May 07, 2020

MY MONTENOTTE EXPERIENCE

This Saturday, on February 1st, I ventured down to Cork for a weekend break in the picturesque and beautifully modern, Montenotte Hotel.
As they say, January is the only month with twice as many days as the rest. Maybe it’s the post-Christmas, back to reality, dark at 4pm aspect, but January really does drag. The first day of Spring was the perfect time for a trip away. Matt drove and we arrived to check-in at 2pm, bringing the total journey time to just under 3 hours.

As always, if anyone has any questions regarding the stay, please do let me know. I am always happy to answer!
All my foodie love,
Fifi
@fifisfoodblogdublin

THE ROOM

Room number 325, better known as The Merchant Suite. Known to me, as the most beautiful hotel room I’ve ever stayed in! Though it’s not enough to call it a hotel room. The Merchant Suite is bigger than myself and Matt’s apartment, which is hilariously amazing. Never was there a time when I felt more like a Queen, than when we opened the door into this haven.

The Merchant Suite opens onto a living room with two plush velvet couches, a large flat screen tv, a table and chairs, a coffee table, bookshelves filled with cool and interesting reads, and the most amazing views of Cork City.

The next room is the bedroom. Kitted out with a King sized bed, a coffee station, another flat screen and views from every window, it was beautiful. The bathroom and toilet are separate rooms. The bathroom has a luxury shower, a bath and his and hers sinks. Two robes and slippers hung on the back of the door, one of my favourite things about staying in a nice hotel. Robes can’t help making me feel luxe and fancy!

PANORAMA BISTRO & TERRACE

The Panorama is where we spent most of our time while staying at The Montenotte. It is in the most beautiful location. On Saturday afternoon, we sat out on the terrace having a hot chocolate and a coffee. Wrapped up in blankets, looking out over the bustling city below, it was serene. We sat here watching the sun go down, it was wonderful.

For dinner, our table sat opposite a grand piano where live music ensues every Saturday night at 7.30pm. The restaurant was buzzy and full of diners from the time we arrived at 6.15pm (Early due to our cinema booking at 8pm). If you are headed to the cinema like we were, the Cameo Dinner & Movie Package is the ideal choice. It includes both a dinner served from their set menu and a Montenotte Cameo cinema entry. There are two choices: A 2 course meal for €35 or 3 courses for €40. We also added a bottle of Montepulciano, because it’s February, and (almost) dry January had come to an official end.

To start, we chose goats cheese tartlet and chicken liver parfait, and for our mains, sirloin steak along with potato and chestnut gnocchi. The sirloin was an 8oz steak with caramelised onions, portobello mushroom, chips and for sauce, I went with garlic & herb butter. The gnocchi came with roasted red onions, wilted spinach, aged parmesan cheese, stilton and tarragon cream. By the time dessert came around, we were almost too full, so decided to share a lemon curd tart. I absolutely love anything with lemon curd, so our choice was obvious. Garnished with raspberries, toasted pistachios and clotted cream, it was divine. Overall, the dinner in its entirety was marvellous.

THE CAMEO IN-HOUSE CINEMA

One of the most unique aspects of The Montenotte Hotel, is its in-house Cameo Cinema. Situated to the right of The Panorama, it’s the perfect dinner-and-a-movie date night spot. If you’ve ever been to The Stella Theatre in Ranelagh, the Cameo is a dead-ringer. With spacious red velvet chairs and no rules on bringing in your drink from the bar, it makes this hotel experience one-of-a-kind.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was Saturday night’s movie of choice. Chick flicks are my all time favourite, so I was thrilled. It wouldn’t necessarily have been Matt’s number one choice, but due to the comfort of the whole cinema experience, it was an enjoyable 2 hours for both of us.

Upon arrival, we were offered freshly popped popcorn, which we somehow managed to eat, despite being stuffed following dinner. It was free seating, and when we got there, plenty of seats were still available. Each chair had its own table for drinks and snacks, and we filled these with wine and popcorn. The evening was extremely enjoyable, I would definitely return to The Cameo.

BELLEVUE SPA

Both myself and Matt booked into the Montenotte’s Bellevue Spa early on Sunday morning for The Botanical Facial Experience. It was a personalised facial, customised to our skin, with a neck, chest and face massage. The spa was comfortable and serene from the moment of entry. We sat in the stunning relaxation room before and after our treatments, in our robes, feeling refreshed and chilled out.

The most lovely therapist called Rachel did my facial. She was so helpful throughout the initial consultation, speaking to me about my skin type, in order to establish the best practices and products to employ. The experience was rejuvenating and highly relaxing. Following the facial, Rachel recommended a skin-specific cleanser and moisturiser, which I then purchased in-spa. My skin has genuinely never glowed brighter!

In the relaxation room, we then enjoyed a 10am mimosa (Why not?), fresh fruit and a cup of herbal tea. Matt and I chatted about the facials, and it was interesting to learn our experiences had differed, despite the treatments being the same. Our skin types are different, and this was reflected. One example is in the form of our under-eye treatment. Seaweed was used on my face and kiwi was used on Matt’s. By the sounds of it, both were equally as revitalising.
Full Facial Breakdown:

  • First cleanse with rose gel cleanser
  • Second cleanse with clay cleanser
  • Enzyme face polish on neck and face
  • Lavender and vitamin E face mist
  • Face massage using geranium and rose hip face oil
  • Eye mask
  • Seaweed applied to eyes
  • Clay mask applied on neck and face
  • Eye cream applied
  • Intense renewal moisturiser applied

BREAKFAST

Our final experience before heading into Cork City for the day, was breakfast in the Panorama. I love when a hotel breakfast offers something a little extra. The Montenotte offers a full breakfast buffet, along with a few menu extras that can be ordered for an additional €3. Matt went for the classic Irish breakfast from the buffet, while I opted for an on-the-menu choice in the Eggs Benedict. The hollandaise sauce was homemade and extremely tasty

What makes this hotel so special is its views of Cork City. Eating our breakfast looking over the city was spectacular. Everything from the moment we arrived at the hotel was perfect. From the room, to the food, all the way down to the cinema popcorn. Every aspect was memorable and something I would recommend to anyone seeking a weekend away.

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