feasts in Belfast...
came next. In this exuberant, Victorian-style
city, the Ash-Rowan Town House became
home for a few days. Here, I experienced
the true luxury of sleeping on Irish sheets
and waking up to a breakfast feast. The
kedgeree: (a traditional dish of flaked
fish, boiled rice, and eggs) was delicious.
Sam and Evelyn Hazlett's idea of continental
fare isn't for the faint-hearted: organic
porridge flavoured with Drambuie and cream.
Sam delights in making a wondrous array
of preserves, while Evelyn conjures up wheaten
bread, a dense, flavourful, and satisfying
accompaniment to already substantial portions.
are pleasingly furnished and this Victorian
house is a-tumble with items of memorabilia,
whimsy, and charm. Ash-Rowan is
situated on a quiet residential street on
the fringes of the University and about
10 minutes from Belfast's centre.
Ireland's secret rooms and comfy nooks...
visit to Northern Ireland is complete without
travelling up the Antrim Coast to the Giant's
Causeway, one of the natural wonders of the
world. On the scenic Causeway coast, I spent
a day and a half of pure indulgence at the
Bushmills Inn, parts of which date
to 1608. Dubbed "a living museum of Ulster
hospitality," Bushmills features comfy
nooks, turf fires, secret rooms, and a library.
Chefs prepare handsome meals produced from
quick stop in the nearby Harmony Hill
Country House, just outside Ballymoney,
followed. Owned and run by Richard and Trish
Wilson, this intimate inn has four rooms,
some with turf fireplaces and all dripping
in imaginative decor and furnishings. It's
tucked away in a delightful setting: an old
mill, a duck pond, and an abundance of gardens
and walkways. And, as I'd come to expect,
dinner was exemplary: tasty and beautifully
I left idyllic Northern Ireland and Eire I
brought home a wealth of memories encapsulated
in just a few lines of prose: "Home
is where you can be silent and still be heard/
Where sorrow is divided and joy is multiplied/
Where we share and love and grow."
words describe well this enchanting land,
its many faces.
find out more about Nikki's favourite Irish
haunts, contact each directly:
Farmhouse B&B: www.iol.ie/~kc
Town House: telephone +44 (0) 1232 661
758; fax: +44 (0) 1232 663 227
Hill Country House: www.harmonyhill.net
Journeywoman decides to share...
Loomis is a Journeywoman who calls Oregon
home. She's just returned from three weeks
of wandering around Ireland and was eager
to share three great, woman-friendly places.
Downpatrick (County Down, Northern Ireland)
I stayed at Denvir's Hotel. Built
in 1640, it has a lot of character as well
as spacious en-suite rooms (all six of them).
The price is reasonable: 25-30 punts. Contact:
Denvir's Hotel, 14-16 English Street,
Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland.
TEL. +44 (0) 1396 612 012.
decided to stay in the area longer and Denvir's
was booked so the bartender called Rosebank
Country House for me. They have three
en-suite rooms (18-20 punts) plus your own
sitting room and the greatest owners, John
and Patricia Forsythe. John took me on a four-hour
tour of the Mourne Mountains because I wasn't
able to take a bus. Now that's service. Contact
Patricia or John at Rosebank Country House,
108 Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down,
Northern Ireland, BT30 8HF. TEL +44 (0) 1396
B&B that I would recommend is the
Railway Lodge in Donegal Town (17-20 punts).
I felt like part of the family. The owner
also took me sightseeing. Check out www.donegaltown.ie
for more information.
Note: Thanks Terrie! These are