Belleek Castle, owned by the Marshall Doran family for over 50 years is no stranger to brilliance. The restaurant led by talented local chef Stephen Lenahan, has been awarded two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence.
Located in the tranquil surroundings of Belleek Forest, just outside Ballina in Co Mayo, Belleek Castle achieved this prestigious accolade, having reached a standard, achieved by few hotel restaurants in Ireland.
Curator of the Castle, Paul Marshall Doran, believes in continuous improvement and has witnessed it in the last few years going from strength to strength under the management of Maya Nikolaeva and her team. This is certainly noticeable in the restaurant, where the philosophy is to use classic and imaginative cooking with local, seasonal ingredients, whilst combining a depth of flavour with the traditions of this iconic castle.
“Only a very small percentage of hotel restaurants achieve 2 AA Rosettes and it is a mark of distinction for all those involved” says AA director Conor Faughnan. “I’m delighted to see such a prestigious accolade going to the West of Ireland. My parents home is just a short distance away, across the River Moy, in Enniscrone, so I know first-hand that visitors to Belleek Castle can not only expect delicious food but also a relaxed stay in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.”
Sourcing local produce is integral in achieving 2 AA Rosettes. Chef Stephen Lenahan and his team source meat and game locally and they even dry-age their beef in-house. Garlic, wood sorrel and wild mushrooms are foraged nearby from Belleek forest and travelling just a short distance away, their fresh crab comes from Donegal and mussels from Achill Island.
Receiving both recognition from Bord Bia and 2 AA Rosettes, it’s clear to see that Belleek Castle Restaurant is setting the standard in the Northwest.