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Elegant & Romantic - for single or couple

Igumbi lakho lokulala e indawo yokuhlala nenesidlo sakusasa sinombuki zindwendwe onguRosalind
Iindwendwe eziyi-21 igumbi lokulalaiibhedi eziyi-0Igumbi eliyi-1 ekwabelwana ngalo
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Lo mbuki zindwendwe uzibophelele kwinkqubo yokucoca ephuculiweyo enamanyathelo ayi-5 yakwa-Airbnb.
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Umbuki zindwendwe akazivumeli iipati okanye ukutshaya.
PRESENTLY CLOSED - Re-opening after March 2021, but PLEASE enquire about staying in this spacious, elegant room with its antique four-poster bed. The experience of staying here has been greatly enjoyed, over the many years listed in renowned guides and on Airbnb. This home has art, antiques and a calming, restful, other-worldly atmosphere. Little luxuries include the much-complimented breakfast, brought to the room and served at a relaxed pace.

Lovely for a one-night treat at the beginning of an Irish holiday, or on the way homewards. A two-night stay (and longer!) offers an opportunity to fully experience the town and beautiful area around, with hill walks, cycling, beautiful gardens, historic houses, castles and ancient monastic sites open to the public.

1) Linger in Tranquility - extended check-out/overnight stay - with 3 course breakfast.

2) Brief Visit: ideal for wedding guests, or onward journeyers - with a 2 course, light breakfast. (Request special offer).

A welcoming drink by the drawing room fireside; lots of books on many topics (no televisions) and the big, deep, colourful, antique bath to wallow in by candlelight, with scented oils. There are pampering touches in the room such as vintage dressing gowns and Moroccan slippers, et cetera, as well as the treat of breakfast being brought up to the bedroom, in courses. Come to write or sketch - even one night is a special, soothing retreat for imaginative souls. However, the host's suggestion is a two-or three night stay, to explore the town, and the facinating and gentle pleasures of the region, such as walks in the Slieve Blooms, visiting renowned gardens, haunted castles and ancient monastic sites.

Brendan House 'The Flag House' and Tin Jug Studio (see Arts Studio) are close to Birr Castle Demesne & Historic Science Centre, as well as the town's charming shops, good cafés and restaurants. This is the home of an artist/writer and a journalist/poet. It is the 'secret' B&B of Birr, with no sign outside the door and no hoards of people staying. Guests have said and written that they felt very relaxed and welcome in this bohemian and elegant home, filled with paintings, prints, local artists' works, antiques, books about Birr and by Birr authors, some creaking original floorbards, a piano to play, and much more. Creative and a few famous folk have stayed, from musicians and composers to dancers and poets.

This is the largest of three period-style guest rooms at Brendan House. It is for one or two people. (The two single rooms are under a separate listing, and have canopied, cushioned beds). The antique four-poster bed belonged to Rosalind's mother, and the bed cover was embroidered by her paternal grandmother. Each room has its own wash-handbasin, and though guests share one unusual bathroom, bookings for all rooms at once are rarely taken unless for a family - or dear friends! Therefore the bathroom is purely for the use of those staying in the four poster room. It was the second bath installed with running water in Birr, in the 19th century; the first having been for the visiting Bishop at Drumbawn House. When the Fannings purchased their home, the bath had been painted white and was flaking. The original rich and marbled colours were discovered underneath, revealed and then restored by a specialist.

It is a very personalized experience to stay here, with hints of luxury. There are little extras such as spring water and chocolate in the room and of course, electric blankets. No need to get dressed to rush to the dining room in the morning. Relax. Breakfast is usually served from around 9.15am (to include bread fresh from the bakery) and up until around 11.30am.

The guest wing corridor has been painted and decorated as if an Arabian tent, and with shelves of books on travel. There are ornamental masks and lots of pictures with images of foreign places. Essentially, a silver tray has all one needs to make cupfulls of refreshing herbal or China tea at any time and with a tin of biscuits too.

There have been many compliments about our breakfasts, some written into the visitors book, such as, 'The best we've had, anywhere'. Much of the food served is local, organic and home-made, and presented with attention to the visual as much as to the flavours and variety offered. Breakfast options can be large or small; hearty or healthy.

When the drawing room fire and candles are lit, it is a wonderful room to relax in. Occasionally an informal dinner is served (with advance booking) such as Rozzie's Casseroles of Lamb in Cider or Beef with Guinness, etc.

There are no televisions but a good selection of DVDs of Hollywood and vintage films as well as Russian, French, Japanese classics and opera, favourite old TV series, comedy and children's films, etc.

Tin Jug Studio, our arts studio and gallery, is open to the public on occasions for art exhibitions, poetry readings and film screenings, as well as seasonal, weekly art classes for children. Art classes for 'total beginner' adults can be booked - from one up to four people maximum - for a unique, encouraging two hours tuition in Still Life, etc. The studio is also available at certain times of the year for tourists budget, self-catering/semi-self-catering accommodation. Please see the current listing 'Arts Studio'. It is also available during the Summer months at a special rate for writers who wish to work and stay in Birr for three nights and three days, putting finishing touches to a novel, or needing peaceful time for inspiration.

