Lough Erne Resort – October 2020

The start of October saw us continuing our annual leave. After a few days chilling at home following our stays in Carlingford, Derry, Bushmills and Ballygally, we were looking forward to getting away again.  October is our wedding anniversary month, so we were planning to do something special. But as is the case lately, the situation was ongoing and ever changing.

Lough Erne golf course

We had booked to spend a night in Lough Eske, but in the weeks leading up to our stay government guidelines changed in County Donegal and it was now recommended only essential travel should be happening. So, we moved our stay in Lough Eske to a night in November when we’re off. Next we decided to book 2 nights in Bishop’s Gate in Derry, where we were meant to stay the previous week before it was cancelled due to a Covid outbreak. However, days before our wedding anniversary restrictions in Derry were tightened, meaning we would have been confined to the hotel for our stay. The morning we were meant to go we contacted the hotel and cancelled our stay, and went back to the drawing board. We knew we didn’t want to venture too far, and that it would be best to stay in Northern Ireland. We realised this was the ideal opportunity for us to stay somewhere we’d always wanted – The Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh. Luckily for us they had rooms available, so we booked a couple of nights, finished up packing and threw our cases in the car.

Jetty near Tully Castle

Fermanagh is about an hour and half from Belfast going down to the M1, with the Lough Erne Resort being 10 minutes away from Enniskillen town. It rained the whole way down in the car, which seemed to make the journey feel longer. We were glad when we arrived at the hotel, and were greeted by the doorman holding a golf umbrella to shelter us as we carried our bags in. A quick temperature check at the door, some hand sanitizer, and we were in. The cosy feeling inside was in stark contrast to the dull, wet afternoon outside – there was a fire burning in the hearth, soft music was playing, and the hotel lobby was decorated with beautiful autumnal features. We checked in, booked in dinner for the two nights, and then headed up to our room.

room at Lough Erne

It was a beautiful room. The bed was unbelievably comfortable, and the bathroom was well sized with a walk-in shower and freestanding bath. The view we had was also amazing, overlooking the lough, golf course and reed bridge all at once. After settling into our room and freshening up we headed downstairs to grab a couple of drinks, but not before booking in afternoon tea for the next day. After some drinks by the fire looking out at the rain we went back to the room and got ready for dinner.

view from our room

We had dinner in The Blaney Bar the first night, which had a lovely relaxed feel to it. There was a small crowd in, so the atmosphere was lively. We had salmon fritters and dim sum to start, before sharing a delicious bento box. We decided to pass up on dessert, and instead have a Midnight Express cocktail, a wonderfully moreish cocktail that was like an espresso martini with a chocolate orange twist.

Midnight Madness cocktail

The next day the weather had improved significantly, so we thought it would be the perfect chance to explore the countryside around the hotel. Neither of us had been to Fermanagh since we were children, and we were amazed at how beautiful the county was. When talking about the beauty of Northern Ireland most people mention the breath-taking ruggedness of the Antrim Coast, and the rise and fall of the peaks in the Mourne Mountains, but Fermanagh often goes unmentioned, apart from the now Instagram famous Cuilcagh walk. With its rolling hills, stunning lakes and old trees dotting the landscape, it’s a truly stunning place. The area surrounding the hotel had a rich history, and there were a couple of 17th century castles nearby: Monea Castle, and Tully Castle, which we checked out. Then it was back to the hotel for afternoon tea.

Monea Castle

The afternoon tea was served in the beautiful Catalina restaurant, and it was absolutely delicious. We spent a couple hours enjoying a mix of sandwiches, scones and sweet treats, all beautifully prepared. We were full after eating so much, so we went for another walk, this time around the grounds. After a loop of the golf course we headed back to the hotel.

Dinner that night was in the Catalina, the setting for the hotel’s more fine dining experience. We had booked in for a five-course meal, and it was incredible from start to finish. First up was an amuse-bouche served with a small cocktail. For starters, we went with foie gras, and crab ravioli, and mains were the beef, and stone bass, all served with wine pairings. We finished up the meal with petit-four, and desserts – some ice-cream, and another celebrating different texture of apple.

