Review: Wedding Venues


Ballyvolane House, near Fermoy in Co Cork would be top of my list if I were tying the knot all over again. Expect disco balls, croquet on the lawn, glamping for guests and a spectacular menu that varies with seasonal supply, fishing and weather conditions. Their main meal is €65.50 per person but can range from a traditional sit-down wedding breakfast to a more informal meal, such as hog roast. Sample starters include the interesting sounding Half the Garden Soup , or Union Hall Crab Meat Crème Brûlée, Tomato Salsa and Melba Toast. Or perhaps you’d like Grilled Flat Mushroom Salad with Gubbeen Streaky Bacon, Garden Rocket and Balsamic Vinaigrette? The main courses are served on large plates for the table to share and some options include: Roast Sirloin of McGrath’s Hereford Beef with Sauce Béarnaise; Chargrilled Marinated Butterflied Leg of McGrath’s Lam with Green Sauce; Baked Fresh Market Fish with Saffron Hollandaise; or for the non-meat lovers, Homemade Gnocchi with Spinach and Garlic Cream, or Broad Bean, Pea and Mint Risotto.

All main courses are served with potatoes, seasonal vegetables and salad grown in Ballyvolane’s gardens and there is a huge option of tasty deserts served with homemade ice cream and seasonal berries. Can I please get an invite if any readers are having their civil partnership reception here? The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge, located ten minutes from Adare in Co Limerick is another of my recommendations. This was actually my first choice, until we got a bit carried away with ourselves and our small wedding became a large wedding that exceeded their maximum capacity of 75 guests.

Owing to the size of the property, it is possible to make the Mustard Seed exclusively yours for the occasion. A long-standing Blue Book member, the food is exceptional with the four-course dinner menu starting at €60. The Pan Fried Kerry Scallops, Nasturtium Jelly, Vegetables a lá Greçque and Salted Peanut Praline sounds like a divine starter. Or what about the Warm Strawberries, Lime Purée, Walnut Powder, and Beet Meringues with Balsamic and Elderflower Syrup? Certainly the most unique starter menu I have come across in a while.
Among the mains you can choose Braised Belly of Suckling Pig, Roast Figs, Smoked Celeriac Purée and Toasted Granola, or Assiette of Irish spring Lamb, Char-grilled Courgette Cream, Pressed Shoulder, Red gooseberry and Walnut Caramel, or Pan-fried Monkfish, Clams, Fennel Bavois and Caramelised Orange Beurre Blanc. Total wedding food porn!

For a Dublin city wedding I would certainly consider 25 Fitzwilliam Place. The Gandon Rooms can cater for up to 60. Their menus are designed by Executive Chef James Doyle and are from €80. Starters include Pan fried Red Mullet; Ruby Beetroot Salad, or Orange and Vanilla Seared King Scallops, Among the mains there’s Roast Magret Duck Breast with Beetroot Purée and Fondant; Local Lobster Tortellini with Jerusalem Artichokes, Steamed Pak Choi and Lemongrass Veloute. ?As with the previous venues, their desert options are vast –Baked Alaska with a Strawberry and Lime Soup sounds the most interesting, or maybe the simple ‘Coffee and Doughnuts’ Espresso Crème Brulee with an Almond Cream Doughnut?

Wherever you choose to have your civil partnership, remember to over-indulge (you can work it off on the honeymoon) and have an absolute fabulous day, dahlings!

© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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