Mrs Allen was the cream of the crop who leaves a legacy of food, laughter and love

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Mrs Allen was the cream of the crop who leaves a legacy of food, laughter and love

Myrtle Allen, the beloved matriarch of Ballymaloe, taught friends and family about much more than food, writes her granddaughter-in-law Rachel Allen


Myrtle Allen helping her great grandchildren Scarlett and Amelia to peel shrimps. Photo: Tim Allen
Myrtle Allen helping her great grandchildren Scarlett and Amelia to peel shrimps. Photo: Tim Allen

I remember, when I was little, first hearing about Ballymaloe House from my parents who had been there for a weekend with friends.

They spoke of the delicious home-grown food from the farm and the way that they were made to feel so welcome, as though they were not staying in a hotel but rather in someone’s home.

And that was right, as Ballymaloe was firstly the home of Myrtle and Ivan Allen and their six children, and secondly a restaurant with some rooms.

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