Our reporter was enchanted by the setting - on a little hill in large and lovely gardens - of this rambling, ivy clad, Georgian house. But it is the Grange Lodge table that has won distinction and found it so many friends. Norah Brown, who is self-taught, has several awards for her outstandingly good cooking and she and her husband, Ralph, are relaxed, easy-going, welcoming hosts. Much of the fruit, vegetables and herbs she uses are homegrown and sometimes a second dining room is opened up to outside groups looking for her special talent and dishes from her 'best friend', the Aga.
Admirers praise the ageless quality of her food and her sure touch; she says people have just forgotten what real home cooking is. Her husband has the happy task of bringing breakfast out from the kitchen: try Mrs Brown's porridge with brown sugar, cream and Bushmills whiskey, rhubarb compote, soda bread and Ulster grill with potato cake. The sitting room - there's a 'den' with TV, too - is immaculate, in elegant dark colours; most surfaces are crammed with ornaments, family photos, pewter and plates. Upstairs, ivy pushes at the window panes of the bedrooms. Some of Mrs Brown's biscuits are always to be found on the hospitality tray.