What to wear on a weekend at the 5 Star Dromoland Castle Hotel

Recently, my amazing husband surprised me with a fancy spa weekend. It was one of the best 5* castle hotel in Ireland with portions and prices to match.

Now normally, finding a wardrobe for a weekend away is never hard for me. However, when you are headed to a 5-star castle hotel, you are in an entirely different wardrobe demographic.

It all started on a Sunday evening as we were watching telly in our living room. Hubby suddenly looked up at me and said to me “don’t plan anything for the weekend of the 5th”.

Of course, curiosity kicked in and I started to ask questions. Where are we going? What are we doing? With who? Etc. My husband is a terrible secret keeper so I am usually good at getting these things out of him. This time, he was extremely tight-lipped about this particular one and that ignited my curiosity even more.

After loads of begging, I finally got him to show me just one photo of the place where we were going. All I wanted was an idea of what clothes to pack. It is my first time in a 5* castle hotel and I refuse to be the sloppy black guest. I mean it was already highly likely that I was going to be the only black person there. No way I was gonna be the sloppy black person.

The picture I saw was of a magnificent dining room with everyone dressed so formally. It was definitely not a wedding setting and I could make out that it was a dinner setting for hotel guests. I decided that we must be going somewhere fancy.

My fancy wardrobe ended the day I crossed the Atlantic and it has suffered severely since. What used to be little black dresses and heels back home had now turned into comfortable converse shoes and mustard knitwear in my wardrobe. My friends back home wouldn’t recognize me anymore.

So I now had about 10 days to get something inexpensive to wear for our weekend playing king and queen in a luxurious castle hotel.

I was going blind here guys. I had no idea where we were going or what the itinerary was going to be. Honestly, it was like taking a blind sheep out on the road and asking it to find its way home.

There is only one simple solution to wardrobe choice when flying blind- pack several different options for all scenarios. That basically means that I was packing about 10 different outfits for 2 days and one night away. Who does that? Apparently, me!

Scenario #1: cold and rainy day- I got this gorgeous red coat which I planned on wearing with a smart-casual top along with jeans and flat knee-high boots.

Scenario #2: for a warm dry and sunny day, I got this cute striped off shoulder skater dressin case it was sunny. I was hoping it wouldn’t be windy as these skater dresses like to fly up with the wind and I had no interest in having a Marylin Monroe moment. I matched the dress with a pair of flip-flops and slipped into the suitcase.

Scenario 3# Horse Riding. A quick google search educated me on the fact that there would probably be horse riding activities at a castle hotel. This was a bit concerning because I had no idea what to wear for horse riding. Fortunately, Google also suggested that most horse riding places provide boots and a helmet so all I had to do was bring a pair of jeans and a top to match. That was easy. I got this blush cotton jacket and matched it with a pair of jeans, a simple white top, and converse. Into the suitcase, they went.

Scenario #4: Afternoon tea- Just in case we went for Afternoon tea, I bought this gorgeous midi skater dress. It is simple and yet very elegant and ladylike- definitely has an ‘afternoon tea at the castle’ vibe.

Scenario #5: Dinner- my friend Google told me that castle hotels tend to suggest smart attire for their dinner guests. I welcome any chance to dress fancy- especially since they are so few and far between these days. I decided to pull out this little black number. It is elegant, romantic and definitely smart.


Fast forward to the day. We spent the weekend at Dromoland Castle Hotel which was such an exquisite and luxury experience. It’s official guys, I was born to be a princess and live in a castle. (COUGH) When you spend a weekend in a real 5* castle hotel, you start to rethink your entire existance. Suddenly, my three bedroomed terraced house was not quite sufficient.

Anyway, back to the point. What did I end up wearing? Well…… *DRUM ROLL*

DINNER

I ended up wearing this cute peach button front dress for dinner. It was decent, smart and quite summer. O matched it up with a pair of sparkly pink Aldo shoes that I wore once to Hello Haileys’ wedding in Cape Town last December gone.(Read about their tips on wedding planning HERE)

Bag was from Primark.

