Time Out of Time: Lusty Beg Island

Take time out, they say. It’ll be grand, they say. Truth: there is nothing like a nice weekend away, much less one that involves pampering. I’m honoured to have been hosted at spa hotels all over the country, but the sensation of being on an island almost exactly in the middle of this island added even more of that special feeling of ‘being away’ than I’ve experienced so far.

Lusty Beg Island sits in Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh. The drive from Dublin to Enniskillen was a manageable 90 minutes-ish on the bus, and travelling from the depot to the island took about half an hour. When we crossed a bridge onto Boa Island, I was a tiny bit bummed and said to the driver, ‘Oh, so… this is like Achill? You can just drive on?’ He said, ‘You’ll see,’ and in moments, I did: after going up a boreen (okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t a dual carriageway), we came to a dock, and zipped onto a tidy little two-car ferry.

It was a journey of less than five minutes, if that, but once we disembarked, everything changed.

Lusty Beg Exterior (11)

Lusty Beg accommodation — one of the many options

From the Irish for ‘small lodge’, Lusty Beg was once home to monks, and within moments, I felt like I was stepping in their contemplative footsteps. Even with all the accommodation — 40 rooms, and an assortment of chalets, lodges, cabins and apartments — I felt like I had the place to myself. Even after having a lovely lunch in the bar, and seeing actual other people in the place, once I left to get my treatment, I had an uncanny sensation that I had the whole island to myself.

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THE SEAWEED BATH

Deep bath + VOYA seaweed = bliss!

I am masso fan of Lazy Days Seaweed Bath from VOYA, as I have described here; in fact, this was one of the very first products I ever blogged about. I haven’t had one in ages, so the chance to enjoy one, practically at the source, wasn’t something I was going to pass up. I’d already had a facial in the Island Spa that used VOYA products, and as such was pretttttty relaxed, but the soak in the seaweed-infused water finished me off, in the best possible sense.

There wasn’t a toxin left in me by the time the 30 minutes was up — and I didn’t actually make it for the full time. The tub, straight out of a sexy, renovated TV-decorating show bathroom, was long enough for me to stretch out in, and I added a bit of hot and cold water as necessary… but the drinking water from the pitcher that was set tub-side ended up going over my head to cool me down, as much as it went into me. I crawled out to take a break, and just as I was about to go back in for more, the knock on the door landed. As much as I wished it could have gone on forever, half an hour was in fact exactly enough.

I made my way to my self-catering log cabin (the kitchen was nicer than the one in my apartment), didn’t bother unpacking, and sat myself down on the couch, because:

THE VIEW

Utterly relaxing, rain…

And the next day, I spent a good few hours there again, because:

THE VIEW2

…and shine

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It’s not all seaweed baths and contemplation: there are numerous activities to avail of as well, of the casual adventure-type — although, having said that, the off-roading probably gets pretty hairy; from my own experience in the speedboat, don’t eat before embarking, because even if the lake’s not rough, which is was when I was taken for a spin, then the speed may make you want to vom.

THE BOAT

Yeah, okay, it looks as smooth as glass — it was not

Or you can try archery for the first time ever in your life and MAYBE HIT THE BULLSEYE.

BULLSEYE!

BOOM

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I adore a good illustrated map.

LUSTY BEG MAP

I literally didn’t even get to explore anything but the long skinny part #GottaGoBack

I can’t recommend the place more highly: it’s perfect for families, couples, solo travellers, you name it. Don’t bother thinking you can have your wedding there anytime in the new few years though, someone told me they’re booked out ’til 2018 — and I can’t imagine a better, low-key, fun, beautiful place to get hitched. See here for all the ins and outs and special offers, but honestly rain, shine or hail (I am pretty sure we got a little dose of that at some stage), this is one of the better breaks I’ve ever had — and I think it shows:

GLOWING!

Relaxed and glowy

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Guaranteed Irish: Pop-up @ The Loop!

