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An Afternoon at Ballymaloe, Cork

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Ballymaloe is an Irish institution. Home to three generations of Irish culinary matriarchs, it is the home of the internationally famous Ballymaloe Cookery School and Myrtle, Darina and Rachel Allen. I had the immense pleasure of meeting Darina last week there, she was nothing short of an inspiration. You canreally see how she has become a lynchpin in the modern Irish food scene.

Set on a farm (where they grow products for their market stall at Midleton Farmer’s Market nearby in Cork), the school is housed in a beautiful building along with the shop and café. I wanted to move there. We enjoyed some great pizzas (part of their Saturday Pizza afternoons run by Cookery School tutor and 4th generation butcher Philip Dennhardt) and a gentle amble. A great constitutional following our prevoious days endurance eating on our tour of Co Waterford.

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Filed under: Ireland


Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.


  1. Alanna says

    Hi, I haven’t posted before so feel like I need to say hello first. I just finished reading about the Tannery Cookery School and now Ballymaloe. I really really want to visit both, so I will have to go on a irish holiday next year I think.

    • Hello Alanna! Lovely to meet you :)

      I would highly recommend both. I always try to go to The Tannery everytime I am home. I also know friends who travel from Cork and Dublin to eat there. Definitely worth going to! I will post a page with tips on where to go, eat & drink soon.

  2. Gail Haslam says

    Oh my god, I am super jealous ;-) She’s a legend. Lovely photos too.

  3. Hi Niamh,
    I wrote an article about Myrtle Allen two years ago. It involved staying in Ballymaloe for 2 nights, eating lots and lots of lovely food and spending an afternoon chatting to her about all sorts. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed researching an article more!

  4. Nice photos Niamh. You’re so right, we all had such a lovely time at Ballymaloe – Darina is one ball of energy she’s an inspiration!

  5. What a lovely post, and wonderful pictures. It reminded me of my 2 day stay at the Ballymaloe Cookery School many years ago. It was my first trip to Ireland. I had the most wonderful time and I took lots of pictures, one of which is identical to the one taken through the beech archway.
    However, the inspiration, energy, passion and enthusiasm of Darina has remained with me ever since. Would love to return one day.

Over to you! Your comments - I would love to hear from you :)