Short Stay: The Quay House, Clifden

25th June 2014
Pól Ó Conghaile

Imagine a guesthouse took a bite out of the Natural History Museum.

That’s my first impression of the elegant Quay House in Clifden. Stepping inside the door, I find the shell of a leatherback turtle in the hall, wall-mounted antlers echoing the twist of a marble staircase, and several antique animal skins lounging about, including a tiger shot in Bengal in 1938.

Paddy and Julia Foyle’s guesthouse is no dead zoo, however. The house dates from 1820, but it’s an inspired mix of old and new – you’ll find colourful cushions and warm wicker sofas beneath oak-framed lithographs, or an oil of stormy seas splashed by light from the French windows.

quay house, clifden 2

The Quay House has 14 rooms, all individually decorated, most with views of Clifden Bay. They feel at once quirky and classy – one boasts a huge antique mirror behind the bed, another has cloud wallpaper on a ceiling rising into the eaves, and a rim of silver painted scallop shells.

There’s an individual send-off too. Breakfast is served in a conservatory with Virginia creeper twisting and turning overhead, and the menu includes oak-smoked salmon, pan-fried haddock, or half-a-dozen oysters served on ice with a decorative splash of seaweed.

Details: thequayhouse.com; B&B from €75-€90pps.

Key words: quay house clifden