Bunratty Castle, 50 Years Later

We had a wonderful experience at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park last night…

In 1968, Mom & Dad honeymooned in Ireland and, while there, enjoyed a medieval banquet feast at Bunratty Castle. There is a picture below of Mom & Dad there, enjoying the communal feast.

Last night – 50 years after Mom & Dad’s first trip, we all returned.  Our tour guide, Dermott, called ahead and was able to book/reserve Mom & Dad “Earl & Lady” of the evening, resulting in them being given the prime seats in the banquet hall. As Earl & Lady they also were given the first tastes of food and other fun “privileges’ that is part of Bunratty’s program. About 100 guests dine together in the banquet hall.

The communal feast is like stepping back in time…Staff dressed in medieval clothes who serve everyone food, refer to guests as Lords & Ladies, and provide singing and musical entertainment throughout the night. There are also fun breaks in the meal, whereupon each course is introduced. One guest was even thrown in the dungeon; he was forced to sing a song to the crowd before “the Earl” gave him a reprieve to return to his meal. All great fun.

At the end of the meal, the main host of the evening, the “Butler” named Jim who couldn’t have been more hospitable or gracious, toasted Mom and Dad and the entire dinning room erupted into cheers and applause, many standing for Mom and Dad congratulating them on their 50th. Also wonderful: another couple were in attendance at the banquet who were on THEIR honeymoon…they were also toasted. The presence of newlyweds in 2018 – 50 years after my parents honeymooned at Bunratty – was a sweet blessing of coincidence that put an exclamation point on the evening’s celebration. I was in tears, on my feet along with many others, clapping at the conclusion of the toast.

As guests left the hall at the conclusion of the meal, many stopped by Mom and Dad’s table to wish them congratulations.  I was so happy for Mom and Dad, and I was so grateful that our entire family was present for the occasion.

Before we departed Bunratty’s banquet hall, we had Mom and Dad pose in the same place they sat in 1968 – you can see the rifle in the background on the white wall.

A truly memorable evening!