My week-long Midlands adventure was wonderful, and the best part of it was my two-night stay at Longford Country House. My room there was clean, comfortable and quiet; the breakfast room and lounge were warm, well-lit and beautifully furnished and the traditional Irish breakfasts were delicious — especially Patricia’s home-made damson jam! Of course the real treasure of Ireland is its people; friendly, kind, generous and engaging. Patricia and her family are proof of that. I enjoyed delightful conversations with them. Both the house and the surrounding countryside are lovely. Although Longford Country House is a bit far from town to walk, if Pat was going into town, she gladly adjusted her plans so she could take me with her when I wanted to go. A couple of times I used Ted’s Taxi Service, which was also a treat. Ted, a friend of Patricia’s, is a great guy. He and I quickly became friends. He showed me parts of the area, including a peat bog and turf-cutting-and-drying operation, I might not otherwise have experienced. He was a perfect guide and companion. Ted recommended (and drove me to) the Purple Onion restaurant in the neighbouring village of Tarmonberry, where I enjoyed the best lamb-chop dinner ever. On our way there, he told me something about Patricia I’d never have guessed, judging from her fairly matter-of-fact demeanour: she’s a terrific dancer, he said, and always the life of the party! If you’re visiting Longford, there’s only one place to stay: Longford Country House.