Old and new blend spectacularly at this hotel on the banks of the River Barrow, made up of a famous 19th-century pub and the surrounding buildings dating from the early 1800s. The nearly 40 guest rooms shimmer in modern style, and the lobby and hallways are fetchingly adorned with modern Irish art. The showpiece is a vast, contemporary restaurant called The Waterfront (reservations essential), where signature dishes include crubeen (pickled pigs' feet) braised in
port and stuffed with truffles, baked monkfish fillet wrapped in Serrano ham and served with mango salsa, or fresh turbot with asparagus in beurre blanc. Niceties include an award-winning wine cellar and a pungent array of fine cigars—although with Ireland's smoking ban in full effect, you will be asked to enjoy your Cohiba outside.
Main St., Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, Ireland