Brendan O’Connor visits County Clare: 5-star life at a canter

There’s nothing fairly like a dander round Dromoland Citadel on the again of a high-quality beast on a balmy February morning

Brendan and Black Jack take a jaunt round Dromoland

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O’Connor visits County Clare: 5-star life at a canter

The hysteria is contagious.


The hysteria is contagious.

One is nervous and terrified in regards to the horse, as a result of she is predisposed to taking longer to adapt and alter to new circumstances and issues. The opposite is only a little bit of a nervous nelly anyway. So that they feed off one another. However Sean is cool as a breeze about it.

Once I counsel that perhaps we must always simply neglect in regards to the horse using, he asks me straight out if the youthful one will finally come round. I inform him she is going to, however I can not say when. That is high-quality so, he says. We have now loads of time.

Sarah and I had mentioned we would not be getting on horses that afternoon, as a result of we might be wanted to maintain the children calmed. However then, within the title of calming the children, it was agreed that courageous dad ought to prepared the ground. Nice.

So I needed to present them there was nothing to be afraid of by mounting Black Jack.

While you’re up shut, horses are massive, highly effective beasts. However Jack was a docile outdated crathur. He is retired roughly, and even when he did work, it was for a monk, who nonetheless comes for a go to.

Brendan and Black Jack take a jaunt around Dromoland
Brendan and Black Jack take a jaunt around Dromoland

Brendan and Black Jack take a jaunt round Dromoland

Sarah received up on one subsequent, and shortly sufficient, Sean and two endlessly affected person teenage ladies he had serving to him had coaxed the kids alongside and all of a sudden we have been trekking by Lord Inchiquin’s forest.

Because it occurred, it was a uncommon stunning day in late February, so pretty dappled mild got here by the timber.

I had an awesome sense of serenity as Jack moseyed alongside.

Once I tried to clarify the attract of it to a millennial good friend later, she mentioned: “In fact you felt good. You have been forest-bathing. It is a factor. Look it up, granddad.”

And it seems it’s. And it really works.

Sean, who now runs a yard with stables proper subsequent to Dromoland Citadel, courtesy of Lord Inchiquin, tells me he switched off from the information months in the past, and he appears glad.

After the jaunt, we’re prepared for one thing to eat. Clearly, we’re hungry after sitting on our arses on a horse for an hour, so it is simply as nicely tonight is our high-quality eating night time for us in Dromoland Citadel.

Nicely, the adults will likely be high-quality eating. The youngsters will likely be taken care of within the bar first.

Danny, who has develop into my go-to man for meals and beverage and another issues within the brief time I have been right here, types us a desk within the bar the place the children can eat whereas I’ve a wonderful Negroni.

That is the factor about Dromoland. You are in a swanky five-star resort with all that entails. What’s extra you are in a single favoured by Yanks, in order that they should do issues correctly, like cocktails. However equally it is all very informal and relaxed and human.

So you’ll be able to have your Negroni, in a fantastically appointed bar, however the youngsters can even eat their fish and chips on the desk.

And afterward, there will be music, and one of many barmen will even do a Frank Sinatra routine. It is like five-star however with a touch of Clare/Limerick crack and insanity to it.

Even the high-quality eating, within the Earl of Thomond room, which is fantastically ornate, with huge chandeliers and an air of grandiosity, is not remotely formal, or austere.

A finished bedroom at Dromoland Castle
A finished bedroom at Dromoland Castle

A completed bed room at Dromoland Citadel

The meals is unbelievable, and so they raise the silver cloches off dramatically to current it, however you already know, there’s nothing stiff about the entire thing.

I suppose what I imply is that there is a sense of relaxed heat about all the things.

For instance, Dromoland provides falconry as an on-site exercise, which I did not do, being extra of a horseman, do not you already know.

However after I noticed the falconer up with the birds one of many mornings, whereas the children pedalled madly round a tennis court docket on go-karts, I wandered as much as him. He chatted away for Eire and had me petting owls, and studying all in regards to the intercourse lifetime of the falcon.

You would mosey round for the entire weekend simply having fun with being in a fortress and its stunning wooded grounds.

When the pure magnificence is that this good, even wandering up and all the way down to the pool within the golf membership is awe inspiring. However I had a mission whereas I used to be down on this a part of the nation. I needed to swim within the Pollock Holes in Kilkee. I might heard so many Clare and Limerick folks, and Kilkee summer time folks, boasting in regards to the Pollock Holes, however I wanted to see these tidal swimming pools myself, to know what precisely they have been.

It was solely after my swim in them man gave me a little bit of native data, which is that you need to watch for the rocks to dry off a bit earlier than you head throughout them to the holes. It is a flat stroll, however on the time we did it, a slippy one.

I appeared again at one stage and noticed that the household had given up and have been heading again, a few of them probably having fallen, however at that stage it was each man for himself and I cast forward.

The pool I swam in was pretty, crystal clear and heat, comparatively talking. I trekked again throughout the slippy rocks, happy with myself.

Do not ask me what the purpose of all of it was, however it’s presumably just like the intuition a canine has to mark his territory. I would not have felt I had really been in Kilkee if I did not get semi-naked there. A pleasant stroll on the seaside and we have been getting peckish once more, so again to the resort.

Clearly a weekend away like this entails doubling, probably trebling your regular volumes of meals. I went down with some concept that I may need a smart breakfast a minimum of, however then you definitely assume how not often you might have the complete Irish and then you definitely see all of the scones and whatnot laid out and it would be a disgrace to let all of it go to waste. I really took to needing a lie down after breakfast.

We rolled out on Sunday after one final feast feeling like we might had a vacation, having tried new issues, having immersed in nature, and having had for us the romance, and for the children the magic of dwelling fortress life for the weekend. Way more enjoyable and fewer stuffy than I fearful it could be.

And everybody swears we’ll be forest-bathing and household horse-riding once more.

Getting there

Get pleasure from a Royal Household Falconry Expertise at Dromoland Citadel which incorporates the chance to find out about and deal with and fly the birds throughout a one-hour household falconry expertise.

From €495 per room, the bundle contains: Two nights luxurious lodging in a deluxe household room; full Irish breakfast every morning; one-hour household falconry expertise for 2 adults and two kids.

Deluxe Household rooms in Dromoland from €315 per room per night time.

For extra info go to

This function initially appeared in The Sunday Impartial.

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