Although I’m a Belfast girl, I do spend a lot of time in Derry. I know much has been said about the road network to the North West, so I usually avoid the chaos and take the train – well if it the journey is good enough for Michael Palin, it’s good enough for me!
For a small city, Derry has its fair share of hotels – off the top of my head I can easily name five, but when you visit you will quickly see how popular it is with tourists so hotels come in handy. The newest kid on the block is Bishop’s Gate Hotel, in Derry’s Cathedral Quarter. A boutique hotel in the true sense of the word as it only as 30 rooms, which in my opinion adds to its unique charm.
I’ve stayed in a good few hotels in my time… but I’m not sure if it was the history of the building, the fact that I remained in a blissful food coma the whole time, or just the famous Derry welcome, but I can honestly say it’s an experience I’ll remember for some time.
Built in 1899 and previously a gentleman’s club, the Grade B1 listed building has a sublime mix of period and contemporary features. Don’t worry, there is no sign of dull brown furniture, (although I hear it’s making a comeback), rather greys, orange, black and cozy leather chairs fill the bar and restaurant area. Also I was most impressed with the lovely old fashioned phone in the room, which worked well blended with the high ceilings and tasteful modern decor.
I guess a good room is probably the most important thing about staying in a hotel, but G Spotters! know that I love my grub, so how could I not say what’s on the menu? It’s not too much of a chore because everything we tried was so good that I’m spoilt for choice. The afternoon tea was probably my favourite as not only did it taste sublime but it gave my Insta friends serious food envy #sorrynotsorry. Priced from £18.99 it offers a good variation and I actually liked the fact that it is on a tray and not those fussy tiered plates. Served in the beautiful Edwardian surroundings of the Hervery Library, it will feel like a treat fit for a queen or king depending on who you take. If there is too much (which there probably will be) you can get a doggy bag home and Keith gets a special mention as he was like our own private butler/tour guide/all round nice guy.
Between welcome cocktails, an unbelievable three course dinner and a beautiful cooked breakfast I probably shouldn’t have eaten again for a week, but thankfully a jaunt around the famous Derry walls and Guildhall Square helped burn off a few calories! Quality, choice, service and a smile at reception all gets a tick in my book and Bishop’s Gate has that and more.
It was especially lovely to hear so many local and international accents, so it seems like the word is out there. Better get in quick and bring your friends… but if you are going solo, the team are so friendly and welcoming that after a stay here you’ll have certainly made a few more!
Find out more about Bishop’s Gate Hotel here or @BGhotelderry
Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @grainnemcgarvey or at www.pulseprni.com