Categories: trip inspiration

We absolutely love Northern Ireland, it has always been a very special place for both of us. It is the perfect location for an indulgent escape and the luxurious resort and spa at Galgorm is an ideal location to relax, unwind and embrace our much-needed romantic getaway.  

My favourite things about Northern Ireland are the delicious food and the people who are always super friendly and welcoming. I always feel like I am in my happy place when we spend time here, it’s such a special place to really get out into nature and the best part is, the giant parkland in which Galgorm Resort is located, is right on our doorstep. We left home at 10am and arrived at Galgorm just after midday – as they say in these parts, it’s just a small step to a giant adventure and being able to leave the house mid-morning, rather than first thing felt like a treat in itself. I’m not one for packing light so when we travel to Northern Ireland literally everything goes into the car – no weight limit needed!

A deluxe guest room was our home away from home for the weekend. It featured views over the gorgeous gushing River Maine and each of these rooms come with a sumptuous king size bed, a lounge area and a spacious marble bathroom. From the moment we arrived we knew this would be the break we both needed – lads, it was just so fab!

Terrie McEvoy and her husband David enjoyed settling into Galgorm
After we checked-in we immediately embraced our peaceful surrounds. We had lunch at the robes-only Elements Spa Café, which really allowed us to begin to unwind, before we indulged in a private bathing experience in our own riverside hot tub. This was absolute heaven, we enjoyed some bubbles and watched a heron fishing. It was so dreamy and the sight and sound of the flowing river just metres away was incredible.

The setting really was ideal, it was so secluded and serene and the warmth of our riverside hot tub as we nestled together in its still waters put us at ease as we connected with each other in complete comfort - time like this with David is rare these days so it was just what we both needed!

We also spent time in the walled garden with its lush olive trees and apple orchards and enjoyed the warm glow of the infrared heated beds found within secluded wooden cabins and, as evening approached, we sauntered back to our room to get ready for the night ahead.

We were booked into the Galgorm Gin Tasting Experience, we’ve done it before but it is SO good we simply had to do it again. I would highly recommend making this experience a part of your next getaway, the staff on hand throughout are excellent and knowledgeable – it’s an experience you don’t want to miss! Limited to just four guests at a time, this gin tasting session is very intimate and takes place at Galgorm’s Gin Library. Hosted by Galgorm’s Gin Bar Manager, we learned about and tasted so many delicious gins and had the chance to make them our own by choosing our own garnish from the garnish boards. Starting with a French 75, we had some craic as we explored an extensive list of gins that included hand selected local (I even spotted some White Wave Gin!) and international gins.

An indulgent meal at the Fratelli Ristorante, Pizzeria & Bar helped us soak up all that gin. The informal environment oozes rustic Italian charm with a focus on the delicious food served up by their warm and welcoming team. There is such a nice atmosphere here, nothing is too much trouble for the staff and the food could hold its own in any Italian piazza. There is something for everyone at Fratelli at Galgorm, from mouth-watering pizza to pasta and tempting mini-desserts — we had smoked salmon, a supreme of chicken and a margherita pizza, it was also so delicious, it was to die for! After our meal we sat in the hotel and listened to some fantastic live music at Gillies Grill before retreating to our cozy king size bed – it was such a memorable little date night.


Day Two 

We began our day at a gentle pace and enjoyed breakfast at the River Room Conservatory. It is bright, airy and dressed in classic, elegant furniture and of course, the food was absolutely delicious — everything about this place is just luxury! We found the conservatory to be quiet around 7:30am, so if you would like a peaceful breakfast try and come then.

Terrie McEvoy and her husband David loved the relaxation options at Galgorm
Following breakfast, we enjoyed a morning relaxing at Galgorm’s Thermal Spa Village and really welcomed its laid-back vibe. It is a lot bigger than it first seems so make sure you give yourself time to explore! In the middle there are two large indoor pools with stunning glass walls that let natural light pour through. There are sprawling gardens with paths that lead to several different zones including the Alpine Garden where cute chill-out chalets and saunas await.

There is so much space! It really does give you ample opportunity to reconnect with nature at your own pace. We had great craic on a secluded swing in the garden – until David put the fear in me asking if it was about to break – and spent some quality time in a covered seated area enjoying the warmth of a fire while listening to the river and the birdsong — I can’t even explain how unreal this was.

