Escape to the Cork Countryside to immerse yourself in a world of foraging with Kevin Aherne from Sage Restaurant and Darina Allen of Ballymaloe House.
Immerse yourself in a world of foraging. We’re taking you to County Cork for a seasonal food experience that will leave you feeling at one with nature and the quiet beauty of the countryside. This is food at its most natural, plucked from the trees and fields that surround you as you walk. Bend to snip a plant, and learn exactly what it can be transformed into. Later dine on foraged food, and experience its intense flavours.
Arrive at the famous Ballymaloe house, where you will stay in the comfort of one of our favourite beautiful country home rooms. Who said foraging had to be about roughing it! We’ll make sure you get down and dirty with nature, and then retire for a long soak in a tub, and a restful sleep in the quiet of the Cork countryside. You will be treated like a member of the family here, with a rosy welcome and some friendly banter before you head to dinner at Sage Restaurant.
Sage Restaurant is run by the immensely innovative Kevin Aherne, who cooks with a 12 Mile Ethos. This means everything on your plate will be sourced from within 12 miles. An admirable feat which has resulted in a truly unique take on cooking that showcases Irish food at its absolute height. Marvel at the flavours, and take note of what you’re eating, who knows, you might find it while out foraging the next day. Return to Ballymaloe for a peaceful sleep, your head full of ideas created by Kevin’s inspired local cooking.
Wake to a traditional breakfast, with fresh baking, butter churned there and a proper Irish fry, or perhaps some homely porridge with homemade jam. The choice is yours, but do take the time to soak up your surroundings. The leaf fringed view through the window, the simple but artfully arranged food, the smell of fresh coffee, the friendly banter of your hosts. This is country living at its finest.
Don a pair of wellies after breakfast and get acquainted with the great outdoors. Breathe in the fresh country air, and let the grass and wind and scenery perform their magic. Follow the lilting tones of Darina Allen as she brings you on a day of Spring Foraging. You will traipse through fields plucking from nature as you go, feeling suddenly at one with everything. You will learn what to pick and where, and Darina is always full of so much advice. By the time you’re finished you’ll know how to pick, cook and preserve things you never knew were edible before.
Return for a soak in the tub, and don your glad rags because next on the menu is dinner at Ballymaloe House. Enjoy a tour of the wine cellars. Here you will be thrilled by the family’s collection as they show you the secrets hidden away in the depths of their home. Sip on some of this treasure as you indulge in a seasonal dinner Ballymaloe style. Fresh cooking, with no fuss.
Retire upstairs feeling well fed, and inspired. But it doesn’t end here, curl up for another restful slumber, and heart-warming breakfast at Ballymaloe, before taking to the gardens. The Allen family will give you a guided tour of their beautiful walled garden where you can see spring in action. Look at the vegetables and herbs starting to peek above ground, and see the vegetables in season being pulled from the earth.
After all this, it’s time to pack up and head home, but not before you’re presented with your Gourmet Gift Souvenir. A Good Food Ireland Box brimming with many of the ingredients used to create the meals you were inspired by all weekend. Take it home, and you will remember your foraging experience in every drizzle of Wild Blackberry Shrub, or bite of a Ditty’s oatcake.
– 2 Nights’ Bed & Breakfast in a Courtyard Room in Ballymaloe House
– Private Tour of the Wine Cellars before dinner
– 5 Course Dinner at Ballymaloe House
– Full Day Spring Foraging with Darina Allen
– 5 Course Tasting Menu “A Taste of 12 Mile” including tea & coffee and a measure of whiskey at Sage Restaurant
– Private Guided Tour of Ballymaloe House Walled Gardens
– Good Food Ireland Gift/Gourmet Souvenir
– Ireland Food Travel Map