Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tiffany in Ireland

I'm a longtime travel and lifestyle journalist who very recently joined Sanders Travel Centre as an advisor. One of the many reasons I wanted to become an advisor is because of an amazing anniversary/birthday trip to Ireland that co-owner Jenny Westermann organized for my husband and me in May. I've traveled extensively and know trip planning can be extremely stressful. Using an advisor truly allowed us to leave our cares behind, and as we followed Jenny's seamless itinerary, I decided a career change was in order!

Our trip started in Dublin at the beautiful, bustling Westbury Hotel in the heart of the city. We were met by a charming Pat Liddy Tours walking guide, who showed us Dublin's important sights, including Trinity College, Powerscourt Townhouse, Fishamble Street, Temple Bar, and the Oscar Wilde home and monument. After a good overview of the city's Medieval, Viking and literary heritage, we enjoyed a dinner of fresh raw oysters, Irish stew and Guinness at a popular pub, where the locals could not have been more friendly, funny or welcoming. The day was a perfect intro to Ireland.

Oscar Wilde monument || Westbury Hotel || Huguenot Cemetery - Dublin

Country Cork
The next morning after a delicious breakfast in The Westbury's gallery, it was off to Cork in a rental car that was delivered to our doorstep. Along the way, we stopped at Rock of Cashel, one of the most breathtaking archaeological sites in Ireland. Surrounded by rolling green hills dotted with sheep, this is quintessential Ireland. Arriving at our hotel, Hayfield Manor, we were warmly greeted with Irish whisky and shown to a large suite decorated in a tasteful, traditional style. Cork is a food town and we spent two days here, enjoying delicious meals and making friends in the local pubs and restaurants and relaxing over complimentary Champagne afternoon tea at Hayfield. Another highlight of Cork was a visit to nearby Cobh, a lovely port town that was the last port of call for the Titanic.

Rock of Cashel || Hayfield Manor || Cobh

County Kerry
Our next stop was Sheen Falls Lodge in County Kerry. Our route took us along the Wild Atlantic Way, where we stopped at dramatic coastal overlooks and had a wonderful seafood lunch in the darling harbor town of Kinsale. Sheen Falls Lodge, though luxurious with stylishly redone rooms, also offers every activity you'd want in a true Irish country estate, from horseback riding to salmon fishing to falconry. Just out the back door is a waterfall and it was relaxing to open the windows and listen to the sounds of the Sheen River rushing by. Nearby Kenmare is an idyllic town with good shopping, food and traditional Irish music. Sheen Falls offers quick access to the famous Ring of Kerry and Killarney, where we visited Ross Castle and took a horse-drawn carriage or "jaunting car" through Killarney National Park

Jaunting car tour of Killarney National Park || Sheen Falls Lodge room || Waterfall

County Clare
The final stop on our tour was the incredible Gregan's Castle Hotel in Ballyvaughan. On our way, we stopped at historic Adare Village, the famous and stunning Cliffs of Moher and tiny Doolin, known for it's traditional Irish music scene. Gregan's Castle brings to mind an old family estate that's been revamped by a stylish young heir. Everywhere you look, there are books, antiques and interesting art pieces. It's homey and comfortable, yet thoroughly hip. Here we were given a complimentary walking tour of the Burren with a local archeologist. The informative, fun journey through this otherworldly area was one of the highlights of our trip. Gregan's was suggested to us because of it's acclaimed restaurant, which did not disappoint. Dinner on our last night in Ireland was one of the most delicious and special meals we've had anywhere.

Cliffs of Moher || Gregan's Castle Hotel || The Burren

If you are interested in a trip to Ireland -- or anywhere -- that is custom-tailored to your interests like the one we enjoyed, email me at or call your Sanders Travel advisor.

No comments:

Post a Comment