We had the good fortune to be driving through western Ireland a few weeks ago, along what has become for us a well-trodden route. As we drove the nearly four hour journey from Shannon Airport to Drumcliffe, we realized that we would be driving right through Tubbercurry, a small town where we spent some time last summer during the week of the South Sligo Summer School.
Although the town of Tubbercurry itself is small and unremarkable in many ways as a tourist destination in and of itself, it is well-positioned as a spot en route to the northwest of Ireland, as well as a short, scenic drive from the south. Also, it is the hub of the South Sligo Summer School, one of the many fabulous trad music and dance experiences that can be found throughout Ireland during the summer months.
What was completely remarkable about this village, however, is the Coill Dara Bed and Breakfast. We had chosen this particular B&B from its outstanding reviews on Trip Advisor. Even though it was a little more expensive than other B&Bs in the area, we decided to chance it, since the photos looked stunning and we have never been steered wrong by Trip Advisor reviews.
The reviews were spot on, and then some.
The house is on the edge of the town, with a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. The house is an imposing stone manor, with beautifully manicured grounds and an adjacent farm (that they also own). The interior of the house is breathtaking, with marble finishings, claw-footed tubs, and spacious bedrooms and common areas.
Patricia is a consummate host, with a ‘full Irish’ breakfast that surpassed the many, many (many!) Irish breakfasts that we have had in our numerous trips to the Emerald Isle. The crowning glory of her breakfasts is her homemade soda bread, unlike any other we have ever eaten. (She was also generous enough to share the recipe with us, which we have replicated many times at home – the results are delicious, but not quite as delectable as Pat’s).
More than anything else is how wonderfully Pat treated us. We travelled with our then four year old son, and Pat went over and above to make sure that he was comfortable and happy. She gave us full use of the backyard, including a small soccer pitch and basketball net, and even brought down her (older) children’s old toys so our son would have different playthings to keep him entertained during our time there.
We cannot say enough about this wonderful B&B. For the few extra Euro, Pat and Roger have gone to great lengths to ensure that a stay at Coill Dara is indeed a wonderful and memorable one.