Check In: Festival in Ballymaloe, on the buses, cycling in Clare and lots more
Travel news, offers and information from home and abroad
Chocolate Afternoon Tea at the Conrad Dublin hotel
Ballymaloe House: site of the celebration of all things food and literary
Bali: super-spa Como Shambhala Estate in Ubud.
Tickets for this year’s Ballymaloe Lit Fest are officially on sale. The fifth annual celebration of all things food and literary takes place the weekend of May 19th-21st in east Cork, with talks and demonstrations from, among other, Brian McGinn, director of the Emmy-winning Netflix documentary series Chef’s Table; investigative food journalist Joanna Blythman; and Condé Nast Traveller’s international editor, David Prior. See litfest.ie.
Dublin Bus has proudly relaunched its bus tour offering under the new name of DoDublin. The tours, which have been on the go since 1988, are well worth a whirl for tourists and home birds alike. See the capital through the eyes of the drivers who know it best on the Hop On Hop Off Tour, Coastal Tours, Ghostbus Tour and The 1916: Beyond Barricades Tour. See dodublin.ie.
Clare on track
When it comes to innovation, Co Clare is leading the way with interactive roadside signs for cyclists showing the details of up-and-coming hills, including length, gradient, total meters to climb. Cyclists can even touch the sign with their phone to see who has cycled the hill and how long it took them. See clare-get-sidetracked.ie.
TAKE 3 – ISLAND ESCAPES
Como Shambhala Estate
Bali boasts a plethora of stunning settings in which to unwind. Our residence of choice is the Como Shambhala Estate in Ubud, a health-focused super spa with a jungle view. See comohotels.com.
Inis Meáin Suites
The award-winning cluster of four luxury suites off the coast of Galway reopens March 27th. Book now for a secluded experience in one of the most breathtaking settings in the isle. See inismeain.com.
Porto Zante Villas
The Greek island of Zakynthos is the perfect destination for families in need of a little rest and relaxation. Check in to the Porto Zante Villas and Spa for a sandy-beached taste of paradise. See portozante.com.
CONRAD FOR CONNOISSEURS
The Conrad Dublin hotel just off St Stephens Green is on our radar this month. Not only has its Coburg restaurant been awarded two AA Rosettes in recognition of its culinary excellence, but the hotel has just launched a new afternoon tea experience for sweet-toothed visitors. The Chocolate Afternoon Tea will be hosted seven days a week in the lush surroundings of Lemuel’s restaurant from now until May, serving the ritual’s usuals along with a few innovative chocolate goodies on top. Expect White Chocolate Tonka Bean Éclairs and Dark Chocolate Amarena Financiers. Book in from €38 per person at lemuelsdublin.com.
DON’T WORRY WITH THIS APPY
Book flights, hotels and transport and have constant support throughout your trip via the Lola app, which acts as your connection to your own personal travel agent. Download it for free on iTunes. See lolatravel.com.
Chelsea Flower Show
Time to think about the show, May 23th-27th. Keith Prowse Travel will be providing two-night trips, flights, hotel and ticket from €453pps, keithprowse.ie, 01-8783500.
Experience la dolce vita of the Sorrento coast, Pompeii and Capri before the crowd arrives. On selected dates in April and May, one week half board holidays from €899pps, with traveldepartment.ie 01-6371600.