“The Yeats Experience”: A Local Lunch with Irish Poet, W. B. Yeats in Sligo
Discovering this hidden gem
Most historical museums bore me. Sorry to be so uncultured, but they probably bore you too. However I love a good story, especially one that’s true. We’ve all had one of those great teachers who make history jump off the page and feel relevant and interesting. It should be more like storytelling and less like reading a textbook! That’s why I was instantly intrigued when I discovered “The Yeats Experience” in Sligo, Ireland. It sounded like exactly the experience I was looking for.
I quickly shed my guilt over not wanting to visit a museum about William Butler Yeats and emailed Damien to inquire about pricing (with my tight budget) and scheduling (I can be both unpredictable and unstructured with my travel plans). He got back to me right away and all was settled. Fine dining with W. B. Yeats for just 30€! Damien was able to squeeze me in for a Saturday lunch!
Not being used to written driving directions anymore, I got a bit turned around before I found myself at the Broc House, driving past the garden that grew some of the lunch I was about to eat. A smiling, silver-bunned Damien greeted me at the open door and his lovely wife, Paula, welcomed me into their cozy, modern home.
Falling for the Broc House
Exploring the place, I first met the chickens in the coop out back. I was instantly jealous of their view of Loch Gill with its expansive blue-gray water and background of shockingly green hills. The Irish sun had even decided to greet us with its presence for a moment!
Inside their home, I soon learned Damien has been collecting art for years. I instantly fell in love with his collection and found several pieces I would’ve loved to pluck off the wall and take home with me! They even had a few beautiful drawings of family their daughter had made them. Their aesthetic is just
my style, which just made me want to move on in. I did ask if they were looking for a housemate, but no such luck!
Their fireplace roared with a bit of extra warmth from the open family room. Thick hardcover books were perfectly piled on the slatted wooden staircase. It was HGTV gold! I already felt at home. After a bit of chatting with the other guests, the experience began!
“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” –W. B. Yeats
I hadn’t known much about W. B.Yeats beforehand, so it was great to hear, feel, see, and taste elements of Sligo that he once knew; to feel intertwined with him for the first time at the Broc House. In an effort to not ruin the magic, here are five reasons why Yeats is a more interesting guy than you probably know or realize.
5 Reasons W. B. Yeats is More Interesting Than You Realize
- Yeats was very curious about fairy folk (‘aos sí’ in Gaelic) and experimented with everything from ouija boards to thought transference.
- Many of the most important moments in W. B. Yeats’ life happened over tea. Over what you could call ‘intellectual tea parties’ Yeats learned how to argue, think, and speak with power.
- W. B. Yeats’ father, Jack Butler Yeats, was a prized painter but he was so critical of his own work that he never completed his projects, leaving his wealthy family on the edge of poverty.
- W. B. Yeats was the first Irishman to win the Nobel prize, for Literature in 1923
- William fell in love with a beautifully elegant French girl with high cheekbones, about whom he wrote my favorite of his poems, ‘The Song of Wandering Angus’…
…And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
Why I Loved It
To get an honest glimpse into the life and mind of poet, William Butler Yeats, I couldn’t recommend “The Yeats Experience” more. Damien’s passion and knowledge paired with Paula’s restaurant-quality, locally sourced meal are just perfection.
As I look out onto Lough Gill, Yeats’ favorite place in the world, his words feel weightier, more transparent. For a moment, over tea, I am transported to another time and another place altogether.
Come away, O human child: To the waters and the wild with a fairy, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand. –W. B. Yeats
Contact Damien & Paula about booking your experience: http://www.yeatssligoireland.com/contact/