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Hi all, Happy New Year to all and best wishes for 2017.  Thanks for being part of the journey so far.  This year I am going to Jazz th...

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Tramore, Co Waterford

Oh the memories. Used to go on these with my sisters.

Tramore beach - the lifeguard reminded me of Baywatch!!
Where:  Tramore, Co Waterford. 
Why: Childhood memories. I go to Tramore with one of the family at least once a year and have done so for as long as I can remember. I'm from Tipp so first ray of sunshine on a Sunday in summer meant harassing our father to bring us. It was proper Tipp Denny ham advert with sandwiches and the tea from a a flask! Its my favourite beach in Ireland. Just because I have so many memories over the years here. 
How:  Go to Waterford city and follow R675. 
How much: Its two euros to park the car all day in summer and after that what you spend is up to you. 
Whats there: Dooley's chips, amusement park, Freddie's, the holiday stores which sell fresh donuts with melted chocolate and ice cream. A day in Tramore is generally not the healthiest food wise but if looking to be healthier go to Esquire and Raglan Road, its up in the town so its up a hill and the pub grub is good. There is the  blue flag beach of course, beach sand dune walk, fishing, golf, spooky ghost train, waltzers and surfing. 
Pros:  I love Tramore. Its a must go place each year. If your sick of the beach pop across the road to the amusement park. There is something for all ages here.I have been going there for as long as I can remember. Bumper cars, ghost train, crazy golf, roller coasters each year there is something new as well. There is a little train that goes around the site as well. Its well kept, clean and generally there are lower rates for families. The views from the beach on one side Brownstown head and the other the metal man and Newtown cove. Its really pretty. 
Amusement Park
Cons: The tide was in so it meant that alot of the upper beach was covered in water.It has a 5km golden sandy beach when the tide is out so you can walk to your hearts desire. Was there with family so did not get to show you as much as I would like. But made some lovely memories again and managed to sneak a few pictures in ! 
In 1600's Doneraile family set up an estate in Tramore which was then a small fishing village. In 1794 Barthlomew Rivers set up a hotel overlooking the bay. This marked the development of the resort town of Tramore which exists today. 

The Metal Man is a prominent feature of  Tramore bay since 1823 legend tells if a single woman can hop around him 3 times she will be married in a year. He points towards the sea and was erected by Lloyds of London to warn sailers away from the shallow waters of the bay. On a rough winters night it is said he can be heard chanting Keep out good ship, keep out from me. For I am the rock of misery. 

Nearby: Copper Coast GeoPark, Waterford City  Newtown Cove, The Metal Man, Bay Spa in Tramore overlooks the sea. I went for a massage there a few years ago and it was good, Dolmen Drive, Splashworld (see link below) 
Lots of accommodation from B& B, camping, caravans, holiday rentals and hotels to be found. You could also stay in Waterford as its not too far. I never really stay so cannot recommend. 

More information: 

Hope you enjoyed reading and if you go bring us back a stick of rock!! :) 

Beach views 

Crazy queues outside Doolys 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Slievenamon Summit, Co Tipperary.

Where: Slievenamon Summit, Co Tipperary.
Why: Lovely day its close to where I am from. Really nice view out over the Suir valley. I love Slievenamon because when I see it, it means I am home.
What: Walk from Kilcash to Slievenamon Summit.
Whats there: Walk up Slievenamon.
How: Go to Kilcash its off the main Kilkenny to Clonmel. Then follow the signs for Slievenamon summit.
How much: Its free.
Pro: Lovely views and the path is clear. I love climbing mountains and looking down over the countryside below. I almost feel like I leave my troubles below.
Cons: No cons it can be hard walking up but just take your time. The usual word of precaution bring appropriate footwear, water, some food, charged phone and waterproof clothing. Do not do this in stormy weather.

