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Dublin Things To Do

Stand Up Paddleboarding In Dun Laoghaire

September 3, 2020

Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with the sea and a big believer in ‘Blue Mind’ (the mildly meditative state brought on when near, in, on, or underwater). You’ll regularly find me down at the Forty Foot, transformed into a big kid living her best mermaid life. One thing I wanted to try out for ages is stand up paddleboarding, so when I heard that the guys from BigStyle were opening their SUP school in Dun Laoghaire I was stalking their Instagram to see when we could go down. You’ll know from a previous post that I stayed in the BigStyle Atlantic Lodge last year and had an amazing time, so I knew we’d be in good hands.

Where in Dun Laoghaire?

You’ll find the lads in the car park of the West Pier in Dun Laoghaire. The stand up paddleboarding school is easy to spot as it’s made up of large shipping containers and looks unbelievable (see image above). It’s super accessible, there is loads of parking in the area (heads up: it’s paid, so bring a few euro for that) and if you’re on public transport, there are bus routes and a dart station a few minutes walk away.

What’s involved?

If you’ve tried stand up paddleboarding before, they offer rentals for €25 for an hour and a half (includes SUP, wetsuit and buoyancy aid). If, like me, you’re new to the world of SUP, you can book in for an hour and a half long lesson for just €45 (*pricing at time of posting). We went out in the evening to enjoy the sun setting at the end of our lesson.

We arrived down 15 minutes before our lesson, as requested. Our instructor Peter talked through all the safety measures, COVID measures, and kitted us out in our wetsuits and life jackets. With all of that done, we wandered towards the water. I was a little nervous because my balance isn’t the best and I’m possibly the least coordinated person on the planet but onto the water we went.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is the perfect place to test out your stand up paddleboarding skills as it’s so sheltered and calm. When we got out on the water Peter showed us how to paddle properly and how to do some basic turns. We did a lap of the harbor, testing out some new skills along the way. I’ll admit, I started getting a bit cocky so Peter challenged us to try some more advanced turns and that’s when I came crashing back down to earth (or into the water in this case). I got my first full turn done, gloated, and then faceplanted into the water 🤣 Honestly though, it all just added to the fun and the experience.

By the end of the lesson, I was feeling really comfortable on the board and was confident that I could steer my way around and most importantly get back on if I fell off… 🤣 I’ll definitely be back down to the lads soon to rent some boards for some chilled out fun on the water. Check out the BigStyle website if you’d like to book in or find out more about stand up paddleboard lessons or rentals in Dun Laoghaire or the Atlantic Lodge.

Leitrim Places To Stay

Treehouse Glamping In Leitrim

March 17, 2020

Over the summer, we had the pleasure of glamping in a treehouse in Leitrim – yes, that’s right, a treehouse! Teapot Lane is located on the border of Leitrim and Sligo, and just down the road from Bundoran, so there is loads to do in the area.

When we arrived we were met by the owners, who have a policy of being available should you need anything but not being intrusive at all. They showed us around our beautiful surroundings and guided us to our treehouse. In the treehouse, the wood-burning stove was lit (DREAM!), so it was super cosy. I felt like I was in the movies (or Sylvanian Families, minus the slide) rather than glamping. I immediately never wanted to leave!

Treehouse Glamping, Teapot Lane, Co. Leitrim

Go On Go On Go On

For me, being able to have a cup of tea anywhere I stay is a must. If there are no tea making fahilities I don’t want to know about it! Cue the greatest set up of all time… In the little kitchen area of the treehouse there was a kettle, Nespresso machine and a wine fridge (a bloody wine fridge!). I know I’m sad but that wine fridge brought me endless joy. It meant we could store little bits to eat (all the cheese) and real milk for the tea!! I’m a red wine drinker so no space needed in the fridge for that 🙂 Please don’t @ me for my wine fridge love

Treehouse Glamping, , Teapot Lane, Co. Leitrim

Night one, we (Joe) cooked dinner on the barbecue on the decking and I set up residence in one of the loungers to chill. We cracked open a bottle of wine and sat on the deck watching the sun set and the stars come out. Teapot Lane host a lot of hen parties, so there’s a DJ in the communal area on a Friday (bonus for us!).  The communal area bar is BYOB and you can stock yourself if you are there with a party. The DJ was great and had everyone dancing the night away in the middle of the woods. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love that!

