A Timeless Boutique Townhouse in the heart of a Georgian City
The name of this boutique Townhouse Hotel is that of its address, Number One Pery Square, Limerick; the Square having been named after Edmund Henry Pery, the 1st Earl of Limerick. It is one of a terrace of six Georgian houses built around 1830 by The Pery Square Tontine Company. Tontine is a very old description of a financial scheme, usually organised by local business people who wished to build city and town developments hundreds of years ago. There are 20 bedrooms in this historic house, four of which are period bedrooms in the old Georgian part of the building with sixteen club bedrooms in the more modern annexe. This is an excellent marriage of old and new buildings, the link from old to new along being a lovely curved corridor with a private outdoor terrace to one side. I noted a sign hanging on a Terrace chair, which I liked a lot – “Unattended children will be sold to the Circus”. The message is clear but the sting is taken out of it with the clever wording. Like other dedicated owners of historic hotels Patricia Roberts has put huge energy into restoring this historic property back to its original elegance. The house is located in the heart of the Georgian Quarter in Limerick city opposite the People’s Park.
Heritage and Hospitality: On arrival I stepped into the small front reception where I was met with big smiles from the excellent front of house staff. One of the staff went outside and parked my car in a secure car park just a stone’s throw away from the Hotel. As I was shown to my bedroom I was given a small tour without having to deviate too much so that I was fully au fait as to where all the public rooms were located. There is a club bar room in the front room of the ground floor with big leather armchairs. Above it on the first floor Number One Pery Square has an elegant Drawing Room overlooking the People’s Park, where you can imagine elegant ladies perambulating and enjoying the fresh air before retiring for Afternoon Tea.
My bedroom was one of the period rooms facing the park which retains its original dimensions. All four period rooms are named after previous occupiers of the House and mine was the ‘Vanderkiste’ room after Lady Vanderkiste. The more modern club rooms are all named after famous writers. One thing for sure is that I couldn’t think of any improvements that would enhance the One Pery Square bedrooms. Beautifully furnished in soft muted colours all the rooms are of an extremely high standard. Patricia is very proud of her beds and when I finally snuggled into mine I know why. The mattresses are sourced locally and are much thicker and comfier that you will find in many five star hotels.
I was absolutely delighted to see the original sash windows in situ and from the windows in my bedroom I could see the Spring-Rice column in the Peoples Park, which rises to a height of 70 feet with the figure of the MP Thomas Spring Rice adorning its top. He was a reforming MP for Limerick between 1820 and 1832 and the citizens of Limerick erected this monument as a gesture of thanks for his bringing democracy and improved living conditions to the citizens of Limerick. The bathroom, as I hoped, was extremely large with all the modern conveniences and yet exuding old style elegance. I just love little touches and here I found one with a hook for my towel on the door of an excellent shower. So often there is nowhere to hang your towel and this shows the thought that went into the minutest detail for the restoration of this hotel.
Throughout the House there are very interesting mirrors but it is their frames that catch one’s attention. Most are probably mid 19th century antique frames, full of ornamentation and decoration and absolutely perfectly suited to this historic property.
Dinner in the evening is served in the eclectic Sash Restaurant (the ‘h’ in the shape of a fork!), where I was looked after with care and unobtrusive attention from Chris and the team. The décor here is soft grey tables with matching leather button chairs, really comfortable. The small chandeliers gave a warm feeling to the room and having a table by the window I could see all the action on the street outside. I enjoyed the Chef’s Specials that evening, which were a Carrot and Beetroot soup followed by pan fried Hake, all cooked to perfection. This was followed by a delicious chocolate trifle, which took me by surprise. Served in an old fashioned glass it compromised layers that enticed me to eat right down to the bottom, where I encountered poached pear slices. The camomile tea was ‘real tea’ served in a lovely teapot with inbuilt strainer. It was impossible to resist a post dinner Digestif in the Club Bar and my choice of a cocktail ‘The Little Black Dress’ with a lavender twist was superb.
Breakfast next morning was served in the Sash Restaurant with complimentary newspapers for guests. Despite being well behaved the evening before, I opted for a very unusual De-tox drink of beetroot, broccoli and celery, which left me feeling very virtuous, but I fear that it will take more than one to really help.
I took a quick tour of the fabulous OPS Heritage Spa in the restored vaults at basement level and my only complaint was that I hadn’t time to experience this amenity first hand. It has four treatment rooms; Irish Mist showers and a Snooze Room. The products are from VOYA in Sligo and their products are also in all the bedrooms.
Things to do in Limerick include visiting King John’s Castle and the Hunt Museum and making sure to see what little events are being held in Number One Pery Square itself, such as the ‘Wine as Medicine’ evening.
It is very clear that Patricia is one of those excellent hosts, who not only works extremely hard but also enjoys what she does and this permeates through the demeanour of all the staff working there. It is an easy drive down the M7 to get there and it won’t be long until I am back to try out that Snooze Room.