This exceptional cookery school is run by Darina, Rory and Rachel Allen assisted by an additional team of fantastic teachers and technicians. I was in awe when we dropped off Immie as everything is so aesthetically pleasing. The corridors and hallways are full of wild flower arrangements so creatively thrown together and baskets and dishes of fresh produce with little handwritten and illustrated notes inviting you to help yourself to all the mouthwatering goodies. Everything is harvested from the greenhouses, gardens and flowerbeds. There are further artworks on the walls in illustrative form and sculptures.
We were welcomed into the cookery school dining room where big pots of hot tea and fantastic scones were waiting. Ever since we have been having our scones the Ballymaloe way, with an amazing orange butter which spreads onto a freshly home made scone …delicious. We then wandered through the shop which is laden with amazing tablewares, an incredible library of books and outside an abundance of produce from the Ballymaloe farm. Chickens wander around the grounds and there are pigs and cows as part of the estate. The pupils are encouraged to participate fully in every aspect of food production. The slow food movement is paramount.
The grounds of Ballymaloe are designed as an ornate garden and yet in every corner fresh produce is being nurtured and grown for consumption. The student accommodation is a series of cottages and converted barns built in a courtyard creating a sociable environment. Each cottage has kitchen, dining and reception room and each day there is fresh bread and cheese. I love it all.