“Let’s find someplace beautiful to get lost”
When we arrived in Ireland, we spent our first few nights in what would become my favorite Irish B&B, Lawcus Farm Guest House, in the area of Stoneyford, in County Kilkenny. Why was it your favorite, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: It was a small working farm in the countryside, with quite a few farm animals – pigs, cows, goats, chickens, and a dog or two; it had the nicest, most welcoming, friendliest, most helpful, informative, down-to-earth, delicious-breakfast-cooking hosts; the accommodations were comfortable, quaint, charming, and well-thought-out; the other guests that we met were friendly and fun to get to know; the property was great fun to explore; it was close to a little town with a small pub with really good food; it wasn’t far from Kilkenny; there were some great ruins nearby to explore; and staying there gave us a taste of what it would be like to live in Ireland.
We felt so welcomed and cared for while staying at Lawcus Farm Guest House. As I am sitting here writing this, I am really yearning to go back . . . . . maybe next year . . . . . I can dream, can’t I? Anyhow, I had learned about this B&B while researching on TripAdvisor, and it had really good ratings, and they had availability for the three of us – the room included a queen bed downstairs and a loft with two twin beds – perfect for my husband, myself, and our college-aged son.
Part of the fun of staying in B&Bs in Ireland is getting to meet fellow travelers from other parts of the world. Every morning, our hosts, Mark and AnnMarie would fill up our bellies with an amazing breakfast. In the breakfast room, we met people from Australia, England, and also others from the USA. Some of our favorite new friends were from Australia and we are now connected with them on Facebook.
Before coming to Ireland, I did a lot of research about things to do and see, but once we landed at this B&B, we opted to change our plans and enjoy a little bit of down-time. It was fun to walk around the farm and watch the animals and hang out by the peaceful water that flowed by.
Besides the lodging found in the stone house, Lawcus Farm Guest House also has a tree house nestled among some trees at the back of the property. I think there were some honeymooners staying there at the time. It was a little more expensive than the other rooms, but is quiet and private and would be a great place for a couple to stay.
I can’t say enough about how much I liked this place. But I am not the only one. When we were there, one of the couples from Australia was on a return trip and they brought a gift for Mark and AnnMarie to show their appreciation for everything. Also, TripAdvisor just ranked this B&B #2 in all of Ireland, and #18 in all of Europe. But they are #1 in my book!
When we first arrived at Lawcus Farm Guest House, Mark pulled out an artistically hand-drawn map and sat down with my son and I (my hubby wasn’t there yet, as he got a stomach bug right before our flight to Ireland, as mentioned in my last post, How Do I Love Thee, Ireland? Let me Count the Ways) and showed us all the things of interest in the surrounding area. Now, I can tell you that not all hosts go to this much trouble, and Mark was able to direct us to things that I hadn’t really noticed in my guidebooks, or hadn’t noticed in my online research. Some of the things he pointed out were a local artisan studio, a mill (historical landmark), and a ruins called Kells Priory. He also told us where to get a meal locally and some interesting things to visit in the bigger town of Kilkenny. That first day, my son and I headed over to visit Kells Priory and then into the tiny town of Kells to the local pub for dinner.
Kells Priory was amazing! Some people may look at it as kinda boring or just a pile of rubble, but my son and I had the best time exploring. It’s the kind of place where, if you were a child with an imagination, you could have played there for days, inventing stories about knights and kings and all kinds of adventures. But I will share more about that in my next post. I have so many pictures to share!
After the priory, we ventured into Kells and visited our first Irish pub. I didn’t really know what to expect. We don’t really do pubs here in the states. I mean, we have bars, but there’s a whole different expectation with bars than with pubs, I came to realize. When I think of a bar here, it seems to be all about the alcohol. But a pub in Ireland is more about community. Sure, they serve beer – Guinness to be exact – but it’s not just about the beer. Pubs are like community centers where you can get a good meal and connect with your friends.
In hindsight, I wish that I had taken a few more pictures inside the pub. I had my first fish & chips meal and had mushy peas for the first time. I didn’t know quite what to expect with the mushy peas – it didn’t sound that appealing. But they were surprisingly good! Overall, we were very pleased with our meal, and it was a great ending to a very long and tiring day.
I have so much more to share about our time in County Kilkenny, so I will have to save that for my next post. Our introduction to Ireland and the Irish countryside was beautiful and brilliant. We were just beginning our Irish adventure, and were looking forward to all of the excitement that was to come.
Please come back and visit for my next post about County Kilkenny. Until next time, happy traveling!
Do you have a favorite Irish B&B? If so, please comment below!