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Tea at The Parson’s Nose for Hillsborough Castle visitors

sam butlerHillsborough’s The Parson’s Nose restaurant is extending its award-winning menu with the addition of afternoon tea for visitors to the revamped castle nearby just in time for summer, writes Sam Butler.

The decision by the gastro-pub, owned by award-winning Balloo Inns Group, to introduce an afternoon tea follows the recent re-opening of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens after a five-year-long and £24 million refurbishment.

Ronan Sweeney, managing director of Balloo Inns, says: “We are already seeing more visitors to Hillsborough since the re-opening of the castle in April and what could be more fitting after a tour around Northern Ireland’s official royal residence than an afternoon spent enjoying an elegant tea in historic, romantic Hillsborough. Indeed, rumour has it that King Edward and Mrs Simpson would row across the private lake from the castle to our pub for secret afternoon trysts!”

Available from Thursday through to Saturday from 12-4pm, The Parson’s Nose Afternoon Tea menu includes a selection of gastro-pub sandwiches, freshly baked scones and exquisite pastries.

Mr Sweeney adds; “As a team, we are really looking forward to sharing the Afternoon Tea experience with customers. Our incredible chefs have been working hard on the menu, as we wanted to offer something elegant but with a gastro-pub twist. With everything served on vintage china and the beautiful view overlooking our beer garden and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens lake, I think we have created a very unique setting for a special afternoon.”

There will be a superb savoury selection for diners to enjoy, including the Parson’s Chicken & Bacon Club with Parmesan Crust, Hot Smoked Salmon Crumpet with Horseradish Crème Fraiche, and a Goats Cheese & Peperonata Open Sandwich.

As well as a selection of freshly baked buttermilk scones, guests will also be treated to an assortment of delicate pastries including Chocolate and Passionfruit Delice, Pâte a Choux with Orange Chocolate Cream, mini Lemon Meringue Tarts and a Pistachio & Chocolate or Raspberry & Coconut macaroon selection.

The Parson’s Nose is part of the Balloo Inns Group, which also comprises Balloo House in Killinchy and Poacher’s Pocket, Lisbane.