Ten Years at the Top for Balloo House

Balloo House Crowned Good Food Guide’s Northern Ireland Restaurant of the Year 

After almost ten years Balloo House continues to put the small town of Killinchy in County Down firmly on the international culinary map as it was today named ‘The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year’ in Northern Ireland.

Beating off stiff regional competition, Balloo House claimed the award from the widely respected and much admired Which? publication that is also the UK’s best-selling restaurant guide.

The Good Food Guide 2014 accolade tops off a fantastic decade of success for Balloo House and adds to the many national and international culinary awards the bistro and fine dining pub has claimed since opening in 2004.

Ronan Sweeney, Managing Director of Balloo Inns said: “We are absolutely delighted to be crowned regional favourite by The Good Food Guide that is widely revered as the foodie’s bible.  They have been reviewing and writing about restaurants since 1851, so know a thing or two about great local food quality and service.  After almost ten years in business, we are particularly pleased to once again receive recognition for the quality of our offering and consistently high standards.”

“It means a lot to us that this was voted by members of the public.  We would like to say a big thanks to all of those who voted to make us Readers Restaurant of the Year in Northern Ireland.”

Elizabeth Carter, Consultant Editor of The Good Food Guide said: “The downstairs bar and bistro at Balloo House is where it’s at for me. Atmospheric and lively, with well-executed, generously proportioned pub grub that makes really good use of local ingredients. And it’s this robust, rustic cooking that has proved so popular with our readers resulting in it winning our Readers’ Restaurant of the Year award for Northern Ireland.”

This year an impressive 39,000 food-loving members of the public voted in the awards that recognise excellence and good service at independently-owned restaurants, pubs and cafés across the UK.     An independent judging panel selected the winners that provided the best dining experiences around the UK based on the public’s recommendations.  To qualify for the awards, aimed at championing local neighbourhood eateries, restaurants needed to be independently run and offer regional or local produce where possible.

Balloo House now joins nine other regional winners including to compete for the revered overall restaurant of the year title, which will be announced on Wednesday, 19th June 2013 in a central London Ceremony.

Balloo Inns’ multi award-winning chef, Danny Millar added: “It’s always a great honour to win awards, but this one is very, very special. The Good Food Guide champions the importance of local ingredients, great food and service and these elements are at the very centre of everything we do at Balloo House. Because this award is based on customer’s feedback – it obviously holds a special significance for us.”

The enduring popularity of Balloo House is widely attributed to its strong stance on using locally-sourced products ranging from traditionally reared Dexter beef and seafood fresh from Strangford Lough.

Added-value menus introduced this year have proven a particular hit with today’s increasingly budget-savvy diners who have come from far and wide to enjoy tailored offers that include a mid-week three set course menu for just £26.95 at fine dining restaurant, Upstairs at Balloo.   Food lovers and short break enthusiasts can also enjoy a culinary ‘staycation’ in Killinchy incorporating a five course gourmet meal at Balloo House and a luxury overnight stay at nearby Hunters Lodge for only £50.00 per person sharing.

As well as The Good Food Guide UK, Balloo House is recognised in the Michelin Guide, the Bridgestone 100 Best Restaurants In Ireland and Georgina Campbell’s ‘Best of the Best’ in Ireland Guide.   In the last number of months, it has received awards from Observer Food Monthly and Good Food Ireland and is currently shortlisted for a Northern Ireland Tourism Award.  Chef Danny Millar has also previously taken home the coveted ‘Best Chef in Ireland’ title at the prestigious Restaurant Association of Ireland Awards and he was Northern Ireland winner of ‘Great British Menu’ for two consecutive years.

Balloo Inns continues to achieve similar success with their award-winning Parson’s Nose dining pub in Hillsborough and the recently acquired Lisbarnett House in Lisbane, also in County Down.

Ronan Sweeney concluded: “This coming year we are celebrating 10 years at Balloo House, a milestone we would never have reached without the on-going support of our customers, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude.”