Brendan House & Tin Jug Studio is in the heart of Birr. It is close to Birr Castle gardens & Historic Science Centre, as well as the town's charming shops and cafés. It is the home of an artist/writer and a poet/journalist. This is the 'secret' B&B of Birr, with no sign outside the door and no hoards of people staying. Guests have said and written that they felt very relaxed and welcome in this bohemian and elegant Georgian house, filled with art and antiques.
Creative, and a few famous folk have stayed, from musicians and composers to dancers and poets. There are three lovely period-style rooms: an antique four-poster (double) and two single rooms with canopied and cushioned beds. Each room has its own wash-handbasin (one from Morocco) but guests share one unusual bathroom. The bath was the second installed in a home in Birr in the 19century. It was renovated to its original, rich and marbelled colours, discovered under flaking white paint.
It is a very personalized experience to stay here, with little hints of luxury. We offer treats such as breakfast brought to your room (free of charge), and a candlelit, scented bath (with champagne as an extra!) Find sketch books and pencils in each room for drawing or writing. The guest wing corridor has been painted and decorated as if an Arabian tent, with shelves of books on travel. There are masks and lots of pictures with images of foreign places, and a silver tray has all you need for a cup of refreshing tea at any time.
There have been many compliments about our breakfasts, some written into the visitors book, such as, 'The best we've had, anywhere'. Much of the food served is local, organic and home-made, and presented with attention to the visual as much as to the flavours and variety offered. Breakfast options can be large or small; hearty and healthy.
When the drawing room fire and candles are lit, it is a wonderful room to relax in. Occasionally an informal dinner is served (with advance booking) such as Rozzie's Casseroles of Lamb or Beef & Guinness, etc. There are no televisions but a good selection of DVDs of Hollywood and vintage films as well as Russian, French, Japanese classics and opera, favourite old TV series, comedy and children's films, etc.
Tin Jug Studio, our arts studio and gallery, is open to the public on occasions for art exhibitions, poetry readings and short film screenings as well as art classes and tuition. The studio is also available at certain times of the year for tourists budget, self-catering accommodation (maximum 2 people, for up to 3 nights) with an optional experience of sleeping in an original Irish Settle Bed in the gallery (a free whiskey included!) The studio is also available during the Summer months to artists who wish to work and stay in Birr for a week.)
What's to see and experience in and around Birr? Many things, including theatre, visits to ancient castles and monasteries, the bogs and Sculpture Park, churches with glorious Harry Clarke windows. Lots of outdoorsy stuff such as hillwalking in the Slieve Blooms, cycling, horse-riding and trekking, etc., etc. etc. A custom 'little bus tour' with an excellent guide will extend your tourism experience on day or half-day trips. There are also excellent traditional music nights, Irish lessons and an Irish conversation circle, art tuition, art studio visits, and plenty more.