Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Phoenix

The Phoenix Restaurant and B&B is in Castlemaine, County Kerry, Ireland, a few miles from the beach along a coastal loop that takes you around the Dingle Peninsula if you let it. When searching for a place to stay in/near Dingle, we came across their website, and it looked too cute to pass up.

More than too cute, it was amazing! I didn't realize how much I missed the bohemian atmosphere I was so accustomed to in California until I walked into this B&B. Wow, is Connecticut too uptight for me! The Phoenix was so laid back... Lorna and crew were out working in and around the garden when we pulled in. It turns out we were the only guests at this B&B, too... off season and all... so someone showed us up to our room and then asked us to come let them know when we were hungry and they'd cook us some dinner.

Dinner was vegetarian (they serve fish, which Lori had, but everything else is vegetarian) and specially prepared for us (since we were the only guests). While we waited for our delicious food, we poured wine from the bottle that Ballyseedy Castle had given us (an apology for a more than raucous wedding party that raged on until the wee hours, disturbing our sleep one of the 2 nights we were there), and wandered around the garden. We met the chickens, who were very curious about us. The hens kept being thwarted by the dog and the rooster from ever actually approaching us, but we had a great time interacting nonetheless.

In the garden there rested an old gypsy caravan, brightly painted. After dinner (did I mention it was delicious?) a couple stopped by with a miniature caravan that had been crafted by a local artist. We sat around listening to them discuss the intricate detail of the model while they hooked it up in the corner to turn on the lights inside. So fun!

I chatted for a while with the woman who showed us up to our room. As far as I can tell, she drifted in from somewhere and made herself useful... and she lives there right now. I thought that was pretty fantastic... that the Phoenix would be that flexible and open and available...

I was completely inspired to buy a big house and turn it into my own version of The Phoenix here in Connecticut. They could really use some of that bohemian spirit around here. The rooms were bright and lush, the walls were filled with shelves of books for sale or to share/borrow/exchange... gardens were welcoming and peaceful... the house was open and airy (petals from the ornamental cherry tree blooming outside blew into the hallway in front of our room). It already felt like home to me... and reminded me of something that I felt like I had been missing... but that I can and will create for myself and open to others... a sense of home, of acceptance, of magic, of creativity, of inspiration...

I loved it there... loved. I hope you enjoy my photos.

After a day of exploring the Dingle peninsula, we landed at the Phoenix... amazing

the gardens were welcoming, full of life and color. Check out this authentic gypsy caravan!

While we waited for @Lorna to cook our dinner, we walked around the gardens drinking wine and chatting with the chickens

beautiful! So funky and bohemian. I loved it at The Phoenix!

My dinner was a lentil/quinoa bake with fresh vegetables... Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that the Phoenix serves mostly vegetarian food... and some fish. Yum!!!

After dinner, some people dropped by with a miniature gypsy caravan to set up and display in the main room.

The next day we made a stop at this beach with an old ruin

That evening, we crossed the river Shannon on our way to Doolin...

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