As you might remember, I entered one of my recipes, the Mexican Mole Pie, in the Glenisk Recipe Competition held during the blog awards 2013. The recipe made it to the finals and a few weeks after the lovely people of Glenisk gave us a fab overnight stay at Cloughjordan House and a morning cookery class at the inhouse cookery school run by Sarah Baker. For one thing or another, we had been unable to use the gift, so finally last weekend, we headed to North Tipperary to enjoy the Baker's Hospitality and Glenisk's generosity.
We arrived mid afternoon on Friday and met Peter Baker, a charming and helpful host who showed us to our gorgeous top floor room and left us to explore some of the house's many cozy corners. Cloughjordan House is the 400 year old historic home of the Bakers, Peter and Sarah, who run it with their family as a B&B and wedding venue, apart from its beautiful surrounds, the house operates a small farm and a Cookery School. It is centraly located in Cloughjordan, right next to the Eco Village.
The Bakers recommended The Fairways Bar for dinner, about 5 miles from the house on the road to Neanagh. I am normally not fond of eating in bars, but man I loved the food in this one! I tried a scotch egg for the first time, although this one had an Irish twist to it, with a layer of black pudding encasing the hard-boiled egg and served with an apple cider jelly and béarnaise sauce. It was devine, a total revelation. Mains were delicious too, overall quite happy with the quality of the food. We were back in the house and tucked away in our enourmous and comfortable bed by 10 pm! We slept soundly through the night and woke up to an 8 am alarm after an envigorating and restful night sleep.
Breakfast at the house was plentiful and tasty. Again greeted by Peter who made us, and the rest of the guests gathered at the dining room, feel all welcome and comfortable. He told us a bit about the history of the house while pouring hot cups of tea and making sure we all had a good breakfast. Sarah came out from the kitchen after and chatted to all of us and gave us a brief of what the day was going to be.
Class at the cookery school started at 10:30 and Coleen, the instructor, walked us through a series of recipes all based on a winter garden menu. We made butternut squash risotto, roasted vegetables with a lemon and caper vinaigrette, we also make a glazed roasted fish and a lemon curd souffle. Although a bit chaotic at points, the morning flew between the whisking and the chopping and the peeling and by 2 pm we sat down to the lovely lunch we had cooked.
We met some lovely poeple, specially the lovely Margaret Ryan (aka @tipp2chicago on twitter) whose husband gave me brilliant advise on bread making and had a good laugh while enjoying the lunch. We left the house that afternoon with plentiful goodie bags from Glenisk; all in all a very enjoyable experience. Thank you to the team at Glenisk for such a lovely gift and to the Bakers for the hospitality.
I'll be working in Cloughjordan House Cookery School in November, with a full day Mexican Cookery Class, so it was a great way to see the school setting too. Now I'm afraid I must leave you with a few drooling pictures of what we ate. Apologies for the lighting issues, I left my camera at home so they were all taken with my tursty phone!