I've traveled near and far, yet until recently, hadn't visited the native home of my ancestors. Ireland had been on my radar for years, but it wasn't until this past September my husband and I took a holiday there with the SB Museum of Art. What made the trip titled "The Emerald Isle, Land of Saints & Scholars" so memorable was the fact that we were visiting and staying in private homes and castles, having tea and supper with people who care passionately for their ancestral homes, the legacy of their history, and the future of their country. Highlights included dinner with Lord Erne at Crom Castle,(staying in the room Prince Charles once did), wine with Madame Fitzgerald at Glin Castle, dinner at the magnificent Abbeyleix House with John O'Connell, (the go-to designer for restoration) and several nights at Ballyfin. Like every place in the world, the history and stories are rich, complex and fascinating, shared with irrepressible charm by Marianne Gorman. The memories of these people, the luxuriant green landscapes dotted with windswept castles and wooly sheep will long dance in my mind and heart. (Pictured above, a place for repose at Lough Erne, the Nature Reserve at Crom Castle managed by the National Trust.)

August 08, 2023 by Kimberly Hayes

Leave a comment