When I lived in Dublin I daydreamed of being able to head to the country, go for a walk in a cinematic back-drop and then nip to a cosy pub for a well deserved homemade feast in the perfect country setting. I now live in Wicklow near such a haven where you can nestle a perfect pint in front of a huge roaring fire in the winter or sip a cold beer in a quaint sunny courtyard in the summer, smug in the knowledge that you will get consistent quality food at a good price.
Once a stagecoach stop-over, The Hollywood Inn is a family-run bistro and bar located at the end of the Wicklow Gap in the village of Hollywood, about a 50 minute drive from Dublin. This spot is an excellent stop off point when touring the area. My husband and I are regulars to the village, drawn in by the weekend music sessions in Tutty’s Bar or the delicious pub food on offer at the Inn.
Incorporating fresh produce and quality ingredients, the dishes don’t stray very far from classic combinations. The best value is in the mains, the portions are huge and you can easily share one between two. I usually go for the incredibly big and tasty cottage pie which at €13.00 is a great deal and even better if you share it. The authentic baked ham is a winner too at €13.50, it’s all homemade and if you want to change the vegetables you can. The Hollywood Burger for €12.00 is the real thing and comes with chunky chips the size of small child. There are daily specials on offer too which often include very satisfying home-made lasagna.
What is disappointing is their Goat’s Cheese Crostini, which although delicious is small for €7 and their house-wine is steep at €5.80 a glass, although it is very decent.
With an unhurried and homely atmosphere the right side of twee, the pub goes out of its way to accommodate the customer. They will gladly prepare a meal for you that doesn’t appear on their menu; I was in there recently with a vegetarian friend who didn’t fancy anything on offer so they whipped her up a vegetarian stir-fry instead. Generally if you don’t like something or you want to alter your order they will happily do so without making you feel like you’re a pain in the rear.
On paper the menu may appear not particularly good value but it’s the portion size and quality that makes it worthy of a visit. Are there any other cosy country pubs that serve great food in West Wicklow? I’d love to know.
Here are some of the dishes on offer:
- Homemade soup of the day served with brown bread €4.20
- Confit of Duck leg served with roasted sweet potato and plum sauce €10.50
- Baked Ham, served with mustard parsley sauce, creamed scallion champ and cabbage €13.50
- Cajun chicken salad, sliced char-grilled breast of chicken sauteed in fresh spices with lettuce, peppers, cheese and a dollop of garlic mayonnaise. €12.50
- Vegetarian Tartlets, roasted vegetables topped with Irish farmhouse vintage cheddar cheese and served with sun-dried tomato pesto. €12.50.
- Homemade Apple tart served with fresh cream or ice-cream. €6.00
- Sticky toffee pudding served with fresh cream €6.00
- Chocolate Fondant served with fresh cream €6.00