Farewell London, Hello Ireland

IMG_3484It’s not often you get to start the New Year with really starting something new. But this year, 2016 is all change.

Today I departed my lovely life in London and flew to Cork, Ireland where I’ll spend the next 12 weeks at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Instead of Service Designing in London and Edinburgh, for the next three months  I’m going to be donning chef whites, wielding my new knife set, chasing chickens around this beautiful organic farm and getting to know my béarnaise from my béchamel. How lucky am I?!

You can find out more about this amazing place I get to call home for the next 12 weeks here.

So after a week (who am I kidding, weeks) of farewells and festivities wrapping up 2015, today I left London and arrived at Ballymaloe. Vaguely hungover, slightly over my luggage allowance and definitely feeling like the new kid on their first day at school.

Jess (a fellow newbie who flew into Cork at the same time) and I were picked up by Anthony, our driver sporting a sweet combo of double denim and a mullet the 1980’s would be proud of. This was an auspicious start.

The school is on a large, organic farm in rural Cork. First impressions are just how green and peaceful it is. I felt like such a city girl arriving with my two wheelie suitcases. The school buildings are sprawling, with intriguing gardens and glasshouses to be explored. (Happily this means my wellies will be put to good use in the next few months)

Student accommodation is onsite in cottages. I’m living in a beautiful wee room in Mrs Walsh’s Cottage down the end of a long driveway. Truly picturesque. Even more so inside; as well as a sitting room with an open fire, our kitchen is stocked with fresh bread, fresh eggs and fresh butter.

Inside my room on the desk, ready and waiting to be unwrapped, were parcels containing my chef whites, some insanely ugly and horribly practical looking black shoes and my new knife set. I cannot wait to play. (And not cut fingers off)

Also sitting on the desk are four large but currently empty ring binders which I’m told will each be filled up with recipes by the time we leave. We’ve already been given a rather alarming amount of papers; recipes, itineraries, instructions, directions….  Plenty to keep my brain and hands busy in the coming months.

Home made pizza, red wine, too many new names to remember … Day 0 is done.



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