Next day it was up and across to the Cairnryan to catch the ferry to Belfast having an overnight with Roy and Patricia, Linda's Brother and SiL, they live in a wind swept part of Galloway, but ever so pretty, it is a part of Scotland that I need to explore more, so be warned! P.S. Patricia the stew was fantastic and I mean that.
Friday morning dawned as we boarded the Stena Lines fast ferry from Cainryan to Belfast, the winds had died down over night and it was a very smooth crossing much to Linda's relief. We parked up in Belfast and took ourselves off to George Market, I fell in love with these markets a few years ago and now no visit to Belfast is complete without a visit, so it has to be a Friday or Saturday. We also popped into the Continental market around the City Hall (a magnificent building), it was ok, but coming from Germany, it leaves one a little under-awed.
We next set off for lunch, we had booked into Danny Millar's new culinary venture, the gastro-pub and restaurant near Comber, Lisbarnett House. (it is actually in Lisbane).
It is a pretty white washed building with ample car parking to the side, not forgetting this was the last Friday before Christmas the car park was full but we managed to squeeze in to what I think was the last slot. Lisbarnett House is split into 3 parts, a small bar,
then to the front a restaurant (only serving evening meals) and the gastro restaurant, this is part original and part new build, we sat in the original front part, very cosy. The larger part is open and is perfect with plenty of space for larger parties (it was full to bursting with people doing their Christmas lunch thing). It had been a good idea of Linda's to book, because otherwise it would have been no room at the Inn!
Linda chose the Portavogie scampi and chips, I chose the Kilkeel sole fillets coated in panko crumbs. All the food was wonderfully cooked, I enjoyed the crispy panko crust, well seasoned and the fish still moist. The portion is more than ample (a good Irish trait), the scampi served retro in a basket hung with a pot of tartar sauce and a very nice coleslaw salad, this was also the accompaniment to my fish, the coleslaw had a nice fruity note and what I think was cranberries in it.
We left and retraced our wheel prints back to Comber and then around the East side of Strangford Lough (Ards peninsular) to pick up our Christmas goose (ordered from Germany) at Marlfield Farm, we have had a goose 3 times from here and we return for one reason and one reason only, they are truly fantastic!
We then travelled down the Ards peninsular to get the ferry from Portaferry to Strangford.
The Portaferry lifeboat house