As much as we love a good knees-up in Ireland, we enjoy our downtime just as much (maybe even more). Take weddings for example – we’ll be the last to leave the dancefloor but we’ll know just how to wind things down afterwards.
So with such a knack for relaxing, maybe Ireland would be a smart spot for a pair of loved-up newlyweds to hide away while the photos are being developed?
Confession time: I haven’t (as yet) tied any knots and while I may have envisioned the day at some point, I’m still a total matrimonial novice. Enter Australian Denise Duffield-Thomas, winner of the Ultimate Job in the World and ‘professional honeymoon tester’ (yes, there is such a job!)
Denise, with husband Mark, has spent the past five months popping Champagne corks and holding hands in the most romantic places in the world. So, after all that travelling, has any country made a lasting impact? Drum roll, please…?
‘Ireland is truly one of my favourite countries. I love the green, fresh landscape and the people have got to be the friendliest and most hospitable in the world’.
With all that honeymooning and traveling in Ireland, are there any memories that stand out?
‘Well, I’ve had massages all around the world, and my best three were in Ireland, which surprised me! If I had to put them in order it would be our hot stone rub in the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, then the reflexology in both the Celtic Ross in Rosscarbery and Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Killiney.’
As we’ve always had a gift for pulling your leg here in Ireland, it’s wonderful to see our expertise recognised by such a seasoned tester.
According to Denise, however, we happen to be a dab hand in the kitchen, too:
‘I had the best meal of my life at the Mount Juliet Estate in Kilkenny and I really got addicted to Guinness, brown bread and seafood chowder!’
Speaking of Guinness, I must mention that Denise and Mark are not only on their honeymoon. As well as being loved-up newlyweds, the pair has taken on the unusual task of breaking the Guinness World Record for most vow renewals. So far they’ve been married a modest, ahem, 73 times…
‘We have 83 to beat and we’ve organized 40 mini weddings in Ireland. I find the vibe in Ireland really romantic so I kind of pushed for that!’
Initially, Denise imagined that this labour of love would be more like an endurance task but she has been presently surprised, ‘Being honest, our most romantic renewals have been in Ireland. We’ve exchanged vows under seaspray at the Cliffs of Moher, on a fishing boat in Kerry, on a treadmill…’
Hold on – on a treadmill?
‘Yep, you’ll have to watch the video for that one!’
Now, for most brides, the idea of pledging yourself to your husband while sweating buckets on a treadmill may not be exactly how they imagined their wedding day. Denise, though, describes the experiences she’s had here and the people she’s met with so much affection that it all sounds…well…romantic.
It sounds so romantic, in fact, that it puts ideas in my head, ideas that find me leaping forward a few years and planning my own wedding and honeymoon. The location? Maybe magical Mussenden Temple in Antrim? Then we could take dramatic photos standing on the Giant’s Causeway. Yeah, that’s perfect. Oh, and maybe we could have Guinness and seafood chowder at the reception?
I wonder how my other half would feel about that? Maybe I should ask her…
Did you know Ireland is quite the land of legendary love? This Valentine’s Day, we told the stories of romantic Ireland.
Fancy getting married in Ireland (even just the once, mind) – we’ve got a blog for that.