I was just never the greatest fan, as I always thought the hotel was stuffy and old, but my visit this week, first for lunch in Cultra Inn then a tour round the hotel and spa changed my mind.
Cultra Inn invited me along to taste their new summer menu, a menu with a huge focus on locally sourced produce, something I always love to see. With Glenarm salmon, County Armagh chicken, County Tyrone field mushrooms and County Antrim beetroot, Fivemiletown goats cheese and the north west Broighter Gold rapeseed oil, there is an abundance of local businesses being supported by the hotel and the wider Hastings group. We had a mixture of starters from the bistro summer menu and for main course I chose the superfoods salad at £10. Just delicious! Most mains are between £10-£14 so they are great value. The desserts were even better, so often you can order a dessert and be disappointed, but not here, they were all amazing! Needless to say I’ve been won over by Cultra Inn and already plans are in place for a return visit on a Saturday night to soak up the atmosphere of the live band who play there every weekend.
Next stop was up the hill to the Culloden Hotel for a look at the new Crozier lounge and to try out one of their specialities from their Gin cocktail bar, a Hoxton Hornet. Now there’s a reason in itself to visit the luxurious new lounge and that’s before I even take into account the Hendricks Gin afternoon teas, the weekend jazz music on the grand piano in the room, the ‘A’ list guests and the 5 star team.
I was last in the Culloden Hotel maybe 10 years ago and I just didn’t get why it was our top hotel, and for that reason I’ve never went back, but now I get it, I totally get it. It’s been reborn and with the help of a new manager the 5 star Cultra hotel has been given a new lease of life. It’s been brightened up and refreshed without losing its history and I love it.
My only problem (or pleasure) is that I have a need to stay over some Saturday night. I’ll get the train up, check in and have a swim and a spa treatment, enjoy locally sourced food in the relaxed Cultra Inn and listen to great live music, then I’ll head into the Crozier lounge for a cocktail or 3 before getting a great night’s sleep in a luxurious suite. On the Sunday it’ll be a big slap up breakfast then relax on the lawns overlooking Belfast Lough and maybe head up for a Hendricks Gin afternoon tea before getting the train home…..
Doesn’t that just sound like a little bit of heaven?!
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