With views of Ballycotton seen across beautiful East Cork farmland, Geraldine Kidd’s sensitively converted seventeenth century house is located just a stone’s throw from the gates of Ballymaloe House. While renowned as a wedding and private events venue, it is also open to the public for Sunday lunch and to small groups for dinner.
The house, which dates back to 1639, has been owned by Geraldine Kidd since 1996 and she has brought it back to life. The ruined coach house and stables have been painstakingly restored and are now private guest rooms, while a custom-built dining hall can seat up to 150 guests.
Better still, Barnabrow is an environmentally aware property with an organic Victorian walled garden, and their land is a wildlife sanctuary as well as being home to Geraldine’s own free-range geese, ducks, hens, goats and donkeys. Work is also currently under way to develop a decorative garden with a triskel theme.
The bedrooms tastefully combine a feeling of luxury and comfort and the rooms in the main house are particularly spacious and airy. Some exotic additions to the décor include hardwood flooring from environmentally managed forests in Zimbabwe and furniture made from recycled teak railway sleepers from Botswana.
Chef Stuart Bowes joined the team at Barnabrow in June 2012 after working for several years at Hayfield Manor. Before that, he spent six years at Dublin's Chapter One and completed a year-long advanced chocolate course. Under Stuart’s influence, the food at Barnabrow now focuses on local, organic and seasonal ingredients, including produce from the house’s own garden and greenhouse. He also runs cookery courses and chef’s table dinners for small groups.
The name Barnabrow comes from Bar na Brugha in Gaelic, which translates as ‘top of the fairy fort’ (local legend has it that there was once a fairy fort on the lands). At any rate, the name is fitting for the house’s hilltop setting on 30 acres of parkland. With beautiful views of the rolling Cork countryside sweeping down to Ballycotton Bay, you’ll agree that there’s a touch of magic to Barnabrow.