Oh, Ireland. It’s been a dream of mine to visit for so many years. My first trip to Ireland involved an emergency landing after two failed attempts to get back to the United States from Entebbe, Uganda. So needless to say, I was tired, hungry, and cold (and I didn’t have my coat with me as I’d just left eighty-degree weather). I booked a room at The Westin Dublin and enjoyed an incredible end to a travel nightmare.
My return to Ireland was much more pleasurable, but just as tiring. It was at the end of a few weeks of travel in Italy and my brother’s amazing wedding. I had hoped I had the energy to really “do” Ireland (whatever that meant).
Lucky for us, I’d booked most of our trip plans through Kathi Sheridan. I found her through my favorite magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, and thought her “Five Perfect Days in Ireland and County Clare” was the perfect trip for us. Here’s what we did:
We flew from Rome to Dublin in three hours and headed straight to the Westin Dublin. After a much-needed nap, we toured the city (pubs included), and settled into a delicious dinner at Coppinger Row. If we weren’t trying to be adventurous, we would have eaten every meal here. The food was that good. This is a Dublin must!
The next day was all about shopping! Dublin is full of great spots (Marks & Spencer, River Island, All Saints, and Holt Renfrew, to name a few) and great coffee shops. We also enjoyed the exhibition of local Irish designers at Holt Renfrew. I snagged a few pieces.
We called it a night pretty early since the next day we’d be taking a two-hour drive to County Clare.
Kathi had arranged for a rental car to be dropped off at our hotel. After some initial jitters, Ryan navigated us to Adare. It might be my favorite place on earth. The people are delightful, the food is so fresh, and the pubs are beyond lively. We stayed at Dunraven Arms, but I’d suggest you stay at Adare Manor (Kathi suggested it and we didn’t end up staying there. Don’t make the same mistake!).
I spent my afternoon at Velvet Hair, Nails & Beauty getting my gel manicure removed and chatting all things Irish fashion and getting the scoop on places to visit. All of the girls there are lovely, and I hope to return sometime soon.
We dined at Pat Collins Bar & Restaurant and had a fun night with the locals.
This was the beginning of our grand finale—a weekend at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg. Kathi assured us that this was the place we wanted to be in County Clare.
Doonbeg was about an hour from Adare, and the drive was a bit scary at times, but totally worth it. Along the way we stopped at Bunratty Castle to take pics and buy mead (an amazing honey wine you must try!).
The cottages at Doonbeg are magical. We appreciated the two-story design and the space. The feel was definitely English Farmhouse, and we loved it.
Today was all about adventure—and getting lost. I was on the hunt for the Burren, a place Kathi assured me we’d enjoy. The Burren Perfumery was a jewel, and after many hours lost (and run-ins with cows), we finally found it.
If you ever make the trip, please be sure to stop here for lunch and tea. All of the skin-care products are made on site, and they’re simply divine.
We finished the day with a trip to the Cliffs of Moher, a natural wonder. We spent hours there, enjoying the spectacular view and a bevy of photo ops.
This was technically the end of our adventure. We left Doonbeg and headed back to Dublin to enjoy our last night. After a last supper at Coppinger Row, we headed to the Mint Bar in the cellar of the Westin. It was a fabulous end to a sweet adventure.
After a quick adventure at Holt Renfrew (I needed a pair of L.K. Bennetts shoes) we were off to the airport. It was the perfect trip.
STAY: The Westin Dubin, Adare Manor, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel
EAT: Coppinger Row, Pat Collins Bar & Restaurant, Trump’s at Doonbeg,
DO: Adare Manor, Bunratty Castle, the Burren Perfumery, the Cliffs of Moher, Doughmore Bay
SHOP: Marks & Spencer, Holt Renfrew, River Island, All Saints, Jack Wills