Saturday, November 28, 2015

Afternoon Tea at Ballymaloe House

Afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House
The students of the 12 week cookery course were invited to afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House as part of our culinary learning experience. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon walking the grounds, touring the wine cellar, meeting the on-premise coffee bean roaster, viewing two of the sumptuous guest suites, visiting the event center, named The Grainstore, and finally, sat down for afternoon tea. As we sipped from elegant fine bone china teacups and nibbled an array of sugary biscuits, Tim Allen told the magical story of how the home became his parent's, what it was like growing up in the large country manor, and how his mother started the empire it is now. The afternoon was a refreshing change of pace for all the students and some (me) almost forgot we needed to get home and start writing up our order of work for the next day's cookings!
The front door of Ballymaloe House
The front door of Ballymaloe House warmly beckons.
The grounds of Ballymaloe House in Cork Co., Ireland.
The Blue Room at Ballymaloe House
Wine Cellar at Ballymaloe House
The impressive wine cellar at Ballymaloe House.
The atrium at Ballymaloe House
The atrium at Ballymaloe House.
A chest of juicy sandwiches at Ballymaloe House afternoon tea. Afternoon Tea at Ballymaloe House
As we sat down to tea we were greeted by this spectacular spread of classic Ballymaloe cakes, cookies and tea sandwiches. A vehicle to serve cucumber tea sandwiches is a loaf of bread hollowed out, the inners slivered thin and stuffed with buttered cucumber, then stuffed back into the chest and served decorated with watercress and flowers. So many divine sugary biscuits, rosewater marshmallow, brambrack or fruit cake, biscuits, butterfly cupcakes, biscuits, shortbread, biscuits. If nothing else, I can make a good cookie when I get home! Just kidding, I can cook all sorts of madness. 

Being at Ballymaloe House feels like you're entering the Allen's own home, which, in reality, you are. But, because they've been thoughtful in special touches throughout the House, you truly feel you're part of a large Irish family manor house in which you're very welcome. The guest suites are plush, relaxing, sans television (which is the reason the House can only attain one star!), and have unique touches like local lavender soap in the bathrooms. Because of houseplants throughout the House, the place smells of fragrant freshness, which modern hotels in big cities definitely cannot boast! It was a real treat to spend an afternoon at Ballymaloe House in which I'm very thankful for and if destiny delivers you to East Cork one day, make a stop at Ballymaloe House for tea. 

4 comments:

KareninSac said...

Spent my birthday at Ballymaloe House in September. Stayed in the Gold Room. Looking forward to my next visit.

Becki Melvie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Karen. I hope my post was a warm reminder of your visit!

Anonymous said...

A well deserved treat for you all!! I can savour the taste of those delicious shortbread biscuits now as I see the photo and have lovely memories of Ballymaloe and Ballycotton. I attended a pasta making/Italian demonstration which was so full on I came away with my head buzzing with refreshing ideas and good intentions. I do congratulate you on your stamina to survive 12 weeks of exposure to such wonderful produce, instruction and experiences. If I were 40 younger I would so love to give it a go 😊 I have loved and learnt from your blog.
Good luck for your future and I do hope the Ballymaloe ethos will be appreciated back home.

Becki Melvie said...

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment. It really means a lot to me when I hear people are actually reading! Cheers. Becki