Last weekend Ali and my Mam came to visit me at Ballymaloe Cookery School. It was their first time to visit me here at the school since I started studying in January. Ali had been to the school once before (we came to see JP McMahon at the Lit Fest last year) but this was my Mam’s first outing to East Cork! They arrived for lunch at the school on the Friday and attended Rachel’s afternoon demonstration with me. After sampling the dishes prepared by Rachel, Pam and Tracie and introducing them to everyone on the course, we headed out to Ballycotton to check into our B&B for the weekend. We had a lovely and well needed lie-in on Saturday morning. When we were up and ready, we decided brunch was in order and headed back to Shanagarry to The Café at Stephen Pearce Pottery.
The Café is situated a little off the beaten track, down a small lane just outside the village of Shanagarry. It is attached to the Pottery Showroom and makes use of Stephen Pearce’s crockery sets, with beautiful cups, jugs and plates on each table. It is airy and rustic, with large wooden tables, colourful artwork on the walls and a good view into the kitchen. It is quiet and cosy, the perfect setting for hot coffee and morning conversation.
The brunch menu is small but well put together and thought out. I decided on the Black Pudding on Homemade Sourdough with Poached Eggs. It was simple and delicious. My biggest lesson from Ballymaloe so far has been to use the best quality ingredients available and to treat them simply; this Café does just that. The chunky relish on the side complimented the black pudding perfectly and my double Espresso was good and strong – just how I like it.
If you ever find yourself anywhere near Shanagarry, Ballycotton, Cloyne or even Castlemartyr, then I thoroughly recommend you give this little gem a try!