The Burren Perfumary

1429452923364   With the weather being so beautiful lately, myself and the other half decided to go on a mini road trip Sunday along the rugged Clare coastline.

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After having lunch in the lovely tea and garden rooms in Ballyvaughen we hit the beach in Fanore.

I had the most amazing salad and a glass of red and as I sat there surrounded by beautiful jasmine plants and the muffled noises of chit chat I felt very relaxed.

I Would definitely recommend a visit.

They have won lots of awards and the food is delicious.

(Image taken from http://www.tearoomsballyvaughan.com/)

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April beach adventures in Ireland require warm clothes!

Although it was sunny, it was really windy so we didn’t last long on the beach.

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Good weather for surfers mind! and they were in their element out on the water.

I dipped my toes in, but the Atlantic ocean is way to cold for my Mediterranean loving bones xx

So, as we strolled carefree back to the car I was thinking ‘What will we do next!”

And then I remembered hearing about the Burren perfumery

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http://www.burrenperfumery.com/

The Burren perfumery was founded 40years ago and is surrounded by limestone.

The Burren is a place of floral diversity and 70% of Irelands wildflower species can be found there.

Driving along the narrow roads I saw wet lands and hundreds of these beautiful wildflowers.

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To be honest, I could see myself living there. I felt a sense of isolation, the good kind of isolation.

A place where as long as you treat it right, it will provide for you.

As we passed small houses I imagined  that the little communities were very ‘together’, although their houses may be miles apart.

When we arrived I felt a sense of serenity. Birds singing, sun shining and no traffic noises.

I went into the shop first where they sell make perfumes, creams, balms, soaps and essential oils. These are all made using natural and organic ingredients and everything is made on site, by hand, in small batches.

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You are invited to watch a 10minute clip all about the flora and fauna of the surrounding area.

The images were so striking and vivid. The wild flowers, the lizards, yes! lizards in Ireland! I was shocked too.

I wanted to buy everything, rose hip oil, rose otto face creams, argan oils, lavender creams.

All natural, organic, hand made, with no synthetics and as it says on the label ‘tested on us’, not animals.

I picked up a 10ml bottle of lavender essential oil for 8.50

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I then dragged myself away and headed out to the herb and flower garden for a look.

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They offer free classes and invite you in to watch the products being made from May onwards, check out the schedule here;

http://www.burrenperfumery.com/events/

To finish off the wonderful day, we sat outside in the sun drinking juice xx

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I will definitely be coming back in the summer when the flowers are in bloom and I will definitely be watching them make the creams xx

Peace and love xx

Brenners Mc Goo

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My Love Affair with the Greek Islands

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Apparently, ever since my eldest sister could talk she spoke about France. The sunflower fields, the culture, the people. It was no surprise when she eventually moved there.

For me, its always been about Greece. I never vocalised it like she did but for some reason Greece has always been in my thoughts. When I was a teenager it seemed so far out of reach as a destination. In my head it was a luxury place that someday, when I was rich and a famous singer (oh to be young) I would go to. Of course this is not the case.

Greece is a very popular destination among package holiday’ers. (Is that even a word)

So in 2013 I visited my first ever Greek Island Zakynthos (Zante) and fell madly in love with it.

Zakynthos, a Greek Island in the Ionian sea is small and intimate with deserted beaches as-well as resorts full of party goers. It has an old time, relaxed feel to it. A simple life. It is most famously know for its shipwreck bay or smugglers cove, where a boat smuggling tobacco came into difficulty while being chased by police and washed up on shore.

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Smugglers cove can be seen by boat or more daringly can be seen from the limestone cliffs above which are crumbling away more and more every day.

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I have to say, this was the most beautiful site I have ever laid my eyes on. Driving our rental car around every inch of the Island and finding this was just beautiful and still to this day, when I look back on my pictures, I cannot believe I saw this first hand. When people say that Greece has turquoise waters, believe them. We also went to smugglers cove by boat. You have to go early in the morning because as the package tourism arrives midday, it is like a D-day landing at Normandy.

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As we drove around Zante we found more and more beauty. Restaurants perched on cliff tops, looking down below to crystal clear, turquoise, heavenly waters.

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Deserted beaches with turtle’s nesting. We even got to witness baby turtles making their first steps to the ocean x

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Everywhere we looked beauty surrounded us. Life seemed so easy there. People visited their neighbours at night and sat outside and spoke to each other. Not in front of TV’s, not with smart phones in their hands!!

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The little Island behind us is called turtle island, it is shaped like a turtle and humans are forbidden on it. Turtles come there to nest every year. You can however take a boat and go turtle watching around the Island.

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Cameo Island, the ultimate wedding venue! A small Island attached by a timer bridge has all the essentials, a bar and a restaurant.

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A place where nature blends in with modern life.

(A place where you can pick a lime straight of the tree for your balcony beers)

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Zakynthos, defiantly a place to visit, defiantly a place to return to, defiantly a place to retire in. My first ever Greek love.

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When holiday decision time came round in 2014, I wanted to hit up another Greek Island and Falcon travel had just added Rhodes to their destinations. So we booked and made a list of what we wanted to do there.

Rhodes is much bigger than Zakynthos and more built up. You have to go right into the middle of it to get that left behind sense that Zakynthos has. A feeling that I love. Again, driving around Rhodes, you could see it’s beauty, but just in different ways. Because it is more built up, you cannot get that sense of desertion, you don’t feel like the only two people in the world here and you loose that ‘simple way of life’ that I loved in Zante.

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However, Rhodes is steeped in History. Rhodes old town is just amazing, getting lost here is not a defeat, it’s an opportunity! It is the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe and as you walk through the narrow streets catching glimpses into people one bedroomed houses your perspective on life changes. 10665385_952853091397116_1617460677983253495_n From one extreme to another you can walk through the palaces of kings and they are truly magnificent. It has hundreds of bars and restaurants but to find good home-cooked food you have to get off the beaten track. xxx The colossus of Rhodes is one of the seven wonders of the world and when you walk around it you get a sense of what life was all about back then. You can almost hear the cheers and excitement of generations passed. 10628436_952849074730851_7681555233574458081_n 10639694_952849171397508_77917104531396295_n

Lindos, another beautiful old village is a must see.

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Where narrow streets leading to colourful gates greet you at every corner.

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A place where fresh fruit and veg and nature surrounds you  even in Town’s and villages.

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Both beautiful Islands. If you feel like you need a break from hustle and bustle and want to laze around, then pick Zakynthos. If you want lavish hotels, beaches smothered in parasols, friendly locals and historic buildings pick Rhodes. Either way bboth are worth a visit.

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And……… there are cats EVERYWHERE!

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I could talk about both Islands for hours and upload a million pictures too but I’ll leave it at that. Both times we booked through Thompson/Falcon travel and they delivered a top class service.

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