BARS & RESTAURANTS: River Lee Hotel highlights its historical connections to Muskerry Railway

16 October 2019
By Bryan Smyth

Did you know that the former ‘Cork & Muskerry Light Railway’ used to run along Lancaster Quay, and the Western Road, and onto the Carrigrohane Road?

On this journey it passed through what is now the site of the River Lee Hotel.

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The River Club (the name of the upmarket Bar/Restaurant at the front of the River Lee Hotel) introduces its new Harvest Carriage in partnership with Fever-Tree (the producer of premium drink mixers, best known for Tonic Water).

Like a little gentle time-travelling, Harvest Carriage at The River Club is inspired by the history of luxury train travel — and by the very real heritage of the Cork and Muskerry Light Railway. A three-foot narrow gauge train-line that ran from Cork City to Blarney from the late 19th century until it finally ceased service in 1934, the Cork and Muskerry Light Railway brought pleasure-seeking tourists from the city to the countryside. Today, The River Club stands on the very site of the Old Western Road station on that line – in fact you can still see the remnants of the train tracks just under the terrace of the adjoining Grill Room restaurant.

In homage to that heritage comes this special seasonal installation – Harvest Carriage in partnership with Fever-Tree. So sink back into your comfy seat, take in the autumn foliage and vintage decor as you imagine a first-class train ride through the beautiful autumn landscape to a bygone era. No first-class travel is complete without a grown up drink in hand and the cocktail list at Harvest Carriage is bursting with bespoke locomotive-themed cocktails, order the 1 shilling, 8 pence – named after the first-class return fare on the Muskerry line, a Hook and Eye – The old local name for the train line or the Locomojito for a new take on an old favourite.

Decorated in gold and russet shades of autumn leaves creating a canopy of branches and garlands overhead, with tables divided from each other by wooden train-style doors, there are signs with historic station names and nods to station architecture, and drinks created using Fever-Tree’s innovative and delicious mixers to create an atmospheric and luxurious take on train travel from another era.

Steal away to Cork for an overnight stay for two guests at The River Lee, with two signature locomotive cocktails and two small plates in the gorgeous seasonal surrounds of the Harvest Carriage terrace at The River Club, in partnership with Fever-Tree. Tapas, Tipples and Trains at The River Lee is available from €179 per night.

The River Club – Cork’s ultimate destination to eat, drink and be social. Open 7 days from 11 until late:

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