Today was another nice sunny day, quite unexpected. I thought that we were going to get a lot of rain this weekend, but, after a dull start, yesterday turned out sunny and warm (up to 20º), and when we woke up this morning, the sun was shining again. Last night was wet and windy, and I really was not expecting today to be sunny.
So, carpe diem and all the rest, we decided to make the most of the clocks falling back an hour, and we set out to Enniskerry, bright and early.
We parked the car in the village and walked up to Powerscourt. We didn't really want to walk through the gardens - we wanted to just walk the tree-lined avenue that leads to the house and offers glorious views of the Sugar Loaf. The trees were at their glorious golden best and we took plenty of pictures.
And of course, we had to have a peep at the new Ritz-Carlton, which is situated just to the side of the main property, in a little valley overlooking the Sugar Loaf. There was a lot of media attention recently, when the new Gordon Ramsay restaurant opened its doors. Brendan heard an interview with Gordon Ramsey himself on Newstalk Radio last week - apparently, the restaurant received 11,000 phone enquiries in its first week, and weekend tables are fully booked until the new year. We saw 2 maseratis (1 red, 1 yellow) and 2 bentleys on our way there. Plenty of money in this country - no doubt about it!
The hotel is big - the main access to it is a bit Las Vegas, with a big sweeping drive and car parking to the side, but the building itself is quite nice (better than the big square block of the Dublin Four Seasons, at least, which is not much of a comparison), from the outside at least. We were a bit too casually dressed to go in, I have to admit. But the 2-course lunch menu is a relatively affordable €30, so we might go there some time! I must check my lotto tickets - you never know!
And then, we had a leasurely scone and coffee/hot chocolate at the terrace of the main house, and enjoyed the sunshine. The hot chocolate was excellent, with a pink and a white marshmallow and a Cadbury's Flake.
And to complete the experience, we had a look at the Avoca shop, where I got myself a lovely outfit - a long lace tunic with an underdress and a little wrap cardigan. All I need to do now is go to Costelloe+Costelloe and get myself a little necklace to go with it, and I'll be the bee's knees. I really like that expression, and also the fact that its origin is a bit of a mystery - have a look at this article.
After a drive through the mountains, with a quick stop at the German cemetery at Glencree, we came home, tired but happy! (If you are wondering why there is a German cemetery in Ireland, a neutral country in WW II, read this interesting article I have found)