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Day 7 – The Manor House, We Have Arrived!

Our Irish Holiday: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6
Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12 

Bright and early, we awoke to a beautiful Irish morning.  It was so pretty the birds flew backward to see where they had been!  Today, we moved from the Hunter’s Lodge to the Manor House.  We packed up and called the bellman who lugged all the suitcases and clothes down the street to the Manor House.

Somerset Butler, 1st Earl of Carrick, constructed the Mount Juliet Estate between 1768 and 71 and named it after his wife, Juliet.  The Georgian house sits on a hill overlooking the River Nore, surrounded by over 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) of land.

The five-minute walk turned out to be ten; the Irish have longer legs than us Americans.

The directions were well-marked.

Our suite was ready, and we learned the house had no lift (i.e., elevator), so we planned well ahead to avoid making multiple trips up and down.   The weather changes every few minutes from slight rain to bright sunshine.

The manor house was magnificent.

The view from our room was indeed a “river view.”  Although hard to see, horses and cows were in the pastures.

Too bad I didn’t bring the fishing pole!

Being reasonably intelligent, we called a taxi instead of driving, and after walking in Kilkenny, we decided it was a wise choice. Kilkenny is a small town of about 27,000 people, and the streets were designed for horse traffic only.  They are one-way and difficult to navigate.

We had to go to Kilkenny because a) I forgot my tuxedo shirt and b) we left Mary’s jackets at the Hilton in Dublin. We went to David Hughes Formal Wear on Johns Street, thanks to the Internet.

I was measured for a shirt by the owner, who was very kind. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a shirt in my neck size of 19″. However, he did sell me one of his rental shirts, which happened to be the right size. So, we’ve made some progress.

Our cabby dropped us off right in front of the establishment.

The proprietor gave us directions to Dunn’s, which had ladies’ wear.   We walked over the bridge and around the corner and made our purchase.   Mary now has a new waterproof coat, which was perfect as it was raining when we departed the store.

Kilkenny Castle overlooks the town of Kilkenny and the River Nore.

The Kilkenny Castle is on the water’s edge.

When you gaze upstream, you’ll see charming residences nestled along the riverbank. On the opposite side, there’s a bustling shopping plaza.

We walked back to Johns Street and then decided to visit the castle.

Our visit was short, as the castle closes at 5:00 p.m., so we had about an hour—plus, we were getting hungry!

FYI: Ireland’s highest officially recognized air temperature, 33.3 °C (91.9 °F), was measured at Kilkenny Castle on 26 June 1887

It was an imposing edifice.

Kilkenny Castle is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland, built in 1260 to control a fording point of the River Nore and the junction of several waterways.

It was a symbol of the Norman occupation.   In its original 13th-century condition, it would have formed an essential element of the town’s defenses with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch, part of which can still be seen today on the Parade.

In 1967, Arthur Butler, 6th Marquess of Ormonde, sold the castle for £50 to the Castle Restoration Committee for the people of Kilkenny. The Office of Public Works now manages the castle and grounds, and the gardens and parkland are open to the public. Parade Tower is a conference venue.

We did the self-guided tour, which was quite interesting.

We first had to climb the Grand Staircase. Most of the wood imported came from the Jamaican Plantations, which were cleared to plant sugar cane and cotton.

We were absolutely exhausted when we finally made it to the summit!

The castle was surrounded by impeccably maintained grounds.

Thanks to the constant rain, everything was green.

Upon seeing the formal dining room, we attempted to make dinner reservations, but our request needed to be approved. We have to settle for Italian across the street from the castle.

The furniture dates back to the early 1800s.

Up two flights of stairs was “The Blue Hall.”  The name was entirely appropriate.   This hallway provided access to the many bedrooms and a grand sitting area.

We headed downstairs to see a recent addition to the castle.

Of course, a drawing room was necessary as they enjoyed entertaining and afternoon tea.

The Drawing Room is typically the room in a house where guests and visitors are entertained.
Drawing rooms were previously known as ‘withdrawing rooms’ or ‘withdrawing chambers,’ which originated in the sixteenth century.

The Picture Gallery was added to the castle during the American Civil War.   The occupants wanted to show off their art collection.

The roof allowed the room to have perfect lighting for viewing the portraits.

The last room we visited was the kitchen, which reminded us we had yet to eat today!

Can you imagine cooking on this thing?   The stove weighed in at 2000 pounds and was a wood burner.

Two burgers, please!

Our tuxedo shirt purchase also included recommendations for dining.   As we departed the store, the owner told us that Ristorante Rinuccini was directly across from the castle entrance.   Having an Italian restaurant this close must have been handly for the castle owners to go to dinner 900 years ago!

The castle was about one block away!

Ristorante Rinuccini is a refined Italian choice.   In a formal dining room, tuxedoed waiters serve homemade pasta.   The menu was exciting, with a selection of prime beef and seafood.   We opted to share a plate so we could fit into our wedding clothes.

We lucked out as they had one table remaining!

The restaurant was beautiful on the inside.   As we sat, a busload of gardeners showed up, and they went into another private dining area.

Our waiter was also a wine specialist!

We had a magnificent meal and topped it off with a most interesting Irish whiskey. We could have made a dinner from the appetizer.

We ate too fast, so the pasta dishes disappeared before the camera could come out.

The taxi stand was a few doors down the street, and thirty minutes later, we were at the Manor House and visiting friends at 1757.

Amy and Lar came over from the Hunter’s Lodge and joined us. I invited the other two guys to join us, too. We laughed and giggled until well after midnight.

We drank Guinness and whiskey for a couple of hours.

Amy and Lar ensured we got to our room safely, as we had a couple of drinks and two flights of stairs to navigate.

We celebrated by drinking a fine whiskey. The first and only whiskey of its kind, The Taoscán is the world’s first Port and chestnut-finished whiskey, a unique blend of barrels brought together in perfect harmony.

After we celebrated, I discovered the whiskey sells for $2189 / 750ml.



About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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