#DiscoverNorthernIreland

I hope you enjoyed my photo diary from the amazing Culloden Estate & Spa! While I was in Northern Ireland I didn’t just stay in the spa, I also did a bit of sight-seeing of Hillsborough Castle, Mount Stewart House and I discovered the beautiful views around the area of Strangford Lough. I highly recommend that if you want to visit different areas in the same day, to either rent a car or take a mini-van/taxi as the prices are not that high and you can get a better insight as the drivers are mainly locals! You can get the most beautiful views and hear small stories and anecdotes regarding the villages and the places you are visiting.

#Hillsborough Castle

The first stop of my trip was Hillsborough Castle – with its beautiful history starting from 1600 and 96 acres of beautiful gardens; it is a must see attraction of Northern Ireland! If you arrive there, you should defiantly try visiting the State Rooms, the Downshire Gallery and before going to visit the lovely village of Hillsborough, you should definitely have an afternoon tea in one of the elegant state rooms overlooking the grounds! After the lovely tour, I went to discover the village of Hillsborough and we had lunch at The Plough Inn, which is just around the corner from the Hillsborough Castle. 

 

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#BallymorranBay

The next stop of my trip was at the Ballymorran Bay where I have met Tracey Jeffrey! She is a Food Tour Guide so, if you ever want to go on a culinary trip in Northern Ireland, she is the best person to contact! We were invited in her house, where we have learned how to cook – Soda Bread,  Treacle Bread, Potato and Champ Bread and tasted her amazing Fruit Soda Cake! I have never thought I would enjoy getting covered in flour and learn how to make house bread – but now I am a pro! I haven’t left her house barehanded –

Here there are the main recipes I have learned during my time with Tracey!

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Soda Bread and Treacle Bread

*use a griddle for this recipe
*you don’t need a bowl as the best and traditional way of making soda bread is mixing your ingredients on the table
Ingredients:
*150g self raising flour
*a dessert spoonful of melted butter
*100/150ml buttermilk
*a spoonful of trecle (if desired to make a treacle bread)
Sieve the flour. Make a well in the middle and pour in half of your buttermilk and your melted butter. If you are making trace soda bread then at this point addd a dessert spoonful of treble. Add the rest of the buttermilk and mix to a soft consistency. Cut into falls and put onto griddle. After about 4/5minutes turn the farls. If it is golden brown then it is cooked.
Potato and Champ Bread 
Champ Bread was a staple foodstuff in Ireland pre and post Famine.
It was traditionally served as part of an Ulster Fry, with eggs, sausage, bacon and soda bread.
It is easyly made with only a couple of ingredients
Ingredients:
*250g of seasonal mash potatoes (slightly warm if ppossible) – salt pepper and butter
*60g plain flour
*chives or scallions (optional)
Mix both of these ingredients together. Really work your potatoes into the mix. Flour the board and roll the dough with a rolling pin. Cut into 4 farms. You can add scallions / chiefs or bacon pieces to the potato bread.
Fruit Soda Cake
Ingredients:
*250g – soda bread flour ( you can use plain flour and bicarbonate of soda to make soda bread flour –
*150g plain flour and 1 teaspoon of bicarb)
*1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt
*60g fried fruit
*25g caster sugar
*200-250ml buttermilk
*A spoonful of Demerara sugar sprinkled over the cake so that it gives a crunchy texture when baked
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and then add salt, sugar and fruit.Pour the buttermilk. Mix lightly to form a loose dough. Grease a 10cm deep round cake tin. Turn the dough into the tin – leaving the surface rough. Put into the oven for 20min at 200degrees / gas 6/ reduce heat to 150 degrees and cook for another further 30 min. Bread should golden brown and crips to the touch. Turn out onto a clean cloth and leave on a wire rack. serve with butter.
You are welcome! hihi 🙂

 

#Mount Stewart House

One of days we left the hotel and we went to Mount Stewart House which is one of the main sights you need to see if you arrive in Northern Ireland. The house is mainly known for its breathtaking gardens, hallmark of Edith, Lady Londonderry, thousands of different plants, wild life and the historical vibe reveal its fascinating heritage.

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Thank you so much Tourism Ireland for such a lovely experience!

To visit or find out more go to www.ireland.com.

Yours,

signiture

 

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