Friday, December 11, 2015

I'm Going to Dromoland

Hi there,
Our second stop was Dromoland Castle!
Rounding the corner toward the castle we saw lots of green lawn perfect for golfing and a tennis court, this was definitely more of a country club/resort. Then there it was...Dromoland! Grand and opulent with a large circular drive-through for better access unloading bags. Staff were immediately friendly and helpful. Offering to park our car and get our remaining bags. The check in was right through huge wooden doors and past a giant table set with flowers and a guestbook. There were even suites of armor and other old world items.
We had a small mix up about our stay...the 31st of October was unaccounted for and neither us or our travel agents caught it lol! A small mix-up, we were supposed to be booked for three nights (30th to 2nd). 
But both Exploring Vacations and Dromoland were quick to help and even got us a kick-ass room. It was so lovely!
The bed had a ton of pillows, chairs with a coffee table and a large armoire with everything a coffee lover needed! Craig was thrilled and immediately made an Irish Coffee. The bathroom was large and had a double sink!
Staff also left us the sweetest note with some chocolates, big brownie points to them! They did this each night and the note also came with a little quote. 
Sleep is darkness preparing us for light. Proverb
Walking around the big castle/hotel it brought out feelings of sophistication and a little bit of dread...let me explain...
It must have been the red carpets and walls, but there was a very distinct resemblance to the Shinning or rather the Titanic. Which sounds crazy but that was the feeling Dromoland's long hallways and grand rooms gave me. Creepy and quiet....kind of perfect for Halloween though, my favorite time of the year!
So that next day (Halloween) I was pleased to find pumpkins on our way to Breakfast! So here in Ireland, so far from home, we still got to have a bit of that spooky spirit, with Dromoland staff carving really intricate pumpkins and turning a few rooms into haunted play areas for children. 
Breakfast was scrumptious! There was the usual rice cereals, pastries, toast and a few yogurts to pick from. I loved the jams... made from a few different berries and some marmalade but my favorite had to be the raspberry. It was perfect with my toast and cocoa! I think I just started dipping everything into the jam...Later that night, after spending the day exploring the cities around Dromoland, we decided to try their lovely Earl of Thomond 5 course dinning restaurant. It was pretty booked but we had made a reservation, like the staff suggested. There were always a few different dinning options, a little confusing about where to go but they had each menu out near reception, so you could make a better selection. There is even a club house with a smaller restaurant, mainly for those spending their time golfing.

The Earl of Thomond space was beautiful, blues and golds married together with huge portraits of a time long past. Wait staff were very proper and on request, found us a more secluded table, the first was a little too close to the harpist he he! 
We ordered pumpkin soup and a salad to start and the chef sent out a tiny cup with an oyster to try. This was way out of my comfort zone but I tried it anyways...not bad! The seasoning took away the bite that some seafood has. I tend to stay away from chewy, slimy foods he he! The pumpkin soup was exceptional...maybe I can recreate it....hmmm must find recipe! Craig ordered steak with some red wine and I a pasta dish but the real treat was dessert! 
A souffle and petite fours! Delish! That kind of cake with a molten center can change a person....make them get lost in the moment. It is just so...perfect.

Next we went off exploring the a little lost but a nice bell boy guided us back to our room! We found some huge doors, tapestries and a few antique looking chairs. Most walls had wallpaper but some were stone and you could see that you were indeed in a castle. That transition between wall and stone was a little strange but it was consistent throughout. The bathrooms were so interesting too, I had to take a few pics! I love little birdies!
When we got back we had another note and chocolates....I could definitely get use to this! Castle of Ancient Days! in time long gone. Thy lofty halls in royal splendour shone! Thou stood'st a monument of strength sublime, A giant laughing at the threats of time! James Bird
In the morning we headed down for breakfast and quickly scarfed down cereal, toast, eggs and more than a few servings of coffee and pastries! We hung out for a little bit in our room before heading out to Bunratty Castle, which we would recommend to travelers. Especially if you want to see home and shop replicas and a true castle build to withstand battles. You get to climb through the castle and see how it was decorated/lived in. 
In the evening we ate out at The Locke Gastro Pub in Limerick! Great fish and chips and burgers! The peas were not good at all LOL...especially after having such great ones at the Ashling! Upon our return we found more chocolate and a note.
Oh sleep!
It is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Reality began to creep in when I realized that they added a cleverly designed questionnaire about our stay :( Of course they were getting top marks but it was bittersweet that we would be leaving in the morning. These were to be our last chocolate here.
So in the morning we begrudgingly ate our pastries in a fancy sitting room overlooking the grounds, visited the gift shop and checked out of the castle. This is where I found the most lovely hunter green scarf by Patrick Francis.
Dromoland was indeed grand! Service was exceptional and a bit unreal...the chocolate, notes, turn down service....we felt special! Plus the rooms had everything we could want in them as well! Oh and the tissues were shaped like a flower....just adorable! My only critics would be that it was very large and a bit cold in the hallways, so it was not as cozy but we did feel well taken care of he he! 
We didn't want to leave but our journey was far from over! Plus a shop owner in Bunratty told us about some ruins we could get to near Dromoland and Craig was all about that! LOL
We did find the ruins...we hiked uphill through berry bushes (not fun) and discovered old stone circles taken over by time and nature. There was also a little structure and much to our surprise a sign and pathway! So it wasn't as mysterious as we thought ha ha! 
Cheers, Bunny