Beautifully located on the shore of the New Lake, which is a special area of conservation, the mill was the home of Susan Alcorn’s grandfather and, as they are a family of accomplished painters, the walls are hung with wonderful watercolours.
Susan and her husband Derek, who is the chef, have earned a dedicated following here, as the location is superb, the welcome warm and the cooking both imaginative and assured - and they also offer very good value.
The split-level dining room has plenty of windows framing the views, fresh flowers on the tables, soft lighting and some well-placed antiques - a room of character and atmosphere.
Seasonally influenced menus rely on the best ingredients, local where possible (suppliers are listed), and change every 4-6 weeks. While based on the classics, Derek Alcorn’s cooking style is his own - sometimes the ingredients may be unusual or under-used, but the originality is more in the way ingredients are combined, and in the detail, than in the choice of main ingredients.
House specialities include an unusual upside down fish pie, which is filled with all manner of good things - lobster, crab claws and john dory in a brandy cream sauce, and there's a welcome emphasis on vegetables and salads, which come from the Killult Organic Centre at Falcarragh.
Gorgeous desserts will probably include some based on seasonal fruit such as rhubarb brulée with langue de chat biscuits or plum fritters with glazed lemon rice and toffee ice cream, and there's a good Irish cheese plate served with onion marmalade - and perhaps a glass of dessert wine or port.
But the overall experience here is much more than the sum of its parts and, under Susan’s direction, the hospitality and service is exemplary too.
Overnight guests will also have a delicious breakfast to look forwards to - a lovely buffet of fruits, juices, cereals etc, hot dishes cooked perfectly to order and all the little treats of home-baked breads and preserves.
Seats 50; children welcome (high chair, childrens menu); air conditioning. D Tue-Sun 7-9pm, Set D €41 (+side dishes); house wine €18; sc discretionary. Closed Mon, mid Dec-mid Mar.
Accommodation is offered in six individually decorated rooms. The decor is simple but stylish, with good beds and some antique pieces, and there’s also a lovely little sitting room off the dining room, with an open fire, and comfy big chairs and sofas to relax in.