Drummond Hotel, Ballykelly

For Valentines Day I bought Barry the very romantic present of…Premier League Darts tickets! Surely that’s a few girlfriend brownie points?

But when I saw a deal online for a night away on Valentine’s Day itself, I couldn’t resist that as a surprise present as well. The deal was for the Drummond Hotel in Ballykelly and, for £40 per person, consisted of an overnight stay, candlelit dinner, breakfast and a late checkout- what a bargain!

So I surprised Barry on Saturday morning and off we went to the North Coast. We arrived about 3pm and checked in to the family-run hotel close to Limavady. The bedroom was compact but came with tea/coffee facilities, television, hairdryer and other amenities which made the stay very comfortable.

We had booked dinner in the hotel for 6.30pm so we had a few hours to explore the surrounding area. As big Game of Thrones fans, Barry and I decided to drive to the Dark Hedges in Stranocum close to Ballymoney. The journey took about 40 minutes and we were so glad we made the trip. This stunning avenue of beech trees has always been popular, but because of the Game of Thrones link, the Dark Hedges has become a major attraction. Indeed, while we were there, a bus of tourists, as well as several cars, arrived.

When we went down for dinner that evening, we weren’t sure how many courses was included in the package- but we were so surprised to discover that dinner was a 4-course Valentines menu! (which cost £19.95pp alone, might I add!) Fantastic value.

For starters I picked the Italian bruschetta with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, while Barry chose the Wild Mushrooms on toasted bread with a creamy garlic drizzle.

For mains I selected the slow roast beef with a chasseur sauce and crispy onions. The large portion of beef was a highlight for me- the tender meat just fell apart and the sauce really complimented it. Barry went for the pan fried fillet of duck breast on an Asian noodle salad. He asked for the breast to be cooked rare and commented on how juicy it was.

For desserts, I opted for Pina Colada Pannacotta with mango and passion fruit compote while Barry went for the Raspberry Ruffle cheesecake. I’m glad I went for the Pannacotta as it didn’t feel too heavy after the large, filling main. We were very impressed with the dinner, particularly for the price.

The next morning, we headed down for breakfast, but still fairly full from the night before, I didn’t go for my normal big breakfast! Some toast and eggs did me- but there was a decent selection of cooked options on offer.

The hotel is situated in between the more popular tourist destinations of Derry and Portrush, but a nice spot if you’re looking for something quiet, family-run and unassuming- especially at that price!

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Drummond Hotel

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Drummond Hotel bedroom

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Dark Hedges

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Bruschetta

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Slow roast beef

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Drummond Hotel Restaurant

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