A little bit of R&R can be found right on your doorstep.
Ah October, we meet again. It is officially that time of year when all of your summer holidays are over, you’re strapped for cash, and those dark and gloomy nights are making you long for a little getaway.
While a week in Tenerife this month is unlikely to be on the cards, the prospect of holidaying from home very much is. R&R can be found right on your doorstep, and last weekend I discovered just that.
Setting out on an adventure from home, myself and my boyfriend took to the road and headed for County Down as part of the Taste the Island experience. For those of you who may not know, Taste the Island is a celebration of Ireland’s food and drink. Running from September to October, the programme is to give visitors access to unique events and foodie experiences all over Ireland.
Our experience took place in the town of Newcastle in County Down. Arriving at our destination, we pulled up to The Slieve Donard resort and spa, and were impressed to say the least. Tucked away in the Mountains of Mourne, the views surrounding the hotel are INCRED.
After enjoying a little downtime in the hotel, we eventually managed to drag ourselves from the comfort of our room and headed off on our first foodie adventure, which was a tour of the White Water Brewery.
A family run business, Kerry, our tour guide showed us around the brewery, telling tales of how the business began and explaining how exactly the magic happens. And then of course – the best part- we had the pleasure of sampling some of their products. From fruity IPAs to stouts which would give Guinness a run for its money, it’s fair to say we left the brewery a little merrier than when we arrived.
A few hours later it was time for dinner. We reserved a table that evening at Brunel’s restaurant. The award-winning restaurant is right in the heart of Newcastle and provides fresh, local and seasonal cuisine. From seafood to steak, they whip up just about everything.
The head chef, Paul Cunningham, is a wizard when it comes to food, playing around with different flavours and presentation. Dining in Brunel’s is an experience within itself and one that we won’t forget in hurry.
Luckily, the restaurant is just a 2 minute walk from the Slieve, so we rolled ourselves home and fell into a food induced coma, happy as Larry.
The next morning we enjoyed breakfast in the hotel at our leisure, and the sunny day meant we could explore the area and take in all of the gorgeous sights it has to offer.
And that was it! Our little staycation was over. While we didn’t get a tan, or dip our toes into the warm ocean, we did get to experience a little slice of heaven right on our very own island. Taste the Island is the perfect excuse to experience something new and unusual in Ireland. So, save yourself the hassle of trying to plan a holiday abroad and explore the flavours of the Emerald Isle this Autumn.
For more information visit discoverireland.ie/taste-the-island