Sometimes we forget how beautiful this island on the western fringes of Europe is. It takes trips like our recent one to Clare and The West Coast to remind us that we’ve got the lion’s share of scenic hotspots steeped in history. Over a leisurely 2 days we gazed in contemplation at the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands and the karst landscape that is the Burren, balanced with a jog on Lahinch beach.
Located at Spanish point and a stones kick from the sea, is an establishment where serenity meets the sea. Known to locals and people in the know, as The Armada Hotel. As you breeze on down the country roads to this serene location you’ll pass ambling tractors and roads with grass in the middle. Receiving friendly salutes from farmers and walkers on route.
The purpose of our visit was to exhibit at the largest wedding fair in Clare. Going strong for a decade, the weekend wedding showcase hosted couples tying the knot in 2015 with Supremeo Susie Conroy running the showcase in style. www.armadahotel.com .The reference to 1588 and the fate of the shipwrecked Spaniards that stumbled a shore is juxtaposition to what lays in store as you saunter over the threshold. Reception is a blend of London east end, Shoreditch trends and rustic western charms. Its said about many places that the staff are friendly and serve you with a smile but folk at this establishment are genuine, curios and attentive. They exceeded our expectations.
The stunning room views present a panoramic vista like few we’ve encountered, facilitated by floor to ceiling windows. Upon entering the bedrooms you are left with little choice other than sitting back (for quite sometime) transfixed by the wild Atlantic ( http://www.wildatlanticway.com ) as you become your own ocean of calm. We stretched our legs on the neighboring 110 year old golf course, http://www.spanishpointgolfing.com , not that we needed to work up an appetite for dinner. We knew we’d be in for a treat.
Be prepared to be on a see-food diet for the weekend and if you’re a sea-foodie your going to be spoilt. Irish Michelin Star chef, Rory Carville sources all menu items locally. The Talty family http://wildirishseaveg.com sourced our starters of seaweed crisps & Dillisk Seafood Chowder, 100%, hand harvested. The 28 day aged rib eye steak was on our plate thanks to the efforts of a man called Pat O’Connor. The Tempura of Lemon Sole cauliflower puree, curried mussels, cucumber spaghetti was the sort of ensemble we normally only read about in blogs like this. Clare, Craic, Ceol have more than alliteration in common. Johnny Burkes bar for a spot of trad, the door into which we called a time machine, and we’ll leave you find out why.
The fast flowing 5 hour Sunday Showcase saw consistent crowds aided by the hotels non-admittance charge and scrumptious nibbles. The crowd was a mix of couples some with their entourage of mothers, sisters and gran-aunts, some going it alone, but all with the same end goal. Looking for inspiration for their forthcoming big day. Ms.Conroy had struck the right balance between size and selectivity of exhibitors that gave the glistening function room the perfect energy and banter. There were 2 slick and sharp Fashion shows with Miltown Malbays Bridal Emporium http://www.thebridalemporium.ie steering the ship in style. Sinead Desmond brought a polished sparkle to the showcase. Paul from http://patrickbourkemenswear.ie thought us how to pronounce our ties, thank you sir! Men wearing waistcoats this year you need to learn this too. Oh and blue is the new black.
It’s not just us that has recognised the splendor of this stunning hotel. www.weddingsonline.ie winner of ‘’Munster Hotel of the Year’’. www.armadahotel.com has received a raft of awards and again this year is nominated in a host of categories. This truly special region is the sort of place you’ll want to forget to bring your phone charger to. Even if you are running a Luxury Photo Booth & Events company. https://www.blackandwhiteevents.ie
The Black and White Team