Bushmills Inn: A Warm Peat and Whiskey Scented Haven in County Antrim
As I made my way around Ireland I would sometimes mention to fellow travellers that Bushmills Inn was on my itinerary, which often elicit an excited response – “Oh yes, I love that place and you are going to as well”. So, expectations were running high as I pulled into the parking lot after a long day’s drive.
Bushmills is an historic coaching inn which has been gradually expanded over the years but kept all of its heart and soul. The extensions to the main building are so beautifully done that it’s very hard to see where one leaves off and the other begins. The cosy corners throughout the house give a warm feeling of character and yet the bedrooms are modern and comfortable.
One of the glories of Bushmills is to wander around and discover your favourite snug little area where you can sit with a drink and relax – just when you think you’ve found them all, you seem to always come across one more! Settle next to a warm peat fire (very welcome on that cool August day), discover the hidden library on the first floor, find a bench in the gas-lit bar or make your way to the 30 seat private cinema (Thursday is film night).
Another highlight of any trip to Bushmills is the fantastic food. We started with Oysters Rockefeller and an absolutely luscious slow roasted
Tamworth pork belly with poached pear and crozier blue cheese as starters. The main dishes were no less spectacular: sea bass with sautéed razor clams and spinach and fillet tender steak with a sauce made from flambéed Bushmills and flat cap mushroom duxelle and roasted banana shallot. Everything was perfectly cooked and this was one of the very finest meals we had in Ireland. Butterscotch sundae and sticky toffee pudding were the perfect way to such a delightful meal.
The pub at Bushmills is the best in town, so you don’t have to venture far for a few pints or glasses of whiskey and good conversation. As this was Wednesday night, there was live music in the pub bar with a lively singer performing guitar standards, traditional music and some satiric lyrics to an appreciative audience.
Of course any visit to this part of the world merits an excursion to the amazing Giant’s Causeway, just three kilometres up the road. Whiskey connoisseurs will want to take in the Bushmills Distillery Tour, golfers head to the golfing mecca of Royal Portrush, “daredevils” chance a walk over the Carrick-a-Rede footbridge and a visit to the ruins of nearby Dunluce Castle is always atmospheric in any weather.
For more information on Bushmills Inn and available special offers, click here.