"Perfection, perfection, perfection"
This is the third time we have stayed at this wonderful hotel.
We have just celebrated our ruby wedding anniversary with two friends on a 2 day mid week break.
The Ballynahinch experience begins as you soak up the stunning scenery as you drive past the salmon river up to the main hotel. Feeling 10 years younger and still not stepped inside is always a good sign.
The lovely old wooden door creaks open and you are transported back to another world, sadly mostly now lost in the The open fire burning logs crackles away, wafting out the woodsmoke perfume .
The totally in character reception desk is manned by the charming Marion, who welcomed us back and I shed another 5 years.
We had booked a riverview room, and why not? The views over the river and surrounding countryside are worth the extra . The bedroom was tastefully furnished and exceeded all our expectations.
We nipped downstairs to the "fisherman's pub", walking past the fly rods lined up and waiting. Past interesting paintings and the 1962 rates....£16 for a week!!! Agh bring back those days.
The bar area has two lit log fires and character to match. Some very fine stuffed salmon and a 15lb brown trout are displayed as if proof were needed... this is fishing country.
We met a local retired farmer, ex ghillie , Tom. He has stories to tell and time to share.
We almost forgot about dinner.
We ate in the bar for the first evening and we not disappointed with good food and great service. Finn, was our helpful staff member in the bar that evening, but all the hotel staff were on top form during our stay.
We enjoyed a couple of lovely walks along the river, taking full advantage of the early spring sunshine. We watched 2 dippers (water birds) searching for food in the wooded area of the river.
We spent our second day exploring some local points of interest, kylemore Abbey and then onto Roundstone which has just about the best harbour setting that I've ever seen.
We ate in the main restaurant that evening and the menu and service perfectly complimented the beautiful room and viewsover the river at dusk.
It was even warm enough at 6pm to enjoy a cigar and a whiskey outside on the patio overlooking the river.
I keep mentioning this fabulous river......I've not fished for many a year...but when I start again...it will be here!
We puffed on our cigars and watched lazy fish pick off the occasional fly on the water.
I noted the rises and plotted in my head how I would catch those two brown trout.
A super night's sleep can only be followed by the breakfast of all breakfasts.
Pat showed us to our seats, welcoming us back like long lost friends ( it was day 2 and we were starting to feel right at home)
The breakfast is most likely the best that I've ever had and that compliment is hard one.
This hotel ticks all my boxes and then some.
It's stylish, old word, bygone charm , and steeped in history, yet meets the modern world standards and expectations. This is a very good hotel run by management and staff that care and truly want your return business.