Magical Markree

Markree Castle is set in the stunning county of Sligo on Ireland Wild Atlantic way. There is nothing that will make one feel more “extra or “regal” than a stay at an actual castle. That’s exactly what I did at the end of March when Markree kindly invited some of the press to a magical event that has made me wish I were born a princess or at least got to call a castle home! I got to live like Meghan and Kate for just a day and it was splendid. It makes up one quarter of the well known Romatic Castles of Ireland portfolio as well as being a member of The Original Irish Hotels.

The castle reopened after extensive and stunning renovations, in March 2017 and is now not only an incredible wedding destination but a luxury opulent break also. It has 30 rooms and self-catering cottages. Bridal couples can experience a three-room apartment which is no ordinary bridal suite. The renovations were carried out to keep the in integrity of the original structure and ambience but has brought the amenities right up to a modern level. The castle can cater for conferences also, but I must admit that my break there was far more leisurely, comprising of some falconry, lunch, drinks, rest and a banquet dinner. We were also treated to a local storyteller and some drinks. It was literally the most perfect weekend. I also had the pleasure of staying in the famous Johnny Cash room which is where June and Johnny Cash stayed during their stay in Ireland.

,The afternoon began with some falconry which suited the finery of the castle perfectly. We then had some warming lunch and savoured some refreshing local whiskey which warmed our cockles after a breezy afternoon on the lawn. One of the things that stood out most to me about the castle was that while you were aware the staff were on hand to help and accommodate any requests you truly got to feel like it was your home while you were there. The team seem to have absolutely perfected the ability of allowing you to relax and explore. The fact that it was spring meant that luckily the open fires were still roaring and the castle warm and inviting.

Dinner was a grand affair with seven mouth watering courses and wine to match. The dining hall is the perfect regal setting for such a ceremonious affair. Although quite formal with amuse bouche and sorbet I thoroughly enjoyed myself. All produce is sourced locally where possible and the castle is surrounded by lush grounds. We were entertained for the duration of our stay with singers’ storytellers and I believe a sing song, although I did retire early to enjoy the luxury of my room once dinner was over.

Now its splendid rooms contain fine antique furniture, linens and a unique collection of historical paintings, keepsakes and open fires. The bedrooms each have a free-standing bath and a luxury shower.

I am well known for being hyper critical of breakfast in hotels. I often find then to be sloppy, overcooked and generally uninspiring. Markree did not disappoint on this occasion serving local fresh free range products with great side orders , as well as the standard continental breakfast. Once again the service was perfect and set me up well for the next leg of my trip to wilds of Mayo.

But could you imagine having a complete castle at your disposal, playing king and queen and entertaining your friends and family most royally? From a ceremony perspective there is a charming chapel on site.  For dining a wonderful dining room which can accommodate 170 guests for a banquet wedding dinner. Fairy tale setting, grandeur, outstanding attention to detail, food of the highest order and service to match is what The Corscadden family have to offer at Markree. The grounds make for the most idyllic photograph backdrop. This is a romance charged venue that charms from the moment the castle is glimpsed from its sweeping drive and which mesmerises the minute the guests fall under the spell of the magical walls. With captivating windows, framed by richly coloured drapes, and little touches that provide huge talking points, this is a venue beyond compare in which to stage the timeless and ever lusted for castle wedding. And why wouldn’t it be?

 Now is the time to discover a fairy-tale of elegance and service in a majestic part of Ireland contact the Markree Castle team now at info@markreecastle.ie or call (071) 916 7800.

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