Monday, 16 July 2012

Discovering Ireland

I made two New Year’s Resolutions this year. The first was to visit Scotland (I went to Edinburgh a few months ago) and the second was to visit Ireland. Happily, my housemate Laurel thought the same thing and was invited to go and review the rather marvellous Sheen Falls Lodge in Kerry. Even more happily, she asked me to accompany her.

We flew Aer Lingus into Shannon Airport and picked up our car. Then it was a few hours’ drive through some of the greenest countryside I had ever seen. The hotel was absolutely stunning and our room evoked a ‘Pretty Woman’ reaction (shrieking and jumping on the beds as soon as the Porter had left the room). Our suite was absolutely massive and overlooked the waterfall itself. There was a big balcony too which would be a lovely place to breakfast (what a hard life it is). After a quick dip in the Jacuzzi and pool, we got changed and headed down to the restaurant for dinner. A wonderful pianist played while we ate which gave a lovely ambience. The food was as stunning as the surroundings and I tucked in to a foie gras starter before embarking on a big, juicy beef fillet. Desert was eye-wateringly delicious too with a light espresso ice-cream cutting through a rich Chocolate Silk Cake (I was powerless to resist).

The next day we got up early to make the most of the good weather and went horse riding at Eclipse Equestrian and Activity Centre. It was so nice to ride in such a lush green setting and Sophie, who took us out on the hack was lovely. In the spirit of fitness, we even fitted in a quick bike ride when we got back to the hotel. After all the exertion, it would have been rude not to have a massage, so we surrendered to the expert digits of the Sheen Falls team. Feeling refreshed, it was off to the Wild Garlic restaurant for dinner. The food was astounding and very good value for fare which could compete with any Michelin-starred establishment.

It seems Ireland has even more to offer than just stunning vistas; it has culture and luxury pursuits in spades. I will definitely be returning. 

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