Ireland’s Newest Foodie Destination Opens in Wicklow for Summer Staycations to Tempt the Tastebuds

Posted on 6th August 2021

The Wicklow Escape open now for bookings from 14th July 2021 Danni Barry, Executive Chef, The Wicklow Escape. Photo: Liosa McNamara. Fans of destination dining are in for real treat this summer as The Wicklow Escape opens its doors in Donard, Co. Wicklow. An exclusive lodge for foodies where dining and comfort come together, the new venture is helmed by Lisa Wilkinson, founder, and Danni Barry, Executive Chef, offering 2-night/3-day staycation packages from 14th July.

Formerly known as The Elbowroom Escape, the new venture blends rustic luxury with sumptuous food, against the stunning backdrop of the Wicklow mountains and surrounding countryside. On-site facilities include seven deluxe bedrooms, The escape Kitchen Restaurant, The Fiery outdoor kitchen, The Pavilion outdoor terrace, a kitchen garden amongst an acre of landscaped grounds, a woodfired outdoor hot tub, a forest garden leading up to the West Wicklow Sugar Loaf, walking trails and hikes to explore, with hiking guides available to book in advance.

Each package at The Wicklow Escape will include:

Day 1 – Cocktails and nibblesDinner at The Fiery – three wood-fired courses with beer pairing

Day 2 – BreakfastLunch or picnic to take on a walk or hikeDinner at The escape Kitchen Restaurant – relish five-course long table dining & wine pairing with fellow guests

Day 3 – Sumptuous Brunch before checkout Summer staycation packages are priced from €543 per person sharing.

Check-in is on Wednesdays and Fridays only, and total capacity at the venue is limited to 18, with most rooms suitable for two people sharing. Two group rooms suitable for up to four people are also available and are ideal for groups of friends planning a getaway. The venue is also suitable for intimate weddings and can accommodate up to 26 guests overnight.

Lisa Wilkinson has established a strong team of hospitality veterans to bring The Wicklow Escape to life, including Executive Chef Danni Barry, who earned a Michelin Star while working at Michael Deane’s Eipic in Belfast in 2015, becoming only the second ever Irish woman to hold the award. Also joining the team as Operations Manager is Jill Robins, who spent six years at Powerscourt Estate managing the facilities and visitor experience at Powerscourt House and Gardens.

Lisa Wilkinson, founder of The Wicklow Escape, comments: “As a keen foodie, I’m so excited to see this project come to fruition, with an amazing team on board to deliver a true destination dining experience for visitors. There’s no place to unwind and get away from it all quite like the Wicklow mountains, and I’m particularly delighted to have Danni on board to deliver on my vision for an immersive food experience at The Wicklow Escape. With her former Michelin Star credentials, I know she’ll bring something really special to the kitchen, and indeed the table!” 

Danni Barry, Executive Chef at The Wicklow Escape, comments: “It’s a new challenge for me to join Lisa in bringing a destination dining venture to life, having worked in kitchens for over 20 years. I’m really passionate about using local, seasonal produce to create my menus and I know our farming neighbours have amazing produce whichI’m excited to work with. My menus for The Wicklow Escape are very much inspired by the abundance of local producers on our doorstep. From Wagyu beef to river trout to foraged mushrooms, I hope that visitors will relish the flavours and the style of cooking that I bring.”

The Wicklow Escape is located at Ballinclea, Donard, Co. Wicklow, approx. 1 hour from Dublin. Visit for more information and book your package early to avoid disappointment.

Follow the Wicklow Escape on Instagram and Facebook for updates.

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