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Ardtara Country House
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Reviews (323)
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All reviewsgas firetasting menuroll top bathoutstanding foodgenuine hospitalitydrawing roomducksunday lunchfamily get togetherfrom start to finishbirthday treatoriginal featuresan overnight staywithout being intrusivelarge bathroomcourse dinnerspecial thanks
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Reviewed May 21, 2013

Its a few years since we stayed here but the place was excellent. The house wasn't normally opened for business when we visited but the owner contacted us to say he would keep us anyway. A really warm and charming place to stay. We will be back.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank R1L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Ardtara is a timewarp. It is remote with lovely grounds, especially if it is sunny so you can sit out. It is sort of shabby-chic, comfy and warming, definitely not boutique, but with so much quirky charm. Having said that the beds are big, really comfortable and with lovely linens and the plumbing works! The furniture beyond that is eclectic - a bit of a mish-mash but lovely for all that. The staff, Valerie especially, are wonderful and very caring of you and really make an effort without being "all over you". Dinner is fabulous, in 3 visits we have never had a bad one, the menu is varied and seasonal and who does not love little amuse bouche? it's just a wee treat - and if you go to bed hungry it's your fault! Breakfast is great, none of the dried out hot-buffet here, it is all fresh, toasty hot to order with beautiful eggs. Maybe more fresh fruit would be nice (and plain yoghurt) but that is being picky. Oh, and scrap the brash No Smoking signs in the bedrooms, we all know you don't !! It is well worth fitting in to any trip to Northern Ireland.

Room Tip: Do try and get rooms overlooking the front or side - we have stayed in 1, 2 and 3 and all were great.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank usat4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

When looking for somewhere nice to eat around the Ballymoney / Ballymena area we were very happy to find that Ardtara Country House offered dinner to non-residents. Upon arrival at this very well-maintained country house we were shown into a sitting room/bar lounge which had a lovely gas fire on. The decor is country but kept nicely minimalist and not over done with knick-knacks. We were immediately offered the menu to loook at and asked whether we wanted drinks to start. The meno was very enticing comprising of a 6 course menu for the very reasonable price of £30 per person. After submiiting our order we were left to relax for a few more minutes before being shown to our table in the dining room which was woodpanelled with interesting horse & hound wallpaper around the border. The dining room is comprised of approximately 8 tables of varying sizes set at angles to eachother and well distanced so does not feel cluttered in the least. Nice crisp white linen tablecloths. Dinner began with an offering of breads including olive, onion and sundried tomoatoe. All of which were lovely. 1st course was a mini caesar salad folloed by our choice of starter - salmon mousse which as fabulouisly light served with red onion and brioche. Next was strawberry sorbet. Quite frozen. Then on to mains where we opted for the steak. Perfectly cooked and served with brandy cream, crisp onions and giant chunky homemade chips. Yum. For dessert we had a sticky toffee pudding and cheese board - and again, yum! To finish we had our tea in the lounge before settling our bill which came to £92 as we had a bottle of red (£19), a side of honey carrots and 2 supplements for steak. Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Ardtara and will definitely return, maybe even for an overnight!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MFB0206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

I was a bit discombobulated on arrival because I was expecting a luxury boutique hotel but this is just a large house which feels like it stopped being decorated in the 1940s. Not a bad thing when you get use to the jumble of furniture the old family photos and the laid back atmosphere. Our bedroom was big, the biggest bed I have ever slept in, the fireplace was real flame gas, the bath long and deep, we added some jazz and a glass of champagne and all was perfect. We upgraded to the dinner, bed & breakfast and had a wonderful 4 course dinner. Again not a smart dining room, but full of character and the staff are great, they come by and chat and make sure everything is ok in the friendliest way. Would stay here again as it was the hotel with the most character on our stay in NI

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ali_Arundel100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Arrived on a Saturday afternoon to a charming welcome at this late Victorian mill owner's mansion for a one night stay. We had been warned on booking that the only room left ( 6) was a tad on the small size but not overly so, the marble lined bathroom (with window) was spacious enough and the mainly Victorian style furnishings were appropriate. It also faced to the rear, the better ones are to the front and main side. Generally throughout the hotel the soft furnishings are showing their age slightly - this is from the late 80's school of Country House Hotel furnishing. We had a drink before dinner in the bar / sitting room which could do with a few more comfy armchairs.
The restaurant is a paneled room to the rear with a large roof light. The menu was interesting with 5/6 choices a course and the food excellent. We started with an amuse geule of Leek & Truffle oil risotto and this set the par for the remainder of the courses and at £35 a head to include fillet steak - good value. The wine list has some interesting bottles and some are still fairly priced we enjoyed a good 2007 Barolo. We had a comfy night's sleep and a fine breakfast - the food and service are what makes this guest house / hotel worth a trip. The manager Valerie Fearnon is a real sweetie and she always remembered our names and all the staff were charming, it is rare that I really feel the necessity to leave a tip at a hotel but this was one that I did.

Room Tip: Keep to the rooms on the two front facades
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank mmedin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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