How it all started at Castlewood House Dingle

We decided to start this blog as a story of how Castlewood House Dingle started and evolved over the last seven years, to maybe help or inspire anyone out there thinking of starting their own business. We like to share our experiences and our stories about Dingle.

When anyone tells you that they are planning on going it on their own and starting their own business, you immediately get a sense of trepidation for them. In our own case we had a dream and were lucky enough to be able to make it a reality. We became the proud owners of our brand new business in May 2005.

Having both graduated from Catering Colleges in Ireland, Helen from Dublin College of Catering, and Brian from GMIT Galway, we met in Ashford Castle, Cong,  where we worked in the early 1990’s. We had very definite ideas of how our house should be, and knew the “ look” we wanted. We spent a long time planning the room layouts, and making sure that the available space was used to maximum effect. It was a very exciting time, and it was great fun putting it all together, if, at times, a little stressful.  We wanted a mix of new and older pieces so the best part was definitely shopping for all the furniture, antiques and collectable pieces – needless to say my Mum and I were  in shopping heaven going to auctions all over Ireland.

, Our Story

Week by week we watched our hoard of furniture and “stuff” grow until finally the house was finished, and the builders moved out! It was now time to put it all together, just like one huge doll’s house!  We literally had one week before our first guests were due to arrive, so it was an exhilarating and exhausting time! I do recall washing our new delph at 4.00 a.m. one morning because I couldn’t sleep.

As opening day grew closer we were really nervous that we had done the right thing. Then the great day came, and thankfully, we haven’t looked back.  My advice to anyone thinking of opening their own business is go for it and take that leap of faith!

You can read more about our house at