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

I am So, Is Different Always Wrong Mum?

On Wednesday, I wrote a blog post on how an imaginary spider and a pair of knickers caused a post apocalyptic meltdown in my house before 7am. I went to work in tears, spent the day in an absolute state and only settled when Mini-Me was tucked up after a very calm and snuggly bedtime. Most of the stress came from the fact that although yes, SHE had started it, I knew in my heart and soul that the biggest reason for the stand-off…was me.

I wasn’t going to post, but as my readers know, I’m not one for pretending this parenting lark is easy. I’m not Mary of the Poppins. Nor am I Nanny Mc Phee. In fact, most days, the S is S-Mum stands for ANYTHING EXCEPT Super. But post it I did and I’m glad I did.

It never ceases to amaze me how supportive and kind other Mammies can be. (And Daddies actually.) Within an hour of posting it, a dozen Mums and 3 Dads had commented their empathy and another dozen had private messaged me to say that they too had crappy days; that they had also been dealing with similar bahaviour in their homes.

One Mammy, whose kids are now adults, messaged me to tell me that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and that every mum goes through bad mornings and bad days. Her message made me cry. I went to bed feeling particularly crappy and emotionally exhausted, but Thursday was another day and thankfully, a LOT better.

For every reader who empathised with my strggle, I’m sure that there were a few who tutted their sanctimammious tuts at my post; at my honesty and at my admission that I’d fooked up that morning. That’s par for the course as a blogger. If my #mammyfailure made them feel smug and self righteous. Good. But the readers I care to impress are the ones who think “Thank God it’s not just me.”

Last night, a very followed and applauded Mum blogger in the UK and her equally popular Blogger Husband, posted on Instagram a photograph of themselves out on a date night.

The post initially seemed quite run of the mill, but as you read, it became clear that it was an #ad. The responses to the post were instant. They set the interweb on fire and within a few minutes, had hundreds of comments; most of them negative and disgusted, many of them aggressive and hateful.

Why? Because what initally looked like a typical “Yay! We’re out!” post, was actually an advert for the Babysitting App they had used that evening. “The Uber of babysitters” is how it is described. It’s an app that provides qualified babysitters, all of whom are apparently first-aid and childcare trained and have had thorough background checks done on them.

It’s quite popular in cities, where many parents find themselves without the “Village” required to raise a child. Indeed many of the comments were from people saying that they must check them out. But within minutes, the abuse of the couple began. Lots of people simply stated their suspicion of the app, or the fact that they personally wouldn’t want to leave their children with a stranger. Some went so far as to point out the fact that if the children awoke, they’d be faced with a stanger, (my first thought too.)

But others took it quite personally and went so far as to reprimand and scold them for their “irresponsibilty”, “Disgusting content” and “poor parenting”. Some criticised them for leaving their children with a stranger for an Ad opportunity. Basically, they and their parenting got annihilated by the hundreds of Sanctimammies who felt it their duty to share their disapproval.

Now, while I personally wouldn’t use such a service, I don’t feel the need to tell these people that I have a different view. I am however, also lucky enough to live near family and to have wonderful friends who are part enough of our girls’ lives to mind them if we need them to. But do you know what? Not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has a support system on their doorsteps. Not everyone has a buddy who can pop over for an hour. And as usual, not everyone parents the same as me, or as you.

And we are so quick to judge. It made me sad to read. I can only imagine how dreadful this couple must have felt if they read some of these comments. While I find it a strange concept to leave your kids with a stranger, I only find it strange because I don’t need to do it. It’s obviously something that there is a demand for. Why would it even exist as a business otherwise?

There is a conception that if you put details of your life online, then you deserve any criticism that comes to you. Well actually, this is nonsense. No one deserves the level of abuse that this couple received last night. Of course, people have the right to say what they want and to criticise and to disagree, but when this turns into disapproving abuse and aggressive attacks, then no. People do NOT have the right to do that.

If you don’t like what someone writes, or what they share or what they say, unfollow, delete or ignore.

There’s no excuse for hateful comments and there’s no need for them. We should be lifting each other up, not putting each other down.

As parents, we beat ourselves up enough don’t we? I know I do. And someone else sticking the boot in is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

So without bashing any other parents, what’s your take on a Babysitting app? It’s an interesting one isn’t it?

(First published on Donegal Woman on Thoroughly Modern Mammy

http://www.donegalwoman.ie/2017/10/22/is-different-wrong/ )