Fodor's Expert Review Ballymaloe House
Off R629, Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland Fodor's Choice
This Georgian manor is a symphony of whites and beiges, its drawing room beckoning with fine modern Irish paintings—a lovely touch for what is basically a farmhouse family home, albeit a world-famous one: Ballymaloe is the fountainhead of New Irish cuisine. Originally opened by the legendary Myrtle Allen (1924–2018), the younger generation now provides scrumptious feasts in the celebrated restaurant. The Grain Store, a venue for concerts, exhibitions, and theater, adds a lively slant to the bucolic experience, and guests often opt to take a day or half-day course at the nearby Ballymaloe Cookery School. The grounds don't aspire to grandeur, but they do contain a pool, tennis court, river views, and abundant birdlife. Country charm extends to guest rooms, some cocooned in floral wallpapers, and the tiny, ivy-covered gatekeeper's cottage is perhaps the cutest lodging in Ireland. Spacious newer rooms have direct access to the garden.
- run by Ireland's food royalty
- country-house charm
- quiet rural location
- advance booking essential
- village not in walking distance