Family RnR at Londonderry Arms

We (my wife and 8 and 4 year old daughters) spent a wonderful evening and overnight stay, followed by breakfast the next morning, at the very homely yet stately Londonderry Arms Hotel. 


This hotel is truly a family run hotel with Denise at the helm. She is such a wonderful host, treats all her guests and staff as part of her family and we really did feel that. 

Last Saturday we checked into our room and it was very spacious. The two girls had a single bed each and we had the double……but on Sunday morning there were four in the double bed!!!!


As we were quite hungry we decided to dine straightaway after unpacking. We were seated in The Tapestry Room and presented with our menus. The girls also got crayons and colouring in pictures but the little one was soon investigating all the rooms and even ventured into the kitchen and told chef Manus to hurry with our dinner!!


For the girls we ordered sausage and chips and chicken and chorizo penne pasta and garlic bread. My wife and I chose from the Table D’Hote menu. We both chose the seafood chowder. The food duly came out and the four of us tucked into some delicious food. The kids loved theirs and our chowder was nice and thick and packed with local fresh fish. 


For main course I chose the hake and salmon with risotto and salsify tempura. My wife had the goats cheese tartlet. Both my dish and hers tasted absolutely wonderful. Great use of flavours and colours. Combinations were wonderful. My only comment would be that there was too much green garnish. The four of us tucked into the wondrous apple and almond tartlet and coffee. Overall an amazing menu, great use of local produce, served in a lovely setting by exceptional staff.

I then took the girls on a wee tour of the place and told them the history.It was Originally built in 1848 as a coaching inn, by Frances Anne Vane Tempest, Marchioness of Londonderry. Sir Winston Churchill inherited it in 1921- his room was 114. The Georgian architecture, antique furniture, local artist paintings, open log fire and extremely hospitable staff and exceptional food and service all contribute to its AA 3 Star Rating.


It has a very busy Bistro called The Coach House and The Arkle Bar which is an homage to the racehorse Arkle.

It boasts 35 rooms and can accommodate up to 80 guests. The restaurant is expertly run by Chef Manus. He is very active in the Northern Irish chefs circle and I spent a good half an hour chatting to him. 
We then spent the evening in The Churchill Lounge in front of an open fire and my wife performed Henna on the guests and staff!


There is also an amazing formal room named after Churchill called The Churchill Suite.


After an excellent comfy sleep and the best hotel shower I’ve had in a while it was down to The Tapestry Room for Breakfast. This was a selection of cereal and cooked breakfast. Girls had cereal to start and I went for the cooked one. Girls then ordered bits of cooked brekky. Great idea and delivery and limits wastage. Tasted delicious.


After this we went for a brusque walk around the Carnlough Harbour and saw the steps from which Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) emerge from the water in Series 6 of Game Of Thrones.


The girls went back to the room and I went off to check out the local history. I was amazed to learn that Carnlough was an important place for limestone works and there was a railway connecting the harbour with the quarry. Also there is a wonderf natural waterfall called the Cranny Falls which I never got to!!


I would thoroughly recommend one stays in the hotel, experiences the hospitality and spends time visiting the harbour, walking to the Falls and even taking a boat trip round the bay.

Thank you Denise, Manus and all the staff for the great stay!!!!

Beer Tasting and dinner at The Londonderry Arms

Last night a group of us had the pleasure of having fun, learning some history, dining and staying over (except me!!) at The Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough. Our host and proprietor,Denise was excellent and really made us feel welcome. The staff were amazing and made us all feel at home. The style of hotel is definitely “Ye Olde” style with the wooden beams, intricate wooden panelling and grandiose fire places and stair well, as well as the stuffed deers head.
Before our sumptuous 5 course meal, we were treated to local (Ballycastle) craft beer tasting courtesy of Isabelle from Glens of Antrim Craft Ales and Beer. On offer was Fairhead Gold, Rathlin Red and Lizzies Gold-my favourite was Rathlin Red!! 


We then proceeded to The Tapestry Room to be spoilt by Manus the chef. For starters I had fish-salmon, mousse and eel, followed by chicken on champ with roasted root vegetables and pepper sauce, followed by a delightful caramel tart, coffee and a cheese board. We then retired to the Coach House for some good old County Antrim “craic”. In short the food was out of this world, the service was spectacular and the evening was a roaring success!!


The hotel has a wonderful history- Hector gave us a fine account over dinner!! Sir Winston Churchill was once the proud owner of the Arms and we did have drinks in the Churchill Lounge whilst he looked over us-I will stay in the Churchill suite next visit!!!


The Belfast Food Man

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