Cork farming couple receive innovation in hospitality gong

A Co. Cork farming couple, who have diversified with a number of ventures, were recently presented with the 2019 innovation in hospitality accolade at the Irish Hotel Awards.

Patrick and Miriam Mulcahy of Ballinwillin House and farm in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, received the award at the ceremony in Galway where over 300 guests represented hospitality professionals from across the country.

The couple, who purchased the 18th century Ballinwillin House in 1985, have developed the property to create what is said to be the only combined organic farmed venison, wild boar and goat farm in Ireland and the UK.

Meat products

Their meat products are served to guests who overnight in the Ballinwillin boutique B&B and are used by many leading chefs in Ireland.

The Ballinwillin brand has received a slew of prestigious awards over the years including the Georgina Campbell Irish breakfast accolade.

The latest addition to the Mulcahys’ hospitality portfolio – which includes a vineyard in Hungary – is Ballinwillin ‘RetrEAT’, which provides small groups with an escape from the stresses of modern day life.

Guests immerse themselves in a residential experience where the focus is on nourishing body and mind.

‘The mindful farmer’

The ‘RetrEAT’ is hosted by Patrick, dubbed ‘the mindful farmer’, who has been practicing meditation and mindfulness from eight years-of-age.

He grew up on a small farm in west Limerick, helping his father who had a butchery, grew vegetables and ran a mobile shop.

Patrick has continued to tap into the techniques he developed in childhood to manage the challenges of running multiple businesses. His idyllic 80ac estate is home to a ‘thinking path’ and a holistic garden with areas devoted to meditation, mindfulness and forgiveness.

Mental health

As an advocate for wellness and mental health, Patrick said he is passionate about sharing his experiences and knowledge.

He has been invited to speak at schools and events such as: the Blas na hEireann / Irish Food Awards; Limerick’s Pigtown Festival; and, most recently, the Hearsay International Audio Arts Festival.

Last month, he travelled to New York to meet event organisers; luxury tour operators; and journalists to promote the Ballinwillin ‘RetrEAT’. He expects to return to the US later this year.

The ‘RetrEATs’ at Ballinwillin have attracted substantial interest from individuals and companies across the Atlantic as well as the corporate market here at home.

“It is refreshing to see more and more people recognising the need to adopt daily self-care exercises and, in particular, the indigenous and international companies that are committed to the importance of safeguarding and nurturing their top executives’ well-being.

“Supporting your team in this area may not only generate positive benefits for individuals personally but the impact professionally may be massive in terms of creativity and productivity.”

More information is on: