Pubs with B&B are familiar in Britain but less so here, where you’re likely to find something nearer an inn, or perhaps a restaurant with rooms that also has a bar. But it’s an appealing combination and makes for an especially relaxing laid-back atmosphere – well worth seeking out if you like to keep things casual.
Wild Honey Inn
Lisdoonvarna Co Clare
Set in pretty gardens on the edge of Lisdoonvarna town, this old hotel was re-opened by chef Aidan McGrath and his wife Kate Sweeney in 2009, and the world wasted no time in beating a path to their door. It is full of character and it’s a true inn, offering rest, relaxation, refreshment and good company. But good food is the main focus and they are proud to be seen as a pub offering high quality food in an informal setting: Aidan’s superb bistro style meals showcasing local produce are served in the attractive high-ceilinged bar – a pair of semi-open plan rooms with real fires, comfortably set up for dining - and you can also eat outside in fine weather. A lucky few may also enjoy their very comfortable, reasonably priced accommodation, which provides an ideal base to explore the walking routes or enjoy a cycling holiday in this unique landscape - Lisdoonvarna is very close to The Burren National Park. Walking and cycling maps are available, and there are facilities to store bikes. Guided walks can also be arranged, with advance notice.
Beach Bar/Aughris House
Templeboy Co Sligo
Off the N59 Sligo/Ballina road, the coast road to Aughris Head and pier leads to the McDermott family’s picturesque and beautifully located thatched pub. It seems too good to be true when you first find it in this quiet and unspoilt place, but it has been there since the 18th century when, apparently, it was a shibín known as Maggie Maye’s. Today, after sensitive restoration, it has retained some of the best characteristics of the past and makes a lovely stopping place, with food served in the flag-stoned bar - and access to a beach just a hop across the wall from the car park. It’s known for wholesome, home-cooked meals - creamy Atlantic seafood chowder, great steaks, bangers and mash, and delicious home-made desserts – and, you can stay here too, at the family’s B&B, Aughris House. In this neat bungalow just beside the pub and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the McDermotts offer comfortable, inexpensive, family-friendly ensuite B&B accommodation, with complimentary tea and biscuits on arrival. A magic spot.