Tradition: There is a tradition locally to climb Slievenamon at Christmas or Stephens Day weather pending but if you go those days half of Tipp is up or climbing up to the Summit.
Myth: Slivenamon or Sliabh na mBan in Irish means mountain of the women. In Irish folklore the mountain is named after the women who raced each other up the slopes for the hand of the eligible bachelor Fionn Mac Cumhaill. The Druids of Ireland wanted him to settle down as he was off philandering which was resulting in conflict. Fionn is the hero in a number of Irish legends and so he was not short of suitors. The Druids determined the fairest way for him to determine who his bride should be was to have a race up the mountain. Fionn stood at the top of the mountain beside the cairn and gave the signal to start the race. The winner was Grainne but she was aided by him to do so.Fionn showed her a shortcut to the top.  Grainne was the daughter of the High King Cormac Mac Airt. However, she subsequently eloped with Diarmuid a friend of Fionns.
The cairn at the summit of the mountain was believed to be an opening into the fairy world. Fionn Mac Cumhaill supposedly has bruised his thumb while trying to gain entry. Thereafter, each time he sucked the bruised thumb he gained the gift of wisdom.
The fairies living on the mountain were apparently known as horned witches.
Song: The song Slievenamon is Tipperary's anthem in GAA so for hurling or gaelic football this is the song fans will sing. The song was written by poet and revolutionary Charles Kickham who came from Mullinahone at the foot of the mountain.
Archaeology: There are two cairns one at the summit and one on the lower slopes called Sheegouna.
Religion: There is an annual mass held each August at the Marian Cross on a lower slope of the mountain just outside Killusty near Fethard. The crossed used to the lit up at Easter and Christmas night. Not sure if this is still the case. If you live locally let me know. Thanks :)
Geology: The mountain is made of limestone at the base, slate, sandstone, scree and mudstone.

How long: Roughly 2 -2 1/2 hours up and down if reasonably fit.
Whats nearby:  Clonmel, Carrick on Suir, St Patricks well, Dovehill Design Centre

For more information 

Hope you enjoyed reading. 

You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmcTwitter: @forrealllemail

Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com

Views as climbing up the mountain into Clonmel and towards Comeraghs

Monday, 29 August 2016

Monday Inspiration: Pat Divilly

I do not know how I did not know about Pat Divilly, living in Galway and all that. But he has been a recent find. This video has been a huge inspiration to me and I love his approach to life. Since I discovered him I am now a little hooked.  For me he is kindred soul. He says alot of things that resonate and that I believe in. I saw this video and I made my 6 month list. I shared with my life coach. I have to say that I love what he says about clarity.  When your clear about where you want to go then you wont get swayed. At the moment I am trying to make some decisions and everyone and their mother are throwing their 10 cent in. For me its annoying when other people tell you what they would do in a situation if not asked and it totally disrespect's the fact that they are not you and its not their place to impose their opinions on you even if well intended. It just head wreaks me and makes me second guess my own gut feelings. At the end of the day its my life and my decision and choice.  I did this and I got clarity I know where I am going and I trusted my own gut. So thanks Pat.

See Pat Divilly

The emotion in his voice during the Ted talk as well touched me. He made me well up. I am super sensitive but strong so it doesn't take much.I think there is something about guys who show their feelings too because we live in a world where guys are supposed to be so macho etc. But really we need to look after our men and it takes a certain strength for someone to admit, I was low, he sounded like he was depressed, he cried over the loss. I admire that strength. He let us into his world and maybe through that some of us will see a little bit of our own world reflected back. I love listening to peoples stories, I love meeting strangers  even on a train or bus etc. I feel like we all have our own stories.We can all learn from each other even something small. I love the take away message from it too that we all impact each other. We have a choice to do it positively or negatively. Believe in people even when you don't believe in yourself. People remember how you make them feel so try to make it positive.

This post is inkeeping with holistic health as well and I love that too. Alot comes down to our mind  and he has alot of posts as well about getting fit, diet and exercise. So I hope you get something positive from it.

