Posts tagged with "Irish"

Opera In The Garden

THE MERRION IN DUBLIN PRESENTS ‘OPERA IN THE GARDEN’ WITH THE WEXFORD FESTIVAL OPERA

This summer, the 5-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin will once again partner with the Wexford Festival Opera for two exclusive performances on June 5 and 6, 2019 to present “Opera in the Garden” in The Merrion’s own private gardens in the heart of Dublin.
During the event, guests will have a preview of one of the Wexford Festival Opera‘s 2019 ShortWork opera productions. Georges Bizet’s one-act comic operette, Le Docteur Miracle, centered around a young man’s attempt to win the hand of the mayor’s daughter, will be specially staged to complement the elegant backdrop of The Merrion’s gardens.

Peter MacCann, General Manager of The Merrion Hotel, said: “We are delighted to welcome the world-renowned Wexford Opera Company to perform one of their ShortWork operas against the backdrop of The Merrion’s tranquil terrace gardens. Last year’s event was a huge success and we were thrilled with how it was received by all those in attendance.”

The black-tie event begins with a Champagne reception on the terrace, followed by the performance, and concludes with a private dinner prepared by Executive Head Chef Ed Cooney and served in the Georgian salons of The Merrion.
Tickets for this event are limited to 100 per night, and are priced at €295 (approx. US$332) per person, including the Champagne reception, performance and dinner with wines.

For more information click here. For more information on Opera in the Garden click here.

ABOUT THE MERRION

The union of four restored Georgian townhouses, joined with a contemporary Garden Wing, The Merrion’s 123 guestrooms and 19 suites include a two-floor Penthouse Suite and private rooftop terrace. The Tethra Spa offers a range of treatments and an in-house pool. In addition to the Garden Room restaurant the Merrion is home to Ireland’s only two-star Michelin restaurant, Patrick Guilbaud. The Merrion houses the largest collection of private art in Ireland outside of the National Gallery. The Merrion is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

Picture This Release “Dance Away With You” Video

PICTURE THIS RELEASE “DANCE AWAY WITH YOU” MUSIC VIDEO TODAY

FIRST NORTH AMERICAN TOUR KICKS OFF THIS MONTH

WATCH MUSIC VIDEO HERE: https://youtu.be/K00qGDeNyZc

Today, critically acclaimed Irish international phenomenon Picture This release the official music video for “Dance Away With Me” from recently released full length album, MDRN LV. Watch HERE.

In support of MDRN LV, the band hit the road on their first proper North American headline tour this month.  The tour will make 17 stops across the country starting in Toronto, ON on April 22 and wrapping in Seattle, WA on May 18.  Full tour routing below, get tickets HERE.

2019 North American Tour Dates

April 22     Toronto, ON         The Velvet Underground

April 23     Montreal, QC       L’Astral

April 24     Cambridge, MA   The Sinclair

April 26     Pittsburgh, PA      The Club @ Stage AE

April 27     Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel

April 30     New York, NY      Irving Plaza

May 1       Philadelphia, PA The Foundry

May 3       Columbus, OH     The Basement

May 4       Nashville, TN       The Basement

May 5       Chicago, IL          Lincoln Hall

May 7       St. Paul, MN        Amsterdam Bar & Hall

May 10     Denver, CO          Larimer Lounge

May 11     Salt Lake City, UT   Kilby Court

May 14     Los Angeles, CA Troubadour

May 15     San Francisco, CA   Slim’s

May 17     Portland, OR        Doug Fir Lounge

May 18     Seattle, WA          Columbia City Theater

ABOUT PICTURE THIS

The biggest selling Irish act in both 2017 and 2018, and the nation’s hottest musical export in decades, Picture This arrived as a phenomenon with their self-titled 2017 full-length debut, Picture This. Certified triple-platinum in Ireland, it held the #1 spot Overall in the country for four weeks, while topping the Streaming Chart for seven weeks. Moreover, it remained in the Top 5 since release. Just over two years since their formation, they’ve impressively sold over 400K tickets, concluding 2017 with a sold-out UK and Ireland tour highlighted by gigs at O2 Shepherd’s Bush London, SSE Arena Belfast, and a two-night stand at 3Arena in Dublin. This summer marked their first stadium tour in Ireland, which capped off with a 35,000-person stadium show selling out over 3 months prior. During late 2018, they teamed up with super producer Jayson Dezuzio to record the 2019 follow-up, MDRN LV.

ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Sabbath, Florence + the Machine, Hailee Steinfeld, James Blake, James Bay, John Mellencamp, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Of Monsters and Men, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings (The Avett Brothers), Boominati Worldwide (Metro Boomin), Brushfire (Jack Johnson), Casablanca Records (Tïesto), Cash Money (Drake, Jacquees, Nicki Minaj), Hollywood Records (Sofia Carson, Zendaya), Lava Records (Greta Van Fleet, Jessie J, Lorde), Monkeywrench (Pearl Jam), XO (The Weeknd, Belly, NAV), Young Money (Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj), Roc Nation (Jaden Smith, Justine Skye, The Dream), among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with country powerhouse Big Machine Records, and Universal Music Latin Entertainment.  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey, SING), Fox TV (Lee Daniels’ STAR, The Four), and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises.

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Morro Bay Leprechaun Crawl

2nd Annual Morro Bay Leprechaun Crawl
Join in the fun as pubs, bars, and restaurants sample area IPAs, regional wines, and small batch craft whiskeys… alongside local nibbles and a GREAT NIGHT OUT!!!

Cost includes all of your tastings and nibbles (check out our map for locations). Only 2 requirements: Be over 21, and dress in your version of an Irish leprechaun (and you better believe we’ll have prizes for best costume!). Oh… and there’s more!!! A fully filled out Leprechaun Passport could win you $1,000 in prizes! Somebody is taking the prize home… will it be you? Tickets are on sale here.

And the party doesn’t stop there. Stay the night in Morro Bay and enjoy our “Green Walk of Shame” the next morning at participating restaurants. Details TBA.

Designated Drivers can play for free.

Veteran US Diplomat Fears for Missing & Displaced Immigrant Children

Former U.S. Ambassador of Senegal Harriet L. Elam-Thomas, who currently sits on the advisory board of the University of Central Florida‘s The Center for the Study of Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery program, is concerned about the welfare of approximately 1,500 missing immigrant children, as well as the most recent group separated from their parents at the border.
As someone who has personally witnessed human trafficking, I know how crucial it is for us to police the police, says Elam-Thomas. What is the vetting process for those responsible for these children? Who is accountable for keeping track of them? There needs to be a thorough investigation into their safety, and the loopholes that make children vulnerable in a foreign country with no parent to protect them.
A Career Minister, with 42 years in the U.S. Department of Americas Foreign Service serving in France, Turkey, Greece and Africa, the former Ambassador is heartbroken by the inhumane treatment of immigrant families seeking asylum.
My heart is heavy, my soul is troubled and my faith in my country is being tested each and every day. Where is our conscience? Where is our sense of justice? Where are our morals? Where are we?
Historically, America has a different approach to non-Western or Eastern European refugees or laborers attempting to immigrate to the U.S. The Polish, Irish, Lithuanians, and other white immigrants had the privilege to acquire ambiguous last names and assimilate into society. Black, brown and yellow people cannot hide or become invisible.
Despite our frequent condemnations of other nations human rights violations, our history of human rights violations is not one for which we can be proud. A country that was founded on slavery, racism and unequal treatment of others is repeating the ugly history we would like to forget. I still remember images of children torn from their mothers’ arms and sold at the slave markets. The new Smithsonian Museum – The National Museum of African American History and Culture begins with that sobering history. Scores of people of all races visit there on a daily basis (8,000 per day). Sadly, our current Administration continues to be insensitive to the suffering of innocent children. I doubt the toddlers,orthose young teenagers seeking asylum with their parents, are members of M-13.
From 1942-1945, the U.S. Government instituted laws to intern Japanese citizens after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese internment camps have come to be considered one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century.
Until the presidents recent executive order, America was guilty, yet again, of manifesting the total opposite of the values that supposedly sets America apart from so many other governments. I cannot imagine being abroad and trying to explain the U.S. Government policy to foreign audiences this past month, or year.
Silence is consent. The unanimous outrage of so many citizens sparked change. We all must continue to use our voices and speak out against the atrocities happening on American soil.
Ambassador Harriet L. Elam-Thomas is Director of the University of Central Florida Diplomacy Program and author ofDiversifying Diplomacy: My Journey from Roxbury to Dakar.” Elam-Thomas’ stellar career with the U.S. Department of America’s Foreign Service spanned forty-two years, during which time President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal
The retired Ambassador will be in New York City from
June 25-July 2, 2018, to launch an initiative titled,
“CIVILITY STRATEGIES: HEALING APPROACHES THAT UNITE PEOPLE AND STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY.

