Our Vegetarian food

The foodie team

Olivia is passionate about vegetarian food and is always trying out new recipes. She trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School and then furthered her interest to specialise in vegetarian cooking. Olivia has built a good team around her at The Courtyard and now has Frances who has many years catering experience and Tina who is a fully qualified chef both working with her.

The trio make a great team and thoroughly enjoy working together and being creative in the kitchen. “We work on a simple principal that we only serve you recipes that we love ourselves! This may sound selfish but the theory works and our guests love our food! Some simply want to return for a weekend of amazing food! We just love good quality, fresh ingredients cooked well. Where vegetarian food is concerned it’s all about getting a good balance of flavours, textures, colours and of course using good wholesome and fresh ingredients. We use spices and fresh herbs extensively.  We don’t use refined sugar however we use maple syrup or honey to add sweetness.

Retreat Foodie Photos

We will nourish you with beautiful healthy brunches including chia seed pudding,  homemade breads, vegetable cakes, overnight gluten free oats, vegetable and fruit drink shots and dinners may include delightful Vietnamese or thai curries or Lebanese or moroccan stews with beautiful green vegetables such as kale. Desserts are healthy but still delicious, such as dairy free cheesecakes, dairy free ice-creams, lots of desserts based on coconut cream. We use lots of Fresh herbs and spices, which enhance the natural flavour and the enjoyment of the food. Herbs and spices also have a therapeutic value and of course are visually pleasing. We use herbs from our Courtyard herb garden and when we have enough we use our own carrots, potatoes, courgettes, apples and other home grown ingredients from our vegetable garden. If you happen to come in strawberry season you will be bombarded with strawberries as we have an abundance at peak season! We also forage in the forestry nearby for nettles, wild garlic, elderflower, blackberries and wild raspberries, don’t worry we don’t forage mushrooms!! We use Frances’s free range eggs from her rescue battery hens and they are as fresh as they can be!

Meal time is such an important and fun part of our retreats. It is a moment where the group can get together in a relaxed environment, enjoy good food and get to know like-minded people. Please note that retreat attendees must note in the booking form if they have any food allergies or special dietary requirements such as coeliac, nut allergy, etc. We cater for genuine allergies and dietary restrictions but please note we can not cater individually for dislikes, so please do not put your dislikes in the allergies, special dietary restrictions part of the form.

We keep the menus seasonal and use foods in season where possible. We operate a zero waste policy. The vegetable cuttings go to Frances’s hens and ponies and other vegetation waste is used for the compost for our vegetable garden and there is seldom leftovers on the plates!