Lunchtime at the Maldron Hotel

The Maldron Hotel occupies an imposing three storey redbrick building, set back from the busy road that feeds into the city on the Carrowmoneash roundabout. It is a short distance from here to the pretty village of Oranmore with its variety of bars, restaurants and shops. It enjoys all the peace and quiet of the countryside and is still just a 10km drive from the hustle and bustle of Galway.

There's a rustic bar which offers bistro fare and live music on weekends. Other amenities include an indoor pool and gym, spa treatments, and a cosy guest lounge with a fireplace. You can find me in there most Saturday mornings, with a hot chocolate taking full advantage of the free WiFi, while the kids take full advantage of the swimming pool. Indeed, this may be Galway's most family-friendly hotel; other perks include a kids' camp, a game room and an outdoor playground. Its popularity extends right across the corporate, leisure, bus tour and family markets.

At the Maldron Hotel you will find a friendly welcome from the front desk onwards. After significant refurbishment, the hotel has been transformed into a more contemporary place, and a new head chef is in residence to shake up the dining options a little. A buffet breakfast is available, along with lunch and dinner menus, plus snacks on offer throughout the day. The lunch menu is served daily in the open-plan, newly refurbished Grain & Grill Restaurant, with a small choice of cold drinks and wine available from the 'Hydration Station' and the usual hot beverage options. The space is open and bright with chairs in muted pastel colors.

The sandwich bar caters to the full range of appetites with a comprehensive choice of baps, wraps with every conceivable filling. A baked potato smothered in melted cheese and salad at €5.95 is some serious lunchtime value. At the lighter end of the menu you will find a Caesar Salad with croutons and creamy dressing, or panfried fillet of mackerel with lemon butter, both priced at €9.95. The mains also list old favourites like traditional Irish stew and supreme of chicken. Looking around it is clear that the luchtime carvery is the most popular option. The reliable WiFi, ample free parking and good value has made it a popular lunchtime choice with those working locally.

Following suit we decided on the salmon and roast chicken from the carvery. A perfect piece of fish served on sauted vegetables with bright yellow hollandaise. The generous portion of chicken is served on top of sauté peppers and onions with a choice of sauces. Both were served with all the accompaniments you would expect. There are a few desserts to finish, we had the profiteroles and chocolate tort at €4.95 apiece. The newly appointed head chef aims to make changes here too with more desserts produced in their own kitchen. We see the start of head chef Julian Bradfield’s influence on the menu featuring more local produce like 'Mary's Fish'. The evening menu also takes more inspiration from international cuisine with items such as oriental duck salad and chill prawns with chorizo and fettucine listed along side the more usual burgers and pizzas. Changes are afoot at the Maldron Hotel and so far it has all been for the better. I'm looking forward to see what else they come up with.

Maldron Hotel Galway, Oranmore, Co. Galway Phone:(091 ) 792 244 [email protected]

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