Anyone heading out for the airport soon? {Meeeeeeee!}
JoyOfGiving3
If you’re flying out of T1, then make sure to pop in to the pop-up, The Joy Of Giving: it’s guaranteed Irish, just like it says in the headline, and is stocked full of Avoca goodness, as well as indigenous brands the like of Max Benjamin, Clover Rua, Monsoon Jewellery and Ursula Celano. I’ve got a gorgeous print of the Dublin Bridges from Clover Rua, and I just love it — and I’m currently torn between the Irish Lighthouses and Georgian Doorways prints… at €12/each, though, I could end up splashing out and buying both.

The folks at The Loop make every effort to keep in touch with customers, and this shop is in direct response to feedback. With so many of us heading away for The Christmas, it’s excellent to have the option of bringing along something Irish and stylish!

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See theloop.ie for all your pre-flight shopping needs, and/or avail of their Shop & Collect service.

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No Way, In Fact, That It Was Enough: Yeah, I Mean, Seriously.

Tchaa. Like I didn’t know it. In an effort to save on kgs at check-in, I had made a list of the product I’d left behind at mum’s.

No. So I packed with my usual style — still keeping that list in mind, but also trying to remember the the things I hate to be without when abroad.

Hate being without exfoliant. When I get back home, I spend about ten minutes scrubbing off the accumulation of dead skin cells. Is gross! Feels spectacular! Spectaluloss! In went the body exfoliant; forgot the face exfoliant.

HATE having dry looking hair, which occurs due to the difference in water hardness/softeness —  which I write about every year! — so I chucked in some serum capsules, which I didn’t need because there was a big thing of some hair gloss that I got last time — but forgot to bring conditioner. Gahhhh.

Oh, darn! Have to go to Walgreens!

ALMOST ALL THE STUFF

Have to go to Walgreens, even with all that. And I haven’t even looked in the make up bags.

Make up bags. Or gone through all my pockets to track down rogue lippys…

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I don’t know, it’s not so much stuff? For the guts of three weeks? << which is my cry every year?

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Gonna Make You Sweat {Not!} Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant

WELEDA deodorantIt is so desperately exciting to need to talk about deodorant! The last time we had a heat wave, I reviewed the Sage version of  Weleda’s natural deodorant. Wild Rose recently landed in my post box, and its timing was perfect.

I am all-or-nothing when it comes to me pits: I either totally forget to give them a spray or a roll-on, or I have about five that I use under different circumstances. There’s the one I’m using when I’m sporty {Sure Maximum Protection TRISolid Cream, €6.87}; the one where I’m going to be out all day, and into the night {Garnier Mineral Clean Sensation 48H Non Stop Anti-Perspirant, €3.14}; and the one that I use — holy wow, this is so weird! > when I’ve showered the night before because I won’t have any time in the morning, and need to be fresh and clean upon waking {Dermalogica Environmental Control€20}.

The thing that draw me to Weleda is that it is sans those aluminium salts that are so bad for us. They use natural oils instead, to neutralise odor, and yet, in and of itself, this smells really pretty. I’m also happy to spread less aerosol into the atmosphere.

Mainly, I am into the wee 30ml size. I find I do need to top it up throughout the day, so its handbag friendliness is an added plus, even if it feels like having to top it up feels like a minus. Also: the perfect travel size.

Caution: I sprayed some on, post-shave, and it stung. So, maybe shave your pits at night. The more you know!

Also, also: if you purchase the 100ml size, you get a 30ml free, during July and August, which is terrific value.

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€7.95/30 ml, €10.95/100ml
Available from selected independent health stores and pharmacies nationwide.

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Burt’s Bees and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Yes, that makes sense, because whenever I see something like this…

… in my head, I exclaim ‘It’s cuuuuddddddddde!’.

It gets better!

Those are perfectly sized samples of all you’d need to be well-cleansed and moisturised all over your travellin’ bod.

From left:
>Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream
>Hand Salve
>Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion
>Beeswax Lip Balm
>Coconut Foot Cream

I can’t imagine a better way to treat yourself when you’re treating yourself to a holiday; this kit has got it all, and it’s utterly packable.

I think I’ll spend this dreary day dreaming about what I’ll pack in this wee case when next I hit the road. A sunny road, a road that leads to a beach and a lounge chair and cocktail. A frosty, fruity cocktail, that is on sale, three for the price of two…

Essential Burt’s Bees Kit is €16.95; case not included {sorrrreee ladiezzz!}