Galway Ted Talk Pat Divilly 

Diary of a slow runner update

I have fallen behind massively with these posts. But the good news is I have been keeping up with these. All workouts completed for the past 3 years. The last workout I did I managed to complete 3k in 20 minutes. So making progress slowly. Overall, I am enjoying it and thats he most important thing.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Fanore, Co Clare

This post kinda follows on from Vogue as its someplace I had a chat with Jade about before and we both love it. So that's two recommendations to go here. Its lovely. But be careful in the water.

Where: Fanore Beach, Fanore, Co Clare. 
Why: One of my favourite beaches. Its really sandy and I just love it there. 
What: Blue flag sandy beach with walks, popular with surfers. 
Whats there: Parking, Aloha Surfing school, toilets, outdoor showers, lifeguard, beach, walks. 
How: I drove from Galway to Ballyvaughan and then took the Coast road. The Coast road is an amazing drive but a narrow road so take it easy. When I drove tide was coming in so there are cars parked on the side of the road and fishermen on the cliffs so take care. 
How much: Beach is free. 
Pros: Sandy beach and its just lovely and peaceful here. Its really pretty. 
Cons: The weather it was raining. 
Whats nearby:  Burren, Walks around the Burren namely Caher Valley Loop  Coast Road, Cliffs of Moher are nearby, Ballyvaughan and Doolin.
History: Fanore Beach is a geosite and part of the Burren Geopark. There is a sand dune complex around the beach. The sand dune complex started to form 5,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found evidence of people living among the dunes and rocks. They collected shells and small fish which they ate for food. The archaeologists found the shells and also remains of stone tools. The limestone bedrock around the beach contains numerous fossils which were formed when the Burren lay under a large shallow tropical sea over 300 million years ago. 

More information: 

Friday, 26 August 2016

Vogue Hair Studio, Clarinbridge, Co Galway

So all this is just a little blog on Vogue Hair Salon.  As you already know I blog about what I like so this is another. 

Where: Vogue Hair Studio, Clarinbridge. 
Why: Wash cut and blowdry. My Dad says we have wild hair! It grows very quickly and I have a bit of a kink in it. It needed taming fast.
What: Hairdresser, colouring and styling, highlights and cutting, extensions, upstyles, curls, bridal hair.
Whats there: Cute little hair salon with good value and great service.
How: The Salon is located on Sea Road in Clarinbridge right beside Goats Lane cafe so I drove there.
How much: Wash cut and blow dry was 35 euros by hair is shorter then shoulder length.
Pro: I go to Jade. She is such a nice person and a brilliant hairdresser and get a great cut. I am a bit of a nightmare because I'm just not one of those people who cant sit still. But always feel fine in here and feel comfortable. Its friendly here and you can just sit back and have a chat. I used to go to Peter Marks always but it began to feel like a conveyor belt as had one person wash, one person cut and another blow dry. So I began to look out for someplace that did not do that, that were nice, that gave good value for money, great cuts etc. Vogue and Jade fit all my requirements and more. I've been living in Galway for 5 years and struggled to find my hairdresser after my Peter Marks experiences. Any girl worth her salt has a beauty team of some kind places we go to get our hair, nails and everything else. So Vogue is one of my places now I go in needing a change etc and come out feeling so much better so unless I move out of Galway will not be moving from here anytime soon.
Cons: None as generally fine to get an appointment, its good value for money and good service. Feel comfortable, no fuss or mess. Great cuts always feel 1000 times better going out the door so thanks. 
More information:  Tracey O Loughlin had been working in Clarinbridge at a salon which shut down in 2012, Finding herself at a loss she decided she would try and set up her own place. There is just myself & my colleague Jade, Jade is also this years Oyster Pearl for the Oyster festival. They are open Tuesday- Saturday.

Job Opening: They are currently looking for some one part time so if interested give them a shout!

I never thought I would help someone get a job when I started blogging!!

I will add a picture to this tomorrow as well. Just did not get down that way today.

Hope you enjoy reading and thanks.

More information: 
Oyster Festival featured on RSVP (Jade as Oyster Pearl) congratulations. 
Vogue Hair Salon 

Lifestyle post Minimalist Wardrobe

Ok so had a very lazy day today. I did work on two blogs this morning for a bit but my car was out of action and my phone half charged so photos are limited of places I have been to.

