Review on Ballymaloe House
When it opened in 1964, the Allen family's groundbreaking enterprise was a trailblazer for the Irish cookery renaissance. Co-founder and doyenne Myrtle Allen still keeps an eye on proceedings, although the baton has been passed to the younger generation in recent years. The ivy-clad Georgian house remains an absolute joy and it now stands in the midst of a working organic farm that provides much of the produce for the kitchen.
Domestic enterprise and a dedication to home-grown and local produce are still at the heart of Ballymaloe's activities and its shows right across the board. Breakfast is a leisurely delight, lunch brings light dishes and the day reaches a climax with lavish five-course dinners followed by traditional music in front of the fire. You might begin with celeriac and roast hazelnut soup before a selection of Ballymaloe pâtés and terrines. Ireland rules when it comes to main courses of roast lamb with redcurrant jelly and glazed carrots or grilled Ballycotton cod with wild garlic butter and tomato fondue; Irish cheeses and a legendary pudding trolley make a fitting finale.
Sunday lunch is a memorable hot buffet, and there's a cold spread in the evening. The wine list continues to evolve and the Allens are unusual in that they buy fine vintages deliberately to lay down; Bordeaux and Burgundy are the strengths, although Spain and Italy now provide serious competition.
Ballymaloe is equally famous for its Cookery School, which is ably run by Darina Allen (one of Myrtle's daughters-in-law), and the whole enterprise now incorporates everything from tours to music weekends.
Ballymaloe House is also featured in: Good Food GuideRate this Restaurant
Jason Fahey and Gillian Hegarty
Restaurant Opening Times
Breakfast: 8.00 – 10.30am
Lunch: 1.00 – 2.00pm
Dinner: 7.00 – 9.30pm
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express