Sure; the weather outside is frightful.
But really, who cares once you’ve got your onesie on and you’re sipping hot chocolate next to the fire?
At this time of year, we’re always on the lookout for the perfect spot for a cosy weekend getaway.
This time we uncovered a proper gem… and it sleeps 13 people (around €450 per night, booking here) so you can comfortably spend time kicking back with all your nearest and dearest at once.
No. 14 Wolfe Tone Square is a handsome (and huge) townhouse tucked away above the lovely Bantry Bay.
Looking out over the famous town square, this brand new Georgian rental is freshly renovated with three floors of gorgeous rooms to enjoy.
Shoes are left in the tiled hallway, where guests slip their feet into comfy slippers (provided) for padding up the carpeted staircase to the living quarters.
A vast, hand-carved dining table is the centrepiece of the home – it’s roomy enough to seat an extended family for Christmas dinner or a special breakfast, which is extremely rare in a weekend rental and such a treat.
The kitchen is fully stocked with everything you might possibly need to whip up some home cooking of your own, so while there’s plenty to explore in the town and beyond, you really needn’t leave the house at all.
Upstairs the bedrooms are plush – just what you need when an epic sleep-in is on the cards.
The Regency bedroom is home to an original 200-year-old captain’s trunk, while the Damask bedroom is fit for a (weekend) princess with a marble fireplace and views of the pretty church across the square.
On the third floor, two loft bedrooms house cosy single beds with exposed beams and a maritime theme that ensures you always know you’re beside the seaside.
Lantern lights cast a warm glow against the prints and local art on the walls.
And you needn’t worry the teenager in your life will need to brave a day without the internet; there’s WiFi throughout the property, as well as a large satellite HD TV with Netflix for those all-important movies on the sumptuous sofa.
Stuff to do
Bantry is the perfect West Cork town to retreat to in freezing weather. There’s a crisp sea breeze, loads of lovely walks to enjoy nearby and beaches to stroll on before a hot port in a fire lit pub. Afterwards you can retreat back to No. 14 Wolfe Tone Square to warm up with a relaxing soak in the humongous freestanding bath. Bliss.
Take a seaweed bath
The Wild Atlantic Baths at Snave Pier in nearby Ballylickey are Instagram gold; the seawater is pumped through a heating system before being poured into tubs, where bathers can luxuriate in a hot seaweed bath in the wild outdoors – no matter what the weather.
They open Saturday 10am – 8pm, Sunday 10am – 8pm and Monday 10am – midday. Text 0852383353 for bookings.
Hit the market
Bantry Market takes over the square every Friday morning from 8am. If you arrive on market day make sure you fill a basket with baked goodies, artisan cheese and local honey to enjoy during your stay (there’s a roomy fridge in No. 14 Wolfe Tone Square so there’s no need to worry your stash will spoil.)
Eat like a local
Bantry is a haven for fresh fish lovers – book a table at O’Connors or The Fish Kitchen for dinner and don’t miss the mussels at The Bantry Bay Hotel. The Stuffed Olive and Organico do a mean cup of coffee and some vibrant salads and lunch fare, while The Snug is a winner for pub grub and a pint.
Plan a pub crawl
Bantry is packed with truly original pubs to choose from. Among our favourites are The Anchor, a spot so steeped in history and tradition they haven’t changed a thing in 50 years, and Ma Murphy’s, where you can buy cans of beer and beans, tea, Weetabix and Cornflakes from the grocer’s counter and admire their antique fridge, which is so beloved locally they threw a 7oth birthday party for it.
Only in Bantry.