The life of James Joyce: A first edition experience in Ireland with Buy Side from WSJ Exclusives

We’re working with Buy Side from WSJ Exclusives to create entirely customizable and private trips. Our Travel Experts are here to inspire you before working with you to make your trip entirely your own. Private, customizable, and totally flexible. This is what we do. This month, we’re introducing a new highlight experience in Ireland and pairing it with a suggested itinerary that you can embark on today. Take it ‘as is’ or customize it to your heart’s content.

Take a literary deep dive into the life and work of James Joyce on this exclusive experience through the streets of Dublin. Alongside an expert literary guide, you’ll explore the politics, arts and culture that informed Joyce’s work before joining the Director of the Museum of Literature of Ireland on a ‘white glove’ tour of rare archival materials, including a priceless first-ever copy of Ulysses. Elsewhere in Ireland, you’ll have a week to experience the best the Emerald Isle has to offer, from a bespoke food tour of culinary Kenmare to outdoor pursuits in County Clare.

To add extra magic to your time away, Buy Side from WSJ Exclusives will also give you access to special perks, including a complimentary private whiskey tasting at the Jameson Distillery in Dublin. Sampling exclusive blends not available anywhere else, you’ll have unparalleled access into the world of Irish whiskey.

Exclusive to Buy Side from WSJ Exclusives

This trip has been designed exclusively for Buy Side from WSJ Exclusives, drawing on our travel experts’ in-depth knowledge of Ireland. The experience, however, is yours and yours alone, with all of our trips private and customizable. What you’ll find below, therefore, is simply a suggestion. Our Travel Experts will work with you to devise an itinerary based on your inquiry, budget, group size, and desires. Typically, this will include everything from the experiences you do (and the guides that will take you there) to the hotels you’ll bed down in and the trains, planes and automobiles that will take you in between. We can also help with international flights, if you like.

Buy Side from WSJ Exclusives gives you access to:

  • Immersive experiences tailored to your interests. This could include anything from culinary masterclasses to kayaking the River Liffey.
  • Exclusive benefits to elevate your experience, including a complimentary private whiskey tasting at the Jameson Distillery.
  • Stays in Ireland’s most luxurious hotels.
  • Access to expert guides throughout.
  • Unrivalled expertise in planning your trip to Ireland.

Make this itinerary yours

Like what you see? Contact us today to find out more about our exclusive itineraries. But remember: each and every Black Tomato trip is tailored exactly to who you are and what you want to do so tell us about yourself and we’ll create something that’s entirely you.

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The Highlight

This itinerary has been custom-designed for Buy Side from WSJ Exclusives around a private literary tour, exclusive to Black Tomato, that will see you delve into the life of James Joyce in Dublin. Writing in the tumultuous early years of the 20th century, the author was marked by the politics and personalities of his era, watching – uncertainly – as the Irish identity stepped into the limelight. Accompanied by an expert literary guide, you’ll see for yourself the places and artefacts of James Joyce’s Dublin – the city he immortalised in Dubliners and, notoriously, his masterpiece, Ulysses.

Like Leopold Bloom (its protagonist), you’ll walk the streets and catch the sites – from the GPO office to the National Library, even stepping behind the curtain of the Museum of Literature of Ireland for a curator’s private tour. With privileged ‘white glove’ access, you’ll unearth rare archival material and some Joycean first editions, including a priceless first-ever copy of Ulysses, and the writer’s handwritten notebooks.

Curated by our Ireland experts, this immersive experience taps into our network of leading figures and exclusive access to bring your literary interests to life. This unique expertise means that no matter the author or tale that most captures your imagination, we can create a bespoke experience for you, almost anywhere in the world.

What to do

To complement this experience, we recommend starting in Dublin where, after settling it at your hotel, we’ll acquaint you with the city on a privately guided walking tour. Take in its cobbled streets as you gain an understanding of Dublin old and new, from modern museums to fast track access to view the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Come to a stop at the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street where there’s opportunity to quench your thirst with a private whiskey tasting with one of their Brand Ambassadors. You’ll taste four different whiskeys, two of which are only available at the distillery, before the chance to privately tour the site, asking any questions you might have.

From Dublin, we’ll then take you south to Tipperary for a night. Home to the historic Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle, it’s an idyllic place for slow-paced exploration. Alternatively, choose to take it up a gear and we can arrange a tour of the Irish National Stud Farm at Ballydoyle Racing and Coolmore Stud. Home to racing royalty in the likes of legendary breeders and trainers and thoroughbred horses, you’ll gain behind the scenes access to this iconic institution.

Next up, it’s onto County Kerry and the culinary surrounds of Kenmare. Discover both the landscapes and cuisine on a gentle hike with a local foodie guide to discover hidden places with views reserved for the privileged in-the-know few. Reward your efforts with a smorgasbord of local delights, from locally roasted coffee to artisan bakes and organically grown veg. Finally, you’ll round your time off with country pursuits in County Clare. Here, we’ll arrange a unique send off with a hands-on falconry experience. Taking a ‘hawk walk’ through Dromoland Castle’s sprawling grounds, get up close and personal with mesmerising falcons, hawks and owls, and learn all about the unique relationship between these magnificent birds of prey and their falconers.

Where to stay

Throughout your trip, you’ll stay in the most luxurious hotels Ireland has to offer. In Dublin, that means The Merrion with its traditional design set within a collection of lovingly restored Georgian townhouses. Dining at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is a standout as the first restaurant in Ireland to hold two Michelin stars – we’ll secure you a table. In Tipperary, be among the first to check in at the newly opened Cashel Palace Hotel. A former home of archbishops, the cloisters have been brought back to life to house some of Ireland’s best wellness facilities with views out across manicured lawns to the Rock of Cashel.

Your time in County Kerry is then well spent with two nights at Sheen Falls Lodge. Once the summer residence of the Marquis of Lansdowne, it is now one of Ireland’s most stunning luxury hotels with an idyllic waterfront location on Kenmare Bay, itself falling on the iconic Wild Atlantic Way. End your trip with a night at the 16th-century Dromoland Castle where a rich history has been married with all the luxuries of modern day travel.

Anything else?

This experience is yours and yours alone, so feel free to customize it however you wish. Over our years exploring Ireland, we’ve built up a handy network of contacts and exclusive experiences and can help take your experience to the next level. In Dublin, that might mean the opportunity to meet with an expert genealogist and trace your family roots, or it might be a curated tour of the city’s best pubs and a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Whatever it is, we have the answer.

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