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Cloughjordan House Long Table Dinner

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This past Saturday, Patrick and I drove up to Tipperary. This is basically what we do every weekend, but this time we were going to the village of Cloughjordan with some friends, not our usual haunt outside of Templemore. Cloughjordan is a special place for several reasons. First of all, it’s in Tipperary, which automatically makes it dear to my heart. I’m biased that way.

Secondly, it’s Ireland’s only eco-village; whose residents dedicate themselves to sustainable living. This includes growing a lot of their own food and ensuring their buildings use sustainable energy, but most importantly, the residents are active in the preservation of their community and work together to achieve their collective goals. It’s a great place to visit if you ever get the chance.

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Finally, Cloughjordan is special because of Cloughjordan House, a fully restored 400 year old estate owned by the Baker family. The grounds are beautiful and the house is timelessly decorated. The house also has a fully operational cookery school and they offer B&B, wedding and event services.

We ventured out to Cloughjordan for their Long Table Dinner event, which included a locally sourced meal featuring the best of Tipperary artisans and produce. The dinner was a Gathering event and, coming from Canada, I was treated with such wonderful hospitality (as, I’m sure, was everyone else).

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Upon arriving (and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the gardens) we were greeted by Sarah Baker, who runs Cloughjordan House with her husband. She made us feel at home and directed us over to the one of the tents erected on the lawn where complimentary refreshments (wine and a delicious elderberry cordial) were being served.

The dinner venue was beautiful. The room looked as what I imagine it would have in the 1700’s – thick stone walls, complete with imperfections and adorned with only a few pieces of art here and there. Bunting was hung from the ceiling and the tables were decorated with fresh flowers and polka-dot table cloths.

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Dinner that evening featured spit-roasted pig with a variety of sides and salads (the bean salad was my absolute favourite, with a yogurty-herbed dressing). The pork was perfectly tender, served with crackling and a sweet glaze. For dessert we enjoyed a fruity parfait with an intense blackberry base and lots of cream and meringue. Sarah also brought over some of the vegetarian option for us to try, which were lightly marinated and grilled halloumi kebabs with zucchini and peppers. Delish.

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After dinner we were treated to a concert-style performance of 60’s and 70’s hits by Susannah de Wrixon and, although the entertainment was directed to a slightly older generation (putting it delicately here!), we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Suzannah, noticing my large belly, gifted me with her children’s album at the end of the evening. She was very sweet and has such a lovely voice.

A big thank you to Sarah and all of her staff at the event for the wonderful service. It really kicked off my Gathering year (a little late to be starting, I know) with a bang.

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