FIVE WELLNESS BREAKS TO BOOK NOW
From a relaxing spa and organic restaurant to a historic hotel with an eco-offering, visit the best of Ireland. There’s no better time to go green than for St Patrick’s Day.
Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire
Set the dial to ‘unwind’ at this historic seaside hotel overlooking Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Dublin Bay, just 20 minutes from downtown Dublin. Its award-wining Sansana spa uses Voya products, a 100% certified organic Irish brand made from hand-harvested Atlantic seaweed. The ‘Complete Voya Experience’ includes a seaweed oil massage and seaweed foot wrap – we can’t think of a better way to spend 85 minutes. Top up the indulgence levels with a decadent afternoon tea by the open fire in the Bay Lounge.
Lorum Old Rectory, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, County Carlow
Green doesn’t get more serene than at this B&B country house. Set in the beautiful Barrow River Valley at the foot of the Blackstairs Mountains, Lorum offers all the comforts of home, from croquet in the garden to delicious home-cooked meals prepared by host Bobbie Smith, using local and organically grown ingredients. Candlelit evening meals are served in the dining room, while Bobbie’s hearty breakfasts will set you up for a day exploring the area’s celebrated gardens and other outdoor attractions.
BrookLodge Hotel & Macreddin Village, County Wicklow, Ireland
An organic and wild food pioneer, this luxurious country house hotel is a foodie favourite, with the awards to prove it. Its Strawberry Tree restaurant – Ireland’s first organic-certified restaurant – has its own full-time food forager, who scours the area’s picturesque countryside for fresh wild foods to add to the daily changing seasonal menu. The commitment to an organic lifestyle extends to the hotel’s spa, and to Macreddin Village where there’s a pub serving organic craft beers, an organic bakery, a smokehouse and other eateries.
The Farm, 3 Dawson Street, Dublin
Organic ingredients are at the heart of this family run restaurant in the heart of Dublin. Carnivores with a conscience can tuck into dishes such as chargrilled prime Irish steak with pink peppercorn and whiskey sauce, and the same attention to ingredients and preparation is lavished on the meat-free menu too. Vegans, your search for the perfect chocolate dessert ends here with The Farm’s heavenly Valrhona dark chocolate and coconut timbale. thefarmfood.ie
Ely Bar & Grill, 22 Ely Place, Dublin
From bar bites to a family lunch, pre-theatre meal to à la carte dinner, there’s no end of ways to savour the carefully sourced foods and wines at this multi-award winning wine bar. Provenance is key, and the menu majors on tasty organic beef and pork from the owners’ family farm in County Clare, seasonal and sustainable Irish fish, and locally produced vegetables. With 500 wines on offer – including 100 by the glass – you can sip to your heart’s content. elywinebar.ie
Walk the Wicklow Way
There’s no greener way to explore the Emerald Isle than on foot. Covering 127 km from Marley Park in Dublin to Clonegal in County Carlow, the Wicklow Way is Ireland’s oldest way-marked trail and takes in some spectacular scenery. Unspoiled mountain trails wind past upland lakes, glacial valleys, fast-flowing streams, forests and farmland, taking in evocative ruined buildings and monastic remains. Nearby hostels, hotels and B&Bs cater for weary hikers along the seven-day route, and there’s even a baggage transfer service to lighten your load between stops.
Set in the beating heart of horse-racing country, Kildare Village is just an hour south-west of central Dublin. There you can shop a unique edit of 100 boutiques from leading international and Irish fashion and lifestyle brands, all offering savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail price, all year round. Plus, with a range of restaurants and cafés, you can unwind and discover the celebrated Irish hospitality in style.