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You are here: Croan Cottage Blog » Newsletters » Blog article: December 2011

December 2011

Croan Cottages
Self Catering Cottages in Kilkenny, Ireland
Winter Newsletter 2011
– News on the Animals

– A Bumper year in the Gardens and Orchard

– Some Recipes from during the year

– Local Festivals
– A 10% discount for every reader!
Gift Vouchers
Our gift vouchers are always popular at this time of the year.
If you know someone who might enjoy a break in beautiful Kilkenny, why not get them one for Christmas?

The vouchers are available for any amount and we can even peronalise the voucher for you.

You can buy the vouchers on our website or give us a call and we will post them to you.

Christmas Breaks 2011
There is very limited availability for breaks over the Christmas Holidays at Croan Cottages.

Visit our website to check availability and to book online!
Award winning Croan Cottages
Croan Cottages in the Press
Positive praise is always nice to receive and were delighted with this review of Croan Cottages on traveleditor.com

Croan Cottages Winter 2011
As December has arrived and temperatures are beginning to dip a little, we’re thankful for the mild, Autumnal November we’ve enjoyed.
We are even more grateful that last year’s Arctic temperatures have not made a reappearance.
Cool, bright days are perfect for getting outside to take a walk and it’s so nice to curl up in front of a roaring log fire on these chilly evenings and look back over our eighth year here at Croan Cottages.
Despite continuing talk of economic doom and gloom, Croan continues to thrive. The combination of our commitment to offering good value to our guests and the government’s reduction of tourism related taxes has meant that we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming many new guests and old friends to Croan Cottages this year.
We’re also planning a new pricing trial for January and February, so keep an eye on our website for details of some very special offers!
Thinking about taking a break over the Christmas period? Why not visit Kilkenny and enjoy some wonderful Christmas markets, concerts and food?
Of course, we’d like you to stay with us while you are here:-)
Visit our website at www.CroanCottages.com to check availability.
News on the Animals
It’s been a mixed year on the animal husbandry front. Our cow had her second successive phantom pregnancy this year and we’ve decided she’d fare better in a herd with a resident bull.
She’ll be leaving Croan in the next few weeks and we’ll be sorry to lose her. She’ll be replaced by a new heifer in the spring and we look forward to a new baby calf in the early Summer.
The arrival of “Sheep”
Our sheep flock continues to thrive. While some farms and small holdings employ a sheepdog to round up their flocks, we have two very excitable dogs who create more mayhem than order in the task.
The ironic solution has been to train a sheep-sheep. One of the orphan lambs that we took in during the Spring was bottle-fed and raised by hand. She has become a very tame creature who’s so happy to hang out with us, that she charges up the field towards us whenever we walk by.
Her siblings, being sheep of course, follow her to see what’s going on, with the result that we can direct them all anywhere we like! As is the tradition at Croan, we allowed one of our younger guests to name this particularly friendly lamb shortly after she came to stay with us. He decided, very appropriately, that she should be called “Sheep” and so we have a sheep-sheep called Sheep!
Daisy and Bill the goats continue to perform invaluable work in keeping our hedgerows trim and tidy.
New Chicks
We had an unwelcome visit from a hungry fox in June and unfortunately lost most of our hens. A very kind neighbour brought us two replacements, along with a box of fertile eggs which we incubated and hatched.
We now have a very healthy flock of hens and guinea fowl (who think they’re hens) and we’re looking forward to plentiful fresh eggs when they’re a little more mature.

All of the young chicks share a roost in the hen house, supervised by the older hens!
News from the Garden
The gardens at Croan have been incredibly bountiful this year. We’re not sure if the hard Winter last year had any impact, but we certainly had an enormous crop this year, particularly our fruit crops.

As always, we shared the bounty with guests and left ripe fruit and veg at the cottages for people to help themselves.

Strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries were both very abundant and delicious and the orchard fruits have continued right up to now. We even had one apple tree that fruited so heavily, it snapped a branch! Potatoes were much more successful than last year, with much less trouble from blight.
The greenhouse provided a plentiful supply of tomatoes and salad crops. Here are a couple of recipes for your to try:
We post recipes on our blog and our Facebook page thoughout the year. Be sure to visit to get copies.
Pumpkin Carving – Again
Continuing the tradition we started last year, there were lots of pumpkins to carve over the Halloween weekend. The results ranged from the hilarious to the downright disturbed 🙂
New Trees
Though there’s not much to do in the gardens at this time of year, we’re beginning to plan for next year and have sourced some new nut trees (almonds and walnuts) for the orchard and mushrooms and truffles for our newly planted ash grove. We very much look forward to these particular harvests!
We had a request from our local preschool to allow the children visit for their annual trip in June. We welcomed a bus load of four year olds who helped to feed the animals, identify trees and birds and pick strawberries – they were particularly good at the latter! An afternoon of games on the lawn and a picnic completed the visit and great fun was had by all.
Local Festivals
It’s been a great year for festivals and events and so many were free of charge. The Tall Ships Festival in Waterford was a highlight of the year and it was our pleasure to host Indiana folk musicians Hogeye Navvy whose performances at the Festival and in our local pub, Delaney’s, were truly memorable.
The annual Kilkenny Arts Festival continues to showcase the very best of local and international talent and the street theatre programme this year was the best yet.
Local events such as the Happy Valley Festival and John Martyn Tribute festival in Thomastown provided a wealth of musical talent, along with the very best of local foods and crafts.
Building upon the fantastic range of talent available in our area, Kilkenny tourism have compiled a series of Trails, for lovers of Food, Crafts, Walking and Cycling. Maps and details are available from TrailKilkenny.ie and also in the information and activity folders in our cottages. The Castlemorris Trail is right on our doorstep and is ideal for those who like a moderate challenge and those visiting with dogs.
Local Winner
Speaking of local food, we wish hearty congratulations to our friends Robert and Helen Finnegan of Knockdrinna Cheese in nearby Stonyford. Their Kilree goat’s cheese was not only selected (and enjoyed!) by Her Majesty the Queen during her recent visit, it won the prize of Supreme cheese at the British Cheese awards. It’s absolutely delicious and we urge you to try it when you’re next in the area.
Discounts for newsletter subscribers
As this review comes to a close, we’d like to offer you all a 10% discount on all 2012 bookings. The discount also applies to our gift vouchers!
Simply use the code ‘dec2011’ when paying for your booking to receive the discount.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Niamh and Francis
Have you enjoyed a stay at Croan Cottages in the past? If so, please post a review on TripAdvisor by clicking on this link

Croan Cottages, Dunamaggan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland, http://www.croancottages.com

Phone: +353 (056) 776 6868
email: info@croancottages.com

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