WALK AFTER DINNER

When you are taking a walk around a 200 acre garden, you need to make sure you have a comfortable pair of shoes on. After dinner, I did the sensible thing and changed into these flat sandals I got from Debenhams. As it was getting colder, I slipped on this red coat that I ordered off Boohoo.com. (Its a maternity coat but I promise I am NOT pregnant)

BREAKFAST

There was a gown and slippers in the closet so I slipped those on for breakfast which we had in our suite. The plan was to head to the hot tub after breakfast so I had my leopard print swim suit from Primark underneath.

FALCONING & HORSE RIDING

First of all, horse riding and falconing for an hour around the gardens was such a fantastic experience. I am actually thinking of starting private horse riding sessions.

Anyway, we spent the day engaged in outdoor activities so I decided to wear the pink jacket, a white top (old from Primark), black stretchy pants (old) and these cute pink trainers I got from Debenhams (now on sale)


One week later, I am slowly relearning to appreciate my 3 bedrooms terraced house. It gist doesn’t seem fair that I can’t live at the castle forever.

Ps. The black and white dress was lovely but too short for me in the back. The black dress is very cute but the slit was a bit too high and left my thighs a bit too exposed for my liking. I will get that remedied by a seamstress and give it a go on my anniversary.

Hope you enjoyed my very first fashion episode guys.

See you next week.

Kel xxx

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Camping gone wrong in Dingle

Hello friends!

About two weeks ago, I had this brilliant idea to surprise my hubby with a nice romantic clamping experience away in the country. I have never ever been a clamping or camping kind of girl, but my hubby loves it so much and has always wanted us to go, so I decided that I would be adventurous and book us a weekend f clamping out in nature.

Yes! We are that cheesy couple that ceases every opportunity to suprise each other. It’s almost expected at this stage in our relationship, but whats life without a few expected surprises here and there? πŸ˜‚

On with the story… So I know nothing about clamping- let alone clamping in Ireland. All I know is that I wanted me of those magical camping scenes that you see in Hollywood movies where a couple go away on a cheap camping trip in the woods together and return even more madly in love than the were when they left.

I pictures the moon glaring above us as we sat outside roasting marshmallows around the camp fire with other fellow in love campers.

Only now do I realise that I should probably cancel my Sky subscription as I am clearly starting to live in the movies.

We arrived in Dingle on a cold wet evening- this should have been my first warning bell. We arrived at the clamping sight which was saturated with partly occupied camper vans.

We were led to our cabin which was in the far back back of the grounds. The moment I saw the cabins, my heart sank- along with any hopes I had for romance and reconnection with nature.

It was a garden shed. I am not joking guys, a garden shed with a bed and a mini fridge. I have a garden shed the size of this cabin in my back garden and wouldn’t even let my husky sleep in it. How the heck was I supposed to spend a weekend in this one.

I couldn’t show my distaste in front of my husband for fear of ruining our weekend even more. I smiled and tried to save face and make a workable plan on how in the world I would sleep here. A few minutes in, we noticed there was no heating at all in the cabin and there were holes in the door. To be fair, this was a perfect excuse to spend the night snuggled up to each other not that we ever need one. However, i dont think any amount of snuggling would have kept us warm all night.

To make matters worse, we found out that the toilets were a two minute walk from the cabin. Who knew that glamping cabins the size of a garden shed have no toilet inside? I know i didn’t. Heck I had never even conciously thought about the fact that camping sites dont have private ensuite bathrooms for when one needs to ease themselves. Now that my head was out of the clouds, I could believe i had booked us a weekend away and the toilet was within a two minute walk of where we were sleeping.

The fact that I had booked it as a romantic get away meant that i had to put up with it and try to make sure hubby enjoyed it too. Our romantic moon light marshmallow roasting fest had gone down the drain with each drop of drain that had come to ruin our weekend.

Fortunately, I have the most amazing husband who came to the rescue. He managed book us the last available room at the Dingle Skellig Hotel and literally dave my life at the same time. I was not going to cope with the ‘glamping’ situation at all. Call me ‘Boujee’, but I believe in ensuite bathrooms and wall heating- FULLSTOP!

