Lake District

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Showing posts with label belfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label belfast. Show all posts

Mothers' Day || Afternoon Tea at Maryville House

Maryville House Tea Rooms, Belfast
Before this Sunday past I'd never been for afternoon tea before, despite always wanting to go. In my mind I suppose it was always a little bit too expensive to justify, with most places charging upwards of £20 a head. However, when my sister made a surprise booking for Mothers' Day at Maryville House for the two of us, our mum and our grandma, there were absolutely no objections. It sounded like the perfect Mothers' Day treat, and in the end it really was!
A floral centrepiece
Afternoon tea
Afternoon Tea
Perhaps one of the best discoveries of the year for me, Maryville House is a beautiful Victorian bed and breakfast and tea room with all the charm of a quiet countryside retreat despite being nestled just outside Belfast City Centre, on the busy Lisburn Road. When I'd played around with the idea of afternoon tea before I don't think I would have ever considered Maryville, with afternoon tea at places like the swanky Merchant Hotel in the Cathedral Quarter being so well-known locally. However, kudos to Anna for this gorgeous find; I now can't think of anywhere better to experience some traditional afternoon tea, or even just to spend a very special Sunday afternoon!
Once we had arrived and were seated we were each given the choice of a huge selection of loose leaf tea and coffee. However, being the adventurous family we are, we all chose Maryville's own blend which was essentially a simple English breakfast tea- but it was delicious! Breakfast teas usually all taste the same to me, but this was exceptional, and the fact it was served in the most enormous china teapot did certainly add to the experience. 

Since it was Mothers' Day we were also all offered a lovely complimentary glass of prosecco, i.e. my most favourite thing, which as the designated driver I couldn't actually take advantage of! Very upsetting, though I may have still had one very cheeky sip!
After we'd each settled down with our tea and prosecco we were brought over a lovely plate of sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres- which didn't last for very long!- before we were presented with this glorious assortment of scones and cakes. There was everything from little meringues, to cupcakes to macarons. It's honestly making me hungry again just looking at the photos. I don't half wish I had a plateful of these in front of me again!
Finally, absolutely stuffed full of tea and cake we finished off our afternoon with a walk in the nearby Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park before heading off home. I really couldn't recommend Maryville House enough. Aside from the amazing food and tea, the girls who were serving us were so lovely and pleasant and it really made for a memorable day.

What did you get up to this Mothers' Day?


A Night at the Theatre with Young at Art || Belfast Children's Festival

Despite its small size, here in Northern Ireland we're very proud to boast a hugely vast and vibrant culture. In fact, perhaps one of the best things about living here in Belfast is its huge array of arts and cultural events that run all throughout the year. One such special and highly anticipated event is the Belfast Children's Festival, now in its 18th year. The festival, which is organised by Young at Art, a not-for-profit children's arts organisation based in the very heart of Belfast City, is each year host to dozens of arty events from puppet shows to baby raves (!!) aimed at children aged 0-14 and their accompanying adults.
Being a bit of a culture vulture (as well as a massive child at heart), this year I was very pleased to have been invited along with my little cousin, Aimee to attend one of Belfast Children's Festival's 2016 shows, Bambi, performed by a very talented ensemble cast of three from Swiss theatre company, Vorstadt at the Mac theatre in Belfast's bustling Cathedral Quarter.

When we arrived at the venue it was a buzz of excited energy as the young audience waited for the theatre doors to open and the show to begin, with Young at Art staff close at hand giving out balloons and keeping everyone entertained. When it time for the show to start, we all filed into the Mac's lovely and intimate theatre where the cast was already on stage and in character, animatedly adjusting costumes and props and readily interacting with the audience as everyone took their seats. 
Truer to the original story than the version made famous by Disney, the play follows Bambi, a male deer as he finds his way through life in the woods, learning about its secrets as well as its hidden dangers, predominantly in the form of the menacing deer hunters that are said to lurk amongst the trees. Between them, the three cast members Vlad Chiriac, Gina Durler and Michael Schwager played a variety of colourful woodland creatures from the shrewd Mrs Magpie to two brutish playground bullies, much to the delight of the crowd who they had in fits of giggles from start to finish!
Despite the fact that the show was aimed at children around the age of 8, there was still plenty to be enjoyed by the older members of the audience. Aside from some fantastically engaging performances and some wonderfully creative staging, the show was full of brilliant wit and humour yet not devoid of a few very important lessons about friendship, love and loss. 

