Essential Architecture-  Ireland

Ballymaloe House




Ireland > County Cork








Ballymaloe House, the renowned Irish country house hotel and restaurant owned and run by the Allen family for over 40 years.
Nestled in a 400 acre estate in rural East Cork, Ballymaloe House is only 20 miles from the historic city of Cork, and minutes from the breathtaking south coast.
Ballymaloe is a byword for timeless elegance and pleasures of days gone by. Whilst here take time to enjoy:
A leisurely walk around our beautiful gardens;
An invigorating game of golf or tennis;
Afternoon tea by the pool;
Croquet on the lawn with a glass of champagne;
A lavish five-course dinner followed by traditional music in front of the fire.
Whether for a weekend break or longer family holiday, for a conference or a special meal, we look forward to welcoming you.

The History of Ballymaloe
Ballymaloe HouseSome of the buildings in use today date back to the 1600s, all built into and around a 15th century Norman Castle. Many subsequent additions have been made to the house but all in keeping with its original look.
The Family
Ballymaloe House and farm were bought from the Simpson family by Ivan and Myrtle Allen in 1948. Ivan, a young fruit grower, grew tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers and apples at the time, in partnership with Wilson Strangman who was the manager of Kinoith in Shanagarry (which was inherited by Timmy Allen and later became Ballymaloe Cookery School). They expanded into mixed farming and brought up their six children. Myrtle started a restaurant which developed into a hotel. Now, with 22 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren, many new family enterprises have developed.
How it all started
"I suppose it all started in 1932 when Ivan, aged 17, came to help Wilson Strangman to run his farm at Shanagarry. Times were hard but he and Ivan diversified their production brilliantly into alternative crops. These were and still are the basis of our cuisine."
"In 1943, in wartime, large quantities of tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers and apples were being exported from the farm to England and Wales. The surplus came into my kitchen along with cream, butter and eggs and slowly I learnt how to cook with them, guided by my gourmet husband."
"In 1964 I felt confident enough to open our dining room as a restaurant for dinner on five nights a week. I knew our fo