Rainbow Day :) 

So this is pretty much what I have been working on for most of today- Minimalist wardrobe.
What is it: Minimalist simply refers to having what is necessary. It helps you to declutter. In order to achieve it you need to edit frequently and only keep what you need. I have linked a Rachel Aust video below as she has a 30 day challenge on it. I watched her videos when I began. I am still a work in progress on it.
Why:  I want to reduce what I own. I am a serial hoarder I have to confess. My room is overrun with books, clothes and then cosmetics of some kind. I don't use half of them but I cannot manage to throw things out. I love books and I have managed to try cull some for the charity shop. Clothes on the other hand are tricky as I love some of them. I do not wear them, I am one of those girls my weight yo yos a little its down to stress, whats going on in my life and even breakups. You will know when I'm happy or not and can judge by my weight. Ultimately, I am not into diets I hear the word and instantly feel deprived. I just try and eat and exercise be as healthy as I can. When it comes to wardrobe, I want to keep pieces I love that I am working to get back into.
What: capsule wardrobe so everything should pretty much go with everything else. What I try and tend to do is check out what are the trends so e.g. this year fur is one. I only ever buy the fake fur anyway so I will try and tie that in somehow. I am not a slave to fashion I tend to like more smart casual classic jacket, jeans and t-shirt/blouse type on an average day.  So its about sticking to basics but that does not mean you cannot have fun with your clothes still.
How: I found the below link and absolutely love it. So this is my guide. I am not sure how easy it will be for me to stick to The Pocket Stylists total no of clothes as one dress for me is too little I try and have around 3 each season. One for going out, one for casual and one business for work.
How much: Literally what I do is look up fashion trends in Elle or another reputable site.Then I look at what I have and I will be taking fur pieces I have out and matching with black jeans, skirts, jackets etc. At the moment looking to loose weight so if there is anything I need I will be off to Pennys/Primark/H & M or Dunnes to buy pieces so it wont cost a fortune but will see me through the season. I will only shop if there is something I need more of e.g jumpers or for me white blouses as they tend to get ruined with make up. Tights in winter need to be stocked up and every girl needs a good coat and boots!
Whats the point: I started my capsule wardrobe journey in Jan and I have to say it makes life less complicated. Waking up in the morning and deciding what to wear is less of a chore. Looking at what I own ever 12 weeks has made me assess what I own, what I use and what needs to go. So it has helped me to declutter. Clutter adds stress to your life so if you want some calm and to make it easier to find things, keep your room tidy, spend less money and save  time this is worthwhile exercise. I personally do not need as much as I think I do anyway and I used to be a slave to the ads. I wanted the new fake tan, new trend etc but its all pointless. Its so much easier to buy the best quality you can when you need something. I am no longer a slave to sales or anything like that. I just shop if I need something. Its so much better since I made the shift. It can be a little hard to get rid of things especially if emotionally attached. I had dresses I had not worn for years gathering dust. Its  I have even started to do this with my make up recently so its now down to one little bag of products I use daily. Working my way through my bathroom and bedroom and its made a real difference. So now just need to sustain it and keep on top of it.

For more information:
Minimalist Wardrobe

Elle Fashion Trends 
Rachel Aust 
Rachel Aust Challenge 
Hope you like this blog and if you are already a minimalist tips welcome!

Hope you enjoyed reading. 
You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail

Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site.
Feel free to share. :) 

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Poppyseed Cafe, Clarinbridge Co Galway

There was four but had gobbled two by the time I remembered to take a pic :) 

