A Luxury Country House Hotel in County Wexford…

Words by Sindy Chan/Images Courtesy of Troy Nam

Sindy Chan is a ‘travelling gourmand’, sharing her international culinary adventures with readers!

Dining Irish is sumptuous and tasty, yet with a hefty focus on meat. Four-star hotel Marlfield House, has taken a giant step forward, creating balanced Irish meat dishes in palettes of home-grown herbs, vegetables and edible flowers from the kitchen garden, which I’ve labelled ‘The Green Evolution’.

DSC05030 Marlfield House kitchen garden

After our pre-dinner tour of the edible garden, with Margaret Bowe, from the ‘owner family’, we were ready to sip on a cocktail! There were a variety of choices, all refreshing and appetising, with one aptly named Peacock Mimosa, inspired by ‘George’ the resident peacock. There’s also a Gin Special – Cocktail of the Month.

DSC04900 Cocktail Peacock mimosa

Historic Marlfield House has two dining options – the fine-dining Conservatory Restaurant and our choice of the casual dining at The Duck Terrace Restaurant both offering a diversified menu.

Main Course

The Duck Terrace Restaurant’s signature dish Magrat Duck Breast, sauté baby potato, wilted spinach, balsamic mushrooms & Raspberry jus (€32) features sweetness of duck meat with the tastiest spinach.

DSC04943 duck breast

Chef’s successful twist of ‘fish & chips’ in oriental flavour Tempura of Haddock, Asian carrot, & lime slaw, house fries, tartar sauce (€16) is a very popular choice. (See pic below)

Mildly flavoured Irish meat dish Slaney Valley Rump of Lamb, turmeric, vegetable and pea couscous, tomato salsa, feta cheese (€26) perfectly blends with freshly-picked home-grown produce.

DSC04792 lamb

Wine pairing

Seafood or meat, the two recommended French wines worked very well either way.

Irish coffee

After dinner, Hotel Manager, Greg Murphy, walked us to the hotel main house where we watched young Lorcan O’Shea preparing authentic Irish coffee for us – coffee and whiskey in the right proportion were mixed, then a floating layer of silky Irish cream was added.

Lorcan O’Shea making Irish coffee


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Read on for additional information on Marlfield House and region, plus more pics…

Three ladies of two generations

Visitors to Marlfield House must be amazed to find that the two sisters Margaret and Laura look very much alike their mother Mary. The three ladies of two generations actually look like sisters.

Courtown House and Marlfield House in Gorey, County Wexford was built in 1852 and owned by the Earls of Courtown.

Courtown was the principal family residence and Marlfield a Dower House to be used by the widow of the estate-owner.

The Bowe family has good reasons to be proud of the Marlfield House.

When Mary and Ray Bowe purchased the Marlfield House from the Stopfords (the family name of the Earls of Courtown) in 1977, a substantial piece of Gorey and Irish history has been preserved, as Courtown House was demolished in 1962 thus no longer exists.

Starting as a guest house in 1978, Marlfield House is now one of Ireland’s most luxurious and ‘starry’ historic country house hotels, very much appreciated by celebrities as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Steve Martin and Meryl Streep.

DSC04622 Conservatory Restaurant

Margaret Bowe shared a lovely story about Steven Spielberg staying at the hotel for two months in the summer of 1997 while filming Saving Private Ryan Ballinesker beach in the village of Curracloe County Wexford.

To my disappointment, Speilberg did stay at Morland Suite as we did but opted to stay at a very small room on the first floor of the main house where legend of the Bowe family’s Marlfield House began.

Rosbercon is hometown to grandparents of Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, the American playwright and winner of the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Dunganstown, 6 km south of New Ross – the ancestral home of the Irish-origin Kennedy family who made their name in history with John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States of America in 1961.

Dunbrody famine ship in New Ross is a replica ship. The great famine of Ireland in 1845, precipitated by a total failure of the potato crop in Ireland, led to steeply rising food prices and widespread starvation, subsequently caused one million or may be more people died; another million and a half people emigrated mostly to North America by 1852.

Standing at the tip of Hood Head, the almost intact 800-year-old Hook Lighthouse is believed to be one of the oldest operating lighthouses in Europe and probably in the world.

IMG6777 Hook Lighthouse

To go

Marlfield House is easily accessible by bus especially with a handy map from enthusiastic Bus Eiraenn driver Richard.

Bus Eiraenn Service No. 2 Dublin – Wexford (bus stop Enfield Main Road)  https://www.buseireann.ie/

DSC04917 Vietnamese beef salad
DSC04933 tempura haddock
DSC04983 Conservatory Restaurant
DSC04957 hotel lobby
DSC04909 prawn starter