On the upper (Balmoral) stretch of the Lisburn Road, this lovely old house is a former dental surgery and has been custom restored for its present purpose by husband and wife team Lindsay and Karen Loney - who are well known in Belfast hospitality circles, having run the popular Café Renoir (Queen Street and Botanic Avenue) since 1991.
It’s an appealing red brick property surrounded by mature plants, and with period touches including stained glass around the front door, black and white tiles and a big gilt mirror in the hall, which has stargazer lilies in a copper vase, old framed maps, etc. and is graced by a lovely old staircase spiralling up several floors.
The ground floor layout is attractive, with the front rooms (one with a bay window) used for the tea rooms – which also have a decked area outside and are wheelchair accessible.
Full of character, the tea rooms are furnished in a charming mix of styles, with mismatched furniture and a collection of traditional patterned china tea sets, both in use and displayed on a dresser.
Offering something different from other cafés and restaurants in the area, Maryville soon found its niche with clients of the Lisburn Road boutiques nearby and earned a name for attractive light lunches and lovely home baking.
Afternoon tea is a speciality (expect leaf teas and proper strainers), served with and scones, cakes and pastries made in their in-house bakery – and homemade jam from the family farm in Richill, Co Armagh.
Tea Rooms open daily 9am–3.45pm (outdoor seating, 10). Children welcome (high chair, baby changing facilities).
Guests lucky enough to be staying overnight will find the reception desk upstairs, along with the spacious, individually decorated, bedrooms - which are Victorian in style, but have all mod cons including complimentary water, WiFi, flat screen TV and smart shower rooms with top quality towels and toiletries.
The welcome is very friendly and efficient (you’ll be given maps – and local restaurant recommendations for dinner) and a nice touch for arriving guests is the choice of tea or coffee with a traybake, or alternatively a bowl of homemade soup with freshly baked bread; then, in the evening, high quality teas are left out for guests to help themselves in fine china cups – along with a selection of cookies, scones and chocolates.
An excellent breakfast includes porridge, muesli, eggs Benedict, the house cooked breakfast, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, waffles, spinach and mushroom omelette among the choices.
It is served in the tea rooms, where there are newspapers and easy chairs for reading, and late risers will be delighted to find that breakfast - which is really tasty, perfectly cooked and beautifully presented – is available from 8.30am to 4pm. Is this a record?
All round this is a special place, and visitors to Belfast who are seeking high quality but without the impersonal atmosphere of an hotel will be be delighted to have found it.
Golf and salmon fishing trips can be arranged.