JAMESON CASKMATES IRISH WHISKEY CELEBRATES CRAFT BEER BY SPONSORING THE 2018 GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL

NEW YORK, NY – (June 06, 2018) – Beer and whiskey. From the classic boilermaker, to more modern pairings, they have been partners for centuries. And now, Jameson® Caskmates Irish Whiskey is further celebrating our partnership with craft beer in Denver at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival®.

Jameson Caskmates is proud to be the first spirits partner to be an official sponsor of the 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF)September 20 – 22 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. As the premier U.S. beer festival and competition, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served. It will also feature its first ever Jameson Caskmates Barrel-Aged Beer Garden, which will include Jameson brewery partners and their limited-edition Jameson barrel-aged beer in a setting that draws inspiration from their local neighborhoods.

“Jameson is proud of its connection and commitment to the craft beer community. In 2015, we brought the two together as one with the launch of Jameson Caskmates, a one of a kind whiskey finished in craft beer barrels, and created out of a passion for craft, quality and neighborhood collaboration,” said Paul Di Vito, Vice President, Jameson, Pernod Ricard USA. “This connection and commitment to the community is one of the many reasons we’re extremely proud to be supporting the Great American Beer Festival and local brewers from neighborhoods across America.”

Brewers have long used whiskey barrels to age their beer and as part of the Jameson Caskmates Program, Jameson sends breweries across the U.S. used Jameson barrels from the distillery in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland. Those breweries age a variety of unique and neighborhood specific barrel-aged beers for sale locally. The GABF sponsorship is a natural extension of Jameson’s dedication to the craft beer community, and each of our brewery partners exemplifies a devotion to the spirit of their neighborhoods, which is an integral part of our brand story.

As a brand born in a local Dublin neighborhood, Jameson has grown up in neighborhood bars across the country with the support of the community – the breweries, the musicians, the bartenders and the people. Supporting and elevating local brewers is extremely important to Jameson, and the brand is proud to be a part of the 2018 Great American Beer Festival.

Follow @Jameson_us and JamesonWhiskey.com for the latest happenings in your local neighborhood. For a chance to win a trip to the Great American Beer Festival and join us at our Barrel-Aged Beer Garden enter at www.caskmatesgabf.com.

TASTE RESPONSIBLY

JAMESON® Irish Whiskey. 40% Alc./Vol. (80 Proof).  Product of Ireland. ©2018 Imported by John Jameson Import Company, New York, NY

Comparing, Contrasting, Cutting, GUINNESS

The Guinness Brewery at St. James’s Gate in Dublin has been brewing beer since its founder, Arthur Guinness, signed his now famous 9,000-year lease on the property on December 31st 1759. The brewery began its life producing ales for Dublin City, it would soon embark on a journey brewing new styles of beer originating in London known as Porter’s and Stout’s. This journey would lead the then small family brewery located on the outskirts of Dublin City to become the largest Stout brewery in the world. Along the 258-year journey that Guinness has undertaken it has been frequently enjoyed at the table alongside a well paired dish.

 

The secret of a good pairing lies in the three C’s, Comparing, Contrasting and Cutting.

 

We will now use Guinness Draught Stout as an example of how to Compare and Contrast the same beer with two different dishes, and examine how the presence of one can interact with the flavor of the other.

 

When Comparing we are required to find foods with similar flavor and intensity to that of the beer. These flavors will then compliment and resonate with each other.

 

For our first pairing, we use Guinness Draught Stout, found in new throw-back cans featuring the Kinkajou, a marketing creation from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s by legendary artist John Gilory. Distinctively dark with a rich creamy head, coffee and malty, and the perfect balance of bitter, sweet and roast characters. These flavors are the product of using roasted barley in our brewing and also give Guinness Draught Stout it’s iconic ruby red color. When the barley is roasted at 466 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 and 1Ž2 hours it undergoes a change called the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that also gives browned food its distinctive flavor. The flavors from the roasted barley used in Guinness Draught Stout balance wonderfully with the similar rich roasted flavors of an Applewood Smoked Bacon Sandwich with each sip of stout harmonizing with every bite of sandwich until both glass and plate are empty.

