The Hardmans breed Connemara ponies, for showing and dressage and these hardy little natives are often kept beside the drive to the lovingly restored Mallmore House, with its cheery red front door and late Georgian porch. The place is stiff with historical interest: Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, used to spend his holidays here. Alan and Kathleen Hardman came from The New Inn at Tresco on the Isles of Scilly to work for themselves and found the house in a derelict state: only one room had been used since the 1920s.
From the back of the house there is a lovely view through trees over the bay to Clifden and out to the Atlantic. You can walk down to the sea through the orchard and past the old cottage. Rooms in this unusual and intriguing, mainly single-storey house, with original pitch pine floors, have a variety of views; for water ask for Room 4. One room has the original washbasin, and wallpaper with a pattern of birds; another original wide shutters, yellow paper, a Bonnard print and spotless bathroom. Award-winning breakfasts are served in the dining room, which also has its original shutters; tables have pink cloths. On the menu: smoked salmon pancakes; smoked mackerel; Irish bacon. Very much a family affair; a daughter bakes brown bread each evening.