Teapot Lane Communal Area, Co. Leitrim

Shower Of Dreams

The next morning I got up and had what I can only describe as one of the best showers of all time! I genuinely still think about it to this day. When glamping in a treehouse you don’t necessarily think of a private shower with windows out into the woods. In this set up you get a real sense that you’re showering outside – something I didn’t know I was into. The rainfall shower head was amazing and being that close to nature was just gorgeous. I was left feeling really (and weirdly) zen afterwards. Not gonna lie, an outdoor shower is now one of our ‘needs’ for when we get a house…Say it with me, FREEDOM!!

Treehouse Glamping Shower, Teapot Lane, Co. Leitrim

Now don’t get me wrong, this is still glamping! So I should warn you about the one thing I was apprehensive about before going – the compost toilet. Turns out they’re absolutely fine, especially in summer as it’s not too cold out there (its around the side of the treehouse). It’s also a private loo rather than shared with other guests.

Final Thoughts…

It was such a gorgeous weekend. There was something so relaxing and revitalising about waking up to the sound of the birds and just chilling out in nature. We were only there for a weekend but we both left feeling so relaxed and rested it seemed like a week.

Treehouse Glamping at Night, Teapot Lane, Co. Leitrim

There’s loads of options for accommodation, including yurts, a vintage caravan and a cottage that accommodates for those who are less into the camping/glamping side of things. If you’re booking in, they”ll also arrange adventures for you if requested – surfing, supping and horse riding can be arranged.

Being on the boarder of Leitrim and Sligo, there are so many options for things to do. Bundoran and Mullaghmore are nearby if surfing is your thing. On this trip we opted to do the 13km walk the spectacular Glenniff Horseshoe Drive which is approximately 30 minutes away.

If yoIf I’ve sold you on glamping in a treehouse and you’re thinking of booking a stay, check out the Teapot Lane website.

Dublin Things To Do

Mobile Sauna In Dun Laoghaire Is Bringing Sea Swims To A New Level

March 17, 2020

Sea swimming has taken on somewhat of a renaissance. There are amazing people who have been doing this for years but there seems to be new generation of sea swimmers – like myself – who are just getting into it. Most of us have decided to take the plunge due to the health and mindfulness benefits associated with it. 

Dublin (and Ireland) has an abundance of amazing swimming spots. The key ones for me include Sandycove, The Forty Foot, Sea Point, Hawk Cliff and White Rock. Each spot has its own character and community of dedicated sea swimmers. FYI, sea swimmers are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. If you’re tight on time and can’t always work with the tides then White Rock and The Forty Foot are the spots for you. Both will allow you to swim at high or low tide without having to walk out for miles. Recently, Sandycove/The Forty Foot have been winning out over all others for me due to the addition of Dublin’s first mobile sauna – you heard that right, a mobile sauna!

My Swimming Experience

I started sea swimming in on the 1st of June this year, after hearing about a documentary called 100 Days Of Vitamin Sea. It follows a girl with chronic migraine using wild swimming in the treatment of her migraines. Naturally intrigued, after suffering with chronic migraine for nearly five years, I decided to give it a try…

From day one, I fell in love with the post-swim feeling! It also helps to relieve my symptoms which is amazing, even if it’s temporary. Over the summer we went to White Rock a few times a week and enjoyed bobbing in the water watching the Dart go by. As we swam, I couldn’t shift this nervous feeling that I wouldn’t be able to keep it up during the winter months – I’m well known for my cold blooded, lizard-like qualities. However, just in time for the colder months, Fad Saoil Saunas came to my rescue.

