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Manors, Castles, Country Homes and Coastlines of Ireland

September 7 - 15   2019

Experience 8 nights in Ireland with this carefully curated trip by native Cork woman, Rachel Gaffney. Rachel will guide you personally and take you off the beaten path. On this special trip, you will have exclusive access to people and places that would otherwise not be on an itinerary.  Immerse yourself in Irish culture. Experience the Real Ireland with Rachel.



We will be staying in  Dublin at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, a boutique, city-centre, luxury escape with a charm and character all of its own. A contemporary twist on that ancient Irish hospitality that's far from intrusive but close to perfect. It is located in the epicentre of the city, overlooking St Stephens Green and mere minutes from the famous  Grafton Street, Trinity College, Leinster House and much much more. 

Enjoy the afternoon in Dublin at your leisure. The concierge staff at the Fitzwilliam are ready to greet and guide us to various destinations. Perhaps you would like to download their wonderfully informative walking tour on your phon or visit the Chester Beatty Library, St Patricks Cathedral or the Guinness Storehouse. The choices are many; the decisions are yours. 

Dinner at Glovers Alley Restaurant

Glovers Alley is the homecoming of Dublin chef Andy McFadden, having spent the last twelve years in London where he became the youngest chef in the UK to hold a Michelin star which he retained for the last seven years.

We will be dining as a group this evening at this extraordinary restaurant. 



           Glovers Alley  













Fitzwilliam Hotel






Begin your day with a full Irish breakfast. We will drive out to the village of Howth, located East of Dublin on the Howth Peninsula. Be prepared to walk the magnificent Howth Cliff Walk or take a ferry out to Ireland's Eye. After all this fresh air, dine in one of the local seafood restaurants before returning to the city for the evening. 

Of course, if you would prefer to remain in the city centre for the day, then that is also an option. 

Evening at your leisure










Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Fitzwilliam Hotel before driving across the country in our luxurious Mercedes bus, meandering through County Tipperary before finally arriving at a  special destination in County Limerick.

We will meet with Imen McDonnell. Imen is an American cook, author and photographer. In a former life, she spent her days working in television and commercial production while living in New York, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. She now resides with her Irish husband and their young son on their family farm in rural Ireland and shares illustrious stories of Irish country life and food on her popular blog,  farmette.ie

Imen's first book, The Farmette Cookbook: Recipes and Adventures from My Life on an Irish Farm was published in the spring of 2016.

In 2014, she created Lens & Larder, a series of creative food & photography workshops set in extraordinary Irish country houses and the surounding landscapes. Imen has contributed to Conde  Nast Traveler (USA) and Town & Country (UK) and her modern Irish recipes and stories from the farm have been featured in The New York TImes, The Irish Times, The Sunday Times (UK) The Los Angeles Times, Food and Wine Magazine, Huffington Post, Saveur Magazine and more.



    Imen McDonnell








We will ramble around the green fields, foraging for blackberries among the Irish hedgerows with Imen leading the charge.  Afterwards, enjoy a hot cup of tea with homemade scones, slathered with homemade butter,( yes you heard right, she makes her butter)  and fresh preserves. I guarantee that you will likely never experience anything like these scones ever again and I am prepared to take bets here! Before  your visit to Ireland, everyone will receive a copy of her gorgeous cookbook, 'The Farmette'

Following our adventure with Imen, we will then make our way to the magnificent and luxurious Adare Manor, awarded 'Hotel of The Year' in 2018 by Virtuoso. Adare Manor borrows its name from the nearby village of Adare, beloved for its delightful thatched roof cottages, lively pubs and antique shops. Sitting on the banks of the River Maigue, Adare overlooks the fording point from which the village derives its name: Ath-Dara meaning 'The Ford of the Oak.'

Some properties re-decorate, but Adare Manor took on an extensive conservation and restoration project that spanned two years, reopening their doors in late 2017. There is a very special quality to the limestone from which Adare Manor was built. Exquisitely worked by local stonemasons, it boasts very finely carved details including: gargoyles, parapets and mouldings, as well as over 50 carved stone chimney stacks, each with a different ornamentation. The Limestone was extracted from local quarries, tying the Manor House back to the soul of the land on which it stands. 


Adare Manor












Enjoy breakfast at Adare Manor, wander the grounds, perhaps take a few laps in the swimming pool, indulge at the magnificent La Mer Spa or enjoy some clay pigeon shooting. 

