Thursday, October 6, 2011

Irish Country Houses-Ballymaloe House and Bellinter House



 Irish Country Houses capture my heart.  The architecture, textures and patina of years of love and sorrow are embedded in their walls.  Ballymaloe Country House Hotel and Cookery School  in Co.Cork is a favourite of ours.  Many great chefs have graduated from the cookery school and  boasts being the only cookery school in the world with its own 100 acre organic farm.  We spent time here and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

Ballymaloe House - in the rain




Ballymaloe
My brothers - Thomas & Bertie at Ballymaloe- I don't know why they are being serious, I think they are mimicking Victoria Beckham!! honestly they are two happy boys

The after photo of a delicious morning tea - fresh scones still warm were served
Ballymaloe - so long till we meet again

Bellinter House Hotel welcomes us
 Bellinter House preserves its classic Georgian heritage. Located in County Meath on the banks of the River Boyne. 
Helen in Library at Bellinter House

The Perfect couch to plan the day at Bellinter House

Washroom at Bellinter House

Bellinter House

Wellingtons ready for a walk following a read at Bellinter House

Tree on grounds at Bellinter House
View from room at Bellinter

Historic Church at Batterstown, Co Meath Ireland

Do you like historic houses and what are your most memorable visits?

79 comments:

  1. I wish I had visited more historic houses. This post was just magnificent, especially the library. I love the words with which you opened it. They feel particularly meaningful to me, at the moment. Thank you for a lovely, lovely tour, Helen.

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  2. Hello Suze

    Thank you for your words of kindness.
    It is always joyful to have goals in mind and I am sure you will visit many country houses in the years to come.
    Wishing you a great weekend
    Helen xx

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  3. it looks so beautiful and peaceful there! glad you are having good time!

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  4. Ballymaloe is wonderful, a little secluded world of its own where one can be an Elizabeth Bowen heroine, with a head full of Anglo-Irish clashes of loyalty and spinning waltzes, until the dessert trolley comes around, at which point one reflects that an Elizabeth Bowen heroine would have too much angst and finer feeling to wish to sample some of everything, so one would momentarily become Pippi Longstocking.

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  5. Hello Irina
    It is exactly what you say "peaceful".
    Perfect for unwinding and your images would look stunning with this backdrop!

    Helenxx

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  6. Ciao, Helen!

    Yes, your brothers look very serious and they also look very Irish, which is nice! And they look like you!

    I love the photos, especially the one with the butler sink.

    As you know, we have a lot of Stately homes in UK and, personally, what attracts me is not the upstairs, but the "downstairs"... the huge kitchens, where all the utensils, pots and pans, are still kept and where you can still sense the presence of the cook, the scullery maid, the footman, the butler. You can still "see" them, sat near the range, having a cup of tea, a scone or a slice of cake and a gossip about what went on upstairs.

    From my house I can walk to Blickling Hall, where Anne Boleyn is supposed to have been born. I love the place as it's beautiful in Summer, in Winter, when it snows and it's even beautiful at night time. And I have memories of Carol Concerts outside, with snow and chestnuts roasted at the front of the house and served by people in costumes.

    There is a fantastic place, though, a million times nicer than Versailles (which I have visited) and that is The Italian Royal Palace, (il Palazzo Reale- we had a royal family, too, you know?) in Caserta, with wonderful fountainds and waterfalls. If you GOOGLE it, you'll see what I mean!

    But you know? I think stately homes are all a bit similar. Rich people don't like variety often have bad taste and they are boring! There are beautiful houses in UK, hundreds of years old (and I mean 3 to fout or 500 years old!) which are still lived in, loved and "alive" with the sound of children growing up and music! They are the "HOMES" I LOVE!

    Actually, I must mention Trellisick (Or is it Tresillick?) in Cornwall. It's fantastic!

    I bet I gave you a headache!

    PS: Are you able to watch ITV's Downton Abbey? It's great! A real classic!

    Sorry for any errors... lost my glasses again!

    Ciao

    ANNA
    X

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  7. Ah Mise you are so right Elizabeth Bowen would be the perfect book - it would be a tie between her writing and that of Pippi Longstocking - and why not the juxtaposition of the two books would be truly "Ballymaloe"
    I think "Ballymaloe" would be a good name to rival Google. I like the sound of "of just Ballymaloe it"
    Mise you bring out the child in me!

