Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bunratty Castle Banquets

Sunday, May 27, 2012
Welcome everyone to my blog on this fabulous and sun shiny day.  Today, I want to provide you with the last part regarding the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park-Castle Entertainment.

You will certainly be happy to experience this time in Ireland as you move back in time and dine as they did hundreds of years ago. Will you be the one that gets sent to the dungeon-and how will you dine?

Bunratty Castle is an attraction that is touristy but one you should not miss. They are gracious, friendly and happy you are there. Besides, you get to enjoy the taste of a fine honey Mead.



Harpist at Medieval Banquet
As for the Banquets, there are two different types to enjoy. The expense is well worth it. You would be hard pressed to find this kind of meal and entertainment anywhere else at these prices. And you get an excellent tour of the castle. Everyone should visit a castle at least once in his or her life, so go and have a great time. Please tell the staff we sent you and use the discount they have so kindly provided (see our website) so you can enjoy yourself at a reduced rate.

Bunratty offers visitors a traditional medieval banquet and look into Ireland’s customs, with dance and laughter filling the barn.

Shannon Heritage’s properties in the Shannon Region include the Knappogue Castle, near Quin in County Clare, and Dunguaire Castle located on the shores of Galway Bay, along with Bunratty Castle. All offer medieval banquets, so be sure you don’t miss out on one of these experiences of a lifetime!

One thing they all share in common is the welcoming goblet of honey mead!

For forty-eight years, the ladies of the castle, with the help of the Earl’s butler, have invited visitors from around the world to dine at the Earl’s Banquet at Bunratty. Entertainment is provided by the world famous Bunratty Singers and provides the perfect setting for a mead welcome, four course meal, and good wine.

Bunratty Folk Park

The Folk Park’s story is the beginning of a long train of events that unfolded at Bunratty. We are sure you will enjoy your stroll through the property.

The Bunratty Folk Park, as we said earlier, reflects the life of the nineteenth century. We felt it of interest to tell you how this park came to be and where the first building/home came into play!

With commerce developing and travel on the rise, a jet runway at the Shannon Airport was built in the early 1960s. Sadly, the only way for this to occur was to demolish a farmhouse that blocked its progress. So to preserve this small Irish traditional farmhouse from extinction, the remains were taken to the park and reconstructed, using its original stones and lumber. That farmhouse was the beginning of Bunratty Folk Park only seven miles from its original location.

Three examples of nineteenth century lifestyles may be found at the Folk Park. Over the years, many farmhouses and cottages furnished with original, period furnishings from the turn of the last century were added, representing exact replicas of the traditional farmhouses and cottages from the Shannon Region. This rural lifestyle is representative of rural Ireland in the early 1900s.

The houses give us a cross-section of Irish rural life during the last century: a poor laborer’s home, referred to as Gotham Scoir; a small farmhouse representing West Limerick and North Kerry known as The Mountain Farmhouse; and Golden Vale House representing the farmer of means—wealthier farmers would have lived in a home with a parlor and a large, roomy kitchen like this one.

Would you like a preview of what is to come at the Medieval Banquet? If so, then read on. If you want to be surprised, then skip to the next chapter!

We returned to Castle Bunratty on June 20, 2011, at 7:45 p.m., for the banquet that started at 8:45 p.m. We probably did not have to go that early, but it was our last night in Ireland and we wanted to enjoy every moment.

We want to tell you there will be a lot of people there, so I really do recommend you go early. But not necessarily for seating, as I believe that they pre-assign seats, so they know where to seat you on arrival. You can check this out when you make reservations.

That brings me to one more tip: As soon as you know you are going to Ireland and will be in the Limerick area or the area of one of these castles, make dinner reservations, possibly before you book your hotel. They sell out fast. This dinner is a touristy thing to do, but I plan to do it again. We also plan to return to Limerick so we can attend the Traditional Irish Night, which is entirely different from the Medieval Banquet.

The Medieval Banquet is held in the Castle and is more formal in all regards. You are entertained with music, song, and acting, along with a fine meal. We will not tell you about the surprise you will encounter at the table, but it is fun, and those of you with a sense of humor will enjoy every minute you are there. The meal is fabulous and the wine, called mead, is honey based and so good. Better remember to take some home—it is not easy to find in the U.S.A., but perhaps if you are interested, you might find it at a Renaissance fair or ask your local liquor store if they can order it for you. The honey barrel, which is one way the mead comes packaged, is a great keepsake as well.

