Recently we booked into Inch House near Thurles for a couple of nights Bed and Breakfast and one dinner. I came across this place through Twitter. Inch House followed me, I followed back and had a look at their website and deemed it worthy of a visit. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, checked in and we were shown to a spacious, well proportioned room on the first floor. The room was clean and the bed was comfortable. The ‘en suite’ bathroom was a little dated but it was spotless and well stocked with the usual bottles and kits.
We dined there on a Saturday night. We chose the five course set menu which was priced at €55.00. We both opted to have the roast butternut squash soup with cream to begin. For the next course I chose the stuffed boneless quail with cherry sauce and himself opted for the black pudding and goats cheese tartlet. For mains I selected the duck with plum sauce and spinach mash and hubby had loin of pork stuffed with black pudding. (Inch House has an award for its own black pudding and it was definitely being put to the test at this meal!)
The restaurant was busy enough and we were shown to a table near one of the windows. We were served with some lovely lightly textured brown bread and a second fruit and nut brown bread. They were very tasty. The soup was good too. The starters duly arrived. Mine was absolutely lovely. The quail was off the bone and the stuffing was fruity and delicious. The black pudding/goats cheese tartlet was very large and the pastry case was rather bulky. A more delicate pastry would have suited it better as it would have allowed for the more important flavours of the cheese and pudding to pervade.
The main courses arrived and I was rather disappointed with my duck dish. It had been sliced thinly and laid out around the mash and it wasn’t ‘à point’ as I’d ordered. I could see no pink at all. The plum sauce was too sweet for my taste. It was a pity as I love duck but I hate orange sauce and it is often difficult to find it cooked a different way. Mr W was more fortunate this time as his pork was deliciously succulent and the whole grain mustard sauce it was served with was excellent.
The dining room at Inch House is a delightful, elegant space with a lot of floor to ceiling windows. Unfortunately none of these open and the room became to warm for me. We asked to have our desserts on the lawn. I decided the chill of the evening was preferable to the warmth of the dining room. (I think my body thermostat was not functioning that day). Hubby helped to carry out the desserts and we sat outside in the coolness of the evening and managed to scoff pavlova and ice cream.
We returned to the bar for tea. I chose Lady Grey and himself decided to chance ‘Night Time Tea’! This turned out to be camomile tea which is supposed to be soothing and calming. Maureen (Egan) brought us our tea and we chatted for a while about the business and Twitter and marketing and, of course, hurling. We retired for the night sated and tired and, in the case of Mr W, soothed and calmed by his night-time tea. After a good night’s sleep we were ready for breakfast.
Breakfast is definitely their forté at Inch House. We came down to an amazing spread of fruit, cereal, cheese and yogurt. There was beautifully stewed rhubarb that was soft but still held its shape. There were plumped up prunes and pink grapefruit and a berry compote. There was fruit salad with three varieties of melon, pineapple and berries. We had freshly squeezed orange and there was a jug of iced water too. We had a choice of cooked food too. I ordered poached egg, black pudding and bacon. I got two eggs (one soft and one firm) and some grilled tomato too. Only the Irish know the best way to serve tomatoes at breakfast. But I digress. Mr W, who was still soothed and calmed from his night-time tea, thought that a full Irish would be the way to go. So when his meal arrived he had a rake of black and white pudding, sausages, mushrooms, potato cake, eggs and bacon. We were also supplied with toast and delightful, bijou scones.
The Egan Family, who run Inch House, are exemplars in hospitality. They are chatty, friendly and informative. They are interested in, and committed to, their work. When we were leaving Nora Egan gave us a portion of her black pudding to take home. It was sufficient for a meal for four people and she was very helpful when I telephoned her for advice on what to do with it.
For a relaxing overnight stay with an amazing breakfast you won’t go wrong at Inch House.