Last week saw the official re-opening of Airfield House & Farm in South Dublin. The estate was being renovated for the past 2 years, offering now to the public’s enjoyment a revamped farm, gardens, cafe and the stately home of the Overend family.
I hot-footed to Dundrum on Saturday, bursting with excitement at the hope of seeing lambs and calves.
I do love a beautiful walled garden, so it was a nice surprise to see the well-maintained space around the house, with stunning views of the Dublin mountains.
My curiosity was also piqued when I read about the Overend sisters (I couldn’t help linking them in my mind with the Mitford sisters – an old obsession of mine – and while their story has very little in common with the English socialites, there is just something fascinating and inspiring about independent women of their time).
Their family home is now an interactive museum, where you’ll find correspondence and memorabilia displayed, attesting to their charity work and hobbies such as gardening, travelling and cooking. The guide lady was absolutely lovely and full of interesting facts about Naomi and Letitia’s lives. Like how they had to write letters to their deaf cook to organise the menus or how Letitia was quite the sight cruising in her Rolls Royce around the village.
Visiting the farm was a joyful experience, I discovered that lambs wag their fluffy tails when feeding, which is about the cutest thing I ever witnessed. I also petted a playful goat kid and fawn over sleeping calves. The Overends were also known for breeding Jersey cows which you can still see at Airfield. They are milked on the premises, so it’s a great lesson for city kids who think that milk comes from cartons (enquire at the entrance for feeding and milking time).
The kitchen garden is still a bit barren, so I reckon it will be worth a trip back in the Summer when the fruit and veg start showing up. But I think I’ll actually come back sooner than that as the sow is expecting and her piglets are due this May. They won’t be the only ones squealing in Dundrum, that’s for sure!
Airfield House & Farm
Check out the activity programme at http://www.airfield.ie
Bus: 11, 14, 14C, 44, 44B, 75, 116
Admission fee: Adults 10€ / Children 5€ / <3’s Free / Senior Citizens 9€ / Students 8€
Opening hours: 9.30am to 5pm (Sep-Apr) / 9.30am to 8pm (May-Aug)