Post-Swim, Sandycove

Mobile Sauna

Fad Saoil is an amazing mobile sauna that can be found at the Forty Foot from Friday-Sunday every week. Offering you a toasty 15 minute sauna session for just €10. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment after braving the elements and getting into the sea. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m loving the cheeky bonus of knowing that there’s a delish sauna to hop into afterwards. The sauna also has a large window facing out over the Forty Foot, so you get views across to Howth while you sit, soaking in the warmth – magic!

Joe in Fad Saoil Mobile Sauna

Our self-care routine over the weekend now factors in the sauna as a must. We swim in Sandycove for approx 10 minutes (this has dropped dramatically from our time over the summer) and then hop into the sauna for 15 minutes, before finishing with a quick dip in the sea to close our pores after. I can’t stress enough how much this sets you up for the day when done in the mornings.

Health Benefits

There are loads of health benefits associated with sauna use and cold exposure. I’m not an expert so here’s a video with Dr. Rhonda Patrick discussing some of the benefits with Joe Rogan, if you’re interested.

Booking for weekends opens on Tuesdays and can be booked on their website or through the GloFox App. If you’re like me and use the sauna on a regular basis, you can buy a block of credits at a discount. They can also be booked for private events – the magic of being mobile. If you’re interested in giving it a try, check out  Fad Saoil Saunas website to find out more and to book.

View of the Forty Foot at Fad Saoil Mobile Sauna
Mayo Places To Stay Things To Do

Not Just A Yoga Retreat On The Wild Atlantic Way

March 17, 2020

In September, we decided to honeymoon around Ireland, we wanted to stay local as we’re very aware of the carbon footprint that would be involved in doing long haul flights. There are so many amazing things to do right on our doorstep, so we decided to take advantage of it and offset our carbon footprint by planting native trees. We spent five days doing the “not just a yoga retreat” in the BigStyle Atlantic Lodge on the Wild Atlantic Way. We couldn’t have been happier with our decision.

Driving through Louisburg, we looked at each other with thinking “what did we get ourselves into?”. On arrival, that feeling totally lifted! We were welcomed into the lodge, which immediately felt like an old friends house. Kris and the lads have really created something magical on the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Atlantic Lodge is reminiscent of Irish College but for grown-ups. Once you step into the Lodge the rest of the world just kind of melts away. Thankfully, in this particular Irish College, the Irish and awkward dancing is replaced with surfing, hiking and outdoor hot tubs. I remember during my Irish college days, the food was questionable at best so I survived on a diet of Drifter Bars, brown bread and jam. But in the Lodge you are spoiled with an array of comforting and delicious vegetarian goodness. Porridge, paella, pizza and chickpea burgers to die for.

Our Arrival To The Yoga Retreat

Day one, we drove up from Lahinch, had something quick to eat and then prepared for our first surf lesson. Getting in the sea is one of my favourite things to do – nothing really bonds you with a group more than collectively being battered by the sea 🙂

Me Post Surf At Atlantic Lodge Yoga Retreat

I don’t know what exactly I was expecting from the rooms but it was so much better than what I had in my head. It was like a slightly pared-back version of a modern hotel room rather than a hostel. There was a fab ensuite and an incredibly comfy bed (probably made more comfy with the post surf tiredness). The walls in the rooms and corridors were covered in pictures of the guys adventures around the world. The style and pictures gave it a really personal touch, which I loved.

We went downstairs for a chill out by the fire while Pete, our fantastic yoga instructor, cooked us up a feast. This man is a miracle worker, he managed to get Joe to happily eat vegetarian for the full five days. We genuinely thought he’d be sneaking out for a steak at some point to keep him going. The pizza making workshop was so much fun. Everyone got hands on, rolled out a pizza and topped it with whatever hey fancied. We all had a couple of drinks and shared the pizzas as they came out of the oven.

