Assolas Country House – Kanturk, Cork, Ireland
One of the Best for Peace, Quiet, and Good Food
Winner of the much-coveted National Gardens Award, the postcard- perfect Assolas welcomes guests like family—one couldn’t hope to be treated more royally than at the memorable meals orchestrated in the red jewel-box Queen Anne dining room. The 17th-century vine-covered Assolas is run by consummate hosts: it has been the Bourke family home for generations, and it is impossible to guess when it began welcoming paying guests.
The simple charm and beauty of this lovely corner of County Cork should not be taken for granted. Young chef and co-owner Hazel Bourke approaches her cooking with an appreciation for the strength of simplicity. Using only local and absolutely fresh ingredients, many from the house’s walled garden, she serves everything as straightforwardly as possible: the result is always superb.
Kanturk sits right in the middle of Ireland’s finest dairy region and provides Bourke with an excellent selection of farm-fresh cheese and dairy products: try her simple and simply wonderful cream of celery and lovage soup. For all its elegance, Assolas is also relaxed and homey: the waterproof boots at the door are for guests to use on an afternoon’s walk around the estate’s beautiful grounds in the Irish mist.