Ireland Behind The Scenes

 
 
 

Itinerary

20th Anniversary of Ireland Behind the Scenes20th Anniversary of Ireland Behind the Scenes

Celebrate in 2017 - Our Best of Ireland… Through the Years!

We hope you will join us on our “20th Anniversary Gala Tour!”

 

20th Year Anniversary Gala Tour Itinerary

Merrion Hotel

Dublin

DAY 1:  Travel Day: Tuesday, August 15

Depart from your hometown gateway to Dublin, Ireland. You will be met at Dublin Airport by private chauffeured car and taken to Dublin’s finest…the 5-Star Merrion Hotel in the heart of 18th century Georgian Dublin. The day is free for you to rest, relax and enjoy Dublin at your leisure. This evening meet your hosts Patsy Malone and Chris Allen and your fellow travelers for a Welcome Champagne and Drinks Reception.

R

Cliff at Lyons

Celbridge, County Kildare

DAY 2: Travel Day:  Wednesday, August 16 – Dublin/Celbridge

Gently awake to the fresh Irish air. This morning we depart for a drive through Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed city park in Europe with a fence 7 miles around.  This historic park has Polo Grounds, beautiful Gardens, a herd of protected red deer and three important homes of international importance...Aras an Uachtarain, the home of Ireland's current President, Michael D. Higgins who commenced his first term in 2011. The President is the Head of State, although they play a mainly ceremonial role in the running of the State. Farmleigh House is an 18c.estate that was once the home of the Guinness family and now is used for foreign dignitaries. Deerfield is the official home of the current US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley. He is an Irish American attorney from St. Louis, MO and was nominated in 2014.   We have an exclusive IBS invitation to visit this beautiful 18th century home.

The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History houses an important historical collection at Collins Barracks, a former English military barracks…the oldest continuously occupied barracks in the world. The main focus of this important museum includes decorative arts and exhibits and the Soldiers & Chiefs exhibition featuring military memorabilia tracing Ireland's military history from 1550 to the present. Café lunch included.

In the afternoon, the captivating Cliff at Lyons awaits you in an enchanting retreat that has been lovingly restored to an exceptional standard as an historic Irish village with a charming French country influence. Dine tonight under the 18th century glass Conservatory in the Orangery Restaurant where a three-course gourmet experience awaits you. Sleep in your own unique styled and charming “two-story romantic cottage” with two bedrooms (no two are alike on the property) and dream away in Irish slumber!  

B, L, D

Cliff at Lyons

Celbridge, County Kildare

Day 3 –Thursday, August 17– Celbridge/Blessington

Today we capture the magnificent architecture of two of Ireland’s most important Great Irish Houses!  After a sumptuous Cliff style breakfast, we depart for nearby 18th century Castletown House to enjoy a privately escorted tour of the first and finest Palladian Style house in the country, built in 1722 for William Connolly, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

You will explore another cherished piece of Great Irish House history with a private tour of magnificent Russborough House in Co. Wicklow.  It is a mansion that was designed in 1741 and sits at the foot of the Wicklow mountains overlooking Blessington Lakes. Lunch is served café style upon arrival. Russborough continues to be one of the most stunning of all Irish houses. Afternoon is free.  Dinner only is at your leisure back at the Cliff at Lyons in the more casual Canal Café.  (Please call for preferred seating time.)

Golf opportunities:  The K-Club  (Two championship golf courses – The Smurfit and the Arnold Palmer Course, venue for the Ryder cup 2006 and Carton Golf Club Courses with its Colin Montgomerie Course –venue for three Irish Opens or the Mark O’Meara Course.  (Tee times subject to availability)

B, L, D

Perryville House

Kinsale, County Cork

DAY 4:  Travel Day – Friday, August 18 – Celbridge/Cashel/Kinsale

This morning we depart for Co. Tipperary and the Rock of Cashel, a spectacular group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone overlooking County Tipperary. The historical site and the setting are unmatched. Two of the most famous people of Irish legend and history are associated with the Rock of Cashel - they are St. Patrick and Brian Boru

An IBS Exclusive:  Kilshane House, built in 1822 is a spacious Regency house at the end of a half-mile long driveway. It is the centerpiece of 320 acres of private parkland. Meet artistic and enthusiastic owners, American Jane de Roquancourt, an architect and landscaper and Finbar McLoughlin who have restored the house and property with care and attention.  We’ll have a “house tour” and a lovely luncheon today with our affable hosts and learn of this gracious historic home and estate … alive with welcoming guests, weddings, charity functions and horse enthusiasts. Kilshane House has a dressage based equestrian center for competition horses and riders specializing in dressage and show jumping.

