Chef’s Recipe: Fruit Scones

Fresh Scones

It’s time for the first of pastry-chef Becky’s recipes! The following recipe will make 6-8 fruit scones.
You will need:
50g butter
225g /2 cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
30g /1 oz caster sugar
50g /1/4 cup raisins
150 ml /1/4 pint milk
1 egg beaten with a little milk

 

 
Preheat the oven to 200C

Grease a baking sheet with butter then sprinkle with flour

Sieve the flour into a bowl, add the cubed butter, the baking powder and salt.
Quickly rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar and raisins, and mix well.
Make a well in the center and using a dinner knife, stir in enough milk to make a soft, pliable dough. (If the dough is too sticky sprinkle with a little flour)
Turn the mixture on to a floured board and knead very lightly until just smooth then lightly roll out to 2cm / 3/4″ thick.
Cut rounds with a 7.5cm /2″ cutter.

Place on the baking tray and brush with the beaten egg and milk mixture. Bake near the top of the hot oven for 11 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.
Cool on a wire rack before eating.

Serve with your favourite jam, and don’t forget the cream!

 

 

Walking West from Abbeyglen

The first of our recommended walks takes you from Abbeyglen, along the Beach Road, and back along part of the Sky Road.  Distance is approximately 4km, and takes about an hour to walk.

Turn right towards the village of Clifden as you exit Abbeyglen, following the road downhill to the right, until you can see the town square. Turn around facing back the way you came, and follow the lower road down towards the Beach.  If you have your camera with you, Clifden Bay on your left makes for some great photos!

 

Keep following the Beach Road for a little over 1km, until you see a right turn taking you back up to the Sky Road.  This is quite a steep uphill section, and the road is quite narrow.

Turn right when you reach the Sky Road, and enjoy the slow downhill stroll back to Abbeyglen!

 

 

 

A little bit of history

John D'Arcy

John D’Arcy (1785-1839)

Abbeyglen Castle was built in 1832 by John D’Arcy of Clifden Castle.

Born in Kiltullagh in 1785, John D’Arcy inherited land in Connemara and in 1812 established the town of Clifden.

Clifden town (An Clochan),  was one of the last towns to be built in Ireland.

D’Arcy’s vision was to create a thriving commercial centre in a resource rich, but poverty stricken region.

He hoped that the town would raise the living standards throughout the area by exploiting the rich fishing, wool and marble resources in the locality.

 

Abbeyglen Castle was leased to the then Parish priest as Glenowen House.  In 1854 it was bought by the Irish Church Mission Society for use as a Protestant orphanage, where girls were trained for domestic service.

 

Connemara Orphan Nurseries

 

The Connemara Orphan Nurseries operated until 1955 when it  closed due to financial difficulties.

In its final years it became a mixed orphanage with, for example, seven boys and four girls in 1953.  These were supported by donations from local patrons plus various investments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After closure the building fell derelict and was home to cattle and sheep for some time.  The property was purchased by Mr Padraig Joyce of Clifden, and he and his wife operated the Glenowen House Hotel in the 1960s.

Paul and Brian Hughes

The Hughes family interest began in 1969 and, since then, they have developed Abbeyglen Castle into one of Connemara’s premier hotels.

A Tuesday through the eyes of Gilbert

Hello, my name is Gilbert

”It’s 8am, I am awake, and Alice the housekeeper is rolling my cage to my favourite spot beside reception.  From here I have a great view on the comings and goings in the hotel.  People-watching is one of my favourite past-times.

It is quiet still, so I have a healthy breakfast of seeds and nuts, washed down with some fresh water.  African Grey parrots need to watch their diet, you know.

John and Martina have arrived in Reception, and are busily switching on lights and computers, getting ready for the morning check-out.  If anyone opens the door to my cage, I may hop down and visit them in reception.  I hope no-one steps on me!

 

A few guests are walking past me now, heading up to the restaurant for breakfast.  I shout out a cheerful “Good Morning, and what’s your name”, and get a lovely smile in return.  Perhaps later they will remember to bring me a few green grapes.  I really love fres

h fruit.  Sometimes I wish I could hop up to the restaurant and raid the fruit-bowl myself.  Who knows what other goodies they are hiding up there!

 

More and more guests are going up for breakfast, and some people are paying their bills at reception before leaving.  I hate seeing people leave, and eagerly await the afternoon when our new arrivals check in.

