We left from Dublin amidst the usual crazy traffic Friday evening brings, arriving in Kilkenny just after 8pm (we made 1 pitstop as I spied Joanne's favourite fast food place in the world, the colonel's KFC). Suitably full with some popcorn chicken and chips we pulled in to Stoneyford village. With Google maps as our guide we wound down a dirt track for about 200 - 300 yards and you begin to see the house below. Its magnificent, an old stone brick built farm house that has been immaculately restored with some new additions thrown in to make Lawcus the guesthouse it is. As we get out of the car Mark (the co owner) greets us and takes our bags and we head inside. Taken through the beautiful kitchen area, Mark gives us our keys as well as a really cool hand drawn map of the area which we intended on exploring to the full on Saturday morning. Mark is so knowledgable and is a fountain of interesting facts of the area.
After chatting for some time we head up to our room. From the minute we opened the door it felt like we had jumped in to a time machine, the room was so well decorated . The only thing it didn't have was a tv which was actually a welcome thing, I rarely watch tv and in essence you dont come on holiday or trips like this to watch tv. As soon as we unpacked our stuff ( yup 2 days stay and Joanne had her case of clothing options as she puts it ) we wanted to throw on our wellies and check out the farm in the fading evening light. We were greeted outside firstly with a sow and her male partner "rocking the casbah". The farm has cats, dogs, chickens, two adult pigs, 3 younger pigs, sheep, cattle, a horse, and finally a goldfish pond. They also grow their own gooseberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, cabbage, lettuce, beetroot, herbs, and onions. We were in awe of their operation its brilliant and after much exploring of the farm we head back to the house for some much needed sleep after a long drive and even longer week.
The following morning we are both up early for breakfast as well as checking out the surrounding areas of Thomastown and Kells which I will write about in a separate post. Breakfast is cooked by Ann-Marie, Mark's wife (I think), whom of which gives us a warm welcome. Breakfast is cereals, juices, tea/coffee, fruit, yogurt and a cooked breakfast. I was very lucky that Ann-Marie had received a present of Mackerel from some friends down in County Cork, so I had mackerel both mornings. The mackerel was gorgeous and so fresh, Ann-Marie is an excellent cook, and is a joy to watch cooking 6 or 7 different breakfast whilst still chatting with everyone. You will learn that at Lawcus you are treated like part of the family. We both had such a fabulous time at Lawcus, the guest house and the surrounding areas are amazing and are not promoted enough in my opinion. When you leave make sure Mark shows you the new house he has built which will be part of the Lawcus guesthouse setup. Everyone on Tripadvisor says the same , but you will see why when he shows you, the man is a genius.
Oh one last thing I forgot to mention they have a river flowing by at the bottom of the farm, it could not be anymore perfect. Its the King's river and if you are up for it Mark will oblige with some fishing gear.
I would like to thank Mark and Ann-Marie for such a great time, Lawcus made our anniversary so much more special than some run of the mill hotel. A few years back Rick Stein had a series on the BBC called "Food Heroes", these guys are the epitomy of "Food Heroes" and more than that.
Please visit them here and in person of course :
166 people cant be wrong and its certainly alot better than some review in a travel book.
Thanks for reading my review everyone, I am going to try and stick to my promise of posting more often.