This could quite possibly be the most exciting blog post we’ll ever write…
Two weeks ago I came home from work on a Friday evening to find two suitcases on the spare bed, one packed full of Dan’s clothes and the other ready and waiting for me to fill for a surprise weekend away.
I had no idea where Dan was taking me, the only clues I could spot was the envelope of Euros on the sideboard, the passports on top of the suitcase and the cute but slightly nervous grin on Dan’s face.
I packed as best I could for the unknown and got straight to bed ready for the 4am wake up call. When we arrived at the airport Dan told me the flight number so I eagerly scanned the departures board… we were off to beautiful Ireland.
After a glass of champagne and a bacon roll in the VIP lounge and a quick airplane ride we landed on the Emerald Isle.
Dan quickly whisked us off to an indoor English market in Cork full of delicious delights. He said he wanted to buy all the ingredients we needed in order to remake our first date meal… my heart skipped a beat!
We headed down the street to find a lovely, quaint restaurant called Market Lane and stopped for lunch and a glass of wine.
Daniel opted for a pulled pork brioche with hand cut chips and I demolished a smoked haddock dish with sauce vierge and a smoked croqueta.
Both the meals and the service were fantastic, we’d definitely recommend you visit if you ever find yourself in Cork.
Dan drove us about an hour and a half down the south coast of Ireland towards a little town called Baltimore.
We arrived at Ardagh Castle Goat Farm and pulled up outside the most charming cottage we have ever laid our eyes upon.
It was about this time that I found out this was our home for the next 3 nights and that Dan had even secretly booked me a couple of days off work too!
Dan lit the fire and I began cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
After the meal and a few glasses of bubbly Dan arose from the table and took my hands. Standing in the middle of our cottage, with clammy hands, the fire crackling behind us and Boyce Avenue playing in the background, Dan began kneeling in front of me.
Out popped the most beautiful ring I have ever seen and the words; ‘Nicola Hodgson, will you marry me?’
I obviously yelped; ‘YES!’
We sat and discussed, over a glass of fizz, how Dan had been planning this proposal for the last six months and had secretly been disappearing off to London to design the engagement ring in Hatton Gardens.
After a crazy beautiful evening we tried our best to get to sleep. We still had a busy few days ahead of us which we were ready to share as a newly engaged and excited couple.
The following morning we started engaged life with one of our favourite breakfasts; smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toasted sourdough and then headed off to Baltimore.
As we were staying on a goats farm we thought it was rude not to try our hand at milking the goats and seeing how Gwyn and Christine made their delightful cheese.
Gwyn and Christine only moved to the farm in Ireland 8 months ago, a completely different world to their old life in Kent, but it was incredible to see two people embracing their new life so admirably. Keeping up the goat farming and still making cheese to support the local community, what an inspiring couple.