Sunday, July 31, 2011

As I lay me down to sleep...Ireland style

Ireland, contrary to my last post, is more than just a candy-lover's paradise. It's also a place of rolling hills, pristine green pasture, and some pretty awesome bed and breakfasts.

The husband does most of the travel planning and he picked out some awesome places to stay.

The Holiday Inn in Dublin City Centre was well-located near Trinity College. The accommodations were clean and well-kept. They even have parking in the underground garage for only 10 euro a day! I will mention that I took an extremely uncomfortable bath here when I couldn't get the shower to stop spraying scalding water. I won't blame this on them, but rather operator error. European showers are weird. Bonus points awarded due to how extremely budget friendly this place way- something like 150 euro for two nights stay. Sweet!

The Pembroke Hotel in Kilkenny was by far the nicest hotel we stayed in. Super modern and right next to Kilkenny Castle. The staff was super friendly and helpful. Bonus points awarded to them for letting us crash the breakfast buffet after it was already closed (stupid alarm fell on the floor and we overslept).

I'm skipping our hotel in Killarney- it was dingy and dated. Can't win 'em all.

The Aran island of Inishmore is host to the Kilmurvey House. A 15 room bed and breakfast run by Treasa and Bertie, it's located about a 30 minute bike ride away from the main town of Kilronan. This was classic B&B style, comfy common rooms stocked with books, tea pots, and a fantastic breakfast. I had a plate of fresh Irish farmhouse cheeses and Nick had smoked salmon on a bagel. Both of us took advantage of the cold buffet, stocking up on juice, cereal, and brown bread.

The best bed and breakfast award goes to....the Old Presbytery in Kinsale. While a bit more expensive at 124 euro a night, it was well worth the price. This was more than just a bed to crash in- this was the Irish hospitality experience writ large.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the owner, Phillip. He showed us to our room that a stunning view of Kinsale harbor.

We were then treated to a lovely pot of fresh tea and sweets by the owners' daughter, Maeve. She was lovely- telling us about the home (formerly a priest's residence). She even did some family tree investigation for Nick. The Irish censuses of 1901 and 1911 are a wealth of Linkinformation for root-seekers.

The breakfast at the Old Presbytery was phenomenal. I wish I had pictures, but alas, you will just have to use your imagination to conjure up the image of a buffet laden with fruit, yogurt, cereals, brown bread, and soda bread. Two plates of cooked to our breakfast- mine with freshly caught hake and poached eggs and Nick's with a full Irish breakfast: sausage, rashers, black and white pudding, eggs, mushrooms, and a broiled tomato. I would travel back to Ireland just to have breakfast here again.

I think the best part about Ireland is that it's exactly what you picture- it's as beautiful as it is in the post cards, the people are as friendly as their stereotype.

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