Paula Stakelum, Global Director of Chocolate & Patisserie for Red Carnation Hotels who is based at Ashford Castle, has created a chocolatier’s masterpiece: an Easter egg to represent the rare red squirrel population that resides on the Ashford Estate.

Over 150 years ago, Lord Ardilaun, otherwise known as Sir Arthur Edward Guinness, had a vision which saw the development of woodlands and the rebuilding of the west wing of Ashford Castle. He had a vision to plant thousands of trees on the Ashford Estate, to create a mature woodland that was bursting with life; his legacy is nurtured to this day and provides a home to the rare red squirrel on the Estate. This year, the Ashford Castle Easter egg takes inspiration from Ashford’s rich historical landscape and celebrates the beauty of the red squirrel.

Ashford Castle's Easter Egg 2023

The exterior colours of the Easter egg represent the red squirrel, each with a shiny, red-toned shell. Inside, the egg is filled with edible bark made from a new blend of chocolate called ‘Legacy’, to represent Ashford’s woodlands. The interior of the Egg is made with the signature ‘Legend’ blend, in partnership with Valrhona Chocolate, a unique combination of intense creamy hazelnut with 55% milk chocolate to add balance. The cocoa beans used for our Valrhona chocolate are sustainably sourced in keeping with Ashford Castle’s sustainability ethos. This ethos is led by the parent company of Red Carnation Hotels, The Travel Corporation and its not-for-profit organisation, The Tread Right Foundation

Every guest who stays at Ashford Castle over Easter will be gifted this magnificent hand-painted egg to take home. Additionally, this limited-edition Easter egg will be available to purchase from Mrs Tea’s Boutique and Bakery on the Ashford Estate.