    Helenxx

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  8. if heaven had to look a certain way I'd want it to be like Ballymaloe, and btw, where do they get these beautiful names from? xx

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  9. Love Irish houses -- and the blue and white dishes you've picture. Historic houses? One private residence I got to tour belonged to a law school classmate's mother. It's near York, PA. One of her forebears' Revolutionary War discharges signed by Geo Washington himself hung on a wall in the spring house, which had been her husband's law office before his death. Some of the antiques that graced the house were made by ancestors -- who also happened to be signers of the Declaration of Independence. It was magnificent!

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  10. What wonderful photographs these are Helen!
    It looks like such a wonderful place.
    You are looking very comfortable there!!!
    Sending you wishes for a wonderful weekend!

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  11. Wonderful batch of photos, Helen! I feel like I was there!
    Maybe someday... :)

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  12. What a gorgeous place!
    I have fond memories of visiting historic homes in southern Louisiana and in Mississippi.
    Thanks for sharing this place with us, Helen!

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  13. Oh how I want to go back to Ireland after seeing this post!! Beautiful photos, Helen :)

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  14. Hello Anna

    Lovely to hear from you and you always bring joy to my blog.
    You have visited some wonderful famous houses. I can relate to what you say having seen the downstairs at Lissadel, where the workings and day to day life has more energy and atmosphere. Yes, to have a slice of bread or scone hot from the oven (I just baked Welsh cakes, see Pretty Far West Blog this week, she provided the recipe) - oh delicioso!

    I shall keep Tressilic in mind when I visit Cornwall (which is on my wish list)

    Wishing you a week full of joy and blessings
    Helenxx

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  15. Mrs. Little Jeans

    I know you and Puffy Pants and Smart Pants would love roaming around Ballymaloe and Bellinter and what beautiful wisdom would transpire.
    Many of the names stem from Gaelic- Bally means "the place of" or "the town of". The Gaelic language is a very romantic and poetic language.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend
    Helenxx

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  16. Hello Meri

    How exciting that you visited this historic home in York, Pa and such important history is contained here.
    I feel you would truly love Ireland Meri and I hope your travels bring you there soon.

    My best
    Helen xx

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  17. Lida - Hello

    Thank you for your kind words and compliments, I appreciate hearing from you.

    You are right, I feel most comfortable in older homes - despite the lack of some modern conveniences.
    I love the feel and history that precedes me on such visits.

    Helenxx

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  18. Elizabeth Rose Stanton

    Thanks for calling and I appreciate your support and kindness.

    I sincerely hope you will visit Ireland one day soon, as I know you would be truly inspired.
    Helen xx

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  19. Chez Loulou

    How lovely to know you visited historic homes in the USA and no doubt there are many in France.

    Thank you for your kind words of support.

    Helen xx

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  20. Carolyn @ Sweet Chaos

    I hope you get to visit Ireland again soon, there is so much to see and do regardless of how often one visits

    Thank you for your kind compliment on my photography.

    Helenxx

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  21. Lovely photos Helen, we've yet to visit Ireland...it's on a very long list. I do have a beautiful book called Romantic Irish Homes, by Robert O'Byrne...it has some fine examples of old and interesting homes in Ireland. Have a look on Amazon, it might be of interest to you. Robx

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  22. Robynne's Nest

    Thanks you for stopping by. I will certainly check out that book on and thank you for remembering me

    I hope you visit Ireland.

    Helen xx

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  23. Helen,
    I am pleased to meet you. Thank you for stopping by 34th street. How ironic that you are posting about your visit to Ireland. My family is from county Galway. Recess and Cornamona. I have been only once.
    Your photographs are lovely.

    I also visited your artist blog. Your talent is amazing.
    ~Lynne
    [w/L]

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  24. Another interesting post dear Helen, and with more wonderful pictures as always. I did have a laugh at your comment about your brothers and Victoria Beckham.... she still didn't manage a smile at William and Kate's wedding!
    I love visiting historic places and always think of the people who have lived there in the past and what their lives must have been like.
    I hope you have a lovely weekend.
    Hugs from me and my pony x

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  25. WOW. What a beautiful place to run away to...Helen, thank YOU for the beauty that you share and for your visit today!!! What a lovely place,

    Anita

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  26. Helen, this house looks magical....I love visiting country homes ..especially in England, there is nothing quite like them anywhere....Have a lovely Sunday....xv

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  27. My Spotty Pony

    Dear Abby

    My brothers are actually like two comedians. Bertie the oldest is a fabulous singer, he sings and looks like Chuck Berry when on stage. My baby brother Thomas is a fabulous actor and also used sing (he is very brave and puts his best foot forward each day. He was diagnozed with Parkinson about 8 yrs ago).
    We had so much laughter, reminiscing, singing and dancing.
    Thank you for the good wishes and I feel Spotty's energy and good wishes too.