The Traditional Irish Night is held in the Corn Barn and is a more relaxed atmosphere, with lively music and traditional dancers. It is said you will find such performers in all parts of Ireland, but we didn’t, and it was an event we wanted to see. This alone is a great reason to participate in this Traditional Irish Night.

Ideal situation? Stay in the Limerick area for at least three days. This way you can visit all the sites around Limerick and have two very special evenings at Bunratty. What could be more delightful than taking in one of the evening entertainments each night? The dinner menus are different so it will be a grand treat. If you have two copies of our book, you can present the coupon both times for admission or if allowed, buy all your tickets for both nights at one time!

Will you be the one who gets locked in the dungeon? One never knows who it will be unless you attend the Medieval Banquet Dinner!

If you are travelling in southern Ireland, be sure you stop in at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, in County Clare. It will be the time of your life—filled with memories from the past and new ones just for you! With such an accurate fifteenth and sixteenth century restoration, including Lord Gort’s collection of art, tapestries, and furniture, it is the best representation of a complete medieval castle in Ireland!

Telephone: 353 61 360788


  1. I agree: everyone should visit a castle at least once! My husband and I toured several in Germany--ranging from crumbling ruins to Neuschwanstein--and enjoyed each one. However, a trip to Ireland is also on our list of must-see places.
    Thank you for your delightful, informative posts.

    1. Sandy, I have my favorites in the Castles where on can visit, or own their own-several for sale! Wouldn't this be awsome to own your very own castle and Dream Big!
      So sorry for this delay, I just did not know I could reply.

  2. I have never been to a real castle or to Ireland. It may be time to start planning a trip. Your desriptions are wonderful.

    1. Peggy, to you I also appologize for this delay in comments. I was always told not to bother commenters. Ireland is wonderful where you meet no strangers. Some day we want to take a group back for another chance to know our friends across the seas.
      Come back for a visit.

  3. Rosemary, Having a bit of Irish in my scottish roots, I'd love to see Ireland and scotland one day. Second best is looking at your amazingly lovely pictures and stories of your trip.


    1. Micki,
      I wish I had not been told it was rude to reply to commenters. So sorry for this delay. Some day we will all go back to Ireland and write another book! Please come back for a visit.

  4. Yep, I made it today after all. Cooking is waiting. I gave my husband a snack. We wish we could eat at Brunetty banquet tonight. You make it sound so inviting and welcome. IF ever I happen to go to Ireland I'll make sure to make this or one like it one of my stops.
    Thanks for a wonderful fantasy trip this post took me on.

    1. Clara,
      I am so happy you journeyed with me on this special occassion. This dinner was a treat of all time. I hope you get to go to Ireland and if you do, let me know and hopefully I can get you a deal at the Bunratty!
      Thanks for visiting, and and I am so sorry about not replying. I simply believed I was not to bother commenters.
      Come Back,

  5. Thank you, Rosemary, I enjoyed your post very much! I used to sing Molly Malone and When Irish Eyes Are Smiling and Tura Lura Lura to my baby brother when I was eight! My family is from County Carlow, and I would love to go to Ireland one day! Deirdre (Author, A Christmas I Remember,

    1. Deirdre,
      We had some meals that make my mouth water as well. Lamb stew, fish cooked in so many ways, scones, and their soups. A true delight. I hope some day we get to go back with a large group-so pack your bags!
      Please come back to visit and I promise I will reply sooner.

  6. Rosemary,
    I've heard of this dining experience from a friend and she is dying to go back to Ireland. Hopefully I will be able to enjoy this too. I'm always looking for ways to be entertained and eat at the same time.

    1. You are going to love this dining! I won't ruin the surprise but it is different-Hint: copied the ways of Mediecal times.
      I apologize for not replying but I had been told it was rude to intrude with comments. Now, I know better! Please come back.

  7. Oh you made my mouth water remembering a venison dinner I had in Lincoln England. I agree, everyone should visit a real castle. In a world full of conflict we need to learn about our brothers and sisters in other lands and to connect with our common heritage.

  8. Delinda,
    So sorry this reply took so long but it was only recently I discovered it was Ok to reply. Yes, everyone should visit a castle but most importantly going to meet our friends across the seas.
    Thanks for visiting and I pray you return.

    See you Soon,