Barry Egan visits Breaffy Home – Tall tales from the riverbank in Mayo

Barry Egan visits Breaffy Home - Tall tales from the riverbank in Mayo

Breaffy Home in Co Mayo

Barry takes off at Breaffy Home

The biking greenway from Castlebar to Turlough

Barry Egan

Barry Egan visits Breaffy Home – Tall tales from the riverbank in Mayo

It is not typically this occurs.


It is not typically this occurs.

My spouse and I had been in a really fancy helicopter earlier (with our pilot Captain Anthony Curran), and now as our two younger children are being minded within the play centre, we’re under the radar. Or not less than downstairs within the 19th century cellar of the posh Breaffy Home Resort in County Mayo, having a non-public, bespoke wine tasting, guided by a person who is aware of his wines.

As soon as upon a time, the passageways beneath the previous home led to a room stuffed with weapons and rifles. Today it’s the subterranean house of some exceedingly beautiful wines that my spouse and I’ve partaken of. Not too liberally, however sufficiently to have a barely responsible feeling that we’re doing one thing within the late afternoon that maybe we should not be doing.

It might have been impolite to not, after all, as a result of they’ve 28 Decanter Gold Medal Wines from the Bordeaux, Cote du Rhone and Loire Valley areas. come down right here to get engaged or to toast their marriage ceremony. Aoife and I got here right down to have a number of glasses and maybe get away from the kids for an hour.

Barry takes off at Breaffy House
Barry takes off at Breaffy House

Barry takes off at Breaffy Home

“Earlier than we transformed it final September the previous cellar was initially the gun room in the course of the time of the Browne household in the course of the 18th and 19th centuries,” Wilson Chook, the lodge’s normal supervisor, informed us. “It is an expertise you will not get anyplace else. You can’t assist however be impressed by it.”

Our four-year-old daughter was presumably the one particular person not impressed once we returned after our time away. To make up for our absence, we took the kid and her 15-month-old brother for an pressing ice cream within the bar after which to the playground in entrance of the lodge and allow them to play to their hearts’ content material.

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It was a wonderful sunny night. I am not simply saying that. There was actual warmth within the solar that night. It was like our personal personal heatwave within the West.

So, we had an unforgettable dinner al fresco within the courtyard. Our daughter was in a position to have a nibble of her dinner, then run again to her new buddies on the swings and the roundabout and the loopy golf, earlier than returning to have one other nibble of her meals. Basking within the solar, her mom and I loved essentially the most enjoyable night collectively.

The nice climate continued the subsequent day. We took the children on the 8km greenway bike trip from Castlebar to Turlough. With a toddler apiece on the again of our bikes, it was a fascinating journey alongside the Castlebar River, largely, to the Nationwide Museum of Nation Life at Turlough. We handed swans, lambs, cows and horses variously in inexperienced fields, on riverbanks, by lakes and in woodlands amongst another stunning Irish countryside on our journey.

There was a steep hill with a swing gate on the prime; we have been exhausted once we made it to the Nationwide Museum of Eire – Nation Life. Alas, the café was closed (admittedly it was Good Friday) and our daughter was not impressed. This meant no deal with for sitting for an hour in a toddler seat in a trolley on the way in which there. This additionally meant we needed to flip round immediately and do one other 8k again to Castlebar city for a late lunch.

It was price it once we discovered The Pizza Brothers – a stunning pizza restaurant down an alleyway in Humbert Mall – earlier than having a nosey round Castlebar. (My daughter was amused that Castlebar in Gaelic – Caisleán an Bharraigh – means “Barry’s Fortress”.)

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We visited the 18th Century Christchurch (in-built 1739), after which, the Mayo Memorial Peace Park in Garryduff, which remembers and honours the women and men of Mayo who served and died on UN operations, as properly on this planet wars of the final century.

The next day, we visited some of the placing homes on this planet, Westport Home, for a number of hours of bliss. What’s to not be blissed out about once you see the home (with its attractive rooms) to say nothing of the lake, the gardens and that view of Clew Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Our daughter was in awe that within the 16th Century an precise pirate queen, Grace O’Malley, dominated on that sea. Equally in awe was her mom once we loved Victorian afternoon tea within the formal drawing room.

About 4pm, we returned to Breaffy Home, had a swim with the children within the lodge pool, then acquired prepared for dinner. There was just a little playground outdoors our window (we have been staying in Breaffy Home’s three-star sister lodge Breaffy Woods), so our daughter fortunately performed on the swings.

Westport House is the pride and joy of the gorgeous town of Westport
Westport House is the pride and joy of the gorgeous town of Westport

Westport Home is the pleasure and pleasure of the attractive city of Westport

After we made it to Breaffy Home’s Mulberry Restaurant for dinner, the lodge was bustling. It wasn’t all the time so. Within the recession the lodge went into decline, having been a second house for rich overseas vacationers in its 1980s and 1990s heyday. Sadly, it went into examinership after which receivership in 2011. However since 2014, below new house owners, it has risen just like the proverbial phoenix from the West of Eire ashes.

Which is why on a balmy Saturday night time, the four-star lodge is enjoying host to some swanky clientele from far and vast (therefore the helicopter rides provided to visitors) to take pleasure in effective wines and meals to match in The Mulberry Restaurant. Fancy clientele or not, this was the night time that our two children kicked up.

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Our one-year-old son would not sit in his child seat and roared after I tried to feed him, and his huge sister needed to play within the playground within the sunshine along with her new mates.

I sat on a chair within the playground with a cheese board and a glass of wine, provided by my new greatest good friend sommelier Alessandro Pasqua, and watched the children at play. My spouse loved her pleasant meal. I may really see her spooning down the final of the cheesecake as I lifted the child on to the swing and watched his sister whack the ball within the loopy golf in the direction of a window.

To not disturb my spouse’s after dinner drink on the bar, I put the child in his buggy and took him and his sister for a stroll on the fairy path set within the lodge’s 90-acre property.

The cycling greenway from Castlebar to Turlough
The cycling greenway from Castlebar to Turlough

The biking greenway from Castlebar to Turlough

Who says ladies do all of the work? Solely joking – my hard-working spouse is a Mayo-mazing saint.

Getting there

* Breaffy Home Resort’s Summer time Early Chook Provide consists of three nights mattress and breakfast and one dinner for 2 adults and two youngsters from €393 within the four-star Breaffy Home Resort, and from €348 within the three-star Breaffy Woods Resort.

* Massive household rooms/interconnecting rooms can be found for only a €75 complement per night time.

*The Greatest Burgundy Wine Weekend from Friday, July 5 will function the perfect of French Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes produced by the Moillard household.

* It can additionally concentrate on the most effective Cote de Beaune obtainable to the Irish market and a scrumptious recent Pouilly-Fuisse from the Maconnais area.

* Contact Breaffy Home Resort in Breaffy, Castlebar, Co Mayo on 094 902 2033 or by emailing Net:

This function initially appeared in The Sunday Unbiased.

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