As I lay on my vintage, king-sized bed looking out at the Kerry mountains, I found a new meaning for what relaxation really is. I felt like I was living in a dream I was so content - that is the state of mind I will always crave when the stresses of life get the better of me.
Weekend breaks in Ireland have become my new favourite thing. As someone who was often hopping on a plane to discover a new European city, I realised I hadn't seen enough of my own beautiful country. Kerry was an obvious choice for a scenic, easygoing weekend break and Killarney was on my bucket list, so I decided that would be my next destination.
Killarney town itself is full of culture and full of life. You could spend a whole day checking out cute little shops and cafés. I wanted to book somewhere that was close enough so that I could explore the streets before kicking my feet up for the evening.
Cahernane House Hotel is just a ten minute drive from Killarney, takes a step away from the bustling atmosphere of the town and offers some of the most tranquil scenes you could ask for. As I walked up to the stunning manor house, located in a private estate on the edge of Killarney National Park, I could tell that I was in for a treat and a memorable stay.
Everything about this hotel had me in awe.
There was an open fire burning in the reception and incredible velour chairs waiting for me to sink into. Judging by the interior of the ground floor, I was beyond excited to see the rest of the hotel.
My room was guarded by a huge, oak, vintage door and looked like something out of a movie. As I made my way in, I could feel my jaw drop at how stunningly beautiful my place of rest was. Thick wooden wardrobes and benches, embellished velvet curtains, high ceilings and delicate vintage china cups are to name but a few of the unique characteristics of this chamber. It had an eclectic style where old met new but they fitted superbly.
I felt like a queen.
The room overlooked the back garden where there was a swing, classic garden furniture and some of the best views of the Kingdom's landscape you'll ever see. It's the epitome of serenity and the only thing to be heard were the cows in the field below. It just had such a calmness to it.
After showering in my gorgeous wet room and changing into the white robe and slippers that had been left for me, I perched myself on my bed and couldn't help but beam with happiness - this is what a weekend break should be, total peace.
I dined that evening in the Herbert Restaurant, located on the ground floor of the hotel. I was seated right at the window where the trees in the courtyard were lit up with beautiful fairy lights. It just adds a little something extra to the experience to have such views while you dine.
The menu offers a plethora of locally sourced seasonal produce and was one of the best dining experiences I have encountered in a hotel; the food was top class. You could just tell that every single detail and ingredient, right down to the homemade bread, was thought out carefully and creatively.
I opted for the Table D'Hote menu which offered five delectable courses and a selection of gourmet breads to begin. Each course impressed me more and more each time and I haven't stopped talking about it since.
To start I had the Amuse Bouche which consisted of cider jelly, panna cotta and beetroot foam:
I then had the most delicious Cordal Goats Cheese Parfait, which almost looked too good to eat.
It was bursting with flavour and was so different from anything I had tried before. As in seriously, look at this masterpiece.
Next up was my middle course - Buttermilk and Honey Sorbet
This was the ideal way to cleanse the palette before the main course and it was beyond delicious. A little something sweet to enjoy.
For mains I had the Dry Aged Sirloin Of Irish Beef
This main genuinely blew me away.
The meat was tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. The dish was served with a feather blade croquette, white onion, bone marrow and swede which all complimented each other perfectly. I was almost licking the plate by the end, it was of the highest quality.
I was totally satisfied and beyond impressed.
Dessert consisted of a mouth watering Chocolate Torte With Banana Sorbet
This was top-notch.
I genuinely needed to show you every single course because they were all unbelievably good.
Cahernane House went above and beyond what I had expected and the dining experience was nothing short of superb. I know I'll be coming back here again when I need to relax and Killarney is such a fab place to visit.
If only every day could be as enjoyable and as stress-free as my day here.