The stone bass main

We left the Lough Erne resort the next day very pleased with our stay. From start to finish the entire stay was a pleasant one, in every sense. The setting was beautiful, the food and drinks delicious, and all the staff were friendly and welcoming.  It truly was a five-star experience, and we both agreed it was the best hotel break we’ve had. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that when we got home we booked another stay, this time in December for a mini Christmas break. We’ve already started counting down the days!

Until then stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain

Our Favourite YouTube Channel’s

Hey everyone, sorry we haven’t posted in a while but life has been hectic! We have had the chance to take a couple of weeks time off and travel around Ireland so plenty of content will be published soon!

We have been watching a lot of YouTube over the past few months and our favourite channels have revolved around something we haven’t been able to do – Travel. There are a ton of great Youtubers, but we decided to limit ourselves to 5 for this post as follows:

Gary Bembridge – Tips for Travellers

Gary runs the channel Tips for Travellers, his videos generally focus on cruises – we have only been on one cruise, and our two following have been cancelled. However we love watching him to get a bit of cruise hype – he has kept us up to date with all that’s going on in the cruise industry during Covid-19 and its become a tradition in our house to shout that Gary has a new video.

We highly recommend watching his videos if you are interested in cruising – he has tips around cruise lines, destinations and how to save money. Gary can be found on instagram @GaryBembridge

Ben and David

Cruise With Ben and David is another cruise channel that we love – we originally discovered them through their Scarlet Lady video – we really enjoy their style of video and they are entertaining to watch. Again, through Covid they have provided regular updates. We really enjoy their informative videos on different cruise lines they can be found on Instagram @cruisewith

Emma

Emma Cruises is another of the YouTube channels we follow for cruise news and updates, we discovered her after watching Ben and David’s video on the new Virgin Voyages ship – the Scarlet Lady. To be honest we have only watched a few of her videos, but we have found them very informative and entertaining. If you follow her on Instagram @EmmaCruises she occasionally has live streams!

Paul and Carole

Paul and Carole Love to Travel is another channel we love to watch – we initially discovered them through their Instagram @paulandcarole We find them really fun to watch and read, Brianna discovered recently they even have now have a TikTok account! They have videos reviewing, hotels, cruises and lately we have watched their touring caravan series.

Travel Blog Jamie

We also came across Jamie initially through Instagram @TravelBlogJamie, his YouTube channel is Travel Blog Jamie. We enjoy watching it as Jamie reviews a range of different accommodations and types of trips and he also has videos around lifestyle! He is really positive and supportive of his followers and we recommend engaging with his accounts if you get the chance!

These are our favourite five to watch at the moment!

Until next time stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain

What Country Do We Want To Visit The Most?

Iain

When thinking about this question I can see that my answer has changed over time, when I was younger I couldn’t see past visiting or living in America, influenced by visits from my family who had made the move.

Then as I got older Europe appealed to me more. I have had the opportunity to visit quite a few European countries now and they each have their own appeal. My favourite European destination is Italy and specifically Florence – we visited here on our honeymoon and had an amazing time.

To answer the question – If I had to pick a country to visit now it would be Japan. From reading other peoples blogs and watching Vlogs on the country the culture and lifestyle look so different to how we live in Ireland. After watching Vlogs showing the experience and being an avid seafood lover I also would love to go to a proper Sushi restaurant in Japan one day.

Brianna

I think I struggled with this question more than Iain. I thought about narrowing the world to one spot, and realised it just wasn’t that simple. Did I go with Bora Bora, a part of the world I’ve wanted to go to since I was 12? Or exploring the 50 states of America? What about Japan, like Iain mentioned, or India, Cuba and Switzerland? How am I even meant to pick a continent, Let alone a country!

In the end, I’ve chosen somewhere we’ve been to before – Italy. We spent two weeks in Italy for our honeymoon, but I just feel like there’s so much more to see. We barely scratched the surface of Rome, and I’ve wanted to go back to Florence since we left. I want to explore the Amalfi coast, rent a villa in the Tuscan hills, walk through the streets Milan and check out Lake Garda. The food and drink, the wealth of history, and the quintessential Mediterranean laid back attitude draw me in. As a history lover, foodie and warm weather seeker, it’s pretty much my ideal location.

Where would you love to explore next? Let us know in the comments below.

Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain