Castle Leslie – A Modern Fairytale
It may only be 90 minutes from Dublin but from the moment you step into Castle Leslie, you feel like you’ve entered another world. I had heard much about the beautiful estate prior to my visit so anticipation was high. But thankfully this is one fairytale that proves true.
As we visited with family, we opted to stay in the Village Houses, located just outside the castle walls. This turned out to be an excellent choice. Extremely spacious and beautifully decorated there wasn’t even the usual family squabbles over bedrooms, as each of the five bedrooms was as pretty as the last.
While the children played with the family board games provided, the adults relaxed and enjoyed the welcome provisions thoughtfully provided. And when we discovered an earlier lightning storm had knocked out the television, a quick phone call resulted in two extremely helpful staff members being immediately dispatched to help.
The superior Castle Leslie service, extends to every part of the estate, meaning whether you opt for the castle, lodge or self catering, you’ll feel just as pampered. And with the estate offering a complimentary shuttle service between the lodge, castle and houses, you never feel far from anything no matter what the weather’s like.
After a quick change, we headed up to the Lodge to enjoy the acclaimed 7 course Snaffles dinner menu. And what a meal it was, as each course arrived we exclaimed we couldn’t possibly eat any more and yet every plate returned to the kitchen as empty as the last. Truly one of the best meals we’ve ever had and special mention the the Moijto dessert, which is almost worth a visit for in itself.
We then took a leisurely stroll through the beautiful grounds up to the castle where we relaxed in the library with a drink. Stepping into the castle is like a step back in time and as you make your way through the castle you forget that you are in a hotel at all. The castle has retained it’s old world charm and original features. Every room and it’s antique contents have a different story to tell and even the bathrooms are talking point. Sir Jack, who still lives in the castle can often be found regaling guests with the stories from the days gone by, which only adds to the authentic and frankly rare ambience of the estate.
The next morning I visited the The Victorian Spa, for some more pampering, visiting the hot tub overlooking the picturesque stables before moving upstairs to one of the luxurious treatment rooms to try an Eminence facials. Eminence is a natural, organic range from Hungary. I opted to try the Fire and Ice facial, the spa staff are truly fantastic and my own therapist was extremely knowledgable and talked me through the treatment which promised to plump the skin and smooth fine lines.
A warming mixture of paprika, sage and the horsetail plant was used to exfoliate my skin. The heat was then replaced with ice to cool the skin, before a refreshing rosehip menthol masque and finally a lightly whipped moisturiser, which literally smelled good enough to eat was applied. The treatment was finished with a relaxing head massage and I blissfully made my way out of the spa with glowing and radiant skin and met my mother who informed me she had just had the best hot stone massage she had ever experienced.
After exploring some more of the stunning grounds and feeling more like I was born to live in castle with every passing second, I made my way to enjoy a girly afternoon tea in the castle overlooking the lake, while the boys headed off the enjoy a game of pool and visit the cinema room and the kids enjoyed some horse riding. The castle also provides a boot room with wellies and rain gear so even a rainy day won’t deter you from exploring the extensive grounds.
Later on while some of us enjoyed some romantic boating on the lakes, the others tried their hand at a spot of clay pigeon shooting, before all regrouping for another delicious meal in Conor’s bar.
When the time came to leave, we unhappily made our way back to reality already planning our next visit to the memorable Castle Leslie.
The Girls Getaway in the Village Cottages costs from €250pps. The Pamper Escape costs from €135pps and the Romantic Hideaway Retreat costs from €365pps. For a full list of special offers at Castle Leslie Estate, visit www.castleleslie.com