Wineport Lodge: Fresh & Feelgood Menu
Today was the hottest day of the year (so far!). I was traversing the country to the wilds of Connemara and back to Dublin – all in one day! On my return journey I was beginning to develop heat exhaustion, despite having a good supply of water and reasonable air conditioning in the car. I needed to stop for some respite but didn’t want a petrol station. Thankfully the heat hadn’t penetrated my brain cells at this stage as I thought of the Wineport Lodge on the lake near Glasson, not too far from Athlone.
It was a brilliant idea, if I say so myself. I turned up unannounced mid afternoon. Neither Ray nor Jane Byrne (the owners) nor Norma (their excellent Manager) were present but were due back soon. This was probably just as well as by this stage I had melted so much during my drive (especially around those awful slow roundabouts in Galway) that I wasn’t looking my best – a gross understatement. At one stage during this slow bit of the drive the thermostat in my car was reading 32ºC.
The staff in The Wineport are first rate and weren’t one bit fazed as I arrived with steam emanating from me. Having discovered that they had all day dining I then meandered around like some demented creature looking for the coolest place. This turned to be in the elegant Bollinger Bar. Whilst the veranda was very inviting it was too hot for me to stay outdoors. This was a much needed break but it evolved into something much more sublime. I was presented with an all day dining menu where I chose a delicious Prawn and Crab Salad from the Fresh and Feel Good list. It was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into the terminology of a very well put together Menu and it was spot on and brought an all day dining experience to a new level. It was the best €11 that I have spent on a light meal in a very long time and it set me up for the rest of my journey home.
Now I am not suggesting that one should visit the Wineport Lodge for such a brief visit as mine. To be honest I felt that I had wasted an opportunity by not arranging an overnight stay there. I felt this even more acutely as I watched all the resident guests enjoying themselves relaxing nearby on the adjacent lakeshore. The next time I am there it will be to enjoy the experience of an overnight along with a meal in their outstanding restaurant. The very nice and efficient Siobhan on Reception told me that The Wineport is celebrating 25 years in business.
From my observations it was clear to me that there is continuous investment taking place and you would be hard put to find a more luxurious contemporary hotel in such a stunning location anywhere in Ireland. Visit The Wineport website and you will see some extremely attractive breaks on offer.