There isn't a better place in the country for a quiet - but not too quiet - breakaway than Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa
This cold and wet Wednesday brings me back four days ago to a cold, wet Saturday. The difference, other than the fact that Saturday was one-half of the glorious weekend and right now I'm smack bang in the middle of the working week, is that today's cold, wet day is spent in an office and Saturday's was in Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa.
I live in Dublin and Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa is right by the sea near Clonakilty Village in West Cork and yes, it's a long way to go for a weekend break. But it's SO worth it! And it's not actually that long, really. Our island mentality just makes us think it is.
We arrived last Friday to a warm welcome, including a little sit by the fire with a little tipple. We quickly found our room and then quickly left it again because it was 7.45 and we couldn't miss the sunset, now could we?
A short stroll on the right-hand beach, a possible engagement proposal sighting (the perfect place for it) and back to properly check out the room. If you were following our Instagram stories at the weekend, you would have seen it. If not, here's a lookalike.
Little chocolates with a card showing the weather forecast were gobbled (the chocs not the card), and suitcases were emptied so we could feel right at home. Before we went down to the bar for a quick bite and a well-deserved drink (because it was FRIDAY!) we caught up on a TV quiz show I'd never heard of but I'll definitely be tuning into next time I stay in a fancy hotel. It was Only Connect, by the way, on BBC 2.
The downstairs bar is just lovely with great bar bites and a balcony area that resembles a damn ship! My favourite place to relax during our stay, though, was the Residents' Lounge that is like a really good hotel foyer but without the reception desk and people toing and froing. Comfy seats, books to borrow, a bar. Bliss.
That Friday, a wedding shared our Inchydoney joy. The function room is on the same floor as the Residents Lounge which happened to be the same floor our room was on. Readers, I'm happy to say we were not disturbed by noise or tomfoolery once. I'm a huge frowning grump at the best of times and was irked the next day when I went back to the Lounge to look out at the storm and read my book because a group of wedding guests were loudly second-daying it. They left, though, to wreak the heads of the people of Clon', which turned my frown right the other way. And that was the last I saw of them.
The next morning we made it to breakfast which mercifully doesn't stop till 11! It's got more options of any hotel brekkie I've ever been to, including fish, which Mr Mir had the next day. It set us right up for our walk on the beach that we managed to fit in right before the storm blew in.
Ahhh, the storm. I love stormy weather anyway, but it's so much better when you're safe and warm in your cosy dressing gown looking out at it from an extremely comfy big bed. Even better when you've a cup of herbal tea in hand and lounging in the relaxation room of the Spa.
I was treated to the Sleep Tight Ritual: a foot, back and face massage a and facial using Elemis products. I'm keen on treatments and facials, and yes, this was a good one. And Jo, my lovely therapist, was very nice when I nearly choked on my own cough. Mr Mir had an Elemis Muscle Melt Massage and loved it. We spent a little time in the seawater pool and steam room and sauna, but we had to retreat eventually and prepare for dinner.
It's hard - very hard - to choose a weekend highlight, but if I had to, it might have to be the dinner, in the Gulfstream Restaurant. Every morsel was a delight. The amuse bouche was a surprise; the scallops were amazing. Mr Mir had fish for his main course and was trés satisfied. I chose one of the vegetarian options of cheese and beetroot ravioli and would have asked for seconds if I could have. We made room for dessert: Baked Alaska and white chocolate mousse for me, and OMG yum.
Back to the Residents' Lounge, we went, for a quiet game of Connect 4 (it can be done if you press a finger to the end of the hole you want to throw your disc down) and just a little bit more wine.
The weather cleared up on Sunday, but alas, our time at Inchydoney was up. We squeezed in one more walk - that was our fourth after a moonlit stroll after dinner - and then the long, sad journey home.
If you are looking the most relaxing quiet (but not too quiet) breakaway, you won't go wrong with Inchydoney. Promise.
Miriam was a guest of Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa. See more on inchydoneyisland.com.