Image: Kinnitty Castle Hotel
Day Four (cont’d): Kinnitty Castle
Our sojourn in County Offally continued with a night at the Kinnitty Castle Hotel, which as its name suggests is located in what was originally a 13th century Norman castle. Renovated many times over the centuries, it is now part of a franchise serving the popular destination area of the Slieve Bloom mountains.
The takeaway from this visit?
Exploring the back rooms and corridors, full of intriguing medieval details, off the beaten track of most guests.
Playing the antique Broadwood piano in the elegant drawing room (for the non-musical, that’s the kind of piano Beethoven might have used, from the days long before Steinway).
Watching the sunrise magically light up the stone walls through the colored-glass balcony window – from the comfort of my ancient-looking four-post bed!
Having the run of the castle, in particular the extensive antique library (pictured below) – an early-bird bonus in a country that doesn’t wake up until at least 9am.
- My first encounter with the “full Irish” – that’s breakfast, to the rest of the Kelloggs-and-Egg MacMuffin-consuming world. They do breakfast right in Ireland!
The best thing of all? The Irish people, of course. Hours seem to slip by unnoticed over long dinners where you strike up interesting conversations with the strangers sitting next to you – though some may argue, there’s no such thing as a “stranger” in Ireland. The staff had been working the graveyard shift and still managed to pull beaming smiles at the crack of dawn, in typical Irish fashion ready with a joke and good talk.