The thing about the Portaferry Hotel is that the feeling of “rightness” is everywhere: in the bar; in the dining room; in the sitting room and, above all, in the bedrooms. It’s the reason that this south County Down destination has always been a landmark. And now, with new owners in the shape of the well-known Arthurs family, the PH is all set to be a significant culinary landmark for Northern Ireland all over again. What’s to like? The lot. The staff are superb – chatty, calm, helpful, funny, on top of things. The cooking – we had a brilliant dinner, and then breakfast was even better than dinner, one of the best breakfasts of the year. And the comfort: understated but apt, the sort of space where you plant yourself in a chair and happily waste hours staring out at the ferry crossing over the 66-metre deep channel to Strangford. Lovely.
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