McGrory’s in Culdaff - the perfect weekend getaway

Pictured in McGrory's restuarant at a special night of food and drink with Irish Times wine critic John Wilson, is, from left, John and Sinead Reynolds (McGrory's directors), John Wilson (Irish Times wine critic) and Darren Rafferty (Nicholson Wines).

Pictured in McGrory's restuarant at a special night of food and drink with Irish Times wine critic John Wilson, is, from left, John and Sinead Reynolds (McGrory's directors), John Wilson (Irish Times wine critic) and Darren Rafferty (Nicholson Wines).

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Sometimes the very thing you are looking for can be found right on your own doorstep.

That’s precisely how I will look at McGrory’s in Culdaff from now on.

McGrory's hotel and restaurant in Culdaff.

McGrory's hotel and restaurant in Culdaff.

I’d visited McGrory’s a few times in the past for concerts in the famous Backroom Bar but I’d never stayed at the hotel or the restaurant.

Situated in the sleepy Inishowen village of Culdaff, McGrory’s is a jewel in the wilds of Donegal.

The hotel rooms are amongst the best I’ve ever stayed, the pub is as Irish as they come and the quality of wine and food on offer in the restaurant is outstanding.

I am as guilty as the next person as spending hours on-line trying to find an Irish weekend getaway destination. Galway, Connemara, Dublin and Kerry, I’ve been to them all. But what makes McGrory’s even more attractive than those places is that it’s literally a 40 minute drive from Derry.

No sooner are you out of work and you’re sipping beer from the amazing Kinnegar brewery in Rathmullan by the fire.

If beer sipping isn’t your thing then you can always run a bath, go for a walk on Culdaff beach (which is less than two minutes away by car) or you can tuck into some of the best food Inishowen has to offer in either the hotel’s pub or restaurant.

A lot of the food is locally sourced. For example, the crab, which is used in the restaurant, comes straight off the boats at Bunagee Pier, which is just down the road.

If you enjoy sirloin of beef then the restaurant is most certainly a place you will want to visit. The meat is melt in the mouth and the dauphinoise potatoes are amongst the best you will ever taste.

The wine at McGrory’s is supplied by wine merchants Jim Nicholson Wines.

A few weeks ago, the new range of wines available at McGrory’s were introduced by Irish Times wine critic, John Wilson.

John has devoted a lifetime to wine and all that it entails. According to John the wines available at McGrory’s are superb and offer excellent value for money.

There’s amazing white wines from Galicia in Northern Spain, reds from the East coast of Italy and the most amazing ten year-old Tawny Port which goes amazingly well with Hegarty’s cheddar cheese from Co. Cork.

It’s virtually impossible to imagine anyone who would not enjoy a visit to McGrory’s.

During my recent visit there I met an American from Boston who was on his 24th visit to Ireland; the bar was sprinkled with locals and a group of English hikers were huddled near the fire caressing several pints of Guinness as the music played.

As soon as I stepped into the hotel I felt like I was hundreds of miles away from Derry, it really was that easy to relax.

After some great food, wine and beer it was time for bed and I slept the sleep of the dead. The beds are so comfortable that I was checking into the land of the Nod within minutes.

McGrory’s has everything you could possibly want from a weekend getaway and if you’re feeling a little adventurous before breakfast then why not get up early, jump in the car and drive two minutes to the beach for an early morning swim. There’s a great chance you could have the entire strand to yourself and if you’re lucky enough you might even catch the sunrise.

The fun doesn’t stop there.

The breakfast at McGrory’s is like something from a five star hotel. You name it and they have it. Irish cooked breakfast, porridge, cheese, cold meats and freshly squeezed orange juice are all present and correct.

If you’re anything like me you’ll regret not staying two nights. McGrory’s is the perfect weekend getaway destination for people in North West and if you live further a field then why not plan to stay a little bit longer and witness for yourself the breathtaking beauty of Inishowen? You will not be disappointed.

For full details on McGrory’s hotel, restaurant and pub visit their website www.

mcgrorys.ie