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The Wedding Diary - Aug/Sept 2012. Lisa Cannon
I always thought I knew the most dynamic and fun places to visit in Ireland until I stumbled across Bellinter House. I’ve visited some of the biggest and boldest castles around but never knew how cool it could be to visit an old manor, especially one nestled in the rich untouched beauty of Navan. It’s the kind of getaway that is whispered into your ear and you know you’ve just been handed a precious secret! I first went on a cold October weekend when the wind was howling outside and the warmth of the old fireplaces and the hot port with cloves kept us all warm, but when I visited again in the height of the summer I knew I had struck gold. It is simply stunning with so many nooks and crannies to see and do. I was in love with the library the old books a testament of its support of culture and the old worldly feel of a literary haven (good too for reading the Sunday papers with a proper coffee!) Then there is the sexy sitting room adored with cow’s heads and opulent chandeliers… very Vogue! And need I mention the games room, a go to for a few glasses of funky mojitos and a daring competitive side after dark! I went to Bellinter first to relax and enjoy the surroundings but aside from the walks and the wonderful activities there it’s the ‘coolness’ that I came back for. The rooms in the main house look like they’re straight out of a Gwen Stefani video complete with Bose systems and mirrored ballroom fixtures and not to mention the restaurant, a whitewashed basement with goblet glasses made for lots of red wine!
Aside from the daring interior and the lush surroundings there is also the spa…Yes it’s a heavenly place like most but the treatments are just so different! Take for example the chocolate mud bath, an indulgent pampering like no other and one that is good enough to eat! Not forgetting the full body massages, I fell asleep under their spell! In short, Bellinter is a great getaway with the girls or with your better half, its sexy, simple, stunning and sultry way to spend a few nights of your precious week/weekend. The hard-working staff alone Cora and all the girls will make it so memorable plus the fun energetic ambiance of the manor. I can thoroughly recommend it and there is no doubt… I’ll be back for more magic in the manor!
Thanks everyone for such a wonderful stay, it was a weekend of a lifetime!!
Lisa Cannon xx
Journalist - Claire O'Mahony picks eight great options
From rambling castles to boutique hotels, the list of places to throw a mad engagement party or a quiet post-christening gathering is extensive.
Groovy And Grand, Bellinter House
Bellinter has set the standard for grand and hip country boltholes in Ireland. A restored Palladian mansion in Navan, it mixes old-world charm and contemporary luxury to perfect effect. The games room, complete with billiards table, and the drawing room with its well-worn floor boards and vintage furniture, are cosy places to hang out in. The house will lend you wellies to go tramping around the extensive estate so that you can truly embrace your inner lord or lady of the manor. If you'd like to hire the venue (there are 34 bedrooms, so up to 76 guests can sleep here and 124 people can dine here) the fee for Sunday to Thursday is €1,500 and €2,000 for Fridays. Food prices depend on what you want but you could choose from the al a carte menu from the Eden restaurant here or finger food. The room rates per person sharing bed and breakfast are €100 Sunday to Thursday and €125 on Fridays. If your party is smaller and you don't want to hire out Bellinter exclusively, you could always take over the East Pavilion, which accommodates 12 guests in the east wing (although additional accommodation in the main house of up to a maximum of 12 rooms can be provided). Obviously, you won't have exclusive use of the house but there's no facility fee. The dining capacity is 24 and the room rates are from €80 bed and breakfast per person sharing, Sunday to Thursday and from €100 Friday and Saturday.
The Guardian,Philip Watson
"The drawing room of Bellinter House has many classic Georgian features. There are wide, dark-stained timber floorboards, soaring floor-to-ceiling sash windows with panelled shutters, and deep cornices supporting a ceiling of elaborate ornamental plasterwork. But look at the furnishings of this fine 1750 Palladian-style hotel, 40km north of Dublin, and you could be forgiven for thinking that you've wandered into a funky urban bachelor pad. There are glass-and-chrome coffee tables, 1950s leather armchairs, and two paper-and-wire wall lights playfully shaped into antelope and bison trophy heads."
Conde Nast Traveller
"A meticulously restored Palladian gem...the bedrooms couldn't be more comfortable."
Sunday Times Magazine - Susan D'arcy
"The Celtic Tiger purrs away contentedly at this Palladian Pile. Bellinter is set in genteel Meath Parkland on the bonny banks of the Boyne, perfect for an Austen-esque evening stroll. The bedrooms go for bold fabrics, groovy vintage furniture and top-of-the range entertainment systems. The food is scrumptious and the spa organic."
Journalist - Fionnuala McCarthy
"What Bellinter offers is an experience in itself, with its emphasis on intimacy, luxury,comfort and relaxation.You come here because of what it is, not where it is, although the fact that it is only 45 minutes from Dublin does it no disservice... essentially it is a rural retreat with an urban vibe."
Image Magazine, Domini Kemp
"Features like the stunning indoor pool, family rooms, guest living rooms and proximity to Dublin should see the well heeled city and country folk alike heading to Meath for a unique mini break."
"In the capable hands of the Bellinter House wizards, country house dining has been converted into a stylish seventh heaven... Bellinter will create a new generation of country house devotees singing to a different hymn. It rocks."
"Bellinter House is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in my life. And probably the best hotel I've ever been to... Bellinter as a country house doesn't have all the things you hate about country houses ... And the decor is just amazing. Designer Pierce Tynan really is a genius. And then when you go to eat and they have Eden, so you don't have to eat in some depressing and stuffy dining room ... I tell you this for your own benefit ... It's amazing. Go there now."
Guardian Weekend Edition
"Guests at Bellinter will face tough choices. Does one tipple in the intimate wine bar or the one overlooking the river? Indoor infinity pool or outdoor infinity pool? Fishing on the river (they've got rights to three miles of it) or billiards in the games room? ... Things will become doubly hard with the introduction of a Spa and a cinema next year ... perhaps the most difficult choice will be whether or not to leave the room at all?"