Welcome to Kilkenny
As business owners and operators, we know it can be difficult disconnecting and taking genuine vacations, but doing so is vital to keeping yourself and your business refreshed and energized. It’s important to delegate to your team, coordinate with your priority clients and if you’re going to disconnect digitally have a system in place before, during and after your vacation. Join me as I take you on part two of my fall vacation (when I was digitally disconnected from the office) to the town and county of Kilkenny Ireland.
I flew into Dublin from Norway. That day, I toured Pearse Lyons Irish Whiskey Distillery, then enjoyed a nice dinner at the Bull and Castle restaurant. The next day I boarded the train to Kilkenny where I stayed at the Zuni Townhouse, had the best meal of my trip at the Zuni Restaurant and toured the Zwartbles Sheep farm in County Kilkenny. The Kilkenny area was the favourite part of my Ireland trip – let’s explore why.
Town of Kilkenny
Kilkenny is situated in the Nore Valley on both banks of the River Nore, at the centre of County Kilkenny in the province of Leinster in the south-east of Ireland. It’s a lovely town with many restaurants, shops and history to be discovered. I stayed at the Zuni townhouses for two nights and enjoyed dinner at the Zuni Restaurant my first night. It was the best meal and service of my time in Ireland! The starter was tempura goatsbridge trout with nori seaweed, pickled cucumber and horseradish. The main course was hake (a sustainable white fish popular in the UK), with chard, cauliflower, and baby new potatoes. Then for dessert lemon meringue tart. Delicious!
There are many castles in Ireland; in fact I stayed in one in Wexford. Kilkenny Castle was my favourite. It was built in 1195 to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several route ways. It was a symbol of Norman occupation and in its original thirteenth-century condition it would have formed an important element of the defences of the town with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch.
County Kilkenny, Zwartbles Sheep Farm and Bodacious
In a hired car (automatic), navigating the left side of the road, I made my way from the town of Kilkenny to Zwartbles Sheep Farm in County Kilkenny. I follow both Suzanna Crampton (the human shepherd) and Bodacious (the cat shepherd) on social media and love their feeds. I had arranged this visit with Suzanna far in advance and the exact time early that morning.
Zwartbles Sheep Farm
When I arrived I was greeted by the farm dogs Pepper and the Big Fellow. Suzanna walked me through the fields of Zwartbles lambs and the sheep. Zwartbles are black sheep originally from Friesland, bred for wool, meat and milk. They were very friendly nudging for pets and the apple (I had picked from the orchard) in my jacket pocket. Plus Little Bit posing. Suzanna is the 8th generation on the family farm where the sheep graze on meadow flowers, grasses, clovers and herbs. Suzanna also explained about the wool process and the blankets she deigns. I bought a small wool blanket for my cat.
As my farm visit was coming to an end, Bodacious the Cat Shepherd was nowhere to be found. I was enjoying all the dogs – Inca, Bear, Pepper and Big Fellow. However, it was my hope that I would get to meet Mr. B and have him paw-graph his book for me. Suzanna was running down her list and then thought about the hay beds. Luckily Bodacious and Ovenmitt were there and not too tired from their nightly hunting responsibilities to make a very welcomed appearance. Bodacious is smart, handsome and in-charge, next to Suzanna of course. It was interesting to watch all the dogs follow Bodacious’ lead and respect his space. Bodacious let me pet him and he was even purring. Mr. B paw-graphed his book for me and my visit at The Black Sheep farm was complete.
After I returned home from vacationing, I read Bodacious The Cat Shepherd. I laughed, cried and identified. Suzanna is a talented farmer and writer. I highly recommend the book for all farm, animal, cat and entrepreneur lovers!
I’d love to share my extensive food, nutrition, travel and entrepreneurial expertise how at your next conference, event or symposium.
Contact me to find out more!
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