Pizza Workshop At Atlantic Lodge Yoga Retreat

Yoga & Other Bits

Every morning we did a yoga class and followed it up with a hearty breakfast. Activities consisted of hikes, surf lessons, acro yoga (this was so much fun), a massage workshop and sea swims. There was a good amount of chill out time between activities which was great. Being forced to sit and chill was a blessing in disguise. During the down time, people just chatted, played games, read books and just completely unwound.

There was nothing about this yoga retreat that didn’t leave you feeling revitalised and centred again. We were there from Mon – Fri and when we left we were the perfect balance of rested and energised. It also isn’t your average yoga retreat as you are free to have a few drinks if you fancy it. One of my favourite moments was following up a sea swim with a couple of beers and chats in the hot tub while looking out across the bay, soaking in the Wild Atlantic Way.

Outdoor area with Hot Tubs At Atlantic Lodge Yoga Retreat

The key to this amazing place is the team that work here – they’re more like a family than colleagues. As I said before, it’s like being welcomed into an old friend’s home. With stunning views of the West Coast, this is a place I was genuinely sad to leave and I would go back without hesitation.

They also provide amazing surf and adventure retreats to Portugal, so you have the added bonus of some (pretty much guaranteed) sun. Regardless of the retreat you choose, you’re guaranteed to have the craic and return home reenergised.

If you’re looking for a yoga retreat on the Wild atlanticWay, I couldn’t recommend a stay in the Atlantic Lodge more, you can find all the info you need on the BigStyle website.

The lads are building a new stand up paddle boarding school in Dun Laoghaire this summer. I will definitely be down the second it opens and will report back.

View From Atlantic Lodge Yoga Retreat
Fermanagh Places To Stay

Bubble Dome Staycation In Fermanagh

March 17, 2020

In Autumn last year, we went on a magical staycation in Fermanagh. We stayed in one of the bubble domes in Finn Lough. My beautiful friends got us the stay as a wedding gift – they know us so well. It was a totally unique staycation, with amazing food and one of the best spa experiences I’ve ever had.

The Bubble Dome was so beautiful! I thought I would have trouble sleeping as I HATE the idea of being exposed like that but I was so wrong. I had some of the most restful nights of my life when we were there. The first night we had a clear night so we were just lying in bed looking at millions of stars above us. It was just stunning! On the second night it was raining so we lay there listening to the soothing sound of the raindrops – bliss!

Bubble Dome in Finn Lough, Co. Fermanagh
Views from the bubble dome

What’s In The Bubble Dome?

The bubble dome has a speaker, hair dryer, Nespresso machine and a wind up torch to allow safe travels through the woods. The torches were needed to ensure it was dark enough to see the stars. The bed was unbelievably comfortable and we were given the fluffiest robes I have ever come across in a hotel. There was also an electric blanket in the bed in case the night was chilly – I can’t begin to tell you how nice it is to watch the stars from a toasty bed. So when it came to our room I was happy out, so what about the food?

Roast loin of venison, Finn Lough, Co. Fermanagh


The food in Finn Lough is some of the best I have had when away. The breakfast was fantastic, offering both a beautiful buffet and a hot cooked breakfast from the kitchen. Both nights we absolutely stuffed ourselves with unbelievably delicious dishes . I ate a lot of game on our stay and it didn’t disappoint. The venison in particular was a favourite. On our first night, we were spoiled with some extra sweet treats to congratulate us on our wedding – such a lovely touch.

Desert, Finn Lough, Co. Fermanagh

On the second day, we went out and walked the Stairway To Heaven – how could we staycation in Fermanagh and not give it a visit? The walk is amazing but on the day we did it the heavens opened about 5 minutes into it. I had forgotten my proper rain gear that day so wound up soaked to the skin by the time we got back to the car. It was an amazing walk but I couldn’t have been happier when we got back into the car and remembered that we had booked the ‘Elements Trail’ in the spa in Finn Lough for that afternoon.

