I've stayed here five or six times in the last three years, usually for three or four nights, and I can't wait to get back. I just wish I’d found it sooner.
This one-time rectory, in the heart of the country, is decorated in rich and relaxing colours. Antique furniture (the beds have very comfortable mattresses) and silverware take you back to another time, a more elegant and relaxing time - and 'relaxed' is exactly what you will be throughout your stay here. Family photographs on the walls make you feel at home, as will Bobbie, the owner, a natural hostess and cook extra-ordinaire!
The bedrooms are all individually decorated, in non-specific period style, and are beautiful. They have en-suite shower rooms and there is one bathroom, for general use, that can be used by shower-hating guests (like me)
Breakfast and dinner are eaten at a communal table in the dining room. Breakfast is served over a period of a couple of hours or so. This means you may be alone, you may join people already eating or others may join you. The time for dinner will be decided in the morning and could be based on things like the expected arrival time of other guests, who have also booked for dinner, or it may simply be a case of, "When would you like to eat tonight?"
The idea of conversing with strangers usually fills my solitude-loving husband and I with horror but, for some unknown reason, Lorum appears to appeal to people who enjoy pleasant conversation and not to people whose sole reason for talking is to try impress others. We’ve met some really interesting people over meals, it adds another dimension to a holiday.
Bobbie's food is wonderful. The first time we stayed we only had dinner once, on our final night and we kicked ourselves for months as the restaurant meals we had, in local towns, on our first two nights were a complete disappointment. On return visits we have eaten out on one night, just to have a change of scenery, and have all other dinners at Lorum. If you’re around in the afternoon you may spot Bobbie collecting herbs or vegetables in the garden which will appear on the table in the evening.
I love the eclectic mix of antique silverware on display and in use and the modern pottery, usually local, used on the table. Bobbie can tell you where it all came from, whether it's still made and where to buy it, if you fancy taking some home.
My favourite is Kiltrea Pottery, handmade in a country studio about 20 minutes away (roughly). I believe it’s the only pottery in Ireland made from Irish, not imported, clay. It’s not cheap but it’s certainly good value as every piece is hand made and decorated so you never get two, identical pieces. It’s sold at the studio/workshops where it’s made but if you only want a couple of pieces as souvenirs you can easily get them from better quality craft and souvenir shops. If you want a lot, consider going to the workshops at Easter when they have their annual sale. Everything is reduced, even perfect items, but ‘seconds’ can be bought way below the list price and the imperfection that qualifies it as ‘seconds’ quality is hardly ever noticeable.
Nicolas Mosse Pottery is not far away, apart from the sponge decorated pottery they have a good gift store showcasing Irish crafts.
Lorum is well worth a few nights if you enjoy peace, quiet, good food and understated elegance. It’s not the place if you love wild night-life and discos (although Bobbie’s daughters could probably direct you to the local offerings). With the exception of Kilkenny, local towns are not big but they do offer quite a lot to tourists. There is a leaflet on the local ‘crafts trail’ which Bobbie keeps in stock. If you are interested in art, crafts, scenery and general shopping you can easily spend three or four busy days in the area with more time relaxing at the seaside which is, from memory, about 50 minutes away.
- Also Known As:
- Lorum Old Rectory Ireland/County Carlow - Kilgreaney