Where: Poppyseed Cafe, Clarinbridge. 
Why: Some late lunch was hungry and in the area.
What: I had the goats cheese, roast pepper and olive tapenade sandwich on brown bread and a coffee. The sandwich was delicious.  Also, recommend the chowder if you are looking for something on a cold day. They have nice bakes too on offer. Been for breakfast before and got pancakes but that was the one in Oranmore.
How: I drove to Clarinbridge from Galway.
How much: Around 10 euro
Pros: Nice food, good value for money. the Clarinbridge cafe is huge and loads of space. Staff friendly and attentive. There is an outdoors space if the day is nice and you can eat by the river and there is a little bit of art to brighten up the area too. Relaxed vibe. The cafe was quiet enough as well so not too noisy or busy.
Cons: Coffee was a bit too hot. Had to wait for it to cool down.
History: The first unit opened in Clarinbridge in 2007 the main vision was to offer homemade food and baked treats in a friendly atmosphere. There is now further stores in the chain located in Eyre Street in Galway city and Oranmore. The Poppyseed daytime cafes are operated by a team of four women who are dedicated to keep the product fresh and exciting. The Poppy Girls are linked as family, friends and colleagues for many years and are namely Anne, Judy (Head Chef) and Alison and Lisa. 
What else is there: Poppyseed is set in a complex with Meadows and Byrne and Lifestyle Garden Centre. There is a Capelli hair salon, and Lisa Hair and Beauty Salon also.

More information:
Poppyseed Cafe 

Hope you enjoyed reading. If you go would love to know about your experience. 
You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail

Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site.
Feel free to share. :) 

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Quick update Forrealll the Group

Hi all,

I have set up a group on Facebook so people are free to join and discuss their favourite places etc.

Link is here: Facebook group

All welcome. :)

Swiss Cottage, Cahir Co Tipperary

View of the cottage from the front lawn

Walk over river and main entrance tunnel
Hi all,

Where: Swiss Cottage, Cahir, Co Tipperary.
Why: I went a few years ago and never knew the history. I always thought it was over rated and just a house but I was really impressed with it and I had to show you it.
What: Cottage Orne built by the Butlers of Cahir in the 1800. Walk from Cahir Castle to the Cottage.
Whats there: Swiss Cottage, tour, walks along the river, fishing subject to permit, parking, toilets.
How: I drove to Cahir its just off main Dublin to Cork motorway.
How much: Around 5 euros for entry and tour of house. This is an OPW site and so they have free days sometimes check locally.
Pro: Great tour was given and very informative. The area around the cottage is really scenic beside the Suir with lots of tress. Walk is well maintained and its a nice extra. Amazing details in the cottage  like on the windows and even the floors everything is to emulate nature and so no two things are the same. Even down to the windows. The cottage is so cute and architecturally its interesting.
Cons: Not allowed to take photos inside. Sorry so hence I am not able to show you this.
A walk around the cottage

More information: 
Cottage orne came into prominence amongst the gentry in Europe. Marie Antoinette had one namely Hameau de la Reine in Versailles. Here the gentry would dress up and pretend to live a more rustic life. John Nash was the architect responsible for the design of the house, there is a spiral staircase and four rooms. No one ever slept in the house it was used primarily for entertaining guests. There is a tea room and music room all elegantly decorated downstairs with doors leading to the outside and then upstairs there is two rooms. You enter the cottage through a tunnel into the former kitchen which is downstairs.Then you can go upstairs through a hidden door into the house.  The house is inspired by nature and draws from it as much as possible both inside and outside from decorations and furnishings to the architectural style of the house. The house was furnished with the best materials but it was often dulled down to be in keeping with the rustic style. The wallpaper in the tearoom was manufactured by the Dulfour factory in Paris.
New section: what else is around the locality? : Cahir castle there is a 2km walk from Swiss Cottage, Mitchelstown Cave is also close, Glengarra woods.
Where to stay: I have not stayed in any so cannot endorse its just a list of local accommodation.
Cahir House Hotel 
The Apple Farm Camping 
Kilcoran Lodge Hotel 
Further information:
Swiss Cottage 
Visit Cahir 

Hope you enjoyed reading. If you go would love to know about your experience. 
You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail

Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
If you like please subscribe and feel free to share. :) 
Spiderweb floorboards, ornate glass, spiral staircase and hidden servants entrance to garden

Monday Inspiration Steve Jobs

I love this video and this man as well. This speech is amazing and what he achieved is inspirational as well. I love his creativity. I take away the connecting the dots from this speech for sure. Sometimes we do not know why but I believe things happen for a reason. I think if we are on the wrong path life tells us if we are not in sync. Its our job to then figure out how to make it back to where we are supposed to be. Its not always easy but I do believe our heart and gut act like a compass.

