Longueville, Ballymaloe and Powerscourt House, Ireland
If you are traveling through Ireland and come near the town of Mallow on the Blackwater River, you should immediately hit the brakes and follow the sign that leads to the romantic Longueville House, right on the riverbank. No one should drive past this stylish Gregorian country estate from 1720. No matter whether he travels alone, as a couple or in a study trip group.
Ireland is undoubtedly rich in sights, the nature alone is breathtaking. It is all the more fascinating to find this pearl of architectural art in the Cork region, which is furnished with precious antique furniture and also offers excellent cuisine that shines with regional products. Chef William O’Callaghan has a reputation for being the best chef in Ireland. For his culinary creations he can draw on the in-house area. The salmon comes from the Blackwater River, pigs and lambs are raised on the grounds of the country estate, honey, fruit, vegetables and herbs come from the huge, lovingly laid out kitchen garden. And a tongue-flattering brandy is made from the apple trees of the 45 hectare plantation.
A more pleasant rest, for however many days, than in Longueville House can hardly be imagined on a trip to Ireland. 20 exclusive, individually furnished rooms await the guest. If you want a massage, no problem. And if you want to experience something before the glamorous meal, you can visit the in-house falconry, swing in a horse saddle, do a little fishing or just go for a walk in the park, and indulge in the anticipation of dinner. After dinner, the homemade apple brandy in front of the blazing open fire provides the icing on the cake.
If you still have time the next day, you can get a packed lunch from the kitchen and set off on a short hike into the Ballyhoura Mountains. Or take a mountain bike and explore the numerous designated trails in the mountains.
The old garden
Anyone traveling through the south of Ireland shouldn’t miss paying a visit to the small community of Shanagarry in County Cork. The name of the place is full of promise, it means “the old garden”. Gourmets in particular are happy here, because Shanagarry – on the country estate of Ballymaloe House – is home to one of the best restaurants in Ireland!
Ballymaloe House: The restaurant
Ballymaloe House Estate has a long history. It was built around 1450 as a Norman castle. The romantic building has been in the possession of the Allen family for decades, who run a gourmet restaurant and hotel here. The restaurant is called “The Yeats Room”. Lovers of Irish cuisine will get their money’s worth here. The staff take great care that the ingredients for their lavish menus are fresh and locally sourced. Much of it comes from our own production, e.g. honey, or from our own herb garden! In the evening, guests can enjoy an opulent five-course menu with soup, seafood or fresh fish, meat dishes, Irish cheese and a delicious dessert such as ice cream. A seafood buffet is available on Fridays in The Yeats Room.
Ballymaloe House: The Hotel
Ballymaloe House houses a five-star hotel with 29 luxurious rooms. The estate, which stands in the middle of a 121 hectare property, is an oasis of calm and relaxation. In summer, guests can swim in the outdoor pool or use the tennis court. Rental bicycles are available for excursions in the area. And Ballymaloe House’s gourmet cuisine pampers guests all day. A typical Irish breakfast with porridge or Bircher muesli with apples and honey (from their own beehives!) And home-baked bread ensures a great start to the day. For lunch and dinner, the gourmet dishes await in the restaurant “The Yeats Room” the gourmets, and in the afternoon typical British five o’clock tea is served.
The cooking school
Hotel manager Darina Allen runs her cooking school three kilometers from the Ballymaloe House estate. The award-winning author of cookbooks (e.g. on Christmas menus, traditional Irish cuisine or fish dishes) is happy to pass on her knowledge to anyone who is interested. Many of the ingredients for the dishes that she cooks with her students grow in her own herb and kitchen garden. Darina Alle swears by “slow food”, regional, down-to-earth and carefully prepared foods.
Powerscourt House & Gardens
A truly aristocratic sight
Powerscourt House & Gardens are located in the southeast of Ireland, near the town of Enniskerry, and are arguably the most beautiful thing the island has to offer. It is not without reason that Powerscourt House was voted one of the ten best houses in the world. A 19 hectare garden beauty lies at the feet of the 503 meter high Sugar Loaf Mountain. The mansion itself burned down completely in 1974, but has since been extensively restored. Some parts of the mansion have been converted into a museum.
Strict symmetry contrasts with wild mountains
Anyone traveling through Ireland, whether alone or in a group of study travelers, should treat themselves to this truly aristocratic sight in County Wicklow. The park landscape with its strict symmetry stands in impressive contrast to the natural wildness of the surrounding mountains. This also applies to the exotic plants, the lakes, the decorative ironwork, the Japanese and Italian elements.
Treasures from Europe for Ireland’s most beautiful park
The island owes this precious treasure to the art-loving Sir Richard Wingfield. He was in the service of the Queen who bequeathed the Powerscourt lands to him in 1603 and raised him to the nobility. The German architect Richard Cassels built the mansion in 1730. Lord Powerscourt was inspired by stays in European palaces and gardens and brought artifacts from Europe to his park. A 240 year old gate from the cathedral in Bamberg in Bavaria can be admired today as the Bamberg Gate. A wild herb garden, the longest in Ireland, contrasts with the cool elegance of the Japanese garden and the strict lines of the Italian terraces, which are the heart of the complex. Most impressive, however, is certainly the lovingly designed pet cemetery. What started with dogs continued with cows and horses. The sometimes touching grave inscriptions testify to the intimate friendship between humans and animals. About five kilometers from Powerscourt House, the 120 meter high waterfall, and thus Ireland’s highest, plunges into the depths and is fed by the Dargle River. The dramatic scenery has served as a backdrop for Hollywood films in many films.