Sister, sister: Bonding in a bubble in the woods
In the second in our Green & Black’s series we sent two sisters into the woods in Co Fermanagh with a hamper of the ethically-sourced chocolate for a quirky retreat under the stars
Natasha Duffy and her sister Mimi Murray in the Lough Finn Bubble Dome. Photographs: Declan Devlin
Mimi Murray and Natasha Duffy are sisters. Mimi works as a freelance journalist and Natasha as an event programmer while studying for a degree in film and theatre at Trinity College Dublin.
Both have very busy schedules so we sent them to spend a weekend in a bubble dome at Finn Lough resort in County Fermanagh along with a hamper of Green & Black’s chocolate.
The domes are located in a secluded forest, next to Lough Erne and both women made the most of the time, laughing, relaxing and catching up.
Describe your relationship?
Natasha: We have a lot of fun together. Mimi is always very exciting to be around and it’s never dull. We didn’t get on at all as teenagers but as we’ve grown up we’ve grown closer, and more similar as well. We are both ambitious and love our work and I admire that about her.
Mimi: I would say our relationship was tricky as we were growing up, basically we killed each other. There is quite an age gap, six years between us, so it wasn’t until we fully became sensible adults that we really started to get on. Now we can tell each other everything. My younger sister Emily is 12 years younger than me so we are all at very different stages of our lives but, as we get older, we really do love hanging out as a threesome and Emily was the only thing missing from the weekend.
Do you think you spend enough time together as sisters?
Natasha: As much as we can. I love calling up to her and hanging out with my nephews. I’m the bold aunty.
Mimi: No, definitely not and our time away made me realise that. We had such fun and it was really good to properly catch up on each other’s lives. Life is so busy, it’s important to really make an effort to meet, go see a movie together, take a holiday. We only get one spin around this planet. You won’t be thinking about deadlines on your deathbed.
What did you do for your weekend?
Natasha: After a bumpy ride in the golf buggy to our new bubble home, we made ourselves comfy. It is quite a surreal sight witnessing the bubbles in the middle of a big green forest. We relaxed for a while listening to music and then got ready for a beautiful three-course meal with some wine before we made our way back through the dark forest for bed time.
The next morning, we had a two-hour spa trail in the forest which consisted of flotation tanks, steam rooms and a very cold dip in the lake.
Mimi: The bubble domes are absolutely amazing. We didn’t get a starry night but it felt like we were sleeping right there in the open forest, with trees swaying in the wind and nature all around. It really is a very special place to try Green & Black’s.
The spa trail through the forest was also invigorating and I really can’t describe the feeling of jumping in an icy cold lake in November, after spending 20 minutes in a sweltering hot sauna. It takes your breath away!
How important is family time?
Natasha: Really important. So many things in life come and go but your family are solid. Invest in them and the relationships you have with them.
Mimi: Family really is the most important thing, they’re the only ones who will properly have your back when the chips are down. Sometimes you don’t realise that people have stuff going on, and that goes for friends, family, work colleagues.
It’s not until you sit down and properly talk that you will find out. So make time for the important people in your life.
Can you recreate anything from your weekend away at home?
Natasha: I think self-care is so important, as well as spending time in nature. Sleeping in the dome completely surrounded by trees and greenery is very relaxing. I think, most importantly, it is a reminder to try and get off the computers and out into nature as much as you can.
Mimi: It would be very hard to recreate the domes. We could camp but just chilling out at home with a bottle of wine or a cup of tea and some Green & Black’s is all you need really.
Did you learn anything new about each other?
Natasha: I felt really refreshed and content. It reminded me how funny my big sister is and how similar we are in lots of ways, which is quite cool. I’ve always looked up to her, even when we fought.
Mimi: I felt amazing after the weekend. I felt like I’d been away for a week and was ten years younger. My sister is much younger than me so she is more clued into stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily be into. She had me listening to music I wouldn’t usually hear and she’s big into theatre and movies. I admire her so much, as she really knows her own mind. She is also very non-judgemental and a good listener. We’re more like friends now, as well as sisters.
How will you best remember the weekend?
Natasha: Walking through the forest on the way back from dinner with my big sister trying to frighten the life out of me will stand out forever more.
Mimi: I have several stand-out memories; driving to Fermanagh with the music on and singing at the top of our lungs was one. Staying in the dome itself was really special. And the Elements Trail, in which you go from flotation tank, to sauna to hot tub, all overlooking the beautiful Lough Erne was amazing.
Did the Green and Black chocolates make the whole thing more special?
Mimi: On a night away there are only three things you need; good company, some wine and gorgeous nibbles. The chocolate from Green & Black’s is so good. I’m into my “healthy” chocolate and always allow myself some 70 per cent or over as a treat. We scoffed loads of it though, which sort of defeats the purpose. It was too good to leave behind.
Connecting with Green & Black’s – about this series
Green & Black’s chocolate was founded in 1991 in the flat of husband and wife team Craig Sams and Jo Fairley and to this day it retains their original commitment to ethical production and great taste.
Green symbolises the brand’s commitment to ethically-sourced cocoa while black stands for the high quality and delicious taste of the chocolate. Over the years, Green & Black’s has continued to grow and innovate with the introduction of the enchanting Velvet Edition range. The range offers a variety of signature flavours for all tastes in a smooth, velvety finish – dark chocolate but not as you know it.
This premium range also includes Green & Black’s Velvet pouches – a luxurious mélange of dark chocolate and real fruit as well as the latest additions of Green & Black’s decadent praline and truffle single bars ensuring that there is something for every occasion, be it enjoying on your own or sharing in indulgent moments.
For more, see greenandblacks.com