Derek and Michelle Flynn, Patricia and Jim Brennan and Joanna and Ian Brennan during the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Club House Hotel Picture: PAT MOORE
One of the longest running hotels in the country, The Club House Hotel, has been part of the fabric of Kilkenny city life for 220 years.
And last week, the Brennan family celebrated 40 years in charge of the famous Patrick Street landmark.
Originally the home of the Prim family and headquarters of the Kilkenny Hunt Club, it has during its 220 year history, passed through five families, and was known over that time as The Foxhound Club and The Hibernian. It was given the name of The Club House Hotel in the mid 1800s.
In June 1977, the hotel was bought, on impulse, at auction, by current owner Jim Brennan.
In recent years the Brennan family tradition has been continued with the appointment of Ian Brennan as general manager, ensuring that the Brennan family custom of first class hospitality continues.
The hotel has undergone major renovation in the past year with the complete refurbishment of Victor’s Bar and Restaurant and Beacher’s Ballroom as well as the redecoration of all public areas and the 35 bedrooms.
While the Club House has a complete new look it still maintains an air of quiet elegance with many of its original features intact.
On Monday night of last week, staff and management gathered to celebrate the hotel's 220 years and the 40 years of the Brennan family reign.
Recently retired, head chef, Tim Clifford was lauded after 40 years of service .
Tim, a native of county Limerick, worked for the Brennan family when they owned the Ocean Hotel in Dunmore East and moved to Kilkenny with them when they bought The Club House Hotel in 1977.
He remained at the helm of the kitchen for 40 years where he was hugely influential in developing the hotel's reputation for fine food and hospitality.
Jim Brennan thanked Tim for his great service and said their relationship was one, not just of employer and employee, but one of great friendship. Also given mentioned was new head chef Owen Scanlon who has been working under Tim for the past two years and is doing a magnificent job.
Presentations were made to Tim by the Brennan family and staff.
The celebrations continue this October bank holiday weekend with a 220 year celebratory dinner ‘dining through the ages’. conjunction with the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival. In celebration of this milestone anniversary the team at the Club House Hotel along with one of Kilkenny’s best known historians will take you on a historical journey of the hotels past through the wonders of food, as well as depicting the hotels history along with some of the antics of the parties in times gone by. In the style of “Lords & Ladles” you will be treated to an 18th century style three course meal with varying dishes on each course, as well as the drinks of the time to wash it down.