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The wedding diaries. Waterford Castle hospitality heroes.

There are too few occasions when I visit somewhere new and wonder why have I not been here before!

I recently spent a few days in the stunning environs of Waterford castle and upon leaving felt as if I had made a new friend.

April has been a busy month already and so I was delighted to have the opportunity to introduce a group of visiting ladies from California to the Irish castle scene so I decided to try some locations I had not previously visited. The brief were locations within an hours drive from Dublin, harder then I thought as most venues are available only when booked with an event.

My search drew me to the south east and Waterford castle popped up on my radar so the decision was made and arrangements started. The location is superb, situated on its own island on the outskirts of the city and accessible by private car ferry which leaves every 10 minutes. Driving off the ferry and onto the island there is a feeling of relaxation and arriving somewhere unique.

The castle is not huge which lends to its charm, 19 bedrooms and wonderfully preserved and maintained. The public areas are pristine and really comfortable and lend to the feeling of stepping back in time. Our rooms were beautifully appointed with lovely period features and yet tastefully modern.

We opted to dine in the Munster Room Restaurant and all were blown away by the level of food and service, enjoying a 5 course dinner by head chef Michael Thomas. With a superb selection of wines it was one of those dining experiences to be savoured and to remember.

Every member of the team were pure and genuine hospitality professionals which is not always easy to find these days.  Breakfast in the conservatory the next morning was a delight under the watchful eye of Maître D Paul followed by beautiful walks through the grounds with the herds of deer. The choir of birds which were wonderful to listen to from the bedrooms with the windows open savouring the tranquillity.

The team were setting up for a wedding the next day and it was great to experience the castle being transformed for the days ceremony and celebrations. There are also ample apartments built on the island to accommodate guests for a wedding celebration.

This is a venue I would be happy to recommend to anyone searching for an authentic castle atmosphere for a wedding celebration and my guests departed singing its praises on every count and bringing wonderful memories back to sunny California.