Welcome to our weekly “TGB Tuesday Goodie Bag”.
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Top Places to Eat in Northern Ireland
The River Room, Galgorm Resort
The award-winning Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort is a luxury Hotel and Spa situated only 30 minutes from Belfast. Set within 380 acres of lush parkland with the spectacular River Maine flowing through the estate, it is the perfect location to relax and get away from it all. This beautifully presented venue is currently sparkling with festive Christmas cheer, and even our Luxury Guestroom, with its enormous double bed, sitting area, and a wonderful array of pampering products, luxury items, and complimentary minibar, had a sparkling, beautifully decorated Christmas tree!
No visit to Galgorm Resort would be complete without some relaxation time in the Thermal Village, which includes a 10-metre vitality pool, a Palm House relaxation area and bar, and a brand-new Salt Room for halotherapy experiences.
But the highlight of our stay was the excellent tasting menu at the 3 AA Rosette River Room, led by head chef Chris Rees. This unique and memorable dining experience featured dishes that were true to the ingredients, showcasing local artisan producers through seasonal menus, all served by friendly knowledgeable staff. We were impressed with every wonderful course, but we particularly enjoyed the Halibut with Wild Mushroom and Burgundy Truffle, the Roast Celeriac with Quince, Spiced Honey, and Hazelnut, and the Baked Caramel with Peanut, Banana and Miso. With an extensive wine list that perfectly complimented the food, the evening was nothing less than sublime.
The following morning, we enjoyed breakfast in the picturesque River Room with its beautiful views which you could just sit and enjoy all day. There was an outstanding buffet selection: cereal, yoghurt, patisserie, charcuterie, fish, cheese, and fresh fruit, and a great choice of hot breakfast options available. We chose the vegan breakfast with a side of poached eggs, and the absolutely delicious Smoked Haddock and Guinness Rarebit – stunning.
Holohan’s Pantry is a true family affair, and the combination of warm Irish hospitality, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, and contemporary dishes with a traditional twist, is the key to Holohans’ success.
The Pantry is synonymous with its famous Pan Boxty; a delicious, comforting, potato pancake generously stuffed with a choice of fillings-the Salmon, Smoked Cod, and Dill Cream is a seafood lover’s dream.
There is also a great selection of starters; we loved the Prawn Skewers, smothered in a garlic and lemon dressing, and the Mushroom & Leek Tart had perfectly crisp short pastry.
For dessert, the Apple and Blackberry Crumble was served with ginger ice cream, the Dark Chocolate Tart had a sophisticatedly bitter, silky ganache, and the Irish Cheese Selection was the perfect way to finish the meal.
Shout of the Week
Titanic Distillers Premium Irish Whiskey
The new home of Titanic Premium Irish Whiskey could neither be more appropriate nor more atmospheric than inside the Thompson Pump-House at the Titanic Dock, where the White Star liner was built and launched.
This blended Whiskey which carries ‘Built in Belfast’ on its label in memory of the ill-fated luxury liner, features light, sweet vanilla notes of Irish grain whiskeys, with the rich, deep, spice of triple-distilled malts. To round everything off there’s a hint of peat smoke and a long, lingering finish.
The Titanic Whiskey is already on sale and the distillery will become another important attraction on the Titanic site within walking distance of the spectacular Titanic Building, a world recognised tourism attraction and the Nomadic tender which ferried passengers to the liner.
To avoid any harmful intrusive work to the fabric of the listed building, all distillery equipment and the new internal mezzanine floors will be supported by a floating structure within the pump-house. All pump equipment and associated internal historical features will also be retained and available to view as part of the visitor tour. The exterior of the pump-house will remain untouched.
Simple, honest and true, Titanic Irish Whiskey is the spirit of the workers who built the great ship. A story of blood, sweat and years. And after another day’s hard graft their reward was waiting – rich, full, amber-coloured and warm. A measure of pride. They looked forward to it. They savoured it. Now you can too.