Marlfield House, Gorey, Co Wexford

AN HOUR’S drive from Dublin in any direction will bring you into the heart of the countryside, and none prettier than the Wexford coastline and the stunning setting of Marlfield House, just outside Gorey.

It is the perfect little jaunt for an overnight stay, but it feels like you are a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Surrounded by beautiful mature trees and manicured gardens, the house was built in the Regency Period.

There is a tennis court and croquet lawn within the grounds, and you might just find yourself being woken by the loud call of two magnificent peacocks that live on the grounds.

We stayed in the French Room, which was very spacious and was decorated in keeping with the period of the house.

Lovely French doors lead on to the gardens and, from there, a pretty man-made pond, designed by the owners – the Bowe family – who took the house over several years ago.

Fluffy bathrobes and slippers are provided, as well as some other nice extras such as complimentary mineral water, chocolates, and fruit.

This is certainly the kind of place where you might wish to get out your finery and dress for dinner, and what better excuse? The bar, which serves some tasty pre-dinner drinks, had a great selection of aperitifs and cocktails to choose from.

The menu is a nice size with plenty of choice, ranging from scallops to chicken liver pate, and goat’s cheese pannacotta to quail, for starters.

Main courses included rib eye steak, john dory, spring lamb or risotto.

Food is presented in a classical style, cooked simply with vegetables, herbs and fresh fruits from the house garden.

Dessert was a rhubarb mousse followed by a cheese board, with a selection of delicious Irish cheeses.

After dinner, we got into conversation with a couple of diners, most of them American, and many of them searching for their Irish roots.

They told us they were staying in some stunning period properties around the country, but Marlfield was a stand-out for them.

After a quick nightcap, we settled in for a night of wonderful sleep.

Back to those peacocks – we have them to thank for just in time making it to breakfast the following morning. Had it not been for their unusual calls, we probably would have slept till noon, such is the comfort of Marlfield.

After a hearty breakfast, made to order, we packed up and headed back to Dublin relaxed and revitalised, and ready to face the hustle and bustle of the city again.

For further information on Marlfield House Hotel, see www.marlfieldhouse.com, or www.irelands-blue-book.com.