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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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