Breakfast worth getting out of bed for
FRONTLINES:Is there ever an ocasion when breakfast in bed is not the best treat imaginable? If you’re staying at Castlewood House in Dingle, it is well worth dragging yourself out of those crisp cotton sheets for breakfast served in the dining room overlooking Dingle bay. Helen Woods Heaton and Brian Heaton’s 12-bedroom boutique-hotel-style guesthouse is number one in Ireland in the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice awards for 2012, and the lavish breakfast on offer plays a big part in its success.
You might start with something from the fruit compote table that includes plums in star anise syrup, oranges in caramel, stewed apple and rhubarb, and nectarines in vanilla syrup. Dilliskus cheese, made locally by Maja Binder, and delicately spiced beef tick the Continental box, and the full-Irish is on offer too. With the extensive breakfast a la carte menu Brian gets to flex his culinary muscle, while Helen works front of house with a lightness of touch that makes every guest feel very welcome, but not smothered.
Squishy sofas, interesting antiques, coffee-to-go in the vestibule in the morning and candles lit to greet you on your return from dinner – there isn’t a trick this hospitable couple have missed. Double rooms from €86, Castlewood House, Dingle, tel: 066-9152788, castlewooddingle.com
We’re very taken with a new range of organic oils, body moisturisers and milks and candles called Lucy Annabella Organics. The Tyrone-based company was set up by aromatherapist Colleen Harte who spent a year travelling the world in search of inspiration and ingredients. The result: some delightfully soothing scents, and beautiful packaging. The Luxe range consists of 12 products including 92% organic Antioxidant Aromatic Body Moisturisers, two 100% Organic Treatment Oils, four 96% Organic Bath Milks and four Aromatic candles. Prices start at around £25. lucyannabella.com
Pimp that pumpkin
Pumpkin carving maybe something we associate with the US, but the tradition hails from our own shores. In the Irish tradition of Samhain, carved turnips were originally used as lanterns to represent the mystical light that appeared over bogs and marshes, also known as Will-’o-the-wisp. The Pavilion at Powerscourt House and Gardens in Wicklow is hosting pumpkin-carving lessons for children on October 28th. Kids are encouraged to come along in their fancy dress finery, and there will be face-painting, tasty treats, and you can bring home your unique hand-carved lantern. €10 per child, to book, tel: 01-2046000 or see powerscourt.ie/events.
Jump to it
Okay, okay, we know it’s very bold to use the C-word before Halloween, but we couldn’t resist these woolly winter wonders from Fluorescent Elephant on Crow Street in Temple Bar.