WEEKEND OF WONDER

Well, I had promised a post about my fabulous time last weekend, so here it is!

My uncle was kind enough to extend invitations to Mummy, myself, and much of our other extended family to join him at the Dinner Dance for an organisation he has been working with over the last three years. We jumped at the chance to go stay at the fabulous Knightsbrook Hotel, Golf, & Spa Resort. The hotel itself is lovely, and the location –just a few miles away from the city– isn’t too bad, either. We had a great weekend exploring the hotel and the nearby historical sites, as well as enjoying the fab dance that was laid on for us– so much so that my prattle went on far longer than I’d intended, so I’ll put my pics and thoughts under a cut.

I was super impressed with the hotel’s facilities– we made use of their superb leisure center every day we were there. The pool is on the small side, but it has one enormous plus point that overrides any negatives: it’s heated. Every time we go away to a spa, poor Mum ends up sitting by the side of the pool, watching me swim because she finds the water too cold to bear. Not here! It’s all one depth, as well, which, for those who are not overly fond of the water, is a godsend.

We also availed of their terrific spa, where we both had their Signature massages. If you’re considering it, let me warn you: there’s a hot sack treatment at the beginning (where a warm towel or sack of grain is placed on your back to heat the muscles)– and when they say hot, they mean hot. Both Mother and I were pink-backed at the end of our table time, but I must also confess that I left the spa limp as a noodle and incredibly relaxed.

The rooms were great, although I had a bit of an incident with the shower.  The bath and shower have independent temperature controls, and I couldn’t understand why the water coming out of the bath tap was boiling while I could only get lukewarm water out of the shower. Cue me getting down on my knees like a fool and trying to wash my very long hair under the bath tap, even getting it caught in the drain! Fortunately, I then realised that it was my own mistake, and went on to enjoy blissfully warm showers thereafter.

My sole gripe about the hotel was that there’s a bit of a limited availability of plug connections– there are two on the desk for guest use, and that’s it. I thought maybe if I unplugged the bedside lamps I could use those plugs, but no– they’re round-pin only. This is kind of a big oversight for a modern hotel, because how many people do you know who don’t like to leave their phone on charge beside their beds at night? I can’t think of anyone– Mum and my aunts complained about this issue, as well. Other than that, though, I can’t fault the hotel: it was really great.

We didn’t do much on Sunday other than enjoy our massages, order room service, read a little, explore the hotel, and laze around chatting with the family– four of my aunts were there, plus my cousin, so we had kind of a fun time.

weekend-day
Here you can see the view from the hotel, my hotel room, my reading material for the trip (more on that another day!), and a photo I took on our day trip to Newgrange. You can also see the outfit I was wearing on the left– my beloved Uggs and Under Armour exercise pants (three hours on a bus and I’ll be wanting comfortable pants!), a stripey poloneck jumper from Dunnes,  a black fleece, an Hermes shawl (Ex Libris), and an Hermes hat.

Monday was adventure-packed. It began with the hotel’s pretty extensive breakfast buffet; their selection of yoghurts was a little on the pale side, but everything else had excellent choice. I had a fried egg, sausage, bacon, toast & jam, and a little pan-au-chocolat. It was buffet-style for both the Continental breakfast and the Irish breakfast, which I appreciated– it means I can double up on bacon and avoid the meat pudding!

This feast was followed with a bus trip go to see Newgrange and the Hill of Tara. I got some amazing books on Celtic history and lore, which I shall be using for research for my next book, and a little necklace I might show in a future post. As soon as we got back, there was no time to waste– it was time to change quickly and get ready for the dance!

weekend-night
Dance outfit on the right: black dress from a sale in some tiny Paris boutique, Chanel bag, Chloe shoes. I did my own hair and makeup, not that you can see much of either. The makeup lasted pretty well throughout the night; alas, the same can’t be said for the hair. I had to duck back upstairs mid-way through the evening to ditch the pins, brush out the hairspray, and change into ballet flats for dancing!

The evening itself was nothing short of magical. The ballroom was decked out beautifully, as you can see– the photos don’t do it justice. Let me just tell you: the food was amazing. I’m not really a foodie and food’s never been that high up on my list of priorities (give me a plate of chips and I’m happy), but this was sit-up-and-take-notice stuff. I don’t normally trust salads I haven’t prepared myself because if the lettuce isn’t washed properly, it makes me really ill. The salad starter here, however, gave me no trace of stomach grumbles, and the chicken that was served with it was nothing short of delicious. The salmon that followed (steak was also an option, but having had that the night before, I figured I’d give my poor body a break) was without question the nicest salmon I’ve ever had. Dessert was a trio of miniature cheesecake, profiterole, and meringue. I wish I could say I didn’t make a pig of myself and eat my aunt’s, as well, but that would be a lie. (She hates sweet things, and I was more than happy to take them off her hands! I gave Mummy the profiterole, though. That makes it okay, right?)

After dinner, we boogied late into the night, met some lovely new people, and had a wonderful time. Poor Mum– full of excitable beans from the night’s activities, I stayed in her room annoying her with my blather until 3am, at which time she had to turf me out to get some sleep!

Tuesday morning we grabbed a much lighter breakfast, and hit the pool with gusto to make up for our gastronomic sins of the past few days. The hotel was kind enough to facilitate us with a late checkout (though you pay €15 per room for the privilege), so we were able to enjoy the leisure facilities again, come back upstairs, and shower in peace without having to frantically scramble to vacate the room.

All in all, it was a brilliant weekend. The dance was fantastic, and I’m really grateful to my uncle for inviting us. The hotel was terrific, too, and we’re definitely planning to head back there again for a weekend break some time soon. If anyone else is considering it, I couldn’t recommend it enough (though I might advise the packing of an extension lead if you’ve got room for one)!

Doubt this weekend will be as fun as last weekend on my end, but I hope everyone else has a great time!

-A-

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