Failte-Welcome to rural Ireland. Coming from America where the roads tend to be a bit wider arriving at Williamstadt House was a welcomed relief! Time to unwind with a beer by the peat fire and get cozy.
We arrived late the first day, having talked with Carole, we stopped in Whitegate for dinner since on Sunday most places are closed or close by 9PM. However, we found Carole had left us a loaf of brown bread and local jellies and butter that would make a meal if we had not had one. The cottage was welcoming with a fire in the fire box, ready for us to enjoy our few days in County Clare. Everything was as pictured on the web site so no surprises there and Carole was an excellent source of information for travel trips around the area.
The property begs to be walked and as soon as you open the gate here comes Sally with a stick. That dog loves to chase a stick and you'll see her with one constantly. The morning coffee in the courtyard brought out the kitten Boru and all the chickens and dogs. Kevin or Carole are usually there with tips for the days travel or just some local news of interest.
We only had 4 days of day trips which took us to the Cliffs of Moher, Limerick, Holy Island, Portumna, Lough Derg. So much to see and you realize that you can't see everything in one trip and really enjoy what you do see. This area has not been written up as much but is well worth the visit. My husband thought there would be nothing to see - boy was he wrong!
Whitegate is a very small village, depending on where you are coming from I'd definitely recommend getting your groceries before you get to the cottage. We stopped in Loughrea at a Super Val. They also have one in Portumna on Clonfert Ave. These are very nice, check out the ready to cook dinners in the refrigerated section. Not frozen meals but nice cuts of meat, some with vegetables. Good selection of wine, beer (of course) and all the other grocery items you'd need for your stay, don't forget the Irish butter!
The day we left Carole gave me a tour of the big house - beautifully appointed with lots of historical items around and comfortable looking beds. In the kitchen they have an old wood fire stove top, just like my husbands grandparents had in Nebraska.
The stress of travel leaves you as soon as you arrive on this doorstep. Enjoying Irish hospitality is a fond memory that I hope we can repeat some day soon. Looking forward morning coffee with Carole and Kevin in the courtyard.