Ireland

Ireland is our spiritual home. It’s where the Watt family descended from and its been Jess’s favorite place to escape. From the age old cobbled streets of Dublin to the Celtic-rich history of the Book of Kells and years of The Struggles, it’s a fully immersive history lesson, best told over a pint of Guinness.

Jerpoint Abbey and its many treasures

Standing strong among the emerald green fields, Jerpoint Abbey has defied time and the reformists to remain one of the best-preserved medieval abbeys in Ireland. Situated just outside of Thomastown, a cute-as-a-button mill town outside Kilkenny, Jerpoint is a pleasant surprise – especially as the other places we wanted to experience around the town are closed for the...

St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny

St. Canice’s round tower rises above downtown Kilkenny. St. Canice’s Cathedral is the birthplace of modern Kilkenny. St. Canice’s cathedral, also known as Kilkenny Cathedral dates back to the 13th century on the site of a monastery dedicated to St. Canice that stood in the 6th century. The English gothic architecture is from around the 16th century though...

Kilkenny, Ireland’s favorite medieval city

Some cities just connect with you on such a personal level that you could easily see yourself living there and Kilkenny is one of those rare gems. Kilkenny proudly celebrates its name The capital of county Kilkenny is a colorful city with an equally colorful past, yet its nickname is The Marble City due to the black limestone which has veins of fossils threading...

The Yard Café, Kilkenny

Cute as heck, with strong coffees, Kilkenny’s Yard Café is a hip little coffee shop that makes you feel right at home. We’re spoiled for choice for early-morning cafes in New York, with the city running pretty much 24-hours.  On a chilly November morning we awoke dreaming of our morning brew, this time in Kilkenny, Ireland, and quickly realized we might...

Ballyseede, an Irish castle stay to treasure

A castle stay in Ireland is one of those must-dos but when it includes dogs, like at Ballyseede Castle, it becomes an unmissable experience. Welcome to our luxurious home (for the night) A genuine malady of European travel is what we call ACAC syndrome – another church, another castle. Feel free to add an F in there if you’ve been on the road for more than a...

Adare, an Irish village you’ll adore

It’s life’s detours that take you to the most interesting and unexpected places – like Ireland’s Adare. We’re not fans of motorways and turnpikes. They propel you along a homogenized path that removes you from the realities of a country, where the only taste of the place you’ll get is the microwaved chicken rolls at the gas/service station. After yet another...

Kilkenny Castle, one of Ireland’s most beautiful castles

Offering an imposing facade and prime defensive position at the highest point of the city, Kilkenny Castle is unmissable. It was constructed at this strategic fording point of the Nore River in 1193 by Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, better known as Strongbow – the tasty apple cider (though that wasn’t his official title). The castle offered a strong...

The dramatic history of Ireland’s Rock of Cashel

Rising above the emerald green fields of County Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel stands stoically on a limestone outcrop like a real life Hogwarts. From its elevated position you can see for miles in any direction One of Ireland’s top heritage attractions, the Rock of Cashel dominates the rolling plains around it. Its easily defensible position overlooking miles of...

Raise a glass at the home of Smithwick’s – Kilkenny

With the towering Guinness Brewhouse Dublin’s top attraction, Smithwick’s in Kilkenny makes an equally worthy stop for pilgrims of the amber ale on the Irish adventure. The entry to where the magic used to happen Smithwick’s is one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets. It’s one that Jess first discovered on a solo tour of Ireland in 2004 and now, almost 15...

A Kells experience worth writing home about

Ancient water mills, castles and abbeys are part of the magic of an Irish road trip – especially when you get the whole experience in one town. We had always wanted to make it to Kells but it was one of those places that was “almost close enough to Kilkenny to make it” and “no way, that’s going to take us an hour in the wrong direction”. Luckily the casting vote was...