Click here for details of Irish expert Susan Byron's Guided Tours of Ireland's Hidden Gems in 2018

Blissful Bed & Breakfasts

My idea of a blissful bed and breakfast or guesthouse is primarily a beautifully dressed bed that promises an indulgent, undisturbed nights sleep, perhaps with the sound of waves breaking on shore near by or my favourite? no sound at all (and preferably no street lights either) save the signing of the birds in the morning. I have a friend who sleeps in her guest room when her husband is away on business, purely to indulge her frilly side. Whereas florals and flounces are not really practical for everyday use, never mind that mountain of decorative cushions to be relocated every night you just want to dive straight in on holidays. Or that super soft, woollen throw you bought for its cosiness, imagining rainy day afternoons, curled up all warm and snug beneath it with a good book or glossy magazine, but somehow never get around to at home. The freshly cut garden flowers in a crystal vase by the bedside, big colourful coffee table books with photos of Ireland that are long out of print and even more delightful for it. But above all, it is the pristine emptiness of it all with none of the normal detritus of daily living that messes it up. Nope, nothing but a hold all of what you might need for the next few days, while back home and all that goes with it could be a millions of miles away.

In a blissful bed and breakfast, you have nothing to do and all day to do it.... You can wander about a lovely garden, that somebody else weeds, waters and prunes. Browse through those coffee table books or perhaps go out to dinner in a local pub or restaurant with those lacy pillows, crisp sheets and floral duvet beckoning you back later on.... And while I try, seriously I do try to create a pleasant breakfast 'a deux' (on sundays at least) with a nicely laid table, I really can’t be doing with rolled butter balls. Freshly squeezed orange juice, maybe? but a spicy, stewed fruit compote with local organic yogurt not to mention warm, freshly made brown bread and fruit scones, not a chance ! And of course any notions of diets go straight out the window with a tempting and extremely naughty cooked breakfast, oh go on I’ll have two sausages! Breakfasts like this should come with a warning not about your waistline, but your bank account, because once I have checked out the cute pottery, the homemade jams, real honeycombs and fresh breads, I am off to the nearest farmer's market or craft shop to bring it all home with me. A stay in a blissful bed and breakfast reminds you that life is for living and way too short for taking short cuts so go on give yourself a treat and indulge in a short break at one of Ireland’s many bed and breakfasts.

B&Bs in Ireland

Irelands Hidden Gems