AA Logo Powered
by The AA

Our Inspector's View

This upscale country resort hotel stands in 163 acres of parkland with the River Maine flowing through. Add luxurious bedrooms, a swish spa, posh conference and wedding facilities, and three dining venues, and you have a package to keep most people happy. On the food front, there’s a brasserie and grill in former stables and a relaxed Italian venue, but gastronomy here gets serious in the aptly named River Room Restaurant, where the floodlit river creates a seductive atmosphere after dark, and its floor-to-ceiling windows mean everyone gets the watery views. This is chef Chris Rees’s domain and he sets out his stall with a five-course tasting menu and a thoughtfully composed à la carte designed to showcase his impressive skills, as well as the splendid produce from trusty local suppliers (and as you'd hope with all those acres out there, a kitchen garden chips in with freshly plucked seasonal goodies). Things get off the blocks with a well-crafted warm terrine of local rabbit and ham pointed up with crispy potatoes, purées of pea and black garlic, and wilted gem lettuce. Clarity of flavour is key, and while Rees is happy to use clever technical ideas when appropriate, the base of it all is solidly grounded in modern European thought, so main course showcases exquisite Mourne lamb, a cutlet and sliced rump delivered in a pretty-as-a-picture medley with courgette, fennel, tomato and artichoke. Fish cookery, too, shows real skill and confidence – perhaps halibut with cured egg, leeks, bacon and salsify. Desserts are a high point, especially when baked caramel tart comes with roasted macadamia nuts, dark chocolate sorbet and coffee, or you might bow out on a pungent note with artisan Irish cheeses ripened to prime condition. All the peripherals, from the excellent home-made bread and inventive canapés to the superb petits fours are crafted with impressive attention to detail.

Awards, Accolades & welcome Schemes

award
3 Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence

Ambitious contemporary cooking and river views

aa logo
- AA Inspector
Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort
136 Fenaghy Road, Galgorm, BALLYMENA, Co Antrim, BT42 1EA

Features

Facilities
  • Seats: 50
  • On-site parking available
Accessibility
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome
Opening Times
  • Open all year
  • Days Closed: Monday to Tuesday
  • Lunch served from: 1
  • Lunch served until: 4
  • Dinner served from: 6.30
  • Dinner served until: 9.30
Food and Drink
  • Wines under £30: 40
  • Wines over £30:
  • Wines by the glass: 14
  • Cuisine style: Modern Irish
  • Vegetarian menu

Also in the Area

About The area

Discover County Antrim

At its closest point, County Antrim is only 12 miles from the Mull of Kintyre, and its coastline is both beautiful and geologically diverse. Alternating sandy bays, rocky shores, high cliffs and forbidding headlands produce a dramatic scenery. Inland, the beautiful wooded glens rise to meet dizzying moorland heights.

The complex coastal geology ranges from relatively recent volcanic activity several millennia ago – represented by the massive basalt moorland plateau – to the silvery schists in the northwest, which are about 250 million years older. It includes rocks laid down more than 500 million years ago on an ancient ocean floor, pudding-stone that was later a desert floor, a belt of coal formed out of a swampy delta, salt trapped in the stone 200 million years ago, and mudstones and limestones from the time of the dinosaurs. In between are rich red sandstones, grey clays and dazzling cliffs of white chalk. This fascinating mixture is best seen at Fair Head and Murlough Bay, where, in startling contrast, the chalk cliffs overlie the older red Triassic sandstones. The Antrim Coast and Glens were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1988.

Why Choose Rated Trips

Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK

icon example
The Best Coverage

Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.

icon example
Quality Assured

Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.

icon example
Plan Your Next Trip

Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.

icon example
Travel Inspiration

Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.