Ballinsheen House belongs in every Ideal Homes & Gardens Exhibition you ever coveted, a classic example of those pitch-perfect houses and gardens that seem almost impossibly expressed, those pristine places which feature in glossy interiors and lifestyle magazines.
But the great news for travellers to lively Lisdoonvarna is that fact that Ballinsheen House is not some studio set-up: Mary and Michael’s beautiful home and garden is real in every sense. The aesthetic which Mary and Michael have created is not some artificial confection: it’s the living way in which their house operates, welcoming guests and looking after them with a 5-star sheen that puts 5-star hotels to shame.
It’s impossible to overstate the level of care and the attention to detail that makes Ballinsheen special. That detail is seen in the flowers, the furnishings, the superlative breakfasts, the warm welcome, all of it the result of sheer hard work, and judicious good taste. That good taste and the singular aesthetic which Michael and Mary have created together means that Ballinsheen is an enormously pleasing destination, a true feel-good get-away that makes the visitor feel special. You will want to linger in the conservatory after breakfast, and you will want to linger in the garden in the afternoon, because Ballinsheen House is indeed your Ideal Home.