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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 20 January, 2019

7 of the country's cosiest fires to relax by this winter

Take some much-needed time out beside one of these.

IF YOU’RE FEELING in need of a little extra TLC this winter, you’re not alone – a lot has happened in 2018.

We lost great talents like Big Tom, Aretha Franklin and Stan Lee, our border with Northern Ireland caused mayhem in Brexit negotiations and we faced another status red storm as ‘the Beast from the East’ collided with Storm Emma.

The result was one of the worst snow storms to hit Ireland in years. When it hit, we headed for somewhere cosy, positioned ourselves beside a roasting fire and hoped for the best. And as the year draws to an end and the temperature plummets again, it’s finally time to return to the fireside. And where better to turn than Ireland’s Blue Book.

Here’s our pick of some of the cosiest, crackling fires around the country, all from their historic collection. And in the meantime, this ten-hour video should keep you feeling a little warmer when you don’t have immediate access to one. 

1. Ardtara Country House and Restaurant, Co Derry

Ardtara Country House, Bar Source: Ireland's Blue Book

Within 45 minutes of both Belfast and The Giant’s Causeway, this lovely fireplace (with a bar closer than any on our list) in Ardtara Country House was included within the top five entries of National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s ‘Best Places To Stay in Britain and Ireland’. It’s a perfect place to sit with a whiskey produced nearby at Bushmills. 

2. Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois

Ballyfin Demesne, Dining Room Source: Ireland's Blue Book

This roasting fire is located within a grand, five-star period mansion on 614 acres of private parkland at the foot of Slieve Bloom Mountains, and handily, only an hour from Dublin. It’s also got a 28-acre lake, ancient woods and indoor cinema and a spa to get you tired before you laze by the fire.

3. Castle Leslie, Co Monaghan

Castle Leslie Bathroom Source: Ireland's Blue Book

With 1,000 acres of woodland and lakes to wander around first, Castle Leslie is one of the last few Irish castle estates in the hands of its founding family and you’ll even have the luxury of a bath by the fireside, as seen above. You can also check out their private cinema or go on a hot air balloon ride before you soak and unwind. 

4. Longueville House, Co Cork

Longueville House, Drawing Room Source: Ireland's Blue Book

Located on 450 acres of orchards, parklands and gardens in Mallow’s Blackwater Valley, this Georgian mansion has multiple open log fires to enjoy. The country house also produces its own cider and apple brandy if you’d like a drink by the fire, and you can take a horse or a bike ride around the grounds beforehand if you’re feeling adventurous.

5. Marlfield House, Co Wexford 

Marlfield House, Bedroom Source: Ireland's Blue Book

Found in Gorey, close to miles of sandy beaches, this luxurious restored period house looks onto a lake and wildfowl reserve. This particular fire can be enjoyed in private as its found in the Stopford Room but you’ll also find fires in their reception hall and housed within brick in their Duck Terrace Restaurant & Cafe

6. Mount Juliet Country Estate, Co Kilkenny

Mount Juliet Estate Afternoon Tea Source: Ireland's Blue Book

Located just over an hour from Dublin and 20 minutes from Kilkenny city, Mount Juliet is a walled estate covering 1,500 acres of countryside. Before you relax by the fire you can grab dinner in their Michelin Star restaurant, chill out in their luxury spa or just fill up with their decadent afternoon tea menu, seen above.

7. The Mustard Seed, Co Limerick

The Mustard Seed, Sitting Room Source: Geoffrey Arrowsmith/Ireland's Blue Book

This gem of a fireside is located in a converted 19th century convent in the heart of Limerick’s countryside. The hidden gem is located within two hours of Dingle, Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and Killarney, so it’s the perfect place to wind down in after a day in some of Ireland’s most picturesque places.

Fancy spending some time relaxing by one of these fires? All of the fires featured are part of 56 properties in the 2019 edition of Ireland’s Blue Book, which have all been selected on a strict criteria basis for having strong individualistic style and character. It’s the only Irish organisation within the prestigious Historic Hotels of Europe.   

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