Its now official. Glamping and camping are bot for me. I am all for adventure but I shall not be adventurous with my lodging options unless they have clean ensuite bathrooms with warm showers, flashing toilet and sahaarah desert kind of heating.

Anyway, the Dingle Skellig Hotel was amazing and we did have our romantic get away after all as well as a few adventures.

Here is what I recommend if you are heading over to Dingle for a weekend.

1. Take an hour boat out into the deep blue waters to see Fungie, the Dingle dolphin. I have never seen a real life dolphin so this was a huge treat for me. The views out there are also amazing! I booked with Dingle Dolphin Tours.

2. Drive down to the Kinard beach which is a secluded beach about 15 minutes east from the Dingle town. This is an amazing spot.

3. Drive along the Slea Head which is the most westerly part of Europe. To the west of the Slea head is America. You might need special equipment to see this. πŸ™ƒ

4. Before you finish the Slea Head, you have to see the Clogher Strand beach. This beach is the most perfect spot to watch a sunset. We sat here for a good long while and just took the scenery in.

Last but not least, If you like your dinner served with a view, recommend lunch at the Boat Yard restaurant in Dingle town. And if you are into a more high- end vibe, the Coastguard Restaurant at the Dingle Skellig Hotel. We had a really scrumptious meals in both restaurants but the prices also differed grately.

We are planning on heading back to Dingle sometime soon. Does anyone have any recommendations on what to do and see there?

Want to see some gorgeous videos of the Dingle Peninsular? Follow me on Insatgram and check out my stories this week. If you see this post after the week posted, head over to my highlights for a little peak.

Gonna end the post here. Thanks for stopping by.

Kel xxx

I am buying the Castle- Castletownshend, Ireland

Hello, friends!

Most of you that are following me on Instagram or those that have read my previous blogs posts know that I am absolutely obsessed with Castles. Everything about them- from the stone build to the watchtowers and solid thick arched doors, they are just this girl’s idea of the perfect home.

In fact, if you gave me a time machine, I would rewind back to the previous centuries when living in castles was a thing. Then again, I would have been a slave, so I shall not indulge too far into that fantasy. Since I can’t go back in time, I have decided that I am going to buy a castle and here is why.

Somewhere on the west coast of, along the Wild Atlantic way, in a small town of Castletownshend, you will find a gorgeous Castle. ‘The Castle‘- they call it, and man is it one indeed.

A few days ago, I had the privilege of visiting The Castle and actually even staying in it for a night. Now most castles in Ireland are ruined or preserved as tourists attractions. Not this one. This one is a Bed and Breakfast that has tried it’s best to preserve the authenticity, history, and ownership.

Staying at The Castle for me was like visiting a rich white uncle on my husband side of the family in the 19th century. The moment you enter through the solid wood arched door, you get a sense that you are in a 19th century aristocratic home decorated with old but tasteful antique furniture.

It was eerily quiet inside- almost like no one lives here. After a minute, a lovely lady greeted us and handed us the key to the Army room in which we would slumber for the night. Forgive the last-century lingo guys- just getting into character here.

As the lovely lady led us through the living room and the corridor and up the stairs, I observed shelves full of really old books, a table of maps and some kind of big ancient religious book that looked to me like a very early version of the bible.

The stairs are dark brown and curved with 19th-century hardwood. Clearly, they have not been changed in at least a century if not two. The Castle was originally built by Colonel Richard Townshend in 1650 and later in 1800 after undergoing a couple of destructions through the years. There is a good bit of information about the Townsend family who owns The Castle HERE. (Handy information for me who wants to buy the castle)

Back to my story. Our room was on the third and topmost floor of the Castle. The room was not as antique as the rest of the house but that was to be expected. I doubt a 200-year-old bed would hold the weight of two fully grown Mc’Donalds eating, 21st-century adults. It goes without the say that the toilet and shower were both authentically 21st century and thank goodness for that- I don’t do squatting toilets or cold baths.

