Hazel Allen ( Lalor ) , comes from a farming family in County Laoise. She was educated at Glengara Park School , in Dun Laoghaire , Co. Dublin and studied Hotel Management in Cathal Brugha Street , Dublin. She completed her practical training in Post Hotels in Switzerland and after graduating worked in Montreal before returning to Ireland.
Not excited by working in hotels in Ireland at the time, she came across an article in The Montreal Star about Mrs Allen and her family who were running a Country House on a farm in Co.Cork and she decided to set her sights on a getting a job at Ballymaloe. There was a photograph of Mrs Allen and her children in the paper that may have caught her attention.
Hazel penned a letter to Mrs Allen requesting an interview for a job at Ballymaloe House but initially failed to receive a response. She persevered and after a few false attempts to have an interview one day she found herself in the back of the car of the newly married Tim & Darina Allen when Darina invited her to stay at Kinoith for a couple of days.
Hazel eventually managed to meet Mrs Allen who invited her to come and help over Christmas as they were opening for Christmas that year. Mrs Allen had planned a trip to India in January and asked Hazel to stay and take the reservations while she was away. The rest is history, Hazel married Mrs Allen’s second son, Rory and eventually became the Managing Director of Ballymaloe House.
After many years of running Ballymaloe House she has now passed this role to Myrtle Allen’s grandson, Sacha Whelan. Although she has stepped back, Hazel continues to be part of the management team at Ballymaloe House as well as running the farm cottages and Ballymaloe Grainstore with her husband, Rory Allen.