If you fancy a touch of aristocratic banter, then sign up for the Adams and Butler Exclusive Aristocratic Tour of Ireland. Owner Siobhan Learat-Byrne has gained the trust of this closed so-ciety who will allow you into their eccentric lives with Irish charm. Step into the world of Desmond Guinness, nephew of Nancy Mitford, who scathingly referred to the lower classes as MIFs (or Milk in Firsts when taking tea), or Brendan Parsons, seventh Earl of Rosse and brother in law of Queen Elizabeth whose home at Birr Castle is filled with historical trinkets, secret passageways and revolving doors in bookcases and fireplaces.
This 13-day tour of how the other half lives begins in Dublin and includes caviar companions such as the Earl of Erne at Crom Castle, Lord Rathdonnell and Countess Bernstorff at her home Berkley Forest, as well as staying overnight in the homes of Lord and Lady Dunleath at Ballywalter Park and the Earl of Carrick’s stately home Mount Juliet, now a hotel, overlooking the River Nore in Kilkenny. Other luxury accommodation includes the Merrion in Dublin, Ballyfin House and Drenagh House.
The itineraries also feature chauffeurs with roots in the aristocracy and an intimate knowledge of private places. Each tour has a personal guide who will ensure you have time for golf, fishing, riding, shopping and exploring charming towns and villages. The itinerary roves around Ireland from Dublin to the Antrim Coast, Donegal and Kildare, and a number of places in between where the landscapes are exquisite and the homes, collec-tions and interiors are of extraor-dinary quality. The tour ends with a visit to Kildare’s top stud farm, The Curragh, and lunch with racehorse owners and trainers. This is fol-lowed by a champagne reception at Kildare Village where you can shop amidst the remains of a medieval monastery. Aristocrats abide by a law unto themselves and Irish aristocrats more so; be prepared for the itinerary to chop and change, of-ten with pleasant surprises.
Date: 13-day tour with independent departures. Shorter tours can be tailored for your itinerary.
Price: from €12,980 (about A$18,989) per person. Includes: luxury accommodation, most meals and beverages, personal chauffeur guide and titled dining guests.