Feb 17 2014

{Giveaway} Belleek Castle, County Mayo

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Belleek Castle

(096) 22 4 00

A few weeks ago … right after I had finished my Winter exams at college, we were invited down to Belleek Castle for a night of fabulous food, wine and companionship.

Their chef, Stephen Lenehan, whom we had met at a Slow Food Mayo event previously,  has been the executive chef of Belleek Castle for more than 20 years. If you ever find yourself in Ballina, County Mayo, you really have to put this place on your list. There is no shortage of things to see and do in Mayo.

Belleek CAstle

There is a growing trend in us stumbling upon Chefs in Ireland who like to grow their own food and feed it to their customers. A few years ago, Stepehen had a mighty sized polytunnel installed right outside his kitchen window and he is still shocked at the volume of vegetables he is now producing from this invenstment. Last summer, he actually ended up giving away some of their produce.

The Castle, lets call it a Boutique Castle as it only has a few rooms to offer, is situated in the heart of Ballina town and is deffinelty the best kept secret we have stumbled upon.

Belleek Castle Polytunnel P13_1336

Greens from the tunnel are offered on most plates not just as a garnish, but as a comfortable portion, so you don’t feel like all you are getting is meat and potatoes.

In saying that make sure you order the Fillet steak – the presentation is unique and fabulous – think flames and Jameson – tableside.  This style of presentationt works excellently well because of the venue. The steak was cooked to perfection and make sure you insist on trying their side dish of potato gratin with a mashed carrot and parsnip mixture sandwiched in the middle … then roasted in the oven. I have had dreams about this dish. So filled with flavours and textures.

Belleek Castle Food P13_8342 CHEF

Our favourite dish, was so simple – but so memorable –  Cashel Blue cheese caviar using tapioca. It was excellent and so unique, perfectly executed and shows imagination. We LOVED this dish.

Belleek Castle Food P13_8370


The portions throughout were perfect size and thankfully not too much at all. This can be a concern when you see tasting menus offered and I always steer clear of them because its just too much food. These guys have a great grasp on balance-on-the-plate, with plenty of choices for even those with the most discerning of tastes.

Belleek Castle Food P13_8705 whisky

Paul Doran, the owner of the castle, has shown true taste when assembling the wine list. His educated palate spills out over the Belleek Castle wine list which encompasses a wonderful array of wines ranging from quaffable to sophisticated. The wines we chose (a Pinto Noir from Russian River Valley) and also the Kracher dessert wine, were both outstanding and priced accordinlgly; refreshing to see these days. I highly recommend you stay up to date on the Wine event dinners they have at Belleek throughout the year. You can click on this link here to connect with them on Facebook. They are also the most perfect venue for a wedding … incase you are looking for that very romantic spot.

Belleek Castle Food P13_7951 hand

The service over all – front of the house and in the dining room – was excellent and a credit to whomever runs the training program at Belleek Castle.

As we overnighted, I was a little hesitant to accept an invite to join Stephen and his wife Lily (who is also a chef and works alongside her husband in the kitchens at Belleek Castle) for breakfast because, let’s face it, there are very few hotels that do breakfast well. Imagine, me sitting there fussing because my eggs are overcooked. These guys don’t mess around. They have a breakfast chef who comes in every morning just to take care of the residents at Belleek. First class breakfast and not the boring old Irish breakfast in a buffet set up either.

The scrambled eggs and smoked salmon and selection of brown bread was wonderful. The omelette was nice and light, plenty of flavour and to my surprise and delight the coffee was excellent too. I could tell there were coffee lovers in the house.

 Belleek CAstle blue

The folks at Belleek have given us treat for our readers here at WiseWords. How would you like to get away for a night and enjoy dinner for two, plus bed and breakfast in the beautiful boutique Belleek Castle?

I know we do giveaways on here, and you always think, ‘man, I never win anything’ but this one is different.

I am picking the winner myself instead of using the random selector app.

I want you to leave a comment below, in your most poetic tone, telling me why you want or need this (very romantic) night away at Belleek Castle in County Mayo.

Same rules apply, you must be a WiseWords subscriber in order to be eligble for this giveaway. You can sign up right here.

