Lord Bagenal Inn
Main Street, Leighlinbridge,
Telephone: +353 (0)59 9774000
As a child my mother regaled me with stories and adventures of how she and her younger brother had to drive to school in Bagenalstown each day by pony and trap from the small vil...
How to get there
How to get there:
From Dublin take N7. Join N9 Dublin – Carlow/Waterford Road. Shortly after Carlow, on road to Kilkenny, follow signs for Leighlinbridge.
Good to know
Number of rooms: 39
Double Room: €110-€190 Suites €160 - €240
Single Room: €75-€120
Dinner: Yes - 2 Restaurants - Peter Collis Room + The Waterfront + Barfood
Open: All year save December 25th and 26th
Credit Cards: Yes
About The Hotel
As a child my mother regaled me with stories and adventures of how she and her younger brother had to drive to school in Bagenalstown each day by pony and trap from the small village of Paulstown, County Kilkenny. The 18thc town of Bagenalstown was founded by Walter Bagenal whose idea was to replicate the town of Versailles – that didn’t quite happen but it is an attractive spot nonetheless. Their daily adventures took them along by the River Barrow and through the historic waterside village of Leighlinbridge, between Carlow and Kilkenny. Consequently, being family stamping ground, I know the area very well. It is totally underexplored and so near to Dublin for that perfect weekend break.
Leighlinbridge is spanned by a fine valerian stone bridge. On it’s eastern side are the ruins of one of the earliest Norman castles in Ireland. The village is located on The Barrow Way and one can follow the towpath and nature trail to St. Mullins – where I was married – and to Graiguenamanagh.
At the heart of Leighlinbridge is James Kehoe’s The Lord Bagenal Hotel which had it’s beginnings in 1979 in a very olde worlde pub. It went go on to become the Lord Bagenal Bar and Restaurant, and the uber smart Lord Bagenal Hotel of today. James Kehoe’s is a foodie and a wine buff with an unbeatable wine cellar, so this is a destination too for the very serious wino who will be in heaven trawling through the sixty page wine list. Combined with James love of good food, fine wines and Cuban cigars, is his love of art and you will also be able to feast your eyes on contemporary works by Irish and British Artists such as Peter Collis and Tony O’Malley. I really like a man who enjoys the good things of life and has an eye for a good painting!
The hip Lord Bagenal Hotel now has 39 state of the art luxurious bedrooms, with kingsize beds, many overlooking the River Barrow lending an unbeatable air of relaxation and serenity. So it’s a long way from pony and trap time and The Lord Bagenal has all the modern conveniences one could ever require from WIFI to HiFi. There is a fab new deck overlooking the river so you can sit there sipping Champagne or a snazzy cocktail under the chic white canopies – that is if you don’t fancy a cruise on the river – but then you could do both.
The latest addition to The Lord Bagenal is the superb gastronomic Waterfront Restaurant with James’ son, George, waving the pots and pans. George has a distinguished culinary pedigree, having worked in Dublin’s Michelin starred restaurants, L’Ecrivain, Chapter One, plus much much more, so you can indulge in a superb tasting menu or dine a la carte. George does wonderful pan-fried scallops with home made crubeen pudding with apple and fennel salad – really innovative food. I also love the grilled Dover Sole with mussels, fresh linquini and asparagus – oh yes – and you can follow up with dark chocolate fondant with milk chocolate sauce, mandarin sorbet and sherry syrup.
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