Castle Leslie Estate
Follow M1/N2 to the Monaghan bypass. Do not enter town. At first R'about follow N2 to Derry. Continue on Monaghan bypass to third R'About. Exit at third exit. N12 to Armagh. Follow N12 for 2 miles, turn left at signpost for Glaslough (N185). Drive through Glaslough village to the gates of the estate.
Tracing your ancestors and Who Do You Think You are is huge business these days but most people probably can’t go back much further than their great grand parents. Imagine being able to trace your ancestors back to Attila the Hun, taking in Winston Churchill, and so along the way. Well I am referring to the Samantha Leslie of Castle Leslie in County Monaghan. The Leslie family has been in residence at Castle Leslie since the 1660’s and their lineage just groans with characters and luminaries.
Samantha is Chatelaine and keeper of the flame at Castle Leslie this magnificent house and estate, which was thrown into the public eye in a really big international way when Paul McCartney got married there. Samantha goes about running this Great House and Estate, opening it to the public in a really professional way; she is an absolutely tireless worker and conservationist who has restored Castle Leslie yet retaining its unique character and personality.
Located on 1000 acres of undulating countryside, dotted with woodland and glittering lakes, there is just so much to do here. You have three choices of accommodation alone. You can stay in the Castle itself in one of its 20 historic bedrooms. Each bathroom is unique and features include the oldest plumbed bath in Ireland, a throne toilet and a complete bathroom hidden away in a doll’s house. The staircase alone is amazing and makes you feel very tiny. Lounge around in the wonderful Drawing Room with its grand piano and famous De La Robbia fireplace.
You can also stay in The Lodge, which was converted a few years ago to accommodate 29 rooms plush bedroom with all facilities. The superior bedrooms are very spacious, some have balconies overlooking the stone cut courtyards of the Equestrian Centre. Self catering cottages, The Village Cottages, are perfect for larger families or groups who like to combine independence with the facilities of a top hotel close by.
The Victorian Treatment Rooms are based in the lodge and you can be pampered with a range of traditional organic therapies from the ‘Eminence Organics’ and ‘Voya’ Ranges. I just love that sort of indulgence when I am away.
Food at Castle Leslie is a serious business, under talented Executive Head Chef Philip Brazil, whether it's in their fab Snaffles Restaurant or the more casual Conor's Bar & Lounge, and they have been winning Awards for their efforts including RAI Best Casual Dining in Monaghan 2011 with The Lodge, and 2 AA Rosettes.
Snaffles Restaurant at The Lodge has starters which include bread crumbed Boilie Goats cheese with a ratatouille chutney with herb salad, Balsamic and Basil pesto. Tempura of Tiger Prawns are with a mango and cucumber salsa, lime and coriander crème fraiche, whilst a terrine of confit Silverhill duck is with pickled Girolles, spiced pear chutney and toasted Brioche – this is the sort of food I really love. They do a superb chargrilled fillet of Irish beef with onion puree, Bordelaise sauce, and a shallot cream. An assiette of Saddle Back Fermanagh Pork has glazed rib and rolled roast fillet served with Parmentier of Sauerkraut, black pudding and potato with an Armagh cider sauce.
Castle Leslie also has a superb Cookery School - so think about it, Castle, Lodge, 1000 acres, Spa, Restaurants, Equestrian Centre, Cookery School..........
There is a lot of magic at Castle Leslie…….a place apart.