Best of luck. I’ll be picking the winner on Friday 28th of February, 2014.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,


PS – and incase you were wondering .. all of the images used in this post were taken by Paul Doran, the castle owner. I would normally only use my own photos but we were there in the depth of dreary winter and the camera did not capture what I wished to convey.

AND THE WINNER IS …. well desired too I am sure.

Enjoy the break!

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 10.08.58

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105 Comments + Add Comment

  • I would love this night away at Beleek Castle because:

    1. I have never before stayed in a castle (and this one looks spectacular)
    2. Because my partner is from Brazil and he is obsessed with castles, we visit places in Ireland, not based on the local hotels, restaurants, bars, scenery, but on what castles there are to visit.
    3. Its been years since I was in Mayo, and I would love to have this castle as our base as we explore the county.

    • Denis,
      It is a crying shame you have never stayed in a castle before – but I can somewhat empathise with you.
      I married a chef from Alabama and he is a bit of a castle freak – so now, since moving home to Ireland in 2008 – we have
      stayed in several castles .. . some nicer than others. This one – is by far my favourite to date.
      Best of luck to you for the win Denis. Mayo is a fab county – make sure yo ugo visit the Museum of Country Life and Cafe Rua in Castlebar when you get back to visit.

  • my attempt at a poem Mona………..
    “mrs goat, looking for a break, in belleek castle of course,
    as hubby (mr goat), minds his lady goats with great care & gentle force
    a nite way, wouldnt it be so lovely,
    slipping away a lovely glass of bubbly…
    as its my birthday today,
    and a WIN to come my way!!!!”

    • Happy birthday Anne xx I know a wee break from the Goats would be welcomed I’m sure!

  • I need a night in this castle because I will be turning fifty on February 27th and it would be the perfect gift for my half-century. My (Cypriot) husband and I live on the west coast of a Mediterranean island, amid dust and olive and citrus, and the cool damp of Mayo calls to me more strongly than it has in the 25 years since I left the west coast of Ireland. I miss it so! I miss the smells of the sea and the sheep, the cries of the birds and the way that summer nights last forever.

    • Hi Rachel,
      Cool and damp it is but also beautiful in Mayo.
      I hope you get to come back soon for a visit!

  • A night in a castle with all it’s splendour
    Is up for grabs for some words of candour
    Alas Wise Mona poetry is not my forté
    I have children and pets with needs a plenty
    But my long suffering husband is nearly fifty
    And a night with just him would be really nifty
    So pick me and my rhyme, you know you want to
    I’ll eat drink and sleep, like only a mam can do

    • Oh Niamh…everyone thinks poetry is hard but some of the best poems are just written
      from the heart. I know your long suffering hubby would love this place. The selection of single malts is enviable. Good luck!

  • You had my full attention at “Belleek”! I’ve dreamed, as every young girl does, of spending a night in a castle. But alas it’s been only a dream-not-to-come-true, although I did find my Prince Charming along the road of dreams-do-come-true. A night in the beautiful Belleek Castle, and my life would be complete!

    No matter what, keep doing and writing what’s in your heart, Mona, because through you, we journey along with you, savoring the sights, sounds, and flavors of this blessed land.

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks for this very encouraging message. I am only weeks away from being released
      from class ..and I can tell you after five long years of study … I am ready for a break myself!
      Best of luck .. I am certain you would love this little getaway.

  • Oh the weather , The floods ,The hassle .
    I yearn for a moat …. And a castle !
    With fine lodgings and food ,
    I’d be feeling subdued ,
    In the lovely boutique Belleek Castle !

    • Yes Paul…and who will you take with you if you win this prize?
      Perfect little spot for a romantic getaway.
      Good luck!

  • I would love to win this so much, as myself and my husband got married in Belleek Castle in September 2007. We said we would try to go back for dinner every year on our anniversary and yet, 6 years on, we still haven’t managed it. In September 2008, we had a newborn addition to the family and another in 2012 and somehow our dinner plans were always pushed onto the back burner. It was an extravagance we couldn’t justify! The Drunken Bullock was one of many memorable moments on our wedding day and we would love to return to Belleek and relive that special day. As myself and my husband haven’t been out together in over two years, it’s well overdue! Thanks for the chance to win and for bringing back some fantastic memories with your pictures and words 🙂

    • Ah..how lucky are you to get married at Belleek.
      Let me tell you..it is just as fabulous now as it was back then.
      One of my all time favourite places in Ireland. An absolute gem.
      Good luck, sounds like you have been busy and need the break!

