When I think about travel, I tend to think about aeroplanes and the need for a passport. Sometimes we forget that we have some glorious opportunities on our own doorstep. Why not consider a little staycation closer to home?
A reason to celebrate
It isn’t that I need a reason to go on an adventure, but when the Merriman Hotel in Kinvara invited me to try a midweek break, I thought it would be an excellent way to celebrate our June birthdays.
So, we packed a little bag and headed off to Kinvara which is a beautiful fishing village on the Wild Atlantic Way. A little over an hour from home Kinvara is also the gateway to the beautiful Burren in County Clare.
There are pros and cons about the Irish Summer. The pros are that the landscape is truly picturesque, and the expression ‘50 shades of green’ is truly in bloom. The con is that for this lush landscape to bloom we have a lot of rain! I am used to rain by now, and a good coat with a hood means that I am ready to go – regardless of the weather.
The Merriman Hotel in beautiful Kinvara
The Merriman Hotel, the largest thatch roof structure in Ireland and has a cosy traditional feel, inviting you in and encouraging you to stay. As we were on a mini break I wanted to pack as much as I could into the day.
After checking in, we headed off for a walk through the town, stopping to browse in some interesting and quirky shops. We landed up at Sair a coffee shop gallery for a delicious cappuccino and a naughty slice of pecan nut pie. Despite being June, the weather was crisp and after the walk I had built up an appetite for dinner. We returned to our comfy room, and then to settle in before thinking about an evening meal.
More Delicious Food
We decided to stay at the Merriman that evening and dine at the Thatch Bar. One of the great things about a mini break is that you can relax, enjoy a drink and know that you only have to wander upstairs to bed and that nobody has to drive home.
I cannot recommend the food at the Thatch Bar at the Merriman enough. It was lip smackingly delicious. I chose traditional fish, chips and mushy peas. The batter was crisp and delicious and the fish so fresh! The portion was huge, but that was ok because himself landed up having both his sticky spare ribs and some of my fish. As it was a birthday celebration we indulged in dessert. Apple crumble for him and a delicious Eton Mess for me!
Day Two in Kinvara
After a great night’s sleep and a few cups of tea in bed we came down to breakfast, which was served buffet style with a large choice of fruits, cereals and pastries plus of course a traditional full Irish breakfast. Once again excellent food, of course washed down with a few more cups of tea.
I am not used to a full breakfast, so we decided to go for a walk before heading off. The grey skies were threatening, but we donned our coats and took a refreshing walk down to the harbour where the views across the water were simply stunning.
Visit Kinvara on a Thursday night – there is a good reason …
If you are booking a mid-week mini break at The Merriman Hotel, I would advise booking a Thursday. The reason is that on a Friday there is really the most fabulous Farmers Market which takes place on a Friday morning from 10 am. You will find a huge range of delicious food items (to eat there or to take home), local crafts and a great choice of fresh fruit and vegetables.
As we were rather full of our delicious breakfast I did a little shopping for home. I bought a sharp local cheese with a hint of chilli, some very indulgent cinnamon and spice buns, and a ciabatta, which is was yummy toasted.
Onwards on the Wild Atlantic Way
Kinvara is a great stopping off place for visiting the Burren and County Clare. It is only another short drive to amazing beaches such as Flaggy Shore, and Fanore Beach (my personal favourite), and the iconic Cliffs of Moher.
I am really blessed to live so close to this area, and I will definitely be back on a sunny day. Stopping first at the Merriman Hotel for their famous Sunday carvery lunch and then making my way down the Wild Atlantic Way.
Thank you for reading about my adventures.
p.s Thank you to The Merriman Hotel for having us to stay.