Emlagh House

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BUILT A FEW YEARS AGO in pleasingly traditional style, Emlagh House looks every bit the old-time country house. But inside, you'd swear the paintbrushes were only put away yesterday – everything in this impeccably groomed house feels laundry-fresh from top to bottom. 

Mother and daughter team Marion and Grainne Kavanagh have thought about just about everything at Emlagh House. Baths sunk into marble surrounds, twin basins, music while you soak, full-on power showers an array of Gilchrist & Soames bathtime bottles, waffle robes and underfloor heating.

This faultless theme continues in the bedrooms – all named after wild Irish flowers – where polished period style furniture is matched with down duvets, lush linens, top-notch CD players, and an ice bucket at the ready for that chilled glass of bubbly. Our room  had a sheltered private patio, while Fuschia – the honeymooners' favourite – is done out in striking cerise and purple, with a canopy bed.

Dingle dolphin spotting

It's all very much designed to please – and that's not to mention the views. From the rear terrace, green fields shelve away into glittering Dingle Bay and a coastal path meanders down to a series of little coves and a lighthouse. It's just the place to spot Fungi, Dingle's celebrity status resident bottle-nosed dolphin. He even has his own bronze statue in the harbour.

Determined to spot Dingle's famous flippered friend for ourselves, we set off for the shore. And sure enough, having given a fleet of tourist boats the slip, Fungi was soon giving us and a handful of other spectators a private picture show, twirling and arching in the shallow waters off a small sandy beach. Pretty amazing.

But back to Emalgh House. You'll find tea and cakes on arrival, a help-yourself  honesty bar, a piano and a giant chess, plus a library with internet access, shelves of CDs and a great collection of books on local history. You're a five-minute stroll from the town, with all its bars and restaurants.

There was one more treat to come, as we found next morning.  Emlagh House breakfasts are historic. They are served in the sunny conservatory with its stripped wood floors, stripey cotton-backed chairs and wide-open views.  Where do we start? Baskets bursting with home-made soda bread and crumbly-fresh scones. Freshly squeezed juice. Endless coffee. And signature dishes like ham and cream baked eggs with a cheesy topping. It's enough to set you up for a week.

© Room for Romance

Emlagh House was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mairiona Cotter

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