Ballymaloe Cookery School

posted on: Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland

Cows in the field in the Ballymaloe grounds

A charming corner of Ballymaloe

I have made my way to Shanagarry in Cork, a remote village near the sea in the very south of Ireland to do a week cooking course at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. And it's been charmingly Irish so far. 

I caught a bus into Shanagarry Village, but before I could depart the old bus driver and a local passenger insisted on giving me lengthy directions for the ten minute walk up a country road. But despite their kind efforts, as the bus drove off a man called out to me. Are you going to the cookery school? Yes. You're the one from Australia? Yes. 

It turns out he was the son of Ballymaloe's owners and was having a pint at the local pub when the bus drove in. He saw my suitcase and guessed who I was. After introducing me to his friends he kindly drove me up to the school. He didn't even finish his Guinness. That's Irish hospitality. 

The school itself is absolutely gorgeous and the grounds surrounding it include extensive gardens including herbs, wild flowers and all types of berries. There are also milking cows, chooks, geese and ducks. 

I'm staying in a cottage in the grounds and fittingly, for a place built on the bedrock of home cooking, the kitchen was generously stocked with bread, fresh eggs, churned butter, and tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. The simple things never tasted better.

Along with the cooking course you can volunteer for activities before class starts in the morning. There's fishing, picking vegetables from the garden, and I chose milking the cows! I'll post about it soon!

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