Derry Girls Afternoon Tea at the Everglades.

Last Monday night, I was invited to the Everglades Hotel in Derry to try their recently launched Derry Girls Afternoon Tea packages.

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Michelle joined us for tea!

So myself and Himself grabbed the opportunity to get a few hours alone and moved Granny in to mind the girls.

To celebrate the roaring success of Derry Girls, the Everglades Hotel team has put together a selection of special experiences giving fans of the hit show the chance to become a Derry Girl, dine like a Derry Girl and even visit some of the filming locations.

The afternoon tea is gorgeous. The sandwiches were made from lovely brown bread, (something that I usually have to ask for as most places still insist on serving white bread.)     Egg and onion hit the spot, with chicken caesar wrap bites.  The scones were warm, served with jam and fresh cream, and the treats ranged from lemon bread to little tartlets and mousse sylabubs.

There is SO much food, both hot and cold, and much of it is inspired by episodes of the show.  On top of the usual afternoon tea, there are cream horns, sausage rolls, hand cut chips and an incredibly tasty cocktail, inspired by the episode where Michelle has an accident with Sambuca.

 

The staff were incredibly friendly; chatty and pleasant without being too familiar. The hotel itself beautiful; spacious yet comfortable and decor is a mix of old fashioned class with modern twists.  I loved the mix of teals and golds with mahogony throughout the building.

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The hotel boasts a fantastic selection of dining options including The Grill Bistro which
offers a wonderful mix of traditional dishes with a twist made from the very best of
fresh local produce.

We were stuffed after the afternoon tea, and after having a few glasses of grapes in The Library Bar,  we simply ordered from the bar food menu at around 9pm.

Claire, who served us for the evening, was happy to let us order off either menu and we could have had food from the Bistro menu without leaving the comfy sofas we were perched on!

Our room for the evening was the Andrew Jackson Suite.

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It is GORGEOUS and huge.  Again, modern blues and teals mixed with mahogony and clever lighting, the suite was beautiful.  The bed was possibly the most comfortable bed in the world, it was literally like sleeping on a cloud.

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So much space

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The enormous bed

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Pure Luxury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next morning, we had breakfast, which is ALWAYS my favourite part of any hotel stay.  It was self service and had everything you’d expect from a hotel breakfast. Lots of options for all tastes and catered for dietary requirements with a separarte section if you are gluten free.

The porridge station had a bottle of Irish Bush Whiskey, something I haven’t seen in a hotel in a long time, and on each table was a booklet of all of the local suppliers who provide the food.

 

There is a deep sense of pride among the staff in this hotel, about their locality and their food suppliers and their menus and decor, to the beaming pride that they have hosted the cast during filming.  They see Derry Girls as another reason to celebrate the beautiful city that neighbours us in Donegal and rightly so.

The duck is a constant motif in the Hastings Hotel Groups, with two little “Walled Citty Ducks” perched on our bath, but the highlight was the Michelle Duck that comes with the tea.

Detail is everything for the team at The Everglades. They certainly have their ducks in a row!

We were invited guests and enjoyed the Afternoon Tea with Bed and Breakfast courtety of the team at the hotel. I am under no obligation to write this review and as always, it is an honet reflection of my experience.  All other meals and drinks were bought by myself.

Check out their website or call them on 0287132 1066.

EXPERIENCE 1:
DERRY GIRLS AFTERNOON TEA – £30pp. Enjoy sandwiches, freshly baked scones &
breads and pastry assortment but with a Derry Girls twist – sausage roll baps, fresh
cream horns, cone of chips and cocktail. You’ll also get your very own Michelle, the
Derry Girls duck to take home with you.

EXPERIENCE 2:
BE A DERRY GIRL from only £80pps – with luxurious overnight accommodation and
breakfast the following morning, themed Derry Girls Afternoon Tea with cocktail and
your very own Michelle, the Derry Girls duck to take home with you.

EXPERIENCE 3:
DERRY GIRLS TOUR PACKAGE from only £95pps – with luxurious overnight
accommodation and breakfast the following morning, guided Derry Girls Walking Tour,
themed Derry Girls Afternoon Tea with cocktail and your very own Michelle, the Derry
Girls duck to take home with you.
The Everglades Hotel has worked with

How Many Hats are YOU Wearing?

