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The Powerscourt Blog

Aoife O'Driscoll

Recent Posts

Powerscourt Distillery set to open in March 2019

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Feb 18, 2019 8:51:08 AM

OPENING MARCH 2019

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Sugarloaf Mountain, nourished by pure Wicklow spring water, and enjoying a mild coastline climate, Powerscourt sets the perfect stage for distilling Irish whiskey.

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Last summer the Powerscourt Distillery began distilling new spirit in the Old Mill House on Powerscourt Estate. Dating back to 1730’s, this building has now been faithfully restored and extended to accommodate both production and visitor centre facilities. An adjacent warehouse for filling and storing casks helps to ensure a fully immersive distillery visitor experience.

Our Master Distiller Noel Sweeney is a globally recognised expert who has devoted some 30+ years patiently honing his unique skills. Passionate about his work and the production of the very finest of new spirit, Noel has been credited for the release of many international award-winning Irish whiskeys and in 2017 he was inducted into Whisky Magazine’s ‘Hall of Fame’.

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In November 2018 the distillery launched three new expressions of Irish whiskey under its Fercullen brand; Fercullen 14-Year-Old Single Malt Whiskey, Fercullen 10-Year-Old Single Grain Whiskey and Fercullen Premium Blend Irish Whiskey. “Fercullen” is the old Irish name given to the mountainous region of Powerscourt Estate and its use dates back to 1300s and beyond.

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These 3 new Irish whiskeys have been released by Noel, whose experience and global recognition sit comfortably in a place renowned for attention to detail, craft and vision. Having carefully selected the aged stock used for their release, Noel also helped to design the plant at Powerscourt where he now holds responsibility for all liquid production.

The Powerscourt Distillery visitor centre includes six carefully-appointed tasting rooms, a distillery giftshop, café/bar and adjoining maturation facilities. We will open for tours and tastings next month and we look forward to welcoming you.

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Please refer to www.powerscourtdistillery.com or e-mail info@powerscourtdistillery.com to join our mailing list.

Follow us on social media:

Instagram @powerscourtdistilleryltd
Facebook @powerscourtdistillery
Twitter @powerscourtdist

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Topics: Distillery

Artist in Residence at The Design Loft

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Feb 15, 2019 11:34:47 AM

The Design Loft in Powerscourt House is thrilled to announce the "Artist in Residence" programme - a brand new series of exhibitions by contemporary Irish artists.

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Pencil: Fifty Shades of Grey

An exhibition of new work by Orla Walsh

Our first exhibition features the work of Orla Walsh, who is well known for her pop art canvases depicting Heinz, Tayto and Guinness products. This time, Orla brings an entirely new collection of fabulous large-format pencil sketches - each one taking 195 hours to create!

Orla Walsh

The exhibition runs from 16 February to 29 March 2019.

A series of other exhibitions will follow throughout the year!

For more information on opening times visit the Design Loft website

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Topics: Powerscourt House & Gardens

Avoca Powerscourt's Giant Meringues with Pistachios

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jan 11, 2019 11:54:17 AM

Over the past 20 years we have tried all sorts of meringue recipes and ideas from pavlovas and roulades, to nests and shells. These giant shapes are a new sticky and delicious addition to the repertoire. The best thing about these is that you don’t need to worry about them being misshapen or large, this makes them all the better!

Avoca Raspberry and Pistachio meringues b

Serves 8

Pre-heat the oven to 110°c / gas mark ½

360g caster sugar

6 large egg whites (room temperature)

40g pistachios, finely chopped

1tbsp rosewater

While we’ve gone for this flavour combination this time this recipe is made for experimentation – Why not try adding 40g chopped walnuts and 1tbsp coffee essence or 1tbsp raspberry purée or strawberry purée or a drop of red food colouring

  • Line a flat baking sheet with a piece of baking parchment.
  • Place the egg whites in a spotlessly clean metal or glass bowl, not plastic as it can absorb grease which could affect the volume of your egg whites as they are whisked.
  • Add in half the sugar and, using an electric mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, whisk until the mixture forms soft peaks and is visibly increased in volume. Continue whisking, adding the remaining sugar in three stages, allowing the mixture to absorb the sugar between each addition. This will take about 10-15 minutes, by which the meringues should have formed stiff peaks. Using a metal spoon gently fold in the pistachios and rosewater, or your flavour of choice.
  • Use 2 large serving or kitchen spoons to place 8 oval-shaped meringues on the baking sheet allowing plenty of room between each meringue as they will double in size.
  • Bake in the oven for about 90 minutes depending on their size. You will know they are cooked when they can be easily lifted off the paper.

