Ballyfin, County Laois, Ireland
Just outside of Dublin, this incredibly lavish, lovingly-restored mansion has a pretty insane land-to-guest ratio. While there are 20 bedrooms, they sit on a lush, 600-acre estate. This will matter to you if you ever opt to leave the house, which is inarguably epic (it boasts an insane art collection, a well-stocked library, billiards, along with one of Ireland’s best organic farm-to-table restaurants). Should you want to stretch your legs, there are acres of immaculate gardens, lake fishing, clay pigeon shooting, tennis, archery, falconry, and easy access to golf. Incidentally, there’s an indoor pool and spa, too.
Midleton, County Cork
Spread across 400, bright green, undulating acres, this country house in rural East Cork looks straight out of central casting. People come for the on-site restaurant—which features a menu derived from Ballymaloe's gardens and greenhouses—and also for its proximity to the Ballymaloe Cookery School & Gardens. You can sign-up for an afternoon of making canapes and finger foods, or more intensive, multi-day course on baking or mastering fancy versions of pub food.
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