Carlingford – September 2020

We finally finished up for our annual leave last Friday – the work was handed over and the out of office was put on until October 12th. We had originally booked this time off to go on our cruise, but as expected it was unfortunately cancelled. So, we decided to book a few nights away in different hotels around Northern Ireland, and go on a bit of a staycation. First up was a night in Carlingford on Sunday, at the Four Seasons.

We’ve driven through Carlingford before, and at most hopped out of the car for a quick dander, but we’d never taken the time to actually explore it. It’s a small town in County Louth, just over the Irish border, nestled in against Carlingford Lough. It takes roughly an hour to get to going down the motorway from Belfast, although you can take the longer, more scenic route and go through Newcastle and Rostrevor.

Main road leading into Carlingford

It was a beautiful day on Sunday, and Carlingford was thriving with people. Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we headed into the town for a bit of lunch. The Four Seasons is a quick 5-minute walk away from the town centre. We walked around for a while to check out what was available – a good selection of small pubs, serving run of the mill pub grub. Fun fact – Iain’s great-aunt once owned The Carlingford Arms!

In the end, we decided to go to PJ O’Hare’s, a pub right in the middle of the town, located at the top of Tholsel Street. It had a typical Irish pub vibe, which we love, and a great menu. It didn’t take us long to both decide on the fish tacos, which the server confirmed as a good choice. He wasn’t wrong – they were absolutely delicious, and we kept eating even after we were full as they were too good to leave any behind. We enjoyed a couple of drinks with them, before heading back to see if our room was ready.

Downstairs the hotel was beautifully decorated, especially the bar and restaurant, and had a lovely relaxed, modern feel to it. However, the rooms were poor in comparison to other hotels we’ve stayed in that are at a similar price point. We had booked a suite, but we were unfortunately disappointed with what we ended up getting. The furniture was dated, and so much space had been given to the giant bathroom that the room itself wasn’t any bigger than regular sized hotel rooms. The room was also unbearably warm when we tried to go to sleep, with no way to regulate the temperature. We couldn’t even open a window to control it, as we only had sliding doors that led on to a small balcony that overlooked the carpark, and opening our curtains gave a direct view of our bed, or at least it gave the impression that it would when you lay in it. Neither one of us could get to sleep until the small hours of the morning, and we didn’t wake feeling refreshed at all.

Our stay in The Four Seasons came with 20 euro off the menu, along with a glass of house wine each in the hotel restaurant. We both decided to skip starters, and order the ribeye steak. For dessert, we had a passion fruit cheesecake and an apple and wild berry crumble. The food was of decent quality, and we didn’t have any complaints about it. Drinks were reasonably priced, although near the end of the night it became difficult to grab someone’s attention to get anything.

Overall we had an enjoyable time in Carlingford, and we’d love to go back at some point. However, we’d like to try staying in an Airbnb next time, and eating out in a few of the different bars and restaurants. There were too many to get around in one night, so we’ll maybe go back for a weekend break one day.

Next time we’ll be writing about our night in Derry.

Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain.

Thursday’s Special – Pick A Word

We were looking forward to Paula’s Thursday Special again and seen she had posted again when coming home from our staycation! Last months contribution can be found here.

The words this time are LUNAR (because of mid-Autumn festival )

VOLTE FACE (cause of so many meanings )

SOARING (cause it lends itself to a number of possible photographic interpretations)

REPOSING (cause I really need a rest)

and

IMPREGNABLE (cause it is a cool word )

Lunar – This one is from when Iain had to travel to Edmonton, Canada with work – this scaled down moon was travelling the world!

Volte Face – Well we learned a new word this week! A couple of shots from our visit to Benone Strand.

Soaring – High up in the Mourne Mountains!

Reposing – A view from one of the most relaxing places we have been.

Impregnable – The walls of Dubrovnik Old Town, that was a seriously warm day!

Thanks for reading, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL – Pick a Word

Hello everyone, today we are participating in Pick a Word Paula’s Thursday Special. We discovered this after reading Mari’s contribution here, which talks about an amazing looking festival at Forlimpopuli in Italy. Check them out their blogs are worth a read!

The words that Paula has gave us to attach photos to are as follows:

ESTIVAL (cause it is still summer)

CUISINE (cause we all have to eat)

RIFT (cause it lends itself to a number of possible interpretations)

INSTRUCTIVE (cause we are being given tons of instructions lately)

and

SPAN (cause I am reaching out to you again, trying to bridge time and obstacles)

The Killers
757Food in Belfast
The waterfall walk at Glenariff
Instructions at Coppi Belfast
A rainbow spanning the sky

We decided to go with Northern Ireland for this one, first we have The Killers at Belsonic festival.

Next we have a meal at Bootleggers Belfast.

Then the river cutting a rift through the Glens of Antrim.

Instructions for our first post-lockdown meal.

Finally a rainbow spanning the sky at Ballygally Castle where we had our wedding reception.

Can’t wait to see what the next Thursday special will entail!

Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain