Last Sunday marked Mother’s Day for many women, but more significantly for me, it marked my annual trip to Harrison’s farm shop and restaurant– a visit my mum and I would make on this special weekend each year.
The farm friendly, family-run restaurant is perfectly nestled on the picturesque hills of Strangford Lough on the outskirts of Greyabbey, County Down. The newly refurbished restaurant offers an early bird and bistro menu, in comfortable modern surroundings, giving diners the opportunity to reflect on the award winning views this hidden gem has to offer.
The restaurant was very busy when we arrived and it was clear from the long queue that I was not the only daughter who had picked this place for a Mothers Day treat. Despite the fifteen minute wait, Mum and I were shown to a window seat, by a very knowledgeable and friendly waitress, Carol. While we both glanced over the lunch menu, we could hear the faint sound of an Irish folk group playing traditional Irish music. The Irish group transported us to what felt like a pub in a back street of Dublin city, and it was clear by the foot stamping of fellow diners that they too, had been transported to a similar place.
The Menu was fantastic value, and offered a two course deal for £14.95 per person, an offer both mum and I availed of. For starter, we both ordered the homemade soup of the day and wheaten bread. The soup was packed full of fresh vegetables that had been grown in the green house that was adjacent to the restaurant. I was particularly impressed the restaurant offered a ‘gluten free’ wheaten bread alternative to the soup. As I am coeliac – I was appreciative of this, as it was this attention to detail that had often been overlooked in many other restaurants I had recently visited. Both satisfied with our starters, it was time for our main courses. Mum ordered Pan seared chicken in a white wine mushroom cream, accompanied with hand-cut chips. The chicken was beautifully displayed on a quirky, vintage styled purple ceramic plate. The white wine mushroom sauce arrived separately in a dainty jug, allowing diners to decide how much, or how little they were to divulge in. The dish was presented well, and the portion was more than adequate for one person. I ordered the Roast silverside of beef, with Yorkshire pudding and vegetables. Again, the portion was of a good size, and the wait between courses was not substantial despite how busy the restaurant was.
Once again, Carol my waitress remembered my dietary requirements from the starter, and offered a gluten free gravy to accompany my beef. When the meal arrived it was perfectly cooked, succulent and well presented. The vegetables, were slightly undercooked for my liking, but this was only a minor criticism I had for what overall was a great dining experience. After finishing our main course, we sat back and enjoyed once of the most tranquil and peaceful settings Northern Ireland has to offer.
As a dining experience, Harrisons of Greyabbey once again, did not disappoint. It displays a great example of home-cooking in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. The location of this restaurant is second to none and has one of the best panoramic views Northern Ireland has to offer, with great portion sizes and even better value for money. I am counting down the days to next Mothers Day already.