Phoenix Magazine Article

July 30, 2017

Phoenix Magazine Article

The Ballymaloe Grainstore is a superb, but relatively little known, events space located on the tranquil estate of the world famous Ballymaloe House, East Cork. Only 30 minutes from Cork Airport and city and surprisingly accessible from Dublin (an easy drive on fast roads apart from the last 7 miles!), it is perfectly located for Irish and international high end conferences.

Once here in the heart of the beautiful East Cork countryside, all your meeting, seminar, conference or team-building needs will be met to the best of their ability, and there is plenty of delegate accommodation at Ballymaloe House and close by.

When not hosting delegates from across the globe, weddings and other private events, the Ballymaloe Grainstore offers a full programme of fairs & festivals (#BallymaloeFestivals), art exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances, cinema screenings and more. Early supper at Ballymaloe House is often available prior to performances. Visit for upcoming events.

Interview with Rory Allen, proprietor of Ballymaloe Grainstore.

What is the Ballymaloe Grainstore?

A converted 18th Century stone farm barn which my father had used for storing grain. The Ballymaloe Grainstore was converted in 2008 into a multipurpose split level events venue. It contains all the facilities you would expect at a conference centre including a hydraulic stage, large entry doors (for bulky displays) and high quality PA system, 6m x 4m screen and 20mb WIFI (capable of being boosted to 100mb). There is also a bar available off the main ground floor events space and additional meeting rooms and ample parking.

What capacity does the Ballymaloe Grainstore offer?

Seated we can host 300 theatre style and our dining capacity is 180 downstairs and 100 upstairs. Standing we can accommodate up to 500. We also have several more rustic venues available for a wide range of events on the Ballymaloe Farm. The Ballymaloe Big Shed (is as its name implies, is a BIG SHED) regularly hosts corporate dinners (in the summer months) and is a truly unique venue that can host dinners for up to 500 guests and makes a superb exhibition hall (12,000 square meters) – there are various unique art installations permanently on display as well as basic facilities. The Big Shed / Drinks Theatre and Book Shop (all still actively used farm buildings) were first used for Ballymaloe’s internationally well-known Food & Drink Literacy Festival ‘Litfest’

How did you get involved in the entertainment and arts industry?

I was born into a love for the arts; food, music, architecture and art. My mother, Myrtle Allen, pioneering the Irish food scene since 1964 and my father, Ivan Allen, began collecting art in the 50’s and bought several JB Yeats paintings when Yeats was relatively unknown. He once negotiated with Pablo Picasso to purchase one of his ‘Blue Period’ paintings – then £5,000 and considering he had purchased Ballymaloe House some years previously for £12,000 this was sadly out of his price range.

On my mother’s side, the Hills, were the principal architects for Cork city for three generations - AIB building, Grand Parade and Brown Thomas, Cork being amongst their legacies.

What can you offer that is different from other conference venues?

Besides the fabulous architecturally pleasing Ballymaloe Grainstore itself, the venue is surrounded by beautiful woodland and gardens. A craft shop and café and self-catering accommodation is also available onsite.

How connected are Ballymaloe House and the Ballymaloe Grainstore?

My parents opened Ballymaloe House, our home, to the public in 1964 with the simple philosophy of using the fresh and seasonal ingredients my father produced on the farm. This simple but effective philosophy is still present in everything we do here at Ballymaloe House and the Ballymaloe Grainstore is another great example of resourcefully using what’s available to increase and enhance Ballymaloe. All our annual events, art exhibitions, theatrical, musical and comedy performances, enhance the visitor experience and our weddings, corporate events and private parties also bring a new clientele to Ballymaloe which undoubtedly brings Ballymaloe House to the next generation of guests.

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