His story has all the fundamental elements of a great story, the struggle, trusting his gut, following his passions, reaching the pinnacle and having great success, fall from grace, love, loss and rebirth. The calligraphy class and how it impacted the Macintosh design. How Pixar then impacted on Apple. Its all full circle.

Find what you love as your work is going to fill a great part of your life. Keep looking and don't settle. It can be so hard as we all can get comfortable but I do believe in being passionate about my job and loving what I do.

Death: look in the mirror each morning and ask yourself if today was the last day in your life would you do what you are doing now. I love what he says about fearing you have something to loose its not true when we face death. This speech is truly about the value of life to appreciate it and live each day in a way that honours this. I am like everyone and have had my own crosses to carry in life so it does shake you up and make you look at your life. So many people live it sitting on the fence afraid of getting hurt. I am afraid to make decisions and the future. But sometimes I look at people and myself and wonder why am I holding myself back? Go for it. I don't want to be that person.  Its a great piece to listen to when you are about to make a decision because everything he says will make you think about what is important to you in your life. Don't be afraid to live it. I think it makes you look around you too and see all the rubbish in your life like people who drag you down, the people who live rent free in your head but don't contribute positively in your life. Your time is limited so why bother with these people? Why bother with silliness in relationships either someone values you or they don't. If someone is messing with your head they don't appreciate their time or yours.They are wasting both so do you have enough self respect for your time to say ok enough.We spend so much time and money to impress people we don't care about. The keeping up with the Jone's phenomenon and it means nothing really.

I drove back to Galway tonight. The sunset was amazing. I wanted to share it with someone so I am sharing it with you! There was something about it. I will never witness this day again, be in this place at this time and even though I am worried about somethings I have alot to be grateful for.
Treasure the moments that take your breathe away
Don't waste your life living someone else's life. Its so true we all want our family and friends to be proud of us but at the end of the day no one wants to reach the end of their days and say I loved art I wish  went to Art school but I did a Degree in business for my parents. Each of us are unique we have our own value and talents and it is up to us to honour our individuality and bring those talents to life, nurture them and ourselves so we shine. So if you can draw and you love it do more of it, if you can sing, the same if you love to play piano follow that path. Live your own as long as your happy and not hurting anyone else then who cares.

Its apt in Ireland as Leaving Cert results last week. So if your around that age there is so much great stuff you can take from this speech it doesn't matter if you did not get 600 points. It does matter that you follow your talents and your passions, do what you want to do on this earth and there is more then one way into any career so remember that too.

Stay hungry and stay foolish.

See Steve Jobs Commencement 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny

Where: Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny
What: Luxury 5 star hotel set on 170 acres just outside Kilkenny city. Set in a restored 17th century house. Its an amazing blend of old and new.Architecturally, I love how the old building was restored and how the old and new are blended together because it does not take from the old house.
Whats there: Accommodation, dining, spa, conference centre, walks around the estate and bike hire. There are a number of events held here throughout the year so check out the website.
How: I drove from Kilkenny city. I took the N10 past Cillin Hill and then its on your right.
How much: Around eight euros for scones and tea. I went to Tuppers Bar. There are a number of dinning experiences in Lyrath such as Yindees, X bar and also La Perla so if you are staying overnight you will be spoilt for choice.

