A warm welcome from chatty and well-informed hosts Bob and Siobhán Isles awaits visitors to this pretty old house which is tucked away in well-maintained gardens and has stunning views of Whitepark Bay, and a path down to a beautiful beach just across the road.
Arriving guests, welcomed to the cosy sitting room - furnished with couches, easy chairs and an extraordinary array of antiques and Asian mementos - could easily lose themselves in hours of relaxation at the open fire while indulging in homemade pastries and bottomless cups of perfect tea. A magnificent conservatory off it, overlooking the back garden, is also an enchanting place to relax if preferred.
In recent years the house has been virtually re-built, albeit ever so discreetly, with the bedrooms re-designed to allow for en-suite bathrooms (which are gorgeous, some with bath and separate shower, and some have views - in one you can lie in the bath and soak in the beauty of the garden); one front bedroom is exceptionally large and another has windows on three sides.
You may be lucky enough to have a four-poster bed and seating area, but all are beautifully decorated with distinctive colour themes and lots of exotic touches to give each its special personality, and there is that warm feeling of being surrounded by a well-loved garden.
Breakfast is usually served in the conservatory, where there are also comfy couches to relax on at other times, and it is a lovely place to start the day in fine weather. If the weather gods are frowning, however, there’s a cosier alternative set up on the other side of the sitting room in a common area leading to the stairs (to call it a corridor would be most unfair – everything about this gorgeous house is carefully thought through for maximum style and comfort.)
Bob likes to see guests well prepared for the day ahead - there is much to explore, notably of course, the beautiful north coast and the Glens of Antrim - and, as a vegetarian, he’s well placed to make a great vegetarian breakfast in addition to a perfect rendition of the traditional Ulster Fry.
Bob and Siobhán are exceptional hosts, giving guests plenty of space to relax but ensuring they never want for anything - and they have apparently unlimited local knowledge of the area, attractions and restaurants to help you enjoy your stay. A treasure indeed.
*Whitepark House was our Guesthouse of the Year in 2008.