    Helen xx

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  28. Castles Crowns and Cottages

    Dearest Anita

    It is always lovely to see your smiling face and hear your words of kindness and cheer.

    I know you would love Ireland and I would be so keen to see your posts following such a visit.

    Wishing you a week full of goodness.
    Helenxx

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  29. Vicki Archer

    Hello Vicki

    Yes indeed the country houses in England are magical and there are so many.

    I love the history that each house holds and to glimpse at how they lived.

    Wishing you a week of goodness and joy.

    Helen xx

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  30. Dreams on 34th Street

    Hello Linda

    Lovely to meet a fellow Galwegian.
    I travelled through Recess and all along the Connemara coast. I was born and lived in Galway (Kinvara).
    I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting ..PRETTY FAR WEST (MISE, the blogger) when there, if you do not know her already I know you will enjoy her writing. She lives near Spiddle, Co Galway. I actually posted about our visit.

    I am looking forward to knowing you and reading more of your wonderful blog.

    Helenxx

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  31. What a charming place! I have been to many historic home in the United States and the one which was particularly memorable to me is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I remembered seeing so many beautiful bedrooms, all decorated in different color schemes and patterns. And each bedrooms are so spacious, has high ceilings and four poster beds. I also remember seeing a gorgeous bowling alley in the amazing home and was totally "wowed"! There was also the amazing library and a beautiful green house. Unfortunately, no photographs were allowed inside this magnificent home so these are just memories from many years ago.

    Thanks for sharing this lovely tour, Helen. Have a great weekend!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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  32. We love Ballymaloe too and I have Myrtle Allen's book signed by herself. I make Lydia's almond cake with crystallised violets as a birthday cake each year in April. But if you have breakfast there you need to do something pretty energetic to work up an appetite for dinner!

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  33. Hello Lucille

    I believe I have that book book too by Myrtle Allen and I shall try that cake, it sounds delicious.

    You are so right following that delicious breakfast, nothing is needed till dinner time.
    Helenxx

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  34. Hello Jessie Mix and Chic

    Biltmore at Asheville sounds delightful. I will put it on my list.
    It is a shame when they disallow photos, particularly when they offer public tours.

    I am still savouring the beautiful memories from this trip
    Helen xx

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  35. How lovely! I'm trying to imagine those fresh scones! heehee! They are my favorite indulgence! We have gone to the Biltmore Estate for years now...we've lived nearby...and that has been interesting! I love it best at Christmas time with all of the trees, poinsettias and beautiful decorations! You can just imagine what a life they led back then! Well...you can almost imagine! ♥

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  36. Lavender Dreamer

    Ha Ha is right, the magical disappearance of the scones.

    I am sure the Biltmore must be spectacular at Christmas time, I can imagine how the tall Christmas trees must look. It is nice to think we have Christmas to look forward to.
    My best
    Helen xx

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  37. I have never been to Cork, but hope to soon :) I'm put this hotel in the file for sure :)

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  38. Hello Helen,I love how your photographs have captured the spirit of an old country house. I have been lucky enough to stay in some beautiful, quirky old B&Bs and they are the perfect treat, where you can, just for a short time, pretend that you live there!Jane x

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  39. I love historic houses - i dont specifically remember any but i always love the sense of history the other worldliness the step back into a life so different from your own but you kind of enter it just for that time - so yes i do love historic houses and your pics and story capture them so very perfectly xx

    http://fashionandfrank.blogspot.com/

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  40. How wonderful it sounds to enjoy a tasteful lunch in this beautiful setting! My husband loves old buildings, churches, castles and fortresses, so we have visited some of these over the years!
    Beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing them with us!
    Have a lovely day and week!!!
    Maria

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  41. I like that tea set. Have a nice week. Greetings from Romania.