Pros:  You get cream, jam and butter plus two heated scones. Staff are nice I was served by Cormac. Really nice grounds as well. Tuppers overlooks the garden and so its a nice place to go and nice atmosphere. I was there on a Tuesday evening and it was quite busy.  Cocktails served in the bar.  I was driving but they looked amazing. I love how old and new are blended into the grounds. I think its impressive and not too overdone. There is everything you could want on site you could easily come to Lyrath and forget to go and explore Kilkenny!
Cons: Food is a little on the pricey side and I was surprised that scones and tea could cost so much but the fact that I got two fresh heated scones made up for it. I know its a 5 star experience and so most people expect things to be a little more on the pricey side. However, as per blog on Figtree Restaurant in Dromoland Castle its not always the case.
History: Xaviar McAuliffe brought Lyrath Estate and restored it to its former glory. He also added a four story extension to accommodate bedrooms, suites and also a wedding and function venue. McAuliffe also owns a sister hotel namely the River Court Hotel in Kilkenny. Lyrath Estate lies on 170 acres of land and has won awards for hotel spa of the year. I would love to go back at some stage and sample the spa and no doubt I will too. I know I will be back again to sample more food too and Yindees looks like a great place.
More information: 
Lyrath Hotel 

Hope you enjoyed reading. If you go would love to know about your experience. 
You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail

Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
If you like please subscribe and feel free to share. :) 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Heritage Week in Ireland

Hi all,

Quick reminder about Heritage week in Ireland. Lots of activities going on up and down the country and many are free. Its a great excuse to get out and about to learn more about the place you live in.

Enjoy for more information see Heritage Week 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Kells Priory, Kells, Co Kilkenny

Where: Kells Priory, Kells, Co Kilkenny.  
Why: I remember this place as a child and I always thought it was amazing. As a child I was not too interested in the historical background as it was more of a playground for me. Coming back as an adult I think its the most amazing place. Its a fortified monastery so there is a wall and towers to one side and then it is bounded by a wall and the river at the other end. Its almost like something from a film or fairytale.  Its extraordinary when you think of the history and how they managed to build it.  
What:Augustine priory beside Kings River, its built more like a fortress with medieval towers and a boundary wall locally it is known as the seven castles of Kells. Within the boundary wall is the monastery with churches and cloisters. 
Whats there: Tours, fortified monastery and river walk. 
How: I walked from Kells Craft Centre, along the road, down past another old mill, along by the river  and over the bridge over to the Priory. Some pictures from the walk are below. 

How much: Its free there is a tour you can take from Kells Craft Centre not sure of costs for that. 
Pros: I love that the walk takes in Hutchinsons and Mullins mill, you can walk along the river bank by the mill race for Hutchinsons mill and then over a bridge into the priory. From the Priory you can walk out the main gate and up onto the road back into Kells village.  There is a pop up cafe in Kells Craft Centre and parking. There are so many photo opportunities and if you wanted you could bring a picnic to eat outside. Irish weather pending :).  Some of the walk is through a field, so just make sure you bring suitable footwear. 
I just think this place is so interesting and extraordinary. 

Cons: Nothing I think the locals have put a tremendous amount of thought into this. Walk is well maintained and the grass is cut. It show cases alot of the villages history and so well done to all. 
Hutchinsons Flour Mill : is located only a short walk away from Mullins Mill and was also a flour mill. It is a protected structure and was built around 1800. It is a five story mill and was disused in 1948. It looked to me when I was there that someone is looking after it as new windows and some of the windows were opened. The wheel is still present and the building forms an important part of the industrial heritage of the area. 
Kells Priory: Was established in 1193 by Geoffrey Fitzrobert. The Priory was built on the site of an earlier church. Its is thought that the boundary walls were built to protect the Priory as it was burned on 3 occasions namely,
1252 by Lord William de Bermingham 
1326 by Scots Army of Edward Bruce 
1327 unfortunately again by Lord William de Bermingham. 

