|Irish Country House of the Year - Reviews Sampler
Bridgestone Guide '100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland 2013'
The McKennas had driven from West Cork and when we arrived at Richmond, we sat down in the drawing room and had fresh, warm scones and handmade jam and a pot of tea. The fire blazed away, the comfort was as palpable as the sense of welcome. Was there ever such a happy bunch of travellers, so happy to have arrived at their destination, in such a happy place as Richmond House? Out of such precious, unexpected moments, moments of thoughtfulness and generosity, spring a lifetime’s worth of happy recollections, and that is exactly what Paul and Claire Deevy specialise in, in this lovely country house. They are elemental, thoughtful people.
They and their team look after you, and make sure you have everything you could possibly need, from the tea and scones on arrival to Paul’s lovely country cooking at dinner and then their delicious breakfasts to set you up for the day. Richmond is a special place, a place where time takes its time.
Bridgestone Guide '100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland 2011'
Paul Deevy is cooking the food of his life right now, and ... is squeezing out culinary sparks that are setting new standards of authenticity and enjoyment for country house cooking. But it's not just the fabulous food that makes Richmond so special. The demure simplicity of the house and the genuine and understated hospitality of Paul and Claire Deevy make this one of the great Irish addresses.
The Best of the Best
Set well back, in large grounds graced by mature trees, Paul and Clare Deevy's fine 18th century country house is very much a family affair, offering a delightful combination of warm hospitality, and a high standard of comfort.
Approaching through well-tended grounds, a good impression is made from the outset, a feeling confirmed by the welcoming hall, which has a wood-burning stove and well-proportioned, elegantly furnished reception rooms opening off it. Upstairs there are ten individually decorated en-suite bedrooms, which vary in size and appointments but are comfortably furnished in country house style.
The restaurant is the most important single element at Richmond House, and non-residents regularly make up a high proportion of guests. Warm and friendly service begins at the front door, after which menus are presented over aperitifs, in front of the drawing room fire or in a conservatory overlooking his garden.
Herbs, fruit and vegetables are grown on the premises for use in the kitchen and Paul is an ardent supporter of local produce. The cooking style is traditional country house with some global influences, presented in well-balanced 4-course dinner menus offering a choice of about six on each course (always with imaginative vegetarian choices).
Start, perhaps, with half a dozen Rossmore oysters, warm organic asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon with hollandaise or Helvick prawns with basmati rice and garlic butter. Main courses might include a baked Mediterranean vegetable pie as well as local meats (eg steak with red wine and thyme essence), poultry (roast duckling on a plum and Cointreau essence) and seafood (fillets of John Dory with a herb butter sauce). Classic desserts include a tasting plate and a wide range of local cheeses which usually includes Knockalara sheep's cheese and Knockanore Smoked (which won an Irish Food Writer Guild Award).
Ample private parking.
Georgina Campbell's Ireland
Genuine hospitality, high standards of comfort, caring service and excellent food are all to be found in the Deevy family’s fine 18th century country house and restaurant just outside Cappoquin - no wonder this is a place so many people like to keep as a closely guarded secret...
As well as serving wonderful dinners in the restaurant, the Deevys make sure that you will have a memorable breakfast to see you on your way - it is a wonderful area to explore, and Richmond House makes an excellent base...
The restaurant is the heart of Richmond House and non-residents usually make up a high proportion of the guests, which makes for a lively atmosphere. Warm and friendly service begins from the moment menus are presented over aperitifs - in front of the drawing room fire, or in a conservatory overlooking the garden...
There is a sureness of touch in Paul’s kitchen, and his menus balance traditional country house cooking and more adventurous dishes inspired by international trends; dinner menus offering about five choices on each course are changed daily, and a slightly shorter separate vegetarian menu is also offered...
Service, under Claire’s direction, is attentive and discreet. A carefully selected and fairly priced wine list includes about twenty offered by the glass, several wines of the month, and a good choice of half bottles...
The early dinner menu offers particularly good value.
The Good Hotel Guide
'A wonderful visit; the atmosphere and food could not be faulted.' Paul and Claire Deevy's stately Georgian house, in parkland in the Blackwater valley, is 'excellent in every way' (the comment of a trusted reporter). 'The old house is charming, with appropriate antique furniture, flowers, homely, chintzy furnishings. This goes hand in hand with all mod cons, efficiency and comfort.'
The house is family run: Claire Deevy is a 'delightful' host; 'her mother-in-law, Jean Deevy, is on hand to suggest excursions'. 'The staff, mostly local, many long serving, are helpful.' Paul Deevy is an accomplished cook, sourcing local chicken, fish and vegetables for his 'attractive' menus (sample dish: roast quail, mushroom stuffing, braised savoy cabbage, herb jus). The wine list is imaginative, with 'a good selection of half bottles'.
The bedrooms, which vary considerably in size, are decorated in country house style. Housekeeping is meticulous. Breakfast, served on white china, has 'numerous fruit juice mixes, perfect poached eggs, chopped parsley trimmings, sausages which have to be tried to be believed'. (Róisín Leahy, ES, and others)
Bridgestone Guide ' 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2007'
Paul Deevy has made dramatic advancements as a chef in the last couple of years, and his cookery now is confident, persuasive and unarguably delicious.
In fact, the growth in confidence evident evident of the entire team in Richmond House now allows Deevy to show that he is not merely a cook with good technique, but that he is a cook with an entire culinary philosophy which he is able to express in his work.
He talks tenderly about the terrific local lamb, and how it is pastured on fields that have never seen a plough, and he then has the nous to cook the meat as simply as possible, just with rosemary reduction and some garden mint jelly, though he can annotate the dish with a stew of red peppers. Local fillet steak has a classic Bearnaise and a nifty salsa verde, and show implicit judgment.
With wild Blackwater salmon he shows the lessons of recent years, with fabulous Thai spicing creating a knockout dish, whilst his springroll with smoked duck breast and harissa is a triumph. He also cleverly cooks rabbit with black pudding with a red wine and thyme jus, keeping the meat moist and flavoursome.
His cooking now has maturity and power and it is hugely enjoyable, just the right food for the serene and ageless style of Richmond House itself. Clare Deevy works front of house with skill to match her husband's kitchen and here is a couple blessing their house with their own delightful style.