Caroline Hennessy relaxes in North Cork’s Ballinterry House.
A relaxing night away at Ballinterry House starts when you pick up the phone.
A last minute booking? Seven-month-old baby in tow? Needing supper included? That’s fine. No problem. Nothing phases owner Ann O’Sullivan and, after seeing what an enormous, labour-of-love restoration job that she and partner Michael Garvey have done on this gracious Queen Anne house, you can understand why.
With the remains of a Norman keep standing proud on the way in, a picturesque wood (hazed with masses of bluebells when we visited) just above the house and rows of raised veggie beds outside the window, this recently opened spot is well on its way to having a picture-perfect setting.
Inside, three elegant bedrooms are spacious and thoughtfully appointed, ipod docks sitting happily on antiques of yesteryear, a tray armed with sloe gin and pistachios to quell any pre-dinner pangs.
Simple home-cooked food is the order of the day here and Ann makes good use of the well-thumbed array of cookbooks in her kitchen. Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking was responsible for Eve’s Pudding that night and the warm soda bread served with breakfast. We felt like lords of the manor, presiding over the long dining table, and retiring afterwards to the drawing room for a postprandial drink and a browse through shelves of tempting books. The fire there may have caused a few problems on the night we stayed, but the atmosphere it gave to the room was worth it.
Renovated, renewed - and so very relaxing.
B&B €55 pps, supper €25
Ballinterry House, Rathcormac, Fermoy, Co Cork
Ann O’Sullivan & Michael Garvey