After fond farewells we bid adieu, our journey continues south to County Cork to the popular seaside town of Kinsale to stay at the delightful guests only Inn - Perryville House.   Lying sheltered by a beautiful harbor, the town of Kinsale boasts outstanding local restaurants and interesting shops. (Don’t miss Kinsale Crystal)  Kinsale is an upscale town, international yachting center and one of the most popular towns in County Cork.  Tonight join us for Drinks in the Drawing Room with charming proprietors, Laura and Andrew Corcoran, before you walk nearby to dine at a great local restaurant! After dinner, wander down the street and enjoy the sounds of traditional Irish music and the energy and atmosphere of local pubs! (Dress: Smart Casual)

B, L, D

Perryville House

Kinsale, County Cork

DAY 5: Saturday, August 19 – Kinsale, Ballymaloe

Perryville House at the top of the town proudly boasts the “best breakfast in Ireland” prepared by owner/chef Barry McDermott. Speaking of food…today we visit Ireland’s famous Ballymaloe Cookery School and Gardens for a private tour of the all-organic gardens and the accomplished cooking school. You’ll enjoy the history and gardens and discover a small octagonal Shell House, where thousands of seashells have been meticulously collected and hand applied to the walls and ceiling in intricate patterns. We then will visit Ballymaloe House Country Shoppe and browse.  Lunch is independent at your leisure at Ballymaloe Country Cafe.  We continue our journey passing Cork City and return to Kinsale for you to enjoy exploring the town at your leisure. The afternoon is free to shop and relax.  Dinner only is included at a popular local restaurant. (Tell us what time you prefer to dine)

B, L, D

Park Hotel Kenmare

Kenmare, County Kerry

DAY 6: Travel Day - Sunday, August 20

After another tasty breakfast, we depart along the coast for the fertile green pastures of County Cork to Bantry Bay, where we stop for lunch. The rugged seascapes of beautiful County Kerry will unfold in all their splendour.  We drive up the Caha Mountains and into the “Kingdom of Kerry” to the Victorian-styled, antique filled Park Hotel Kenmare, which is known for its exceptional 5-star service, quiet elegance and fine food. We are tucked in for the next three nights at this gracious hotel nestled in a beautiful location overlooking Kenmare Bay and surrounded by lush gardens - the hotel is at one with nature!  Francis Brennan is the hotel proprietor and for the last several years, he and his brother John have starred in a TV hit - one of Ireland’s most popular TV programs, “At your Service.”  Look out Hollywood!   Their Samas Spa (pronounced Sovas) was voted one of the top 10 Spas in Europe by Conde Nast and offers the ultimate indulgence of the senses!

The bustling town is right at the foot of the drive and is full of excitement, locals and tourists alike, with unique and upscale stores with clothing, a Cashmere shop, art, extraordinary photograph shops and many excellent restaurants.  Dinner only is served this evening at your preferred time at the informal Terrace Bistro Resturant. (Dress: Smart Casual)

B, L, D

Park Hotel Kenmare

Kenmare, County Kerry

DAY 7: Monday, August 21

Full Irish breakfast is served downstairs and your morning is free.  Your chariot awaits you for a late noon departure along the famous “Ring of Kerry” to Dromquinna Boat House, a New England styled waterfront restaurant on shimmering Kenmare Bay, owned by John Brennan. Drink in the dramatic vistas of the sparkling bay and mountains of the Beara Peninsula. We continue our journey along the coast to the charming village of Sneem, where you may walk the town and roam at your leisure wherever suits your fancy.  We return on the upper Ring of Kerry Road passing lakes and beautiful country scenery to Molls Gap overlooking the beautiful Blackwater Valley back down to Kenmare. Dinner is independent tonight to choose from one of Kenmare’s fine local restaurants or dine-in at the Park Hotel’s acclaimed Main Dining Room for a culinary treat!

