Discovery begins at home

I work in the travel industry, so part of my job description is to persuade people to leave Ireland and enjoy many of the delights that the world has to offer. I’ve been doing this in various manifestations (travel agent, tour operator, GSA, consortium founder etc.) for almost 45 years and I love my job! So forgive me this week if I break with tradition and talk a little bit about what can be found on our own piece of turf because we’re blessed in this country to enjoy some of the best scenery and food in the world and believe me, I’ve seen a lot of it!

In particular, I want to spend this week’s blog, talking about the delights of Sheen Falls Lodge which I had the pleasure of staying in a couple of weeks ago as part of a joint initiative between Silversea Cruises and Relais & Chateaux, the global grouping of independently owned and managed luxury hotels and restaurants. Silversea, as you may know, is probably one of the most well-known ultra-luxury cruise lines in the world and a brand I’m also very familiar with, having sailed with the on a number of occasions.

I was of course familiar with Sheen Falls Lodge but had never stayed there — familiarity breeds contempt and all that — so I had high expectations of my visit there and it di not disappoint. The welcome, when you arrive, is warm and professional. The location is relaxing and photogenic. The bedrooms are spacious and luxuriously appointed but it is the food that is the real star! Head chef Cormac McCreary who is a Kildare native but whose last gig before being lured to Sheen Falls was at the Ritz in London is, in my humble opinion, the Lionel Messi of the kitchen. The meal I enjoyed there during my recent stay was, to steal an oft-used phrase from the vocabulary of one-time director and food critic Michael Winner, ‘historic’. It was both art on a plate and orgasmic on the palate and one of the best meals I’ve ever had, anywhere!

So much so that I’m already planning a return visit later in the year and if you’ve yet to succumb to the charms of Sheen Falls Lodge, then I suggest that you correct that oversight straight away and pick up the phone to make your first reservation. As I say, my task is to persuade people like you to leave this beautiful island of ours and explore the delights of the great world that lies beyond our shores but I am more than happy to make an exception in this instance as excellence such as this simply cannot be ignored!

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