Thanks Leena for inviting me to blog! I thought that I’d like to share with you all, a very special place. I live in Dublin, which is the capital city of Ireland. It’s a tiny island, especially in comparison with the UK and the US. Special as Dublin is though, it’s not the place I’m talking about.
This April, myself and the lovely Kate Walker drove from Dublin to the west of Ireland to a place called Connemara. It’s right on the west coast and stunningly beautiful. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked down there a couple of times last year and it was so nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin for a few weeks.
Anyway, we set off on our little road trip. I had decided to go to a place called Delphi Lodge for a week to, ahem, write. In fact what I needed was a break so when Kate said she’d come too, it was the perfect excuse to make it into a holiday. I will state for the record here that Kate did encourage me to write, I just seemed to find it easier to read some of her early Mills and Boon books instead. For inspiration of course.
Delphi Lodge is a very well known fishing lodge (Prince Charles stayed there!), situated in a gloriously beautiful valley, on a lake. (It’s about a ten minute drive from Leenane where ‘The Field’ was filmed).
It is quiet and peaceful. The house is run as if it’s your own home; there are no locks on the doors, dogs come and go, and the kitchen is open for you to have tea, coffee, whatever you want, when you want. There is a small library, stacked with books and comfy chairs.
In the evening everyone who is there for dinner, meets in the lounge for aperitifs. There is an ‘honesty’ bar, where you can help yourself and write down what you have in a little book – a very dangerous state of affairs for two lady romance novelists. Having said that, I’d recommend the gin and tonics.
Then at approximately eight pm, you are called into the dining room and everyone sits down to eat at the same huge table. The lodge is renowned for its menu. In the week that we were there we had dinner with: A doctor, a barrister, a writer, a twice Oscar nominated actress (!), a Hollywood producer, a luxury car mechanic whose gorgeous girlfriend was a fan of Mills and Boon (clearly a girl with great taste ;-))…and that’s just to name drop a few!
There were lots of obsessed fly fishermen too, so we now know more about fly-fishing than we ever did. I don’t know about Kate but I haven’t quite decided how to marry fly-fishing with an Alpha male just yet…!
The place is truly magical, and I’m lucky that I got to share it with a good friend and mentor. It is absolutely perfect for a writing retreat. However, we were too busy nattering and socializing and walking and getting massages to write. (There is a place called the Delphi Mountain Resort – not linked to Delphi Lodge at all, just ten minutes walk down the road where they have a spa…say no more.)
So if anyone has a yen to get away from it all and to sit and write, in a room of one’s own, in peace and tranquility, Delphi Lodge is worth thinking, and dreaming about. Perhaps one day I’ll go back and actually write…or perhaps just go back with a friend again and relish the peace. And have more gorgeous massages…and gin and tonics.
Delphi Lodge is like the best treat you could ever give yourself…so go on, don’t you deserve it?! Check it out: http://www.delphilodge.ie/
ps - I have a Harlequin Presents Extra out this June – The Spaniard’s Marriage Bargain, and in September, Mistress to the Merciless Millionaire is released as a Harlequin Presents.I have a Harlequin Presents Extra out this June – The Spaniard’s Marriage Bargain, and in September, Mistress to the Merciless Millionaire is released as a Harlequin Presents.