This may not be the place for you if....
* You don't like old houses!
* You are dashing through town, and plan to leave early to get to an event.
* Early breakfasts (pre-8.30am) are only by special, advance arrangement.

What's to see and experience in and around Birr? Many things:

Firstly, whilst most people come for one night, it is suggested that visitors consider a longer stay - two or three nights - to indulge in this fascinating town's history:

* Take the Birr Town Trail, and the new, artist-created Famous & Notables of Birr Trail.
* Explore more of the midlands region, to bike around the Lough Boora Sculpture Park, do looped or longer walks in the mountains nearby, and much more.
* Performances and exhibitions at Birr Theatre and Arts Centre
* Visit Leap Castle ('most haunted in Ireland') and ancient monastic sites.
* Music Nights at Leap Castle (advance notice of interest is needed as these are not regular, but organized by an excellent music-promoter.)
* Experience the landscape and sky in the expanses of boglands, or cycle around the former bog of Lough Boora Sculpture Park.
* See glorious treasures in nearby such as the Harry Clarke stained glass windows.
* Outdoorsy stuff such as hillwalking in the Slieve Blooms
* Downhill bike trails at Fairyhill Farm - and to come, in the Slieve Blooms.
* Horse-riding and trekking in the mountains.
* Flying lessons.
* A custom small bus tour with an excellent guide, can be booked, to extend your tourism experience in the region, on day or half-day trips to local sights, or further afield to Kilkenny and beyond.
* Depending on the night, or the time of the year there are also excellent traditional music sessions on Wednesdays at pubs, or at Kinnitty Castle. You can book the bus to collect you and essentially, bring you back!

Birr has lots of arts festivals:
* The Music Festival in May
* Scripts Playwriting Festival in June.
* The longest running festival in Ireland being Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival, in August.
* OFFline Film Festival in October.
* Hullabaloo Children's Arts Festival in November.

(Biorra le Gaeilge, founded by four to educate through Irish, usually holds some events for Seachtain na Gaeilge and at other times, special musical or poetry nights.) There are Irish language gatherings in Banagher, a short drive away.

* Hire a noted landscape artist for en plein air tutorials, for half-a-day to full days. For 1 to 3 people. Recommended, and reasonable rates.
* Still Life drawing lessons bookable at Tin Jug Studio - or simply borrow the key to paint and draw in our arts studio and courtyard garden.
* Other arty options can include buying-visits to artists' studios and current exhibitions.

Healthy rather than full-hearty breakfasts are an option. In other words, a reduction in the nightly rate for a two-course, rather than three- course breakfast.

Other possibilities for an even more romantic stay for two at Brendan House can include afternoon teas, Prosecco and chocolates, gourmet picnics, guided hill walks, castle tours. Or indulge in an excellent spa experience at Salann na Talún, in Lusmagh; Reflexology in Clonfert with Brenda (and see the stunning, ornate doorway of the ancient Clonfert Cathedral.) There are Birr beautifying parlours (recommended is Secret Essence). Just enquire about bookings.

The Pros and the Cons of staying at Brendan House:
* The four-poster is a double - not a queen sized, and therefore smaller than modern beds but very comfortable. Perhaps both partners in a couple, thinking of booking this pretty room need to be more 'petite', neither a snorer - or at least, very much in love, to sleep here!

For other recommended and luxurious Bed & Breakfast places in historic Birr:
Walcot House, Emmet House, Townsend House, The Stables.

Ukungena kondwendwe
The guest rooms are on the 1st floor (that is one flight of stairs up.) There is access to the drawing room but limited access to the dining room (only when there are multiple bookings). Breakfast is brought upstairs at no extra charge, or can be served in the drawing room, in front of the turf fire.

Ezinye izinto ekufuneka uziqaphele
Other Benefits to Staying at Brendan House.
* A welcoming tasting of local liqueurs - Wild Food Mary's unique and delicious Wild Beech Leaf or Damson liqueurs.
* Paying guests at Brendan House receive a discount on the entry price for Birr Castle Demesne & Historic Science Centre. Just ask Rosalind about the details.
* There are some relaxing and fascinating local walks around town or into the countryside. Just turn right outside our front door and follow the tranquil river, through the countryside and woodlands, finishing with a timeless hilltop view of the Slieve Blooms and town. Our Famous & Notables of Birr Trail (created by artists Jackie Lynch and Rosalind and launched by actor Des Keogh in June 2016) and Rozzie's new Monk's Walk - 'Finding Adhamhnan' is also available - for those who enjoy observing nature. We can also arrange guided walks in the Slieve Blooms, or visit Lough Boora Sculpture Parklands for walking or biking around the boglands. Use Brendan House/Tin Jug Studio as your base for a several-day stay, exploring much more and beyond within the region. It is far more lovely here in the Midlands than most give us credit for - and opportunity for seeing hidden treasures, away from the crowds. *Interested in buying art? Whether visiting an artist's studio to arranging a meeting at Tin Jug Studio and gallery, to commission pieces, please ask ahead of time about the options.
*If you wish to meet up and chat as Gaeilge, Biorra le Gaeilge has occasional Caife agus Caint and Ciorcal Comhra meetings (also see our Focloir na Siopaí or head to Banagher nearby, for a very welcoming group gathering: beginners, listeners and fluent speakers all meld together.
PRESENTLY CLOSED - Re-opening after March 2021, but PLEASE enquire about staying in this spacious, elegant room with its antique four-poster bed. The experience of staying here has been greatly enjoyed, over the many years listed in renowned guides and on Airbnb. This home has art, antiques and a calming, restful, other-worldly atmosphere. Little luxuries include the much-complimented breakfast, brought to the roo… funda okungakumbi

