To celebrate the opening of their newly refurbished bedrooms at The Fullerton Arms, Ballintoy, the team there invited us to join them for an overnight stay and evening meal. We have been there a few times but were definitely keen to check out the new rooms.
After a lovely day on the North Coast we checked in, booked our table for dinner and checked out our room. I have to say, I was very impressed with what they had done. Local interior designer Jude Burrows has stylishly refitted each of their rooms. Inspired by the hotel’s coastal setting and surrounding landscapes the rooms feature local handmade furniture, soft furnishings and king coil beds mixed with the simplicity and cosiness of a Scandinavian style to create a special, decadent, indulgent and welcoming ambience. What’s not to like?
The Fullerton Arms boasts a Moulerie (Ireland’s only mussel bar), a dog friendly restaurant, and a host of awards including; Top 100 hospitality business, Taste of Ulster as well as regional winners, 2 years in a row, for ‘Dog Buddy’ from the Dog-Friendly Pub Awards. It is ideally located just a short distance from the National Trust’s Carrick-A Rede Rope Bridge as well as some of the film locations featured in the HBO series Game of Thrones (GoT). The hotel is host to Door of Throne No 6 which is one of 10 doors carved from storm damaged trees from the nearby world famous Dark Hedges and also includes a themed GoT banqueting room with a replica iron throne. Regular readers will know that I am very proud of my appearance in an episode of GoT in season 5 when I appeared as a Septa and had the joy of throwing Queen Cersai into prison!
the food in the fullerton arms
After a long walk along the coast, I have to say that we were more than ready for our meal and perused the menu with pleasure. The Fullerton Arms is renowned for its Mussels menu and we were genuinely interested to find out more. I’m not a fan of them but thankfully, Mr. Eating Ideas loves them and was delighted to give them a try. The challenge was, which to choose as there were six options, all served with wheaten bread and frites:
- Fullerton- classic moules mariniere
- Lacada- served with Giant’s organ IPA, chilli & coriander
- Corndale- served with a tomato & chive base with Corndale Farm NI chorizo
- Jawbox- served with Jawbox Belfast gin, ginger & coconut cream
- 1608- served with BushmillsWhiskey & Provencale cream
- MacIvors- served with MacIvors Armagh Cider, shallot & wholegrain mustard
After a great deal of debate, he settled on the MacIvors Cider option and declared them to be delicious. His only gripe was that the bowl was too deep for him to really get at the tasty sauce! I opted for the chicken liver parfait. This is something that I rarely order as it can be very rich but I was delighted that I chose it as it just hit the spot, accompanied by sourdough bread and a lovely cumberland sauce which just cut through the richness of the parfait.
For our main course, I was keen to try the roast beef but it had sadly just sold out as had my second choice, the haddock. Undeterred, I chose the Panko crumbed chicken with sweet potato fries. This comes served with salad and garlic mayo which really doesn’t agree with me. Happily this was swapped for sweet chilli sauce which I think was the perfect accompaniment for the crunchy coated chicken. Mr. Eating Ideas went for the 10oz rump steak with beef tomato, Portabello mushroom and choice of side and sauce (garlic fries and pepper if you are interested). Both of us were very happy with our choices (washed down with a lovely bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon) and cleared our plates. After enjoying both starters and mains, we really didn’t have any room for dessert but if that’s your favourite part, you will be pleased to hear that there is a fabulous selection on offer, including Pavlova, Apple Crumble, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cheesecake and Ice-cream. As I write this, I’m drooling at the thought of them and wondering why on earth we didn’t have one!
Despite being so full, we were fully up for breakfast the next day. We both chose the bacon and eggs over the full Ulster fry and lots of other breakfast options were available including, cereals, fruit, toast, yoghurts and porridge!
If you havent been to Ballintoy yet, it is well worth a visit. It boasts a beautiful harbour which, in my opinion, is one of the prettiest locations on the North Coast. I never get tired of the view. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, this location is where Theon Greyjoy arrives back in the Iron Islands and where he later admires his ship, the Sea Bitch. This is also where he first meets his sister Yara. If you aren’t a GoT fan, believe me, you will simply enjoy the view!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and dinner in the Fullerton Arms. If you havent been yet, you really should give it a try.
Sincere thanks to owners, Sean and Geraldine McLaughlin for their hospitality and to Rachael Harriot for organising our stay.
What Do You Think?
Recommend this content to other Eating Ideas readers by giving it a thumbs up!
Or why not tell us what you think by leaving a comment?