I made it my mission this year to try and travel as much as possible and Ireland was one of the places I wanted to focus on. We have some amazing parts of the country here, many of which I have yet to visit, and my most recent trip was to Spanish Point in County Clare.
After an eventful drive to the West of Clare (we encountered a couple of road diversions!), we arrived at the very scenic coast. Located along the Wild Atlantic Way, the Armada hotel has been family owned for the last 45 years and evolved over time from a small shebeen to a now much larger award winning venue.
It was difficult to capture the stunning view on camera but I don’t think I have ever stayed in a hotel room with such a jaw dropping view. With an uninterrupted view of the Atlantic coast and floor to ceiling windows, we decided to sleep with the curtains open so we would wake up to that amazing coastline! I loved the little touches in the room, from the song words on the bed to the handmade Irish bath products in the bathroom.
There’s a couple of dining options which include the Pearl restaurant which would be lovely for an occasion and the more casual Ocean Bistro where we ate on the night. The bistro has a relaxed atmosphere with a fresh New England style interior. The menu has a great selection of dishes to suit everyone with some great seafood options and a strong focus on local Irish produce. It is clear that the owners are passionate about local produce and it was lovely to hear that they even have their own Armada farm where they grow fruit, veg and herbs for the restaurant.
Our starter of crispy ham hock croquettes with pickled apple and black pudding was a great start. The ham hock was melt in the mouth and worked well with the pickled apple, although maybe the black pudding got slightly lost (I’m a big black pudding fan!). Being on the Wild Atlantic Way, I couldn’t resist the local crab claws which were deliciously meaty and served with a mouth-watering garlic and chive butter. A perfectly cooked streak served with a miniature beef cheek pie and chunky chips was fantastic. Dessert to share, a very indulgent chocolate bombe with salted caramel sauce, was a great end to the meal.
Johnny Burkes was the very lively hotel bar which was nothing like the typical hotel bar you might expect. Instead it was a traditional pub with dim lighting and a couple of open fires making it very cosy. I was really impressed by the array of Irish gins available on the cocktail menu which included a new favourite, Gunpowder gin. Himself managed to taste a couple of whiskeys from the equally impressive whiskey selection.
The following day after our buffet full Irish breakfast we visited the Cliffs of Moher which is only about 20 minutes away from the hotel. I would absolutely return to the Armada again and again and it’s the ideal base for exploring some of the nearby attractions. Thank you so much to John and Fiona for their excellent hospitality!