  • The door creaked and from the shadows of the four-poster bed I watched him emerge from the bathroom. Somehow the surroundings had given him a regal air. His tweed jacket, the picture of a majestic stag on the wall behind him, the crystal decanter he was now reaching towards to pour us a pre-dinner sherry. I wondered what kind of lives the original owners of this fabulous castle had lived – what sort of food they’d eaten, who they’d had as guests. The restaurant menu indicated that the Chef used only local produce, including game caught on the estate. Eyeing the stag on the wall and imaging the venison I might have for dinner, I noticed that I was drooling slightly. Whether it was for the food or the magnificent man standing before me, I was not sure. Dinner was not for another 30 mins – lucky me…

    • I think I need a stiff drink June!
      I LOVE where your imagination has taken you and I hope, when we get back there in a few weeks, that I have time to daydream just a bit.
      Best of luck!

  • I would LOVE to win and go to PAINT the scenery, the castle. The gardens. I am there for three weeks in June and will have my easel and paints!

    • Susan,
      I can only imagine that you would paint the prettiest picture at Belleek.
      The scenery and setting is spectacular.
      Best of luck, your name is in the hat!

  • Eek! the weather’s been too cruel and bleak
    Please whisk me away to Castle Belleek
    I’d be on a winning streak
    fillet steaks and wines unique
    and Stephen’s veggies organically chic
    In the Four Poster Bed I’d snuggle deep
    and fondest dreams of the Castle Keep
    in Belleek Castle with my romantic Sheik

    to magic Mayo I’ve got to go
    to chill at will and restore my glow!

    • Oh you’d do more than snuggle in that bed Geraldine.
      It is one of the most comfortable sleeps I’ve had in Ireland and so quiet too.
      Best of luck!

  • Sure I’ll give it a shot – can’t win it if you’re not in it ;).

    ‘You, ma belle, you can marry me for your papers.’
    Talk about a pick up line to give a girl the vapours!
    You can be sure I was ready to run a mile
    Until he flashed me his cheeky smile.
    Under the spell of his je ne sais quoi
    I knew that I had to have him all pour moi.

    For almost a year now he’s shown me la vie en rose
    But his feet in Ireland he has yet to pose.
    For him it’s the land of legends and green
    And of the most sheep he has ever seen.
    He dreams of sipping whiskey fireside in a castle
    Imagine his face if I could tell him ‘ara, no hassle’.

    A night away in the beautiful West
    Would show him Ireland at its best ;
    For France might have the cheese and the wine
    But nothing beats our watery sunshine.
    So into the hat I’ll throw my name,
    Here’s hoping it’s the one to come out again!

    • eeeeeeeekkkkkk ……. this is making it very difficult for me to pick a winner!
      Ok – if you don’t wine, we HAVE to schedule a day at Ashford or Belleek with Beji and you in May.
      Calendar this NOW!! I can’t wait …. xx WATERY SUNSHINE … best ever x

  • Ode to a castle
    A stay in a castle
    is well worth the hazzle
    Imagine the heroes who lived in this place,
    without wifi or telly to entertain their space
    Perhaps their ghosts roam the hallowed halls
    while you lie in your four poster having a ball
    To dine in this castle will give memories that last
    as a night in Belleck is a blast from the past.
    It’s an icon in Mayo and well worth a stay, you’ll feel you’ve had a week even if it’s only a day.

    • Morning Marjorie,
      Thanks for this lovely little ditty!
      I know you and Kieran would LOVE Belleek – didn’t they do a Salted Caramel icecream
      with your Sea Salt at the inaugural SLow Food Mayo event? Oh my word was it delicious!

  • Last visited in 2012
    My wife and I we feasted
    On Valentines Day a Drunked Bullock
    Was a dish on which we were treated

    Stephen, and all the staff
    Ensured our time was fab
    Mia even looked after our 9 month son
    As we tucked into their grub!

    A relaxing time sure was had
    For my wife it was much needed
    This was actually a mini honeymoon
    She complained and so I heeded.

    A meal like that we’ve never since eaten
    We ooh-ed and then we aaah-ed
    That night is number one on our list
    So you can guess it wasn’t that bad.

