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discover ireland


There are so many places in the world that I’d love to visit. Canada, New York, Denmark, South Africa… the list is never-ending.

However, at the end of the day, there really is no place like home. No matter where I go I always look forward to coming home to the Emerald Isle. Ireland has a certain charm that, in my eyes, is simply unbeatable.

We may be a tiny island but there are just so many incredibly beautiful places to visit across the country, including Kerry.

I was lucky enough to visit Tralee to stay at the Ballygarry House Hotel recently and have fallen head over heels in love with the charming country house hotel.

The staff welcome you with the warmth that you feel when reuniting with a childhood friend. They were so kind and accommodating and couldn’t have made me feel more welcome.

From the moment we stepped inside the hotel felt like a home away from home.


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The Ballygarry House Hotel caters for everyone. If you’re a bookworm you can cosy up by the fire and get lost in a story.

For those adventurers out there, you can take one of the bikes available at the hotel down to the Ballyseedy Woods.

If you’re in need of a little bit of chill time then look no further than the tranquil Nádúr Spa where you will be treated like royalty by the lovely Gina and her team.

Enjoy a soothing stroll through the hotel’s gardens and take in the stunning view of the Sliabh Mish Mountains on a crisp winter morning.

You certainly won’t be short of things to do during your time at the Ballygarry House Hotel. And you certainly won’t go hungry either.

I was lucky enough to dine at both The Brasserie and the lavish Restaurant 58. Trust me, the food is simply divine. Restaurant 58 is a soothing spot that has a menu to die for and the sweetest staff who will ensure you have everything you need.


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If you’re in the mood to splash out then try the Char Grilled Prime Irish Steak and thank me later. My stomach has never been as happy or full as it was after our visit.

Be sure to roll into Owen Mac's bar after your dinner to wash it all down with a beverage of choice. The recently renovated and revamped bar has everything from wine to whiskey and pink gin to craft beers.

You’ll be wowed by the talents of a live pianist at the weekends which adds even more charm to the hotel.

After a night of sheer luxury, you can doze off in the comfiest bed ever or tune into one of your favourite movies on Netflix on the hotel TV.

I truly didn’t want to leave the Ballygarry House Hotel. I was so close to asking if I could move into The Lodge, which is a little nugget of history right on the hotel’s doorstep.


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The mid – 18th Century Lodge was formerly the gate lodge of the O'Connor farmhouse and is now being used as a private event room for celebrations with a personalised Butler Service for Afternoon Tea.

A visit at The Ballygarry House Hotel is an essential trip for all you travel bugs out there. You just need to add to your bucket list. The charm, warmth and kindness of the staff alone will make your visit one you’ll never forget. There’s no doubt it’ll become a home away from home for you, right in the heart of Kerry.

Do yourself a favour and book a stay at The Ballygarry House Hotel. Check out their website for more information.



We are officially feeling the festive spirit now that December is finally here. We are ready to tackle our Christmas shopping and what better way to do it than supporting some fantastic Irish companies.

Ireland has blessed us with many wonderful things from Tayto crisps to Niall Horan and these gifts are no different.

We have gathered up a list of some pretty perfect gifts that will no doubt leave your friends and family smiling from ear to ear.

1: Sun, Moon and Stars Notebook

Chupi €33

2: You Make Me Happy Print

Cuando €14

3: Classic Grey Scarf

4: Níl Aon Tinteán Mar Do Thinteán Féin Print

Cuando €14-€24

5: Zaria Earrings

Folkster €14.95

6: Personalised Daily Planner

Cuando €29-€35

7: Unicorn Mug

8: Rose Gold Initial Necklace

Chupi €119

9: Bear Creek to Dame Street by Hudson Taylor

Tower Records €19.99

10: Carolyn Donnelly Purse

11: Baileys 

SuperValu €10

12: Melanie Murphy Me Time Journal

13: Pawty Time Mug

Avoca €14.95

15:  Normal People by Sally Rooney

Dubray €15.99

16: 50 Things To Do In Dublin

17: Tayto Crisp Box

Tayto €19-€22.50

18: Irish Whiskey Museum Tour

Irish Whiskey Museum €18 per person

19: The Snapper Tickets

The Gate Theatre From €15

20: A Keeper by Graham Norton



Drivers heading toward Boa Island, on the north short of Fermanagh's Lough Erne, are greeted by a huge expanse of tranquil water.

If you're en route to Lusty Beg, the only way across the lake is by a short ferry ride – your first introduction to the peaceful haven that is this five-star hotel and spa.

On arrival to the hotel for our weekend stay, we were greeted by the lovely Mary and Mark, who managed our trip to perfection. From our check-in and welcome drink to our final wave goodbye, there was service with a smile.

The first thing you'll notice when arriving to Lusty Beg is the incredible surroundings. The view on the island is absolutely breathtaking, and you will see yourself staring out into the distance for ages – even if you're not a nature-lover. 

We were welcomed into a beautiful cabin which boasted French doors looking out onto the lake. Cabins are equipped with a very modern kitchen (if you fancy going self-service), a faux-fur lined bedroom and a huge bathroom. Each cabin also has a walk-in shower and a massive bath to choose from. 

A little exploration in the form of a nature walk brought us around the island and over a (very cute) bridge. We looked out for squirrels but then it hit us – they hate the cold and are probably all wrapped up in their tree trunks. But, the extensive views across the island made up for not seeing any squirrels. 

After a shower and a rest, it was time for the best part of the evening – the food.

Our chef at the hotel's Island Restaurant served up wild mushrooms with sourdough toast and grilled chicken Caesar salad for starters.

For the main we dug into hake with chorizo and winter cabbage, plus a sirloin steak with chips, onion rings and pepper sauce. All delicious, and beautifully presented.

If dessert's your thing, we insist you try the restaurant's signature Malteser Meringue, covered with ice cream, caramel sauce and mini marshmallows. YUM. 

After dinner it was onto the hotel bar, which boasts a huge open fire, meaning we had to stay for an extra drink or three.

Staff at Lusty Beg are not only super-friendly, but they all have an extensive knowledge of the island, and can tell you things about it dating back to the Ice Age. 

After a dreamy sleep in our cabin and brekkie of eggs, bacon and coffee, it was time to check out Lusty Beg's real selling point – The Island Spa.

After reading up on the choice of facials, scrubs and massages on offer, we opted for the Voyager Total Massage Journey, a 90-minute top-to-toe treatment that incorporates body brushing, body massage and scalp massage. 

Organic seaweed oil is used to condition skin and soothe aches and pains, so we practically floated out of the place.

If dinner, drinks and massages aren't your thing (who are you?!) then there are plenty of other activities to avail of on the island, including archery, clay pigeon shooting, canoeing, tennis, football and more. 

From Dublin to Fermanagh, the total time was two hours and ten minutes, so if you want a little bit of relaxation and fun two hours from Dublin, this is definitely the place to go.  

For information and reservations, check out the Lusty Beg website or call +44 28 686 33300



"It is a place where music flows as easily as conversations, and welcomes are warm and delivered with a smile."

There's no denying that our little country is a great spot for tourists and locals alike, but this new ad really has us feeling patriotic.

Narrated by Liam Neeson, the Discover Ireland ad shows off some of the best parts of the Emerald Isle, from Newgrange to the Cliffs of Moher to Cork's English Market.

Take a minute to watch this – it'll definitely brighten up your day!