A few months ago I was intrigued to receive a series of mystery keys in the post! Who did they come from? And what did they mean?
Fast forward a number of weeks and all was revealed- the keys were part of the launch of the new look Dufferin Coaching Inn on High Street in Killyleagh. The boutique B&B, which was celebrating 10 years in business, had undergone a £10K refurbishment and had just been named as one of the best places to stay to Ireland. Of course, with that accolade, I wanted to try it out!
So, last weekend, Barry and I made the short journey to the County Down village for an overnight stay in the award-winning guesthouse. The seven-bedroom B&B is somewhat of an iconic building in Killyleagh, first serving as an Ulster Bank, with many of the stunning original features still very much in place.
We arrived at around 3.30pm and were greeted by the owner Leontine, who gave us a quick tour of the house, including the living room complete with a roaring fire and the bright breakfast area, before showing us to our room.
And what a room it was! We were told it is the most popular room because of its size, the large four poster bed and the bathroom complete with whirlpool bath! The deep red and cream colour scheme really complemented the original features, such as the window shutters. The room came with a range of toiletries and tea/coffee making facilities, as well as slippers and dressing gown! Bliss.
We settled in before heading just next door to the Dufferin Arms for our dinner. The pub areas were completely packed, probably because of the traditional music session taking place! We made our way down to the restaurant for dinner and as it was only about 5pm, we were the first ones there.
We had a quick look at the menu before the waitress came over to tell us about the specials of the day. In the end it was the special burger which won us over, complete with chorizo, smoked cheese and tobacco onions. It wasn’t long before our dinner came and also before the restaurant area started to fill up. The burger was stacked up high but we both finished ours, with clean plates all round.
It was then back the Dufferin Inn and we settled in for the night. The next morning we headed to the breakfast area and helped ourselves to the cold selection, which included cereal, freshly made bread and wheaten, fresh fruit salad and yoghurt. We were told to ring a bell if we wanted hot food and shortly after ringing the bell into the kitchen, a lovely lady arrived to take our order. Barry went for the full fry, while I choose sausage and egg. The side accompaniment of stacked up soda bread and potato bread was a great wee touch!
Before checking out, I really wanted to see the B&B’s connecting Dufferin Hall, as it was the part which had undergone the £10K transformation. (I was also intrigued because I recently got married myself and the Hall is known for its romantic wedding setting.) The hall was spectacular, with its stone steps and walls, and stained glass door panels. Do check it out if you’re looking for a wedding venue with a difference!
It was then time to check out and I was glad to get the chance to say goodbye to Leontine before we left. We had a nice night away and felt very at home. It’s an historic building in the shadow of the beautiful Killyleagh Castle but it doesn’t feel dated. The B&B is only 30 minutes away from Belfast so great for a short staycation!
History of the building still evident
Sitting area with warm, inviting fire
Dufferin Arms for dinner
Burger of the day
Dufferin Hall- lovely setting for wedding pictures