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My third day in Ireland was quite a transition– it was a day of travel from County Cork to Dublin, where I would prepare for the big show on St. Patrick’s Day. Day one in Ireland was restful and relaxing, as I explored Castlemartyr and its grounds before a quiet night at a pub in coastal Ballycotton. Day two was action packed, as I was given the full Irish Whiskey experience at the Midleton Distillery by the people at Jameson. With the Irish Whiskey Academy and the Jameson Experience behind me, I headed to a fine dining experience in rural cork, at the famed Ballycotton House. I’ll pick up there, the final experience in Cork before traveling on to Dublin.
View in gallery Ballymaloe House is a Michelen-class restaurant in rural County Cork, Ireland, where fine modern Irish food is served by a master chef and on-site culinary students. The building itself dates back to 1450, in part, providing the feel of a house in the country with a formal dining experience. View in gallery The meal at Ballymaloe started with a selection of fresh shellfish from the nearby coast and a range of pâtés and terrines. The main course was modern, sourced from local farms, and it was finished with a dessert cart filled with treats and sweets for my own overindulgence. View in gallery After a long evening of whiskey and conversation at Knight’s Bar in Castlemartyr, I awoke early enough for breakfast before departing for Dublin. I was sad to leave Castlemartyr, but hope to return one day again. View in gallery The two-and-a-half hour train ride from Cork to Dublin was a welcome chance to relax, put my feet up, and edit some photos while the Irish countryside rolled by my window. View in gallery From Cork to Dublin, the Irish scenery fit the descriptions I’d heard by poets and authors. Rolling, green hills dotted with livestock passed by my window for mile after mile. View in gallery Upon arriving in Dublin, our group of writers, bloggers and brand managers posed for a brief group photo. View in gallery In Dublin, I was headquartered at The Marker Hotel, a new contemporary hotel with wild, faceted interior architecture. I felt right at home. View in gallery The rooms were both contemporary and comfortable, a pairing that isn’t always easy to achieve. View in gallery Dublin was abuzz with activity not only for the forthcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, but the Six Nations Rugby championship which was playing out mere hours after I arrived. View in gallery During the match between Ireland and France, you could hear a pin drop on the streets. Every bar was packed full with every face focused on the television. It was surreal, and comparable to few events in the United States. Ireland defeated France that evening to clinch a Six Nations championship title. View in gallery After the match was called for Ireland, my group and I headed to Coppinger Row for what is considered the finest dining in Dublin. A week before I arrived, Jay-Z, Beyonce and child dined here at Coppinger Row. View in gallery After dinner, it was time to head to the Old Jameson Distillery for a private concert by White Lies and Darling, two local acts we would see again during Jameson Live the following evening. View in gallery The Darling duo performed for the crowd first, engaging an excited-yet-reserved crowd of international guests. View in gallery There were a little less than 100 guests in attendance, all enjoying open pours of Jameson Irish Whiskey as the bands performed beneath massive barrels that were once used to produce the same spirit. View in gallery White Lies performed their brand of infectious rock that worked its way into my head and didn’t leave until long after I arrived home in the States. View in gallery Jameson had their own photo and video crew recording the show for broadcast. View in gallery After the private show came to an end, my hosts at Jameson brought my group and I to some of Dublin’s hotspots including The Vintage Cocktail Club, where my new friends and I enjoyed Jameson Old Fashioned cocktails and other craft cocktails. Shown here is poet Cameron Conaway, also an executive editor at The Good Men Project and all around awesome human being. View in gallery The Vintage Cocktail Club is a speakeasy-style lounge, where patrons enter through a nondescript stairway, ascend a level, then descend again into an intimate bar. It was a great way to unwind after the private show, and a great way to end this photo diary before picking up with the big show tomorrow.