The Crown, Fries and Crawfordsburn

It’s been a bit busy at work what with one thing and another
recently. I think I now understand a bit when people say “Oh, I’m too
busy to keep a blog.” I’ve always been adamant that writing a blog
entry takes no longer than sending an email – but I think actually it’s
about finding the headspace to think things through rather than finding
the time to write things down.


I ridiculously forgot to pack my camera when Himself and I went to visit P and S for a long weekend last weekend.

(Happy 30th P – and thank you both for having us should you chance across this blog entry.)

It was a weekend of revelation – I never knew that Northern Ireland was so pretty.

Crawfordsburn Country Park was a poem of different shades of golden
leaves on your right and rocky searing blue cormarent-covered sea on
the left. (See other people’s pictures of the waterfall and the beach and the viaduct)

Holywood was picture-postcard material with its own maypole and bagging a snug in the National Trust-owned Crown Bar for an entire evening with P’s family and friends was perfect.*

Best of all though I was introduced to the “Ulster Fry” – this
really is a fry-up with gilded knobs on! It was, in my first experience:

  • Eggs (however you like them)
  • Grilled Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms cooked in butter
  • Steak sausages with cracked pepper
  • Bacon
  • Vegetable
    Roll – absolutely unique – it’s a big roll of spiced sausage meat with
    spring onions (never seen any other vegetable in its life)
  • Soda Farls
  • Potato Farls
  • Scotch Pancakes

The last three, in Northern Ireland, all come in a special “Fry
Pack” from Tescos – 2 of each. I’ll be starting immediately to campaign
that that genius concept is brought over here.

And just to be really utterly greedy I’d probably add white and black pudding!

Finally, I’m reliably informed that in some places in Scotland a
kind of a fried malt loaf slice is also added. Does anyone know any
more about this? (Just to complete my study into hangover heart-attacks
on a plate!)

*You can read even more about the Crown Bar and its history at

11 Responses to “The Crown, Fries and Crawfordsburn”
  1. I love potato farls. Yum. I want some of those sausages now though.

  2. Gond says:

    Yay for somebody actually advocating Norn Iron for a change!! It really is a beautiful part of the world, and EVERYONE should go up to the north Antrim coast to see the Giants’ Causeway and Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.

    Just to be pedantic, I will tell you that it’s spelled ‘Holywood’ (with one d), although still pronounced ‘Hollywood’.

    Point of note: scotch pancakes should ALWAYS
    be cooked in butter as well as the mushrooms. It’s not so important for
    the rest. Ooh, and if you prefer something a bit healthier, you can
    toast the soda farls, which are really good with orange marmalade or
    lemon curd. Oh, and you missed out the tomato ketchup/brown sauce (on
    the Ulster fry, not the toasted soda!!). I definitely advocate fry
    packs making their way over here, but I’m just pleased that you can now
    get pancakes and soda. They only arrived a few years ago. Am still
    waiting for veda and enjoying wheaten in the meantime instead. Ooh, and
    can we add proper pasties to the list – no comparison to the cornish
    ones you get here.

    Casey, did you know that my family are from Crawfordsburn?? I was
    born and grew up in the next town along (Bangor) until I left home at

  3. Gond says:

    Flip, that was a bit gushing, wasn’t it?!

  4. Gond says:

    Grrr. Make that Holywood with one ‘l’, not one ‘d’! Although, it does have one ‘d’ of course. Just not two ‘l’s.

    And the gushing is back…..

  5. Gond says:

    Things I miss from NI and occasionally receive in food parcels when I can convince my family to send them:

    • Veda (heave malt loaf)
    • Coconut fingers (iced fingers just aren’t the same)
    • Pasties (of the non-Cornish variety)
    • Fry packs (Sunblest brand is my personal fave, but at least you can get the contents over here now)
    • Tayto Onion Rings
    • Nambarrie tea (the only type I drink these days and have even managed
    to get the Bmpster drinking it even though he thinks it’s too strong)
    • Scampi (Portavogie prawns) cooked in light batter instead of breadcrumbs (for the Bmpster – not a fish fan myself)

    Things I am thrilled that you can now get that you used to have to have shipped in:

    • Tayto cheese and onion crisps
    • Wheaten bread
    • Pancakes (we rarely call them ‘scotch pancakes’)
    • Club orange (like fanta but with bits in)
    • Barmbrack (fruit loaf)

    I’m really glad that the family come over much more often these days to visit AJ so I get my hit more regularly.

    Casey, you’ve unleashed a monster!!

  6. Casey Leaver says:

    Ang – Have you thought about an import/export fry pack business? (Have amended the spelling of Holywood!)

  7. Gond says:

    there could be a niche market for the NI ex-pats in Limeyland and the
    world who want their faves sent to them on a regular basis. I can see
    it now – a website, a dream, and a host of Norn Irish stuff you thought
    you’d never see again…

    Why limit it to food? Extend it – Tyrone Crystal, Belleek Pottery,
    Ulster Weavers linen, Bushmills Whiskey, dulse, yellowman, etc, etc,
    etc… The possibilities are endless. It would be a one-stop shop!
    Someone should do this!

    Oh, and could you also note that veda is a HEAVY malt loaf, not a heave malt loaf as I stupidly said before!!

  8. CyberScribe says:

    a friend over in Portsmouth who I post ‘Jammy Joeys’ out to, though
    thay have to be the ones from Sainsburys in Forestside, Belfast .

  9. Hi Casey,
    I love a good cooked brekkie – just the thing the morning after to soak
    up the night before. When we go up to Scotland to see my grandfather,
    we buy Lorne or square sausage and also Fruit Pudding, which I think is
    what you are referring to. It is readily available in the supermarkets
    up there, but getting it from the local butcher is far nicer as there
    seem to be regional variations. I’ve had some that are quite mild and
    oatmealy, studded with gently-spiced currants, and others that are much
    darker and spicier and taste like Christmas pud. Fruit pudding is
    sometimes sold in squares, like Lorne sausage, and sometimes is called
    Breakfast Slice. Not to be confused with Lorne sauasge which is also
    sometimes called Breakfast Slice! Confusing but delicious!

  10. P says:


    Chance I did, clairvoyant are we? P as you have anoitted me,

    With such a random act of stumbling has resulted in myself and S
    losing hours of precious sleeping time as we have ploughed through all
    previous blogs. This must be the same kind of fascination that people
    have with those programes that S ‘just’ has to watch on TV.

    I must express sympathy for Gond, actually admitting being from
    Bangor and not able to buy all the local goodies – life must be tough,
    but it makes for a stronger person no?

    S and I have hunted high and low for fruit pudding, but alas to no
    avail, despite the much vaunted Ulster-Scots connection around these
    parts. This is the missing ingredient in my utlimate fry – a fact which
    I have proclaimed on many an occasion.

    Anyhow,now that I have discovered this little gem of insight, I must
    regulary attend and listen from your musings from the pulpit, and I no
    doubt expect to hear cries of ‘Himself’ being the culprit for many a
    thing, as he often was in our youth.

    Glad you enjoyed the weekend, don’t make a habit of it.


  11. Gond says:

    I hope that you’re sorry that I can’t get my favourite goodies any more
    and not that I’m from Bangor!! Otherwise I might have to get stroppy
    because I think Bangor’s a nice place!!

    And yes, I think that I am being strong (and brave) in the face of adversity.

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