The best thing about the room was the view. Take a look at the photos below to see what we saw. The room was warm and definitely comfortable.

For dinner, we walked about a hundred meters outside the Castle to Mary Ann’s pub which also has its own rich history. The most fascinating thing though was the fact that besides us and 2 other couples that were obviously staying at the Castle, everyone else knew each other. There were predominantly older people walking in from all of at most 500 meters of the whole town for a pint and a chat with friends.

Our meal here is absolutely divine but as usual, I will not or pretend to know much about the food.

We walked home as the sun set over the water for a well-deserved rest as we had a long day of exploring to do the next day. All I wanted to do was take a shower, put up my feet and I bulge in a good book. I found a really interesting book in the Castles large collection and settled down with that until bedtime.

I hate to admit for fear of sounding so old but we were asleep by 9/10pm.

Sunday morning we had to get to breakfast table between 8 am and 10 am.

Allow me to set the scene. The breakfast room is large and tastefully decorated with 19th-century furniture and antiques. The windows are huge and let in a generous amount of light- even on a dark overcast day.

The breakfast was surely delightful. We had an Irish breakfast and headed out for a morning walk along the garden paths to what probably used to be a watchtower at the top of a hill. The view from the top is definitely worth the short walk up. On a lovely summers day, a picnic up here is a brilliant idea.

Check out was at 11 am and off we were.

So, now for buying the Castle. Oh, I am definitely serious about this. However, I am still trying to track down the owners of the Castle. I am not quite sure what the going rate for a Castle on the Wild Atlantic Way is but I think I can make them an offer of about €5000-10,000.

Contributions welcome from the public. Help this black girl achieve her dream of owning a Castle.

Your Boujee traveler

Xxx

Things to do in Cork City

Hello lovelies!

It is always hard for people visiting or even those moving to a new place to find their way around the new area. It takes time and experience to build up a list of favourite places and things to do when you are a newbie and there is nothing more frustrating than trial and error.

In light of this, after living in Cork City for 2 years, I have come up with a list of places and restaurants that I absolutely love on my days off.

1. Son of a Bun

If you want a mouthwatering burger, this is the place to go. Of all the burgers I have ever tasted, this has to be the best by a million miles.

TinyTip1: You cannot book in advance so go early enough as there might be a long wait for a table.

TinyTip2: You can choose to go to the restaurant, book your meal and pay for it even before a table comes available. I find this is handy as you don’t need to wait for your food to come once you are seated.

2. Boojum

My best friend introduced me to this cute little burrito bar. She is a big foodie and I always trust her judgement when it comes to where to eat. I had never eaten a burrito before she took me here and now, I am addicted to them. Boojum is very a pocket friendly restaurant so if you are looking for a good burrito and don’t want to dish out much cash, this is the place to go.

3. A walk along Castle Road

This road is probably the mist picturesque road I have seen in Cork City. Where in winter, summer, autumn or spring, castle road, in my opinion is the best walking trail in the city? With a Quay (river) flowing on the side and a line of tree all perfectly arched up majestically over your head, what more could you ask of a walking trail?

In the summer, the trail busks with green trees and rays of light escaping through the brunches.

In the autumn as the less start fading from green to a series of red, yellow, black, orange, pink, magenta, and brown. It is magical.

The best part is that it leads to the Blackrock Castle where you can enjoy the picturesque view of the water from the beach or the castle.

TinyTip4: Take a €3 and enjoy a lovely cappuccino at the Castle Restaurant

TinyTip5: Lovely for dogs and children.

This is probably my favourite thing to do in Cork especially in spring and summer.

4. Thai Nepal Restaurant

Ok lads and lasses, STOP THE LIGHTS! This is hands down the most delicious food I have EVER eaten and I have had loads of good food. I knew nothing about Nepal before that glorious day when friends of our invited us to join them for dinner at Thai Nepal Restaurant and I fell madly in love with Nepal, its culture and mostly its food. All I want to do is go to Nepal and do nothing but eat their food for ever.

This food is so good, we have been back 5 times in two weeks. Yes, that is how good the food is. It doesn’t matter who you are and what food you like, you will 99% like the food in this restaurant.

