A brief history of Mustard Seed
Originally, Echo Lodge was a long thatched dwelling located in what is now the kitchen garden. The foundations of this house are still evident and annually pose impermeable difficulty for the gardeners! This thatched house was a stopping house for the great Daniel O’ Connell, ‘the Liberator’ on his journey from Derrynane to Dublin during his political career.
In 1885, the parish priest, Rev. Timothy Ryan Shanahan built the present Echo Lodge as a parochial house. The cost of the building was £3,000, much of which was raised in America. Having already another fine residence ‘The Turret House’ close by, Rev. Shanahan sold Echo Lodge to the Mercy order of nuns for 1penny. A small primary school was added to the building and the nuns continued to run the primary school until the 1970’s when the small community disbanded to neighbouring convents and Echo Lodge was sold. The house was a private residence for a brief period before it became idle. With no loving hands to care for the grounds or the house, neglect began to take its toll.
Meanwhile, in 1985, Dan Mullane set up the Mustard Seed restaurant in a cute cottage in nearby Adare village. From small beginnings, the Mustard Seed gained in popularity and became one of the first successful ‘fine dining’ restaurants in the area. Having been established for 10 years, Dan decided to progress from being just a restaurant and brought the Mustard Seed to Echo Lodge, thus allowing dinner guests the opportunity to stay overnight. Renovation began in 1994 and the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge opened in 1995.
In 2016, ownership of The Mustard Seed changed hands from Dan to his manager of 25 years, John Edward Joyce - your host.
‘The Mustard Seed’s owner and one of the Irish hospitality sector’s best ambassadors.’ Gillian Nelis, Sunday Business Post.