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Fairy Travels

Fairy Travels

Harveys Point Anniversary Trip

We got married in the stunning Harveys Point 5 years ago and make a point of returning each year.  This was the first year we took the kids!! I have such a grá for this hotel, our wedding day was spent here, we celebrated here the weekend I found out I was pregnant with my first little man.  We spent our first weekend without him here too!!

If you have ever visited you will know why – in a word its pure luxury but even more so its its staff.  There aren’t enough words I could use to describe the staff at this hotel. Its a testament to the hotel when my husband muttered to me over dinner that all hotel staff should be sent her to train! I’ll admit I was a tad apprehensive about taking the kids to the hotel, I was so wrong. The staff particularly at dinner and breakfast treated my kids like they were VIP paying guests.  They played with them, treated them and best of all Mamma and Dada had dinner out with 2 kids in tow with no stress! That doesn’t happen much!

The rooms

The rooms here are wow, they are huge! We booked a delux room with 2 doubles and it was huge! More than enough room for the Mamma Fairy family.  Most notably the room was spotless, fresh and so welcoming.  There is also a 2 person jacuzzi!! 😉

The Food

We had dinner and breakfast at the hotel and both are simply amazing (the pancakes!!! Yum – seriously yum).   At dinner time I spotted the owner Deirdre meeting and greeting guests.  Something which the tour group from the US who were seated next to us (and played with my youngest for the entire dinner – thank you for that!) really appreciated. With Harveys Point its the little things that combined make a top class service offering.  The same group were down for breakfast the same time as us (this time a lovely couple who visit twice a year from Galway entertained my youngest! – again thank you!).  The charismatic Noel Cunningham greeted his guests at breakfast who loved his infectious good mood first thing in the morning.

We also met the lovely Sarah who was our wedding planner five years ago at breakfast that morning too, again another staff member who went above and beyond to make us feel like we were valued guests.

This isn’t a free stay or a review – I paid for my stay. I am just a really satisfied customer who will continue to return year after year.  I was thrilled to see Harveys Point win Georgina Campbell Hotel of the Year 2017 – a very well deserved accolade.

For best rates I always book direct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairy Travels

Fairy Travels – Airfield Estate Dundrum

airfield3Last Sunday we were visited Airfield Estate in Dundrum.  We received a complimentary family pass which we were only delighted to accept.  As it happened for the bank holiday weekend there was a sheep festival creatively called Woolapalooza.  I’m sure I mentioned it before, I am married to a sheep farmer and my 3 year old is very interested in farming spending many days with his dad out with the sheep. I won’t lie – expectations were high!

 The Estate

Airfield Estate, comprising of 38 acres of farmland is Dublin’s only working farm which is open to the public. The farm itself is a charitable trust, a legacy of its owners the Overend Family.  The farm itself keeps a number of types of animal from hens, to cows, to sheep, to goats. The farm  supplies the restaurant with everything from meat to milk to eggs. The ultimate in fresh, “farm to fork”.

The original house is still there and open to the public and also quite remarkably the vintage cars owned by the family which are immaculate. The 1920s Rolls Royce is just wow!

Our Experience

We arrived around 11 and it was busy enough even though it hadn’t been open long, we headed straight for the sheep dog trials (The Dada Fairys request) however we were distracted along the way be the lovely little kids maze and the toddler play area which is located in one of the sheds. The Mamma Fairy had a lovely coffee while the big man played.

The sheep dog trials were a big hit all around with the crowds gathering for each display.  They were performed by Denis Birchall, who has represented Ireland many times.  airfield From there we headed towards the “green barn” for the barn dance or in the words of the 3 years “the disco”! The barn was decked out with straw couches and three young lads played some traditional tunes.  Very entertaining, there was also a small craft fair at the back where I fell in love with a sheep wool duvet!!

Next stop was the milking, the boys really enjoyed this, the highlight for them being able to taste the milk (its pasteurised on site). The three year old got up close to the new calves and was so excited.  airfield2Just beside this was the sheep shearing demonstration.  This was very popular with a large crowd looking on.

After another coffee pit stop we headed to the field near the house itself for the farm games. We loved the old school farm games – sack races, egg and spoon race, toss the wellies, wheelbarrow race.

Overall

We spent a thoroughly enjoyable 3 hours here. I know there were extra activities on with Woolapalooza however irrespective of this we would have still enjoyed as much.  Some huge positives for me – it’s really well laid out, immaculately kept, lots of well-kept toilets spread out amongst the estate, including baby changing facilities! (essential with a potty trained toddler and a baby!), plenty coffee stations (yep im a total addict!) and tonnes of parking.

See  www.airfield.ie for information on family ticket prices and directions.

 

Note: We received a complimentary family pass, however all opinions are mine and/or the kids!
Fairy Travels

Our weekend stay at The Connacht Hotel, Galway

We decided on a whim to book our first weekend break as a foursome.  Being honest I didn’t put a massive amount of research into picking the hotel.  I had heard from some of my friends that The Connacht Hotel in Galway was great and really child friendly so we booked in for the last weekend in August.

I had originally booked a regular room but my sister and her husband decided they would come with us and would babysit to let us enjoy the Galway night life!! Naturally we jumped at the chance.  I sent the hotel a message via Twitter to organise a change in room to the 2 bedroom apartment with the small kitchen (very handy with young kids!) and Emma organised it for us. (By the way she is a total credit to the hotel extremely helpful, no request was too much hassle)

We arrived on the Friday around 3 o’clock to a busy lobby, despite how busy it was reception was so attentive and welcoming. The lovely gentleman on reception talked through the facilities for us as well as those for kids (more on this below).

The Room/ apartment

Unusually the apartment was in the actual hotel, its actually more like adjoining rooms with a kitchenette.  It was spotlessly clean, and a great size and the kitchenette even though it was compact had everything you would need.  I loved the layout as it suited our needs perfectly.  The second bedroom had its own exit which was perfect for 2 couples on holidays. We had a lovely surprise when we entered the room.  Fruit and chocolates, both gratefully devoured by my 3 year old!

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The child friendly facilities

The hotel was busy with families and I could really see why.  There was a kids club (Friendly Fellows) running during our stay, split into 2 groups 3 -5 and 6 -15 years.  In the evenings there was a film on which allowed the parents to enjoy dinner or drinks.  The kids club is fully supervised and located in the hotel itself which is great peace of mind for parents.

There is also a fantastic leisure centre on site (ill be honest I looked at it but didn’t use!) and a large pool. My son had his first experience of a swimming pool at The Connacht Hotel.  His uncle took him both mornings and he loved every minute.  The pool is  a great size – 20  meters and also includes a Jacuzzi. Check out some additional pictures here

 

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The Food

We sampled the food in the restaurant on Friday night.  The Dada Fairy had the duck and I had the chicken pasta.  He is incredibly picky about his food being a farmer himself and he gave the hotel food a huge thumbs up in terms of quality.  The service was impeccable. I wish I knew the name of the gentleman who served us as he was fantastic.  The right balance of service and chat.

Everything else

During the day we brought the little men to Salthill where we enjoyed the aquarium and the amusements.  The rain was terrible but it didn’t dampen the spirits.

We sampled the sister bar An Pucan on the Saturday night, this place is a must when in Galway city.  The garden (outdoor area) is just fantastic.  It was as expected busy on the Saturday night but very enjoyable.

We have already decided we will be back next year as it is so family friendly having facilities for both adults and children.

The Details

We booked direct via the hotel website – had the best value when I was shopping around.

Take care

~ Mamma F