It does not take long to understand why Ballyfin Demesne was named best hotel in the world by Conde Nast Traveller. This “Irish country house of your dreams” is without doubt the grandest hotel in Ireland with just 20 exquisitely decorated bedrooms and suites, as well as a romantic Gardener’s Cottage.
Museum-quality art and furniture are carefully placed throughout the house in what must be one of the finest and most intricate historical restorations in this century.
Outside there are over 600 acres of private grounds and tranquil parkland to explore including grottos, follies and a 28-acre lake perfectly positioned to reflect the impressive front of the 19th regency mansion.
Whenever I visit Ballyfin, I find it hard to imagine that I travelled to this heavenly properly many times when it was run as a boys’ school close by to the boarding school I attended in Abbeyleix. Even then, the house seemed so important and imposing. It now evokes sweet memories of innocent times whether dancing or debating with young men as we were preparing to rule the world.
The owners of Ballyfin are Chicago-based Fred Krehbiel and his Irish-born wife, Kay. Their decision to restore the house to an exceptional standard is surely a gift to the nation.I encourage you to visit the property to see first-hand the beauty of the hotel and its gardens overflowing with flowers, fruit, and vegetables.
I never fail to draw breath when I arrive to stay in the hotel and wonder is there a more perfect destination in Europe to retreat.
I share here some images of special time spent recently when shooting two campaigns, one for Summer and the other for Winter. We also hosted a special client luncheon, a magical event to entertain with new season fashion. Pictured above, the AW Campaign Shoot at Ballyfin. Our love affair with Ballyfin Demesne inspired the super-special fabrics and a new bold tone- a rich emerald green- for AW19.