Parkland designed by "Capability" Brown in the mid 18th-century creates a wonderful setting for Raymond and Mary Sweeney's lovely Georgian country house overlooking the lough. The atmosphere is more country house than hotel and it is, as Mary Sweeney says, an oasis of tranquillity.
Castle Grove makes a wonderful venue for smallish weddings of 50-100 guests, who have the house and garden to themselves - this wedding venues got a church nearby (4 km) and blessings can be arranged here too.
A pair of fine reception rooms flank an impressive entrance hall and, depending on numbers, these areas may be used for the reception as well as the restaurant, which seats 50, and the bar; the service offered is quite comprehensive - hairdressing is available in the hotel and a programme can be arranged for guests staying several days, including golf, horse riding, sea angling and boating. (Two boats belonging to the house are available for fishing on Lough Swilly and there is a special arrangement with three nearby golf clubs.)
The whole house, including the fourteen period bedrooms (many with bath and separate shower), must be taken for weddings but there is a generosity of spirit which make this attractive venue especially appealing: a mid-week discount is offered and there is complimentary accommodation for the bride and groom and a discount for guests - and there are also good local B&Bs if extra accommodation is needed.
Good food has always been a feature of Castle Grove and menus ranging from €40-65 are offered, with no supplement for choices; the wedding cake can also be made for you, by arrangement, and may be served as the final course.
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Letterkenny Moyvalley (Kildare)