Blog posts from Ballymaloe Country House Hotel

Ballymaloe Glasshouse Dinner

Ballymaloe Cookery School's 'Ballymaloe Cookery School Glasshouse Dinner' was first held in the summer of 2012 and has now become an annual event, drawing food-lovers, artisan producers and chefs from all around the world. Held under the canopy of the Ballymaloe Cookery Schools extensive glashouses Chef Rory O'Connell and his culinary team dream up an inspiring menu based on seasonal, local and, of course, organic ingredients for 100 expectant guests.


Trip to Longueville House

As the sun shines brightly in Ballymaloe House and the long summer evenings are ahead, some of the Ballymaloe team went on a familiarisation tour to local Cork Cidery / Distillery and fellow Ireland’s Blue Book Country House Hotel, Longueville House.  Longueville House is currently owned by the O’Callaghan family and is located just outside Mallow.  Set in a 500 acre wooded estate, Longueville House was originally built in the 1720’s and the Georgian Mansion is situated to enjoy breath-taking views of the surrounding Blackwater Valley. 


New Bar

Each year during the month of January Ballymaloe takes a well-deserved break for 3 weeks which facilitates the ideal time to renovate some of the bedrooms.
This year however, the bar was privileged to a much needed makeover.
What originally began as a water line adjustment for the above castle room lead to the extensive removal of the existing bar walls, returning to the original stone wall of the 15th Centenary Norman Castle.

Autumn at Ballymaloe

An Indian summer of dry, bright and unseasonal mild weather has helped with garden jobs and extending the shorts-wearing season! After a disappointing summer the autumn months are slowly preparing us for the winter ahead. 
In the herbaceous borders we’ve begun to tidy and redesign before the frost knocks back the foliage and it gets harder to tell what’s what.  It’s also a great time to clear ahead of bulb planting which will go in in early November.  Watch out for hibernating hedgehogs!

I’m not giving up on summer yet!

I have high hopes that weather warnings are on hold ‘til winter and there will be enough sunshine to ripen and sweeten the garden’s bounty. 
This time of year the main job in the garden is staying ahead of the weeds that are growing with the same vigor as the crops.  Amongst the produce in season are courgettes, peas and mangetout beans, blackcurrants, raspberries and peaches. Yes! Peaches – growing in the warmest, most protected (and admired!) corner of the garden. 

The Darling Buds of May

Apple, pear, hawthorn blossoms are all signaling the warming air and soil. The potential for a sting of frost in the air should be gone completely once May is out. In the garden, we’re busy hardening off annual flowers and planting out vegetables we started in modules in the glasshouse.

The Hungry Gap

Much of the work being done now in the garden is in preparation for things to come! Most of the garden is empty now except for perennial vegetables like sea kale, asparagus and rhubarb. But in the wings…or the glasshouse….seedlings are beginning to show promise.  In modules and pots is sown lettuce, Japanese greens, oriental mustards, brussel sprouts, red and green cabbages. In gutters, the tender tips of mangetout and peas are popping up. 

As Spring Marches On

Emerging from the hibernation of January and the potential of the growing year ahead begins to germinate! The first demand is to feed the soil that gave us so much last year – the ‘heavy’ machinery was rolled in and made light work of spreading well-rotted manure over the entire garden and ploughed. 

Ballymaloe on Tour ... to South Africa

It was almost a case of … last person in Ballymaloe, turn of the lights as many staff, family & friends headed off to the sunny destination of South Africa. Well, Sun city & Capetown to be more precise! Off to celebrate the wedding of my wonderful friend and colleague and well known receptionist, Lyndsay Greer to her sweetheart, Michael Cashman.
And from the moment we arrived, Lyndsay’s uniqueness and impeccable attention to detail shone. 

Busy times in the Walled Garden!

November in the Ballymaloe walled garden and it's still very busy. We're busy harvesting for the kitchen - brussels sprouts, beetroot, leeks and swedes. The recent frost has improved the taste of the curly kale and cavolo nero by reducing some of the bitterness. And of course, we're still picking winter lettuce and the glasshouse has plenty of salad leaves - orientals, New Zealand spinach, claytonia and rocket.