An Advertising Feature is created, supplied and paid for by a commercial client and promoted by The Irish Times Content Studio. The Irish Times newsroom or other editorial departments are not involved in the production of advertising features.

Happiness is … opening an Ireland’s Blue Book gift voucher this Christmas

An Ireland’s Blue Book gift voucher is a fantastic way to show your friends and family that you are grateful and appreciative of all that they do

Here are seven exceptional experiences that can all be enjoyed by using your Ireland’s Blue Book Gift Voucher

 

Give them an experience they can hold on to and treasure, as well as a chance to relax and escape the bustle of everyday life. Blue Book vouchers can be used in over 50 historic country houses, castles, manor hotels and restaurants. Some have tranquil spas, some 18-hole golf courses while others pare it all back with cosy sitting rooms, crackling log fires and warm Irish hospitality.  

There are so many ways to use an Ireland’s Blue Book gift voucher, but here are seven exceptional experiences that we think you will love:

Enjoy a gourmet getaway

Gregans Castle in Co Clare. Photo: A Fox in the Kitchen

Many of Ireland’s top restaurants are to be found in the Ireland's Blue Book collection. Gregans Castle in Co Clare has received many awards for their modern country house cooking including 3 Rosettes from the AA for “culinary mastery and excellence” 2019. Head chef Robbie McCauley and his team serve creative and innovative dishes using fresh, local ingredients like organic Burren lamb and game, and fresh Atlantic fish and shellfish.

Within the collection are four Michelin Star restaurants, Chapter One and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin, Campagne and the Lady Helen at Mount Juliet in Co. Kilkenny.  New to the Blue Book collection in 2021 is Dax Restaurant in Dublin serving fine French cuisine in Dublin’s historic Georgian Quarter.

Catch up with friends over a delicious cocktail               

Ballymaloe House in Co Cork

What could be better, or more well deserved, than a catch up with friends in one of our cosy drawing rooms with a delicious cocktail in hand? At our Blue Book Houses and Restaurants, you will find a selection of curated cocktails, best enjoyed in front of a roaring fire.

Ballymaloe House in Cork, home to award winning mixologist Trafford Murphy, has a variety of exquisite cocktails. Every day at Ballymaloe House, Traford uses the walled garden for inspiration and is always looking to the season ahead to keep his Garden to Glass cocktail menu seasonal, fresh, and local.

Dine aboard original carriages from the Orient Express

Glenlo Abbey in Co Galway

Step back in time and dine aboard the Pullman Restaurant. Comprising of two original carriages from the Orient Express, beautifully restored and set on the grounds of Glenlo Abbey in Galway.

Enjoy the luxury and splendour of dining in true style and sit by the window seat and take in the spectacular views overlooking Glenlo Abbey Estate and Lough Corrib.

A 2 AA rosette award-winning restaurant, the Pullman Restaurant is certainly a dining experience like no other.

Indulge in a delicious afternoon tea

Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate, Galway
Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate in Co Galway

Many of Ireland's Blue Book's hotels offer a deliciously indulgent afternoon tea, including miniature finger sandwiches, dainty desserts, delicate pastries and crumbly, buttermilk scones, all accompanied by a selection of delicious teas, or even a glass of Prosecco or Champagne for special occasions.

Art Afternoon Tea at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin is one not to be missed, served in the Drawing Rooms you can choose from a selection of delectable treats inspired by 19th and 20th-century work of J.B Yeats, William Scott and Louis Le Brocquy.

Treat yourself to a serene spa break

The Samás Spa in the Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry

Treat yourself to a relaxing, revitalising and reinvigorating spa break at an Ireland's Blue Book hotel. The 5 Star Hayfield Manor's Beautique Spa is a true oasis of tranquillity where you can relax body and mind. Enjoy the serenity of the thermal suites and indoor pool or book a treatment with one of their expert therapists.

The Samás Spa in the Park Hotel in Kenmare has its own outdoor vitality pool where you can soak in the wonderful views of Kenmare Bay as you luxuriate in the warm water, as well as a full thermal suite with sauna, aroma steam room and tropical rain shower.

Explore Connemara in springtime

Rosleague Manor, Co Galway

Connemara is one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland, especially in the spring when Irish wildflowers are newly bloomed and forest floors are covered with bright bluebells. Suitable for walkers, hikers and cyclists alike or ideal for just admiring the entirely natural and unspoilt terrain on your journey to one of our Blue Book Houses.

When it comes to your Connemara getaway, Ireland’s Blue Book has Cashel House, Currarevagh House, Delphi Lodge and Rosleague Manor all in our collection.

Retreat to a lighthouse

Clare Island Lighthouse

If you are looking for something a little different for your break away, look no further than Clare Island Lighthouse. This 200-year-old lighthouse is situated on Clare Island in Clew Bay off the coast of Mayo and has spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean.

This boutique accommodation is an idyllic retreat a, ‘great escape’ – a restorative haven, where even the busiest mind is soon stilled by the unhurried island pace.


Ireland’s Blue Book is a unique collection of country house hotels, historic houses, castles and restaurants around the island of Ireland. Ireland’s Blue Book Gift Vouchers can be purchased online at irelands-blue-book.ie or by calling 01 6769914.