I recommend the Nepalese chicken curry and/or the butter chicken with pilao rice and garlic nun bread.

They also deliver with Deliveroo around the city area so if you fancy an evening in with take out, give them a ring.

You can thank me later.

5.

Myrtleville Beach

This is a little hidden beach near Crosshaven about 25 minutes from Cork City. We accidentally discovered this hidden gem one Friday evening after searching for a romantic restaurant for date night. We drove to Bunnyconnellan Restaurant but were too early so we decided to take a walk as the ocean seem quite close to the restaurant.

The beach is quiet and over looks a vast endless ocean of the southern waters and to the west and east are gorgeous rocks pulled together with steams flowing between them.

On a hot summers day, this beach is lovely for a picnic and/or day at the beach.

As it is quite hidden, you wont find too many people hetr at all.

I hope you guys enjoyed my suggestion of things you can do while in Cork. If you like my blog, please do like, comment and follow. I would love to hear from ya.☺

Thanks for stopping by guys.

See you next week.

Xxx

Touring Killarney on a Horse and a Bike

Hello, lovelies,

Great to see you back on my blog. If you are new, welcome!

Last weekend brought us to the gorgeous Killarney which is west of Cork. I had planned a romantic night of relaxation with my hubby and while there and decided to blog about it.

We left home on Friday afternoon and drove 85km west to the lovely Killarney town. This must be my favorite place in Ireland thus far- after Cork, of course. Almost like the Cork people, Kerry people a very jovial, welcoming and are quick to start a conversation with a willing stranger.

The first day was a romantic experience for hubby and I, so I will not bore you with the details on here.

You can never trust the weatherman in Ireland but every now and then, he is on point- mostly when the weather is predicted to be unfavorable. Obviously, we were hoping for a lovely, sunny spring weekend but we got a dry and mostly overcast day. When you live in this part of the world, the weather is grand as long as it is accompanied by the word ‘dry’.

We spent the night in Killarney Riverside Hotel, which is a four-star hotel just a few kilometers from the town center. The hotel was good enough and the staff is really good, but in my opinion, the hotel does not deserve four stars.

The room was very clean and comfortable but quite small and basic- really nothing to write home about. The bathroom was adequate but did not have travel size toothpaste and toothbrushes which I expected it to have and therefore hadn’t packed any of our own. (Don’t worry, we bought some in the shops, of course).

After indulging in Mug and Bean breakfast every day for 2 whole weeks during our holiday to Cape Town in December, the breakfast served at the hotel was a huge letdown. It was so basic, unflavored and not inviting at all. The only thing I loved about it was the croissants and pork sausages served.

After breakfast, we drove down to the town to see what it has to offer. We found parking on the main street and walked down to the horse carriages where we were offered an hours ride around the Killarney national park.

If you are ever in Killarney, I recommend that you do one of these rides- they are phenomenal!

Our horse’s name was Suzy and the man in charge was Olly. Oh, what a pair! The fascinating thing to me was that Suzy seemed to know the land pretty well. She knew exactly when to stop so we could get out and take pictures, she knew when to go faster and when to slow down without being prompted by Olly even once. I am officially buying a horse! πŸ˜‚

Olly was such a great tour guide and such a laugh. We laughed almost all the way through our tour as his commentary was hilarious. The national park itself is nothing short of amazing and full of life. On a spring day like this one, there were lots of flowers that had only recently blossomed and lots more that were only just budding. Got me thinking that a trip here in May when all the life is newly blooming might be a great idea.

We saw lake Lough Leane which is the biggest of the Killarney lakes and a host to a handful of small islands. The streams were flowing calmly through the park which made for a wonderful water flow sound throughout the journey. A herd of deer grazed peacefully with only a young male one raising his head to ensure we were of no danger to the herd. People walked and jogged passed and children played all through the park.

We journeyed by the Lough Leane on which Olly pointed out to us the worlds smallest island which only has space for two but is too close to the shore that no monkey business can ever go on there.

