Journeywoman Nikki McManus just returned from her second
trip to the Emerald Isle. She found that staying in
B&B's was a great way to get connected and see the
country. In her travels around Ireland, she found one-of-a-kind
accommodations, warm and gracious hospitality, and extra-tasty
cooking. We asked her to take us on a written tour of
the fabulous B&B's she stayed in--and give us a
play by play of some of the better meals she met along
the way. Nikki, who is "half-English, half-Irish,"
had this to say...
coddled in Dublin...
started out in Dublin and spent a wondrous
few days at McMenamins, a charming,
reasonable B&B. Pauric and Marie's breakfasts
are both ample and beautifully presented.
The Dublin Coddle (a house specialty) was,
itself, worth the trip from Canada--not
to mention the smoked salmon and scrambled
egg masterpiece and the awesome Irish breakfasts
with homemade bread, jams, and fruitcake.
was comfy and tastefully furnished. The
neighbourhood is soothingly peaceful. It
was just far enough from the city centre
for me to indulge in "R & R" but close
enough to hop on a bus and be in Dublin's
heart in about ten minutes. McMenamins'
residential neighbourhood has interesting
shops and several off-licenses where one
can pick up a nice bottle of wine for an
aperitif back at the B&B.
Pub, just around the corner, offers tasty
and inexpensive fare. Plates overflow and
the staff is friendly and helpful. One thing
I learned: leave your diet behind when you
set foot in Ireland! Meals are gargantuan;
I gained five pounds during my stay. But,
oh, the joy of acquiring them!
note: Since this article was written the
McMenamins have retired. Too bad. Their
B&B was great.
to town in the heart of Georgian Dublin I
stayed at the comfortable, and equally reasonable,
Kilronan House. It's just an eight-minute
stroll from St. Stephen's Green and Lower
Grafton Street. With its tasteful furnishings,
elegant dining area, and attractive rooms,
this is another establishment I can recommend.
had my choice of five kinds of breakfast in
the sunny dining room. There's a cozy lounge
for relaxing. Small touches like fresh flowers
and current newspapers and magazines all made
for a convivial setting. Owner Terry Masterson
is typical of Irish hospitality, going out
of his way to be helpful whenever and wherever
possible, like how to get around "don't-miss"
sites, ordering taxis, and arranging day tours
of outlying areas. No detail appears too small
rural Ireland, I went to where my ancestors
came from--County Longford. This is real farming
land and isn't a usual visitor highlight--but
it should be. This is where I discovered a
gem: Cumiskeys Farmhouse B&B,
tucked away down a winding country lane.
this gracious B&B is concerned, I found
the term "farmhouse" something of a misnomer.
The main house resembles a Tudor manor. It's
nestled on acres of verdant land dotted with
aged trees. I was there in early spring when
it was cool enough in the evenings to enjoy
the peat fire that burned in the pleasant
early, roses bloomed, the azaleas and rhododendrons
were out, and a profusion of wild flowers
greeted me in hedgerows and roadside streams.
I could imagine summer days sitting in the
garden with its velvety lawn and floral abundance
and Jack the lolloping yellow Labrador for
in the main house all feature antique furniture.
I indulged myself by staying in the master
suite--absolutely wonderful! Rates are incredibly
reasonable given the charm of both house and
more great B&B's, click