Mount Juliet Estate, Co. Kilkenny

Mount Juliet is a beautiful Georgian house, on 1500 acres of land, with the River Nore running through it. It’s setting is spectacular and is one of the reasons we chose Mount Juliet for our wedding in June 2010. We were excited to return recently for a two night stay.

MJ house

Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate

Since our last visit their restaurant, The Lady Helen, has been awarded and maintained a Michelin star and the house itself has just recently (January) undergone a large refurbishment and redecoration, which is still ongoing but the bulk of the work is done. I’m really glad they have restored the house, it was starting to look a little tired but now is rejuvenated and fresh yet still befitting it’s Georgian period style. There is work starting at the Clubhouse and Hunters Yard end now as they continue their expansion plans.

Welcome to Mount Juliet
Welcome to Mount Juliet

We booked a Manor House Superior Room. For me, Mount Juliet is all about the Manor House so we would always book a room there. They are more expensive that the Hunter’s Yard rooms but worth it in my view. Our room was to the front and side of the Manor House, with two small windows as we were on the upper floor. A large king bed (very comfortable) and beautiful furnishings throughout the room. A 2 seater couch and coffee table makes the room almost feel like a small junior suite. The bathroom is huge, and is the one aspect that could do with some upgrading, a separate shower would easily fit and it would lend a more luxurious touch to the room if the bathroom was updated.

Manor House Room at Mount Juliet Estate
Manor House Room at Mount Juliet Estate

The reception area has relocated from the right side as you enter the hotel to the left, it’s a small reception desk with couches and seating around it and a large fireplace.

Reception - Mount Juliet Estate
Reception – Mount Juliet Estate
Reception - Mount Juliet Estate
Reception – Mount Juliet Estate

Through the door behind and this will bring you to the Major McCalmont Room, now the bar. This is probably my favourite room, the bar is so tastefully done and doesn’t impinge on the decor and feeling of this special room. The room that was previously The Tetrach Bar was not opened when we were there but we had a sneak peek and it’s going to be just as stunning as the rest of the renovations in Mount Juliet.

Bar - Mount Juliet Estate
Bar – Mount Juliet Estate
Bar - Mount Juliet Estate
Bar – Mount Juliet Estate

On arrival on Sunday we enjoyed Afternoon Tea for two and I’ll write a separate post on that as well as our tasting menu in The Lady Helen on Monday night. The Afternoon Tea was a wonderful way to start our break and wind down after busy times in work for both of us.

Afternoon Tea - Mount Juliet Estate
Afternoon Tea – Mount Juliet Estate

The tasting menu in The Lady Helen was wonderful…a peek at some of the delicious dishes we enjoyed, scallops, cod, duck…one of the highlights was the bread, they bake a bacon and onion bread which is gorgeous. The next morning, you will find their breads on the breakfast buffet too.

Tasting Menu at The Lady Helen. Mount Juliet Estate
Tasting Menu at The Lady Helen. Mount Juliet Estate

For the Sunday evening, having had Afternoon Tea, we only wanted something quite light so decided to go for a bite to eat in The Presidents Bar in The Clubhouse. It’s a typical bar / pub type of menu. I had chicken caeser salad and chips, simple yet good!

Dinner, President's Bar, Mount Juliet Estate
Dinner, President’s Bar, Mount Juliet Estate

We enjoyed breakfasts both mornings in The Lady Helen, a nice selection of cereals, breads, croissants, meats and cheeses can be found on a large table in the centre of the room and a hot menu available to order from. We chose the same things both morning, the full breakfast and it didn’t disappoint. Great coffee too which is good for a hotel, they have a proper coffee machine, so espressos were excellent.

Breakfast - Mount Juliet Estate
Breakfast – Mount Juliet Estate
Morning fog over the River Nore, Mount Juliet Estate
Morning fog over the River Nore, Mount Juliet Estate

Lunch on Monday in the bar also, baked ham open sandwich perfection and a great white wine to accompany and while away a couple of hours with a book looking out at the river and grounds.

Lunch - Mount Juliet Estate
Lunch – Mount Juliet Estate
Wine - Mount Juliet Estate
White Wine – Mount Juliet Estate
View - Mount Juliet Estate
View – Mount Juliet Estate

The ornate ceilings are stunning, definitely look up when you visit and the paintings, scuptures and decor is really beautiful. Have a wander around to admire it all.

Ceiling - Mount Juliet Estate
Ceiling – Mount Juliet Estate

And continue your stroll through the the estate, Hunter’s Yard, the golf club, the walled garden, the river… (bring your wellies for the river part!).

Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate
Hunter's Yard, Mount Juliet Estate
Hunter’s Yard, Mount Juliet Estate
Blue Skies, Mount Juliet Estate
Blue Skies, Mount Juliet Estate

And then it was time to go. We were sad to leave as we really enjoyed our time there. It feels luxurious and special. Now to return in the summer months so we can really explore the estate properly and sit outside on their front lawn to people watch.

Chauffeur Lodge, Mount Juliet Estate
Chauffeur Lodge, Mount Juliet Estate

There was only one slight disappointment that I debated mentioning here. We booked a package ‘Recharge with Mount Juliet Regal Retreat’ (2 nights Manor House room, breakfast, trek or guided estate tour, afternoon tea, 7 course tasting menu in The Lady Helen on one night – €520). No one seemed to know we had booked that package though during our stay and on check out there was a €40 Lady Helen Dinner charge on our bill (additional to the correct beverage / service charges) which we queried. We were told we must have upgraded our dinner from what was included and that if this wasn’t made clear to us at the time, she could remove the charge. The implication though was that we were getting something we hadn’t meant to which is not the case, we paid for, and had the 7 course tasting. It’s only a small amount I know but still… I did send an email after we got home thanking them for a great stay, there was a couple of staff members who were excellent and I passed on my gratitude to them and mentioned the package / bill issue, no reply though. Maybe it didn’t need a reply but I do think a quick note back would have been nice.

Mount Juliet Estate
Mount Juliet Estate

It didn’t change anything for us in terms of our feelings on Mount Juliet, just a little irksome! I am positive we will return to Mount Juliet sooner than later. It’s a wonderful place, especially in the sunshine we were lucky enough to enjoy on our 2nd day there. Look out for the follow on blogs on our Afternoon Tea and Dinner in The Lady Helen.

Mount Juliet Estate | Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland | Tel: +353 56 777 3000 | info@mountjuliet.ie

www.mountjuliet.ie@mountjuliet