B, L

Park Hotel Kenmare

Kenmare, County Kerry

Day 8: Tuesday, August 22

Sleep in! The day is FREE to enjoy as you wish. Time for 18 holes of golf, walk the truly enchanting island just below the hotel, shop the inviting upscale stores in the bustling town, walk down to the Kenmare Pier and book passage on the Seafari, narrated by the singing Skipper, for a wonderful smooth sailing boat ride along beautiful Kenmare Bay, (with the Beara Peninsula on one side and the Iveragh Peninsula on the other) passing inlets and seals and waterfowl for an interesting perspective of the joys of Kenmare life. Enjoy the town and one of many great restaurants and pubs. Indulge and pamper the hours away at the Park’s acclaimed Spa, and we may never see you again!

IBS 20th Anniversary Special:  Tonight you will be met at the hotel with a taxi and taken to the Kenmare home of your IBS hosts.  Patsy and her husband Lou and Chris will welcome you for “Drinks and Nibbles,” then you’ll be escorted by taxi back into town (a one minute drive) where Dinner only tonight is served at Kenmare’s most popular restaurant Packies.  Longtime friend and acclaimed chef, Martin Hallisey prepares the finest seafood caught daily from local waters, fresh lamb and beef sourced locally, fresh grown vegetables and salads, homemade breads and delectable desserts. This is a true taste of Ireland at one of the best local restaurants in Kerry.

Golf opportunities:  Kenmare GC, Ring of Kerry GC and Killarney GC,  Waterville GC

B, D

Dromoland Castle

Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare

Day 9: Travel Day - Wednesday, August 23 

We load our chariot for County Clare. Today our unique travel excursion introduces an American-Irish twist.  We’ll enjoy a private tour of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, where the first Irish coffee was created and served!  In that historic time from 1939 to 1945 when Foynes, Ireland became the center of the aviation world.  In 1939 Pan AMs first commercial flying boat, the ‘Yankee Clipper’ landed at Foynes.  After a casual café lunch, we depart for County Limerick for a private visit to the 18th century Ireland home of one of America’s most distinguished and prominent Interior Designers. (To be confirmed)  

Dromoland Castle is one of the most famous baronial castles in Ireland and the ancestral home of the O’Brien’s, Barons of Inchiquin, who are one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood and direct descendants of Brian Boru - High King of Ireland in the eleventh century.  It was last rebuilt in 1834 and has been recently restored and redecorated to the very highest standard. Savour your first glimpse of this majestic castle with its enchanting lake approach, as you pass through the castle gates and the 18-hole golf course.

Dinner only - your choice at the casual Golf Clubhouse - Fig Tree Restaurant, The Lounge at the Castle or the more formal, Thomond Dining Room with its fine dining cuisine, old world service, Waterford crystal chandeliers plus excellent and attentive staff.  (Dining reservations needed)

B, L, D

Dromoland Castle

Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare

Day 10:  Thursday, August 24

Awake and enjoy an early Dromoland buffet. An exclusive IBS day is in store!  Just when you think it cannot get much better on your IBS journey, we experience a unique private escape…an exclusive private yacht journey on the Lough Derg aboard a “luxury yacht,” which caters for up to ten people and offers an exclusive water route adventure through counties Clare and Tipperary. Your hosts for the day are dear friends, Mark and Richard, who have invaluable knowledge of the area on the Lough Derg with an emphasis on accessing enchanting parts along the lake and hidden land secrets. This is hidden Ireland at its best! Untouched, undiscovered and truly authentic!

Dinner is independent.

B, L 

Ballyfin Demesne

Ballyfin, Co. Laois

Day 11:  Travel Day - Friday, August 25

A special IBS 20th Anniversary Tour exclusive:  The most lavish Regency mansion and the finest 18th century estate in Ireland – Ballyfin Demesne awaits our arrival. Chicago magnate Fred Krehbiel completed nine years of historically accurate restoration by assembling a team of more than 100 craftsmen. The 35,000 sf. house and 600 acres of manicured grounds opened in 2012. Each of the 20 gloriously appointed bedrooms, staterooms and suites are extravagant in decor, with the utmost attention to detail and with all the 21st century conveniences. It is truly magnificent! Your arrival is highly anticipated and out of an 18th century “Downton Abbey” fantasy with a welcoming staff lineup. Check in to your gloriously appointed room and relax in the splendour. A sun-filled 18th century glass Conservatory, reached through a secret door hidden in a bookshelf of the Library, invites you for a lovely lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to rest, relax and explore the magnificent pleasure grounds in your own golf cart or enjoy a swim in the indoor pool or a Spa treatment or visit the beautiful walled gardens.  Later in the day, a guided “House Tour” is planned for your enjoyment.

