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Ballymaloe House

At a Glance

    Pros

  • top restaurant
  • child-friendly family atmosphere
  • great wholesome food
  • quiet rural location near sandy beach

    Cons

  • advance booking essential
  • village and beach not in walking distance

Ballymaloe House Review

Once past the entrance's demilune window of this Georgian manor, a symphony of whites and beiges that is the drawing room beckons to guests with its fine modern Irish paintings on the walls, a lovely touch for what is basically a farmhouse and family home, albeit a world-famous one: this is Ballymaloe, the fountainhead of New Irish cuisine. Although masterminded by legendary Myrtle Allen, the family's younger generation under head chef Jason Fahey now provides scrumptious feasts in the celebrated restaurant here, including plenty of dazzling dishes fished up from the picturesque port of Ballycotton. The Grain Store, a multipurpose space for concerts, exhibitions and theater, adds a lively and unpredictable cultural slant to the bucolic experience. Ballymaloe still functions partly as a working farm, one reason why the grounds—pleasant lawns, "which way home?" paths, and vegetable gardens—don't aspire to grandeur. A bigger dose of country charm can be found in some guest rooms cocooned in floral wallpapers. Nearly every corner of the Georgian manor is used, down to the charming "stable" bedrooms on the first floor and the tiny, ivy-covered gatekeeper's cottage—perhaps the cutest accommodation in all Ireland. Newer, more spacious rooms downstairs have direct access to the pool and tennis court, and to views of the river and the garden's abundant birdlife.

    Hotel Details

  • 29 rooms.
  • Rate includes breakfast.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 04-10-2013

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