Ireland’s Ballyfin celebrates bumper year of business


Ballyfin Demesne in Ireland is celebrating a successful 2015 so far this year, with the opening of five new bedrooms, a new head chef joining the team and opening up the restaurant to non-residents for the first time.

The now 20-bedroom boutique mansion reopened in the spring after a two-month closure to unveil its five new bedrooms, which have all been designed with the venue’s signature stately style in mind.

All five also boasts distinctive characters, with names such as ‘Lady Mornington’, ‘Lady Kildare’ and ‘Dr. Beaufort’ alongside the ‘Duke of Wellington’ suite.

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Originally designed by the great Irish architects, father and son, Richard and William Vitruvius Morrison for the Coote famly in the early 1820s, Ballyfin is thought to be be one of the most lavish late Georgian houses in Ireland.

The mansion was relaunched as a 15-bedroom hotel in May 2011 following an ambitious eight year restoration programme.

The five new rooms can also be collectively reserved for a family or friends’ gathering of 10 people.

“It was always the intention to create extra guest bedrooms at some stage but the need to do so came about sooner than expected,” comments general manager, Damien Bastiat.

“Ballyfin’s natural inclination towards exclusive-use celebrations – often across a whole weekend – has been a prime motivator towards introducing five more rooms. I am delighted to say that the new rooms are being popularly received and there’s been a really encouraging demand for them.”

Also new this season is the arrival of head chef Michael Tweedie, whose new role at Ballyfin sees him teaming up once again with Damien Bastiat – both having worked together previously at Gidleigh Park in Devon alongside the two Michelin-starred chef, Michael Caines. Tweedie also won South West Professional Chef of the Year title in 2012 and, in doing so, impressing one of the judges, Michael Caines, to the extent that he offered him a job as junior sous chef in his brigade at Gidleigh Park.

For the first time ever as well, Ballyfin will open up restaurant bookings to non-residents. Subject to availability, a maximum of six outside guests an evening will be welcomed for dinner.