This summer’s Irish road trip really reignited my gusto for exploring this emerald isle- I want to take in all the wild & wonderful things we have to offer, eat all the delicious food, meet the characters, hear the tunes & experience all the attractions so, I was delighted when Visit Kilkenny reached out & asked me to come down for a few days; I was excited for the trip but I was not prepared for all the amazing things in store for our little getaway!
I was blown away by the hospitality, I loved how quirky & accessible the city was (meaning we could forget about the car & have a glass of vino with lunch), the attractions seemed endless and the food, my god, the FOOD!
I found out that Kilkenny is second in the world per head of capita for Michelin star restaurants so I realised pretty quickly that we were in for a treat.
Well, here’s what we got up to-
We hit the city at lunch time, checked into the beautiful Earl Of Ormond suite in the River Court Hotel before walking into the town for some much-needed food, I absolutely loved the location of the hotel meaning we were within a few minutes walk of everything on offer.
We arrived in Truffles restaurant & wine bar where we had the most divine lunch; the menu catered to everyone as it included meat-based options as well as a full offering for vegan & vegetarian customers; something not seen that often but absolutely needed.
Our waiter was super friendly & chatted enthusiastically about the restaurant telling us that their well-known chef had previously worked in a vegan restaurant so it seemed a shame to waste that knowledge base… the menu was incredibly enticing so they really hit the nail on the head.
Feeling refreshed, we hit the city’s extensive jewelry offerings by visiting some renowned jewellers starting first with Nolan’s where we were greeted by the lovely Stephen’s, its his family business & his passion for what they’re offering was infectious; they had a great mix of piece from timeless investments, trend-lead gift options and exciting brands from around the world.
Next we called in to Ryan’s Jewellers where we browsed the beautiful classic pieces & impressive watch collection with the help of J.P… he tells us that their business has been operating in the same location in Kilkenny city for over 70 years so they must be doing it right!
We then headed back to the hotel to freshen up before we were back out for an epic dinner of trout scotch eggs, steak, swordfish & epic whiskey sours in Rive Gauche before retiring in preparation for another full day of exploring.
After a relaxing breakfast in our hotel we hit the Medieval Mile Museum for a little bit of Irish history, 800 years of it to be exact! What we thought might take just a few minutes ended up being an hour our more as there was so much to see, read about.
We did a self guided tour before asking the lovely staff about their favourite parts of the museum; their enthusiasm was impossible to ignore as we spent some more time going back around with them- I’d highly recommend checking this spot out as they offer something to pique everyone’s interest.
A little wander around the streets was next on the agenda, grabbing a coffee in the infamous CakeFace while taking a moment to gather our thoughts and get a few insta pics up… of course.
Next up? The Smithwicks experience where we did a really entertaining tour of brewery’s history learning all about the process to create the ales with a guided tour. It was great to learn so much about one of Ireland’s most popular drinks & really understand the process… as someone who’s never dabbled in home brewing it was a pretty epic crash course.
After that we were ready for lunch so Butler House hotel was our next port of call. There we ate crab on brioche & perfectly seasoned chicken, sipped on Chardonnay while overlooking the grounds of the restaurant; its located in the old stables of Kilkenny castle so the views alone could’ve kept us there all day.
The food was so delicious so we sat savoring it for a while before bundling ourselves back out for a bit of shopping. After that we went back to the room to change (I took advantage of our room’s Jacuzzi bath) before checking out some of the city’s most popular bars… of which there are plenty!
Dinner on night two was in Royal Spice Indian which offered us hearty, flavorful Indian fare in a relaxed setting. We sat for what felt like hours chatting about the trip & how much we enjoyed it, how we simply had to come back if we were to even make a dent in the city’s amazing food scene and, how we were more impressed by to restaurant offering than we had been on our recent trip to Paris.
On our last day we awoke to the hotel’s Christmas decorations complete with Festive tunes over breakfast which I sang along to a little too loudly over breakfast while Sean gave me the side eye (my first time hearing them this year so a little enthusiasm is a must!)
We packed the car up before walking up the town tothe Mint Spa where I enjoyed their award winning Decleor Vitamin Glow Facial and Sean took the plunge to have his first ever facial with one of their Dermalogica offerings… he looked 10 years younger walking out of the place!
The treatments were incredibly relaxing with the spa it’s self being a beautiful setting for a little pampering so it was the perfect finish to what was without doubt an incredible weekend.
We were completely blown away by our few days in Kilkenny, already talking about when we can get back down to tick some more amazing restaurants & sights off the list. It was the perfect size for days of wandering without the pain of driving around & worrying about parking.
If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting Kilkenny already then no doubt you’re wondering what took me so long to get here and, if you haven’t been I urge you to change that ASAP… you’re gonna love it xx