Blackwell House awarded Five Star status

Tourism NI CEO John McGrillen presented Blackwell House proprietors Joyce and Stephen Brownless with their plaque on being awarded Five Star status for the Guesthouse, included is Lord Mayor Darryn Causby �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1539-203EB
Tourism NI CEO John McGrillen presented Blackwell House proprietors Joyce and Stephen Brownless with their plaque on being awarded Five Star status for the Guesthouse, included is Lord Mayor Darryn Causby �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1539-203EB

A Scarva guest house, Blackwell House, has been awarded five star status, making it one of only three Five Star guest houses in Ireland.

The guest house only opened 14 months ago, which makes its current status all the more impressive.

Joyce Brownless, who owns Blackwell house with her husband Stephen, said: “It has now been almost 14 months since Blackwell House opened, and over two years since I started setting up our Guesthouse Business. A very different career step for me, up until that time I worked in Vodafone in London as Head of Global Talent and Development - a huge change then to come home to Banbridge and start up my own business.

“It has been a very exciting time and I certainly have learnt a lot very quickly about running a guesthouse. There have been highs and lows but I wouldn’t swap that wonderful feeling when a guest leaves a thoughtful comment in our guestbook for any other job in the world.”

Joyce explained how food is at the heart of Blackwell House.

She said: “We are passionate about finding the best produce, trying new recipes and cooking the tastiest food using best of local produce in season. Our menus are a mixture of wholesome traditional family recipes handed down through three generations.”

Joyce acknowledged the input of other people in her success.

She said: “I have been so lucky during our first year to find help and support from so many people who went out of their way to assist me in my learning and understanding of what I needed to do to succeed in this business. It is thanks to them that we find ourselves at the end of a successful first years trading.”