A luxe Irish country escape, can you think of anything more romantic? If you’re looking for a breathtaking honeymoon destination with major Bridgerton vibes, Ballyfin Demense is it. The moment you enter the stonewall gates and drive the long winding road leading to the main house, you’re swept from the modern world and ensconced in a bygone era rich in tradition and romance.
Located in County Laois, 90-minutes from Dublin, Ballyfin is an Irish Regency mansion built as a private residence in 1820. It was restored to its original grandeur in 2011, opening as a 20-bedroom, five-star country house hotel.
Here are four reasons why Ballyfin Demense—which has repeatedly topped the Gold List by Condé Nast Traveler—is the ultimate post-nuptial getaway.
The Décor Is Level Up
Stepping through the doors of Ballyfin, it’s hard to know where to look first—the details simply jaw-dropping. The staterooms are glimmering, grand and brimming with ancestral portraits and magnificent furnishings. Take afternoon tea in the Gold Room and soak in its grandeur which includes a lavish chandelier that once hung in the Paris Maison of the Queen of Naples, sister to Emperor Napoleon I. Each of the 20 guest rooms are unique, all decorated and designed in the sumptuous spirit of the original house. For a honeymoon splurge, book a suite; the front-of-house rooms with lake views are the absolute dreamiest.
Ballyfin is Totally Private
You can easily hide away at Ballyfin thanks to the sheer size of the property. Tuck yourself away for days in the house (like Kim and Kayne did on their honeymoon), or step out and explore its 614 acres which you can do on foot, horse, bicycle or horse-and-carriage ride. On the property, you’ll find fields of wildflowers, hidden waterfalls, a grotto, a medieval-style tower and walled gardens.
For additional outdoor adventures, try archery, clay-pigeon shooting, falconry and fishing. A picnic lunch on the property is also a must. There are many stunning locations to choose from, including a cozy picnic house built expressly for those days when the Irish weather is temperamental.
It’s a particular passion at Ballyfin and everything served for breakfast, lunch and dinner is either grown in-house or locally sourced. Dinner hour is a delight! Do not pass up Ballyfin’s tasting menus, which deliver the best of everything in a five or eight-course meal.
New this summer, Executive Chef Sam Moody has introduced a hand-foraged foods component to the menus of Ballyfin. Foraging is an age-old tradition that is being revived by chefs like Moody. He aims not only to bring a hyper-local and sustainable flavour to his food, but to also educate guests and inspire them to forage their own ingredients when cooking at home.
Many incredible things make Ballyfin magical, but perhaps the biggest is the delightful staff, who go the distance to make your stay the most memorable holiday of your life. After all, isn’t that exactly what a honeymoon should be?
All photos courtesy of: Ballyfin Demense