March 5th, 2014

The editor of, a website dedicated to all consumer issues recently stayed with us, see below her review in a piece on Affordable Luxurious Hotels.

”  This hotel rates 4 stars however, in my opinion would give alot of 5 stars a run for their money. Customer service is outstanding, the best I have experienced to date in a hotel in Ireland.” – Affordable Luxurious Hotels

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The Strawberry Tree’s Wild Garlic Pesto

March 1st, 2014

Macreddin Logo

 It’s March and it’s the start of another year of Wild Foods. Wild Garlic is in huge supply and is available from now up until late April.

Check out our famous Strawberry Tree recipe below.

Wild Garlic Pesto


50g Fresh Wild Garlic Leaves

25g pine, cashew, hazel or chestnuts…your choice!

200ml Organic Olive Oil or better still Irish Organic Rapeseed Oil

40g grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano or really mature Coolea Farmhouse Cheese

Organic Black Pepper and Sea Salt


Simple recipes are not always the easiest. It’s taken us years to get this just right. Any of the above Nuts, Oils or Cheeses will make a fabulous fresh spring tasting Pesto…we’re just not saying exactly which go into our Strawberry Tree Wild Garlic Pesto!

So, the easy way is to blitz the nuts and half the oil in a food processor and add in the grated cheese. Then add the wild garlic and blitz with the remaining oil to the right consistency. Then simply season, to your taste. As a fresh Oil Dressing, it’ll work, every time


Pour into sterilised Kilner Jars and keep in the fridge or a really cool, dark pantry. More so than with Basil Pesto, there is a reaction between the Wild Garlic, Oil and especially metal lids…hence the Kilner.


Is a serious Pesto; a deep dark green Pesto with attitude, a Pesto that will slap you in the face with the unmistakably strong taste of wild natural garlic and its lush woodland dwellings. What you also get is ‘bottled spring and summer’…to give as a present to your friends, if you are able!

If not, use it to impress as a dressing over salads, bake into your favourite bread dough, add to any pasta dish or mix with butter and slip under the skin of a chicken roast…the list goes on, just use your imagination and go Wild!



It’s a common plant all over the island and it thrives in mixed woodlands and other damp, shady places like country lanes and near streams. In the right place it will be widespread and easy to spot.


Do not dig up the bulbs and never strip a plant of all its leaves or remove all the flowers or plants in a small area. Pick mid-sized to larger leaves and flower heads that have blossomed. Baskets are ideal for gathering (particularly for the flowers) but if you plan to preserve the leaves choose roomy plastic bags. Pack loosely and do not press down or you may bruise the tender leaves and flowers.

Growing from a surprisingly small translucent bulb, broad, pointed, bright green leaves push up through the soil to gradually form a multi-leaved bunch and are followed by a single flower stalk bearing several small white blossoms. Most years the harvest begins in mid-March and continues until mid-April. This period may vary according to local conditions or a spring that arrives early or late. Usually you can harvest over a month.

Some people prefer the young milder leaves; others wait until the plant flowers, and the flavour is stronger, and gather leaves and flowers at the same time.

The flower of the Wild Garlic is highly identifiable and for the first time forager this is when this wild food should be harvested. Prior to this, it might be mistaken for the leaves of the Wild Lily of the Valley, and other wild plants.  Some of these are, of course not pleasant to eat or indeed poisonous.

A good means of positively identifying Wild Garlic is grinding the leaves between one’s fingers, which produces a pungent garlic-like smell. The leaves of Lily of the Valley come from a single purple stem, while the Wild Garlic leaves have individual green-coloured stems. Remember when our foraging if in doubt don’t…

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Exclusive Wedding Venue of the Year 2014

February 12th, 2014

Exclusive-Venue-of-the-Year - Weddingsonline 2014.

A massive thank you to all those who took the time to vote for us in the recent Weddingsonline Awards. We are proud to announce we won “Exclusive Wedding Venue of the Year 2014” at Monday nights Weddingsonline Awards Ceremony.

