Monday, October 14, 2013

Giant Trees and Fancy Dinners at Bellinter House in Co. Meath

On our last full day in Ireland, my in-laws took us to Sunday dinner at the nearby Bellinter House in Co. Meath. It was just a few miles down the road near the Hill of Tara.

giant-trees-fancy-dinner-bellinter-house-co-meath

The estate dates back to the 1650s, but the current home was built in 1750 in the Palladian Georgian style. It operated as a country home for the Preston family. In the late 1700s, the estate became known for its hunting hounds and hunting parties. It stayed in the Preston family until 1892. After that, it changed hands a few times until the property was ultimately sold to the Irish Land Commission and broken up. The Sisters of Scion took it over in 1965 and ran it for 50 years.

Now it’s a small hotel, spa, restaurant, and wedding venue.

Rocket and duck salad.

Rocket and duck salad.

 

Spinach and ricotta tortellini

Spinach and ricotta tortellini with a rocket and parmesan salad on top.

We ate in the Eden Restaurant which used to be a chapel. The ceilings were vaulted, and it reminded me of a spartan version of the ground floor of Sainte-Chapelle. After all the meat-heavy dishes at TBEX, I was happy to have a salad and pasta. It was a nice, quiet dinner and the portions were not gigantic but more than filling. The fresh bread was ridiculously warm and delicious. I could have eaten a whole loaf.

bellinter-house-tree

The feature the struck me the most at Bellinter House was the gigantic weeping beech tree on the front lawn. I had seen this tree on Pinterest (after searching Navan, Ireland), and I thought it was a fake photo or wrongly attributed. You rarely see trees this large in Ireland, and I had never seen a weeping beech tree before. I thought weeping willows were the only weeping trees. I could totally see a small, intimate wedding ceremony being held under the tree in the summer.

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6 Responses to “Giant Trees and Fancy Dinners at Bellinter House in Co. Meath”

  1. 1

    Lesley Peterson — October 14, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

    Wonderful food photography, Erin. And that tree is amazing! I have a wonderful photography book about Remarkable Trees around the world by Thomas Pakenham. Just checking Amazon right now, I see he’s also written about Ireland. No wonder!

    • ehalvey replied: — October 15th, 2013 @ 8:02 am

      Very cool!

  2. 2

    Shirley Halvey — October 15, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    Looks amazing, next time you are in Ireland and you have time come to see us in Cappagh (you father in law’s home place) and we a weeping Ash Tree.

  3. 3

    Amber DeGrace — October 15, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    This looks like an amazing meal! I love your photographs and after your description of the grounds, I’m definitely adding it to my list for next time I’m in the Motherland.

    • ehalvey replied: — October 15th, 2013 @ 8:50 am

      It’s close to a lot of sights in Meath like the Hill of Tara, Newgrange, etc.

  4. 4

    Hogga — October 15, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

    mmmm duck

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