As you may already know from our social media accounts, I had a great day attending an AirBnB launch in Monaghan a few weeks ago. The whole day was focused around ‘Home Sharing: Empowering Regional & Rural Ireland’. As I left Cork at 4:30am to arrive up to Monaghan for 10:30am, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I always think it’s good idea to step outside of your comfort zone and explore. As soon as I arrived, I was met by our lovely host Elizabeth of Lynster House – a unique, beautiful AirBnB located in Milltown, Monaghan. After a long drive, it was lovely to walk into Elizabeth’s home and get the feeling that it was a home away from home. I was greeted with a much needed cuppa, homemade snacks and lots of chats. It was a warm, cosy, homely environment and suited the AirBnB launch perfectly. Our host Elizabeth was everything you could ask for in a host – welcoming and bursting with enthusiasm about all the wonderful attractions that surround her beautiful AirBnB home. A host who has a passion for her area and shares that passion with you.
After a lovely welcome and a great chat with lots of locals, it was time for Minister Heather Humphreys to offically open the day. It was the launch of an AirBnB report ‘Airbnb Community Boosts Rural Ireland’s Economy by €74m’. Throughout the day, the focus was on highlighting the positive social and economic impact of the Airbnb community on regional and rural Ireland.
Facts from day:
● Airbnb hosts in regional and rural Ireland earned €27 million over the last year by occasionally sharing space in their home
● Local businesses benefited from new visitors with guests spending €47 million
● Rural Ireland sees boost in “new tourism”, helping support Irish families and spreading social and economic benefits to communities across the country
After the welcome and the speeches, we had a wonderful lunch together which was produced from ingredients all sourced locally and every dish was as nice as the next. It was amazing how the locals came together to showcase their location, food and their gems. Everything was local and you got a real taste of the local experience… that’s what AirBnB is all about. What I loved about the day was that we were able to meet and chat to people who benefited from the AirBnB community – we even paid them a visit throughout the day after a lovely lunch at Lynster House.
Next we went on a local tour with our host Elizabeth where she showed us all our local favourites. Very much in the style of OnTheQT which we loved. First up, we paid a visit to Mullan Village to visit Mullen Lights and Busy Bee Ceramics. We were amazed at the crafts, designs and surroundings in the unique town of Mullen.
Brenda from Busy Bee Ceramics most definitely has creative hands. Her own work is available to purchase at Mullan Village called “The Bread’n’Butter Range”. She works extensively with groups with all abilities in ceramics and shows everyone that we are all creators at heart, its just we rarely get the chance to be creative.
Mullen lighting is located in an old shoe factory and it quickly brought life back not only to the factory building, but to the village in general, with some of the Mullan team moving into the newly restored houses. Mullen Lighting currently exports their crafted and well designed master pieces to all corners of the globe. Full of unique pieces bursting with creativity.
The next stop was Glaslough village. A village full of friendly locals and unique gems around every corner. It’s not very often a place captures your heart fully and I honestly think if it does it’s a mixture of the people and the location. Glaslough village is now one of those places that will always have a place in our hearts.
Our first stop was to meet Patricia from Glaslough Chocolates. What can I say… I was in my element in her little chocolate shop! The smells as soon as you walked in were scrumptious and as soon as you took a bite of chocolate, you experienced a tiny bite of heaven!! After Patricia moved back to her native village of Glaslough, she decided to embark on her venture creating scrumptious artisan chocolates lovingly made in her home kitchen. These chocolates are handmade in small batches using the best quality Belgian chocolate and the finest local cream and quality ingredients. What can we say only YUM YUM YUM!!
The next stop in Glaslough village was a visit to The Mallon Gallery to meet Joe. This is a true gem… full to the brim with ceramic art, unique vintage finds and beautiful paintings. It was one of those shops that you could get lost in for hours exploring all the unique finds.
Next stop was one of our favourite spots – Ambledown Cottage. Words cannot describe how cute this place is (that is why we couldn’t stop taking pictures of it!). It was the perfect spot for a group of friends to go enjoy an evening a good food, wine and chats. The decor… what can I say only WOW! Around every door lies a new quirky spot. It caters for all different group sizes but you can walk in with your group and have your own room for dinner… a lovely touch. Each little room was as nice as the next. Bursting with creativity and unique touches. It honestly is a picture perfect spot.
The decor will make happy and trust us… the food will make your tummy very happy! We enjoyed a glass of wine and some nibbles – Garlic bread, a sharing platter and a delicious pizza. You can bring along your own wine to enjoy with dinner. Nothing beats pizza and wine with friends in this location… trust us! Possibly our NUMBER ONE spot in Ireland after visiting! We will be back Ambledown Cottage.. you are now one of our favourites!
We ended the day with a drink reminiscing about all the wonderful places in Monaghan along with the friendly, welcoming people we met throughout the day. I am already looking forward to bringing a group of my friends back there for a weekend away. Such a unique experience. Thank you Elizabeth for being a wonderful host and showing us your favourite spots. Nothing beats travelling like a local!