In 1540 the Priory and its lands were surrendered to James Butler, Earl of Ormonde (Kilkenny Castle).  
The existing monastic ruins date mostly from the 14th and 15th centuries and comprise of a church, a chapel, prior's residence or sacristy and domestic buildings. The enclosed site is around 4 acres. The priory also played a part in the spooky tale of Alice Kytler (see link below). As in 1324 the Bishop of Ossary paid a lenten visit to the priory. Following an inquisition into a Kilkenny sect of heretics Alice Kytler and William Outlawe (one of Alice Kytlers husbands) were ordered to appear before the Bishop on charges of witchcraft. William was of norman descent and a distinguished banker. His brother was the Chancellor of Ireland at the time thereby placing William in a position of power and prominance. However, Outlawe was supported by Arnold de Paor who was the Lord of Kells. He ordered for the Bishop to be imprisoned in Kilkenny castle for 17 days. The Bishop was caught and thrown into jail which caused great scandel at the time. However, following the Bishops release he subsequently prosecuted Alice Kytler who it is suspected fled to England while her maid Petronella was burned at the stake in front of a mob at the Tholsel in Kilkenny. Her death was the first known case of such in Ireland and England. 

For more information: 

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Kells Craft Centre, Market Kitchen Pop Up Cafe, Kells Co Kilkenny


Where: Kells Craft Centre, Market Kitchen  Pop Up Cafe, Kells Co Kilkenny
Why: I went to Kells Craft Centre and took the walk to Kells Priory. I did not know the cafe was there and so thought why not check it out. 
What:  Pop up cafe in restored forrmer corn mill. The feel is rustic, its a pop up cafe, lots of art of the walls a little bit of an old meets new funky feel. Its not ultra modern or polished but it is different and interesting. 
Whats there:  On the menu the day I was there was courgette and basil soup, ducks egg, black pudding and potato rosti, Goatbridge trout pate (Goatsbridge trout is just down the road in Thomastown), courgette and chilli ragu. Some bakes such as courgette cake and rhubarb cream, honey and almond cake and Polish blackcurrant cheesecake. Some ink drawings by  Isadora Epstein were on display in the mill too. So its nice to see it supports local artists and produce. 
How: I drove from Callan along the R699 and then took the R697 into Kells, when in Kells go over the bridge and its on the right hand side. 
How much: I got the ducks egg, black pudding and potato rosti and tea for around 9 euros. 
Pro: Rustic and a little bit different. The food I got was tasty and good value for money. Staff were nice and friendly. You can sit outside if the weather is good. The building is interesting and you can see some of the machines and workings of the old mill. I love the half door at the entrance as well. Its got a bit of a homely, cosy feel to it. Its not rushed or hurried you can come and sit over a cup of coffee in peace. Good music on the radio.  Its good value for fresh food. Would like to go back and see what else is on offer as they put their own twist on things which is cool and good to see. They seem to have bags of passion, creativity and originality and so the Market Kitchen are ones to watch I think. If your a foodie go and let me know what you think. 
Cons: Nothing overall as its a pop up cafe set in a protected building its limited what the Market Kitchen can do with the space in a short space of time. Its not a polished as Nicholas Mosse cafe which is also set in a restored mill. 
History: The Market Kitchen was set up by Liadain and Sarah in May 2014. They met in the Temple Bar Food market while Sarah was working with her family, McNally Family Organic Farm, and Liadain was working for Crepes in the City. They formed a friendship and decided to set up their own stall. The ethos of  The Market Kitchen was born out of a desire to celebrate and promote Irish producers of all kinds, from farmhouse cheese and fresh fish, to artisan bread and organic vegetables. I like this as its local business supporting local businesses. The Market Kitchens aim is to promote traders and producers wherever we travel, offering up food prepared by us, using ingredients by them. Since starting the market, Liadain and Sarah have ventured into larger events such as Ballymaloe Litfest, and are part of the Food on Board collective, which made its debut at Body and Soul music and arts festival 2016.There is a Market Kitchen in Temple Bar Food Market and so the pop up cafe in Mullins mill is the second venture where over 7 weeks the duo will take over the top floor of the mill.
More information
Market Kitchen Cafe 

Hope you enjoyed reading this post and if you manage to go to see the Market Kitchen that you enjoy their food.

Disclaimer: all views are my own. I paid for all goods. I made Market Kitchen aware I was writing blog and asked for more information on them for history section which they kindly provided.

You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail

Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com