Harry’s Cushendall

I live in Cushendun at the weekends and always enjoy checking out the local food and drink offering in the Glens.

Last weekend we were invited to try Harry’s restaurant situated in Mill Street in the heart of Cushendall.

I had eaten in Harry’s before (last year), but was keen to try it out again as it was recently taken over by the restaurant’s chef Alistair McGregor.

Husband and wife team Alistair and Liane have been in charge for 10 months now, with a revamped menu and a new look and feel for the place.

We went for the lunch menu which is served from 12-5pm and offers a range of starters, main courses, burgers, salads and sandwiches.

The starters (priced from £4.75 to £6.50) include the Chef’s Soup of the Day, Duck spring rolls, and Hot and Spicy chicken wings.

As a cheese lover, it was the Crispy breaded brie which caught my eye, and my dish came served with a light salad and sweet and sour sauce. The warm brie oozed out once cut open – just how I like it.

The competition for the best Seafood Chowder is fierce in the Causeway Coast and Glens so Barry had to go for the Chowder served with wheaten bread. He said the Chowder, which uses local seafood, was delicious with large chunks of fish.

For mains I decided to go for a dish on the ‘Daily Specials’ board. It was the start of December and I was yet to have my first Turkey and Ham of the season.

In hindsight I didn’t need a starter as well as the Christmas dinner because gosh, was it huge! Talk about good big country portions! I couldn’t finish it, I’m ashamed to say!

Barry went for a much more sensible lunchtime offering- the colourful Harry’s open prawn salad.

Other mains include Beer battered scampi, 8oz rump steak, creamy chicken carbonara and Harry’s veggie burger with chilli jam.

We really enjoyed our lunch and the comfortable, homely setting of Harry’s. If you’re visiting the Glens over the festive period and fancy a good feed, then try out their Christmas dinner!

Crispy Breaded Brie

Seafood Chowder

Harry’s Open Prawn Salad

Turkey and Ham Christmas Dinner

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Translink Tasty Travel Tours

Translink has a range of day tours from Belfast including shopping at Kildare Village or Tayto Park fairground in County Meath. But they will soon be starting food and drink tours due to their rising popularity in Northern Ireland.

I was very lucky to get the chance to be on one of the pilot tours, named Tasty Travel Tours, to see what’s on offer!

We met at Europa Bus Station before boarding the bus to go to our first stop, Indie Fude in Comber.

Indie Fude is an independent supplier of produce from around the island of Ireland, from cheeses and meats, to oils and chocolate. Some of the local producers include Balinteer Farm, Love Olive, Burren Balsamics, North Coast Smokehouse and Suki Tea (amongst many, many more).

At Indie Fude we were treated to a cheese tasting in the store’s dedicated “Cheese Room” before exploring the shop where I picked up some local favorites – Abernethy Butter, Broighter Gold Rapeseed oil, Corndale Farm chorizo and Eastcoast Seafood smoked chilli cheese.

We then headed to the home of the award -winning ShortCross Gin at Rademon Estate in County Down. I was really excited to tour the distillery as it’s one of my favourite gins, but first we were served lunch by The Edible Flower.

Having run a successful supper club in their East London home, Erin & Jo founded The Edible Flower in 2016 back in Northern Ireland. The Edible Flower is a fork to fork supper club and catering company so the food was delicious, as you can imagine.

We then did a tour of the distillery, which was fascinating, before learning how to serve the best G&T with a gin masterclass!

This 6-hour long tour was a great insight into local food and drink and I think the concept is a great move for Translink! I’ll let you know when they are up and running!

Check out all my videos from the day.

Indie Food

Lunch by The Edible Flower

Shortcross gin

Touring the distillery

Indie Food purchases

Morbid Manor at Tayto Park

This time next week will be Halloween night…ooooooooo!

I always really enjoy Halloween and got right into the spooky spirit last week when I went down to Tayto Park in County Meath.

The theme park has opened two brand new scary attractions for Halloween – Ghost Hunters for children and Morbid Manor for adults.

We went down to experience Morbid Manor and although I love Halloween, I was never a fan of big fairground rides- especially those which go upside down!

As darkness descends over Tayto Park, an eerie atmosphere comes over the carnival rides and the park. I don’t know how many times I screamed as creeps, ghouls and clowns jumped out at me from behind smoke, bushes and round corners!

Morbid Manor is a spooky abandoned mansion, the ultimate immersive horror experience with 13 actors in full costume.

Guests pass through various rooms and secret passageways and meet the inhabitants of the haunted manor, both dead and alive. At one point it was pitch black  and I had no idea what might grab me or pop up in front of me (…OK, I might have cheated a little as I turned on my phone torch!)

We were then able to catch a night ride on The Cú Chulainn Coaster, Air Racer, Rotator, Windstar and Endeavour. How cool is a rollercoster in the dark?!

One of the highlights for me was experiencing a 5D horror movie, Fun House Express. 5D means you experience a 3D movie, while your seat also moves and the likes of air and water are blown in your face.

Despite not being a fan of scary rides, I’m delighted to say I went on every single one! I was thrown side to side and upside down and LOVED it! I’m so glad I gave them all a go.

Morbid Manor was great craic and a fun way to experience Tayto Park for the first time- all while being terrified by all the spooky goings on!

For more information, visit http://www.taytopark.ie/


​​​ Too funny not to share…..my face on the rollercoaster!!!

