We decided to pay a return visit to The Old Schoolhouse at the beginning of this month, after a gap (we reckon) of about 15 years. Our decision was based on the reports we'd heard about the high standard of food being produced by the young chef Will Brown - and we were not disappointed. This guy, having worked for both Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay (amongst others), took the brave decision to return home to rural Co Down and re-open a restaurant at the family business - and we are very glad he did so! We chose the tasting menu with matching wines (expertly chosen by the restaurant manager Didier). This is never the least expensive dining option, but we opt for it wherever possible. It's the best way to experience a wide variety of dishes - and still have room for them all. It is impossible to pick out a favourite as they were all beautifully executed and presented - and tasted every bit as good as they looked. We started off with a mackerel veloute, accompanied by oyster beignet. Then followed a further four courses (featuring Clandeboye Estate pigeon, halibut, local Dexter beef and cheesecake), rounded off by a chocolate delice. When one considers that food of this standard is already being produced by a chef who is only 26 years old, who knows what the future may hold? Others have mentioned the restaurant decor - and, yes, it has changed little since our last visit. However, a complete refurbishment is to take place right at the beginning of 2013. Frankly, I spent too much time enjoying what was being presented in front of me to even notice the decor. All in all, we wouldn't hesitate to pay a return visit and have already recommended it to friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A little piece of Heaven situated by the shores of Strangford Lough in an area of outstanding beauty. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Old Schoolhouse Inn Comber, Northern Ireland