Our food aims to emulate the best Irish Country House cooking in its emphasis on fresh home grown produce. Breakfast consists of porridge, made with Macroom stone-ground oatmeal, bircher muesli made with our own apples, seasonal fruit compotes and home-made yoghurt from the cookery school. Our bread is baked daily by our baker Ann who arrives at 6am-traditional Irish soda breads and spotted dogs, Ballymaloe brown yeast bread and scones. Our jams are made from our own fruit-perhaps rhubarb and ginger or gooseberry and elderflower. Cooked breakfasts are made with our own eggs, bacon and sausages. Coffee is hand- roasted in one of our farm buildings and when possible honey comes from our own bee hives.
Full three course lunches are served in the restaurant. Light lunches can be taken in the conservatory. There are vegetable soups, selections of our home-smoked fish or local cheeses served on home made wooden boards and walled-garden salads.
Afternoon tea is served to residents every afternoon in the drawing room and conservatory. There is a selection of loose leaf tea and a home made cake.
We provide children’s tea every day on a long table in the conservatory. There is perhaps roast chicken or roast lamb with walled-garden vegetables. Home made lemonade, fruit cordials, ice cream and brown sugar meringues are also served.
Our five course dinner menu begins with a soup, a salad or sorbet followed by a second course which might feature seafood and fresh fish, seasonal vegetables and pâté and terrines. A typical summer menu might consist of a starter of pea and coriander soup or sweet geranium sorbet, followed by a second course of a purslane and lobster salad, freshly caught pollock and a chicken liver terrine.
Our main courses feature locally reared meat and poultry and the catch of the day. Our vegetarian option features our walled-garden produce.-perhaps roast onion squash with Coolea cheese and green beans and basil pesto or an aubergine gratin.
There is a trolley of a selection of Irish cheeses and biscuits.
Our dessert trolley is made up of a fruit fools, compotes, tarts, mousses, possets and meringues as well as ice cream served in a decorated ice bowl.
Coffee and herbal infusions are served at the end of the meal together with our own petits fours.
On Friday evening we have a seafood hors d’oeuvres buffet. This features the best Irish seafood- lobster, oysters, mussels and crab as well as our own smoked mackerel and hake.
On Sunday evening we serve a cold buffet of cooked meats and walled-garden salads and vegetable dishes-perhaps a glazed Gubbeen Ham and Norah Ahern’s turkey as well as local beef and lamb. In summer we might have wild Blackwater salmon. These are served with pickled cucumbers, onions monagesque and home made chutneys and sauces.