There are three dining options here from the three AA rosette-rated River Room, to the Gillies Grill and Fratelli, the Italian. If my mind and been detoxed from the spa activity, it certainly did the opposite when it came to the food. But delicious it was from breakfast through to afternoon tea and dinner. The Gillies Grill, where breakfast is also served, ended up being my favourite.
With their hearty meals of pastas, meats and grills including Thai chicken and rice and Guinness bread and cheese, I was sold. But the pristine scallops presented to me in the River Room were seriously divine and the evening a lavish affair. And if all that food makes the figure conscious diners feel gluttonous, they can dance the night away to the beat of live music in the adjoining bar to Gillies. It resembled a mini night club with its head-nodding toe-tapping music prompting several people to take to the dance floor to throw some shapes.
But if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, The Conservatory is home to the resort’s Cocktail and Gin bar. Here, inside the magnificent bespoke glass creation, you will be able to sample a list of exclusive gins from their extensive menu. The mixologists will even put on a theatrical performance as they create an array of cocktails for you. Quite entertaining, I have to say.
The rooms at the hotel (122 including deluxe rooms, junior and signature suites) are spacious and designed to give you that cosy feeling. Ours was complete with desk space, flat screen TV, sofa and armchair, a balcony overlooking the spa village giving us our mini sanctuary whenever we needed retire to it. And it was little touches like the complimentary snacks and drinks replenished daily that make you really feel at home as if you’re reaching into your very own fridge.
With so much green space to roam around in, I just felt compelled to take a walk in the grounds and beyond. Galgorm is centrally situated to reach most of Northern Ireland’s bigger towns and cities, but if you’re looking for local charm, a few miles away you can find the village of Cullybackey. Here the folk take life as it comes. The landlord of the tiny but friendly Village Inn didn’t even batter an eyelid when Richard said it was a shame there was no outdoor seating area. The publican literally opened the side door, hauled a table and two chairs for us and thus the problem solved. Now that’s what I call a ‘good craic’.
Where and How
Galgorm Resort & Spa, 136 Fenaghy Rd, Ballymena BT42 1EA
Prices start from £145.00 B&B midweek for a standard room up to £205.00 B&B midweek for their new Deluxe rooms including access to the Thermal Spa Village. Spa treatments start from £55 per person and dining in the 3AA Rosette River Room Restaurant starts from £50 per person. Discover more here.
easyJet flies to Belfast from Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle. All flights can be booked at www.easyjet.com