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My Irish Home Away From Home

Coolefield House from the lane
Coolefield House from the lane

Okay, I occasionally review books on here and this is not a book review. It’s a Bed & Breakfast review. Very different, I realize. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell everyone what an amazing time I had at the Coolefield House in Millstreet, County Cork. I will soon be posting a bit of a travelogue from my wonderful trip to Ireland but I wanted to tell you all a bit about where I stayed, first.

From the first email, I was charmed by owner, Michael Thornton’s hospitality and willingness to help. In our first phone conversation, he told me not to think of it as visiting a B&B but as my home away from home. Anyone could say that…but not many would deliver. Pam and Michael Thornton did. They made me feel at home from the first moment.

First, the rooms. They are spacious and bright with natural sunlight. (Well…it was unusually sunny when I was there.) The bed was extremely comfortable. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I ever woke up in the night. (That could also be because I couldn’t seem to get to bed before 2:30 a.m….but I’ll give credit to the bed. It was cozy!) The en suite bath was also spacious with a fabulous shower.

My home for a week
My home for a week
Such a spacious room!
Such a spacious room!
Water pressure was fabulous in this shower!
Water pressure was fabulous in this shower!

Knowing I’m a writer, they had a writing table put into my room in front of a cheery window. There was a huge closet where I could hang my clothes and more than enough space in the two antique dressers. The room was very comfortable.

The common areas were also lovely. The library is another cheery room, with several couches and loads of books to peruse. Michael recommended a few of his favorites, so I was never without something to read. The front entry, although I guess it wouldn’t be called a room, per se, needs mentioning because it is really beautiful. The gorgeous dark wood banister of the large staircase makes quite a statement upon entering Coolefield House.

Books, books and more books
Books, books and more books
What more could an avid reader ask for?
What more could an avid reader ask for?
I love this front entryway. So pretty!
I love this front entryway. So pretty!

The dining room holds fond memories because Michael and Pam make delicious breakfasts and baked goods. From the piping hot scones with tea to the caramelized brown-sugar porridge to the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon…everything was fresh and delicious. I think they offered me tea just about every time they saw my face. The hospitality was unbelievable.

"Will you take some tea?"
“Will you take some tea?”
Farm fresh poached eggs. Yum!
Farm fresh poached eggs. Yum!
My first ever smoked salmon...I was surprised, I loved it!
My first ever smoked salmon…I was surprised, I loved it!

And now to the house itself. It looks like a Georgian manor house built circa 1800 with its wide window sills and double chimneys, antique furniture, beautiful entrance way and wide-planked dark-wood floors. Yet, it has all the conveniences of a new build (which it is, but you’d never know it). The kitchen has state-of-the-art appliances hidden behind charming cabinetry. There are conveniently placed outlets throughout the home for the occasional charging of phones and computers.

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Lastly, I end where I began…with the incredible hospitality of my hosts. I have to eat gluten-free but I didn’t want them to make anything special for me. I only told them because I didn’t want them to waste their baked goods on me. But Pam insisted on stocking gluten-free goodies for tea time and even made a special trip to the market to buy gluten-free flour so she could try making her delicious scones gluten-free for me. (And I thought they were fabulous.) And Michael was a tour-guide extraordinaire, going above and beyond to introduce me to local people and places as I did my research for my next novel. He is a fount of Irish information and truly wanted to help me get all the information I needed.

Welcome Home...
Welcome Home…

 

Michael, Pam, their two small ones…Michael and Ava (and even the two dogs, Jack and Penny), truly made me feel like I was visiting old friends. I look forward to my next visit with them and I hope, if you’re planning a trip to Ireland any time soon, you will spend a couple days at this lovely country house. Click here to see their website: Coolefield House

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7 thoughts on “My Irish Home Away From Home”

  1. A Chara, a Rebekah, I am enjoying your blogs although my computer has a hard time keeping up with the lovely photos! My friend and I have stayed with Michael and Pam as well, at Coolefield. What a delightful place it is! My travel home base has been in Cork, outside of the smallish village of Mallow for the past 6 yrs. I look forward to reading and learning more about you. Beir Bua Agus Beannacht, Fionnuisce <3

  2. YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I love your blog and pics and Ireland and live every conversation through you. It’s awesome
    Thank you

  3. Rebekah!
    I live here in Texas and got this from Millstreet.ie. I love reading all about your time there. I grew up in Millstreet. My parents, two brothers, a nephew and cremains of my sister are all resting in Drishane, quite near to where you stayed. I want to read your books. CXan I find them on Amazon?
    Slainte!
    Anne Duggan

    1. Hi Anne! So nice to “meet” another Millstreet native 🙂 You can get my first novel on Amazon. Look up “Where the Pink Houses Are” or Rebekah Ruth and it should come up. (Kindle version is only $3)
      I’ll be posting a lot more about my trip so stay tuned!! Thanks for saying hi and Slainte to you as well 😉

  4. We stayed there for a family clan rally in 2012 and can confirm all that you say….as we were made to feel the same. Wonderful hosts and surroundings and the food glorious (I think I left a few pounds heavier lol). So glad you had a wonderful time……A true Irish gem that coolefield house is…..Catherine McCauliff-Bolton

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