Making the turn up the driveway to The Johnstown Estate, you can’t help but be drawn to the white Georgian home rising from the idyllic parkland on all sides. Pulling up to the main entrance was just the first in a line of many warm welcomes at the estate, which is located a handy 35 minutes from Dublin city centre in Enfield, Co. Meath.
The reception room lives up to its name in the best way possible — walking into the cosy room, you’re invited to sit at one of the two wooden tables that flank an open fire while the reception staff checks you in and chats through all the amenities the Estate offers.
The beauty of the recently refurbished estate lies in its seamless fusion of styling — if ever we’ve seen the epitome of traditional chic interior design, this is it. The handsome rooms echo the estate’s grand history, yet brim with modern touches that blend perfectly with the surrounds. Original wood paneling, white marbeled fireplaces and a luxurious chandelier become the elegant touches to an inviting space lit with low tablelamps and dotted with plush, modern furniture.
We stayed in the revamped Lady Margaret Suite, a stunning space where each room is as impressive as the next. The bedroom was an actual dream for sleeping, while the elegant bathroom felt like something straight out of a French château. The sitting room was comfortable and sleek, proving to be a perfect spot whether you wanted to lounge with a coffee while reading the morning papers or sip on a glass of wine and watch a film.
We kicked off our visit with a few hours in the award-winning Spa, which boasts 18 treatment rooms, aroma and Finnish steam rooms, caldarium, relaxation room and lounge. Spa Manager Dara Mullooly has created a package of holistic Elemis treatments that not only bring you to a deep state of relaxation, but are also fine-tuned to guarantee you reap the benefits of the experience from start to finish. After your treatment, you are led to the softly lit, soothing relaxation room, where your spa therapist will recommend you rest for about 20-30 minutes before you drift down the candlelit corridor to luxuriate in one of the steam rooms.
The Estate is packed with things to do and places to eat. We dined in Fire & Salt, the new steak and seafood restaurant where head chef Val O’Kelly sources the best of local produce for the menu. The grass-fed Irish-bred beef is hand-picked by the master butcher and dry aged for up to 36 days and finished on the custom-made charcoal grill oven, which is set to an intense 350˚C. Trust us, the flavour this oven imparts on everything from steak to prawns is well worth the visit alone. A tableside sprinkling of freshly ground Himalayan Rock Salt adds a lovely customised touch to the meal, and we can see why this comfortable, modern restaurant serves as a perfect venue for everything from an elegant weekend dinner to a cosy Sunday Lunch.
For a more casual offering, relax in the Coach House Bar for traditional pub grub that has been elevated to an impressive level. The open fires invite you to pull up a seat, grab a pint and chat away with friends while local musicians stop by to play live traditional and contemporary music.
A short drive from Dublin city centre, The Johnstown Estate is the ideal getaway for anything from a girly spa weekend to a romantic night away. Featuring 126 bedrooms (including the elegant Lady Margaret Suite), the range of dining options, 40 self-catering lodges, conference and banquet facilities, as well as the luxury Spa and state-of-the-art leisure centre, we’re already looking forward to the next excuse we have to visit!
For more information or to book your ultimate getaway at The Johnstown Estate, visit www.thejohnstownestate.com.