“Downton Abbey” (Season 4) has just completed and while we will get at least one more posh romp and circumstance opp with Lady Mary and crew, it won’t be until 2015. “Downton” has certainly piqued the nation’s interest in period dramas, causing an onslaught of 20’s and 30’s inspired parties going on from L.A. to NYC.
Though for many of us, costume drama is in style 360 days a year, no matter what the era. Films like Emma and Pride and Prejudice are forever in heavy rotation in our Netflix queue, and while many search for love in real life on places like Tinder and OK! Cupid, what we really yearn for is our very own Mr. Darcy.
Ballyfin, located an hour and a half from Dublin in Ireland, may not officially have a Mr. Darcy onsite, but there’s always a chance you might meet someone just as rakishly handsome.
A historic luxury hotel originally built over two hundred years ago as the home of Sir Charles Coote, and was recently refurbished floor to ceiling and opened to the public in 2011. Ballyfin is made up over 600 emerald isle green acres, but there are only a mere 15 guest rooms. There are the usual activities, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, clay pigeon shooting, and of course, falconry. This being Ireland though, rain is prevalent, and indoor activities may be the way to go. Fred Krehbiel, an American who hails from Chicago owns the place with his Irish born wife, Kay, came up with the perfect alternative: extreme costuming.
With the backdrop of the hotel and a stunning collection of period costumes (from the Lyric Opera Company in Chicago – one of the best opera companies in the world) you now have the chance. This is especially suitable for groups where guests can visit the specially designed costume room to try on and choose their costumes. With all guests dressed up, the group is now ready to enjoy a splendid evening with a fine banquet and entertainment to make the most of the occasion, where you and your friends can play the role of 19th century frock star.
Ballfyin even has the requisite Austenian pond on their property, just waiting for the token Mr.Darcy to emerge from, dripping wet, rippling muscles and all.
Ballyfin: Rooms start at €475.00 for a single, midweek, while in the summer months, the top of the line Sir Christopher Coote Suite will run you €1,700.00.