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Feedback from Party McCabe – November 2013

February 7th, 2014

While I had heard a lot of good things about the hotel, I had not been able to forge my own opinion until last November.  I had the pleasure to deal with the staff at the Brooklodge hotel for a few months last year as I was helping organising a big birthday party.   The planning and organisation took place over a few months so I got to know the BrookLodge and its staff quite well! 

BrookLodge is quite different from any other hotel I have ever visited.  It is not just a hotel, it is a village (Macreddin Village)  Between the hotel and the village you will find:  a pub, an Italian restaurant, an organic restaurant, a fabulous spa,  beautiful grounds, a golf course, a café and even an equestrian centre to name but a few.

The Hotel reception feels very warm and welcoming.  On cold days, you are greeted by a warm and glowing fire.  Checking-in is a relaxed affair with a large desk and some comfortable chairs, nearly as if you were sitting down to have a cup of coffee with a friend.  Even though it is a large hotel, it feels intimate and you do not realise how big it actually is. 

The hotel is split between BrookLodge and BrookHall, which is a few hundred meters from the main building: our party used both.   There is also a reception hall called the River room in BrookHall, which is where we held the event.  Our room was in BrookLodge and as we had brought our little dog along (yes, it is a dog friendly hotel with only a few rooms designated as dog friendly) was on the ground floor.  I could not fault our room.  It was spotless, well equipped and comfortable!

One thing you will notice at the BrookLodge is their love for good food and their commitment to the environment.  Food is something they take very seriously indeed and it shows.  Every meal we have had there was simply delicious.  Good food is about fresh and natural ingredients are used; and this is a philosophy they have grasped extremely well.  It is all about good quality food!

What I like about the BrookLodge is that while you do get the feeling of being away in a hotel, when you push that front door, it feels as if you have arrived in the home of a friend or family member.  There is a definite warmth about the place which makes you instantly comfortable.  

Another point I also need to cover is the staff…. Any establishment can have stunning grounds, lovely rooms etc… but what makes it stand apart is the experience, the service received.   It is obvious that the staff are committed to make one’s experience the best as possible as nothing is impossible for them.  They will do their best to ensure that you are well looked after.  A special and massive thank you to Suzanne and Tara who have been such a joy to deal with.   They have worked so hard to ensure that our event was a success and that what we wanted was produced, and it was.  So, thank you ladies!!!  It was so much fun planning the whole thing with you!

All our 100 guests had a memorable week end and commented on how beautiful the property was and how amazing service was!  Now… a 100 cannot be wrong, can’t they? 

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Feedback from Party Byrne – 24th January 2014

February 5th, 2014

Some kind words from Party Byrne who were guests with us on the 24th and 25th of January for an 80th Birthday celebration.

This is my trip advisor review..and its genuine.

If Wicklow be the garden of Ireland, the brooklodge is the rose of the garden. My wife and I stayed here as part of a party of 12, celebrating my father in law’s 80th birthday. From our arrival at 2pm to our departure the next day, everything was just exceptional. The staff were calm, professional, friendly and were very genuine in their care and attention to us. The grounds, which we took a short stroll through are immaculately kept and the small church is picture postcard perfect and straight out of a scene from ”Little House On The Prairie”. After a beautiful bowl of homemade Butternut squash soup (it was a cold day), myself and the male members of the party headed to Actons for a drink..The fire was lighting and it was tempting to stay in the cosy bar.

The room we had was also perfect and was overlooking the grounds in front of the church. The room was warm and fresh with a flat screen TV which included SKY Sports among it’s channels.. Very important!! 

Finally, dinner..three words come to mind fantastic, fantastic, and fantastic. Our party are full of foodies and The Strawberry Tree restaurant  did not disappoint. From starter to birthday cake it was so tasty and fresh and the organic wine was very well priced . The service was professional,friendly and non intrusive.

Oh..Breakfast. There was no panic on being down for breakfast. I think people were still coming in well after 11am. Again, everything was cooked fresh and the pastries on display were too good to leave behind. 

We shall return…very soon.

12 satisfied customers. 

