The Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland, is any golfer’s paradise with a stunning course and sweeping views of the Irish coastline. While the golfing is top-notch, as is the scenery, it is now becoming a food destination all in its own right. The Lodge at Doonbeg joined the Trump Collection with a new name earlier this year and is already beginning to make its mark as a vibrant hotel with stellar food and beverage offerings.
The evening we arrived on property was the first night of its annual Christmas market that takes place at the end of November, so we were welcomed by a beautiful fireworks display. The three-day Christmas market was home to a variety of culinary stalls as well as art, clothing, and other holiday treats.
Following our grand Christmas fireworks entrance, we made our way to the property’s Ocean View Restaurant, whose menu showcased the local succulent seafood offerings. The restaurant also had the ability to cater to those with food allergies and intolerances. They had gluten-free bread waiting for me the moment we sat down, a gesture greatly appreciated by this gluten-free traveler.
To start our meal, we sampled fresh sea scallops dusted with peas and bacon that were light yet packed with flavor. For the main course, we split a rack of lamb paired with creamy mushroom and broccoli risotto as well as a cod dish with mussels, crab claws, prawns and spinach.
We choose to pair our meal with a nice, crisp sauvignon blanc from New Zealand to balance the delicate flavors of the seafood. Following our dinner, we popped into the hotel’s more casual restaurant and took a seat at the bar for a nightcap. Decorated lavishly in Christmas decorations, the bar was a great place for a leisurely glass of wine before retiring to our lovely cottage for the evening.
Our two-floor cottage had a complete kitchen, dining room table, and sitting room with a fireplace for those who are looking to have a quiet meal that feels like home, even if you find yourself far away from it. The hotel also provides a CD with music to play while sipping your wine by the fireside — or in my case, journaling and writing down my favorite moments of my experience.
Breakfast at the Trump was an equally special experience, also served at the Ocean View Restaurant overlooking the vast golf course. I almost didn’t recognize the space I had only been in several hours before for dinner. My sister and I had a long drive ahead of us and decided to enjoy breakfast to regain our strength for the day ahead.
We opted for the traditional Irish breakfast plate that was far and away one of the most authentic and scrumptious Irish breakfasts I’ve eaten. I paired my gluten-free bread with a variety of homemade jams to start, along with some fresh fruit and a warm pot of coffee.
Next came a glorious plate of bacon, sausage, blood pudding, and eggs that reminded me of my childhood when my Irish grandmother would serve me breakfast or take us to the most authentic Irish pubs in New York that served dishes reminiscent of her homeland.
As I sat and ate my breakfast quietly with my sister, watching families stroll out onto the golf course and sipping my warm coffee, I was thankful for the authentic Irish experience to continue my exploration of a beautiful country and do so in such an elegant setting.