If there's one establishment that put Longford on the foodie map over the years, very few would deny that Viewmount House is it. The 17th century period house with its award-winning restaurant, boutique accommodation and magnificent gardens has been central to Longford's hospitality sector since it opened its doors to the public.
So the news that the estate is now on the market will come as a shock to many in the county and surrounding areas this morning.
'The end of an era for Longford...' Sorry to see Viewmount House on the market. Beryl & James Kearney's @IrelandBlueBook house and restaurant was/is a classy country escape. €1.1m is the asking price... https://t.co/BQaKUL5Ys2 pic.twitter.com/baeiVcJ03x— @poloconghaile (@poloconghaile) August 28, 2020
And, while the local business closed its doors in March due to Covid-19, it's important to note that the decision to put it on the market had nothing to do with Covid-19. In fact, Beryl and James Kearney are soon retiring and have decided to sell their historic property and business before taking the next step in their lives.
There has already been plenty of reaction to the news online, with chef Gary O'Hanlon tweeting that he owed Beryl and James so much. Gary was the opening chef for the restaurant at Viewmount House, and the man who set the standard for the food served there.
The end of an era. James called me last night to tell me the news that himself and Beryl were retiring. They trusted me back in 2008 to be their opening Chef. 10 amazing years followed. I was about to go back to America. I owe them so much. https://t.co/DQA2HjrhFl— Gary O Hanlon (@gazzachef) August 28, 2020
The country house, its trail-blazing, award-winning restaurant, its luxurious, boutique accommodation and its gorgeous gardens are on the market for €1.1m with Savills Ireland.
Since the restaurant reopened its doors after the Covid-19 lockdown, things have been very busy with plenty of bookings coming in. In fact, a large number of people have discovered the wonders of Viewmount House while staycationing in Longford.
That’s a pity. I just discovered Viewmount House on my staycation in Longford. We had a memorable meal and fantastic service. A real gem— Danielle Nicholson (@dmnicholson) August 28, 2020
The Japanese Gardens at #ViewmountHouse is an area ideal for quiet reflection .. Features not to be missed are The Japanese Tea House surrounded by water and the "Path of Life" leading into the Zen Garden.— Ireland's Blue Book (@IrelandBlueBook) August 6, 2020
The perfect tranquil weekend. #Staycation2020 https://t.co/vh3dVvwJrC pic.twitter.com/tM7YE7WhnD
See next week's Longford Leader for more. PICTURES: MyHome.ie