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Ballymaloe House, Cork

Housed within an extensive farm estate just east of Cork, this wisteria-draped Georgian manor has been in the Allen family for three generations.

Built on the remnants of a Norman Castle, Ballymaloe has been run as a hotel and restaurant by the Allens since 1964, although its history stretches all the way back to the 15th century. Dotted throughout the main house and courtyard outbuildings, the traditional bedrooms are warmly decorated and elegant with their pretty wallpapers, fireplaces, portraits and cosy seating nooks. For added indulgence, opt for a room with its own terrace and garden access.

Long celebrated for its food, guests of Ballymaloe are treated to a three-course lunch and five-course dinner menu, all showcasing ingredients grown on-site or sourced locally. As well as the working farm, shop and cafe, the estate encompasses the prestigious Ballymaloe Cookery School where guests can enjoy in-depth classes and afternoon demonstrations. The hotel also has its own outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts, and there are several walking trails to explore around the gardens, woodlands and farm. Those looking to venture further afield will find the famous Midleton Jameson Distillery within easy reach.

Ballymaloe House, at a glance

  • Small, family-owned country house and hotel set in charming East Cork countryside
  • Housed within its own extensive estate grounds, with beautiful views onto the garden and fields
  • 32 elegant rooms divided between the main house and an adjacent courtyard building
  • All rooms have ensuite bathrooms
  • Relaxed atmosphere with friendly, unpretentious service
  • Outstanding modern Irish cuisine served in the restaurant, using home-grown ingredients from the garden, farm and local suppliers
  • Home to the prestigious Ballymaloe Cookery School
  • 40-minute drive from Cork city

For leisure and pleasure

  • Ballymaloe cafe serving cakes and light lunches
  • 20 minutes away from the famous old Midleton Jameson Distillery
  • Learn to make Irish soda bread with Ballymaloe’s baker
  • Tennis courts, croquet lawn and outdoor swimming pool
  • Several walking trails interlace the grounds, and there are also bicycles for guests to borrow
  • Browse the Ballymaloe shop for Irish designer crafts
  • Slide, sandpit and plenty of games for children
  • Yoga and Pilates sessions can be arranged
  • Inviting drawing room with a crackling log fire
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