Sunday World - October 2005

Let your stress float away at the BrookLodge

Maybe it's the pool overlooking a meadow, the organic restaurant or the mountain view but if you are looking for a slice of heaven I've found it...

The BrookLodge Hotel & Wells Spa at Macreddin Village doesn't just offer beauty and comfort, it also has a great pub. Just an hour-and-a-half from Dublin for visitors who want to shop during a break away, brooklodge is prefect for a weekend of pampering.

It's a four star country house surrounded by green trees, grazing horses and a nearby waterfall. When we arrived two lazy Golden Labradors greeted us with uninterested glances. The drawing room was alive with wedding guests and comfy sofas beckoned beside a warm fire. BrookLodge has 54 bedrooms, with a choice of four-poster beds or state-of-the-art mezzanine with hi-tech TV and stereo systems.

It is home to Ireland's only certified organic restaurant. It's become a favourite for weddings, with Sarah Coz and husband Jon Carter tying the knot in it's two tiered function room - for 180 diners. The hotel even has its own chapel so guests don't have to go far after the party. Just a two minute walk from the hotel lobby is Acton's Country Pub & brewery, where you can sample BrookLodge's very own micro brewery.

Riding You can bring home some of the homemade products from the Macreddin Village Organic Bakery & Smokehouse. For guests who want to keep active there is horse riding, trekking and lessons for riders at nearby Macreddin Equestrian Centre. There is all the comforts of one of Ireland's best manor houses and a world-class spa here with all the latest treatments.

Ideal But be warned, book in advance because its charm, beauty and delicious organic food that makes it an ideal venue.