Sunday, 5 June 2016


So, Bill, bless him, finally got to do something he wanted to do on this trip: visit the Bushmills distillery. I let him get on with it. Soon after he set off it poured down. I've been to a distillery somewhere before, possibly in Scotland. 

Off to the village for dinner. THIS is how Ireland looks!

I think whiskey is putrid stuff. I can't even remember the name of this place, I keep calling it 'Burnhills'. The one thing I do think is interesting is that the Scots spell it 'whisky' and the Irish spell it 'whiskey' and that's about all the difference I need to know (I remember because Ireland has an 'e' in it and Scotland does not).

The second night we were in Bushmills we walked into the village (in almost fair weather) to have dinner at the Distillers Arms pub, or actually at their restaurant, they call it Tartine. I would call it heaven. 

Maybe it's two weeks in a motorhome that makes me appreciate this place!

Bill had goat's cheese to start and a beef and pork stew for his main course. I had smoked salmon and then supposedly duck breast, but I think there was about a half a bird there! Easily the best duck I've ever eaten. 

We had red wine and shared a dessert called cranachan which includes oatmeal, cream, whiskey and raspberries. Their variation had crushed meringue, which I didn't need, but it was still delicious.

The village was decorated with banners of historical figures they wished to claim for the area, including St. Patrick's confession (Bill pointed out this was outside the local protestant church), Francis MakemieC. S. Lewis and John Steinbeck; I've already mentioned John Wayne. (BTW, before I forget it, somewhere on this trip I overheard a conversation between two Irishmen about movies. One of them allowed that The Quiet Man was his all time favourite! Made me smile.) 

Several lovely mill houses around!

One banner said:

The first attempt to emigrate from Ulster occurred sixteen years after the Pilgrim Father's landed at Plymouth Rock. In 1636, the 'Eagle's Wing' sailed from Groomsport with 140 Presbyterians onboard, after two months at sea bad weather forced them to return.
The main wave of emigration from Ulster to America began in 1718 when 'The Robert' and 'The William' sailed from Coleraine, and the 'The McCullum' sailed from Londonderry bound for Boston. This was a century before the famine emigrations.

Imagine, being on a ship for two months and then ending up right where you started. Misery! More recent events seem to focus my mind on the persecution of my Catholic ancestors by the Protestants, but it's worth remembering that for several centuries it was the Anglicans who were in power and non-Anglican Protestants were also under the Penal Laws, required to tithe to the church of the state and prevented from holding office. 

Another banner said: 

The ancestors of William McKinley trace to Conagher between Dervock and Ballymoney. He became the 25th President of the United States on March 4th 1897. On September 6th 1901 during his second term of office he was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz* while attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. The family home at Conagher was rescued from demolition in 1996 and stored at the Ulster American Folk Park.
*Normally I take the position that killers should not be remembered in history; there should be no reward for assassination. On the other hand, people have trouble remembering that McKinley was assassinated, so I figure his murderer has no chance of being immortalized.

Clearly this village has its eye set on the American tourist, with all these banners linking the history of Ulster with the U.S. And why not?


Indigo Dragonfly said...

Bushmills - not my favorite whiskey. Or Whisky. Whichever - LOL.
I agree that the little cafe should be renamed Heaven. Also agree that one can only stay so many days in a motor home before one goes bonkers.
Love all the history lessons! I didn't know about the emigration from Ulster a full century before the famine.

Jg. for FatScribe said...

Ditto on the murderers having no remembrance in history. Some news services need to follow same (some news programs have started this, which is awesome).

Love the US History reminders!