We met one of the owners of The Park this morning – Francis Brennan (of the TV show, At Your Service) who was very eager to help us in mapping out our journey, but less eager to actually listen to our requirements! Loved his dress and flamboyance, though! It really was all about the image, the outfit and the persona of the show – but that’s what people love, so that’s what you give ‘em!
We actually went against Francis’ advice (and followed Rick Steves’) by going clockwise around the Ring of Kerry – this meant we avoided the convoy of tour buses, which were going anti-clockwise from Kilarney. Worked perfectly. We DID take his advice, however, in our choice of lunch venue – QC’s in Cahersiveen: cream of asparagus soup with chives and prosecco; crab claws with chilli, tomato, garlic, onion and olive oil pil pil with salad and mustard dressing; Chilean sauvignon blanc.
But before lunch, we had some very interesting diversions off the main road – the Staigue Ring Fort was a particular highlight. This is one of the largest and well-preserved ring forts in Ireland – it’s also in a lovely desolate location, perfect for the imagination to take hold (especially when it’s drizzling with rain!). We just had to avoid the sheep droppings traipsing from the car and up the hill.
After lunch we had a bit of a drive onward to Killarney, and luckily the weather held out for us, after some showers this morning. Of course, there were many photo ops for John en route, and he made the most of all of them (depending on whether the sun was out or behind clouds, of course!).
We checked into the Killarney Park relatively late in the afternoon, and, we have to say, liked it much more than The Park at Kenmare – and all of this was due to staff; they are younger, more cheerful and smiled a lot! The facilities were a tad newer, too – not that the décor was in any way lacking at The Park, it was more about the shower, to be honest! Although, our lovely waiter who brought the champagne and nuts (and cookies!!) at The Park, Colin, was a gem – could pop him in the suitcase and take him with us for the serving of ALL our drinks! Go to Killarney Park Hotel
Like the previous accommodation, the Killarney Park Hotel was right in the middle of town, which was just as delightful to wander around and shop in, as Kenmare (Nic even managed to add to her Christmas decoration collection!). Lord Kenmare’s Restaurant was recommended to us for dinner, and we popped along: wild mushrooms stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes; crispy goat’s cheese salad; shared a hot seafood platter – fabulous! Oh! AND received birthday Bailey’s cheesecake for John (more cheesecake mousse that heavy cheesecake – divine – AND it was the dessert we wanted to have, but decided to be ‘good’ and not to order! Got it anyway – think it was the silverfox charming the waitresses!!)
Went to pub called Courtney’s for, you guessed it, Bailey’s and Jameson’s (!!), and it was full of a rowdy local crowd who, unfortunately, made it most unpleasant. Hung in there for the band at 9:30pm but left cause the drunks were too annoying and the band was really average! Instead we went back to the hotel, had a cognac and hand made chocolates from the Skellig’s Chocolate Factory on the Ring of Kerry, and blogged! (The whiskey cream truffles from Skellig’s were probably the best truffles we have EVER had! AND we got to try them all before buying – walked out with 4 bags of truffles and 4 blocks of chocolate!! VERY happy campers!