At the beginning of the year, my new year’s resolution wasn’t to give up anything but to take on something. I wanted to fill my weekends and time off with memories and new experiences. Hum with me now, ‘the sloth days are o-ve-er, the sloth days are gone (for the most part). I went for hikes in the Wicklow mountains, I visited new city break destinations, tried new afternoon tea locations, five-star hotel treats, hygge AirBnB barns and being a tourist in my own city. So why should this weekend have been any different? And what a weekend it was. ‘So how exactly did you spend your sunny weekend?’ I hear all 20 people who read my blog cry in unison. Or maybe not in unison ‘cos you know, people have things to do and aren’t all going to read this at once!
I spent it in Meath, in the most adorably quaint, converted railway station hotel at a murder mystery dinner. I got to channel my inner Poirot and try out my Jessica Fletcher sleuthing skills at a fun, 1920’s themed who dunnit event. Read along for more info and details so you can get booking your tickets to the next event.
I heard about The Station House Hotel via an ad online. The hotel used to be a railway station in the 1900’s but was converted in the 1980’s. This piqued my interest, as I’d never stayed at a converted railway station before.
A little history about the hotel’s beginnings is on the hotel website but here is a paraphrased blurb…..
A regularly scheduled train left Broadstone Dublin at 10am on Sunday mornings bringing a variety of passengers including tourists and anglers as well as hunters to Navan and Kilmessan. The Boyne River provided a tranquil location for anglers and the shooting gentry took their dogs to the hunting grounds nearby. Tourists came to see the Hill of Tara, which was the ancient capital of Ireland and is still a key tourist attraction in Meath today.
As interesting and all as this is, it was the Signal Suite that caught my attention. A converted former signal box was now an overnight suite for two. WIN. There was no way I was going to miss out on this bucket list experience!
The only minor problem was that all Saturday night bookings were full until mid-August. I was not blessed with much patience so that was never going to work. My persistence in searching all available weekend dates paid off. After getting in touch with the wonderfully helpful staff at the hotel I was informed that a Friday in June was available. Mine. I snatched that booking as quickly as I could and it was €130 well spent, in my opinion.
Check out the hotel website for deals and information on availability.
I haven’t even gotten to the best part. Aside from the fact that this quaint, if a little retro, hotel is nestled in a beautifully picturesque part of the countryside and boasts a unique signal box personal suite, Friday night was Murder Mystery Dinner night!
The Station House Hotel runs events for guests and as well as a fun b&b experience you can also book into the dinner theatre event. At €60 pp for 4-course dinner and entertainment, this is a fantastic way to kick start your weekend.
Let me state that in no way is this post sponsored. I had never been to a 1920’s themed murder mystery dinner so I had no idea what to expect but I would certainly recommend this for a group of friends as an alternative weekend activity. The next murder mystery dinner at The Station House Hotel is Hallowe’en, just saying.
We checked into our signal box suite which is too adorable for words. Girls, you will love this Instagramable treat and guys you will earn serious brownie points for being so original and romantic.
Upon entrance to the suite, there are a few small steps into a living area with sofa, ensuite WC and tea and coffee making facilities. Check out the train themed art on the walls.
Ascend the train steps to the first floor where the ruffles and drapes adorn the four poster bed, complete with original light fittings. There’s also a bathroom upstairs as well as a wardrobe and flat screen tv. It’s like a PollyPocket house or something out of the Sylvanian Families collectible homes. You would have sold all of your beanie babies to get your grubby mitts on one of these as a kid. Now you can stay in a real life, grown up version. Dream come true!
We unpacked our 1920’s costumes and got ready for the dinner. I feel that really getting into the spirit of fancy dress events makes it more fun and while many people did indeed dress up, some didn’t. It definitely adds to the atmosphere and craic levels when everyone at your table dresses up and gets into character.
We came as a duo and were assigned a table with other guests. If there are enough in your party you get a table to yourselves. Waiters come to take your dinner order while you scoot up to the bar and settle in for a fun night ahead!
The troop of actors strolled in to mingle with the guests by the time your starter had rolled out and the party had begun. Each actor portrays a character in the story (multiple in fact) and once the victim has been poisoned you can start guessing who dunnit!
With each course comes a new witness with a new clue until you are given enough information to deduce the killer’s identity. Inspector Morse’s powers of deduction may not be necessary here but you will still have fun working everything out.
Once the event was over it was out to the former platform for a night cap and photos amongst the fairy light-festooned arches, arbours and pergolas. It was all so very Gatsby you could imagine faint strains of soothing jazz winding through the garden paths and rose bushes. I could not imagine a more romantic ambiance.
After your night of frolics and frivolity drift off to sleep in your own cosy, signal box.
On Saturday morning, after a good breakfast in the Signal restaurant, we chose to take a stroll around the woodlands and manicured lawns of the hotel. They have a ready-made wedding ceremony location on site if you wanted and ample exquisite photo op settings around the grounds. You would be spoilt for choice if this was your wedding venue. Since it was not mine, I made my sister the unwilling subject of my photoshoot and she was my photographer in turn. You need photographic evidence of this little-known treasure in the Meath countryside to boast to your friends about. If you don’t have photos, really, did it even happen?
In order to prolong your stay in the area, there’s the little village of Kilmessan, the Boyne Valley, the Hill of Tara, Brú na Boinne, Newgrange and Tayto Park within driving distance. I feel like I should work for the Meath Tourism board at this rate.
Don’t delay and call the Station House Hotel and see how soon you can book your fairy tale getaway weekend only 45 minutes from South Dublin.
You can thank me later.