    With mackerel, sorbets and beef
    The tastes worked hand in glove
    And I just want to take this chance
    So say to Mrs W, “You’re my bestie, my soulmate, my love” <3

    • Roy … you are tugging at my heart strings here ..
      This is a very special place to my husband and I too.
      I am deligted to see so many others have such excelelnt intimate memories from Belleek,
      and Maya is the best!

  • I have nothing fancy to say, I wont write a poem or a limerick, I just have a small story.

    My fiancée and I stayed in Belleek a number of years back when were, ahem, “courting”. After the amazing dinner, the great nights sleep and THAT breakfast we immediately said this was the best place we’d ever eaten and slept in. We professed this to all our friends that they must get to Ballina as soon as they can, to try the “Belleek experience” for themselves. And a few did.

    But, I digress. Now my fiancée is due to become my wife in May this year. And also, in June this year is her birthday. What a perfect opportunity to take my new wife for our first trip away as an old married couple this could be!

    • How lovely Gary. What a great place t oescape tp during your courtship and even for a post wedding get-a-way.
      I am a stickler for finding hotels that serve great breakfasts and they are 9sadly) few and far between.
      Best of luck with the wedding in May and fingers crossed!

  • B – Beauty
    E – Enchanting
    L – Lord & Lady
    L – Luxury
    E – Explore Everywhere
    E – Elegant
    K – Knightly

    C – Charming
    A – Authentic
    S – Storybook Surroundings
    T – Tantalising Tastes
    L – Love
    E – Extraordinary Experience

    I would like to win this night away, so I could feel like a Princess for the day.
    I already have my Prince Charming, just need to get him away from the Farming.
    It sounds like a scene from a storybook and I wouldn’t have to Cook.
    All of the above I take from your blog, I don’t mind being the underdog.
    But maybe this once “man I don’t win anything” might be “man I actually won this thing” :)x

    • I LOVE THIS!! I know how hard it is to tear a farmer away from the farm too.
      It really is very storybook-like at Belleek and I am certian you would love every bite.
      Best of luck x

  • most poetically — I wish the dark night crawling through protective for centuries wall of the castle filled us , humble pilgrims, passers-by with mesmerizing ghosts and charm of that place at least for one night .And wish the mighty and generous kitchen filled our bellies with golden tastes of Salomon and mind bowing coffee.

    • Hi Joanna,
      Belleek Castle is that kinda place alright … I am certain when I was down in the dungeon
      the walls were talking! Your names is in the hat.

  • i am a girl thats very sick
    and i’m luck to have a boyfriend that’s not a dick!
    He deserves a break away from it all
    to forget about reality
    and prove i’m a doll!

    • HA ha … I had a rough year myself last year and know the feeling.
      Hang in there … write him little love letters .. I am sure he knows you are a doll!
      Best of luck!

  • My girlfriend and I have both taken on new responsibilities in our respective jobs – we’re now working a lot harder for the same money and it’s a stressful gig. A night away in a nice castle would be just the thing we need.

    • Gah – don’t you just hate that … more work and stress ….
      A night away anywhere would be a great respite.
      You name is in the hat!

  • After reading what you have written about Belleek Castle I really want to spend a night there with the wonderfull good and wine. From beginning to end it sound like the ideal place for a night away. Please consider me for the prize. Anne

    • Hi Anne,
      It is a pretty unique place and thanks for leaving a comment.
      Your name is in the hat!

  • A poem, eh? Straight from the hip…

    A Castle you say,
    in a place far away,
    where me and my wife,
    can get away from life,
    and can live like kings,
    to forget other things,
    in a beautiful place,
    that’ll put a smile on our face.

    • Hi Alan,
      Well, straight from the hip is pretty fantastic!
      Getting away – from the stress of daily life – is so important.
      Thanks for this great little ditty and good luck!

  • Hi. I stayed here last september for a wedding, loved the experience as did the bride & groom. Great day had by all, would love to get the chance to revisit and tour around the countryside. Hopefully this time I would not get rescared by a suit of armour!!

    • Johanna –
      I was enthralled – and also scared – with the suits of armour in the dungeon.
      I think this is truly one of the best kept secrets in Ireland.
      Thanks for the comment – and best of luck.

