We took a few days out, away from the world in a hand built cabin in Donegal. This place is fast becoming something of a pilgrimage for me as it offers real respite in a part of Ireland charged with myths and legends.
We packed the van with enough food to feed an army (along with enough alcohol to quench the thirst of one too). After a few of my expected wrong turns and interesting detours we landed at the cabin with the warmest welcome from Anna and Pete. Two of the loviest people you could hope to meet.
After a quick catch up, we got our bags and headed down to the cabin and upon entering the space, I was instantly relaxed and felt at home. Having been there before I knew the feeling was there waiting for me, like an old companion. I am unsure if it’s the ever changing views in all directions, the perfect interior of the cabin or some Irish Magic, that brings this sense of peace and space but whatever causes it, I was ready for it.
We had the idea of drinking Manhattans in Donegal for a while and Joe got right to work. He can take a sip of a cocktail and is able to recreate it. Quite a fantastic skill. We had Manhattans recently in the Merchant in Belfast and Joe was able to bring them to life in Donegal. Cocktails became the theme for the trip and as time went on they got wilder (and more potent).
As well as an excellent cocktail maker, Joe is an exceptional cook (I have landed on my feet with this one)! We dined very well. Our first meal was barbecued pork belly, that was marinated in an incredible sauce Joe made, along with roasted pineapple and a host of other wonderful food. We love our grub and even with a small kitchen, we ate like kings.
The cabin really is one of the most amazing places I have ever stayed in. Pete and Anna have made something really special here. Pete is an incredible guy and built the cabin himself and is completely self taught. He has an eye for intricate detail and I feel has allowed the landscape to help shape the building itself. With windows on all sides, you are given views that each window frames the landscape in. I think of it as living art, rather than a painting of the landscape, why not frame it in a window. Anna is an award winning Irish designer (and all round wonderful human being) and you can totally see the soft lines and design elements in the interior that could only be the work of an exceptional mind.
I have used the words from John O’Donohue when describing this place and he would have talked of the importance of finding a way for the body to stop long enough in order for the soul to catch up. I find that very true for this day and age, when we are constantly switched on to our devices. We wake up to them and fall asleep beside them. Our necks and shoulders are haunched over them. The cabin, has no signal and no WIFI and it teaches you that we do not need to be constantly switched on. All things in moderation. Personally, I have made incredible connections though Instagram for example. I also really enjoy sharing my adventures with Teddy via my stories. There is a real way to build connections there. Just not 24/7.
It really is a little place of sanctuary. With the views that change as the day goes on. Even the soft locally made wooden blankets to wrap yourself up in add levels of simple pleasure. One of my favourite things is the bed. It is so wonderfully comfortable and is set apart from the main space and separated by a heavy curtain. The best part is the window. Imagine waking up, bathed in the morning light and looking up to see mountains and nothing else. I can close my eyes now and see it. Such a wonderful thing.
We had such a fantastic time and would heartily recommend anyone to book in and check it out. I had booked this a few months ago as they are doing so well. I wouldn’t let that put you off, just book in and you will have something to look forward to! I am already booking my next one. They do also have another property on the land available and are building something really special too! Watch this space.
We have another post coming soon about the rest of the trip! Too much to share in one post.