2015 ended really horribly for our family. We lost our wonderful grandmother who was the absolute glue that connected the entire family. Through her we developed and discovered the most incredible relationships. I am lucky enough to call my cousins my best friends and was so honoured to have two of them join me in my bridal party with my amazing sister Leanne as my maid of honour. We learned from the best and the one thing my Nanny Lillie always taught us was to respect eachother, be there for eachother and remember how important family is.
After a very difficult December we pondered about whether or not we should go on the girly trip we had booked to Lusty Beg Island. I had been a couple of months previous on a Press Trip and felt it was perfect for this kind of thing. It was to celebrate my cousin’s 18th birthday instead of a party. We had no idea that just three weeks previous we would lose beautiful Nanny Lillie. In the end we decided that she would want us to go. It would be an opportuity to mind eachother, laugh together and escape the emotionally heavy month that had just passed.
We had such a ball that we decided to make it an annual thing. Every January we would aim to get together for a weekend of girly fun. Matching PJs, too much Prosecco, games and laughing so much that our bellies hurt. What could be better.
This year we searched high and low for a suitable place. My aunt found a hotel that had lodges alongside it. She sent them an email and showed a screenshot of the email to our whatsapp group. I couldn’t believe it. It was The Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh. Myself and Peter had literally stayed there two weeks previously on a random mini-honeymoon after being separated for three weeks during Don’t Tell The Bride. It was fate.
The hotel got back to us with a great price. They had a 16 bed lodge which meant we could all stay in the same house which just increased the excitement levels by 300%. It would be just €63 per person for two nights in the lodge including towels, heat and electricity. We would have the best of both worlds with use of the Leisure Facilities. Ah sure we decided to go full throttle and book some Spa Treatments too. It was gearing up to be an amazing weekend.
Oh and that it was. I seriously cannot recommend these lodges enough. I showed my Snapchat followers the entire lodge (I’m traceyquinn89 by the way) and since then two separate groups have booked the lodges for girly getaways. One of which is a hens and it would be just so perfect for that.
The lodge was immaculate. Every single bedroom had crisp white sheets, it’s own bathroom & towels. A very homely feel with all the hotel touches. It would actually be so handy for a family with children. The lodge next door seemed to have a couple of kids now that I think of it.
For the first night we had a little disco in the lodge. We picked up matching PJs in Penneys and loaded the car with wine, snacks and breakfast stuff. We ordered dinner from the local takeaway and had an amazing night in. My Dad couldn’t believe that we managed to rack up a Chinese order of €120 but we genuinely ordered enough for about 50 people. Some of us (cough myself and my sister Leanne) had seconds the next morning or day and we still had to dump a lot. It was delicious and everyone was happy out. We all love our grub.
The next morning we cooked breakfast and my Mam was happy as larry eating hers on the decking outside the lodge. A huge big decking which I would imagine is even nicer during the summer months. My aunt was enjoying her breaky and Nespresso. Ah sure we brought the machine. Why wouldn’t you like? It feels like you’re in the middle of beautiful nature and yet you are just a two minute stroll from the main hotel.
The next day was very exciting. My cousin Laura had this idea for us all to go horse riding and I am so glad she did. We got in touch with the Nenagh Equestrian Centre and a lovely guy called Rory couldn’t have been more helpful. We would get an hour’s lesson in their state of the art indoor… em… room? for just €25. If the weather was decent we would end the lesson with a bit of an outdoor trot. Oh my God it was just brilliant! I loved that they had enough horses to accomodate us all. It wouldn’t have been the same if we weren’t all up on the horses at the same time. It was such good value for money and we all had an absolute ball. My mam even conquered a huge fear of hers by getting back up on a horse after a scary childhood incident where a horse whisperer had to calm down a horse that had literally dragged her down the road. A pretty Epic Saturday if you ask me.
We got home and had more food. My family are the queens of shopping and there was no stone unturned when it came to what they bought. We had everything you could possibly ever want. Tasty sandwiches, crisps on the side and tonnes of chocolate and biscuits for the many cups of tea and coffee. My aunt also made her famous Pavlova and ranch dip which we all love.
In the afternoon some of us headed back to the pool and spent a good two hours laughing our heads off. It was so much fun. Others went for a potter and ended up singing Irish ballads in a little pub. It looked like great craic.
Then came the big night out. We had booked a meal at Pepes Restaurant. Myself and Peter had eaten there a few months previous and the food was fab. Oh the meal was just gorgeous. Myself, my aunt and my sister wanted a bit of everything so we shared three starters, the NICEST pizza ever & chips. My mam was chuffed with her gluten free Carbonara & Gluten Free Nancho starter. Everyone licked their plates. Then came the local nightclub. We were never not going to have a ball in such a big group, but we really did. The drinks were flowing and the dance moves were getting wackier by the minute. Such a great night.
I cannot recommend Nenagh enough for a girly weekend, family break or a couples retreat. It ticks all the boxes. It is literally a 1.5 hour comfortable drive from Dublin. One straight road and all motorway. This makes such a difference. The hotel is located at just a five minute walk from the town which had plenty of pubs, shops and restaurants. The pool, Spa and hotel in general are really lovely too.
We had an absolute ball and have pretty much decided that January 2018’s girly weekend will be exactly as it was this year. Nenagh, lock up your sons (and by sons I mean Chinese Takeaways) because we’re coming back!!