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No. 1 Pery Square: the heart of Georgian Limerick

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Rebuilt by owners, Patricia and George Roberts, over several years from two adjoining 18th century townhouses, No. 1 Pery Square, is an elegant hotel located in the heart of the historic Georgian quarter of Limerick, Ireland’s third largest city.
Located at the corner of a wide street directly across from a delightful public park and within easy walking distance of the city center, No. I Pery Square offers temporary parking spaces immediately in front for convenient luggage set-down. The hotel’s private, locked parking lot is a mere 200 yards up the street.
A simple doorway entrance leads straight through to the small reception desk where one receives the friendliest of welcomes from receptionist on duty, so much so that a half hour later up in your room, you might still find yourself engaged in lively and informative conversation.
The hotel is designed in such a way that four rooms are located in the original Georgian house and one penthouse and 15 club-style rooms lie in the new building. One of the suites faces on to what is known as the ‘People’s Park,’ bestowed on the city by a Dutch lady named Vanderkiste (the room is named after her – while others are named after former owners or Irish writers). From this window, one could just make out rose beds, a Victorian fountain and a gaily-painted bandstand.
The room continued the hotel’s overall Georgian theme with hanging chandeliers, a full-size, stand-up mirror and a circular, gild-framed wall mirror above a disused, open fireplace. Eggshell colored floor-to-ceiling cupboards along one wall offered plenty of space for clothes storage. Two large lime-green armchairs beside heavy, draped curtains with a varnished table between provided a cozy corner for relaxation. The bed, cane-backed and painted white, is extra large, with the softest of Irish linen to snuggle in.
The highlight, however, is an absolutely delightful, claw-foot bathtub with a painted folding privacy screen in front.
On the second floor there is a cozy breakfast room reflecting 18th century elegance featuring Georgian chairs in tones of ash and plum velvet and a series of ornate chandeliers.
The floor is made from recycled wooden cargo crates, the markings plainly visible. Three black and white re-printed photos on stretched canvas of old French shop front scenes adorned the far wall.
Try the Arnold Bennett omelette with smoked haddock, but hollandaise sauce instead of parmesan and make sure you don’t miss the delicious, freshly-baked scones with home-made preserves.
The dinner menu is small but varied. The chef’s ravioli with sundried tomatoes, goat cheese and capers come as a generous portion while the rib-eye steak with mashed potatoes reflected the excellent reputation Irish beef has acquired over the years. Compliments also go to the chef for an imaginative dessert combining cardamom yogurt, panna cotta, poached rhubarb and home-made shortbread.
Behind the hotel and accessed through a side-door is an internal patio offering complete serenity away from the busy street. Here, black-painted metallic tables and chairs sit on a simple paved area with old wine barrels, night lamps and flowerpots as decorations. Several square brick structures house boxes containing various herbs and plants that are used by the hotel’s chefs in Brasserie One.
A set of double glass doors fronting the street down from the main hotel entrance opens on to a small, open lobby with potted plants on shelves, a central writing table with brass candlestick holders and a decorative lampshade, an entrance often used by non-residents dining at Brasserie One. While there, you might be much surprised to see an old wooden pew as part of the overall decoration – a leftover from the cleaning out of an old church.
With the hotel’s location being so central, visiting downtown Limerick is a simple ten-minute walk away. Immediately round the corner from No. I Pery Square is the Frank McCourt Museum. A Pulitzer Prize winner in literature or his autobiographical novel, ‘Angela’s Ashes,’ Brooklyn-born McCourt spent most of his formative years in this city before heading back to New York at the age of 19, becoming a schoolteacher and then developing his illustrious writing career. Brainchild of creative and dynamic artist, Una Heaton, a Limerick native and friend of the McCourt family, this multi-faceted museum in the Tudor-style Leamy House grants visitors interesting insights into the writer’s poverty-stricken upbringing and his professional successes in later life.
Two other historic buildings are worth visiting. After a six million euro investment completed this year, King John’s Castle is a major tourist attraction. The stunning new exhibition opened this year brings to life over 800 years of the castle’s dramatic history, all through touch-screen technology, dazzling animations and ghostly projections connecting visitors to tales of siege and warfare.
The stylish Masonic Centre in Limerick just across from the castle displays exhibits with Masonic connections showing the historical links and interaction between the Masonic Order and the commercial life of Limerick over the last 300 or more years. Entrance is by appointment and free of charge.

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