Our final stop was the Ross Castle. I need not remind you of my LOVE for castles. Although most people just go to these for a good photo, to me, they represent such a rich history. Whenever I am in a castle I imagine the people that probably lived, worked and passed through here. Were they as happy as I am to be here? Was the castle owner a good person? Were the workers treated well? Those are the questions that run through my mind when I am at a castle. Of course, I got some shots and at the end of the tour, we headed back to the town.

Our next stop was Lyne’s bike rental to get some bikes. Killarney is biking central. Everyone is on a bike here and you know- when in Rome… The process was quick and easy enough and only cost us €20 together for the half day. (It is €20 per person for the full day)

If you are traveling with passengers at the back, I recommend a bike rack as the bikes will obviously not fit in the car. If you are traveling just one or two people, they will fit in the back of the car although you have to be a bit clever in the way you put them in.

Back to the story! We drove down to the Muckross where we decided to park our car and ride our bikes around the grounds. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was about 13 years old so I was more comfortable riding along the longer route which had fewer people in case I knocked someone dead. Oh, my was this fun! It reminded me of the good old days when my siblings and I would ride our bikes all day long in the suburbs. We would hold bike riding competitions with the other kids in the neighborhood and my little brother was always a champion biker.

Anyhow, if you are visiting Killarney, do visit the Muckross house and take a guided tour. It is definitely worth the effort. We didn’t go to the Muckross Abbey as we had to get something to eat and head back to the hotel for a spa appointment.

I will not ramble on about the spa as I feel it was a very personal experience.

For dinner, we went to Treyvaud Restaurant in Killarney town which was absolutely lovely, to say the least. On our way back from dinner, we bumped into a really lovely group of gentlemen who offered to take a photo of us. A few even jumped into the photo themselves. What a laugh!

The rest of the evening’s activities were a bit too personal and I will not delve into them here. You see, whenever hubby and I go away, the day’s activities are for the blog and the evening’s activities are reserved for quality ‘us time’- which y’all don’t want to hear about anyway. I shall leave you to let your imaginations go wild. πŸ˜‰

Here are a few tips I picked up during our weekend in Killarney.

TinyTip1: You would rather stay in a Bed & Breakfast as most hotels in Killarney are way too highly priced and honestly not worth the hype in my opinion.

TinyTip2: You have to pay for street parking so travel with some coins if necessary.

TinyTip3: The best time to visit Killarney is in May. This is when the plants, trees, and flowers are new and freshly grown-up ready for the summer. It’s almost like they were off rehearsing the show for the summer tourists during the winter and May is when they put on their first full show. Also if you want to avoid the peak season crowds, May is the best time of the year.

As usual, leave a comment below, like and follow my blog if you would like to see more of these posts.

Thank you for stopping by again.

Cheers,

Your humble Boujee traveler.

Xxx

Moving to Cork

Hello again!

So you have all heard the story of our move to Seychelles. Now, I talk about our move to Ireland.

When most people hear that we moved from the tropical island to the latter rainy one, they are not slow at expressing their utter disbelieve.

Let me tell you something about Cork. She has got one hell of a character! Although rainy, it boasts a very green landscape even in the middle of winter. The people here are ever so pleasant and take a couple of minutes out of their day to ask how you are doing. If you ask the total African to me, it is a little taste of home, only that here people are more respectful of your privacy.

I will not lie, in all the cities I have lived, I have felt most at home in Cork.

It was a cold, dark Sunday morning when my husband picked me up from the airport the day I arrived in Cork. Usually, when I get off a plane and walk into new territory, I am greeted with a sense of wonder and worry about whether or not I will like the place. When I got off the plane in Cork, although I was hit in the face by the coldest air I had ever breathed and welcomed by the dullest grey sky I have ever seen, I was also greeted at the immigration gate by the warmest smile I had ever seen. I felt at home right away.

My first year in Cork was filled with uncertainty. I was not working, and although my husband had a good job to sustain us and our fur baby, we still had such a tight budget at the end of each month.

My how life had changed. I have always been a hard worker- a trait I pulled from my dad. Even when I was in college and got all my bills paid by my parents, I hustled myself a job as an Au pair so I could be a little bit more independent.