  • Homemaker, mother of four, working wife, needs Belleek Castle break from hectic life!!!!

    • Carol,
      You are singing my tune … ‘Mum’s of FOUR – hear us Roar!’ ….
      Thanks for the liking and sharing.

  • Hi there, I’d actually love this for my sister who just got married. She didn’t have a honeymoon and she’d love this. We’re very close and it would mean a lot if i could treat her to this lovely treat, she’s never been to Mayo before as she lives in the UK and she’s certainly never stayed in a castle – it would be her a dream come true for them both xx

    • Hi Emer,
      Thanks for this lovely wish for your sister.
      That is so kind of you – to want something for your sibling.
      My eldest sister is moving home with her hubby and kids in a few weeks and I can’t wait to
      get them back on the island .. thanks for the comment and good luck!

  • We’re a couple expecting our 2nd baby soon and it would be a majestic treat to get some couple time together ‘castle stye’ before the new baby arrives. We never get to go on date nights so it would be a fabulous surprise for my hubby who’s dreading the sleepless nights already!

    • HA ha .. we have four kids so I know all about the sleepless nights and the husband dreading them!
      I know it is hard, and it gets even harder as they get older, but try to do date nights as often as you can.
      Even if it is just a movie on the couch and a bit of time together once the kids are down for the night.
      Best of luck with the new baba and fingers crossed for a win!

  • I would love to to win a stay at Belleck Castle I adore castles I love listening to the history of who lived there in bygone day and how they lived I love hearing all the history from the past up to the present day it’s just fantactic to be a part of it if even for a day.

    • Hi Pauline,
      This castle ooozes charm and history for sure.
      It is a great ‘fast’ getaway for anyone and a real break from the ho-hum of our day to day lives.
      best of luck x

  • I am a young Lady from Bray,
    who turns f–ty in the middle of May
    and the Birthday surprise ,
    that would bring tears to my Eyes
    is to be driven to Belleek ..and let Stay….

    • This is going to be very difficult to choose a winner!
      Helen, I have chosen Belleek as the place to celebrate my own ‘very significant’ birthday this year!
      Best of luck x

  • Life is falling without a parachute,
    A one way trip without control,
    Life is all but anything.

    Sometimes, they drift close, only to push you.
    Push you down,
    Closer, to the ground.

    Sometimes, they don’t, sometimes.
    Sometimes they take you in their embrace.
    The fall is longer now, with two.

    Eyes are fixed, no longer looking down.
    The world blurs by without our notice,
    Love is our parachute.

    “Let’s prolong the fall” you say,
    The kindest gift of all, in a determined situation.
    Together we rise above the fall.

    I met my girlfriend a year ago; in that year, we became best friends. We aren’t rich or well off, we can’t afford to travel or do extravagant things like weekend holidays that to many would seem like a day trip. A trip like this would be a magical adventure that we’d never forget.

    • Thanks for this Alex and good luck!

  • A girl from Louth who works in the city
    With a boyfriend at home who thinks that I’m pretty
    But with long working days and very little time,
    Its getting harder to see my partner in crime.
    Our weekends are quick and involve little romance
    So for this night away I would jump at the chance.

    • Hi Karen,

      I know those long hours and little time left for anything other than sleep.
      Keep the faith .. a break is earned for sure.

  • Hi Móna
    Thank you for the opportunity to win this fabulous prize. I would love to win this because I am marrying the love of my life, Mike this year and for our honeymoon we are going to go around Ireland and are going to choose 7 different places to stay based around the 7 deadly sins! We cant afford to splash out on an expensive Carribean type honeymoon so we thought we would be different – and as indulgent to ourselves as we could be! This competition at Belleek Castle would definately tick the gluttony box. We are both mad into our ‘grub’ and I love that Stephen grows his own vegetables, you cant get much more ‘organic’ then that! The sounds of the fillet steak and Jameson would take my hubby to be to heaven I think!
    Catherine & Mike x

    • What a lovely honeymoon plan you have.

      Best of luck – I am sure you will ahve a brilliant time!

  • I would love this night away at Beleek Castle because:

    It is better for us to build invisible castles on the foundation of hope for a better tomorrow

    because a night in your castle , life begins a new day

    • Tomorrow’s is always a chance to start fresh Damien.
      Best of luck and thanks for joining in the fun.

