For my mother's birthday, my sister and I treated her to a stay at Monart Spa in Co.Wexford, Ireland. The plan was to have a relaxing break away. We got to leve our own children at home, but treated our mother to a night with hers. Well, her daughters at least. With me living in a different country, we rarely get the chance to do things together, so we wanted to make a real occasion of it. Huge thanks to my sister for chosing the location!
I had heard a lot about Monart and, incredibly, it had all been good. All fantastic in fact. Whenever I mentioned I was going, the faces of those who had been lit up and they they told me I would love it. They were not wrong.
From the moment we arrived at the beautiful Georgian house, I was mesmerised by the place. The staff were thoughtful, helpful and very welcoming. The treatments and spa area were the most relaxing I have ever encountered. But what really struck me was the surroundings and I found myself snapping photos and gathering house ideas throughout our stay. Everything was done perfectly from the food to the decor to the gardens. It was a delight to stay there.
Light, whether natural or artifical, is so important in a room and I picked up some excellent inspiration on this front at Monart. The spa itself is built behind the original house, which dates to 1740. They are connected by a short glass corridor, pictured above.
The modern build which houses the spa, restaurant and bedrooms is an amazing piece of work. Floor to ceiling glass lets the foyer get flooded in light and provides beautiful views of the pond and gardens beyond. It is hard to believe you ater indoors, sitting here and checking in.
The staircase from here to the gallery above seems to float gracefully while the bare, pale wood of the tree adds to the feeling of being outdoors.
The bedrooms all have natural light in abundance too, with glass fronts facing out to the gardens. The beside lighting is warm and reflects nicely off the white headboard.
The garden viewed through afternoon tea my wonderful brother surprised us with.
The room that blew me away though was the drawing room of the old house. From growing up in a thick-walled old stone house in Ireland, I know all too well about dark rooms and how difficult it can be to create bright, warm spaces in them. That is why the drawing room here amazed me. It is large but made cosy and bright, despite the use of grey and black decor.
This beautiful gold and charcoal wallpaper in combination with the stunning metallic-look mirror and white marble fireplace reflect a lot of light into the room and make for a warm, cosy feel, even without a fire burning.White woodwork (doors, skirting boards, window frames and shutters) contrast beautifully with the dark furniture and carpet while sculptures of hounds and horses liven up the room.
After two days and one night, I left Monart relaxed, in a fabulous mood and with tons of ideas for our own large living room beginning to sprout in my mind.