I really hadn’t spent that much time in the Titanic Hotel until my recent overnight. A (great) opening night party, one or two meetings in the drawing offices and then a black tie dinner for my daughter’s school PTA would be a fair summary of my experience. None of these visits gave me the opportunity to have a proper look around, and so a recent invitation to stay was welcomed with open arms.
The two drawing rooms are bright and airy – one is an events space and the other, the main bar, was buzzing. The hotel features lots of artefacts from the original building owners – Harland and Wolff – the company that built the ship of the hotel’s name, as well as Titanic replicas and plenty of drawings and plans, plus ship signs and more.
I’ll get to the rooms and the overnight in a bit, but I’m going to kick start things with the food in the restaurant. It is outstanding. I mean, REALLY outstanding. I had no idea the quality of dishes (made from ingredients mostly of local provenance) was so epic, nor that the presentation could be so pretty outside of my usual fine dining choices of OX, James Street, Howard Street, Deanes et al. So I stand well and truly enlightened.
I had scallops with a cauliflower and langoustine velouté to start, while my guest had hake with Jerusalem artichokes (a much underestimated vegetable which grows very successfully here).
For mains we chose together so that we could share both dishes, and I still got food envy when I had to pass the second half of the most delicious beef plate over to him. Our other main course was a halibut fillet with radishes and some very fine broccoli. A dish I would normally fawn over, but I fell so in love with the beef and the buttery carrot stack which came on the side, that it took second place for me – still deliciously light and flavoursome though. Massive shout out also to the roasted purple potatoes. Regular readers will know that I love my spuds – the world’s best carb – and these did not disappoint, with the chef’s perfect hint of oil and salt.
I imagine the puddings would have been wondrously delicate and arty affairs, but it was Sunday evening and a cheeseboard with a glass of port beckoned.
The selection of local cheeses was fab, and I made a special request for some honey to go with it. (My go-to accompaniment for cheese is truffle honey). They didn’t have truffle honey, but the chef sent out a big chunk of runny fresh honeycomb which felt like it had just been lifted straight out of the hive. Just wow. I spilt the port but we’ll ignore that slight of hand as we were both happy gorging on the cheese and port.
And so back to our room. I always love a room with a bath (less hassle for the blow dry, you see) and this one was perfect. Thankfully the water wasn’t scalding – as some hotel bathwater can be if you leave it running - and the products were from Rituals, which is a great natural brand, with not too many chemical ingredients to dry out the skin. The bathrobes get 9/10 – just the perfect mix of soft and crisp for me; and the bed was a dream to sleep in. Perfectly roomy if you need some space but also great for comfy cuddle.
The hotel is located next to the world-renowned Titanic Belfast tourist attraction and a 15 minute walk from the city centre. We departed the next morning to City Airport and the journey took just 6 minutes in total from the car park – convenience at its best.