No 1, Pery Square
Take one great Georgian Quarter, a great Georgian House, a lady with a great eye for style, detail and elegance, and you have No.1 Pery Square, undoubtedly one of the coolest destinations in the country. Patricia Roberts recognised the potential of this magnificent Georgian house, sitting on a fine corner, of the finest Georgian Square in the City, oozing evocative thoughts of the gentry in their elegant gowns and carriages – they certainly knew how to live – and have left a great heritage. Patricia restored and enhanced this fine building turning it into a glorious townhouse hotel, with meticulous attention to detail that displayed a love and respect for this house rather than it just being a job, and thus gave the people of Limerick a new national treasure.
The property has 20 bedrooms – 5 suites and 15 executive rooms – the top of the range being the 3rd floor suite that once was the bedroom of Lord and Lady Barrington. Being a heritage house, be prepared, if you are treating yourself, to walk up the stairs – no problem to this doughty critic – who has to do that every night to her own bedroom!
We had a drink in the downstairs bar – the Park Room - before dinner. They also serve more casual food here at lunchtime, maybe a traditional Irish beef stew, or Sheridan's cheese and salad, posh sandwiches, smoked salmon on soda bread with lemon and capers, or a jolly good baguette with baked Limerick ham and homemade chutney. They also do an all day Sunday Brunch menu with dishes such as Eggs Benedict, pork terrine with sauce Grebiche, a classic fish pie such as Halibut Almondine, or maybe monkfish with warm lentils, fennel salad and spiced butternut puree. They also do a roast ribeye of delicious O’Loughin’s beef or whatever might be the viand of the day.
The gracious drawing room with its fine marble mantlepiece and chandeliers is on the first floor, and here they serve a classic Afternoon Tea of finger sandwiches, freshly baked pastries and scones, with a selection of Musetti tea, or have a glass of Champagne as well, indeed have a glass of pink Champagne and they will donate €3 to Cancer research. So there’s one for the ladies!
The restaurant itself, Sash, is a very elegant brasserie with food and service to match – and I think it offers really good food and value in such surroundings. No.1 Pery Square offers excellent value and mid-week particularly with its Seasonal Market Menu. The menu is classy with strong French undertones – always a winner with me! Starters had pressed terrine of duck leg, liver, mango and Griottine cherries, with foie gras, toast and coffee oil, whilst loin of rabbit is stuffed with langoustines, on peas a la Francaise with a carrot emulsion. Seared scallops come with cauliflower textures and crispy Parma ham, finished with curry oil, whilst the seared smoked salmon is on pickled apple with a watrcress salad with horseradish cream and a pinhead praline. Mains might include curry scented fillet of halibut paired with celeriac, chicken wings, and red wine jus, or breast of duck with sweet potato and pickled beetroot. Roasted red mullet has Mediterranean influences being served with black olive gnocchi, red pepper puree, courgette and basil, whilst their Surf ‘n’ Turf is wild boar is paired with crusted scallops, roasted carrot and carrot pudding. There is a prime fillet steak for the steak man on the a la carte menu but on their Market Menu they also do a great value, what the French call an, ‘onglet’ steak, or also seen in Ireland as a ‘hanger steak’ – a very flavourful lean cut. The Market Menu also includes rustic dishes such as Boeuf Bourguignon, rillette of rabbit with tea soaked prunes, and so on. Vegetarians are always looking for something that bit different and on the ALC at Sash, look out for an innovative dish of roasted heart of palm with ginger poached cucumber and confit fennel – all favourite items of mine.
By the way, they have lots of options for that special occasion private dining – from the drawingroom, to their wine shop where you can also arrange wine tastings for groups. Indeed you can also purchase wine for your dining experience and pay corkage of €10, €15 on Champagne.
Sash at No. 1 is No. 1