Sleepover: The Brook Lodge

A night in Ireland
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The Independent Travel
A night in IrelandWhere is it?

In a valley, with mountain views, just outside Aughrim, Co Wicklow, Ireland.

What's it like?

The hotel is part of a self-styled village called Macreddin, which opened in December 1999. Don't think Oirish theme park – this is more sophisticated.

What's its USP?

There are few hotels that hold an organic food market twice a month. It has been building a reputation for its use of organic produce. The "village" also has a craft shop, a smoke-house, a bakery and an organic grocery.

Ambience?

Quiet and relaxing, with plenty of open fires, sofas and cosy nooks for when the weather is bad.

Service?

Friendly and obliging.

Rooms?

A lot of care has gone into the tasteful decoration of the 40 bedrooms. Some smaller rooms could benefit from less furniture. Doubles from IR£75 (£61) per person, based on two sharing.

Food?

The main restaurant, The Strawberry Tree, is opulently decorated and the modern European cuisine delicious. Breakfast is a treat, with pancakes with maple syrup or full Irish breakfast. There is also a pub in the "village" called Actons serving food. And if you still need a snack, the Waterside lounge serves gargantuan afternoon teas.

Clientele?

Weekending Dubliners, a good number of visitors from across the Channel and, of course, a strong American contingent.

Things to do?

There's an equestrian centre, clay-pigeon shooting and archery and free bikes. Best of all, explore Co Wicklow.

Address?

The Brook Lodge, Macreddin Village, Aughrim, Co Wicklow, Ireland (tel: 00 353 402 36444; www.brooklodge.com).

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