Monday, April 24, 2017


 Ballymaloe is famous the world over, since its owners have been stars in the Irish culinary world, putting this little part of Ireland on the map so to speak with their cooking and country house. In 1948 Myrtle and Ivan Allen bought the farm and several years on, Myrtle opened it as a restaurant, serving traditional Irish food.  The property has grown to include a cafe, gift shop, event venue, bed and breakfast and a cookery school off site.  I have always wanted to come here, to experience it, since many friends have studied cooking here, and have raved about it.
It is definitely off the beaten track, and at times I wasn't sure if the GPS was directing us in the right way, but get there we did, and were welcomed to the Top Room, a lovely room at the top of the house (hence the name) with a view over the front court yard.
Our room is the top right corner

To the right down an incline is the swimming pool, at 50 degrees F, it was not in use
When we arrived in the late afternoon, we were hungry, and decided to try our luck at the little cafe at the back of the gift shop.  We settled for an apple streusel cake, and two pots of tea.  This is a tiny little cafe and they serve lunch and baked goods with great tea.

 The House makes reservations for your dinner on site, even if you aren't planning to eat there, they seem very loose about that, and we opted to try dinner in our first night.
White vegetable soup with parsley cream

From the hors d'oeuvres table

Roast Guinea Fowl

Roast John Dory

The food was quite good, and the service was well done.  Our problem has been that these 7 course meals are more than we need to eat, so the following night we asked if we might just have soup and salad, which they were happy to serve us.    The property at Ballymaloe is beautiful, with lawns, and a walled garden, along with wisteria covering the manor house. 

Entrance to the walled garden

Beautiful tulips

Breakfast was a feast for the eyes as well as the soul.  I'm becoming addicted to Irish butter, and tea.  
The Dining Room
 Homemade Bread
 Scones (another addiction)
 Brown bread
Oh butter, how do I love you, let me count the ways.
 This guy sat in the corner as we ate
 Crepes with lemon and sugar
Jack McCarthy sausages and scrambled eggs 

We left Ballymaloe with some very nice memories, and enjoyed the stay here immensely. It is nice to know that the family continues to run the property and that it continues to bring back guests every year.  One family staying there this weekend was celebrating the 50th anniversary of their parents, and they had been bringing their children there  every year  for holidays.    

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