 

GUINNESS DRAUGHT & APPLEWOOD SMOKED BACON SANDWICH

 

After looking at Comparing let us now review Contrasting Guinness Draught Stout with a different dish. As we know Stout tastes of coffee and bitter flavors, let us use those to contrast against and accentuate the sweet and creamy deliciousness of a warm Apple and Pear Tart nestled under a generous scoop of Vanilla Gelato. This pairing is very similar to having your cup of coffee with a sweet pastry or confection.

 

GUINNESS DRAUGHT & APPLE AND PEAR TART

 

Finally let’s discuss Cutting. We will utilize Guinness Blonde American Lager as our example for Cutting. Guinness Blonde American Lager, light and hoppy with floral and citrus notes and a long malt biscuit finish. This crisp and refreshing lager has a lively mouthfeel provided by its ample carbonation, this carbonation is ideal for “Cutting” through creamy and juicy dishes and cleansing the palate after each bite. While enjoying a burger at a BBQ or creamy ham and cheese croquettes using this pairing technique, Cutting scrubs the palate and resets your taste buds after each sip.

 

BLONDE AMERICAN LAGER & HAM & CHEDDAR CHEESE CROQUETTES

 

We hope you enjoy using the 3 C’s for your future beer and food pairing adventures! Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Brewer’s at Guinness and always remember to Drink Responsibly.

 

Eoghain Clavin, Guinness Brewery Ambassador, Pacific Region U.S.

Vagabond’s Irish Adventure

Hike, Horseback Ride, Pub & Fiddle Crawl Thru Castles, Celtic Ruins, Manors and More On 12-Day Vagabond Giant Irish Adventure :

COUNTY WICKLOW – Glimpsing how people lived in times gone by is part of the fun of exploring Ireland and a painless way to absorb history.

 

On an active 12 Day Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland “Giant Irish Adventure” that circumnavigates the island nation out of Dublin, guests poke around impregnable fortresses, ring forts, beehive huts, manor houses and everyone’s favorites – castles. The theme common to these sites is stone – indestructible and a metaphor for the Irish spirit.

 

Nature’s stone edifices also play a role in the Giant Irish Adventure that includes Ireland’s highest mountain range called the Macgillycuddy Reeks or black stacks of glacial-carved sandstone; the Cliffs of Moher of shale and limestone overlooking the Atlantic; and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities in the Atlantic Ocean a millennia ago.

 

Per person double rate of €2,769 includes the services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide for 12 full days; 11 nights accommodation (4 nights B&B, 6 nights hotel, 1 night in a castle); 11 full Irish breakfasts; guided walks; entrance to most of the historical and archaeological sites and to some natural sites; demonstrations of local craftsmen at work; and all relevant fees and taxes.

 

This tour answers the needs of active travelers who want time aplenty to explore where they are by foot. Hikes of up to two hours are daily highlights. Some activities such as horseback riding, sea kayaking and surfing are optional, as is biking in Killarney National Park. The tour is flexible and guests can arrange to opt out of one activity and into another.

 

Following are a sampling of the historic stone structures that guests have the option to visit on this tour. Each tells its own story about how people have lived and worked here for the past 2,000 years and longer.

  • Dunluce Castle is a cliff-edge ruin from the 13th century, with views over the Irish Sea to Scotland.
  • Stone Ring Fort (1700 BC) comes with 360˚ views the Celts would have enjoyed.  Bronze Age farmers constructed defenses against cattle thieves, using easily accessible materials, building earthen mounds with timber that fenced in the flat, lush green pastures of the Midlands or by the coast hauling granite to strategic heights to create circular stone forts. These were stone structures of such precision that no mortar was required.
  • Uragh (Neolithic) Stone Circle
  • Dry stone walls coursing across Dingle Peninsula are a fraction of its 6,000-year-old history reverberating with Stone Age standing stones.
  • Glenveigh Castle and Gardens is a Victorian (1867) edifice in now-Glenveagh National Park. The original owner drove poor tenants from the land so he could transform it into an aristocrats’ hunting playground; today an Irish-American philanthropist has gifted it back to the Irish nation.
  • Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century on the site of a one-time Viking fortress.
  • Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the mountains of Connemara meet the sea was constructed in 1832. Vagabond guests overnight here.
  • Aughnanure Castle is an Irish tower house from 1500 and the lore of the O’Flaherty clan whose motto “Fortune favours the strong” sets the tone for its setting on a rocky island.
  • Dunguaire Castle is 16th century fortress.
  • Listowel Castle is a 15th century fortress.
  • Beehive huts (Clochán) date to 5th century monastic settlements (think Luke Skywalker’s retreat in Star Wars).
  • Blarney Castle dates to medieval times; kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bestow the gift of eloquence.
  • Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock from the 12th century boasts a Romanesque chapel harboring ancient frescoes.
  • The tomb on Knocknaree Mountain is thought to be that of Celtic warrior Queen Maeve who in her 60-year rule had five (known) husbands.
  • Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled garden date to the 20th century, thanks to the Benedictines.
  • Ancient monastery on Skellig Michael, an island.

