Tuesday, 10 December 2013
I honestly cannot find anything to criticize. The hotel is a joy to stay in. The same family has run it for decades and they have obviously expended a great deal of effort in creating an establishment which is traditional, homely, warm, cosy, opulent, stylish, characterful - I'd better cease the abundant praise.
I stayed in the lovely Azalea bedroom, which has a sort of faux two-poster bed, and every conceivable luxury one could wish for, to my mind at least.
There was no mini bar or fridge, though I'm sure something could be arranged if a particular resident so desired. I certainly didn't need it.
Later in the evening I attended The National Trust's annual Christmas dinner for Mount Stewart staff and volunteers.
I chose the traditional turkey dinner, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I must admit to a certain prejudice, in that I am fond of The Old Inn. It is unique.
Breakfast was served in the fine surroundings of the dining-room on the ground floor, overlooking the village.
The old nose-bag found it challenging, though I triumphed in the end. Waiting-staff will testify that Lord Belmont left not a morsel of the inn's celebrated Ulster breakfast.
Moreover, I had two pieces of buttered toast, a glass of well-chilled orange juice, and a good hot pot of tea.