"Fine Food + Family Tradition = Hospitality Excellence & Sublime Experience"
Our three-night stay at Ballymaloe gave us a new definition of COMFORTABLE. We arrived as guests and departed feeling like “adopted members” of the family. And FAMILY – the word, the feeling, the atmosphere – pervades this place. We were unexpectedly – and happily – befriended by Fern Allen, representing the family (that word) ownership and who could not have been more hospitable and informative. Fern gave us superb guidance regarding activities in the area, and we took advantage of fine weather with a ramble along the Cliff Walk in Ballycotton and Glenbower Walk in Killeagh. In between we were immersed in what we would call the epitome of an Irish country home/estate. You are in a special place when you realize there are generation upon generation of staff members ready to assist…but never to intrude. The House features a variety of rooms (we had The Grey) to meet personal preferences and exceed expectations. Happy hours can be enjoyed in sitting rooms of the gazebo nature, enclave corners or main room with a wood fire sparkling all day and well into the evening. Fine food and fine dining are taken very seriously here, with a certain and strong pride in providing cuisine sourced from Ballymaloe’s own gardens and local suppliers. Would you ever think seaweed could be part of dessert? My wife can attest. No kidding – “Carrageen Moss” pudding. Just one of many creative offerings from an overloaded dessert trolley. The dinner course options can be a bit challenging for choice; let Fern and her team navigate the culinary journey. If pleasant strolls are your thing (and after such ample dining highly recommended) there are several loop-walks around the property that showcase this corner of special Irish scenery. Family tradition is most certainly alive and well here. Ballymaloe gets as many stars as allowed to rate. And to underscore our endorsement: We will book a return in 2019.