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The Hotlist: Sanctuary at The River Club is Cork’s ultimate destination to eat, drink and socialise

Did someone say tapas and cocktails in a floral oasis?

Recently I discovered the most beautiful idyllic riverside terrace called Sanctuary at the River Club in Cork.

This charming terrace is a tranquil oasis with clusters of blue-lilac wisteria cascaded throughout, accompanied by rambling ivy, vines and aromatic rosemary, jasmine and lavender that bring a fragrant welcome to every corner.

It’s the perfect setting to enjoy brunch or an evening tipple and tapas with friends over the summer. Notably, the outdoor terrace is water-proof and completely covered, so on the high chance that it rains (!), you’ll be protected from the elements.

While there, you can enjoy a tapas-style menu on the terrace that focuses on local meats, cheeses, and seafood. The 'Shrimp Tacos' were my favourite, along with the triple-cooked potatoes.

To complement the look and feel of Sanctuary, the team at The River Club created an exclusive cocktail menu that celebrates the calming powers of a handful of potent plants:

  • The Jasmine Cocktail combines its floral tones with pineapple and Havana Club 3-Year-Old Rum to create a divine digestion-aiding tipple

  • Chamomile Cocktail incorporates its fragrant and calming flavours with rose, lemon and Belevedere Blackberry & Lemongrass Vodka.

  • Hibiscus packs a punch with pink grapefruit, orange and Bombay Citron Pressé Gin.

  • Bergamont is a low-alcohol option that enlivens the senses with mint, lemon and

  • Italicus Elderflower is a refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail with anti-inflammatory perks.

If you want something more formal and snazzy, head back inside to The River Club Bar, a distinct New York-style bar that oozes glamour with its marble-topped tables and leather couches in a striking open plan setting with grand ceilings and cosy furnishings.

Bookings can be made on or at 021 493 7772. Or why not make a weekend of it? Overnight stays at The River Lee start from €220.

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