A stone’s throw, or rather a short train ride from Dublin, sits Malahide Castle on its 250 acres of greenery. The expanse of lawn, formal gardens, and forest surrounding the castle add to its appeal, but don’t let anyone fool you about how near it is to the train station, there’s a good 15-20 minute walk, providing you stay on task and don’t wander off. The path in question winds through what would look like pure wilderness if the trees weren’t so perfectly straight and evenly spaced.
The castle is a large, and grey with a relatively square main structure with more recent additions unfurling haphazardly among large trees. Ironically, the very towers that make the structure look like a castle to me are recent 18th century additions. After much disappointment in the past, I’m not particularly interested in the inside of castles, so after a short look at all the grandeur very old stone construction has to offer, I’m on my way down the path to the dollhouse museum located on the grounds in the carriage house.
Next I creak up a few dozen stairs to the main attraction: Tara’s Palace. Tara’s Palace is easily bigger than my kitchen in Barcelona and definitely better furnished than any house I’ve ever lived in. Tiny hand-woven rugs, peat fireplaces and oil paintings make me envious of the dolls that get to live here. But truth be told, the furnishings are a little too formal, and impractical for my taste.
If you’re interested in preparing Irish Champ at home, it’s easy. For St. Patrick’s Day, you could even make it green.
First Published in “The Joplin Independent”.