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Birr, County Offaly, Ireland

I love a great deal about our 'neighbourhood'...where to start?
Though I may add more later, might I begin by extolling the virtues of this small, midlands heritage town. Not just for its friendly, diversely interesting and some a touch eccentric people; but also for the attractive architecture, the cultural joys of our theatre, the lovely parks and the proximity to such beautiful walks by the river, and in the mountains close by.

Are you a 'Foodie'? Some other great things about Birr.

Apart from the much-praised breakfasts at Brendan House and Tin Jug Studio, here's more temptation for you to come:

* Offaly Specialities include: * * * Mossfield Cheeses, milk and yoghurt; Kilbeggan Organic Porridge Oats, Coolfin House organic breads and locally baked breads from Nutmeg Café; Slieve Bloom Foods - jams, delicous marmalades and Offaly Cranberries (sauces, chutneys etc.) And of course delicious local organic vegetables from Lough Boora Farm, and the local Growery and Mossfield Farm. The Organic Store on Main Street stocks most of the above.

* There is also a new beer - rather nice, even for those who say they don't like beer! Bo Bristle from Banagher and of course the famous Tullamore Dew and Kilbeggan Whiskies of Offaly.
* Wild Food Mary - Mary Bulfin gathers wonderful harvests from around her country home and garden and offers both Foraging experiences, and is also an AirBnB host. Her liqueurs are utterly delicious - Wild Beech Leaf and Damson.

* * Newly restored and re-opened Spinners on Castle Street (bistro/bar and restaurant) serves excellent lunches and dinners, using a lot of local produce. (This is where the Cuban Ambassador and his wife were treated to the Civil Lunch in honour of their day-trip to Birr and launch of the Latin American FIlm Festival at Tin Jug Studio in 2014.)

* The renovated and enlarged Castle Courtyard Café is serving delicious and healthy breakfasts and lunches - and of course scones and cakes, all 'home-cooked' in their castle courtyard kitchen.

* The Red Apple Café has recently won Offaly's best 'Free-From Award'. As well as delicious main dishes, with local and organic ingredients, and yummacious sweet things, fine coffees, and so much more. The Buddha Bowls are very popular and filling, healthy dishes! Well worth seeking out this great little place, off the main thoroughfare, on Mill Street.

* * * Sanjay's Kitchen - the Indian restaurant recently taken under the wing of a very fine chef. OH HOW LUCKY WE ARE! Temptingly close to Saint Brendan Street. What some visitors staying here called 'A Posh Indian'. And Sanjay is a gentleman.

* The best sausages and rashers in town are available at Dwyer's Butchers - and a banter with Paul is memorable. Served for Brendan House breakfasts, if meaty ones are your choice.

Umbuki zindwendwe ngu- Rosalind

Ujoyine nge- 2012 June
  • Izimvo eziyi-77
  • I-Superhost
An 'occasional' writer, artist/designer with an arts studio. My family background was in historic property restoration, but have lived and worked in London and New York as a materials specialist for architects, on new buildings. For around 25 years, very happily settled back in Ireland, in little, busy and arty Birr. I have been running Tin Jug arts studio and gallery (the first in County Offaly) since 2000. It is part of our home and is occasionally open to the public for children's art classes and arts events and meetings. Rx
An 'occasional' writer, artist/designer with an arts studio. My family background was in historic property restoration, but have lived and worked in London and New York as a materi…
Ngexesha lokuhlala kwakho
Staying here is more about relaxing rather than lots of chatting, but of course that is up to you! We are keen to make sure that you feel welcomed in Birr and that your experience will make you want to recommend our beautiful town and region to others. We'll enjoy your company, but are happiest to ensure you feel completely at ease to absorb the calming atmosphere. We can be of help to answer questions and guide you about 'where to go' and 'what to see'. The choices are yours.
Staying here is more about relaxing rather than lots of chatting, but of course that is up to you! We are keen to make sure that you feel welcomed in Birr and that your experience…
URosalind yi-Superhost
Ii-Superhost zinamava, zikwizinga eliphezulu ibe eyona nto iphambili kuzo, kukuba iindwendwe zihlale kamnandi.
  • Ulwimi: English
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