Belfast Telegraph

Seven pubs pass taste test to make top Michelin guide

By Harriet Crawford

Seven pubs in Northern Ireland have been chosen to feature in the 2015 Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide.

The pubs - one from Co Antrim and an impressive six from Co Down - are included in the guide that recommends a carefully picked 570 pubs from across the UK and Ireland.

Of these, 70 are new entries, including Antrim's Billy Andy's at Mounthill near Larne.

The pub is run by husband and wife Richard and Anna Hunter, who have owned it for 22 years.

"We started off just as a little country pub that just did chicken and chips, very plain bar food.

"Twelve years ago we put on an extension and decided to go down the food route.

"Our chef Paul Dalrymple arrived a year later and we've gone from strength to strength. He has really put us on the map and this will hopefully only increase with the prestigious guide."

Down's successful listings were all included in the guide last year: The Pheasant in Annahilt; Poacher's Pocket in Comber; Grace Neill's and Pier 36 in Donaghadee, and The Parson's Nose and The Plough Inn in Hillsborough.

Each pub is chosen for the quality of its food, but Grace Neill's is alone in securing an 'Inspector's Favourite' commendation in the guide.

In the Republic, all of the 27 pubs listed retain their Michelin status with no change since last year.

Co Cork shares Co Down's honour of six listings.

"Pubs are a quintessential part of British life," guide editor Rebecca Burr said. "The standard of food being served in them continues to reach new heights.

"A pub is a great place to be in all seasons - who doesn't enjoy lunch and a pint in a pub garden on a sunny day, or a fireside meal in a cosy inn in winter?

"The value of the local pub cannot be underestimated, particularly in rural areas.

"They are often the hub of the community."

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