Recently, a ‘challenge’ circulated Instagram where everyone posted four different images; How they look on Faceook, Instagram, LinkIn and Tinder.

It was fun and harmless and I happily posted my own. It was one of those silly, fun, giggle-inducing challenges and most of us enjoyed watching the collages popping up.

We all wear multiple hats. As parents, we have eleventy billion hats to wear in a single day; fun Mammy, strict Mammy, cross Mammy, huggy Mammy…the list is endless.

We have so many different sides to us; so many different qualities that we reserve for different versions of ourselves.

This USED to simply be our personalities, our “Identity” and we only showed each identity to the people who needed to see them. Now however, with social media and the necessity of online profiles, we are ALL of our identities at once, to whoever wants to see us.

Once upon a time, we changed our hats as we changed situations throughout the day.

We were ‘Mammy-Me’ at home, ‘Professional-me’ at work, ‘sassy-me’ with partner or when out, ‘fun-me‘ with friends etc.

As the day progressed, we put on whichever hat suited each situation and while most of us wore many many hats throughout the day, we were usually able to wear one at a time.

We still do this in our “real lives” each day.

But now, online, we often wear lots at the same time. It depends which platform you are using. There is an awareness of how you are viewed.

On LinkIn, it’s ‘Business-Me‘ all the way; Trying to come across as professional, approachable, reliable, intelligent and to stand out without shouting too loudly. Aware that any eyes are watching and that possibilities are constantly coming and going.

On Twitter, it’s socially and morally ‘Vocal-me‘… Trying to make a point without inviting every troll from Trollville for tea, trying hard to be heard in a wave of wit and controversy. Trying not to tag the wrong person or use the wrong hashtag. Most of us aren’t quite sure which “me” to put on Twitter.

On Instagram, it’s usually more ‘Fun-Me‘ for most people. To share or not to share? To filter or not to filter? To care or not to care? It depends on why you use it.

Thankfully, I don’t DO Tinder… I don’t think I’d have the energy for that craic anyway!

For me, I have my blog, so on that, I’m wearing my Mammy-hat, my wife-hat, my writer-hat, my friendly-hat, my honest-hat, my sensible-hat, my opinionated-hat and sometimes my Fancy-hat. 🙂

Then on my business page, it’s my pro-hat, my motivational-hat, my fitness-hat, my marketing-hat…

Add on Facebook, where again, many of us have personal pages as well as blog or business pages, not to mention all the groups we might be in for business or hobbies or kids’ activities.

And yet, once again, popping onto one little app for 20 minutes can be exhausting as we switch our hats over and over again depending on who we are interacting with. Often, we flick from app to app, navigating a few different platforms and therefore many different hats at once.

… and suddenly we can see why we can find ourselves wearing so many hats that our neck begins to crane under the weight and sometimes, it all gets too much.

There’s a lot of falsity on the internet. Lots of “Just Be YOURSELF” and “You do YOU!” (I’m all for these by the way), but hang on a second. We are MORE than just one version of ourselves. It’s completely natural. Someone who is only ever ONE way online, is probably the one who is false.

Being different versions of yourself is not false. We have ALWAYS done it. We always will. We ALL put on the phone voice, or speak in different voices depending on who we talk to. (Who’s a cutey witto baby gurl? Where’s a Mammy’s bestest wittle beebee?”)

We’ve all got different personas that we adopt depending on our physical audience; Boss, friends, clients, students, customers, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, family… everyone who knows you in real life, knows a different version of you.

Online is no different, and it’s not fake to show all of your different sides. It’s a must, especially if you have a business. The difference is however that it’s constant and it can be all at once.

In real life, it’s a bit more simple.

At home, I’m Mum and wife.

At work, I’m colleague/friend.

In my classroom, I’m teacher. (and even that depends on the age of the class in front of me.)

In the gym, I’m motivating Maria, trainer and smiler.

In my classes, I’m strong and invincible and Duracell Bunny.

In my rehearsals, I’m loud and bossy and creative, and all the things a Director must be to mould 60 talented adults into a show.

With friends, I’m… well it depends who I’m with I suppose. We have different friends who bring out different sides of us too, don’t we?

And when you combine all of the real life hat wearing with the online hat wearing, it’s exhausting.