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  42. Happy Homemaker UK

    Ballymaloe House is most interesting and the location is heavenly,
    in Co Cork. I think you will like it very much,
    Helenxx

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  43. Jane The Booklady

    It is interesting Jane to stay in these homes and I suppose we are living in them in even for a short time. We are still keeping the great memories alive

    Helen xx

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  44. There are so great.
    Best wishes.

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  45. I have never visited Ireland - must go someday :-)
    Di
    X

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  46. That house that your showed us is gorgeous, love the pictures of the rain.
    Have a wonderful week!
    XXX Ido

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  47. Another beautiful Irish house with distinctive interior and features!

    Love the image with you in the library!
    Enjoy your time - and for aperitif - 'SLàNTE'

    Greetings from an Irish-lover, leaving in the Périgord,
    karin

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  48. Fashion and Frank
    I know your photo shoots would look spectacular against the backdrop of historic country homes and no doubt the scents would excite Frank too.
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Helen xx

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  49. Maria - Hello

    How great that both you and your husband enjoy visiting places of historic interest. I hope your travels bring you to Ireland one day
    Helenxx

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  50. Costin Comba
    Thank you for your kind words and for good wishes from Romania
    Wishing you a week full of joy
    Helenx

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  51. Pass - Hello
    Thank you for your good wishes and hope your week is bright with sunshine.
    Helenxx

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  52. Yonks

    Hello Dianne

    I hope Ireland welcomes your smiling face one of these days soon. Thank you for visiting me

    Helenxx

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  53. Ido

    Thanks for stopping by and your compliments are appreciated. How curious you like rain, I do also.
    Helenx

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  54. La Pouyette, hello Karin

    Slainte and welcome and what a lovely thought to have a drink at the library at Bellinter House, I know you would love it. It has a wonderful atmosphere.
    Wishing you a week of joy in the Perigord! Regards to your Irish husband.
    Helenxx

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  55. Hello Helen, as usual a feast for the senses...though I noticed the scones at Ballymaloe were guzzled before we could get a look at them! Thomas and Bertie look like good fun! I didn't go to Ballymaloe house when I was doing the course, as I was alone, but I drove past it and it looks so inviting.

    I do love Country Houses, not too grand though. A favourite when I lived in England was East Riddlesden Hall in West Yorkshire. I think its of the Jacobean period, full of rich oak furniture, tapestries, and quite cosy. In Northern Ireland , I love Mountstewart, which is very 'liveable' and has gorgeous gardens. Both are National Trust properties. Oh yes, and there is a castle in Scotland called Culzean, which is in the most dramatic setting on the Ayreshire coast. I do love N.T. because they preserve these wonderful places, and they have such good coffee shops! Many thanks for your visit Helen, I am inclined to agree with you on the artificial flower front, but now and again I come across something artificial that does look good. Have a lovely week, love Linda x

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  56. I'm with you, Helen. "love and sorrow embedded in their walls..." that perfectly describes Irish country homes.
    Your comment on your brothers and the photo made me giggle.
    I love how the vine growing on the building is partially turned for the season... little glints of gilded red in all that green.
    ANY old beauty like this is my favorite to visit, and now I'd love to visit this one.
    xo isa

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  57. Flowers on My Table

    Hello Linda

    I understand when travelling alone it is not as easy to take in places. You are brave to drive the journey from Antrim to Ballymaloe. My brothers are hilarious and lots of fun and humour - perhaps they are camera shy. They would kill me if they knew I put them on my blog (which they have no idea exists) The National Trust does a marvelous job Linda and how great you have some lovely houses to visit in your own province. We are so blessed with the historic homes in Scotland, England and Ireland and lest I forget Wales.

    Wishng you a joyous week
    Helenxxx

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  58. Blue Muse
    Dear Isa

    I know you would love Ballymaloe and yes there was a touch of fall colour. It is interesting how the colour in Ireland is more in the rust and subtle mid tones, unlike North America which as the high note colours, brilliant oranges and yellows

    I hope your wish comes true and you manage a visit to Ireland
    Helen xx

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  59. Hello Helen
    Thank you for commenting and following.
    I shall enjoy catching up on your posts. Isn't it great how blogland connects people from all around the world!
    Annie xx

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  60. Hi Helen, what a wonderful visit. It looks perfectly, deliciously cosy and warm. Scones on blue and white plates - heaven! Reading on comfy couches, followed by long walks....perfection. My idea of a good time:) Meredy xo

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  61. Dear Helen, It's so picturesque to see your photographs. I feel like going back in time. Isn't it amazing to have such a beautiful library and to read all day? I don't think I will ever want to leave this house, exploring every nook and cranny. ASD xx

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  62. This post definitely made me want to go to Ireland. Irish Country Houses! What an appealing image. I am a fan of Elizabeth Bowen and Irish country houses play a big role in her books. Your experiences on this trip look and sound wonderful. My favorite kind of trip involves a country hotel and sitting by the fire in a library with a good book and a cup of tea.

