The Cuan, Strangford

We cannot fail to mention our stay at the Cuan Inn in the quaint village of Strangford, Northern Ireland.

There is a reason there are so many plaques on the wall. This little gem has been visited by many celebrities over the years and we were graced with the "Arya Stark" room - Game of Thrones fame. Where do I start to describe our stay? Perhaps the large room overlooking the village square, the spacious bathroom or comfy bed, or better yet the warmth and friendliness of our hosts, Peter and Caroline. You could not find a more welcoming place to call home, while away from home. For us this was a perfect setting and a perfect Inn.

The meals were homemade - nothing from a box here. Slow roasted beef and potatoes with veggies and a smooth delicious gravy, I had to order this twice, or how about the roasted chicken or hake fish, equally tasty. Nothing but clean plates heading back to the kitchen. The fireplace warmed the dining room and the deep comfy chairs made it hard to leave. We were treated so well here, it was enough to make us want to move to this lovely little gem of a village.

We had walked about the village the next day and over the narrow strait to the village of Portaferry on the other side of the water. The current here in the strait comes in with the tide with tremendous force and can be very treacherous if you don't know the waters. Portaferry is another small village but hosts a pub called the Fiddlers Green, which contains within the second door on the Games of Thrones (GOT) 'Door Tour'. There had been a wicked wind storm in Northern Ireland a few years prior and the old trees that formed the 'Kings Road' scenes from the popular show had succumbed to the winds. The trees were send off to some local and talented carpenters who had some carvings etched into the doors they fashioned from the timbers. Now ten doors were scattered throughout pubs in Northern Ireland and a bit of a treasure hunt was created for the ever thirsty GOT tourists. The Cuan in Strangford hosts the very first in the series of GOT Doors and across the water you can find Door #2. On our way up to the Fiddlers Green we passed the ruin of a church that had a peculiar sign out front - a cash reward paid to information on anyone damaging the property. It appeared like they should have upped the offer, the building was a wreck.

One of the neat encounters at the Cuan is the sweetness of Coleman. A direct descendent of Saint Patrick himself, Coleman captures all the tenderness and kindness of the Irish people. He shared his memories and photos with us of his grand father and directed us to the St. Patrick's Cathedral in the nearby town of Downpatrick where thousands make their pilgrimage to view the final resting place of this Irish man of God.

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