“I need a vacation from my vacation.” Though cliche, this statement also tends to ring true to me, as I always feel the need to go, go, go during a “vacation.” The truth is, when you fork over a big amount of money to travel overseas, it seems like a shame not to maximize your time at every possible moment. But sometimes, the days when you relax, move slowly, wander around, and make time for a nap turn out to be just what you need to recharge. And this day, which we spent meandering around Dingle, was just one such day.
The morning began with one of the best things about Dingle. Or Ireland. Or the universe, for that matter. What am I referring to? Breakfast at the Castlewood House, of course. When you enter the dining room, you’re greeted with this magnificent display: trays of fruit, baskets of buttery croissants, bowls of bread pudding, and various other delights. It’s all high quality, freshly baked, and oh-so-delicious:
As if that weren’t enough, the Castlewood also features a menu with all sorts of other delicious things you can order in addition to the goodies you snag from the buffet. After seeing everyone indulging in plates of pancakes on our first day in Dingle – and subsequently hearing them rave about how good they were – I decided to order them to discover what the fuss was about. After one bite, I totally got it; the pancakes were fluffy, decadent, and had just the right amount of crispiness.
If the pancakes were my Achilles heel at breakfast, for my mother, it was the bread pudding. While I thought the pudding was good, not great (probably due to the presence of raisins), she absolutely raved about it. The owners were kind enough to give us the recipe, so perhaps I’ll try to recreate it – sans raisins, of course – someday soon.
After breakfast, we walked into town and began our Dingle shopping spree. While I’m not much of a shopping enthusiast, my mom is, and she was definitely in her element in all of Dingle’s cute little shops. As for myself, I did manage to snag a lovely watercolor of Dingle. Amidst the shopping, we also dropped by the Diseart Chaple to take a peek at its famed stained glass windows, which were quite beautiful.
We picked up a lunch of sandwiches from a deli in town, and then dropped by Murphy’s ice cream shop for a snack. My Dingle sea salt and butterscotch combination was a solid choice, if I do say so myself.
In the afternoon, we headed back to our hotel for our aforementioned nap. Then, we walked back into town for dinner at The Global Village, where a chalkboard listed off the local sources for the various menu items (I love when restaurants do that). I started my meal with the crab and cognac bisque (which really cannot be photographed in any beautiful way) and chose the lemon sole for my entree. The fish and all its accompaniments were really spectacular.
The Global Village does its desserts in a way that I love: giving you themed plates with various small treats. My mocha plate contained a coffee and cardamom creme brulee, a chocolate biscuit, a chocolate truffle, and coffee ice cream. My mom’s plate featured a buttermilk elderflower posset (whatever that may be), a rhubarb crumble, and salted caramel ice cream.
After dinner, we headed to a concert at the Dingle Music Shop. It was a delightful evening and, just as the night before, featured an impressive array of local musicians: a classically trained violinist, a couple guitarists, a folk singer, and a fiddler. We were also treated to a Riverdance-esque performance from an Irish national champion dancer. His dancing was unlike anything I had ever seen before, and his feet were so unbelievably fast.
And as we walked back “home” to our hotel, the happy melody of Irish music still ringing in our ears, our time in lovely little Dingle drew to a close – and it was such a magical place that I’ve already vowed to return someday.
- Castlewood House: The Wood, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland | +353.66.915.2788
- Murphy’s Ice Cream: Strand St., Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland | +353.66.915.2644
- The Global Village: Upper Main Street, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland | +353.66.915.2325