We were looking forward to dinner that we had booked at the George V. It was a beautiful day with the clearest blue sky. Such a rarity in Mayo that we were determined to enjoy it to its fullest. We had booked a table for 3 at 7 o'clock. We decided to arrive early for a spot of afternoon tea and a stroll in the grounds before dinner. We arrived at the gates of the castle to experience our first security screening. Apparently our booking could not be found. That is our names were not on his list. That was ok we were waved through. Our next security screening was at the bridge. These boys certainly meant business if their countenance was any indication. This was a much tougher test. Again, and by now a mantra, we were told you are not on the list. I explained again that I had booked dinner and if our names were not on the list it could hardly be our fault. At this stage I was not sure if the SAS were hiding behind the bushes ready to jump out at any minute. In my embarrassment I mumbled that it was not the greatest of welcomes. We managed to get through this screening more or less unscathed. We parked our car and yes you guessed it we were met once again in the car park by another security guard. This one the most determined of all. I will not exhaust you with the detail of this encounter. I can only guess that security is a very hot issue in the west of Ireland. Or maybe they did not like the cut of our jib. We are seasoned travellers and this delicate matter was not going to deter us from enjoying ourselves.
All of this confab just worked up an enthusiastic appetite in me. We had a wonderful platter of smoked fish and oysters. We had lots of other nice things. They even baked fresh scones for us. Service was friendly and attentive. For obvious reasons we decided it would be better to rebooked dinner for a slightly later time that evening and headed off for our stroll in their wonderful grounds.
The restaurant is wood panelled with crystal chandeliers. It has a lovely old fashioned quality. Tables are large with comfortable seating. Dinner is more formal and the hotel very kindly loaned us two jackets. We enjoyed our dinner. My fish was just slightly over it optimal cooking point. More serious the vegetables were by far too crunchy and I would have liked a more salty caramel flavour to my soufflé. However, these are quibbles in an otherwise good meal. But if a Michelin Star beckons these details will be important. Service was friendly and admirable.
This hotel has an incomparable setting on the shores of Lough Corrib. We enjoyed our day and would recommend it without hesitation.
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