This evening, a pre-dinner drink welcomes you to the grand, candlelit Dining Room where you will enjoy a special multicourse Chef’s tasting menu at your private table, (dinner only) prepared by an incredible team under the guidance of an accomplished Chef, maître d’hôtel and sommelier. Bon Appetite!

B, L, D  (Jacket requested)

The K-Club

Straffan, County Kildare

Day 12:  Travel Day - Saturday, August 26 – Ballyfin/Straffan

After a delicious Ballyfin breakfast served on crisp blue and white table linen,  (yes, we understand you do not wish to depart) we bid farewell, load our coach and head for Straffan to enjoy a delightful summers afternoon at the Straffan Steam Museum housed in a fine Victorian gothic building and adjoining the 18th Century Lodge Park Walled Garden, home garden of Robert and Sarah Guinness.  Mr. Guinness is the Vice-President of the Railway Preservation Society in NI and Ireland. The Power Hall displays six huge nineteenth century Stationary Engines running on steam. Lunch will be taken in the Steaming Kettle Teahouse.

Lovely Lodge Park Walled Garden has been under restoration for the last few years and the old brick-faced walls are clothed with climbers, fruit trees and roses. A magnificent South facing shrub border edged in box hedges and topiaried yew trees runs the length of the garden. Beech hedges divide the different compartments into a white garden, salad parterre, colored borders, decorative vegetable area, herbaceous border and a walkway of sweet peas. A feature of the garden is the outstanding rosarie, which is encountered on entering the orchard.

The nearby prestigious K-Club, with its two championship golf courses set in 300 acres of manicured gardens, walks and lush grounds is our home for our final two nights. We arrive and check-in to our luxurious - Deluxe rooms overlooking the manicured lawns and gardens.  Relax in the magnificence and comfort of it all! Enjoy a relaxing pleasure walk with an early evening stroll over the old Liffey Bridge. Golfers will want to check out the two championship golf courses, the Arnold Palmer, venue for the Ryder Cup in 2006 and the Smurfit –a links course. Dinner only is included tonight at The Legends at the Palmer Golf Clubhouse.  (Kindly confirm your preferred dinnertime upon check-in)

B, L, D

The K-Club

Straffan, County Kildare

Day 13:  Sunday, August 27

Sleep-in and enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning.  The day is free for you to savour the environs of the beautiful K-Club, enjoy a beautiful breakfast buffet in the River Room, play a round golf, treat yourself to a K-Spa treatment, (book ahead) pack your bags for your departure tomorrow.  If you still have a bit of wanderlust left in you… why not book a privately escorted chauffeured drive into Dublin to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College and walk nearby Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green or another destination of your choice, like the thoroughbred Irish National Stud near Kildare and experience the world of Ireland’s thoroughbred race horse breeding.

This evening, join your hosts, Patsy and Chris for a very extraordinary and elegant final evening!  We have an elite invitation from a long time friend, the K-Club CEO, Michael Davern…to a “Farewell Champagne Reception” at the beautiful and stunningly appointed home of the K-Club owner and founder, Dr. Michael Smurfit at Straffan House overlooking his famous golf course.  After touring this impressive, antique and art filled home, which includes an indoor swimming pool, a 16-seat movie theatre and personal collections, we celebrate with an elegant, candlelit “Farewell Dinner” with time to toast and reminisce about your Ireland Behind The Scenes experiences.

B, R, D

Day 14:  Travel Day - Monday, August 28

After breakfast private car will meet you today for transfers from the K-Club to Dublin Airport for your flight home.

B

Slan Abhaile! -  Safe Home!

NOTE: This itinerary is PROVISIONAL and IBS reserves the right to add other special additions or delete, due to unforeseen circumstances without notice, as the itinerary continues to develop in the coming months. 

Patsy Malone's Private Ireland

Elite Tours Personally Hosted for Over 20 Years