Yellow Door at Hillsborough Castle

It is the Queen’s official residence in Northern Ireland and until now, the general public couldn’t visit there. Happily, that has all changed with the arrival of Simon Dougan from the Yellow Door. He and his partner, fellow chef Barry Smith; ex Michelin- starred chef of Oriel of Gilford, are in charge of the catering.

There are two restaurants. The Hillsborough Café has a large service area with salad station, extensive hot food offering and a wonderous array of cakes and desserts including the signature cake which is a caramelised pineapple gateau. This is very fitting as the restaurant has been built around the original heated pineapple wall. (More on this on the website and yes pineapples were once grown in Northern Ireland!)

The restaurant is accessible via the A1 with free car parking and free entry to the visitor centre with its beautiful retail shop.

The second restaurant is the Stable Yard Tea Room situated inside a lovely little courtyard next to the castle its self. The Stable Yard Tea Room as the name suggests is a classic tea room with 12 varieties of tea and lovely dainty patisserie and cakes. There are also savoury items like soup, sandwiches and pies. Entry to this area is through the paid visitor centre or the castle entrance in the village square, paid entry allows access to the beautiful gardens and extensive walks in the estate.

Simon and Barry are sticklers for local ingredients. Incredibly they have access to the produce from the walled kitchen garden of which 70 per cent is edible. That’s great news for Simon’s green-fingered wife Jilly who designs, builds and tends edible gardens for a living. Jilly is working along side Adam Ferguson the keeper of the walled garden to help produce heritage varieties of vegetables, fruit and herbs for use in the new restaurants.

There is a fee to wander around the gardens at Hillsborough Castle but don’t think you have to pay to get into the restaurants. All you pay for is the food and drink you order.

Knowing Simon and Barry, that will be very good indeed. Fit for a Queen in fact!

For large groups and tours contact the castle directly or the events team at  028 92 681395


A1 southbound 1km from Hillsborough roundabout. The site is well sign posted


Yellow Door at Hillsborough Castle
Hillsborough Castle Visitor Centre
349 Hillsborough Road
BT26 6GT
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Contact Information

Telephone 028 92 681319
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