Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 4 August, 2021

Francis Brennan had a brilliant response to a notionsy business idea on At Your Service last night

“€3000 a year to come and grow vegetables in Mullingar?”

gar Source: RTE

AT THIS STAGE, At Your Service has thoroughly taken up the Room To Improve mantle as the go-to Sunday night comfort watch.

And last night the Brennan brothers had a serious job on their hands.

The Bellamys bought a huge country house outside Mullingar and moved over from London, with no business plan or experience in hospitality.

So the lads arriving in to help was a much needed boost

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They want to grow their own healthy food and raise chickens. At the first sit down meeting, Francis wasn’t holding back:

“You have no skills and no plan”

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But the Brennans were armed with their own vision: Scrap any plans of a restaurant and concentrate on accommodation – with a potential workshop/courtyard space for rent on the side.

John had a scout around the *vast* gaff, and needed a torch to get a gawk at all the nooks and crannys

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Indiana Brennan: Raider of the Lost Hotel.

This was going to be some job.

But everyone watching was rooting hard for this couple – they seemed sound

Lord knows we’ve seen some thoroughly unsound people take part in the past.

John took Bonnie to a farmer’s market in Cavan to give her an idea of how much potential there is in the sector

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The Brennans were in fine form

We’d take advice from them on anything and everything, in fairness.

The finest moment of the night came when Martin pitched an ~interesting~ idea to Francis:

People who live in cities would join a yearly members’ club to come to the farm and grow their own fruit and veg

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How much would you be charging them, Francis asked:

“I would say a reasonable amount would be €3000 a year”

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This face let you know his feelings on the matter

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This was Francis at his cutting best:

€3000 a year to come and grow vegetables in Mullingar?

“No I couldn’t see that working. I couldn’t see 50 people giving you €3000 a year for that”

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“If you reared kittens you might do better”

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He shut it all the way down.


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Most people sided with Francis’s reaction

But despite that one rejection, hopes were still high that they could turn this around and make it into something special.

The big reveal at the end showed a space completely transformed

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They were very impressed with the vintage style tea rooms

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And the more modern bedrooms went down very well too

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It was looking a little dodgy at the start, but everyone rowed in and it turned out class

The work is only beginning, but the Bellamys and the Brennans did a serious amount of work

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And a kitten-rearing members’ club might be something to look into in the future.

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About the author:

David Elkin

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