 

On the daily walks and hikes intrinsic to this tour, guests will access…

  • Slieve Gullion Mountain, the highest point in Ireland which harbors Neolithic passage tombs
  • Cliffside Trail including 132 steps to Giants Causeway
  • Glenveagh National Park’s low mountain trail leading to Glenveigh Castle
  • Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe
  • Croagh Patrick, the famous holy mountain where every step taken means a sin forgiven
  • Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot sea cliffs
  • Kilkee Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic
  • Glacial valley of Lough Annascaul

 

Throughout the journey, the Vagabond staff will arrange stops at locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the company’s mission is to have their guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows intimate access beyond where regular tour buses go.

 

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland 
Since 2002, Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named a “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and was the recipient of the Irish 2017 Green Awards in the Tourism and Travel category.

For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/.

 

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Guinness x St. Patrick’s Day

200 Years of Friendship and St. Patrick’s Days : In Time for Milestone St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness is donating $1 to charity for each adult that dons a ‘Stache

This year marks the  200th St. Patrick’s Day Guinness will share with America, the latest reminder of the two-century connection between a legendary brewery and its good friends across the Atlantic. Once again, in the days and weeks leading up to March 17, it’s time for us all to embrace the stories we tell,  the memories we make and the bonds we build over a pint of Guinness.

The Guinness brand is encouraging all Americans, 21 years and older, to make a simple pledge (assuming they’ve already promised to drink responsibly, of course): gather with friends, new or old, toast to the many things we all have in common…and give a ‘Stache. Indeed, this St. Patrick’s Day, the Guinness ‘Stache – that unmistakable hint of foam left behind on the upper lip after the first sip of stout – is back as a symbol of the goodness and the Irish-ness that lives within all of us.

 From now through March 31, 2018, when adult beer lovers share photos of their ‘Staches – self-grown and groomed, drawn-on, or Guinness-enhanced – on social media (tagging @GuinnessUS and using #StacheForCharity), Guinness will donate $1 (up to $100,000) to the Guinness Gives Back Fund*, which supports nonprofits that contribute to the common good in our communities, including Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization.

“Over the past 200 years, so much has changed – yet so much has stayed the same, like people coming together to raise a pint of Guinness with their friends on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Guinness Brand Director Emma Giles. “We are proud to be part of such an enduring tradition that celebrates Irish heritage and, when it comes down to it, the power of friendship. The Guinness ‘Stache is a great way to bring that to life in a fun way for a great cause.”

The symbol of the ‘Stache will appear alongside Guinness brand activity at bars and restaurants and on social media throughout the St. Patrick’s Day season, including in some digital content that pays homage to 200 years of mustaches in America. To spread the word about the bonds a ‘Stache can build, the brand is releasing additional digital content that will help us all reflect on the friendships we cherish – and some very recognizable Guinness fans will also get involved in spreading the word.

In addition, it’s time for the latest limited-edition Guinness Draught cans, which will hit shelves in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The ongoing series celebrates the famed Guinness ad campaigns of the 1930s and ‘50s. While it doesn’t have a mustache, the kinkajou – which we thought was a sloth at first – will be featured on this version.

To keep an eye on everything the Guinness brand is doing and to get in on the ‘Stache action, follow @GuinnessUS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Whether you’re making a new friend or meeting an old one, having a Guinness Draught, or ordering up any other Guinness beer this St. Patrick’s Day, please respect the beer and drink responsibly.

beer

*The Guinness Gives Back Fund is a corporate donor advised fund administered by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. The Fund’s mission is to support local charitable organizations which are classified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that are aligned with the corporate focus areas of Diageo North America, Inc.

