Ashford Castle a blaze at twilight
The leisurely entry drive through ancient forest and manicured golf greens prepare you for the granduer of the castle and the enormity of your pending experience. Time stands sentinel at the gates of Ashford Castle, discarded by visitors and barred entry by massive gray stone watchtowers on the bridge spanning the river. You enter as royalty, guests of distinction greeted by a uniformed doorman by surname. The atmosphere is friendly, yet tentative, as the staff gauges your receptiveness to familiarity or affinity for anonymity. Draped in the lavish luxury of heavy burgandy brocade and thick carpets, you are transported to a world that revolves around your comfort and wishes for activity.
Your stay at Ashford is an experience, an adventure limited only by your ability to imagine yourself a person of noble birth or well-earned wealth.
The Connaught Dining Room at Ashford
While a visit to gaze upon the walls of Buckingham through metal fortifications and armed guards allows a glimpse of modern royal life and crawling through crumbling moss covered rock walls of long abandonded towers draped in vines and the dusts of time combined with a strong imagination gives an insight to medieval knighthood, Ashford takes you there. Whisked from your reality to a life of stately pleasures and granite towers, of well-trained staff who address guests by name, this is not a place of fiberglass towers, singing dwarves and shops filled with sparkling trinkets. Thrills are obtained by riding a prancing steed through old-growth forests and learning to hunt with a live falcon dancing on your sleeve, the whisk of a golf ball up a manicured fairway of a green born only in Ireland or fishing the waters of the mist shrouded lake.
Time is a state of mind, endless in youth and fleeting with age. My youthful dreams of life as a princess have been fulfilled and none too soon. The fleeting days of life remind me that the time to live my dreams is passing faster than I care to admit. I will treasure my days at Ashford as a princess, an experience not even Disney can replicate.