Saturday 20 August 2011


On the way back to Dublin after the wedding we stayed in a house that was part of the Hidden Ireland scheme.

Over the years I have read articles in magazines about Irish country houses that open their doors to visitors without really becoming hotels in the traditional sense. They share their home.

I want some of that.

So we booked for one night in Mornington House in County Meath. This was mid way between Donegal and Dublin and looked perfect. And it lived up to all expectations.

It is a large house with more recent Georgian frontage that has been in the family since it had enough staff to keep it immaculate and enough land to provide the income. It is still lovely but with a slightly faded elegance that perfectly suits my idea of Lord Peter Wimsey. Yay, I'm living in a novel!

Tea in the drawing room full of slightly mismatched furniture with fading covers. Lots of family pictures, interesting books and magazines. The bedroom is perfectly proportioned with huge comfortable bed, windows overlooking the lawn and complete silence.

Drinks back in the drawing room meeting the other guests and then dinner at a large table in candle lit dining room with sparkly silver and glass. Excellent food.

The gardens look as if they only have a gardener once a week to help out and that's enough to help keep the vegetables productive and the grass cut but not enough to tidy the corners. That untidy tidiness that I love.

Huge full moon rising behind the enormous old tree in the middle of the lawn.

Walk down to the lake before another enormous breakfast and then back to the reality of Ryanair.