 

Media Contacts:

 

Dave Finn, Taylor

(212) 714-5792 

dfinn@taylorstrategy.com

 

Jim Sias, Diageo

(646) 223-2305

jim.sias@diageo.com

St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

Ireland is the Place to Be for St. Patrick’s Day,

Vagabond Small Group Tours Connects Five Days
Of Celebration in Dublin with a Choice of
Two Multi-Day Adventure Tours

 
Departure dates of two early spring 2018 adventures in Ireland are thoughtfully scheduled immediately after St. Patricks’ Day celebrations in Dublin on March 17.
 





This means that before joining a tour, guests of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/) can have the best of all worlds Irish. On their own they can partake of St. Patrick’s Day events March 15-19 in Dublin, the gateway city for both of these week-long tours. Then filled with bonhomie and by-now most certainly desperate to find a leprechaun – or at least a luck-filled four-leaf clover – their journey of Ireland’s south and south west begins.
 
Last year just over 100,000 North Americans visited Ireland over the St. Patrick’s Day period. The relatively warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and the prevailing southwesterly winds help make March’s climate moderate and usually pleasant. Here is a link to the official festival website http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/events. This celebration honors Ireland’s patron saint who brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century and whose influence brought about Ireland’s Golden Era.
 
On all Vagabond tours a bounty of live music is a given, but fiddles become even more intense over this holiday that’s celebrated worldwide with the wearin’ o’ the green. 

Also given on these tours are excellent meals in some of Ireland’s best pubs and restaurants and accommodation in carefully vetted guest houses and small hotels that reflect their communities. The two March departures coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day journey roundtrip from Dublin to Ireland’s southwest Wild Atlantic Way, with photo-op stops aplenty and visits to breweries, whisky distilleries, shops and galleries.  

 
But first guests have to decide just how action-packed they want their exploration of Ireland to be. Fit and active travelers will probably opt for an 8 Day Vagabond Wild Irish Rover Tour departing March 18 with Vagabond Adventure Tours. This was recognized as a Top 50 National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime. Physical activities are interwoven with stories of, among many others, 5th century monks who lived in beehive-like huts, and tales of ancient castles and circles of stone (some optional):

  • Walking and hiking through some of Ireland’s best scenery including the Bullig Bay loop by the ancient ruins of Dunboy Castle
  • Horseback riding on the Dingle Peninsula
  • Mountain biking or bike touring in Killarney National Park
  • Sea kayaking with Funghi the Dolphin in Dingle Bay
  • Golfing on The Dingle Golf Links
  • Learn some skills of Gaelic football or hurling, traditional Irish sports
  • Spotting seals in Bantry Bay
  • Sampling at the Dingle Irish Whiskey Distillery, one of a new breed of exciting distillery’s in Ireland
  • Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle  

The per person double rate is €1,919 (single supplement €315). For details please see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/ireland-trips-award-winning-8-day/.
 
This company’s complementary division, Driftwood Journeys of Discovery that emphasizes unique scenery, culture and history at a more relaxed pace, has a 7 Day Driftwood Treasure Island departure March 19, 2018, that includes an overnight in Dingle, a town with a population of 2,500 people and 54 pubs, and another overnight in a haunted Irish castle hotel, all on a search for some of Ireland’s great houses and gardens:

  • Muckross House and Gardens, Kerry
  • Bantry House and Gardens, Cork
  • Garinish Island Gardens, Cork
  • Kylemore Abbey and Grounds, Connemara  

The per person double rate is €1,699 (single supplement €300). For details please see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/7-day-treasure-ireland-tour/
 
Amy Rankin, co-founder and director, says that Vagabond’s March and April tours are 10 percent cheaper than those in summer; airline fares are lower in the spring; and with flocks of sheep galore, the lambing season is a must and guides are energized having just emerged from “hibernation”. For fun watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwBVGm_01f8.
 
“From the addition of unique accommodations to totally brand-new tours, 2018 is shaping up to be our most exciting new year!” she adds.
 
About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland
Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. And in 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification. 
 
In 2013 the company launched Driftwood Journeys of Discovery that explores in a less strenuous manner many of the same routes of Vagabond Adventure Tours. Itineraries in both divisions focus on high yield, low impact tourism which means that local economies benefit from the company’s and guest contributions to local, rural Irish economies (including accommodations, meals, nightlife, attractions and shopping). For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email info@vagabond.ie.