  • Hi Mona, have read many of your blog articles, and your recent post inspired me to write this…

    Oh, to travel to Belleek
    to a Castle described as ‘Boutique’
    It’s run by a chap called Paul,
    another Doran after all!
    A bite of Stephen’s Cashel Blue cavier;
    a smart source told me it’s best by far!
    To quaff the recommended wine,
    It truly does sound divine.
    I’d adore this break for myself and my knight
    for a evening of romance, and delight!

    • Ooohhhh…well done Kathleen..this little ditty is great.
      I am sure you would really enjoy this Castle..and thanks for popping in for a read.
      Good luck!

  • i would absolutely love this chance to win an amazing prize like this. i have never ever stayed in a castle before and this one looks absolutely amazing. Also me and my boyfriend find it very hard to spend time with each other, we are deeply and madly in love, he lives yonks away and both of our families are pretty big so we never ever get any alone time together. i would really really really really love to win this and bring the love of my life with me so we can get to spend time together.
    please please pick me im begging here.

    • Ah those big families (I am part of one) are a blessing and a curse Aren’t they!
      I know the feeling of never having a minute to yourself.
      Best of luck to you Lauren xx

  • I decided this week, I would love to go to Belleek.
    To marvel at this side of the World.
    I needed a place with elegance and Grace.
    Belleek Castle was the one that had my head turned.
    I thought “I’d love to stay here, It’s got plenty of cheer”,
    And “period bedrooms to boot”.
    There is a great castle tour I will go on for sure,
    I might get to try on an old armoured suit.
    Then later that evening in the “Library Room” we’ll be eating,
    Where there’s excellent service provided.
    We’ll eat fine gourmet food as the relaxed environment sets the mood.
    The spark for me and my partner here will be reignited.
    When we’ve eaten the best food in our land, we’ll walk hand-in-hand.
    To the top class Spanish Armada bar.
    The romance continues as the open fires warm our skin through.
    And we toast our health, good fortune and long-life together.
    After our rest we truly feel blessed.
    As there is Fishing, shooting, golfing, horse riding and surfing nearby.
    We’ll relive our childhoods before walking in Belleek woods.
    Belleek Castle, it’s hard to say “Goodbye”.

    • The bar is pretty fabulous too…and the fireplaces ..
      I commend you and your efforts here Peter.
      Well done!

  • Why should I win I just don’t know
    But to Belleek Castle I’d love to go
    Treated like royalty and fed like a king
    No better place with my lover to have a fling
    Then it the great county of Mayo

    A limerick instead 🙂

    • Ha ha .. I love it!
      I am a chronic rhymes on Facebook.
      It gets me into all kids of strife with the real poets :0)
      Good luck for a win!

  • To Belleks Castle in County Mayo,
    For an overnight stay I’m longing to go,
    Off to Ballina’s secret location,
    For a luxurious , romantic assignation.
    I’d feel the stresses & tension abate,
    The moment I drove through the castle’s gate.
    The Armada Bar, a bar full of class,
    Sitting by the fire- to that I’d raise a glass,
    And the Tween Deck overlooking the Banqueting Hall,
    I know in this castle I’d surely have a ball.
    The Drunken Bullock presented on a blade,
    The food in this castle must be heavenly made.
    A four poster bed for dreams that are sweet,
    I’d feel so pampered from my head to my feet.
    Belleeeks castle sounds like Destination Divine,
    Oh, Please say ‘the stay in the castle’ is mine!

    • Hi Grainne,
      I love seeing how so many peoples poetic-ness comes shining through.
      Good luck!

  • I decided this week, I would love to go to Belleek.
    To marvel at this side of the World.
    I needed a place with elegance and Grace.
    Belleek Castle was the one that had my head turned.
    I thought “I’d love to stay here, It’s got plenty of cheer”,
    And “period bedrooms to boot”.
    There is a great castle tour I will go on for sure,
    I might get to try on an old armoured suit.
    Then later that evening in the “Library Room” we’ll be eating,
    Where there’s excellent service provided.
    We’ll eat fine gourmet food as the relaxed environment sets the mood.
    The spark for me and my partner here will be reignited.
    When we’ve eaten the best food in our land, we’ll walk hand-in-hand.
    To the top class Spanish Armada bar.
    The romance continues as the open fires warm our skin through.
    And we toast our health, good fortune and long-life together.
    After our rest we truly feel blessed.
    As there is Fishing, shooting, golfing, horse riding and surfing nearby.
    We’ll relive our childhoods before walking in Belleek woods.
    Belleek Castle, it’s hard to say “Goodbye”.

