The highly-anticipated debut of The Carriage House marks the completion of extensive restoration and expansion efforts at Adare Manor. Besides this final addition, the striking Neo-Gothic castle hotel in County Limerick now boasts a new 42-bedroom accommodation wing, a ballroom with capacity for 350 guests and a redesigned golf course by Tom Fazio.
Complementing the hotel’s renowned golf facilities, The Carriage House offers a 1000 square foot dining destination complete with a grill restaurant, glamorous cocktail bar and lounge, spacious glazed terrace, cigar lounge and private dining chamber.
Guests enter The Carriage House via a grand arrival lobby with an impressive double-height ceiling and stone steps leading up to a collonade with a dramatic rotunda. Natural materials and finishes bring the outside in here, with flooring in a limestone finish, walls clad in light-coloured oak panelling, and mouldings, architraves, wall friezes and cornicing painted in an off-white tone.
“The highly-anticipated debut of The Carriage House marks the completion of extensive restoration and expansion efforts at Adare Manor”
David Collins Studio felt it would be pertinent to reference the estate’s outstanding natural heritage with arboreal motifs in the décor scheme. The entire right elevation of the entrance area thus boasts a striking floor-to-ceiling handpainted artwork of flora and fauna, extending to the front of the concierge desk.
Velvet upholstery in burgundy and blue, and an antique chandelier made of bronze with glass rods complete this refined, high quality interior feel.
Progressing through a colonnade, guests arrive at a rotunda. This impressive space sets the tone for the entire building, featuring four arches with floor-to-ceiling wine displays on each column and an exquisite vaulted ceiling with brass detailing and up-lighting to create maximum visual impact.
The rotunda acts as a central hub for the building; the restaurant lies to the left, the passage ahead leads to the lounge, while the bar is located to the right. In the centre of each of these three vistas, the eye is drawn to a trio of spectacular antique chandeliers, each of which was sourced by David Collins Studio.
“David Collins Studio felt it would be pertinent to reference the estate’s outstanding natural heritage with arboreal motifs in the décor scheme. The entire right elevation of the entrance area thus boasts a striking floor-to-ceiling handpainted artwork of flora and fauna, extending to the front of the concierge desk”
Finishes in the colonnade echo those in arrival lobby. The limestone floor continues, but at its centre lies a bespoke circular mosaic, hand-made using an opulent combination of Bianco Carrara marble, Belgian black limestone and green limestone. In contrast with the light-stained tones of the lobby, the wine displays and other oak joinery have been stained a darker shade.
When it came to the bar area, David Collins Studio’s brief was to create a “room that functions from day to night”. In the morning and afternoon, the bar is predominantly used by golfers enjoying a drink or light meal after their round, while in the evening it becomes a classic cocktail bar. David Collins Studio has ensured that the space can meet this dual requirement through subtle lighting, which is all low-level and predominantly at table height.
Another priority for the client was to create a space that had a contemporary, metropolitan feel, while referencing Irish culture. The design team has thus incorporated allusions to local heritage through the use of timber-framed wall panels clad in leather with a metal stud detail, also applied on lampshades.
The colour palette throughout the bar is a melange of leather, burgundy and dark green shades, while the furniture frames’ dark-stained oak finish is repeated throughout all The Carriage House’s main areas to generate a sense of consistency and a visual link between the various spaces.
The back bar is simple yet refined; constructed using mainly bronze and brass finishes with glass shelving to allow light to pass through the bottles. Adding to this warm, inviting glow, lighting is provided by a horizontal brass rail above the bar, from which feature glass pendant lamps are suspended.
Taking its cue from the wall panels, leather cladding is applied to the front of the bar at low level, while the bar-top is clad in distressed pewter for an antique feel. This is reflected in the tables, some of which have a a pewter top with timber edging, while others have Breccia Capraia marble tops – notable for the material’s striking green and burgundy veining.
Aiding the client’s wish for a transitional venue, an 80m2 lounge provides a quiet reading area by day, and the perfect counterpart to the bar by night. A striking fireplace with a Breccia Capraia marble surround creates a visual link with the bar, surrounded by an arrangement of inviting sofas and green mohair armchairs.
To facilitate reading, and create an intimate feel to the space, all the lighting in the lounge is soft and low-level, provided by table lamps on console tables, wall lights and floor lamps.
As with previous areas, architectural features such as architraves and wall friezes have been painted off-white, while the ceiling coffers have a raffia finish to add texture. This theme is repeated in the wall insets, which use raffia in place of the leather cladding used the bar area.
The Carriage House’s luxe 80-cover restaurant features subtle changes to the decor schemes found elsewhere in the building. Light-coloured joinery takes on a dark oak stain with an added metal inlay, while gold leaf mirror wall panels and widespread use of Breccia Violetta marble add to the sense of discreet opulence.
One of key architectural focal points within the resturant is the central skylight with seeded glass panels. Flooding the space with natural light by day, the skylight is artfully lit at night to create an eye-catching decorative aspect.
Small chandeliers are suspended from around a band around the skylight, while the room’s main chandelier is designed with brass and glass rods. The remainder of the lighting is at low level, and features bespoke fabric lampshades, lined to create a warm glow.
The furniture here is a combination of burgundy leather, green and grey fabrics, with seating provided by a row of U-shaped central banquettes divided by metal and glass screens for privacy. The patterned glass within these screens has a real gold element, and is surrounded by a brass trim.
The rear elevation of the restaurant takes the form of floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that can be opened up to join the restaurant with the private dining room.
This impressive array of hospitality spaces is completed by the glazed terrace and its adjoining cigar lounge, both of which offer picturesque views over the hotel’s impressive grounds.
Decor themes from the interior continue through to the terrace, including the bands of mosaic that encircle the limestone floors. Limestone-clad walls and a timber ceiling give the space a subtly rustic ambience, while the seating – provided by two banquette islands and a scattering of individual chairs – features dark stained timbers with deep red fabrics.
Hanging baskets on the walls and planters bursting with foliage bring the outoors in, accentuated by lanterns in a hammered metal and textured glass finish.
Separated from the terrace by a glazed elevation, the cigar lounge is open to the elements on two sides, but is equipped with a roof and heaters to create a snug, comfortable space for guests.
The interior palette here mirrors that of the terrace, incorporating a pale-coloured oak ceiling and limestone floor. The seating arrangement is different, however, with comfy armchairs looking out over the golf course and an arrangement of inviting sofas, featuring cast metal bases with a bronze finish, upholstered in a deep burgundy fabric, which is complemented by the Breccia Violetta marble topping the metal-framed tables.