Source: Tourism Ireland/Youtube


There are few things more enjoyable than whiling away an afternoon up to your elbows in flour, baking a loaf of soda bread, or learning to combine kale, scallions, potatoes and butter to make the perfect dish of colcannon. Plentiful in Ireland, cookery schools allow visitors to combine a holiday with a short cookery course. Those with a serious interest could take an intensive short course, or even a three-month certificate course aimed at giving students the skills to cook professionally.

Complementing this expert tuition are the idyllic locations of some of these cookery schools: the Belle Isle School of Cookery near Enniskillen is deep in the heart of the lush Fermanagh lakelands; while Ballynocken House and Cookery School is nestled in the hills of the Garden of Ireland, County Wicklow.

If hands-on seems like too much hard work, then why not try a thoroughly satisfying afternoon demonstration by celebrity chef Darina Allen at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, East Cork. Here – and, indeed, in most Irish cookery schools – you can investigate the kitchen garden where much of the food used is grown using traditional or organic farming methods.