From A Year at Avoca (Cookbook 3)

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate

Winter & Christmas Floral Design Demonstrations

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Nov 13, 2017 3:29:43 PM

Ever wondered how to create a show-stopping Christmas centrepiece for the dining table or a beautiful festive wreath?

Join some of the brightest stars in the Irish floral industry at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion in North County Wicklow, where they will demonstrate a selection of festive floral pieces to inspire you to make your own at home. The demonstrations take place on November 15th, 23rd and 29th at 11am in Powerscourt Estate’s Garden Pavilion, located in Enniskerry just minutes from South County Dublin.

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Our floral designers’ easy step by step designs and top tips will get you one step ahead with your Christmas preparations. Using the finest foliages, flowers and berries along with pine cones and cinnamon, you will learn how to add a little extra Christmas magic to your home.

The workshops will feature one of Ireland’s emerging young talents, Harumi Langford whose Japanese influenced contemporary style has won her many admirers. Brenda Joyce from the Association of Floral Artists will create warming wreaths, gorgeous garlands and traditional table pieces. Lastly, Janette O’Rourke, owner of Kay’s Flower School will be sharing her 30 years’ experience in the industry with easy to copy designs for your home.

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So come along and create something bright and beautiful for your home this Christmas. Tickets are €5 including refreshments.

They are available for purchase online from www.powerscourtgardenpavilion.com/events.

There will be a raffle of the items created at the demonstration. All proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Wicklow Hospice Foundation.

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Topics: Powerscourt Garden Pavilion, Events

Launch of the book ‘Powerscourt Golf Club – Celebrating 20 Years’

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Nov 13, 2017 1:08:59 PM

The members and friends of Powerscourt Golf Club recently gathered to mark the publication of a book celebrating the club’s 20 years of success and to toast its next 20 years. MC on the day was television & radio presenter Craig Doyle, a Powerscourt member.

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A portrait of the Late Dr. Michael Slazenger, Chairman and Chief Executive of Powerscourt Estate, who oversaw the development of the 2 golf courses at Powerscourt.

Powerscourt Golf Club is in one magnificent setting in beautiful County Wicklow with two championship golf courses. The book tells more of its story.

The book is dedicated to the late Dr Michael Slazenger, Chairman and Chief Executive of Powerscourt Estate, who oversaw the development of the 2 golf courses at Powerscourt.

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Sarah Slazenger – Managing Director of Powerscourt Estate is presented with copy of the 20th Anniversary Book by past Lady Captain Brenda Quinlan.

His vision, in its brilliance, and his venture, in its boldness, has produced a timeless legacy. This legacy and inheritance has been carefully nurtured by many people for more than 20 years.

The book is a celebration of members, past and present. It is also a celebration of a community and the strong links forged with other communities.

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Fellow PGA Golf Professional Paul Thompson and Jacqui Farrell are presented with a copy of the Powerscourt Golf Club 20th Anniversary Book by Golf Club Manager Gavin Hunt. This is to celebrate their own 20 years at Powerscourt Golf Club, since its opening in 2006.

The book is big in ambition with more than 240 pages, more than 900 photographs, provided by almost 100 contributors. It is full of intimate insights on the Club’s key developments shared by the owners and management. Also, all the Captains and a great number of members offered their own delightful personal anecdotes and stories.

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President Joe Duignan receives a copy of the Powerscourt Golf Club 20th Anniversary Book from John Power – Chairman of the Book Committee.