I got my first job as a call center agent in 2017. Yes, people, I was picking up calls from nasty people who insulted, threatened and shouted at me quite often when I told them something they didn’t want to hear. Strangely enough, I didn’t actually mind that job. It was much better than the alternative of sitting home and playing ‘housewife’- a gift I have always admired but was never fortunate enough to acquire. This job was exhausting, but my salary was supplementing my husband’s salary and I could now afford to adopt this consumerism culture of the west. A culture I absolutely love and respect. (Don’t judge)

Towards the end of summer, after a few months in the call center, I got ‘dream’ job as a preschool teacher. I say ‘dream job’ because I have never wanted to be anything else, however, working in Europe puts a whole other meaning to the word ‘work’. You earn every single cent you make through tears and seat here.

You cannot be a minute late for work, so for those of us that have grown up in the tropics where life comes to a halt when it rains, this is a hard adjustment to make.

You can not go for hospital appointments without permission from your employer. You cannot dictate when you want to make your hospital appointment and the hospital only opens from 9 am to 5 pm. In short, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You either risk getting fired, or getting dead.

Most employers will only give you a legal maximum of seven minutes to go to the bathroom per day so even you bathroom breaks have to be well planned.

To say I have grown up while working in Europe is the understatement of the year. I feel like I should get a universally recognized award for the amount of growing up I have done in the short time I have done it in.

On my first day, as I walked out from the military camp I called work, I called my mother and told her I wanted to come home.

Two years down the line in Cork and I will tell you, it is the best decision we ever made.

Here are a few tips for you if you plan on moving to Cork.


1. There is a housing crisis in the whole of Ireland so it is extremely difficult to get a house, so start looking early enough.

2. Rent in Cork city is extremely expensive. If you are a family, budget about €1200-1600 depending on the area you choose. If you are a couple or individual and want save some money by sharing, you are looking at about €300-700 pet room. The closer to the city, the more expensive.

3. Look for roommates on facebook pages. Here is a good one. Please exercise caution when meeting people over the internet.

4. If you have a car, look into renting a house outside the city. You might have a 30-45 minute commute if you work in town but it will save you up to €700 er month depending on where you decide to live.

5. If your driving licence is anything other than EU, check if your country has a special treaty with Ireland. You might be able to exchange your license for an Irish one without going from scratch. Click here for more information.

6. If your driving license is not from the EU of from a country in any of the above mentioned category, you will have to go through the whole process of getting a new license.

7. Resgister yourself with a General Practioner as soon as you arrive in order. Click here for information

8. Depending on your financial state, you might be able to get a medical card or GP card (you don’t pay for public medical services in hospitals, GPs or clinics).

9. If you are working, contact the tax office to find out about what tax credits you have. Lots of people don’t realise the different tax credits they are entitled to and end up paying higher taxes.

10. If you are married or in a civil partnership, and your partner is not working, you might be able to claim their tax credits. Contact Revenue for more information about this.

11. If you are liking for furniture, baby items, household items etc and you don’t want to spend a fortune, you can buy them second hand from this Facebook page or Done Deal


If you are reading this and you moved to Cork, I’d love to hear your own views and experiences.

If you have recently moved to a new area, I’d love to here from you too.

Till next time, good people.

Cheers

xxx

A visit to Adare Village

Hello, lovelies!

Last weekend mother nature suprised us and allowed the sun to come out and play and since we see so little of the sun in my current part of the world, we couldn’t dare to say no.

There are so many places in Ireland that I want to visit but on a nice day like this, I thought it would be a lovely town in a neighboring city.

Adare, what a special town! So rich in culture and color, it is definitely a town to visit.

We hit the town at about 2 pm as the sun played hide and seek behind the clouds in the sky. You can never know what how to dress in Ireland so it is always safest to dress warm and the take off the layers as needed.

I went with a mustard front twist knot jumper, a pair of black jeans and trainers. The plan was to walk and experience the town as much as we could.

