Ballymaloe May Fair: May 20th-22nd

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Ballymaloe Grainstore set to delight foodies, families and friends as they announce May Fair Festival to take place from May 20th -22nd

Food, fashion, home and garden fans rejoice – Ballymaloe Grainstore’s Mayfair is sure to be a feast for all the senses

Ballymaloe Grainstore have announced the perfect start to those summer nights with the launch of their May Fair Festival which takes place from May 20th to May 22nd.

The focus, as always, will be on celebrating the best of Irish producers across food, fashion, home and garden with a host of events and activities planned for both children and adults.

The Ballymaloe May Fair event, supported by Ireland’s Classic Hits Radio, follows on from the much-loved Ballymaloe Craft Fair which runs every November and has seen fantastic crowds attending every year since it first began in 2009.

Running from 5pm Friday 20th May, Saturday from 10am- ‘til late and 10am to 5pm Sunday 22 May, Ballymaloe May Fair Festival features workshops, live cooking demonstrations, garden tours, walled garden fitness classes and over 100 stalls containing food, homeware and vintage fashion for adults and kids.

 Tickets are €10pp with children under 12 free at  Walks, talks, tours, cookery and cocktail demonstrations are all included with your entry ticket.

Speaking ahead of the festival, organiser Bree Allen said:

 “We were keen to host a summer fair this year to promote the wealth of talented producers we have in Ireland aross so many different industries.

 “At May Fair we’ll specifically be hosting events and activities which will celebrate good food, fashion, home and garden, which very much ties in with our ethos here at Ballymaloe. We love being able to provide smaller businesses the platform to introduce themselves to people and their products on a larger scale.

 “In addition to this, the festival ties in with our sustainability policies and we ensure no single use plastic is used in any products or packaging at the festival.

 “While this is a family friendly event and there will be activities for children, there will be adult activities across the whole weekend. We have some excellent workshops taking place across the weekend such as brass wreath making and even how to make your own wooden butter knife.

 “We’re really proud of the outdoor and wellness offering we have this year, and in the walled garden we’ve got a fitness area where there’s a fantastic line up of classes, from mindfulness workshops to strength training classes, yoga and pilates, there is something that will cater to every interest.

 “We’re delighted to be able to host this festival with a comprehensive offering of events and activities this year and we look forward to meeting everyone there,” Ms Allen concluded.

Further information on events and activities for Ballymaloe May Fair, supported by Ireland’s Classic Hits Radio is below:


Live cooking demonstrations: Foodies won’t want to miss this offering as some of Cork – and Ireland’s household names will be cooking up a storm with a host of cookery and cocktail demonstrations planned across the weekend. These will be an hour in duration and are included in the €10 entry fee, with pop up wine tastings taking place throughout the weekend. 

The stellar line up is as follows:

  • Darina Allen
  • Rory O’Connell
  • Paul Flynn from the Tannery Restaurant
  • Andy Ferreira from Cask
  • Scot Holder from Los Chiconos
  • Arun Kapil from Green Saffron
  • Cully and Ivan from Cully and Sully
  • Justin Green from Bertha’s Revenge

Ballymaloe House Afternoon Tea: Those with a sweet tooth are in for a treat as Ballymaloe House’s resident Head Chef Dervilla O'Flynn and sweets kitchen chef JR will join forces to produce a delicious afternoon tea menu with sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and more.

Limited spaces available so those interested in attending are advised to book their spot when purchasing their entry tickets for the Fair.

Evening activities: You can make a night of it at this year’s May Fair Festival as there will be a great selection of food trucks serving delicious meals. Soak up the atmosphere by enjoying the live music and DJs present both Friday and Saturday evening, and if you fancy it, treat yourself to a glass of wine or beer while you’re at it! The Demo stage will continue into the evening with cocktail and cooking demonstrations.

Children’s Activities: There will be a drop and go service run in conjunction with Kathy from Brixx club and Louise from Clayotic with a creative workshop area for kids. These workshops will run throughout Saturday and Sunday from 10am at a cost of €10 per child per hour. It’s win-win as the hour-long workshops will give you a chance to wander the stalls, do a workshop or catch a cooking demo while the kids are entertained building Lego and model clay masterpieces.

On Sunday, Nicky from Scrappy Little Monsters will be hosting a felt workshop for kids on the Sunday from 10am. Places are very limited for this workshop and you can book your tickets online when you purchase your entry tickets.

Tickets for the children's area are available to purchase when you purchase a ticket for adults entry to Ballymaloe May Fair. Free entry to the fair for Children under 12 with a contribution of €10.00 per hour for Kathy’s drop and go workshop area. Just purchase your ticket and then when you arrive and sign up for the time that best suits you.

Walled Garden fitness classes: You’re free to bring your mat and head along to the walled garden fitness area for a fantastic line up of classes across the weekend with something to suit everyone. Start the weekend in the right mind frame on Friday with Mirin Mooney and her mindfulness workshop, while those looking for something a little more serious can avail of a strength training class on Saturday.

Following this, there will be yoga classes, beginner Pilates and sound bath with Sharma, ending the day with a self-care practice. Sunday has another great line up of classes with Pilates, yoga and mandala workshops taking place. Places for all fitness classes are limited to 15 people so people are advised to reserve their mat spaces when booking their May Fair entrance tickets through the website.

Stalls: As always, Ballymaloe May Fair has a great line up of stalls to wander through. The Grainstore will host a great selection of local fashion designers and vintage clothing specialists, with both adult and children’s clothing available to peruse. House and home are a strong theme for the stalls at this year’s event with a great line-up of Irish makers and sellers with products for each room of the house available. Of course, we can’t forget the host of food and drink producers who will be showcasing their local products. The full line-up of stalls is available to view on the website


Workshops: Workshops will be hosted in the Book Shed area of Ballymaloe Farm, with three to four  workshops taking place each day over the weekend starting on Friday evening. Each workshop will be an hour long in duration across a range of diverse areas, with options to join Esther from Elements of Action and make a brass wreath to decorate your wall or join Grace for a workshop on macrame plant hangers.Eamonn from Hewn will be present for a workshop on carving your own wooden butter knife, learn how to make your own Terrarium with Prickly Plants, or make your own soap with Suzanne from Clarke’s Soaps Dublin.

You can book all workshops through the website when purchasing your entry tickets, with all equipment and materials will be supplied for each workshop.


Garden Tours: Over the weekend Ballymaloe are offering an array of tours around Ballymaloe, with history house tours, walled garden talks, biodiversity tours of the grounds and an in-depth look at their new solar panels with a sustainability-focussed tour.

Below are the confirmed tours planned over the weekend, which will allow you to get to the heart of Ballymaloe with a weekend of walks and talks focusing on the house and farm:

  • Bio-diversity tour of Ballymaloe Grounds with head groundsman Tobias
  • History tour of Ballymaloe House with Fern Allen
  • Walled Garden walks with head gardeners Susan Turner and Mags Coughlan
  • Farm Sustainability Tours with Ruddy and Rory
  • Pre-Launch Sculpture exhibition tour with Ritchie Scott


Once again spaces are limited for these tours so those who wish to take part are advised to book their spots when purchasing their May Fair entry tickets on the website.


For full event listings or to book your tickets, visit