Getting the party started
Looking for places to dine or party with colleagues or friends his Christmas? Here are some ideas
Cliff at Lyons in Celbridge, Co Kildare, just 30 minutes from Dublin, transforms into a winter wonderland over the festive season.
Fire up the festive fun
Get your Crimbo on at The Johnstown Estate, a beautifully refurbished property (that was previously the Johnstown House Hotel) in Enfield, Co Meath. A half an hour’s drive from the city centre, it’s a great option for a leisurely Christmas catch-up. Its newly opened Fire & Salt restaurant has a great Christmas menu, including a full-on, three-course turkey dinner (at lunch!) with all the trimmings for €40 per person, available from December 1st. There’s a festive afternoon tea available for €30 per person, or €38 if you’re having Prosecco with it. For a real festive beanfeast, check out the elegant Willow Room, a private dining option which sits up to 30 people.
For many Dubs, a trip to the Shelbourne is a Christmas ritual – for both business and pleasure. It’s when the hotel looks its very twinkly best. The Saddle Room is offering both festive lunch and dinner options throughout December, with the option of two private dining rooms catering for up to 20 if you want to make a real meal of either. A two-course Christmas lunch costs €55 per person, with a third course costing just €4 more – a very cheap stocking filler indeed – and is available from December 1st through 23rd. The festive table d’hôte dinner menu costs €90 per person during the week.
V’nV Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin, in the heart of the city on Golden Lane, is a handy spot for Christmas catch-ups with colleagues. It manages to be both modern and contemporary but still cosy – all dark woods and comfy booths. Its stylish simplicity is echoed in its food too.
This festive season. expect pulled pork hock and smoked ham terrine with spiced sultana purée, or oak-smoked salmon with sour cream and Goatsbridge caviar for starters, and mains such as free-range chicken supreme with potato and wild mushroom rosti and shallot and cider purée or grilled rib-eye steak with café du Paris with potato fondant and caramelised shallots. Follow it up with classic plum pudding and Cognac custard. Lunches from €29.
Get the party started
At this time of the year, finding a good party venue can be something of a Christmas miracle, but despair not. Cliff at Lyons in Celbridge, Co Kildare, just 30 minutes from Dublin, transforms into a winter wonderland over the festive season, offering a variety of options.
Dine under the stars in the Orangery Restaurant, with seasonal menus and views into the twinkling gardens. Available for small tables and groups of up to 50, this setting, coupled with its delicious food, makes it party perfect.
Private parties can also book one of the many cottages at Cliff at Lyons, which are dotted around the estate. Catering to groups of eight to 60 revellers, these are steeped in old-world charm and allow you to work with the team at Cliff at Lyons to create a once-off event.
For even larger parties, The Mill is a spectacular split-level ballroom for 60 to 200 guests. Priced from €99 per person, nice touches here include Champagne snow cones or roasted chestnuts on arrival, a three-course festive dinner, half a bottle of wine per person, DJ and late bar, with reduced B&B dates available. Don’t have the numbers? Just join the venue’s own Christmas party night, on Friday, December 14th, for €85 per person.
Capture a Christmas castle
With its festive lantern-lit driveway, fairy lit turrets and crackling log fires, Clontarf Castle Hotel is a cracker of a destination this Christmas. It’s also good value, with a three-course festive lunch from €39 per person at its Fahrenheit Restaurant, where dishes include gin and tonic-cured salmon, traditional turkey with honey-roast Limerick ham, and puddings aplenty.