Just a few short miles from Larne on Northern Ireland’s coast, Ballygally and its surrounding areas are home to several iconic Game of Thrones filming locations including the Cushendan Caves where Melisandre gave birth and Cairncastle where the Winterfell is based.
Ballygally Castle hotel now offers a luxury Game of Thrones themed afternoon tea seven days a week, where fans can indulge in delicious Throne-esque food and enjoy the beautiful surroundings that make up much of the show’s backdrop.
What better way to immerse yourself in all things GoT than becoming a Queen for the day?
Being a Game of Thrones addict, I was incredibly excited when I recently had the opportunity to experience the castle’s themed afternoon tea. Ballygally is only an hour outside of Belfast and very accessible to anyone who wishes to visit. The castle itself is filled with charm and surrounded by stunning gardens that are ideal for an after-dinner walk.
We were waited on by friendly, polite staff and seated at the front window overlooking the beach. It’s easy to forget how amazing Northern Ireland is when you’re caught up in day to day city life, but luckily you don’t have to go far to experience the great things our country has to offer.
Afternoon tea was a real treat for any Game of Thrones fan, including Rustic Ironborn Foccacia with Glenarm smoked salmon and cream cheese, Lannister egg rolls, freshly baked Jon Snow Cakes and Dothraki Trifle with mini dragon’s egg.
Choosing a mixed selection from the menu, my friend and I managed to get through a mountain of sandwiches, cakes and buns. Even better, it was all washed down with a glass of Prosecco! (Tyrion Lannister would obviously say it’s perfectly acceptable to drink at 1pm if you’re at a Game of Thrones themed tea.)
The fresh, homemade food was delicious and of high quality, a firm favourite being Sansa Stark’s Lemon Cakes. By the time I’d reached the King Slayer’s cupcakes I was ready to burst, but still managed to store one of Jon Snow’s icing sugar sprinkled scones in my bag for later…
Ballygally castle is an experience in itself with beautiful decor, its very own Ghost Room and even some specially made Game of Thrones jewelry on display in the foyer.
Visitors who take a trip to the Ghost Room be warned…the actual ghost of a a woman who was locked in there still haunts the castle. When she is around the temperature of the room is said to rise and there may be a musty smell of vanilla. A great experience for fans of Most Haunted!
After tea we were able to explore the gardens and take a walk on the beach facing the hotel. Ballygally Castle is a perfect base for exploring the area and recognising some of the incredible Game of Thrones filming locations. It’s no surprise that HBO chose such a beautifully diverse landscape for the setting of many pivotal GoT scenes!
Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea is available at Ballygally Castle from 2-5pm Monday-Saturday and 3-5pm on Sundays. Please allow 24 hours notice for reservations and check out www.hastingshotels.com/ballygally-castle or facebook.com/ballygallycastle for more information.