I just love summertime at Ballymaloe and this year’s hot summer days have been so welcomed. Would you believe, for the first time in years, there was no fire lit in the drawing room during the month of July! Being down by the swimming pool, listening to the children squealing with delight as they jumped into the water, made me smile. There is always a grandchild or even great grandchild around to entertain both the guests and staff! Each afternoon my colleagues and I served many dressed Pimms cocktails by the poolside, brimming with delicious ripe strawberries, cucumber & fresh mint from the garden, they went down a treat as did our strawberry mojitos! For the kids the ever popular summer “Shirley Temple” cocktail - 7up with Grenadine - was in high demand! Champagne and our Elderflower martini cocktails went down a treat before dinner as guests enjoyed the last of the evening sun sitting outside the front of the house. While drinks were enjoyed the main debate was what was growing in the fields? Wheat or Barley? Either way, the golden crop looked heavenly in the setting sun. And after a successful harvest all the grain has been safely stored! So summer continues and more guests arrive looking forward to catching up on everything that has happened in Ballymaloe: Who’s had a baby? Who’s having a baby? Who got engaged? Well we’ll tell you all on your next visit. But for now, I’m off to make more cocktails. Daphne

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