Born and reared in working-class west Belfast, I grew up understanding the Malone Road to be ‘where the rich lived.’
Now, having stayed on the 4-star boutique lodge, The Malone, a reworked Victorian townhouse, I need to admit to basking within the magnificence of the neighborhood.
Outside, leafy, predominantly residential streets and massive, brown-brick homes emanating a soothing sense of tranquility. Inside, a marbled ground, spacious, low-ceilinged foyer with a lot of leather-based armchairs and tender seats and a grand piano.
As for the ‘rich’ bit, the properties could certainly be owned by pretty well-to-do individuals, however on the road the place the lodge is positioned many are subdivided into flats.
Nor did I see overt proof of elitism. Instead, an older girl strolling alongside, her canine on a lead beside her, some younger kids strolling to high school, and other people on bicycles headed for work or school.
As for the lodge itself, my companion and I stayed in certainly one of its government rooms on the finish of the third ground hall. With views over the tree-lined road and branches of linden timber stretching out their limbs to us, we sat enjoyable on armchairs at a draped-wrapped bay window.
Our room was classically designed, with some stylish components resembling ornamental ‘bubble glass’ bedside lamp-stands. It had a big flatscreen TV affixed to 1 wall and a writing desk and chair in a nook of the room. A mahogany-enclosed cabinet and a big stand-alone wardrobe offered greater than sufficient house for our belongings. A brightly-lit, black and white tiled lavatory featured each a separate tub and bathe. Toiletries, in progressive packaging created by Bunzl Rafferty Hospitality in Armagh, are branded beneath the identify of Irish-American designer, Paul Costelloe and made in Italy. Their label states, ‘cruelty free, vegan friendly with no parabens.’The Residence Building, an extension of the lodge throughout the road, includes 9 rooms, together with three flats. The rooms are all double occupancy, together with household ones with kitchens.
Formerly the Malone Lodge Hotel & Apartments and as soon as a World War Two hospital, the renovated lodge was opened in June this 12 months, after a re-design costing round 250,000 British kilos. It has been owned for the final 30 years by the Macklin household, whose pursuits embody care-homes and building. Next 12 months, an extension can be added to the lodge, one other 24 rooms, creating 95 in whole, and an expanded restaurant.
Be certain to go to the lodge’s enticing pub, The Greyhound, that includes a casual setting modeled after the Dead Rabbit in New York. Nod to Audrey Hepburn, whose face adorns the doorway. The motto is ‘Local food done right’ and our experiences of its gastro-food help that boast. We feasted on starters of buffalo wings with Cashel blue cheese and whisky glazed pork stomach bites with apple and celeriac coleslaw and our mains comprised a falafel burger on a brioche bun with pink onion, tomato and native Ballymaloe relish and a succulent fish pie of salmon, coley and smoked haddock topped with champ. Dessert was a Belfast delicacy known as ‘homemade fifteens.’
On some evenings, The Greyhound affords steak specials and there’s reside music on Fridays. I used to be delighted to seek out it has its personal lager made by The Yardman Brewery. Guests may dine alfresco, on a coated terrace dealing with the road.
Kudos to government chef, Andrew McConnell, for the standard of the kitchen and to employees members, Gemma Molloy and Sé McKee, for his or her environment friendly, pleasant service. It must be famous, one other eating possibility for company is the restaurant, Gallery.
Speaking of employees, particular point out should additionally go to ‘angel of mercy,’ Stacy Hagen, the lodge’s reception supervisor from Seattle. Without her pressing assist in driving us to the bus station, we’d have missed the one day by day service to Donegal, our onward vacation spot.
The Malone has handy complimentary automotive parking amenities and caters for company in addition to private occasions with a gathering room appropriate for 200 individuals and one other room that seats round 90. A extra intimate room seats ten.
And final however not least, The Malone’s location in south Belfast’s historic Queen’s University Quarter means visiting metropolis highlights such because the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Lyric Theatre, Queen’s University itself and the Crescent Arts Centre, residence to the ‘Belfast Book Festival,’ are however a brief stroll away.