The pretty seaside village of Ardmore in County Waterford is a draw for families with children, walkers, sandcastle makers, swimmers and those who just want a breath of fresh sea air. Whatever you're here for, Whitehorses Restaurant is the place to fuel up at lunchtime or relax over a delicious dinner.
Three sisters Geraldine, Christine and Angela Flavin, head up the team here. In the early 2000's they took over what used to be Quain's general grocery store, coincidentally run by two sisters. While keeping the original character of this old building, the girls have completely revamped the space to make a cosy restaurant - with a real Irish welcome on the mat. To the right of the front door, a small annexe, once the house's compact dining room, now known as the Quain Room, has one table for a small group gathering. The old wooden serving counter takes pride of place in what was the original shop space, still used as a reception and drinks serving area. The main dining room has an open fireplace and chunky wooden tables decorated with posies of fresh garden flowers, in a homely interior with local artwork on the walls. Outside, an extensive enclosed garden for outdoor dining, with garden room, considerately decorated in keeping with the main restaurant, with a stove, candles and comfy seating, for pre-dinner drinks for those waiting for a table.
White Horses is open from eleven in the morning till eleven at night in the height of the summer season. This reverts to weekends in winter. At lunchtime, grab a warming bowl of homemade soup of the day, or the Whitehorses Seafood Chowder from the starter menu, or choose from a selection of casual dining hot mains or sandwiches on homemade brown bread. There's always a dish of the day and a veggie option. Ardmore is a family holiday place, and kids are well catered for with a separate children's menu. Evening dining sees a switch to more sophisticated fare. Crab in season, freshWaterford fish and shellfish, prime Irish steaks make up the mainstay, with a few twists and turns. Vegetables are served the old fashioned way - in 'help yourself' bowls of potatoes and seasonal vegetables or tossed salad for everyone to share.
Irish tradition holds true also in the wonderful House Desserts on display in the cabinet at the front of the restaurant. Diners get up from the table to browse the selection, all made in big sizes so you can choose a bit of whatever you fancy. Wines here range from the very reasonably priced house white and red, to elegant French whites, perfect for fish dishes, and aged reds from Oz and Spain and NZ for the meat. Half bottles available.
May to September Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday) October to February weekends only Friday evening Dinner, Saturday Lunch & Dinner, Sunday Lunch 12.30 to 4.30pm Closed from 1 January until 14 February.