Indus Valley by Safa

Last week I was invited to the relaunch of Indus Valley restaurant in Coleraine.

Indus Valley was recently taken over by Ali Askar, who owns one of Belfast’s most popular Indian restaurants Safa and is the founder of the Irish Curry Awards, so my expectations for the place were high.

We were welcomed to the restaurant with a Tanqueray Gin reception (great start!) and we had a look around the refurbished premises before it was time for dinner.

I was delighted it was a buffet so I could try lots of different dishes rather than sampling one meal.

The starters consisted of Vegetable Pakora and Poppadoms, mains included Chicken Karahi, Chicken Tikka Masala and Vegetable Bhuna, while we were served Pilau rice and Naan Bread for sides.

I did try it all and have to say, it was really delicious, particularly the Chicken Karahi. I would definitely order this as a full dish next time.  (Oh, and I went up for seconds on the Vegetable Pakora too!)

It was great to get chatting to Ali as he made his way around each table and the service was great. I had a really enjoyable night so if you’re up in Coleraine, make a point of calling in!

History tour of Cushendun

As I’ve mentioned on here before we live in Cushendun at the weekends.

With it being the 12th holidays this week, we’ve been staying up since Tuesday which has been great as it’s also the Cushendun festival week.

I recently did a walking tour of the village which focused on the five ‘Big Houses’ and I found it really fascinating. So when I saw another walking history tour was taking place during this week’s festival I made a special effort to get along.

The tour this morning was taken by local historian Alastair McIlhatton who took us around Cushendun pointing out places of interest and telling us all about the people who lived here, not least Lord Cushendun, Ronald McNeill, for whom Cushendun was designed in memory of his Cornish wife Maud.

The tour culminated in the Cave House, one of the five ‘Big Houses’. As the name might suggest, entrance to this spectacular property is through winding caves! Incredible!

The property, which was owned by the Sisters of Mercy, is currently on sale for £375,000. It needs complete restoration but how lucky is the person who acquires it, with unbelievable sea views and unrivalled privacy.

The tour was so informative and I love hearing all about this beautiful village. Check out the video and pics below to see how we got on during the tour!

Through the caves to the Cave House

 Cave House
Cave House

Cave House

Cushendun Beach


Waterfoot Wildflower Ramble- vlog

On Saturday we joined the Heart of The Glens Landscape Partnership scheme staff for a guided walk along the new boardwalk at Waterfoot sea front.

There we learnt about the variety of wildflowers that flourish along this stretch of landscape and the diverse wildlife, including butterflies and moths, that rely on this plant life.

Check out the video I made from the walk!

Cushendun Big Arts Festival

We love spending every weekend in Cushendun so we were really looking forward to attending our first Cushendun Big Arts Festival.

The festival, which is now in its fifth year, is a four-day event with the likes of music, drama, talks, exhibitions, poetry, story-telling and comedy.

With Barry being off work for May Day we were able to get along to every day of the festival and celebrate the culture of the village and the wider Causeway Coast and Glens.

One of the highlights for me was the guided walking tour of Cushendun, exploring the heritage of the five ‘Big Houses’, including Glenmona House (now owned by the National Trust and indeed, the hub of the weekend’s festivities.) As someone who is new to Cushendun in the past year, it was great to learn more about the beautiful area!

Barry’s highlight was the two-day foraging course he attended. On Saturday and Sunday he learnt how to identify, forage and cook wild foods, including wild garlic, pig nuts and meadowsweet. He said it was an fascinating course and in fact, he’s already been out foraging on his own since!

The other events we attended were “A Belfast Story”, a play by Sharon Dickson about a girl growing up in the Blitz (which was very similar to my granny’s own personal experience!); the pop-up tea rooms at Glenmona House; the Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market (with handcrafted goods, foods and local produce); the family fun day at Glenmona which included archery and a puppet show; and the art exhibition in the Old Church which showcased photographs by young local children.

The Old Church was of real interest to me as the Cushendun Building Preservation Trust is currently working to restore the church to make it into a permanent community, heritage and arts space.

I really enjoyed the whole Festival and it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves on what turned into a great sunny weekend!

All set for the guided walking tour

One of the five ‘big houses’, Glenmona House

Walking Tour- Cushendun Caves

Walking Tour- Johann the goat

Foraging course- Barry watching intently

Foraging for pig nuts

Old Church

A Belfast Story

Artisan Market