At this moment it's still not too late to check out some of the remaining events at Belfast Children's Festival which is still running until Wednesday 9 March! Here's a little snippet of what's happening: 


Scenes | Dinner at The Barking Dog, Belfast

One of the things I sincerely miss about Belfast when I'm at university is all of its quirky and eclectic bars and restaurants, and there really is a lot of them. I basically spent the entirety of my last week of university, in fact, dreaming of my return to my home city where I could soak in the wintry ambience of its bustling beer gardens, dining out and getting tipsy with old friends amidst the hum of city sounds.

Thankfully I have a friend with an equal penchant for alcohol and good food in Gemma and on Thursday night we decided to take a little dander into Belfast for dinner and drinks. I'd managed to nab a last minute table at The Barking Dog on the Malone Road which was really lucky since it's normally so busy, especially around Christmas time.

Our table was by the window which was nice since the restaurant is in the University Quarter of the city, right by where the Queen's University student accommodation is so you could see all the students passing by outside, heading out. The table was also candlelit and decorated with roses and holly which was lovely.

Gemma and I both opted for turkey and ham for our meal- it is Christmas after all!- and I have to say, it was amazing

After dinner we headed out to a bar called 'Filthy McNasty's', though despite the name, which my English friends think sounds absolutely horrific, there's not really anything particularly filthy or nasty about it. It's probably the most popular bar in Belfast at the minute, made up of a quirky indoor bar, beer garden, cocktail bar and nightclub, the 'Gypsy Lounge' which has an interior made up to look like an old gypsy caravan. It's one of my favourite city haunts for sure.

We didn't stay for too long, just for one drink before calling it a night, but overall I had a lovely evening and I'm looking forward to many more like it before I head back to uni!

A Weekend at Home in Belfast

Well haaay! Firstly, I'm so sorry I haven't posted much in a while, I've been buried chin-deep from a relentless barrage of uni work and it hasn't been fun but I'm back now, thank goodness, and ready to bombard you with my usual biweekly ramblings! Also, apologies for the poor image quality, I left my camera back at uni this weekend because it was a bit too bulky to fit into my bag so all of these photos were just taken on my iPhone.


Weekend Roundup

I really had such a lovely weekend these past few days. Between starting work and everyone being away on summer holidays it'd been a few weeks since I'd seen anyone so it was amazing to be able to spend a chilled out weekend with a few of my best friends!

We had some lovely weather here on Saturday morning so my cousin, Jenny and I got up bright and early and went for a long walk in the park followed by some lunch in Belfast. It was the first time I'd seen her since I got back from uni in June so it was great to spend some quality time and catch up. We went to this really quirky restaurant called Birdcage, though because it was quite busy I didn't manage to get any photos- I'll make sure I will next time!

Later on Saturday night Isabel and Libby who are two of my best friends from school came to stay at mine and we had a typical girly movie night with lots of chocolate and a cheeky bottle of Rosé. Then after a long lie-in the next day we braced the rain and headed back into the city for another lunch date. This time we went to a restaurant in the city centre called Made in Belfast which has a menu made up of all locally sourced produce. It can be a little pricey but it's completely worth it because the food is so good!

It was quite a special occasion for the three of us because since we've all moved away to different unis we really don't see as much of each other as we'd like to any more. Isabel (Izi) lives in London now and because of commitments with her job over there she can't come home very often. In fact, she's only back in Northern Ireland for two weeks this summer before heading back off again! So whenever we all get a chance to see each other it's literally the best thing ever. I really couldn't have asked for a better end to a week of placement!

Hope you all had a great weekend!
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