    • You are a wordsmith Peter,
      Well done with this poem.
      Your name is in the hat!

  • I would to stay in Belleek Castle as it is our 30th Wedding Anniversary and I would love to surprise him. Frank mentioned that we would be going somewhere with a B in the title. So I could start the ball rolling.

    • Hi Josephine,
      What if he meant Boston, or Bernuda or the Bahamas!
      Well – Belleek is just as gorgeous – good luck!

  • I’ve visited and had a scrumptious meal there many years ago – the old-time magic and wonder of the castle would just be marvelous to relax into on a stay there

    • Hi Lu,
      Your name is in the drawing!

  • I would love to win this brilliant prize, My husband and I will be married 46 years on 23rd March and I would love to bring my husband here because neither of us have ever been in a castle and we would love it. Your castle looks so beautiful.

    • Hello Jane ..

      This is one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland. Very small and intimate
      and if you win the overnight – I am sure you will love it too!

  • This poem is dedicated to my lovely boyfriend, who deserves to be whisked away to a castle and pampered, he’s always doing sweet things for me, so if I won, I’d take him to this beautiful spot, we’d have a glass of wine (or three) and I’d read him this (for context: Molly is my spoiled but adorable boxer):

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    Thou art more lovely than the summeriest of days,
    If I had to choose between a lie-in and you?
    Well then, my bed would promptly be told ‘adieu’,

    If Molly wriggled and grumbled and wanted to play?
    If she snorted and sneezed and cavorted away?
    I’d have to stop her, I’d have to protest;
    ‘But where is my darling?! Oh give it a rest.’

    You’re funny, you’re wise, you can hum a sweet tune,
    the sight of you and a guitar makes me swoon.
    You sing and you play and can poach a fine egg
    So let’s always have breakfast together- I beg!

    I’m the luckiest of gals, you treat me so well.
    Your kindness, your sweetness, your spirit, ma belle.
    ‘Will you still love me tomorrow?’ you hum,
    Always my darling, my sugar, my plum!

    If I say I treasure you more than tea,
    I hope you know just what you mean to me!

    I could read this to him now, but just think how much more romantic it would sound in a castle, by the roaring fire, logs crackling, the night crisp and cold, after a delicious meal when we’re sleepy and happy and and we just want to cuddle up together and bask in the happy glow of a beautiful night…

    • Hi Claire ..

      This is a lovely poem and I love how you include Molly in your piece – we are dog lovers too.
      Best of luck!


    • Hi Madeline ..
      Wow – 36 years married is commendable. Whats your secret to a happy marriage?
      Your name is in the drawing for a night away at Belleek.

  • I would love to win this nights stay at the Belleek Castle, not for me but for my wife Valerie, who has had to put up with me during the last 12 months during my illness. I am a qualified chef from England who met my beautiful and caring wife whilst working in Gran Canaria. Val talked me into moving to Ireland and here we married. I have suffered with back problems for the last 12 months and Val has had to do everything. the recent storm we had have blown down trees in our garden and Val, now a dab hand with a chainsaw, has cleared them. this prize would be a wonderful gift to the most wonderful woman I know, Val my rock and my heart.

    • Val you are my rock my heart
      from Gran Canaria my love for you did start
      from sun and sea did you did bring me away
      to this fair isle where my roots I now lay

      together we stroll through good times and bad
      with you at my side I could never be sad
      the weather, my illness to you is no hastle
      my prize to you I hope is this castle

      win or lose I`m already a winner
      it would be nice to taste a Belleek Castle dinner
      then relax and watch the glorious sun set
      together having the best night yet.

    • What a beautiful tribute to your loved one.
      Best of luck!

  • Because whilst I am a mess, my pretty wife is pure princess, so she should go, that’s my entry, love Joe

    • Ah Joe – that is lovely.
      I always love seeing people think of others when they enter a competition.
      Good luck!

