For those of us not born with a silver spoon in our mouths, it’s nice to daydream about what it would be like to live the life of the Lord or Lady of the Manor. To be cocooned in a characterful, comfortable home, within a private estate, where you can wander and stroll at will. Then, to have the privilege of returning home to enjoy the finest country fare cooked by the house staff. If nothing else, this little fantasy can break up a boring bus journey to work, or be part of the plan for what to do with the money when you win the Euromillions! We all need escapism now and again!
But actually, living in the Manor born is closer than you think. Tune into Manor House Living a new series in our blog, which highlights some of Ireland’s finest country manor houses. If you have a few days holiday to spare, they can lead you right into the realm of living how the other half lives. Good Food Ireland has a number of period country homes on private estates, which open their doors to the general public as luxury accommodations and gourmet destinations serving the best in local produce. Everything a country house on a rural estate offers is there to be enjoyed, with some special deals to be had this time of year. Autumn is a great time to explore the opportunity to live it up a little.
Slane in Co. Meath is home to the rural idyll and grand living that is Tankardstown House. This privately owned period house dates back to 1710. Over the years, it has been extended in keeping with its age. Today it’s a real family home that welcomes guests to make it their home from home. Walk into Tankardstown House and it immediately becomes yours – for a day or two at least! It’s not like checking into a hotel, but rather being greeted at the front door by the house staff, who want to make you comfortable and at ease from the get-go.
Trish Conroy, co-owner of Tankardstown House with her husband Brian, has put her eye for detail, interior decor and restoration to good use – choosing country house furnishings and period pieces that set superbly into their scene. Bedrooms are a case in point – if lording it for a few days is what you want, you’ve come to the right place! Heritage Rooms have opulent drapes and magnificent beds.
Don the elegant robe and slippers you’ll find in your room and sprawl out in style on plump mattresses, the finest linens and a heap of cushions to recline on. You’re staying in a period house over 300 years old – but that doesn’t mean you haven’t got modern conveniences to hand. Flat-screen tv and free wifi are also available in all rooms. Wannabe aristocrats can up the ante a bit with a stay in the Libary Suite or Master Suite – complete wall to wall luxury.
Breakfast in bed or Afternoon Tea in your room is also an option with room service. At bathtime, time to run yourself a chest-deep soak and scent it with bubbles from the selection of handmade toiletries. If you do drag yourself out of the house with its roaring fires and cosy reception rooms, the great outdoors beckons.
Tankardstown’s estate is easily accessed on foot or by the ‘cute’ house bicycles Trish has thoughtfully remembered to provide, alongside walking boots for guests that didn’t bring their own. A soak in the outdoor hot tub might also appeal! Four-legged doggy friends who are well behaved are welcome at Tankardstown House – nothing like having your own canine buddy around to soak up the country estate life! Dinner time here is a treat, cooked by Executive Chef Robbie Krawcyzk, son of famous West Cork salami maker Frank Krawczyk. Robbie brings inimitable style and his own recipe handcrafted charcuterie to the house menu in Brabazon Restaurant.
While you’re in the area, check out the various activities to be had. Fishing enthusiasts will find great potential here, as Slane lies right in the heart of the Boyne Valley with its majestic river. Excellent for wild brown trout. Golfing and horseriding are also in the vicinity. The Hill of Slane is about 0.5km away from the village and is reputed to be the first place Saint Patrick lit the first Pascal Fire in 433AD. Find out more bout what to see on www.visitslane.ie
Click the link here for Autumn breaks at Tankardstown. Take in the changing colours of the season with a short stay – or sneak away for a night of grandeur midweek. Silver spoon at the ready!
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