A weekend with the in-laws, what could possibly go wrong?
Published 28/04/2015 | 00:00
APPETITE whetted by the Masterchef finale on Friday, I headed off for a one night break away with the extended family to celebrate their ruby anniversary in style.
All the family and I were blown away when the parents-in-law invited us to a night away at a family friendly hotel in the county to help them celebrate their 40 years of nuptial bliss.
Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, it was with a sense of infinite gratitude and anticipation that I rolled out of the estate and onto the N25 with the family all present and correct and looking their best.
As the one (happily) tasked with organising the break, a sudden sense of responsibility dawned on me and I started to wonder if I had booked the right weekend. Flights had been booked and deposits paid and all kinds of hell was awaiting me if I had booked the wrong Saturday.
We were late, as always, and I felt reassurance in the fact that the phone wasn't hopping, but it wasn't until I arrived at reception that my nerves began to settle and all was fine in the world.
The following 24 hours were a gourmet delight, all with great company. As my mother-in-law had endured some ill health in recent times she wanted to indulge the entire family with a break and everyone had a ball.
The children were looked after expertly and all we had to do was enjoy ourselves and sample the liquid and food options on offer. The break reminded me of a family hotel vacation I had as a child and for children there is no better place than a hotel, with all the corridors to enjoy and elevator buttons to press.
BELMOND Limited - the international hotel, train and river cruise group - plans to offer luxury train holidays in Ireland from August 2016, but of course Wexford has been jettisoned from their itinerary. Yes, the most scenic stretch of coast in the country for train lovers, one renowned across Europe, will be ignored completely by Belmond Limited.
That's not to say I'd ever get near one of the trains - it's economy class all the way for me for the foreseeable future - but imagine the cash rich clientele wandering around the county if the train passed through the Sunny South East.
Compared to the Orient Express, the 'Belmond Grand Hibernian' will be akin to a land cruise, according to the company, with daily excursions to historic sights and top golf courses included.
Guests will travel in 20 luxury en-suite cabins, styled on the original Orient Express, immortalised by crime writer Agatha Christie, albeit with subtle Georgian and Celtic themes specifically for Ireland.
The five-star sleeper trains, driven by Irish Rail staff, will able to take up to 40 passengers at a time.
The four-night tour will depart on Tuesdays from Dublin to Cork, Killarney, Galway and Westport. The two-night tour will depart on Saturdays from Dublin to Belfast and Portrush,
Prices will start at €3,160 per person for the two-night journey and €5,420 per person for the four-night journey, and €7,000 for a combined option. Saucy!