Halfway between Dublin and Belfast, Castle Leslie is set in 1,000 acres of stunning countryside dotted with ancient woodland and lakes. There are luxuriously quirky bedrooms in the castle itself (most with views over the lake) and dining options too. For €65 per person, the Castle delivers a delightful six course meal. In the airy, less formal Snaffles Brasserie expect fried oxtail ravioli & warm field mushroom salad to start, or go for the punchy New England clam chowder. For mains, braised lamb shank & mash competes with roast cod, mussels & clams in white wine, tomato and fennel broth. Tempting puds include caramelised apple tart or cherry & white chocolate cheesecake. Enrol in the cookery school run from the castle’s original Victorian kitchens to find out how it’s all done.