Check-in time is my favourite time of day.  I love meeting new people, and seeing old friends again.  John has put out the Irish Night sign, ready for this evening.  I hear him telling guests the restaurant will be decorated with shades of green, the menu will be written in Irish, and we will have traditional Irish music during dinner and in the bar afterwards.  I love the live music every night, and so do our guests.  The atmosphere during the evening is always great.  People especially love Tuesday nights for the Irish music.  Quite often our guests join in, and sing too!  And of course I join in and whistle my own tunes for the evening.

Sometimes I notice people trying to catch me singing on video.  If I am feeling mischievous, I go quiet whenever they try.  That way, they keep coming back to talk to me and try again.  I do love company!

 

After dinner I have a dessert of green grapes.  There is always someone who remembers to bring me a few, and if not, Brian reminds people how much I love them.

At 11pm it is time for my beauty sleep.  John Noel or Wendy come and talk to me, then roll my cage back into my own private room.

Time to catch some sleep!”

 

 

 

Special Offers

Afternoon Tea

Home Away From Home Offers (weekend, Min 2 Night)

Enjoy a 2 night weekend break away from the stresses of everyday life. Excludes Bank Holiday Weekends, Christmas and New Year.

Rate includes:2 Nights Accommodation, A Gourmet 5 course evening meal each night of your stay, Complimentary Tea and Scones., Full Irish Breakfast each morning.

Please note: a service charge of 12.5 % is applicable for this package. The service charge will be added to your bill at check out

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Treat Someone Special Packages (Midweek, Min 3 Nights)

Treat that special someone to three nights of luxury. Offer available Sunday to Thursday in January, March, April, September, October, November and December (excludes Christmas and New Year).

Rate includes: 3 Nights Accommodation, A Gourmet 5 course evening meal each night of your stay, Complimentary breakfast in bed.

Please note: a service charge of 12.5 % is applicable for this package. The service charge will be added to your bill at check out.

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Girls Getaway Weekend Pamper Package

Getaway with the girls and enjoy a relaxing 2 night break at The Abbeyglen Castle

Rate includes: 2 nights stay  with full Irish Breakfast both mornings, Dinner on both evenings, 1 Spa treatment each, Complimentary Tea, Coffee & scones after your treatments in the Castle Bar between 3-5pm, Complimentary champagne reception on Saturday in front of the open fire

Not valid May & September

For this package, please ensure you prebook treatments in advance to avoid disappointment. Please call 095 21306 to make your appointment.

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3-Night Midweek Couples Retreat

Arrival on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday for 3 nights
Rate includes: Full Irish Breakfast each morning, Dinner each evening, 1 Spa treatment each, Complimentary Tea, Coffee & scones after your treatments in the Castle Bar between 3-5pm, Complimentary champagne reception on Saturday in front of the open fire

Not valid May & September

For this package, please ensure you prebook treatments in advance to avoid disappointment. Please call 095 21306 to make your appointment.

BOOK NOW

 

 

Midweek & Weekend Island Safari

Rate includes: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast, Complimentary crossing to Inisbofin Island, Complimentary Afternoon Tea & scones served each day from 3-5pm, Complimentary Champagne Reception in front of the open fire.
Book a standard double, twin or single room & we will give you a complimentary upgrade to one of our superior rooms.

Not valid May & September

BOOK  3 NIGHT MIDWEEK SAFARI PACKAGE
BOOK  2 NIGHT WEEKEND SAFARI PACKAGE 

 

 

 Connemara Walking Experience

Rate includes: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast, 2 Walks: 1. Free entrance to the Connemara National park including a gourmet picnic & half bottle of our house wine, 2. You are provided with complimentary walking map with self guided walk of 1.30-2 hours of Sky Road & Clifden Caslte & back to Clifden along Beach Road.
After your walks, enjoy Complimenatry Afternoon Tea, Coffee & Scones served between 3 & 5pm
Complimentary Champagne Reception on Saturday in front of the open fire.

Not valid May & September

BOOK 3 NIGHT MIDWEEK CONNEMARA WALKING EXPERIENCE
BOOK 2 NIGHT WEEKEND CONNEMARA WALKING EXPERIENCE

Gilbert

Hello, my name is Gilbert