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Reading the menu at Bellinter House far different from sampling the fine fare

Bellinter House, Navan, Co Meath. Tel: 00353 46 9030900

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Bellinter House, Navan, Co Meath

Bellinter House, Navan, Co Meath

Bellinter House, Navan, Co Meath

Heading off last week to a hotel for the first time since mid-March felt less like the great escape than a solemn rite of passage, the tentative first steps taken when the plaster has been removed from a broken leg but the crutches are still needed.

There were questions: would Bellinter House in the heart of Co Meath apply the levels of care and attention given to social distancing which the adviser and I had tried to stick to for nearly four months? More worryingly for the adviser was the menu which looked like a pared down list of pub grub dishes including chicken wings and burgers. Oh God, if that was the restaurant menu, what were the rooms like?

We got in the car with a set of pre-conceived ideas neither of us wanted to air. Nobody wants to rain on your first day away from the house but expectations were not high. Off we went, vaguely of the view that Bellinter might not be the luxe paradise friends had told us about, and more of a chips and pints joint with views and nice period staircases.