Yesterday was beautiful in southern Ireland – a great day for me to show Bee some places that are among my favorites. I’d like to show them to you too!
Curraghmore is the home of the Marquis of Waterford, a home that’s been in his family since the Vikings arrived about 1000 years ago. It’s an enormous estate, located on gently rolling hills west of Waterford city near the town of Portlaw. The manor house has been built so that it’s attached to the original Irish tower house. It features a famous sculpture of a stag with a crucifix on its head. I love driving down the mile or two of dirt road, past the house and the small river, and to the huge dairy barns. The scenery could not be more pastoral. Cows and sheep are grazing here and there. Recently Curraghmore has become much more visitor-friendly. Learn more about touring it by clicking here.
Mount Congreve is located near Curraghmore. It too is an old estate. For more than 100 years it was the home of a renowned horticulturalist, Ambrose Congreve. Mr. Congreve began gardening at the age of 12 and was still actively involved on the day he died at the Chelsea Garden Show in London at the age of 104! He has turned acres of land surrounding his home into a magnificent garden. It features azaleas, rhododendrons and hydrangeas (called “hortensia” here) and acres of lovely blue bells. Any gardener touring Ireland should be sure to put this on her/his “must see” list. Since Mr. Congreve’s death changes have been made here that make it much easier to visit. More information can be found here:
Dungarvan is a small Irish city located on the south coast, about 20 miles west of Waterford. I’ve added it to this post to tell you about the wonderful lunch Bee and I found there yesterday in a little restaurant called Ormond’s Cafe. Bee had “cottage pie” which is a casserole of ground beef, vegetables and mashed potato that she enjoyed. I had “hake” which is a very good white fish found in Irish waters but what inpires me to tell you about our lunch is my side dish called “ratatouille.” That’s a name that covers many variations. This one was two stacks of thinly sliced rounds of tomato, onion, zucchini and yellow squash that had been lightly oiled and seasoned and briefly broiled. The restaurant had a wonderful selection of desserts but we were too satisfied by our main course to try them. I took a picture of the ratatouille so I’d remember to try this when I’m home again. Here ’tis:
Today’s going to be another beautiful day and we’re off to enjoy it!