Sometimes, when the hats all pile up, we get tired.

Sometimes, all of the hats topple us over.

For most of us, we have to pick up all the hats and keep them on our heads; all are valuable and necessary. Very few of the hats can be removed completely, (not without HUGE life decisions!)

But what we can do to lessen the weight, is to sometimes switch off our online selves and focus on the real life Me.

Remember that you can switch off. That you don’t have to answer every message immediately. That you can pause platforms for a few hours, or days, or weeks… the internet police are not going to hunt you down.

Keep wearing all of your hats. Wear your favourite hats most and often.

But when the hats get too heavy to wear so many at once, take them off for a while, and just be you.

And remember, every one has their own style and we all wear different sizes. 😉

M x

Vote Vote Vote

It’s almost time to vote.
And the sooner the whole thing is over, the better.
Much like recent ‘votes’, this election is fizzing with emotion and anger and frustration. And so I think that most of us will be glad to see it done and dusted and to get back to normality.
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How you vote is YOUR decision.
How I vote is MY business.
We all have things that we hope for and expect from our candidates, and we all have our own checklists of characteristics and qualities that we want to see.
We all have opinions; strong and valid opinions, but as I have said eleventy billion times, OPINION IS NOT FACT.
For me, it’s simple.
The candidate who stands for the people who live in this country, ALL the people people, not just the freckled few, gets a vote.
The candidate who can voice their opinions with respect for others, and without dictating that anyone who differs in their opinion, is wrong, will get a vote.
The candidate who is knowledgeable and has educated themself on the issues that they will discuss, will get a vote.
The candidate who sees all Irish citizens as equal, regardless of skin colour, physical appearance, profession, ancestry or heritage, will get a vote.
The candidate who recognses that their opinions are ONLY opinions and NOT FACT, and who can tolerate disagreement as a right, will get a vote.
The candidate who stands up for the rights of all, and who I believe will genuinely work towards making things better as much as possible, will get a vote.
I will put a number beside the names of most of the candidate.
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Some, I will leave absolutely blank. Some do not deserve and will never get my vote.
I will not vote for the person who stands up ONLY for themselves and people who they deem to be like them.
I will not vote for the person who uses misinformed, exaggerated language to create hysteria and incorrect scarmongering about issues, just because they are uncomfortable with change.
I will not vote for the person who attacks an alternative opinion, or who demonises people who think differently to them.
I will not vote for the person who preaches to be holier than thou and who yet casts all the stones.
I will not vote for the person who thinks it acceptable to write another candidate’s name on their posters to ridicule and criticise.
I will not vote for the person who is spouting racist, homophobic and quite frankly disgusting vitriol about people in our society.
OUR community.
OUR country.
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Many will argue that “they’re all the same” or “They’re all as bad as each other”.
We live in a country where it is hard to trust those in power. Where “jobs for the boys” and “who your father is” has always had a lot to do with who got what and who climbed which ladder.
But today, we must vote.
We, the people, the public… ALL citizens of Ireland.
Whether you have followed every interview, listened to every debate and read every manifesto, or whether you’ve simply been vaguely aware of the political rhetoric which has overcome our airwaves and twitter feeds for the past few weeks, you still must vote.
Our vote is our voice.
A physical manifestation of our being.
A chance to have our say.
If we do not vote, really, we have no ground to stand on when it comes to complaining or commenting on how things go for the next 4 years.
If you can vote, go vote.🇮🇪
If you know someone who isn’t able to get to the polling station, drive them there.
If you have a young adult at home, get them to the booth. Make sure their voice is heard.
(Let them vote with their own mind and their own heart. Remember that how YOU vote is not necessarily how your child will vote.)
To the candidates who have put themselves out there, (for reasons other than imposing archaic and bigoted opinions on the county), whether or not I agree with your general policies, good luck.
It is not an easy thing to do; to put yourself into the public domain, to open yourself and your family and your entire history up to the scrutiny and criticism of the world, to take on such a challenge.
It is brave and it is honourable, and I salute you.
Here’s to an eventful weekend.😘
As with all democratic events, some will celebrate and some will not. Everyone cannot win (and not everyone deserves to), but we all must use our voice.
Reegardless of the outcome, cheers to the future my Lovelies.
Now, use your voice.
Vote.