Potter around

Recently my family and I went for a meal to Ballydougan Pottery, near Craigavon. It was a birthday treat for my dad and whilst we'd toyed with the idea of travelling further afield, we felt that we didn't want to spend too long in the car. We'd heard good things about the restaurant and so decided to give it a go. 

As well as a restaurant, Ballydougan is a working pottery, and there are plenty of beautiful pieces on display, in the restaurant and in the shop. It also has several cute cottages if you fancy a weekend break in the country. 

First impressions were good - though it was a weekday, the restaurant was busy, with the clinking of plates and glasses and the buzz of human chatter. The staff were all very friendly and helpful the service was quick and efficient. We we shown to a table next to the fire - a lovely treat which kept us warm throughout the meal. 

When we saw the menu, our mouths dropped. What to choose? There were so many delicious-sounding combinations, in the form of sandwiches, soups, roast meats, pastries…. Maybe I'll just have to go back to try them all! 

Mum and I went for a light lunch of butternut squash and thyme soup with homemade wheaten bread. It came in a beautiful little soup tureen - hand made, of course. 

My father had a goats cheese tartlet with red onion chutney, served with salad and sweet potato crisps (chips for you Amercians). The perfect combination of buttery, creamy and tangy. 

My sister's meal looked heavenly. (And I can say it tasted heavenly, too - I might have had more than one spoonful to try….) A creamy risotto with cherry tomatoes, basil pesto and pine nuts, topped with parsnip crisps. (Please stop drooling over the keyboard. Yes, I'm talking to you!)

Thick-cut chips doused in salt and vinegar added a little extra to the meal. 

Though we were all fairly full at this point, my tactic of ordering a light main enabled me to have a full dessert to myself. I enjoyed a fair-sized piece of carrot cake - not a gigantic one like some you would get in bigger cafés, nor was it covered in icing either. A thin layer of cream cheese icing gave it the extra oomph without making it too sickly. 

Lemon tart and cream was another one of our choices and whilst it may have looked a little toxic, the fresh lemony flavour more than made up for its appearance. 

A last dessert to share - warm chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. Mmmm!

You can find the pottery at their website, here. And if you can't make it for lunch, they also do tea and coffee for a little snack. Check out the gift shop, too, with some wonderful music to guide you through! 


  1. Ooooh that meal looks oh so delicious! Beautiful presentation too.
    x x

  2. The food looks so good! It reminds me of the rookwood pottery restaurant in my hometown - you can eat in an old kiln!


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