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The Little Black book

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A Great Out!

Burren-Perfumery_irelandá

 

Life can be curiously selective about how it yields up it’s treasures and surprises. Recently and unexpectedly at Carron, out beyond Corofin, in County Clare I found a real treasure – the Burren Perfumery.

“Shaped by rock and stone walkways it meanders sometimes aimlessly, sometimes with clear direction making for the most relaxed stroll.”

Hidden amidst the cover of rustling trees is a collection of stone houses and a perfume garden, each offering an engaging experience. Together they comprise a sanctuary for weary travellers full of imagination, quality, service and simple enjoyment.
The shop contains a beautifully merchandised array of fragrances for men and women, mood enhancing candles, delicate soaps, pampering creams and lotions. Enriched with the scents of lavender, verbena , moss and meadowsweet. Each scent was clearly catalogued in terms of top, middle and base notes that added to the curiosity my exploration.
At the back of the shop a cinema space provides an insight into the uniqueness of The Burren itself as well as the work of the perfumery. A sign offered personal consultations with a perfumer and across the courtyard one could watch the alchemy of the production process.
The Perfume garden is a delight to explore. Shaped by rock and stone walkways it meanders sometimes aimlessly, sometimes with clear direction making for the most relaxed stroll. Afterwards there is the tea room and the comfort of delicious home made soups and rich home made bread.
Some one here has a vision and a passion for doing things right.

www.burrenperfumery.com

Finding the heart of Milan….and Italy.

Milan Mens Fashion

Milan Mens Fashion

 

 

On a recent visit to Milan I stayed away from the Duomo square on the quiet Via Ugo Tarchetti, yet still just walking distance from all the action. The NH Touring hotel faces the Central Station that sits a mere 300 metres away. The hotel is also a moderate walk from Corso Como and the start of the stylish Via Garibaldi. Walk its length for the best route to the Duomo and its surrounding buzz.

“……..the centuries collide as street cafes sit easily in the midst of medieval magic.”

Rooms at the hotel are small but smart, clean and adequate for a short to medium stay. The airport is about a 20 minute taxi ride away. Milan is not a city that has endeared itself to me much over the years except for a great restaurant called Da Bruno at Via M. Gonzaga 6. The waiters are solemnly casual making dinner an easily enjoyed treat with just the right level of attention.
A brisk walk to the railway station at 10 a.m. meant I could catch the morning train to delightful Mantova . Here the centuries collide as street cafes sit easily in the midst of medieval magic. Stay at the tiny Hotel Broletto here. It feels like the kind of place that seasoned novelists would find intriguing and worth a chapter or two.
On the following days we take in lake Garda and the breathtaking beauty of its towns like Sermione. Walk the expanse of the remains of its Roman settlement, lunch in leisurely fashion on its waterside, stroll the narrow streets and lanes of its old town, good for the mind and the soul.
Then to Verona to catch the opera in the old Roman theatre and pre show dinner sitting on a tiny street at the back of the Arena waiting for darkness to fall before taking our seats in the vast open air show space.
Ticket Italy made my most recent visit so easy with tickets bought easily online and delivered with an assuring professionalism. We saw up to 6 horses prancing on stage in Zeferelli’s latest production of Carmen