Our 32nd Wedding Anniversary
In 2017, My Wife Gillian and I, together with our dog Heidi toured mainly the east coast of Ireland. We were recommended to stay at Ashford Castle which we did in the lodge. On asking Gill were she would like to go to celebrate our 32nd Wedding Anniversary, She chose of all places in the World ~ Ashford Castle.
On this occasion, we stayed in the Castle itself, and arrived on 11th April 2018. Arriving late in the evening we were shown to the Dungeon Restaurant, and it was superb. We also booked the restaurant in the grounds for the 12th and the "Fine Dining" experience in The Castle Restaurant ~ both on par if not better than recent visits to New York and Dubai.
The Castle has an 18 hole golf course to excellent standards, Falconry, Archery, Stables, 40 mile Square Lake, Fishing, shooting, and is further infamous as the set fort the film The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O Hara. Formerly owned by The Guinness Family, they brought trees from all around the World and planted them in this fine estate ~ it is truly a masterpiece.
A major appeal to the "experience" are the staff are of the most welcoming anyone could ever wish for, devoutly proud of what they have achieved, and the overall attitude towards the new owner's who have spent some £75M on restoration work is one of mutual pride and gratitude towards the Tollman's (a well deserved accolade). What they have achieved here is unbelievable.
Infamous for its previous guests, Oscar Wilde, John Wayne, President Reagan, Princess Grace of Monaco, Brad Pitt (that particular list reads like the who's who of the last 150-years). Two Irish Wolfhounds Garvan and Cronan are there to meet all guests from 10.00 a.m. in the morning, and the warmth of the place cannot be over-emphasised.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the "top-tipster" of The Castle Mr Conor O Brien, as I am not a betting man, and what I know about horses could be written on the back of a postage stamp, I asked Mr O Brien for his tip for THE GRAND NATIONAL! It is the only race My Wife and I bet on every year. Conor said "TIGER ROLL" because it's got stamina, can run over 4-miles, has a great jockey and an enthusiastic owner, and most of all "a big heart", so we toddles off into the village having both bet on Tiger Roll and watched the race in one of the many marvellous pubs that are surrounding the Castle in the village of Cong and lo and behold - it won!
We left (with heavy hearts), on Monday 16th April, and have already hatched plans to return.
I cannot imagine that anyone could be disappointed in any way of this purely magical experience that will not remain a "hidden" gem for much longer.
In short, probably the best destination anyone could wish for in the World
Happy Holidays to all...
Paul and Gillian J Errock