Your Hosts: Dee & Johnny
We have been married over thirty years ago have always lived in Ballygally. (Indeed, Johnny was born and grew up on the neighbouring family farm, so hasn’t strayed too far!) During that time, we have raised our family while working as Art & Design teachers. In 2009 we moved into our current home, BallyCairn. After our children Amy and Shaun left home to study in England, we retired from teaching to fulfil our dream of running our own business in hospitality.
As practising part-time artists, our passion for the arts has inspired the design and decoration of our home and holiday accommodations. Over the years we have enjoyed collecting a wide range of arts and crafts, especially by artists and craftworkers working in Northern Ireland. Recently we have opened a small art shop for guests in our Bed & Breakfast which showcases arts and crafts by some of our favourite local artists.
Our hobbies include: the arts, walking, travelling, gardening and cooking. As keen gardeners we have enjoyed creating and establishing the gardens around our home, with emphasis on encouraging and supporting wildlife. In 2020 Dee was awarded first prize for her pond in the ‘Gardening for Wildlife’ category of the Mid and East Antrim gardening competition. We enjoy cultivating fruit and vegetables which we use in our home cooking. Seasonal fruits from our garden are used in the breakfast compotes and Dee makes jams and preserves which are served with local bakery breads and Dee’s homemade wheaten bread.
Since beginning our business, in the summer of 2015, we have hosted guests from all around the world. We love meeting new people and are passionate about making our guests feel welcome and comfortable. This begins on arrival at the Bed & Breakfast, where guests settle in and relax with afternoon tea and Johnny’s homemade cake of the day. We are always pleased to share our extensive knowledge and experience of Co Antrim and beyond, assisting in any way we can to help guests get the most out of their time in Northern Ireland.
To our great delight, since opening, we have been welcoming many returning guests back to BallyCairn each year.