The stairway to Heaven, Co. Fermanagh
Stairway To Heaven

Elements Trail

We went to the spa area which is situated in the woods and were given talk through what was to follow. Again, the robe game in the spa was strong, they were weighty and amazing. The Elements Trail consisted of a 20 minute floatation, which was outrageously relaxing. We then walked through the wood for a dry sauna (with a dip in the lake). Another stroll through the woos took us to an aromatherapy sauna. Finally we did an 20 minute hot tub overlooking the lake and then chilled in a relaxation room. My body didn’t know how to cope with those levels of relaxation. We then stuffed our faces in the restaurant again and then back to the bubble dome to curl up and listen to the rain.

If you’re thinking of booking a staycation in Fermanagh I would highly recommend the bubble domes, visit the Finn Lough website to book.

Clare Food

Best Places To Eat When Visiting Lahinch

March 17, 2020
Raspberry Souffle, Vaughan's Anchor Inn

Lahinch is like my second home, anyone who knows me will know how much I adore it. We went for the first time around 8 years ago and fell instantly in love with everything about it. The community, the surf, the food – it’s just an amazing place to be. We’ve eaten in most of the restaurants down there and I wanted to share the best places to eat when in Lahinch.


Dodi is an amazing spot if brunch is what you’re after. They offer local, fresh, seasonal food in their cosy cafe on main street Lahinch. We’ve eaten here multiple times and have never left disappointed. My personal favourite is the Shakshuka – I may have just drooled a little. It’s delicious, comforting and offers that little bit of spice that will give you a nice internal glow. That glow makes it the perfect dish for a post surf/walk brunch treat.

Shakshuka, Dodi, Lahinch

Vaughan’s Anchor Inn

While not in Lahinch itself, Vaughan’s Anchor Inn is definitely one of the best places to eat in the Lahinch area. It’s situated in Liscannor, a small fishing village, between Lahinch and the Cliffs of Moher. Offering the perfect excuse to visit for food after a day well spent being a tourist. The gorgeous family-run pub offers a seasonal menu so there’s always something different. They’ve received endless awards for their seafood and also feature in the Michelin Guide. This is a must visit in my books. On a side note: they also offer B&B which I highly recommend (cough homemade cookies in your room cough).

Starter, Vaughan's Anchor Inn, near Lahinch


Randaddys is a relaxed restaurant right on the seafront in Lahinch. They offer a wide range of cuisines and a really chilled out atmosphere – heaven when you get out of the water! Another post surf favourite of mine is their Moroccan meatballs. They’re served with a beautiful slice of fresh baked bread for dipping (*drool*).  They also offer amazing pizzas and sweet potato fries. For dinner, I’m a big fan of their seafood tagliatelle (pictured below).

Seafood Tagliatelle, Randaddy's, Lahinch

Little Fox

Little Fox is an amazing little spot in Ennistymon, just a few minutes drive from Lahinch. I’ve only tried their breakfast so far, but, oh baby, I  can’t wait to go back for dinner! Their braised campfire cannellini beans are definitely up there as one of the best breakfasts I have ever had! Niamh Fox serves delicious, locally grown food in her restaurant in the middle of this up and coming foodie haven. Next time I’m in Lahinch, my plan is to nab a table for dinner in Little Fox – I’ll report back!

Campfire cannellini beans - Little fox

Joe’s Cafe

Joe’s Cafe is a lovely spot, situated just before the promenade in Lahinch. From the outside it looks like your average little cafe but in reality it’s so much more! I’ve eaten here for breakfast and lunch and you won’t leave a meal in Joe’s disappointed. Last time we were down, we stopped off to get in out of the rain after going for a wander. It was so nice and cosy and I have to say the goats cheese pizza is amazing (*chef kiss*)! If you’re looking for a casual dining, this is a great place to stop.

Pizza with goats cheese, pesto, sun dried tomato, olives and spinach in Joe's Cafe, Lahinch

Do you have any hidden gems for food in the Lahinch area that you think I should try? Let me know in the comments.