An Introduction to the Emerald Isle

Kenmare Bay, Sheen Falls Lodge, and Lorge Chocolate,  County Kerry, Ireland

Attending Tbex Europe was a great learning experience. On our first day, our coaches left bright and early from the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney for our pre-bex tour of Kenmare Bay. The motor coach was comfortable and not completely full, so each of my fellow travel writers had plenty of space to spread out.  Ireland’s roads are narrow for these large coaches, and we occasionally had to stop for a car to pass.  It was a bit of journey to Kenmare Bay but our tour guide, Maureen, entertained us with Irish tales and history.  I enjoyed every minute, if only because of her charming accent.  Disembarking at Kenmare Bay we had a few minutes to photograph our surroundings and with the tide out we had a different perspective of the watercraft.

Boats of Kenmare Bay

Our crew of Tbexer’s loaded our vessel for a Seafari and we headed out for seal watching.

The Seafari

Our Captain, Raymond Ross, got us close to the creatures as they lolled about on the rocks.  After an hour of photographing the animals, we headed to the dock, where we would meet our motor coach to whisk us to the next location.


As made our way to the dock, the crew provided us with tea and biscuits which was welcomed due to the brisk air.  Several of us got a shot of rum in our tea to help keep out the chill.

On the motor coach, we took a short drive to Sheen Falls Lodge, a charming five-star hotel with sixty-eight rooms outside Kenmare.

View from Sheen Falls

We were treated to a tour of the hotel and its ample facilities and spa.  This is a first-class hotel. The rooms and suites have balconies that give visitors stunning views of Sheen Falls and Kenmare Bay.  The property also has thatched-roof cottages and villas for families and larger gatherings.

View from the Patio of Sheen Falls Cottages

The cottages provide a full kitchen and multiple bedrooms for visitors.   We were driven to the cottages in a vintage 1936 Buick.  After the tour, we were treated to a proper tea with a view of the falls.

Afternoon Tea

As the champagne flowed freely, my fellow participants shared their opinions of the lodge.  All agreed they would return in a heartbeat.  The Lodge would provide a relaxing and luxurious getaway for guests.  After thanking our genial hosts, we boarded our coach and made our way to Lorge Chocolatiers in Bonane Kenmare, County Kerry.

Lorge Chocolatier

Benoit Lorge greeted us in the small building that houses his shoppe, Lorge Chocolatier.  Ten of us were going to learn to make chocolate.  We excitedly donned our hats and aprons for the immersive experience.


After a quick introduction and apologies, Benoit left us to prepare his offerings for the Tbex opening night festivities. He left us in the capable hands of his apprentice for our class.

Chocolate rain

During the hour-long class, my classmates and I took turns learning each step of the chocolate assembly process.


It’s a messy job, but someone has to do it.  After the class, we each left with a bag of delicious treats that we had helped prepare.

After our long and wholly satisfying day out, our return to the Gleneagle was quick, and the scenery lush.  The day had been a warm and gracious welcome to the Emerald Isle.

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