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Hunter’s is more than a restaurant, it is an overall experience.

Hunter's is the Ireland's oldest coaching inn in Ireland and as such it should be special and to be honest it is. The hotel which includes an interesting restaurant is set in 2 acres of renowned gardens on the banks of the river Vartry in Co. Wicklow, which is known as the Garden of Ireland.

The dining room is lovely, part panelled and part wallpaper. On looking out the windowed I noticed that some names have been scratched into the glass panes. It was explained to me that this was an act of vandalism dating from 1930 but on further inspection that there many similar examples throughout the building and I photographed an example dating from 1966 … you can draw your conclusions but as they say in Ireland “never let the facts get in the way of a good story”. Of course the windows have nothing to do with the food but the story does give you a feel for the location.

I had the pate as a starter and it was served with melba toast [I have often wondered why restaurants never supply enough toast with pate] and it was as expected. For the main course I had roast beef and as far as I can remember there were three slices and it was the best roast beef that I have had in a restaurant for a very long time. I am not a fan of mashed potatoes but I really liked what was on my plate and of course I really enjoyed the Yorkshire pudding [ despite the name people of my mother’s generation would consider Yorkshire pudding to be Irish but strictly speaking is an English dish made from batter consisting of eggs, flour, and milk or water. The dish is sometimes served with beef and gravy and is a staple of the traditional Irish Sunday roast which is exactly the same as a traditional British Sunday roast except for the fact that Irish beef is better].

Over the last few years many of my friends from Asia have asked me to recommend somewhere they could experience real Irish food and I could never think of anywhere that would not disappoint but now I know a restaurant and it is Hunter’s in Rathnew County Wicklow.


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