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Joyce's Ireland Walking Tours

 

ShamrocksHer Favourite Irish B & B'sShamrocks

 

She feasts in Belfast...

Belfast came next. In this exuberant, Victorian-style city, the Ash-Rowan Town House became home for a few days. Here, I experienced the true luxury of sleeping on Irish sheets and waking up to a breakfast feast. The kedgeree: (a traditional dish of flaked fish, boiled rice, and eggs) was delicious. 

Owners Sam and Evelyn Hazlett's idea of continental fare isn't for the faint-hearted: organic porridge flavoured with Drambuie and cream. Sam delights in making a wondrous array of preserves, while Evelyn conjures up wheaten bread, a dense, flavourful, and satisfying accompaniment to already substantial portions.

Rooms are pleasingly furnished and this Victorian house is a-tumble with items of memorabilia, whimsy, and charm. Ash-Rowan is situated on a quiet residential street on the fringes of the University and about 10 minutes from Belfast's centre. 

3 Minute Egg


Northern Ireland's secret rooms and comfy nooks...

No visit to Northern Ireland is complete without travelling up the Antrim Coast to the Giant's Causeway, one of the natural wonders of the world. On the scenic Causeway coast, I spent a day and a half of pure indulgence at the Bushmills Inn, parts of which date to 1608. Dubbed "a living museum of Ulster hospitality," Bushmills features comfy nooks, turf fires, secret rooms, and a library. Chefs prepare handsome meals produced from local fare.

A quick stop in the nearby Harmony Hill Country House, just outside Ballymoney, followed. Owned and run by Richard and Trish Wilson, this intimate inn has four rooms, some with turf fireplaces and all dripping in imaginative decor and furnishings. It's tucked away in a delightful setting: an old mill, a duck pond, and an abundance of gardens and walkways. And, as I'd come to expect, dinner was exemplary: tasty and beautifully presented.

When I left idyllic Northern Ireland and Eire I brought home a wealth of memories encapsulated in just a few lines of prose:  "Home is where you can be silent and still be heard/ Where sorrow is divided and joy is multiplied/ Where we share and love and grow."

The words describe well this enchanting land, its many faces.

Bird Bath


Her contacts...

To find out more about Nikki's favourite Irish haunts, contact each directly:

McMenamins: www.irishwelcome.com

Kilronan House: www.dublinn.com

Cumiskey's Farmhouse B&B: www.iol.ie/~kc

Bushmills Inn: www.bushmills-inn.com

Ash-Rowan Town House: telephone +44 (0) 1232 661 758; fax: +44 (0) 1232 663 227 

Harmony Hill Country House: www.harmonyhill.net

Home


Another Journeywoman decides to share...

Terrie Loomis is a Journeywoman who calls Oregon home. She's just returned from three weeks of wandering around Ireland and was eager to share three great, woman-friendly places. She writes:
Check

In Downpatrick (County Down, Northern Ireland) I stayed at Denvir's Hotel. Built in 1640, it has a lot of character as well as spacious en-suite rooms (all six of them). The price is reasonable: 25-30 punts. Contact: Denvir's Hotel, 14-16 English Street, Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland. TEL. +44 (0) 1396 612 012.

Check I decided to stay in the area longer and Denvir's was booked so the bartender called Rosebank Country House for me. They have three en-suite rooms (18-20 punts) plus your own sitting room and the greatest owners, John and Patricia Forsythe. John took me on a four-hour tour of the Mourne Mountains because I wasn't able to take a bus. Now that's service. Contact Patricia or John at Rosebank Country House, 108 Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland, BT30 8HF. TEL +44 (0) 1396 617 021.
Check The other B&B that I would recommend is the Railway Lodge in Donegal Town (17-20 punts). I felt like part of the family. The owner also took me sightseeing. Check out www.donegaltown.ie for more information.
Ed. Note: Thanks Terrie! These are great fun.

 

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