Autumn Breaks in Ireland
Last of the Summer Wine:
The meteorological date for the start of autumn is 1 September. If you add that fact to the children being back at school then we can take it that it is officially autumn. The vibrancy of the green leaves is fading fast and already some leaves have turned saffron and glorious reds; in particular some vines are now positively plush in their claret and burgundy autumn ensemble. A visit to the country at this time of the year is a golden opportunity not to be missed before we have to batten down the hatches.
It is an added bonus for those country house hotels who are fortunate enough to be enveloped in autumn foliage. Here are some of my own personal favourites in this category. One such property is the cute Newforge House in Co. Armagh, where the orchards are now laden with juicy apples just waiting to be collected. There is nothing more refreshing than sinking your teeth into an apple just picked from a tree. Elsewhere in Co. Mayo Newport House is festooned with large glossy Virginia creeper leaves. I would be an advocate of twinning this annual phenomenon with a glass of claret from their extremely well chosen wine list.
I am also smacking my lips at the thought of another property perfectly matched with autumnal colours; Rathsallagh House in Co. Wicklow. Less than an hour’s drive from Dublin this is an ideal Country House for a mini getaway. Again, the wine list is complimentary to the visual splendour of the countryside quietening down for its winter hibernation.