We parked on the side of a very busy street as it seemed like no one in the country was going to miss a chance to enjoy the sun.

We walked through what seemed like the busiest and happiest little town I have ever seen. As we walked along the main street hand in hand with my husband, I caught a few glimpses of people tapping each other and staring at us as though we were such a peculiar sight.

We walked on admiring what looked like a scene from the medieval times- minus the clothing. We watched as the villagers stopped to greet and chat with each other. They happily inquired about each other’s well-being and commented on what a lovely day it was. No one was in a hurry to move on at all. Car drivers gently hooted at each other and waved as a sign of recognition. At some point, a gentleman walking towards us smiled gently and exclaimed, “I hope you enjoy the weather here today. You came on a great day.” This, I noticed, was not just small talk. His eyes betrayed the genuinity and communicated that he was indeed happy for us that our decision to visit coincided with the sun’s rare appearance.

The main street is filled with small but lovely restaurants, pubs, boutiques and shops that stand out, each with its own character.

The fascinating thing about the town was the traditional grass-thatched cottages embedded in the heart of it. Oh, what a sight! There is something about an ancient town that just speaks to my heart. I picture all the Irish men, women and children that once walked these streets in the centuries that passed.

I kid you not, besides the fact that I would have been a slave, I would have loved to be alive in the medieval times. There is something about cottages, castles and horseback carriages that really appeals to me.

After touring the town for what seemed like ages, the sounds in our hungry stomachs had become impossible to ignore so we set off to look for somewhere to eat.

I am not sure if it was due to the fact that it was a sunny day, but all the open pubs were full and we, therefore, couldn’t get seated.

A quick look at Professor Google led us to the extremely prestigious Adare Manor. Lads, this is the most luxurious place I have ever been to or seen- and I have seen quite a few in my day. This was more than luxury- it was royalty. ‘Queen of England’ kind of royalty.

First of all, there are three concierges at the gate with royal looking attire. Okay, I know what you are thinking- ‘all hotels have overly dressed concierges.’ Right! Yes, they do, but these ones we dressed like the royal guards only in black and they were at the gate, not just at the hotel door.

Anyway, we drove up to the gate only to be told that the hotel was fully booked and we could not have lunch there. Disappointed, we asked if we could drive up to take photos.

Maybe it is my rural-urban migration speaking but it must be the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It is a title short of being a palace. We only managed to see the outside which was a gorgeous garden that stretched out into acres on a golf course. Clearly, we were way out of our league.

We decided to head out to Limerick city to find food there instead. On the way, I looked up the Adare Manor as I was determined that my husband and I would be coming back for our anniversary in July. To my utter dismay, not only was the Manor out of our league in appearance, but also the price- which was even further out of our league than their fancy gardens and golf course.

Just to be clear, the options for a deluxe double bedrooms are between €700 and the suite is €2700 per night. This is not just out of our league, it is out of our universe. How do we even breathe the same air as people that can afford to pay this kind of money for just one night (meals not included)?

Ok so we definitely couldn’t afford to stay here, but dinner here and maybe a spa treatment would be a lovely treat. Laughing out loud! The cheapest price for dinner was €120 per person and don’t get me started on the spa. The day I pay those prices for food and a spa, I better be eating an everlasting meal and getting an antidote for aging.

So that dream was written off the bucket list as quickly as it was put on.

We drove to Limerick and all roads led to the Texan Steakhouse which we had found on Google. The funny thing was that we had eaten here the last time we were in Limerick in 2016 but didn’t realize it until we walked into the restaurant’s familiar environment. That goes to show how predictable my husband and I are when it comes to food. We will always go to the restaurant that sounds like it serves the best meat. And what better place than a steakhouse?

The Texan Steakhouse did not disappoint. The food was amazing and the service was great. I am not an expert on food so I am not going to pretend to review the food in detail. All I know is that it was a good meal but and only cost us a decent amount of €62 for a three-course meal for two.

After a lovely hectic afternoon of walking and exploring Adare village, and a heavy late lunch, it was time to call it a day and head back home.

I must say, it was definitely a trip worth making.