But now I realize it's really the 11th.
I truly must be in the holiday brain mode as all my dates are messed up. Duh. Well at least I know I'm in Ireland and in the fine town of Kilkenny - pronounced like kill Kenny. Fact! Ok so what did we do today?!
Up early, notice a pattern perhaps that's why I can't keep my days straight 😜, and we be on da road. First stop is at Midleton, home of the Jameson Experience for a photo op at the largest copper stIll I've ever seen..
Back on the coach to the town of Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland and home of the crystal factory which first opened in1783 .
Current Waterford factory we visited opened 2010 to produce their high end show items only. Lots of other factories around the world (Slovenia) still produce to the Waterford standard for everyday crystal stuff here are some examples of the high end stuff.
Before anybody gets to that level one has to apprentice and work on the master bowl - this takes about 5 years. All apprentices produce this piece. After about 3 more years for the students reach the master level. Waterford has just hired some young designers.
Use beech wood molds for high quality items and cast iron for every day. Nowadays the crystal is made from silica, potash ash and lithord or lead - 33% lead. The Wedge cut is what gives Waterford its deep grooves. The flat (rhindau) cut used for handles and necks. Engravers use copper dremils. Hydrochloric acid baths (approx 50 minutes) are needed to clean the glass for sale. This is done off site. Stamp of excellence is placed on all sanctioned pieces.
Back on the coach after some serious purchasing has taken place. Lucky to get the kids out of there with their wallets intact, and off we go to visit Dunbrody Country House in Arthurtown. www.dunbrodyhouse.com This Georgian manor was built in 1830 on over 200 acres. Kevin and his wife had a vision for an estate when they purchased it over 20 years ago after they returned from Canada. The property is now listed in Ireland's blue book and is a member of small luxury hotels of the world.
Chef Dundon is a member of Slow foods and likes to purchase local. He Works with Irish beef, and lets the food speak for its self. He has created a fruit garden and a vegetable and herb garden on the property. As his manor house is in the Wexford area, he benefits from being in a temperate microclimate for Ireland. He also has added a third outlet on the property to attract the locals. An Irish pub on site was created for the sum of €35k by up cycling items from his manor house and from other local sites. He has a very limited menu 3 choices and they all cost €10. This has been a very shrewd move as it encouraged the locals to see that they could come to the "Rich Place".
Aside from the pub, there are two other food outlets, one named after a restaurant in the Hotel MacDonald Edmonton - the harvest room. Chef Kevin Dundon is a TV personality as well having 2 cooking shows on TV as well. Chef tapes one of his TV shows at the manor, where he also runs a cookery school. To augment the restaurants work has been started to have an on site brewery called ABC - Arthurtown Brewing Company - naturally Chef is growing Prima Donna hops on site. To round out this amazing establishment, there is also a spa on site. Very textural. Suede on walls and shag carpet Food related treatments used such as Sorbet tea to start, coffee, lemon therapies and chocolate to finish . The slogan for the spa is "For the love of self" while all other aspects use the slogan "for the love of food".
Chef also writes for the national newspaper and has written 5 books, all of which are available for sale at the Manor Myers the students bought and we had Chef sign them all. There truly is a balanced combination of contemporary and old at Dunbrody Country House. He even used social media too: @dunbrodylocal. ps did we mention that we also had a delightful lunch too?