Plan your next romantic getaway to Kilkenny
In between all of the work and final year madness, I’ve recently managed to squeeze in a few little staycations for fun, if not for my sanity! A few days ago, Lorna and I teamed up for another press trip and headed down to Kilkenny. Similar to our trip to Gorey, we visited to get a feel of what the town has to offer. Instead of fashion, this trip’s focus on jewellery and Kilkenny’s abundance of premium jewellers! Again, we were given a jam-packed itinerary to follow and help us get the most out of the trip!
Rest & Relaxation
As soon as we dropped our bags off at Pembroke Hotel, Lorna and I popped next door to their in-house spa, Mint Spa. After the drive down, which was surprisingly fast, it was nice to do something relaxing. We were both taken downstairs to receive a Germaine de Capuccini Vitamin C Facial. I sometimes find facials/massages/anything where I have to lie down for a period of time the opposite of relaxing. The suspension of movement and silence often gets my mind racing and gives my worries an opportunity to fester. Thankfully, I couldn’t not relax during this facial. After about 10 minutes in I felt my whole body loosen up and by the time the hour was up I had fallen asleep!
As our day was so tightly scheduled, Lorna and I didn’t get a chance to see our hotel room till later that evening. We were put up in one of their superior rooms, a slick, contemporary style room with a huge king sized bed and view of Patrick Street. The room was a great size, more than big enough for the two of us anyway! While we didn’t eat at their restaurant we did have breakfast in the hotel the next morning. To my delight they had one of those pancake maker machines and a huge selection of hot and cold food.
Where To Eat
Straight after our facials, Lorna and I headed to the award-winning Ristorante Rinucinni, a cozy Italian restaurant situated across from Kilkenny Castle. We dined on exquisite tapas, pasta, and red wine, not a typical experience for me at midday! The customer service was above par and I definitely would have stayed there longer if we’d had the time!
Later in the day, we stopped at the Kilkenny Design Centre for some pre-dinner coffee and cake. As well as a cafe, the centre also has a restaurant, Anocht, where Lorna and I shared a salted caramel tart. We didn’t want to over gorge too much! It was only a quick pitstop at the Design Centre so I’d love to go back for a proper look next time.
Our last foodie stop for the day was dinner in Zuni Restaurant, a romantic little spot across from the hotel. Before the main course, we sipped on their delicious cocktails, an espresso martini for Lorna and Old Fashioned for me. For dinner, I opted for the rack of Kilkenny lamb and my new wine of choice, a Montepulciano. When did I become a red wine drinker? I definitely blame the girls for that influence as we drank a similar one the week before on our trip to Limerick! My favourite part of the meal had to be dessert though! Lorna and I shared a chocolate ball, the kind that the waiter has to melt with hot chocolate sauce. It did not disappoint!
Picking a Ring
Of course, the main reason we visited Kilkenny was to experience the romance! Kilkenny has loads of small, high-class jewellers that specialize in the most romantic jewellery of all, engagement rings! We visited two jewellery shops while there, Rudolf Heltzel and Lorimat Jewellers.
Chris from Rudolf Heltzel was super accommodating and taught Lorna and I about detecting quality diamonds and the unique, handcrafted process his jewellery goes through. Chris’s pieces are genuine works of art and are made with such high-quality metals and precious gems.
We also met Rita from Lorimat Jewellers, who specialise in vintage style rings. I fell in love with a gorgeous rose gold, delicate ring, now I just need someone to propose to me! It was really fun trying on so many rings, I’ve never tried on so much expensive jewellery in one day!
Kilkenny really does have such a great range of things to do, places to eat and stores to shop! It’s a great place for a romantic getaway, as I went with Lorna this time I’ll have to re-visit with Dan some day! While we were there we even saw a wedding party taking their pictures at the castle, romance was just in the air! And if you’re looking for somewhere different to go ring shopping, make sure Kilkenny is top of your list!
Photos by Lorna Duffy