With the dark evenings drawing in and Christmas just around the corner, winter is the time of year when it feels particularly good to spoil yourself with a quick getaway to a luxurious spa. Many of the country houses and hotels in Ireland’s Blue Book have world-class spa and treatment facilities, in beautiful and peaceful surroundings.
Throughout December, enjoy some seasonal favourites and joyful treats with there delectable festive afternoon teas in Blue Book Houses
Dark Chocolate Pots with Berry and Nut Crumble from Dunbrody House
A Gingerbread Recipe from Paul Kelly of The Merrion Hotel
A sumptuous Hot Chocolate Dessert recipe from Aherne's Townhouse in Youghal
Every year, we find ourselves asking the same question: what is the perfect wine pairing for Christmas dinner? And the answer varies, based on what you’re cooking and indeed who you ask. For most people, Christmas is just not Christmas without turkey, and because it is not powerfully flavoured and has a low fat content, it generally pairs best with white wines, and if a light red is preferred, it should be low in tannin.
Christmas is a time for gathering with friends and family and enjoying a few creature comforts. Make your festive feast memorable this year with some decadent dining options from the houses of the Blue Book.
6 festive cocktails from our mixologists at Blue Book Houses & Restaurants
5 Blue Book Country House Hotels that have lovely Autumn leaves to enjoy and admire on your walk
Are you looking for an active getaway? We have gathered 5 Blue Book walks that are at their best in the crisp autumn air.
A Wonderful Winter Warmer from Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House - Wild Forest Mushroom Chowder
Treat yourself to one of these revitalising facials available at some of our stunning Blue Book spas and treatment rooms.
Things to do on Northern Ireland's coast
Why not take a step back through time and discover the fantastic history of the unique Castle through a guided tour and explore the Marshall Doran Collection of fossils and Medieval European Armour.
Castle Leslie Estate is one of the last great Irish castle estates still in the hands of its founding family, and houses a library that consists of about 2000 volumes built up over time from books acquired by (as well as works written by) the Bishop and the generations of Leslies who came after him.
Immerse yourself in nature in the new Treetop Spa at The Old Inn
10 thing you might not know about the history and famous residents of Barberstown Castle
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be very stressful when it comes to serving up a festive feast for the family. Ian Orr, Chef Patron of the Browns Bonds Hill Collection believes it should be about spending quality time with family and friends and indulging with traditional festive fayre. Ian shares his top ten tips for the perfect Christmas dinner
The origins of Hunter’s Hotel, Newrath Bridge, date back to circa 1650. Built on land held by Sir Abraham Yarner, of Clonmannon Estate, and situated by the banks of the Vartry River, on the then main Dublin-Wexford road, it was originally a forge and evolved into what became known as the Newry Bridge Inn. It served as a Post-House, where travellers rested and changed horses. The oldest part of the building is where the present-day kitchen is located, including the original stable yard. Mr.Daty Rose was the proprietor from around the mid 1700’s. His son William succeeded him. In 1790, the proprietor was one P.Cole, who held the lease for a short period. In the early 1800’s, it became known as the Newrath Bridge Hotel, and sometimes as Nolan’s Hotel, when the lease was purchased by William Nolan, who had two sons, James and Richard. This lease ended when Mr.Nolan was drowned in the nearby Vartry River while watering horses one evening.The Hunter Dynasty begins with this chapter. John Hunter was a butler for Charles Tottenham, Ballycurry Estate. His wife, Catherine, was the housekeeper. In 1825, they obtained the lease on the Hotel, stable yard and seven acres of garden, from Henry Tighe, the landlord. John and Catherine excelled in their management, and the status was further elevated with the citation in Hall’s Ireland, 1841, which reads. “We strongly recommend Mr.Hunter’s Inn at Newrath Bridge which is according to our experience, the most comfortable in the county”. John and Catherine had four children, Robert, William (died in infancy) George and Elizabeth (died in infancy).
Celebrate Halloween with these delicious cocktails from some of Ireland's Blue Book properties.
Islanders are exceptionally proud of their rich heritage and history. Glimpses of Clare Island’s intriguing past are evident at every turn; across the island there are traces of past generations everywhere.
When it comes to Christmas presents for food lovers, there are so many options, from artisan smoked Irish salmon to Michelin starred meals and cookery courses.
A delcious Barmbrack recipe from chef Ger Dunne from Butler House, just for Halloween