01
Mar
08

Lunch at the Ballygally Castle Hotel

We were out for the day today, as it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow. My own mother died last October, so tomorrow I will spend with my immediate family, whose need is greater.

We had a much-shorter-than-planned walk at Carnfunnock Country Park, which is a sure fire hit with the kids, with its amazing playground with about a hundred different slides. There’s also a cool maze in the shape of Northern Ireland and great views over the Irish Sea, and a lovely wood with some great walks, but the buggy won’t normally cope- I am looking forward to seeing more of them when the kids are older!

We decided that the weather was going to turn and that we should head for some lunch. It was sunny when we got there, but typically the clouds were rolling in!

Ian used to go to the Ballygally Castle Hotel as a child and remembered the food and place in general fondly. It was only a few miles away up the Antrim Coast Road, so we decided it would be a good spot for some lunch.

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When we arrived, we were told that we could have informal “soup and sandwich” food in the lounge or wait until 12.30 for formal dining in their main restaurant (it was about a quarter past). We chose the former, and settled down in some comfortable chairs near the open fire. There are views of the Irish Sea from the lounge, but I suspect that the main dining room probably makes more of them than this older part of the building.

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We ordered steak and chili paninis for me and Ian, soup and sandwiches for Ricky and Robbie. They also offered to bring us some chips, which weren’t on the menu but which we readily agreed to as it was a treat.

The food was nice- the paninis were tasty, the soup (tomato and lentil- an unusual combination, but nice) went down well with the kids, and Ricky ate his ham sandwich with enthusiasm. The chips were MAGNIFICENT- crispy on the outside and fluffy inside- whoever made them needs a gold star! Definitely the best thing on the menu!

Weirdly and superfluously, they brought a basket of bread rolls that we didn’t order, which were like granite, must have been about three days old and totally inedible?!! So that was rather odd, given that the rest of the food was lovely!

Service also was a little strange- a perfectly charming French waitress whose English needs work (probably why she’s there), a lovely lady in her forties who, despite being very friendly, seemed obsessed with spraying and cleaning the surrounding tables, and a pleasant gent in his forties who wouldn’t leave the baby alone, for some reason. I’m sure there was nothing sinister in it, but PERSONAL space, dude!!!

After a nice lunch, we went to Brown’s Bay, near Larne, for a walk (except Robbie went to sleep, so I left Ricky and Ian to it and stayed in the car with him), before coming home happy and tired.

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A good day out!

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1 Response to “Lunch at the Ballygally Castle Hotel”


  1. March 2, 2008 at 2:00 am

    What a great Mother’s Day! The food sounds yummy, and I’m giggling about the quirky wait staff!

    I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow too. I’m sure it will be a day of mixed emotions. *hugs*


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