It’s summertime and what’s on the menu for some summer getaway fun? Glamping. Yes, glamping.
Camping in luxury is definitely the way to go when the temperatures rise and the weather is a bit more cordial, and there is no better place than Ballyvolane House near Fermoy in Co Cork to do so.The house was originally built in 1728 as a classically Georgian-style home but was subsequently remodelled in Victorian times to give it a more Italianate style.
It has been a home to just three families, with the Green family now managing this successful country house.
Its rooms are filled with family heirlooms, portraits and antiques but still offer a relaxed atmosphere to read or just take in the splendour of it all.
This warm and inviting family period home actually gives the option of staying in one of its six finely-appointed bedrooms or to indulge your wild, bohemian side and stay in one of the 11 cosy bell tents.
The tents are very spacious, with a double or two single beds, and plenty of comfy blankets should you need extra warmth as the night goes on.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the fresh summer air on this expansive estate.
The house is surrounded by lush woods and well-maintained gardens. There are trout lakes and salmon fishing on the River Blackwater, and even a variety of fly fishing courses are on offer.
As I wandered the grounds, I discovered the picturesque lakes, little man-made waterfalls, friendly ducks, two very nosey donkeys, an expansive walled garden full of fresh produce and flowering plants, a tennis court, a pitch to kick a ball around and the perfect place to play a bit of croquet.
After all my wanderings, I was treated to a spectacular meal of roast chicken, fresh new potatoes and greens from the walled garden and, to top it all off, a batch of heavenly Eton Mess. They only source ingredients from their walled garden, farm, river and from the local area.
Before I headed to bed, the staff kindly lit the candle chandelier in the tent and placed hot water bottles in the bed for the ultimate in cosiness.
After a refreshing night’s sleep, a nice hot breakfast was certainly in order. My favourite part of brekkie is the fact that it’s served up until noon, which is heaven for those who like to stay up late and get up even later!
You have a choice of a continental breakfast or ‘The Full Monty’, but the latter seemed the way to go and it didn’t disappoint.
The most refreshing aspect of Ballyvolane House is how relaxed and inviting the home is and how comfortable Justin Green, his family and staff make you feel there.
And despite all of the grandeur, the care-free atmosphere completely puts you at ease. It’s simply a true get-away in every sense of the word!