Former home to the Clark linen milling family, Ardtara is now an attractive, elegantly decorated Victorian country house and, in the caring hands of manager Valerie Ferson, has a genuinely hospitable atmosphere. Well-proportioned reception rooms include a proper bar which has access to the recently renovated conservatory and garden, and there are antique furnishings and fresh flowers everywhere.
All the large, luxuriously furnished bedrooms enjoy views of the garden and surrounding countryside and have king size beds, original fireplaces and LCD TV and DVDs, while bathrooms combine practicality with period details, some including free-standing baths and fireplaces; a fairly recent room conversion has allowed for the addition of an extra bedroom, on the ground floor.
Breakfast should be a high point, so allow time to enjoy it.
Ardtara would make an excellent base for exploring this beautiful and unspoilt area.
Conferences/Banqueting (60); free broadband wi/fi. Tennis, golf practice tee. No pets. Garden, woodland walk. Equestrian, fishing (fly & coarse), golf and hunting all nearby.
Rooms 9 (1 junior suite, 5 executive, 3 family, 1 shower only, 1 ground floor, 1 disabled); B&B room rate from £89. Children welcome (under 2s free in parents room, cot available, baby sitting arranged). *Short breaks offered.
Although meals may also be served in the conservatory or bar, the main dining room was previously a snooker room and still has the full Victorian skylight and original hunting frieze, making an unusual setting for fine dining.
Daily-changed menus offer three or four choices on each course, typically including starters like pheasant terrine, or smoked salmon with avocado, and main courses like rack of lamb, or fillet of McKee’s beef, served with champ.
Wies are supplied by the highly regarded wine merchant James Nicholson.
A selection of Irish cheeses is offered (with the famous locally-made Ditty’s biscuits) as well as classic desserts like Armagh apple tatin.
Good food is apoint of pride here, and guests enjoy the intimacy of the small house which allows the time to build up a rapport with staff.