Ballymaloe is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. When I decided to spend three months living in Ireland to take the Certificate Course at the cookery school, I knew it would always have to be on the January course, as it is the quietest time of year for me to go away. I also wanted to keep the summer free, as that’s the time of year I like to go away on holiday.
However, what I hadn’t really taken into account, was that at that time of year, I wouldn’t get much time to enjoy the surroundings, partly due to the rigours of the course, and the short daylight hours. After we had reached the half way point on the course, I was able to get out a little more in the evenings. Armed with my trusty camera, I wanted to share a few photos of the cookery school with you, which will hopefully provide a snapshot of the beautiful surroundings. It really is a very special place indeed.
This was taken from outside my cottage, the White House. The stone walls are covered with thick moss and ferns everywhere (and, if you’re lucky, pennyworth), and I was keen to capture this.
This is the entrance to the courtyard around which the student cottages are situated. There is the Barn on the right, the Pink Cottage and Coach House on the left, the Play Room straight ahead and the White House tucked away round by the laundry to the left. Every day without fail, I’d walk through here several times a day, watching the birds on the bird table in the centre of the courtyard and the doves in the dove cote on the wall of the Coach House.
This is a peek inside the glasshouses, where the famous salad leaves and vegetables are grown. This was taken on my last weekend in late March. The changes from week to week are remarkable.
The peaches were starting to flower in the glass house on my last weekend. Taken on 21st march 2014.
I had many a walk down this aisle in the glasshouse. From cutting salad leaves first thing, to learning my salad leaves and herbs for our exams.
This was the rhubarb emerging from the fields after a long, cold winter.
This is the herb garden, right next to my cottage.
And finally, this is a snap of my kitchen windowsill, complete with my home-grown sweet geranium on the left and my salad box on the right. The window looks out over the orchard and fields at the front of Kinoith.
I’m keen to share these photos so that I have a record of my memories, and I hope that may be useful to anyone wanting to see more about what Ballymaloe is like.