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  63. Red Roses and Crystal

    Hello Annie
    I love our blog name and thank you for stopping by. I am looking forward to reading your posts and knowing you and yes blogland is wonderful for bringing the world and like minded writers and artists closer
    Helenxx

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  64. Count it all Joy - Hello Meredy

    We share a love for the same simple things in life, blue and white china, good hot scones and a comfortable library. To continued joys
    Helen xx

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  65. A Super Dilettante

    Dearest ASD

    I somehow felt you would be tempted by those grand comfortable libraries. You are so right,it would be tempting to not bid the daylight hello.
    I am happy to hear you enjoy the images.
    Helen xx

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  66. Sunday Taylor
    Thank you for your kind words and I am so happy you enjoyed this post. Elizabeth Bowen is one of my favourite writers and yes the setting is often big country houses. I hope you visit Ireland soon and that stay and dine at some of the beautiful country homes
    Helen xx

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  67. Oh, I have brothers also! Three of them.
    Ireland makes me think of "Angela's Ashes"...have you read it?
    Yes, I love historic houses!!!
    The most notable I've toured is the Biltmore in North Carolina.

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  68. Oh thanks so much for bringing me along. Such a sublime place to stay!

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  69. Hello Auntie Bliss

    I believe Biltmore House is worth a visit and I have noted it for some time soon.
    Brothers are wonderful and I have four who are so much fun, despite their serious photos. Sisters are also great, one living and one is in heaven.
    I love reading and have not read Angela's Ashes. Thanks for the suggestion
    Helen xx

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  70. Pamela Terry and Edward

    I am so have to have you accompany me on my trip through Ireland - I know you would love it too, perhaps as much as you love Scotland.
    My best
    Helen x

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  71. Hi Helen, so nice to "meet" you and thank you for stopping by and for your kind comments.
    What a treat this is!! Loved going back in time and so agree with you about the understasted splendor of old Scottish, English and French homes...they are magical with their little quirks and imperfections but that beautiful worn patina in everything. Looks so beautiful and grand, looks like you all had a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing!!

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  72. Dear Helen,
    how much I would love to visit Ireland one day! My dad always felt very close to the Irish spirit and he liked to underline that he was a ´Celt´ :)
    My husband too is very attracted to Irish/Celtic art and the symbolism. This summertime we visited the very interesting Celtic museum in Austria (Hallein). I do like the Irish dances, especially Michael Flatley and we´ve seen some of his shows. I guess nature is stunning in Ireland. Beautiful house-tour here!
    Best wishes, Marjolijn

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  73. The Enchanted Home

    Thank you for visiting and your kind comments are much appreciated. Yes, I just adore the patina and character which comes with the age of homes. It is such a joy to visit such places and there are so many more I have on my list to visit one day soon.
    Have a wonderful week

    Helen xx

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  74. Something White

    Hello Marjolijn

    That is intesting that your father is a Celt and proud of it. My father had very Celtic looks too.
    I hope you visit Ireland soon and I know you would love it Marjolijn as you have such a curious mind and joy for nature and life. Thank you for your kind comments and wishing you a week full of goodness
    Helen xx

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  75. HI Helen
    I have just spent a good while looking around your blog, admiring your beautiful paintings. I loved your meet up with Mise whose blog I also discovered this week - two lovely Irish ladies together!
    Do you have a site where we can see your paintings for sale?
    Sharon

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  76. Hello Helen,

    What a lovely place to explore...I happen to love the rain so the thought of wandering around the property in wellies and looking at the garden would be a perfect day...especially if I had warm scones and tea waiting for me. Beautiful post!

    xo
    annie

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  77. helen, this place looks like a dream. donna

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  78. oh wow, what a stunning place!

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  79. what a nice tour Helen! I love historic homes, the last one I was visited was in Victoria, BC. the Craigdarroch Castle, very interesting story behind it.

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