Richmond Fort, Drogheda – eat, drink and celebrate

I got invited to try Sunday Brunch at Richmond Fort in Drogheda some weeks ago. I’m always wary of agreeing to try things, with a view to posting blog post or social media updates online. What if I didn’t like it? What if I had negative thoughts. How could I lie to you?!

Well I couldn’t. Obviously. There’s been a lot of coverage lately of bloggers and their integrity and the whole murky area of gifts in exchange for views and reviews. I have a lot to say on the issue, but that’s not what today’s article is about. Today, I’m talking about Richmond; I just wanted to put in a note at the start about that – when I review things, I always try to do it as honestly as possible. Just so you know!

The Cup and Saucer as its known locally

The Setting

I and my friend Margaret were very excited about our brunch. We don’t get out much and we knew there would be a drinky or two. Of a Sunday! Lunchtime! I don’t even know if I’ve ever done that before. If you’ve ever been to Drogheda, you won’t have missed the cup and saucer, which is a Martello Tower that overlooks the town. It offers stunning views and is steeped in history. Richmond Fort is set in one of the buildings that make up the old military barracks at the cup and saucer (or Millmount). Up there, you’ll also find Drogheda Museum. It’s one of my favourite parts of the town, especially with the houses all tucked in around it and the hairpin bend to reach it. It’s a bit like stepping back in time.

We were a little confused when we got to the restaurant as to which door we went in, but once we found it were greeted warmly at the bar and led upstairs to where the restaurant is. Downstairs is like an old-fashioned bar, carpeted and cosy. It looks like a place you might enjoy a late night tipple in. (Ahem).

There’s a lot of light upstairs, thanks to the enormous box window where the best seats in the house can be found. There were two large round tables in the box window to allow as many people as possible to sit in there and some smaller tables for two.

The view is spectacular. There is nowhere else that you can dine in the town with a view like that. Although we visited on a grey January day it was still lovely to overlook the rooftops, spires and large bend in the River Boyne.

Cup and Saucer in background behind my friend and book reviewer Margaret.

The Menu

I was a little surprised by the menu when it arrived. I expected the usual starter, main, dessert options, but it is quite short and all in one. So you have a list of brunch type dishes, some that are breakfast based and then at the end are the sweeter options, like pancakes. Here’s a pic:

Hope you can read this!

I am quite a fussy eater, in that I don’t like a lot of things. I usually scan a menu and within seconds can identify the foods I can and can’t eat. I wouldn’t be a massive fan of fries in restaurants (at home, yes!) and there were two options of these – a breakfast and pizza breakfast, so I ruled them out. I don’t eat fish and I wasn’t keen on the sound of ‘cheek’. When I enquired about the Steak & Cheese Taco, (drawn by the lime creme fraiche!) I was told it was in a soft dough, not the hard taco you buy in those Old El Paso boxes as I’d imagined! Margaret went for the breakfast flatbread pizza.

Could get used to this

The Food

Lads. Wow. Amazing. And I’m not just saying that. The taco was one of the nicest things I’ve had for brunch… eh, maybe ever. I LOVED it. The dressing was gorgeous, the steak was perfect, pink in the middle and tender and with the dough, the whole thing was delicious. There were a lot of MMMMMMMs coming from me while eating it. Margaret really enjoyed her pizza too and she’s a fusspot. (Right Mags?!)

We also had some lovely complimentary Guinness bread, along with the chef’s bacon butter. And I had the pancakes. I’m a greedy person.

I spoke with David, Richmond Fort’s PR Manager and he said that everything is cooked to order, which is why the menu is not too long and why everything tasted so fresh. Massive thumbs up from me.

The Drinks

We had a glass of prosecco on arrival and a glass of wine with lunch. The cocktail menu was waving at us, flickering in our Sunday Brunch body heat, so after a few ‘will we, won’t we’s’ (who am I kidding, we were in like gin) we went for the Elderflower Collins, which surprisingly, contained gin! I’m not a fan of gin usually and despite offering shed loads of it as part of the promotion around December Girl, I would never drink it on its own. In a cocktail I could manage though and boy, could I manage these. They were yummy. Margaret is a gin drinker and knows her stuff and she too gave it the big thumbs up.

Margaret gazes longingly at the ab fab Elderflower Collins. A thing of beauty!

The Staff

We were looked after so well by Soraya and Paula F. They were friendly, down to earth, but not at all intrusive and were ready and willing to answer any questions we had about the menu. In fact Paula offered to discuss the menu with us when we arrived which gave us a bit of an insight into the different foods on offer. I don’t know about you but I find when restaurant staff actually discuss the food with you and make their recommendations or tell you about the ingredients, you actually enjoy the food more. (Hey maybe you bond a bit with the carbs, who knows?)

Soraya and Paula F at Richmond Fort

So, that was our brunch experience. We were of course, the last to leave, and had to be practically kicked out the door, but we didn’t want to leave our lovely view, lovely cocktails and lovely Sunday kids free afternoon. Good for the soul and what a treat.

Events

David told us that Richmond Fort are really putting themselves forward as a boutique wedding venue and while we were there a couple were having their wedding tasting. Having gotten married and done the whole white wedding fiasco, I would now be of the ilk of less is more. I would be considering this if you have a small party and are looking for something quaint, quirky, central and with atmosphere. I don’t think there are many venues in the North East where you could hire out for a small wedding like it.

RIchmond Fort have kindly given me a Sunday brunch for two to give away, with a bottle of prosecco! Head over to LadyNicci facebook page to enter. Competition runs until Wed 31 January.  If you’d like to find out more about lunch or event hire at the fort check out www.richmondfort.ie or call 041 9837139. Tell them I sent you!

Myself and Paula, Richmond Fort Manager.

We were treated to lunch, with no obligation to review.

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