Anna and Ken Johnson’s charming house near Strangford Lough looks over their own ten-acre wildfowl lake to the rolling north Down countryside, and it makes a wonderfully comfortable and hospitable base for exploring this beautiful area.
The original two roomed cottage has been extended to provide four ensuite guestrooms, one wheelchair friendly which opens out onto a private terrace, and two with large sitting rooms which open out onto the mezzanine floor. All are modestly yet tastefully decorated with a cottagy feel.
Beds are luxuriously dressed with Irish linen and all rooms have a hospitality tray, WiFi internet, mini-fridge, hairdryer and a wide selection of reading material.
However it is unlikely that guests will spend long in the bedrooms when a splendid Music Room with views of the Mourne Mountains to the south is available for guest use: heated by a geo-thermal central heating system from a field in front of the house and with a 45ft x 15ft window and polished granite floor, this comfortably furnished haven even has a concert grand piano which guests are encouraged to play.
However it is the warmth of the hosts and the quality of the food (they have committed to serving at least 75% organic food) which is the most striking aspect of one stay in this charming home.
Breakfast is the only meal available and the hosts are passionate about the quality of the food served. Anna bakes all her own bread and scones, jams and preserves are made with home grown fruit as far as possible and, while a traditional cooked breakfast is available how could you resist ordering Anna’s organic porridge with Irish Mist followed by a smoked salmon omelette? (Some choices have to be ordered the evening before.)
After breakfast guests are encouraged to stroll around the large garden (which is now not as carefully nurtured as Anna would like), before departing to explore the Peninsula area.