Our stay at The Cuan Inn at Strangford was memorable in so many ways but most importantly it was about the people we met. We arrived as strangers and left as friends – with the hosts, with their staff and with some of the other guests. Warm, hospitable and very genuine in their caring for all their guests and for their wider community, ‘The Cuan Family’ are tops!
These good people not only made us feel right at home but they also made A’s birthday one we’ll never forget. From the candle in the lemon wedge that came with the best scrambled eggs we’ve ever tasted at breakfast; to a thoughtful card and a box of chocolates; to endless rounds of happy birthday from anyone who walked through the door; to the wonderful meals – Peter is an award winning chef and rightly so – we specially enjoyed the mussels and lobster! to the jokes and fun and stories that abounded; and for genuine friendship – our stay at ‘The Cuan’ was special.
To Peter – an award winning chef, a wonderful story teller and warm human being; Caroline, his lovely wife and I suspect the anchor of the whole place; Colman, a delightful man beloved by all, an old family friend who lives in at the Inn and takes care of the guests at night and serves at breakfast allowing Peter and Caroline to have some family life in their own home; Sean, a man with a heart of gold who has worked with Peter and Caroline for twenty years – the front man in the bar and dining room – a modest man who is the driving force behind The Cuan’s impressive involvement in supporting Children with Cancer; Damian who has been at the Cuan for seventeen years is always looking out for ways to make his guests more comfortable and to help the elderly; Bernie, a delightful waitress – motherly and thoughtful – it was Bernie who told us that the Internet was best in the bar; Delores who seems to be everywhere at once, doing what she sees that needs to be done – the one who welcomed us so warmly on that first rainy afternoon; and not to forget Agnes Delicious – housemaid and kitchen hand extraordinaire – always with a happy smile and a helping hand – and gorgeous with it – hence Colman’s name for her. Thank you all. You taught us what real Irish hospitality is all about.
In the background of the photo above are some of the art works that will be auctioned at The Cuan in August to raise money for Children with Cancer. They will also have a special weekend when eight families with children who have cancer will come to the Cuan for a weekend of fun and activities and good food. The Cuan ‘family’ really put their heart and soul into helping families living with the stresses when cancer strikes one of their children … a cause very close to my heart.
Because of the warmth of their hospitality, we met guests who became our friends as well – delightful Helen whose love for people and for life is helping her to cope with the stresses of caring for her ailing husband – and her Mum, Una – 94 years young. Una was born in Strangford and had so many stories to tell – it was a privilege to meet her and learn more about her village.
We hope that someday, some of you who read my journal will get the chance to enjoy a stay at ‘The Cuan Inn’ at Strangford. We certainly recommend it.
It was hard to leave, but leave we had to in time to catch the ferry over the Lough to Portaferry