Review: The King Sitric,Howth, Ireland

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Introduction

Time of year: February 2016

Purpose of trip: We were in Dublin for the Ireland-Wales 6 Nations rugby match, but wanted to arrive in time to relax a little before landing in the city for the match build-up. OK, and Guinness.

Why we chose this place:  We flew into Dublin from London Gatwick, and liked the fact that we could just about afford to splash out on a taxi to Howth from the airport, but car hire and trains would be an option too. Our research showed that King Sitric was based in the pretty fishing village of Howth and that the hotel’s own restaurants and others nearby used freshly caught fish in their dishes.Though out of season, the hotel’s website suggested a relaxed ‘holiday’ feel, even though Dublin was just 25 minutes away on the DART train.

How long we stayed: One night.

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Our accommodation

We stayed in a comfortable ‘standard’ double room on the ground floor, which had just been refurbished. Our host apologised in advance if there were any lingering paint aromas, but it was fine, and tastefully decorated. The en-suite bathroom was also stylishly fitted, with large shower and beautiful tiling. It was lovely waking up to the sound of the waves lapping on the beach nearby, with seagulls overhead.

Service

Impeccable, friendly, professional service. Joan MacManus (who, with her husband Aidan is celebrating 40 years running the hotel and restaurant ) was on duty at breakfast time and although busy, spent time helping us with local information about the DART train and what else we could see nearby.

Food

We had a dinner invitation elsewhere in Howth for our only night in the village, which is sad as King Sitric seems to be renowned for its fish restaurant. However, we were able to get a taste of the quality and range of food on offer at King Sitric at breakfast time: a top class, delicious selection of juices,cereals and yoghurts from the buffet area and pretty much whatever your palate desired from the cooked breakfast selection (Nigel is still raving about the full Irish breakfast with black AND white pudding….!)  and the toast with home made jams was a lovely addition. We were thrilled that Joan was on hand to serve us and tell us a little more about the area. Apart from the main restaurant, the hotel has the East Cafe Bar too, for relaxed dining and lighter bites, or just a drink with friends.Screenshot_2016-04-06-13-41-30

What we paid

£115 for bed and (sumptuous…) breakfast.

Location

The King Sitric is located by the harbour in Howth, which is a headland at the north end of Dublin Bay. It’s a world away from the bustling city centre, but only takes 25 minutes on the local transit railway – the DART. 

For a map, click here.

Activities close by

We visited in chilly February, but the harbour is a lovely place to stroll around, with coffee shops and pubs nearby, along with a number of fish and other restaurants. Howth boasts its own castle, and National Transport Museum. We had a train to catch, but otherwise would have had a peek inside the intriguingly named Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio. On the day we visited, there was also a small market with crafts and local produce. A walk along the cliff path promises stunning views.And Dublin is just a short train ride away.

What empty nesters might really like about this place

The  friendliness of local people.Also the excellent range of fresh fish dishes, due to the coastal location. You have the sense that you’re getting the best of both worlds: a stay ‘at the seaside’, with the bustle of city life in Dublin less than half an hour away.And unless you’ve set out to tour this part of Ireland, you can manage well without a car.

What empty nesters might not be so keen on

We’re struggling here….! In short, we’d love to go back.

PS: Did somebody mention Guinness? Nigel had tried it. Jane never had. But was there time? Find out what happened with just 18 minutes in a Howth bar….. Here!

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All pictures on this post courtesy of the King Sitric Hotel and Restaurant, Howth.

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