OCTOBER 4 FRIDAY/ STAYING AT THE OLD CONVENT, County Tipperary
Friday morning we need to paint behind the bookshelf, then let it dry over the weekend.
12 30 pick up Leo and drop off, head to Cork City
1 p.m. Lunch at Market Lane, then pick up mags and books at Easons
3/4 pm drive to the country house, hour drive.
Check in is 4 p.m. Settle in then depending on the weather, go for a walk, read by the fire, etc
8 pm Dinner onsite, Dermot’s daily Irish Artisan Tasting Menu.
OCTOBER 5 SATURDAY/ STAYING AT KILGRANEY HOUSE, County Carlow
Check out is 11 a.m.
11 to 12h20 Drive to Knockdrinna cheese producer in Stoneyford, Kilkenny. Visit the farm shop, meet the producer, buy some goodies, etc.
1pm Visit Jerpoint Abbey. Address: Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
An outstanding Cistercian abbey founded in the second half of the 12th century. The church with its Romanesque details dates from this period. In the transept chapels the visitor can see 13th to 16th century tomb sculpture. The tower and cloister date from the 15th century. The chief delight of the Abbey is the sculptured cloister arcade with unique carvings.
If weather is poor we can call to Mount Juliet for an aperitif and see the grounds.
2 pm visit Inistioge in Kilkenny, a pretty village, 15 minute spin. Inistioge is a beautiful and historic village on the river Nore in South Kilkenny. Nestling in the Nore valley it offers some of the best scenery in the region particularly in the recently restored gardens of the Woodstock estate. Inistioge was chosen as the setting for two major films, Widows’ Peak (1994) and Circle of Friends (1995). Woodstock House was burned by the IRA in 1922 after it had been occupied by the Black and Tans. Ernie O’Malley, a leading member of the Volunteers and author of On Another Man’s Wound, was captured in Inistioge prior to this after leading an attack on the house.
Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum are located within a mile of village. The gardens were once regarded as one of the great gardens of Ireland and Kilkenny County Council has undertaken a major of restoration. There are over 50 acres of formal gardens and parkland dating from the Victorian period. The gardens offer the visitor a wide variety of interesting features such as the Flower Terraces, the Winter Garden, the Monkey Puzzle Walk, the Noble Fir Walk, and the Arboretum with its rare collection of trees from all over the world. The Dovecote and the curious Grotto provide an interesting focal point in the gardens.
3pm Pop into adjacent Graiguenamanagh, a tidy town. The pretty medieval village of Graiguenamanagh in County Kilkenny nestles in the beautiful river Barrow valley about 6 miles north of the Coachouse. It has been called Ireland’s best kept secret and is a veritable treasure trove of varied scenery, ancient buildings, canal boating, river and hill walks, crafts, traditional pubs restaurants.
Then see St Mullins, just a few miles down the road.St Mullins is located on the River Barrow in County Carlow. The main feature of this small village is the church of St Moling and St Moling’s well. The saint gives his name to the village. The graveyard features a number of notable graves, including several from the 1798 rebellion. Further up the road is the Templenaboe ruin, once a graveyard for un-baptised children.
4 pm on to Ballymoon Castle, for a peek. It’s a 25 min drive.
5 pm carry on to the country house for a rest before dinner.
The drive to Kilgraney House, through beautiful scenes of trees and rolling fields, is suitable preparation for an elegant hotel. Its interior has been decorated with surprising touches by Bryan and Martin; the paintings and objects that give the Georgian house a well-travelled and individual feel are mainly from the Philippines, where they used to work.
8 30 pm dinner
OCTOBER 6 SUNDAY/ BACK HOME
This morning visit Altamont Gardens and/or Huntington Castle Gardens
12 30pm lunch at Sha Roe Bistro in Clonegal
2 pm head back home, it’s about 2 hours 45 min drive.