  • I would love to win this stay in Belleek Castle because…Romantic dinner, wine and rose, he’ll accept if I propose!

    • Oooh Hilda tell us more – are you going to propose??
      How romantic!! Your name is in the hat.

  • Hi Móna!
    I would love to win this for my parents who have recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and will soon celebrate 30 years since their initial meeting. They both work very hard in their jobs and are overdue a night away; especially with all the time they dedicate to our entire family, they deserve a night away for themselves! My mother is also due a ‘significant’ birthday next year and has a wish to spend her final year as this age in a celebratory mode- they have never stayed in a castle and I know this would be a perfect way of celebrating everything.
    Rebecca x 🙂

    • Ah lovely … wow .. 30 years of togetherness is quite the achievement these days, isn’t it!
      Your name is in the hat!

  • Kids obnoxious, Hubby snappy
    this Belleek break would make me happy!!!

    • Marion,
      I LOVE how honest you are.
      Good luck!

  • Hi Mona,

    Belleek sounds wonderful! I’ve never stayed in a castle, although I live outside Craughwell and am surrounded by them, not many of them habitable. I would love to win to take my wonderful wife away for a peaceful and romantic weekend. She has been off work now for 6 weeks with acute vertigo and has been taking care of the kids at home while she tries to convalesce. My daughter is three (need I say more?) and alternates between crying and shouting; while our 18 month old boy has recently discovered the joys of propelling himself off anything and eating cat litter followed by drinking from the toile bowl. As I am in university from 7-5 every weekday doing my PhD she has to contend with this while her head spins. Yes, I am going for a pity vote, but I really believe that she deserves to have a beautiful break after this.

    • Picking a winner here in the next few minutes … good luck.
      I totally empathise with your wife ..

  • This destination caught my eye,
    Fillet Steak and Piglet Pie!
    Drunken Bullock or Bean Ragout ?
    Lemon Sorbet with a surprise there too!

    Feeling glum with winter blues,
    Lets turn away from negative news,
    A Mayo visit would do the trick,
    Boots and raincoats, quick quick quick !!!

    • Margaret ..
      Jack is picking a winner here in a few minutes …birthday boy and all …

  • Hey Mona, where HAVE you been?
    You’ve only recently popped up on my screen.
    My sister said ‘For a pleasant surprise,
    Click on Wise Words from Mona who’s Wise.’
    Sh’s offering a fantastic giveaway,
    A night of Amour in a castle, you say.

    Well the stresses & strains of modern day life,
    Have made us forget to be man & wife.
    I’d love to take him for a night full of fun,
    To show him that, after all, he’s still The One.

    A stroll in the grounds, before changing for dinner,
    Sounds just perfect & might be a winner,
    But I think , on arrival, we might just head,
    Upstairs, for a romp on the four poster bed!

    A meal in the restaurant, where the food sounds divine,
    An open fire in the bar- oh God, how sublime.
    A few drinks, a chat, the magic’s there still,
    A chance to unwind, and simply……CHILL.

    And then upstairs to that four poster bed,
    Where we may re-create the night we were wed.
    To Lord Arran’s room for breakfast, my favourite meal of the day,
    For some delicious fortitude before we get on our way.

    And as we’d drive away from the gate,
    No doubt we’d say ‘Ain’t life Great!’

    • Hi Mary – thanks for this.
      The winner will be alerted soon!
      Thanks for joining in the fun.

  • It’s SOME time since I felt like a princess.
    And a princess, we know, needs a castle.
    Belleek cures princess blues more than less.
    Let me win, get me there. (No hassle!!)

    *tunes up little violin for sad music* …

    • Ah shur aren’t you already a winner with your big win last night!!
      Well done again. So proud of you. xx

  • Happy Birthday Jack.
    Fingers crossed,
    Good luck everyone.

  • congratulations Michael I hope you wife gets well soon and you both really enjoy your break.

  • Thanks so much Mona, really made my weekend. Can’t wait to see her face when I tell her. Looking forward to night away already. First Donegal man in a while to say Up Mayo!! Thank you Del, that’s really nice.

    • Can’t wait to hear how it all is for you guys and glad Selene was happy with the prize!

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
  • Contact Mona
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He prefers face to face communication.

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