A sweeping long driveway led us to the Mustard Seed Ballingarry a mere 10km from Adare Ireland. The mustard colored ex 19th-century convent now a stylish Country House sits majestically at the top of the hill in picturesque County Limerick. The Mustard Seed is one of the members of Ireland’s Blue Book and the Historic Hotels of Europe.
It was drizzling rain, misty and quite cold as we arrived and as we opened the door we were welcomed by a crackling open fire. Such a cozy and warm welcome on that cold afternoon.
Location of The Mustard Seed Ballingarry County Limerick Ireland
The Mustard Seed Ballingarry is only 50 minutes from Shannon Airport and situated in the traditional Irish village of Ballingarry just off the N21.
The Mustard Seed is located in Ireland’s South West making it an easy base for traveling the Wild Atlantic Way.
A Little Background History on the Mustard Seed Ballingarry
We love a good story, and this is one of them. Apparently, the building was constructed in 1884 by the local Catholic Priest just to annoy the Protestant Rector of Ballingarry. Now, the Protestant Rector had built a quite large impressive building, and the Catholic Priest did not want to be outdone. After building his desired residence the Catholic Priest sold it to the religious “Mercy Order” for 1 penny. The Sisters of the Mercy Order owned the property until 1995. Next to the main house was the primary school which the Nuns ran during their ownership. In the 1980s the convent sadly closed due to a lack of funds and dwindling vocations. After being occupied privately for a couple of years the house was then left to fall into disrepair and neglect.
In 1985 Dan Mullane opened the Mustard Seed Restaurant in a cottage near Adare, it grew in popularity and established itself as one of the top restaurants in the area. Seeing a potential in the market for accommodation and a restaurant in one location Dan relocated the Mustard Seed to Echo Lodge which was the original name for the convent. Renovations started in 1994 and in 1995 the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge opened for business.
In 2016 Dan handed the business over to his manager of 25 years, John Edward Joyce. John’s passion for The Mustard Seed shows we could not have been in better hands for the night. The Mustard Seed is one of the best hotels in Limerick, and we can even say one of the best hotels in Ireland.
Our Experience at The Mustard Seed Ballingarry
As soon as we entered the cozy reception area of The Mustard Seed we were greeted and led to our accommodation for the night. Feeling totally spoilt we were given one of the suites for the night. The suites are perfect for families or a group of friends traveling together. The stylish suite has a large private sitting room downstairs, with french doors opening out onto the garden, a fully equipped kitchen and a coal effect electric fire. Upstairs there are two ensuite bedrooms. The bathroom stocked with luxurious toiletries.
Let’s have a look at our very comfortable suite – click on our youtube video to watch.
In total, The Mustard Seed Ballingarry has 10 bedrooms in the main house and 6 in the old school house. They also welcome well-behaved pets.
The Mustard Seed is set on 10 acres of gardens and orchards, ideal for long walks during your stay.
After settling in we headed to the open fire to relax in the very comfortable sofas and enjoyed a coffee before heading out to explore. A small wedding party arrived for cocktails and dinner whilst we were there.
The Victorian Country House has several reception rooms that offer tranquil spaces to relax in, tastefully decorated with a mix of antique and modern furniture. Even with the wedding party, we felt there were plenty of areas to enjoy the comforts of The Mustard Seed in a relaxed atmosphere.
The village of Ballingarry is about a 5-minute walk away and it is recommended to have a walk before dinner and enjoy some local Irish hospitality at the Condrons Pub. Hopefully, we were not sitting on one of the local’s stools at the bar whilst we enjoyed a pint of Guinness!
Dinner is served at The Mustard Seed between 7pm and 9.30pm and we recommend that you make a reservation.
We joined others at the fire for a pre-dinner drink where John recommended a Prosecco but challenged us to let him know what was so special and unique about it. Positioned on an antique hall table close by us was a bowl of organic apples which are grown in the kitchen garden, that was the secret ingredient! Make sure you have a glass when you visit!
The Classic Dinner Menu was extensive with so many choices. The seasonal produce is all homegrown from the Mustard Seed’s own kitchen garden. We enjoyed a 4-course dinner and a bottle of chilled Sancerre from France in the romantic candlelit restaurant. A totally memorable experience.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant from 08.30 to 10.00.
Another hard decision on what to have. The buffet offers poached garden fruit compote, fresh fruit, yogurts, selections of cereals and granolas, freshly baked scones with homemade jams.
Cooked breakfasts include the Irish breakfast, pancakes, organic porridge with cream and Jameson whiskey, smoked chicken omelette and smoked salmon.
No wonder The Mustard Seed is named as one of the best restaurants in Ireland and one of the best restaurants in Limerick.
Suggestions on what to do close by The Mustard Seed
The following information is recommendations from John and his team at the Mustard Seed on what to do:
Fishing – Escorted day trips can be arranged from the house with Celtic angling. For more information see www.celticangling.com Advance booking is essential.
Horseriding – Clonshire riding stables is located only 15 minutes drive towards Adare.
Golf – A choice of several courses are within easy driving distance.
Adare Village – One of Irelands prettiest village is 10 minutes drive. Half a day can be spent browsing the craft galleries, antique shops and the Heritage Centre. There is a good choice of coffee shops and restaurants with an excellent selection of ladies boutiques.
Garden visits – There is a selection of interesting gardens nearby who welcome visitors.
Irish Dresden – At Irish Dresden, a cross-country drive away, will take you to the factory where the intricate Dresden is made.
Limerick City – Limerick is Ireland’s 3rd largest city and well worth a visit. Here are some further recommendations for you.
Contact details for The Mustard Seed Ballingarry County Limerick:
Address: The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge, Ballingarry
Telephone: +353 69 68 508
Website: Historic Hotels of Europe
We thank John and his team for looking after us for our hosted one-night stay which included dinner, bed and breakfast.
During our time in Ireland we stayed in other Ireland’s Blue Book properties:
Barberstown Castle – 30 minutes from Dublin in County Kildare
No 1 Pery Square – Limerick County Limerick
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DISCLOSURE: We enjoyed accommodation, dinner and breakfast as guests of The Mustard Seed but received no further remuneration to write this post. We were not expected to write a positive review – all views are our own and we retain full editorial control.
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