Dinner at The Mill, Dunfanaghy

I mentioned before we went on our break that Ian and I were being treated to a dinner at The Mill, Dunfanaghy, which has always been one of our very favourite places to eat. We haven’t managed to have dinner there for about five years now, what with the kids, so this was a massive treat!

The Mill is a fabulous Georgian building stunningly set at the edge of the New Lake just outside Dunfanaghy. The restaurant is magnificent, and if you’re really lucky, you can stay there too. I never have, but I hear that the rooms are amongst the best in Ireland.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by their lovely staff and invited to sit either in the conservatory or by a roaring open fire whilst you look at the menu. They bring you your drinks and a couple of delicious complimentary tasters to eat whilst you make your decision- we had rosemary bread served with mackerel pate, and melba toast served with crabmeat, both of which were gorgeous.

The menus strongly feature seafood and local organically reared beef and lamb. The lamb in particular comes from just a mile or so down the road on Horn Head, and I’ve been told people come again and again just to taste it! Seafood is also sourced from Donegal. The region is spoilt for choice in this area, as it has a very extensive sealine and a strong fishing community.

Once our order had been taken, we moved into the restaurant itself, and were delighted to be given a wonderful table right beside the window overlooking the lake. What a gorgeous view! It was a beautiful evening, and you could feel the tension drain away as you looked out.


I had really struggled with my choice of starter, as I was in the mood for seafood, and the mussels and clam starters sounded delicious. However I eventually went for a mixed seafood starter, which featured crab claw, plaice fillet and scallop, served with guacamole. This was gorgeous, beautifully presented and a perfect size for a starter. Ian chose duck confit, served with redcurrant, and it was melt in the mouth delicious. I pinched some of his and really enjoyed it- but there was no way he was getting any of mine!!

For my main course, I decided on an open seafood lasagne, which featured (amongst others) crab claws, clams, salmon, and plaice. When it arrived, I thought it looked a little bland, but the flavours were wonderful- very delicate and perfectly seasoned. The clams in particular were perfection. Ian had a lovely steak, which was deliciously tender and well cooked. The accompaniment of champ was gorgeous, I used some to mop up the last of the creamy sauce from my lasagne!

We both decided to go for the chocolate delight with marmalade ice cream for dessert. The chocolate delight was a light sponge around a melting chocolate middle- very rich and delicious. The ice cream had quite a lot of marmalade in it (well, duh!) and wasn’t quite as sweet or mild as I’d been expecting, but was lovely.

Coffee is then served in the conservatory overlooking the lake as the sun sets, and they bring you home made fudge and petit fours to eat whilst you drink your coffee (as if you needed anything else to eat after all of that!!).

This is not an inexpensive place to eat. The set three course menu is currently at 42.95 euro per person, but believe me, this is truly excellent value. The food is of the highest possible standard and you can really taste the care and dedication that has gone into not only the preparation of the food, but also the choosing of the ingredients.

Wonderful food, lovely service from friendly locals, and a truly beautiful restaurant. I can’t wait to return, in fact, if I had loads of money, I’d probably just move in! πŸ˜€


8 Responses to “Dinner at The Mill, Dunfanaghy”

  1. April 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    You both completely deserved this treat and it makes me happy to see your smiling faces. After I’m done squeezing those two boys…I’m coming after YOU! πŸ˜‰

    It was really lovely. My Dad really spoiled us with this one, and our neighbour in Donegal, Liz, who minded the kids for us!

  2. 2 Emma C
    April 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    You are going to have to stop describing food in this truly mouth watering fashion, especially the shell fish (it’s testing my inner strength at the moment)! More importantly you look glowing. Who cast a shadow on the handsome Ian though?!

    The waitress took the pic- she was lovely, and I used to be friends with her sister when we spent our holidays up there. She remembered me and was really sweet. Sorry you’re having to be off the shellfish- but hey, it’s SO worth it…hope all is well with you! xx

  3. April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    This is on my list of places to eat this year. I don’t want to think how long it has been since we were last there….yikes!

    I’ll never forget that time we all ate there- it was one of the nicest evenings I have ever spent. I found photos the other day at my Dad’s- we all look INSANELY young!!! πŸ˜€

  4. April 22, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    This is a fantastic restaurant. I eat there thanks to my parents’ generosity, almost every time I’m in Donegal (every couple of years). And the view is to die for on a summer evening!

    Thanks so much for your comment, Andy! Your parents are generous indeed- and you’re right, it’s a fantastic restaurant. πŸ™‚

  5. April 23, 2009 at 6:53 am

    What a treat, it looks and sounds wonderful. Mmmm, home made fudge… Mmmmmm πŸ™‚

    I couldn’t even eat it, I was too full by that point. Ian gave it a good home though! πŸ˜€ You should get Jennie on the case, lol!

  6. April 23, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I try. She’s says *I’m~* trying πŸ™‚

    Ha ha! I bet Jennie makes great fudge! πŸ™‚

  7. 7 Skry
    April 24, 2009 at 5:05 am

    I wanna see the photo’s! And yeah that was a great night. My hatred of spinach was forever destroyed, thanks to your “gentle persuasion” πŸ˜€

    I can hear the irony…I wasn’t gentle at all and told you (quite loudly) to wise up, I think! πŸ˜€

    I’ll try and get the pics scanned in and on facebook, but the problem is that Ms. H McPolin and Ms. E McPolin will not be pleased with me if I do. It’s a fine line. πŸ˜‰

  8. 8 layla2376
    April 25, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Can’t ….stop…salivating. So much yummy seafood, sounds delicious. I am glad you had such a nice time. The view is lovely too,it’s not often you can say that about a restaurant.

    It’s gorgeous. I am still thinking about the seafood now!!!

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