These stories are worth telling, as much as they are well told. Copies of the book are available at Powerscourt Golf Club.

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2017 Captains Paddy Boyle & Christine O’Neill make a presentation to 20th Anniversary Captains Aidan Daly & Aedamar Dunne.

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Tom Clarke, Director of Powerscourt Estate and retired former General Manager is presented with a copy of the 20th Anniversary Book by Fellow PGA Golf Professional Paul Thompson. Tom has been involved with Powerscourt Estate for the past 56 years. 

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20th Anniversary Lady Captain Aedamar Dunne receives the Powerscourt Golf Club 20th Anniversary Book from 2017 Lady Captain Christine O’Neill.

 

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Topics: Powerscourt Golf Club, Powerscourt Estate

Powerscourt River Walk in the autumn

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Oct 25, 2017 2:26:21 PM

Most Saturday mornings you will find me in my favourite place, the River Walk at Powerscourt Estate, which nestles at the edge of the Wicklow Mountains. With my nosey greyhound Lola and my daughter Molly we unwind in this idyllic, hidden, gated pathway wandering through sublime forest next to the meandering river.

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The River Walk is an exclusive benefit for Powerscourt Annual Membership holders and guests of the 5 Star Powerscourt Hotel. It feels like an extra special place, a wonder to behold, where everyone appreciates being part of the secret.

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It is a haven for dog lovers and those that appreciate nature, most especially trees. You come away feeling replenished from the healing qualities of these ancient and gentle giants that watch over the people and dogs on their simple walks. It is even home to the tallest tree in Ireland, a Douglas Fir.

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The walk itself is about 3kms but it is impossible to not break away from the winding pathways and wander down by the Dargle River or lose yourself in the forest trails.

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It is often used for filming due to its unspoilt nature and seclusion. One day I found Vikings filming for the hugely popular hit TV series. The next time I returned there was not a trace, only the memory of a huge film crew and cast, staging a battle in the forest.

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However the real stars of the River Walk are the trees. The swaying and towering conifers watch majestically as you wander by. The wise Douglas-Firs, Corsican Pines, Giant Redwoods, Atlantic Cedars and Noble Firs envelope every part of the walk and create an ambiance of peace and tranquillity.

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I feel so very lucky to have this magical walk available all week long and to share it with like minded people and of course our favourite hounds.

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Find out more about becoming an annual member of Powerscourt so you too can enjoy the beauty of the River Walk. Individual, couple and family membership options available.

Kerry Gordon lives by the sea in Co. Wicklow with her daughter Molly and greyhound Lola. She is a long term blogger for Powerscourt Estate and Gardens and enjoys nothing more than visiting Powerscourt Waterfall, strolling around Powerscourt Gardens, followed by a tasty scone and pot of tea at Avoca in the main house. She is found most weekends at the River Walk with Lola, smiling. Kerry can be contacted @kerrymgordon on twitter.
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Topics: Powerscourt River Walk, Wicklow

Ho Ho Ho Santa is coming to Powerscourt House!

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Oct 2, 2017 10:19:28 AM

We hope you’ve been good this year, because the Big Guy is coming back. From the 25th November to the 23rd December inclusive, Mr Claus himself (and his elves too) will be at Avoca in Powerscourt House, Enniskerry County Wicklow awaiting your visit.

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While the adults relax with a coffee or snack in the Terrace Café, the little ones will be enchanted to meet Santa and his elves - even Santa’s animals will be there at the stables in Powerscourt Garden Pavilion. From deer, miniature donkeys and pygmy goats to rabbits and guinea pigs, children and adults alike will enjoy a visit to the stables, free of charge.

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Of course, as well as Santa, there’s fabulous gift shopping, delicious food and free parking, plus the beautiful Powerscourt Gardens where you can finish off your visit with a crisp winter walk. All Santa bookings come with an exclusive offer of a promotional Family Ticket price to the Powerscourt Gardens.

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Tickets cost €10 and are non-refundabe. They can be booked online from Monday 9th October. Make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list on our home-page to get alerts!

