Staying in Ireland for a minibreak is something I love to do. No queuing at passport control, no baggage restrictions and the best bit? Unlimited shopping. When I hit the motorway to discover a little more about Kildare it only took two hours to get to the Osprey in Naas where a divine spa ritual awaited me. I had a gorgeous and relaxing Voya foot ritual and my therapist Angela was incredible. She encouraged complete relaxation and ensured my comfort the whole way throughout. She was honestly one of the best therapists I have ever encountered in a spa. The relaxation area and thermal suite were a joy to experience and I enjoyed some ice cream and prosecco afterwards in the light relaxation room. There is a dark one also, if you prefer that, but the day I was there was sunny and light filled. They have hydrafacial, massage and all of the treatments you might like to experience on a relaxing day, and there were groups of people having treatments too. It seems to be a popular spot and to be honest I can understand why. The decor of the spa is so marvellous and was designed by the renowned Hugh Wallace.
As a hotel the Osprey is best known for its corporate convenience although while I was staying at the hotel there were lots of families and groups of people there for an Abba tribute. There were various family events going on throughout the day such as a baby shower and groups having a spot of lunch. I also enjoyed a drink at the bar and checked in and hit Nass for a bit of retail therapy.
As a town Naas has a lot to offer in terms of retail and if you are looking for a blow dry or mani there is an abundance of small businesses and stunning boutiques. The town is full of eateries and bars and is spotlessly clean with a welcoming vibe. It was unsurprisingly busy for lunch time and the bars were all showing the match, as when I visited we were deep in world cup fever.
I had reservations at Lawlors Hotel for dinner and what a great property this is. Steeped in history the owners have sourced pieces for the hotel from all over the world, from Monte Carlo to Vegas. The style of the hotel is very maximalist and I loved it. You could sit at the round bar for a cocktail and just marvel at your surroundings . It felt like I was on a film set and I was glad I dressed up. There is a more casual bar area too where you can have a pint and a burger, I will definitely be back to stay.
Vi’s is the restaurant with a round bar as the centrepiece that I ate in and the menu had something for all tastes on it, although the streak on the stone caught my eye. The fillet comes with a hot stone so you can cook it to your liking. The food overall was exquisite and the cocktails perfect. Again a classic cocktail menu with favourites like a Cosmopolitan or Old Fashioned is my favourite. Dessert was an exotic pavlova and top class service was apparent from the moment we entered the hotel.
The following morning we had a tasty and hearty breakfast ( cooked to order for the hot part which included great vegetarian options ). I am a fan of the full Irish and it didn’t disappoint. You can reserve breakfast but I prefer to just head down when I wake. While you stay you also have access to the leisure centre for a work out or swim.
I set off then to visit the museum of icons at Newbridge and to do some shopping. Newbridge Silverware is a household name in Ireland for decades but they have a great visitor experience if you are up that way. They have a factory tour and the famous Revenge Dress that Lady Diana wore after her separation from Charles. It also houses the original bottle from I dream of JeI made a purchase of some silver hoops as the jewellery is so well priced. I was also able to replace some missing knives from my cutlery set. The cafe there looked incredible too and was really buzzy and there were loads of locals enjoying a brunch or coffee as well as the tourists you’d expect.
Onwards to Kildare Village where I relaxed in the apartment before getting to enjoy their private sale, which gave me 20 percent off. The savings are great on homewares in particular and I ended up getting a new coffee machine and some gorgeous bits in Rituals. The cosmetic store there are cheaper than high street but there is a minimum purchase in some of two items, which is no great inconvenience with the pricing. It’s like duty free shopping without the flight. They have something for everyone with stores like Ayu, Rituals and then more exclusive ones like Prada and Mulberry. It is so beneficial to download the app too as there is loads of information to check before you make the trip. In theory you could do the outlet in a day but I think if you are doing Christmas shopping then an overnight is lovely.
Overall Kildare is a busy working county but has lots of reasons for tourists and staycation lovers to visit, I don’t think I covered everything the first time so I will definitely be back. It is far from a rest stop to Dublin but a whole worthwhile weekend away.