Easter Sunday was our last day of our Scotland/Ireland trip (sniff!). Our goal for this day was to blend our Easter celebration with some last touring of Ireland’s eastern coast. Our plan:
One last “full Irish breakfast” at our B&B
Since Hillview House was a bit bigger than our other B&Bs on the trip, the breakfast setting almost seemed like a small restaurant. It was still very good, and I managed to snag one last bowl of real Wheetabix. Mmmmm.
My husband searched for local Easter services and decided on St. Patrick’s Parish in Skerries. After celebrating at an Icelandic service the year before, I was happy that I would understand it a little more. The church was pretty and bright. We enjoyed the service, but I missed some of the more joyous music we have at home. The music was pretty, but a little more sedate. All of the parishioners were friendly and welcoming, even though we were clearly foreign.
After Mass it was time for a walk on the beach.
With time to see only one castle, Malahide was recommended to us as one of the best near Dublin. We arrived around 11:30 and were able to buy tickets for the next available tour (around noonish?). While we waited, we took advantage of the gift shop to buy some gifts. With our time being short, we didn’t have time to seek out non-touristy purchases and had to make do with this and the airport.
The castle and grounds were very pretty, but it was completely different than the Scotland castles we’d toured. It was a lot less fortress and a lot more home. I was surprised how late it had been a residence for the Talbot family-until the 1970s!
My favorite part was the Oak Room, one of the oldest parts of the castle and one of our first stops on the tour. The paneling was dark, detailed, and in pristine condition. Our guide treated us to a ghost story at our last stop in the Great Hall.
After our tour we took some time to walk around the gardens. Near the castle was also another fabulous playground, this one with a zip line. We spent way too much time on the equipment.
Since we didn’t know where and when we would land for dinner we didn’t make any reservations. This was probably a mistake. We drove near the tip of Skerries were restaurants lined the street and overlooked the water. This was clearly the place to be, as it it was crawling with people and there were few parking spaces.
My husband had heard of Blue Bar and wanted to try it out. He dropped us off as he found a spot. The girls and I went in asked about a table. They were mobbed and couldn’t take us without a reservation. The hostess suggested a nearby location. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to catch my husband and asked her to send him to our new destination if he came in looking for us. As we turned to go, she said, “Wait…I can seat you if you’re ok with the bar.” I’m not sure if she felt bad, if we were more pleasant than the impatient people complaining or if she noticed an opening. Either way, I was incredibly grateful for her help.
We waited about 20 minutes and ended up getting a table near the bar. I’m so glad we stayed, it was the best meal of the trip. I had a wonderful duck. I think my husband had some kind of beef. It was SO good, and I can’t recommend Blue Bar enough.
Ice Cream, Fairies and More!
With just about everything on our day’s itinerary complete, we made a quick stop for ice cream. Very close to Blue Bar was a teeny tiny ice cream place painted in bright colors. When I say teeny tiny, Storm in a Teacup’s customer space was about 3 feet by 5 feet. There was just about that much space behind the counter as well. The ice cream combinations were interesting and delicious. I don’t know how we made room after lunch, but it was worth it.
Next we drove to the nearby Skerries windmills to see if we could learn more about them. It ended up that you can’t just buy admission to see them, but rather need to take a 45 minute tour. We weren’t totally up for a tour at that point, and decided to pass.
My husband wanted to take a closer look at Ardgillan Castle, so we made the short drive to tour the grounds. (We decided to pass on that tour as well, although it might have already been too late in the day at that point.) My husband had the idea that there was a tea room there, but that didn’t pan out. We walked around the grounds and found a fairy trail. The girls and I walked the fairy trail while my husband took pictures on his own.
After about an hour at the castle, we were all wiped. Plus, we still needed to pack for our very early departure the next morning! We were trying to stretch out last day as long as possible, but it was time to turn in.