Santa tickets may only be purchased online from the Avoca website via this link from October 9th. All sales are final.

Once transaction complete, no refunds, cancellations or exchanges will be accepted.

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Topics: Events, Santa, Powerscourt Garden Pavilion, Powerscourt Gardens, Powerscourt House

Win €250 worth of autumn plants!

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Sep 19, 2017 3:48:31 PM

Be in with a chance to win some stylish autumn and winter plants to adorn your front door, patio, back garden or garden landscaping. We have €250 worth of plants to give away to one lucky winner!!

ENTER COMPETITION

Whether you are looking for an instant burst of colour, an elegant look, a sunny, tropical style, a warm welcome or a natural, woodland style our horticulturalists will give you a personalised shopping experience to help you select what will best suit your garden.

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Enter our competition and choose from fabulous berried Plants and different textured blooms and foliage. Get your winter garden looking chic and cheerful with Powerscourt Garden Pavilion!

ENTER COMPETITION

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Topics: Competitions, Gardening, Powerscourt Garden Pavilion

Powerful Powerscourt celebrates record visitor numbers

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jun 28, 2017 10:15:00 AM

Powerscourt Estate is celebrating record visitor numbers in 2016 as 467,000 guests visited Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall over the past 12 months. This represents a +14% increase on 2016 visitor numbers and confirms Powerscourt Estate’s place as the most visited paid tourist attraction in County Wicklow. 271,000 people visited Powerscourt Gardens in 2016, up +9% over the previous year, while visitors to Powerscourt Waterfall were up by +21% at 195,000.

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These strong results place Powerscourt Estate as the 9th most popular tourism destination in Ireland according to Failte Ireland’s recent list of the best performing tourist attractions. The Guinness Storehouse and the Cliffs of Moher are the top 2 tourism attractions in the country.

Visitors from Ireland to Powerscourt Gardens were up by +34% while visitors from China grew by 47%, making them the third-most important market in terms of visitors to the gardens.

Powerscourt is a popular location for TV series and films. Productions shot on the estate over the past year include the historical drama ‘Vikings’ and BBC spin-off, ‘Kat & Alfie: Redwater.’ Travel and lifestyle programmes recently filmed at Powerscourt include “Destination: The Emerald Isle” which aired in the USA on ABC live to 3 million people in February and BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo which enjoyed 1.8 million viewers. Publicity opportunities such as these help raise awareness of County Wicklow as a tourism destination and bring more tourism business to the surrounding areas.

Celebrating the record number of visitors achieved, Sarah Slazenger, Managing Director of Powerscourt Estate commented: "2016 confirmed that Powerscourt Gardens & Waterfall continue to be among the must-see visitor attractions in Ireland. With exciting new businesses in the pipeline including Powerscourt Distillery and the Cool Plant Experience, the estate’s offering and appeal continues to grow each year.”

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Topics: Powerscourt Gardens, Powerscourt Waterfall, Powerscourt Estate

Magical Theatre in the Magical Surroundings of Powerscourt

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jun 7, 2017 9:55:43 AM

 

Join Chapterhouse Theatre Company in the magical surroundings of Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow as they present Peter Pan in one of Ireland’s most stunning open-air venues. Enjoy an afternoon in Neverland on 25th of June at 1.30pm as J.M.Barrie’s timeless classic is brought to life in a brand new adaptation by award winning writer Laura Turner, with beautifully designed costumes, music and songs.

 

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Little ones will enjoy experiencing Wendy, Michael and John Darling on their adventures with Peter on the far away on the magical island of Neverland. There they encounter the enchanting mermaids, magical fairies and the cruelest pirate of them all, Captain Hook.

 

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Performed in Powerscourt’s period Walled Gardens this promises to be one of the most splendid afternoons of the open-air theatre season. Bring along a picnic and soak up the views while you relax in one of Ireland’s most beautiful gardens. Ticket prices are from €16.00 and include entry to Powerscourt Gardens. To book visit www.powerscourt.com/events.

Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd.

 

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Topics: Events