the quirkiest thing to do in Carrickfergus is visit the old gas works museum, but I've not done that... yet. We, however, headed to the Loughshore Hotel which is a huge monstrosity of a place on the outskirts of the town, beside a much nicer little M&S food hall. We were hoping not to judge this book by ts cover.
The little scones were delicious, and there was certainly an enormous amount of cream available, but I think that they should have had full sized, adult scones, given that the sandwiches were just a tad uninspiring. What was great, however, was the amount of fresh strawberries.Overall the bottom layer of a savoury course was a bit too meagre for me. We booked for 2pm, and my morning bowl of porridge was well digested by then, so I would have liked a slightly more substantial "real" food offering before devouring the desserts!
The toffee profiterole didn't last long enough to be photographed, but here are the other desserts. Possibly defrosted and therefore a bit too soft? Not the macarons though; they were wonderful, as macarons always are. Then there was a top layer of too many chocolates. Perhaps you feel that there can never be too many chocolates. It is a standing joke in this house (and my place of work) that I don't like chocolate. I don't, particularly. Certainly by the time we had eaten absolutely everything (including all the chocolates), I did feel that I had overdosed on sugar, but would still have been able to eat something tasty and filling and scone-like, with some of that left-over cream.
What put me off the most though, was indeed the setting. There is a very interesting frieze of Belfast in the entrance hall, but the tea itself was served in the main restaurant. This felt a bit odd, because lots of families were finishing their carvery lunches, and when they had all been and gone, we were left with the good folk clearing away counters and dishes. We did feel out of place. We moved out to the seating area at the front of the hotel with our tea and glasses of fizz, and there was much more of a relaxed atmosphere there. We could even watch a lovely wedding unfold!
Brush your hair before letting anyone take your picture.
£15 is very good value when it includes a glass of fizz, but you can't drink the fizz if you're driving so look for something that might cost the same, without the fizz, and give you more on the cake stand.
Look for somewhere that can let you sit in a nice, relaxed coffee area, or somewhere with a nice view from the window, or plants.
And finally, marks out of ten? Well, Donna would have gone to 6 but I think I might stop at 5. It was super fun being out with a good friend, with hours to sit and catch up, and the food was lovely. They did also very happily refill my pot of peppermint tea. I think however that the setting could have been made nicer, and I am looking forward to more interesting sandwiches and bigger scones next time. Donna, diaries out...