This weekend saw Sharon and I in Mallow, Co. Cork. We have friends there who were having their annual soirée. We arrived on the Saturday afternoon and had an excellent evening and night. Good food, excellent company and live music in a very relaxed atmosphere. There was dancing until the wee small hours of Sunday morning.
On the Sunday our gracious hosts decided that we should go to Longueville House for a spot of lunch. It seemed like a reasonable idea. A quick trip there and back and get the food in before the Donegal V Mayo match.
It didn’t turn out like that however. Nothing is rushed in Longueville House. From the very moment you drive in the gate you get a sense of the ethos that drives this beautiful place. There were fields of broad beans growing on our right and maize, to feed the livestock with during the winter, on our left.
The house is kept in a beautiful condition. The staff are friendly and engaging. They had the measure of us in a flash and the banter was great. It was suggested to me that I try one of the Longueville House ciders. Oh dear it was lovely. Medium dry and not to sweet. There was a richness and body to it. Not to often that you see a cider holding a head on it.
As we were standing there enjoying our cider, before our meal, I could get the lovely aroma of lamb. Being the nosey person that I am I followed my nose into the next room. It was a large drawing room and in front of the open fire, roasting, was a spit of lamb. Brilliant. Notice the way the dried oak logs have been placed in the fire so as to give a wall of fire.
It was becoming very clear to me that this wasn’t going to be a quick in and out job. We could be here for a while.
We ate in the Turner Conservatory. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and the setting was glorious.
There was a selection of starters served in a buffet style. The chefs explained each one to us and encouraged us to try a piece of everything. They were to many to mention. Most of the ingredients and by that I mean greater that 90% are grown on the estate. The wine list was extensive and we opted for the Malbec.
After the main course Sharon and I excused ourselves form the table and took a wee walk around the grounds. Playing for time. As soon as wee had made a wee bit of space in or tummy we headed back in for the desert. Again it was the agony of choice.
Not to insult anyone at Longueville House we had a wee bit of most things. I didn’t have the cheese board but it looked lovely. Right through out the meal the staff were attentive and very knowledgeable about the food we were eating.
It would have been wrong of me to leave without trying a Longueville House Apple Brandy. So Sharon and I shared one sitting out at the front of the house enjoying the lovely scenery.
We eventually got home. There was no rush on us at all. Next time we’er in Mallow we’ll be calling back to Longueville House. This was more than just a restaurant in pleasant surroundings. Everything about it oozed a self assuredness. It sort of said “This is what we do. We believe in it and we’d love you to try it”. We will too. Next time we’er back in the Blackwater valley.