perfect place to relax and unwind.
The hotel is just the right size for what it is about. The reception area is stylishly decorated and a lovely young receptionist checked us in. We were staying in an deluxe room. 

Up a little flight of stairs and you are at the room. This hotel is my kind of place. A beautifully decorated room in soft, country greens and creams with a touch of a victorian feel in the furnishings. The double doors opened out to a spacious balcony with a view of Mount Leinster.  Such peaceful and elegant surroundings.

So why did we really chose the Step House – well its reputation for food really!
We dressed for dinner – which there was absolutely no need to do. A few years ago in Ireland there was such a trend of dresscodes. It makes me very happy that is no longer the case but I do like to get a little dressed up – to pay respect to the beautiful food!

The Room
When we booked we didn’t know that the restaurant didn’t open on a Monday or Tuesday. We had opted for lunch earlier on in the day in a little old fashioned pub down the road so we hadn’t already dined in the bar. I have to say I was a little disappointed as I had heard that the ambiance of the restaurant was as nice as the food itself. In saying that the bar had a cozy open fire, bubbly local staff and a genuinely warm atmosphere.

Duck Main Course
The menu is the type of menu I love. Nothing stuffy or anything that could be perceived as pretentious. Just a good selection of good food cooked beautifully.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
For starters I had my most favourite dish. Goats cheese. It was done on a toasted bread, toasted nuts, mixed greens and a lovely  delicate dressing. I would have to say it is up there with the best goats cheese starters I have ever had. Honestly it was just divine!
For mains the two of us went for the duck (Duck again I hear you ask?? Yes, we are duck fans and so think we know good duck when we taste it!) This was more then good.  We opted for a red wine with the mains.

For desert Liam opted for a selection of ice cream and sorbets. They were so tasty.  I am a huge fan of anything that has caramel, toffee, butterscotch of a variation of any of these so desert for me was a no brainer. Sticky toffee pudding with popcorn, apricot, elder flower and a nutty ice cream. It was heavenly! A desert chef who can serve a sticky toffee pudding that is rich but not very heavy is top class in  my books!


After dinner we brought drinks up to the room, threw open the balcony doors and sat enjoying the sunset until, in a matter of minutes, the sky clouded over and then down pour…The perfect time to jump into the huge, cozy and ridiculously comfortable bed!

Breakfast was served in the restaurant. 
It's decorated very simply. It seems to be that if a restaurant is decorated simply the food is where the artistry is. Breakfast offered a choice or healthy or indulgent and we enjoyed a bit of both. The pastries were divine!

The bill came to €170 for the night b&b, dinner and after dinner drinks. The Step House has romance, elegance,  is a culinary treat and a great retreat. Honestly, what’s not to love!

So what's coming up. This Friday we are going to the wedding of friends of ours in the beautiful Seafield Hotel near Gorey, Co Wexford. I have been to the spa but never stayed. As a bride to be myself  it will be a real treat.

Also, I am expecting a fab hamper from Irish Food Co-op full of Irish artisan goodies so I will be doing a review of the products and introducing you to some great Irish food producers.

I hope you enjoyed the read.

The view from the balcony

More views of the Carlow countryside
Dressed for dinner

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