Bonamargy Friary, Ballycastle

On our trips to Ballycastle we often pass ruins of an old Francisan friary.

At the end of September we decided to explore them a little more, as you are able to walk in and around them which I thought would be fascinating.

Bonamargy Friary was built around 1500, but many of the features are well preserved, including the cloister, gatehouse, altar and church.

The remains of Sorely Boy MacDonnell, a Scots-Irish chieftain, are said to reside there.

The friary is also supposed to be haunted by the “Black Nun” Julia McQuillen, who lived there alone in the 17th Century after it was no longer in use.

Some say she fell to her death while others say she was pushed and that’s why her ghost still haunts the grounds. (Thankfully we didn’t experience anything sinister!)

It was a really interesting place, full of  history. Have a look at some of my pictures:

Tomb from 1630

Brunch at The Gallery

The Gallery cafe and bar opened its doors on the Dublin Road in Belfast a few months ago.

Since then, I have seen many pictures of its stylish interior, elegant crystal chandeliers and most importantly, mouth-watering food!

I was invited down to try out the new breakfast menu which is served from 8am. My mum and I went at 11am on a Wednesday morning and were shown a seat beside the window.

The place was relatively busy with locals drinking coffee, as well as three American tourists who were praising the food. Good start!

The breakfast menu is priced between £4.95 for the Gallery Organic Porridge which is served with a mixed berry compote and honey, to £9.95 for the New York Breakfast, which was to be my choice after a recommendation.

Other breakfast dishes include French Toast, Homemade stacked pancakes, Smoked Salmon and Eggs, Poached Eggs and Avocado, and of course, the Gallery Ulster Fry.

I was torn between the Ulster Fry and the New York Breakfast, but I was told the New Yorker was really good – so I put my trust in them!

The New York Breakfast is two poached eggs served on a toasted bagel, with baby spinach, smashed avocado, Halloumi, cream cheese, sun blushed tomatoes and pastrami.

When it came I wasn’t disappointed in my choice- it was filling, it looked elegant, it combined different flavours and textures and most of all, it was really, really tasty!

My mum went for the Eggs Benedict which is two poached eggs served on sourdough toast, with honey roast ham and Hollandaise Sauce. She, too, was impressed with her brunch and said the Hollandaise sauce was zingy and creamy but not too thick.

The Gallery is chic with an impressive arty decor, and fits in really well on the Dublin Road. I’m looking forward to seeing what else it has to offer.

New York Breakfast

Eggs Benedict

Stylish arty interior at The Gallery

Dining at Windsor Park

I don’t often go to sporting events, but my evening a few weeks ago at the National Football Stadium was less about football and more about food and drink! Gooooal!

The event was to showcase the hospitality offering at Windsor Park by their catering partner Sodexo Prestige, as well as the chance to sample local producers, which I always love doing.

Sodexo delivers events and dining experiences at over 50 in venues in the UK and Ireland, so I was intrigued to see what was on offer when dining at Windsor Park. (We were in the George Best Lounge, with great views of the pitch.)

First up we were treated to smoked eel, served with pickled carrot and Armagh Bramley Apple. This was matched with Kilmegan Irish Cider, a cider handcrafted in County Down. We sampled the dry cider which worked very well with the rich smokiness of the eel and the sharp acidity of the Bramley Apple.

Next up was a slow braised brisket of beef, matched with Belfast Black Dry Stout from Whitewater Brewery, based in Castlewellan. The meat fell apart to the touch- really very tender! It was served with seasonal vegetables and a rich red wine jus.

Finally, (for me the best dish of the night), we were served Clandeboye Estate yoghurt Panna Cotta with poached peaches and honeycomb. How pretty is this dessert! The presentation was fantastic and the taste equally as good! I loved it.

This was served with Echlinville Gin, a premium gin made in Newtownards (and incidentally the same distillers as the ever popular Jawbox!).

Once we finished dinner we got the grand tour of the grounds, seeing the changing rooms, media area and even going pitch-side.

It was really interesting to hear all about the hospitality opportunities at Windsor Park, including work conferences and Christmas dinners. They even just had their first Wedding there!

Do you fancy saying ‘I do’ at the National Stadium while enjoying the prettiest panna cotta?!

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole

Shoulder pads, big hair and the Thatcher period- that was the order of the day when I went to see The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (aged 13 3/4) at The Mac last week.

Having gone to school with Adam Dougal, who plays Adrian, I couldn’t wait to go to the play to see him on stage.

The show, which tells the story of 13-year-old Adrian who is struggling with the worries and challenges of teenage life, is running until 7th October.

Adrian, who thinks of himself as an intellectual, is dealing with the break up of his parents, school bullies and his first love.  He’s even trying to get his poetry on the BBC!

The play features just five actors who quickly and cleverly change character, all while making use of the same props. In fact, one table was used as a school desk, walking aid, BBQ and even a dog kennel!

The Bruiser Theatre Company once again brings its typically quick-paced and energetic style in this 20th anniversary production.

It is funny, smart, nostalgic and oh so slick! Get tickets before they go!

Adam Dougal (Adrian Mole) (1)BACK - Orla Mullan, Gerard McCabe, Keith Lynch (Ensemble), FRONT - Adam Dougal (Adrian Mole), Colette Lennon (Pandora)_previewColette Lennon (Pandora), & Adam Dougal (Adrian Mole)_preview