Kings live Spanish Point dream at Red Cliff Lodge
RED Cliff Lodge in Spanish Point is set to copper-fasten its reputation as one of Clare’s foremost eateries having come under the guidance of Christopher and Eimear King. Having established a fine dining bistro called Kristian’s in Puerto Del Carmen in Lanzarote, the West Clare establishment’s new owners returned to Eimear’s native Clare last year. While Christopher set about continuing his cheffing career, Eimear and their two young daughters adjusted to life back in the Banner. And as Eimear tells The Clare Echo , “It was like we never left! Chris was working in Vaughan Lodge for the season when we got back, and I was fortunate to be able to take six months off.” Award-winning chef Christopher and Eimear’s journey began only down the road many years ago in the Atlantic Hotel, where the pair first met. Chris was chef while Eimear, a qualified secondary school teacher, would work there on the weekends. Married in 2007, they wasted no time in relocating to Spain the following year to build a life together (and a young family to boot). It was here they began a journey which would bring them back to Spanish Point, only a stone’s throw from Mullagh where Eimear grew up. With five years under their belt in Madrid, the pair moved to the popular Canary island of Lanzarote to establish Kristian’s, which they put firmly on the foodie map. It became the only Irish restaurant to be included in the Spanish Qui Bueno guide for good food, while it was the first non-Spanish restaurant to participate in a prestigious gastronomy food festival in the island’s old capital, Teguise. However the draw of home became too much and – with the future of their two girls Sofia (3) Isabel (5) in mind – they left Spain behind to establish their future on the Wild Atlantic Way.
With the opportunity in Spanish Point coinciding with with the young family’s return to Ireland, Eimear says STUART HOLLY firstname.lastname@example.org it was too attractive an opportunity to refuse. Eimear tells The Clare Echo that the couple plans to build on the reputation built by Red Cliff Lodge’s previous owners. She explains, “It had a good reputation for its restaurant and accommodation anyway – the restaurant had been closed for a year and a half so we’re delighted to get it open again. John and Bríd O’Meara who have taken over the Lahinch Coast Hotel, they are very professional people so we were delighted with where they had brought Red Cliff Lodge.” Fresh ingredients from local suppliers (including butcher Noel O’Connor, CS Fish, Burren Smokehouse and Gerrihy’s Seafood) are brought to life on their exquisite menu. When asked to elaborate on what a customer at RedCliff Lodge can expect, Eimear expresses that a reputation of fine dining should not be confused with silver service – “It’s a really good dining experience, and we offer luxury rooms but it’s not pretentious. The Redcliff Lodge is a relaxed environment.” Eimear, a former Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon student, adds that she is delighted to enter the world of accommodation with Red Cliff Lodge offering a selection of suites and lodges. And happily for her, it is a real family affair – her sister and niece are among those employed as they head into their busy summer season. With the Willie Clancy Festival festival around the corner and Irish Open being hosted in Lahinch for the first time, there’s a great air of anticipation for the Kings as they look to flourish in their first year. “Any phone call that’s made, people are asking about accommodation for the Willie Clancy and the Irish Open. The Willie Clancy week puts Miltown Malbay and Spanish Point on the map and then the golf coinciding with it, the surrounding areas of Lahinch will definitely aid from it.” Having taken over officially in February, she adds, “It’s great, the weekends are busy and accommodation is just starting to take off now.” Red Cliff Lodge Restaurant opens Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm. Pre-booked group lunches at advanced request. For reservations or more information, call 065 7085 756 or email email@example.com