We then enjoyed a Galgorm Massage. It was really relaxing, beautiful and lasted for an hour. I had a therapist called Karen and David had a girl called Hannah and we both floated out feeling completely refreshed. They used loads of essential oils and really worked from our heads to our toes to nourish our minds, bodies and spirits. David was panicking he would fall asleep and shatter the peacefulness with his snoring – thankfully, for everyone concerned, he stayed awake!

After the massage we were then booked into the Celtic Sauna infusion. This experience is located on the banks of the River Maine and offers panoramic countryside views. This experience was incredible! I guess the best way to describe it is like a theatre show for the senses. A sauna master performs what is known as an Aufguss ritual that sees them work with water and a towel to circulate heat throughout the sauna. The sauna master used ice balls containing essential oils. They encouraged us to breathe deeply as the oils, which were melted into the air, would help our breathing and circulation and when we tried it - WOW! It was such a lovely experience — we felt so chilled afterwards. It really is a good idea to book spa treatments and between 3pm and 6pm, things tend to get busier then so having a fun, relaxing activity lined up for the middle of the day is something to look forward to.

Terrie McEvoy enjoyed the opulent setting of Galgorm and its delicious restaurants
For dinner we went to the Castle Kitchen and Bar which is located at Galgorm Castle Golf Club. We had the chicken, a steak and a chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert while David chose the crumble. All of it was, once again, delicious. The cocktails were simply amazing and the relaxed, yet glamourous, setting of the restaurant really was the best way to end what was a perfectly peaceful day.

Day Three

After yet another great night’s sleep, we woke slowly and enjoyed a lovely breakfast before returning to our room and making sure we were ready to check out at noon. We said good-bye, for now, to Galgorm but before heading home we popped into the fabulous Victoria Square in Belfast for some shopping! There’s such a wide choice of fantastic boutiques and shops here — I really love dropping into Frasers whenever we come here and its just 90 minutes from Dublin so its super convenient.

Poor David could have done with going back to Galgorm for a massage to relieve the stress after all the shopping – but sure I was on my holidays!

This luxurious escape was exactly what we both needed. At least two nights at Galgorm Resort is a must as there is just so much to see, do, eat and drink! Life can get so hectic, so switching off and relaxing together, all within three hours of home, has been the ultimate treat and it couldn’t have been easier to plan thanks to Discover Northern Ireland’s Giant Experience collection.

Galgorm
Hotel
Vitality Pool at Galgorm

Galgorm is one Ireland's premier Resorts, set in 450 acres of lush parkland near Northern Ireland’s most renowned scenic attractions it is the perfect location to truly relax & unwind.

Galgorm Gin Tasting Experience
Food Experiences
Galgorm Gin Tasting Experience

Unique gin tasting experience at Galgorm Resort, near Ballymena as they showcase hand selected gins every Thursday to Sunday in the surroundings of The Gin Library, winner of Best Bar in Connacht/Ulster at the Sky Bar of the Year awards.

Fratelli at Galgorm
Restaurant
Fratelli at Galgorm

Fratelli Ristorante, Pizzeria & Bar oozes rustic Italian charm with a contemporary edge, welcoming guests into a family-friendly, informal environment where the focus is on simple yet quality cookery and a warm welcome.

Gillies Grill at Galgorm
Restaurant
Gillies Grill at Galgorm

Gillies Grill offers a casual style of dining with menus catering for a wide range of tastes, including brasserie dishes, a grill selection and Asian-inspired creations. Live music in Gillies pub 7 nights a week adds a jovial atmosphere.

The Conservatory at Galgorm
Restaurant
The Conservatory at Galgorm

A magnificent bespoke glass creation that perfectly frames the stunning setting of the cascading River Maine and lush parkland of the Resort, The Conservatory serves Afternoon Tea at its finest.

Thermal Spa Village at Galgorm
Spa and Well-being
Thermal Spa Village at Galgorm

The Spa at Galgorm is a true haven of peace and tranquillity where every conceivable aspect of our guest’s journey has been taken into consideration when designing our spaces, treatments and packages.

Castle Kitchen + Bar at Galgorm
Restaurant
Castle Kitchen + Bar at Galgorm

The distinct warmth, and ambience of Castle Kitchen + Bar make it a space for all occasions and tastes

Victoria Square Belfast
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Victoria Square Belfast

Northern Ireland’s biggest and brightest shopping centre. Inside Victoria Square you'll find shops, an Odeon Cinema and lots of eateries. Highlights include Five Guys, House of Fraser, Urban Outfitters, and Hugo Boss.