Later, we will drive to Mallow, which will take less than an hour and enjoy exclusive access to Longueville House and gardens for the night. Upon arriving we will be greeted by  Aisling and William O'Callaghan and enjoy afternoon tea in the drawing room. 

Longueville is indeed a hidden gem and is a stunning 300-year-old listed Georgian Country House hidden in the heart of a 450- acre wooded estate, in the Blackwater Valley. It is steeped in history and privately owned and run as a four- star country house hotel and restaurant. Classic but informal, where open fires crackle in vintage hearths and intriguing heirlooms jostle with fresh flowers from the gardens. There is even a craft cider named after the estate, and fermented on site from apples harvested in the 30-acre orchard. Some of the cider is distilled in the Calvados style, to become Longueville House Apple brandy.












We will tour the magnificent gardens, orchards and take a walk with the O'Callaghans learning all about the history of this home. Longueville's beautiful view of the Blackwater Valley belies a turbulent history. The oldest section of this house was built in 1720 by the Longfield family, who always maintained they were of French extraction and not Cromwellians. William O'Callaghan is a descendant of original owner Donough O'Callaghan. Donough fought beside the Catholics after the collapse of the 1641 Rebellion and forfeited the land to Cromwell. At this time, when Richard Longfield was created Baron Longueville in 1795, the family changed the name of the estate to Longueville.

Dinner in the dining room that evening.



From Mallow we will take a short drive via Blarney to the world-famous Ballymaloe House, Gardens and Cooking School located in East Cork. Accommodation at Ballymaloe is simple and elegant. It has a calm and relaxing feel. Fresh flowers are brought in from the garden every day. In summer, sweet peas and old roses fill the rooms and in the autumn and winter, foliage and branches are brought from the woods. 

The restaurant serves locally sourced and home grown food from their walled garden and farm. Their chefs draw up the lunch and dinner menu daily depending on what comes in from the garden and the boats nearby at Ballycotton. Herbs, edible flowers, soft fruits and apples come over from their walled garden as well as onions, potatoes, kale, cabbage and salad leaves.

The prestigous Ballmaloe School is world famous and when you stay here you will understand why it has garnered such accolades.  It may even inspire you to enroll in their 12 week certificate course. 

3 Course Dinner in Ballymaloe's world- famous restaurant that evening.  




    Ballymaloe House










Enjoy a delicious breakfast at Ballymaloe House before leaving for West Cork.

Enjoy two days overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and take in the famous 'Taste of West Cork' Food festival. A Taste of West Cork Food Festival is so much more than just a festival which happens to be about food; It is a festival that celebrates all that is unique about West Cork - the food, the producers, the landscape and the people and it is for this reason that Rachel has added this to the itinerary. Growing up in Cork and vacationing much of her life in West Cork, she wants to make sure people are introduced to this unique aspect of Irish life and culture. A Taste of West is one of Ireland's longest running food festivals and is fast becoming a premier event on the food calendar. 


A spectacular vista of the Atlantic Ocean greets you on arrival at Dunmore House Hotel. This third generation family business first opened as a hotel in 1948. The house still retains much of its original character whilst providing all the comforts of a modern hotel. Situated on the shores of Clonakilty Bay in charming West Cork,this magnificent coastal location has been used to advantage to provide sea views from most rooms.






     Dunmore House, Clonakilty








Details to follow for activities and choices after May 2019

Stay at Dunmore House



We leave County Cork for County Clare and spend our last night at Dromoland Castle. 

Dromoland Castle is one of Ireland's most famous  Baronial castles. It was the ancestral home of the O'Briens, Barons of Inchiquin, one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood. The present castle was constructed in 1835, but the  first building on the land dates back to the 15th or 16th century. At least three houses on the land over the years have existed and were all called Dromoland. The word "Dromoland" translates as "Hill of Litigation". The first mention of Dromoland in any records was in the will of Murroigh O'Brien in 1551. He was a Tanist, which is the traditional Gaelic system for passing down titles and lands.














  • Limited to 14 people
  • $5400 Per Person Sharing a  Room 
  • $5900 For  Single Occupancy  
  • Includes Driver From Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin to Departure on Final Day
  • Breakfast Daily
  • All Taxes and Tolls
  • Dinner at Glovers Alley, Dublin
  • Dinner at Longueville House, Cork
  • Dinner at Ballymaloe House, Cork
  • Foraging with Imen McDonnell and a copy of  'The Farmette Cookbook' 
  • Garden Tours and Experience at Longueville House
  • Afternoon Tea at Longueville House

      Email   Rachel@RachelGaffneys.com





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