Catch the right sunset, and this is one of the most enchanting hideaways in Ireland...or perhaps we mean Sweden: this place is so stylishly modern and light-filled, thanks to all the orange cedarwood and plate-glass windows, that the locale could easily be Scandinavian. The lake here, however, is Killinure Lough and Wineport Lodge, Ireland's first "wine hotel" began life as a boathouse. In the restaurant, fine vintages and new Irish brews accompany such mouthwatering offerings
as baked fillet of halibut, pork belly, or courgette and parmesan boxty (potato cake). Guest rooms are minimalist but stylishly adorned with leopard-skin prints and goose-down duvets. All face the setting sun and look out over the placid waters of the lough. Glasson lies 5 km (3 miles) north of Athlone. The welcoming reception area has resulted a real log fire, comfy seats, and easy-on-the-eye mauve carpeting to complete the relaxing effect.