Ballymaloe Design & Craft Festival 2014 | Rediscovering Ireland

True to my word, I have kick started my project to rediscover Ireland. On Sunday, my family and I visited the Ballymaloe Design & Craft Festival held at the Ballymaloe Grainstore and The Big Shed in east Cork. I really love events like this, although I’ve rarely had the opportunity to go before. While I do not have a house of my own to adorn with beautifully handcrafted textiles, pottery and intricate woodwork, I view my browsing as research for when I eventually make the massive commitment to a house that lasts longer than a year! This was the fifth year that Ballymaloe has run the craft event, and it was a huge success.

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It was a very cold weekend even though the sun was shining brightly so I wrapped up well! I was very excited to get to wear my first scarf of the season – even though i’m a summer baby, I really love the colder weather!! Also I’d just like to take this moment to point out my boots, which I got in the kids section in Dunnes Stores! Is anyone else blessed to fit into children’s shoes like me?! 🙂

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When we first arrived, we grabbed a coffee from the Ballymaloe Shop & Café to take with with us as we rambled around the first part of the craft fair. Hanging from the ceiling in the centre of the room was a tornado made out of paper airplanes. I don’t the significance but it was a huge hit with my little brothers. There were over one hundred stalls all selling superb handmade crafts; I was in complete awe at the sheer talent and creativity around me.

There was a living craft area where we saw basket weavers, sculptors and carpenters showcase their crafts. What really took my interest was a set up by Blackwater Distillery, Ireland’s first craft gin & whiskey distillery based in Waterford. As gin is my drink of choice, I quickly and willingly offered myself as a taste tester. It was citrussy and exquisite. My mum, a fellow gin lover, agreed. It was so flavoursome, and the type of spirit that you would gladly drink neat. It’s available in two weeks from local off-licences and supermarkets in the Cork/Waterford area. I know what I’ll be sipping on in the run up to Christmas!!

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Moving swiftly from the living craft area, we made our way to The Big Shed; home to even more craft stalls, but also the local gourmet food stalls that do the rounds at these kind of events. Spanish bakeries, authentic indian, gourmet burgers and my personal favourite, crepes & galettes! I then opted for a glass of mulled wine because it’s the season and all 🙂 Unfortunately the gardens were closed at the Ballymaloe Cookery School so we weren’t able to go for a wander around them but it was a lovely day out all the same. If I’m still living at home this time next year, I will be making another visit!



This Day Last Year: 18th November 2013 – Totally Lekker!



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