Bellinter House, Co Meath, Ireland

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  • Georgian mansion with uber-stylish rooms, Eden restaurant, seaweed spa and 12 acres of parkland - just 45 minutes from Dublin

    First impressions recall the opening scene of a period drama (the gated entrance, the long tree-lined drive) but this is one country house hotel that doesn’t do all the usual cliches.

    A 3-year restoration, which coaxed the Palladian mansion back to life after 40 years as a Sisters of Sion convent, took a chuck-out-the-chintz approach. And thanks to interior designer Pierce Tynan, the result is a fresh take on the stately home – classical-meets-rock’n’roll with hints of disco and jazz.

    Fashionistas will love the cocktail of antique, retro and contemporary furniture (glass, leather, velvet, tubular steel, gilded mirrors, a silver grand piano), the polished floors sprinkled with cow-hide rugs, the bold colours, the sense of fun (we like the light-up paper hunting trophies on the drawing room walls).

    But the transformation won’t disappoint romantics nor offend historians: the baroque plasterwork, the Corinthian columns, the ballroom proportions, the original panelling, are just as the architect intended when the house was built in 1750. Thus, history lives alongside boho glamour and Irish hospitality.

    Bellinter House has 34 rooms with doubles from €240 for B&B.

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