Overlooking the crescent sweep of Ballyholme Bay, and within a short stroll of Bangor town centre, this grand century-old whitewashed abode exudes a homely antique chic vibe. Eclectic curios, vintage prints and maps, feature fireplaces and stained glass windows enchant at every turn.
Owners Jenny and Chris Mullan have been running the award-winning guest house for 18 years and, in that time, cultivated a stylish meld of tradition and contemporary. Nowhere is this more striking than the pristine white breakfast room whose restful sea views and stunning period features are playfully punctuated with strings of coloured lights.
And so to bed...
Eight individually attired en-suite bedrooms (each with shower) range from a spacious single to two room top floor suite. Bath robes, VOYA organic seaweed toiletries, comfy sofas and complimentary bags of Tayto Cheese and Onion beckon the weary traveller. While DVD libraries and piles of glossy mags dotted throughout the house positively encourage a lazy beachside escape.
How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Come morning, Cairn Bay breakfasts are so renowned, non-guests visit to feast at their table. Start with the fabulous spread of fresh fruit and yoghurt, homemade cereals and breads and Irish cheeses and honey. Then move on to the mains; smoked salmon omelette, Eggs Benedict, the classic Ulster Grill and, our favourite, Copeland Island crab with scrambled egg and chilli jam.
And there's more
Extend your inner Zen at Jenny's in-house Sea Beauty sanctuary, where a replete selection of facials, massages and beauty treatments make this a truly relaxing trip. Then take a quick look around the gift shop with a bijou display of local souvenirs and those delicious VOYA products. And look out for plans to create a cafe in those beautiful ground floor bay window rooms.
Out and about
Take a stroll along Ballyholme Bay towards Bangor marina, stopping at the Guillemot Kitchen Cafe for a creamy latte and scrummy scone. Continue along the landscaped waterfront towards Pickie Fun Park, a fantastic outdoor children's playzone with miniature railway, racing cars and pedalo swans. Then head back inland along the Ballyholme Road with its cute village vibe and some of NI's most sumptuous homes. Just round the corner, the Jamaica Inn serves fantastic evening meals with a side order of live music.