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Holiday Cheers & Spirits

The season of gifting is right around the corner! Whether your readers are shopping for friends, family, or a significant other, nothing spreads holiday cheers like the perfect bottle!



Jameson Caskmates

Jameson Caskmates is a one-of-a-kind whiskey created out of passion for craft, quality and neighborhood collaboration. Finished in stout seasoned barrels, Jameson Caskmates combines the triple distilled smoothness of Jameson Original with the richness of stout beer, adding notes of coffee, cocoa and hops for a truly unique finish.

$29.99

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Jameson The Blender’s Dog

Jameson The Blender’s Dog celebrates the role of Jameson Head Blender, Billy Leighton; a tribute to his craft and the fine art of blending. A master at matching whiskeys across ages and characters, Billy is tasked with uniting the crafts supplied by distiller and cooper to create harmonious, perfectly balanced whiskeys.

Named after Billy’s go-to instrument, a ‘dog’, used to collect whiskey samples from the casks, The Blender’s Dog pays homage to Billy’s ability to bring together complementary spirits from Midleton’s extensive range of maturing stock. The second of three in The Whiskey Makers Series to launch in the U.S., The Blender’s Dog focuses on the art of marrying whiskeys.

$69.99

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Glenlivet 12 YO

The delicate and complex character of the 12 Year Old derives from the height and width of stills at The Glenlivet Distillery. This expression is matured in a mixture of cask types, including American and European Oak. Maturation in American oak imparts vanilla notes and gives the whisky its distinct smoothness.

$52.99

Glenlivet 15 YO

The 15 Year Old’s distinctive character is the result of selective maturation; a proportion of the spirit is matured in a selection of French Oak casks for a limited period, so as not to overpower the final result. The Glenlivet’s low density allows the spirit to penetrate deep into the wood, imparting the expression’s distinctive spiciness. The French Oak also increases the intensity of the whisky, resulting in a richer and creamier finish.

$57.99

Glenlivet 18 YO


 


The rich palate of the 18 Year Old is the result of a combination of several different cask types. This complex expression, with American and European Oak, first and second fill, all play their parts. European Oak imparts spicy hints and brings additional complexity. The first-fill American Oak adds tropical fruitiness.
$89.99

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Chivas Regal Ultis


Chivas Regal Ultis captures the true essence of the brand and pays tribute to its past, present and tradition. Using five of the brand’s most precious signature single Malts from Speyside, Scotland, Ultis unites distilleries located across the corners of Speyside, a region famed for its microclimate ideal for Whisky-making. The modern blend of Chivas Regal Ultis represents the style and diversity of Speyside and its character which is at the heart of Chivas Regal. Chivas Regal Ultis raises a glass to the five generations of Master Blenders and honors their dedication and blending expertise. Their five signature Malts unite to embody the mix of modern and classic luxury, which ultimately makes Chivas Regal Ultis so distinct.

$200.00

Chivas Regal 12

 
Chivas Regal 12 is a blend of many different malt and grain Scotch whiskies, matured for at least 12 years. This rich, smooth blend combines style with substance and tradition.

$28.00

Redbreast 12 Year Old

Redbreast 12 Year Old is full of aroma and flavor. Redbreast whiskeys benefit from a strong contribution from distillates which have matured in Oloroso sherry casks, giving them their trademark Christmas cake character. 
$60.00

Olmeca Altos Añejo


Altos Añejo embodies the perfect blend between the fun and vibrancy of tequila with the intrinsic appeal of the craft and credentials of bourbon. Aged in oak barrels for 18 months, Añejo has a well-balanced and rounded aroma with notes of dried fruit and almonds. Woody notes, vanilla and chocolate flavors makes it a prized addition to the family.

$34.99

Olmeca Altos Plata


 
Altos Tequila Plata is made from 100% blue agave grown in the Los Altos highlands of Mexico. Complete with herbal notes of cooked agave, our Plata is slightly citric and sweet with a fruity aroma. It’s a classic tequila for the modern world. 

$24.99

Kahlúa Original

 

Kahlúa is a rich rum and coffee liqueur that uniquely combines the finest 100% Arabic coffee and sugar cane rum, grown side by side and blended in Veracruz, Mexico.

$19.99

Malibu Original

Malibu Rum is a light and sweet rum infused with smooth and creamy coconut that tantalizes every taste bud.

$22.00