Inistioge, County Kilkenny

This most attractive country house was built by the Dyer family in 1780 and stands in 80 hectares of farmland with wonderful views to the Nore Valley and to the hills on the other side. It is a favourite retreat of actress Mia Farrow who has stayed here with her six children. Accommodation is in the three exceptional suites, one of which has an outside terrace where one can enjoy the view.

Breakfast is a specialty and is served in the dining room, which has a fireplace and bay window. Guests can relax in the long drawing room, which has a baby grand piano, in front of the log fire with a drink from the honesty bar. Belinda Dyer is a charming and attentive hostess, and both she and George, who takes care of the 80-hectare farm, love meeting people.

There is a pleasant garden, a cross-country croquet course, private fishing, lovely walks and two excellent restaurants within walking distance. No pets, and smoking in the drawing room only.

Rooms 2 double, 1 family; all en suite