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The Irish Chamber Orchestra Performs at Macreddin

January 28th, 2014

The Irish Chamber Orchestra are on tour with Bosco Hogan and Patrick Mason in a performance based on the life of Tchaikovsky as told by his younger brother.

The performance takes place in BrookLodge on

Thursday the 20th of February 2014.

Irish Chamber Orchestra Image (Low Low Res)

Package includes:

One Night Bed & Breakfast

Pre Performance Dinner in the Strawberry Tree at 6:30pm

Bubbly reception at 8:15pm in the River Lounge

Performance Ticket

Package Price: €155pps Book Now

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Go Wild in the Country – Sunday Business Post

December 16th, 2013

Ross Golden-Bannon’s Review breaks down the Annual Wild Foods dinner course by course in Sunday’s Business Post and he talks about the lack of Game on our dinner plates.

“The consumption of game in Ireland really isn’t where it should be, and we still have a journey to make from chicken breasts and prime steaks to value-driven parts of the animal which often have more flavour”

The Sunday Business Post - 15th December 2013

The Sunday Business Post – 15th December 2013

“The Wild & Slow dinner had a whole 12 months of preparation, but in fact, the likes of Evan Doyle have put in more than two decades of work on the culture of this feast and he deserves our support”

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Movember Macreddin

November 20th, 2013

44 Male members of Macreddin Crew have decided to sport some trendy moustaches to raise funds for a worthy cause


Hats off to…

Alexandrs Puzans

Alex Weigold

Andrzej Stopka

Cameron O’Neill

David Stapleton

Eugene Giblin

Eugeniusz Itrich

Graham Juste

Greg Goode

Grzegorz Sokol

James Kavanagh

Jeffrey Gillick

Joe Kelly

John Stewart

Kamil Drozdziel

Ludovit Sztacho

Manish Pallewar

Marius Blaszcyk

Martin Woldan

Martyn Penn

Marek Kunicki

Michael Healy

Michal Lubaczewski

Michael Morrisroe

Pawel Jarczewski

Pawel Sosnowski

Peter Czipo

Sri Pandella

Tim Daly

Trevor Wardell

Viktor Szentesi

Evan Doyle

Eoin Doyle

David Martai

Krzysztof Kapera

Conor Fulham

Jan Pleunis

Milan Mohai

Pawel Holak

Karol Mikiel

Joe Nolan

Stephen Kavanagh

Nerek Balaz

Niall Cullen

Mo Sistas of Macreddin…we’re not going to grow a ‘tache or even wear a false one but we give the guys our full support and are very proud of their efforts!

Anyone wishing to donate to The Macreddin Village Team can do so by clicking here: Donate to Team Macreddin Bros

More updates to follow!

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Wild&Wicklow 2013 – Sat 16th of November

October 16th, 2013

Wild&Wicklow Banner

The Strawberry Tree Restaurant has been hosting its unique Wild Foods Dinner annually for over twenty years.

The Sugarloaf Club is delighted to announce that once more, Evan has agreed to close off The Strawberry Tree and that all Chefs and Crew will concentrate on The Sugarloaf’s Annual Wild Foods Dinner which will take place this November 16th 2013. This  is now Ireland’s largest Wild Foods Dinner. 

Commencing with a Wild Foods ‘Dinner Dissected’ Master Class in the afternoon and encompassing The Annual Wild Foods Dinner, reception, wine, bed and breakfast, special speakers and much more…there is really only one place to be on this very special Saturday in Ireland.

Just €165pps Book Now

For more information on the Wild&Wicklow 2013  Event and a Sample Menu please follow the below link

Wild&Wicklow 2013

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The 2013 Annual Cep Hunting Competition in Macreddin Village

October 2nd, 2013

Macreddin Village Crew Compete Yet Again!

The Cep Harvest is out there for all of us here in Macreddin, to gather in Wicklow over the next few weeks

The prize…well, it’s a VIP’d Dinner for two in The Strawberry Tree including wine

Cep Competition - Oct 2013

Pawels bumper 2.7 kilo harvest!

Will Pawel win The 2013 Annual Cep Hunting Competition…Or maybe another crew member will put his 2.7 kilo harvest to the test!

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