Book EARLY for your Summer Staycation at Ardtara Country House

If a break in Northern Ireland is on your wish list, look no further than the elegant Ardtara Country House near Maghera. Luxurious from inception, the Victorian property was built by one of Northern Ireland's wealthy linen barons and is in a picturesque setting amid woodlands and lakes.

It is part of the multi award-winning Browns Bonds Hill Collection, a bespoke restaurant group that includes Browns Bonds Hill and Browns in Town, both of which are in Derry city, and Eighteen Ninety Four, a fine dining restaurant near the beautiful beach at Portstewart.

All are owned by hospitality specialist Marcus Roulston and chef patron Ian Orr – well known for his appearances on TV cookery shows such as BBC's Saturday Kitchen Live. Orr oversees Ardtara Country House's restaurant, creating amazing dishes with ingredients that are fresh, seasonal and locally sourced – including from its own gardens.

He and Roulston bought the property in 2014, smitten not just by its potential, but by its past. "We have lovingly restored it, combining its romantic Victorian architecture with all the modern comforts you expect in top class hospitality," explains Roulston.

Its nine bedrooms are beautifully decorated and feature antiques and heirlooms alongside modern conveniences such as flatscreen TVs and Nespresso machines. The bedrooms, and indeed some of the en suite bathrooms, feature original fireplaces and working fires.

While the hotel is peaceful and secluded, there is that unmistakable buzz that comes from having a full-service restaurant on site, with extensive wine list and cocktail menu. Open to residents and non-residents alike, it's a destination restaurant that attracts gourmands from far and wide.

The restaurant is recommended by the Michelin Guide, has won the AA award for Guest Accommodation of the Year and was Highly Commended as a Hideaway of the Year last year by Georgina Campbell. "Our idea for Ardtara was always for it to be a gourmet destination," explains Roulston. There's loads to see and do too. The property has 80 acres of lakeside walks directly behind and is perfectly located for exploring further afield. "If you were to put a pin directly in the centre of Northern Ireland you'd land on us," he points out.

Equidistant from Derry city and Belfast, a 45-minute drive takes you to both cities, or to the Causeway coast. That puts you in easy reach of popular visitor attractions such as the Bushmills Distillery, the Titanic Centre in Belfast and Derry's famous City Walls. All around Northern Ireland you'll see locations familiar from TV's Game of Thrones and there are plenty of opportunities for walking, from coastal paths to mountain hikes.

Of course, the other significant element of Ardtara Country House's success is the service which, like all Blue Book properties – of which it is a member – is top notch and polished – without being remotely stuffy. "This house feels like a home. That's how guests describe it to us, because they feel so comfortable here," says Roulston.

Make a Reservation for your Summer Staycation

Limited availability for July & August already

Sample Offer - other special offers available include midweek and weekend breaks
Gourmet Package £215pps
Calling all foodies. This is the package for you!
Experience the award winning cuisine that Ardtara has become famous for.
• 2 night stay
• Breakfast cooked to order on both mornings
• Our stunning 6-course tasting menu in our Michelin recommended restaurant on 1 night
• Afternoon tea

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Please quote "Georgina Campbell's" when enquiring or booking.

17 votes

Ardtara Country House

Upperlands, Co. Londonderry
Country House
5 euro Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Highly Recommended as a Special Place to Stay The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade
Former home to the Clark linen-milling family, Ardtara is now an attractive, elegantly decorated Victorian country house. It has long been a member of the prestigious Blue Book (Irish Country Houses & Restaurants Association) and it has a warm atmo ...

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