Susan O'Keefe from the National Geographic recently spent time in Cork City and beyond, including a visit to Ballymaloe House Hotel and Ballymaloe Cookery School
Myrtle Allen opened Ballymaloe House in rural Shanagarry (about 20 miles east of Cork) 50 years ago as a small restaurant where she served traditional Irish dishes made with vegetables and herbs from her husband’s farm. Since then, this gracious country house, still run by the affable Allen clan, has evolved into a 30-room inn and a hive of activity. Morning breakfasts are cozy fireside affairs with farm-to-table eggs and bacon, local stone-ground oatmeal, and homemade soda bread.
In the afternoon, view wildflowers along the Ballycotton cliff walk, tour the estate’s eclectic art collection, or make a field trip to the Cookery School. Founded by the dynamic Darina Allen (referred to as the “Julia Child of Ireland”), this state-of-the-art facility sits in the middle of a 100-acre organic garden. Culinary students from all over Europe board in charming stone cottages on the grounds, a kitchen shop stocks picnic provisions; a weekend pop-up restaurant serves homemade pizza. If you’re lucky, Darina herself will lead a tour through the house made entirely of shells (an anniversary gift to her husband).You can read the full article on the National Geographic website