Let’s start this by saying that if you haven’t yet been to Kinsale in West Cork you need to. Seriously, cancel your weekend plans and get down there ‘cos it’s absolutely beautiful.
I spent a night there recently (pro tip: don’t be silly like me. One night isn’t enough here, I learned the tough way) but considering it was an impromptu enough visit it was quite tough to find somewhere decent to stay.
Until, that is, I stumbled upon The Old Dispensary. Hidden up on a little hill in the winding back streets of the town, this cutesy guesthouse was a real find, and at €115 for the night happily within my budget.
The guesthouse manager, John, was on hand via text message to meet us outside the guesthouse on arrival. Now, actually finding the place took a little while as nobody knew where it was – it’s only been open a month or so.
We made our way up the steep little hill after a few wrong turns and I was instantly impressed by the charm of the building.
The guesthouse is a converted building from the 1800s that’s been given a modern makeover
A narrow building that records show was built around 1800-1840 was completely run down until it became this guesthouse.
Old photos in the hall show it in a state of disrepair and you’d never guess that the building was over 200 years old – it’s absolutely gleaming.
Up, up, up six flights of stairs to a charming attic room with views over the entire town
We were staying in the room at the very top, which is a converted attic. I’d recommend asking for this room specifically as it’s made for romance.
The room is tastefully decorated in light blue and cream, with a huuuuuge bed the centre piece. Skylight windows provide an eagle view of both sides of Kinsale and lets in a serious amount of light.
The bathroom is bright and features a cosy standalone bath tub
Pretty mint green wood and a whopper bath tub make this a very adorable bathroom indeed. My only complaint? The shower gels and shampoo etc. mini bottles were half empty, which instantly made me think of the strangers who had stayed there before me.
But sure look, a minor flaw in an otherwise lovely room.
And best bit? It’s mere minutes from all the best spots in Kinsale…
The Old Dispensary is less than 10 minutes walk from the harbour and The Black Pig wine bar is literally around the corner. Ideal.
Just a nip down the little streets and you’ll find all the top restaurants and pubs waiting to be explored. It’s especially handy to know you’ve only to stumble down the road a few minutes after your pint (okay, and make it up all those stairs) to be snuggled up in bed.
It’s not often you come across such a personal piece of Irish hospitality – and one that’s newly opened to boot.
Considering Kinsale itself is such homely area, spending the night in a guesthouse (can we call this place a guest home?) that’s so fab as The Old Dispensary is an added bonus.
You won’t be let down with a weekend getaway here.