A quiet lane winds through meadows of Queen Anne’s lace and tall grass, arriving at a graceful iron gate that leads to one of the most charming places I’ve ever stayed.
In County Kilkenny, near the pretty little village of Inistioge, the location of Ballilogue is perfect for exploring the Southeast counties of Ireland…if you can tear yourself away.
It’s a place you’ll never want to leave.
Irish designer (formerly a fashion designer in New York), Pat McCarthy, has renovated a small group of ancient stone buildings (called a Clochán) and turned them into a fabulously designed inn and event space.
The interiors are a seamless blend of old and new…mid-century modern furniture and contemporary art set against ancient stone walls.
The sitting room is a comfortable space available to all guests. I loved hanging out here in the morning with my computer and a cup of tea, or watching a DVD in the evenings.
A wall of windows overlooks the sunny courtyard.
Vignettes of wildflowers and art books, pottery from local craftspeople, and throw pillows designed by McCarthy, create an environment throughout the inn that’s both intriguing and welcoming.
Each guest room has its own individual personality, and all are fitted with the finest modern conveniences…comfortable beds with fluffy duvets, sleek bathrooms with quality amenities.
Cushendale Woolen Mill, located nearby, makes the blankets for the beds with colors chosen by Pat, exclusive to Ballilogue.
Outside the windows is the tranquil Irish countryside. The only sounds are of birds singing or the occasional moo from a cow.
Commercial portrait photographer, Mark McCall, (three of his portraits can be seen on the wall in one of the rooms photographed above) has given up life in the fast lane to be innkeeper in this heavenly spot. Mark, besides being a lovely host, is the master of fantastic restaurant recommendations and places to go in the area, not to mention a spectacular home-cooked breakfast.
The property includes Mrs. Meaney’s Cottage & Craft Shop, The Cottage Museum, and the Old Dairy; all a wonderful part of local Irish history. Nestled in the central courtyard between the three houses, the buildings are ideal for a family party, wedding or special event.
If you can’t get to Ireland, but would like to bring a piece of it home, you can buy products, carefully curated by Pat, on Celtsius.com.
On the website, you will find a stunning collection of textiles, pottery, and other products, that are made by artisans in the Celtic region of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany. These regions have a common connection of craft, culture, literature, music and language and are linked by the wild Atlantic ocean hugging their shores.
I think fondly of my friends, I remain inspired by the exquisite design, and I close my eyes and remember the feeling of being oh so content as a guest in their “home,” in the green meadows of lovely Ireland.