10 Things to do in Northern Ireland: 20-26th February

If you love getting out and about as much as I do, here is Tourism Northern Ireland’s pick of the Top 10 things to do next week! (w/c 20th February)

  • Celtic Mindfulness, Navan Centre & Fort, Co. Armagh, February 25 – 26. Celtic Mindfulness is a unique healing experience of the land and energy. Music, myth and mediation will be used to awaken your Celtic Soul, creating focus positivity and stillness for the mind. Featuring workshops from Sandra Nelson and Kate Fitzpatrick.

celtic-mindfulness

  • Mid Term Fun, Titanic Belfast, Belfast, until February 21. Challenge the kids with the Explorer Trail throughout the Titanic Experience, meet the Titanic Mascots and try out the new family interactive guide, before stopping off for a bite to eat with the ‘Kids Eat Free’ meal deals this mid-term holiday.

mid-term-fun

  • Ards and North Down – A Postcard View of the Past, Newtownards / Ards Visitor Centre, Co. Down, until February 25. Do you remember the age of steam trains, pony rides on the beach, Bangor seafront activities, the Ballywalter lightship, or the Whale’s Jawbone Arch near Portaferry? Step back into the past via the medium of old picture postcards and see the towns and villages of Ards and North Down going back over the 20th century to days when the pace of life was much more sedate.

ards-and-north-down

  • Winter Wooly Walk, Saint Columb’s Park, Derry~Londonderry, February 25. It’s time to kick off those winter blues. Rally your kids, friends and family, and join the big Winter Woolly Walk in St Columb’s Park, Derry~Londonderry. Starting at 10:30, the 3 mile walk starts at St Columb’s Park House and takes in the beautiful surroundings of Ebrington Square and the iconic Peace bridge. Afterwards there will be plenty of warming refreshments and family fun.

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  • Glasgow Girls, MAC, Belfast, February 21 – 25. Glasgow Girls is a potent political drama, with uplifting songs, music, dance and humour to tell the tale of the most powerful asylum campaigns in recent history. A show with universal appeal – a massive hit at Edinburgh Fringe 2016, selling more tickets than any other theatre show in the festival.

glasgow-girls

  • Ulster Orchestra, Ardhowen Theatre, Co. Fermanagh, February 25. Join the Ulster Orchestra and its sensational young Music Director, Rafael Payare, in a concert that celebrates its fifty years as Northern Ireland’s world-class symphony orchestra and that will evoke, ‘the awakening of happy feelings on arriving in the countryside.’

ardhowen-theatre

  • Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, Riverside Theatre, Coleraine, Derry~Londonderry, February 22. Dyad Productions presents ‘Jane Eyre’, Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel, dramatized on stage and starring Rebecca Vaughan. Struggling to live, think and love beyond the stifling expectations of duty, class and convention, governess Jane Eyre and Master Edward Rochester take a dark journey towards sensual and intellectual liberation.

jane-eyre

  • William McKinley by Alex Blair, Ballymoney Town Hall, Co. Antrim, February 22. William McKinley was one of many Scotch-Irish presidents with Ulster links. His links lay in Conagher and the talk will untangle the family lineage which links Conagher to The White House. He will tell of the 25th President’s progress to the highest office in the U.S.A. and how his presidency ended tragically in assassination.

ballymoney-town-hall

  • Let the Dance Begin, Alley Cat Theatre, Co. Tyrone, February 23. Inspired by The Pushkin Trust’s theme of Floodtide in the Heart – Seamus Heaney, Let the Dance Begin aims to bring many different people together through Creative Arts within the community of Strabane through a display of dance, drumming poetry and more.

the-alley

  • A Taste of Flavour SenseNation, Black Box, Belfast, February 25. This exciting interactive event will take your taste buds on a roller-coaster ride through the senses. It will challenge your sensory skills, your taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing, to see how they react with each other when different sounds, smells and textures are thrown into the mix. This is no ordinary experience; you will sample the ‘fifth taste’, test your smelling memory skills, trick your taste buds and sample some very weird foods.

flavour-sensenation

 

 

Jakberry Coffee House

I love finding hidden gems when it comes to restaurants or coffee shops, so I was delighted when I tried out Jakberry Coffee House at Finaghy Road North last week. We headed there on Saturday before our day trip to W5 for a quick bite of lunch.

Jakberry has been open for just shy of two years and has a great reputation for it’s homemade cakes, scones, soups and its infamous chilli jam. I’d been told that everything tastes so fresh, as if you had just baked it in your very own kitchen that morning.

For lunch I chose the all day breakfast deal which is a bagel with cream cheese and bacon, served with a coffee or tea for just £3.60. Barry went for the cranberry, bacon and brie salad sandwich on granary bread. He said it was a good portion, so was very filling.

Once we finished our lunch, the waitress recommended the homemade buns to us- so we thought we just had to give them a taste! We decided to share the Malteser traybake and the Crunchie traybake, which were both delicious- crumbly and sweet. We also left with some Chai Tea Lattes to go.

Jakberry is a very welcoming coffee shop, with such pretty little touches, such as the ‘Jakberry ‘cushions on the comfy sofas or the monthly book club. I’d really recommend if you’re looking for a nice spot for warming afternoon tea!

Afternoon Tea at Slieve Donard

It’s been a busy few weeks! From a premiere of Hollywood blockbuster Exodus: God and Kings and afternoon tea in Slieve Donard, to Cool FM’s Jingle Ball and spending the weekend away in Derry and Bangor, so much has been happening in the run up to Christmas

On Sunday 7th December, I headed off to Newcastle, County Down, for afternoon tea at Slieve Donard hotel. Myself and two friends from university, Karen and Michael, had been trying to meet up for a few weeks to celebrate the birth of Karen’s first baby!

The Afternoon Tea consisted of a selection of finger sandwiches (including Glenarm Organic Smoked Salmon with cream cheese and cucumber on homemade wheaten bread, as well as Irish chicken breast with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion and mayonnaise on white bread.)

The sandwiches were followed by, not only scones which is the ‘norm’, but also fruit loaf and lemon drizzle cake.

Finally, the selection of pastries included traditional macaroons, red velvet cupcakes and dark and white chocolate mousse. Great desserts! The food was complimented by a selection of speciality teas and coffees. I chose a nice fruit tea.

The variety on offer was impressive! We actually didn’t finish it all (and it’s not often I say that!) Luckily, we were able to take the rest home with us so significant other halves could ‘celebrate’ too!

The afternoon tea costs £20pp and is in a lovely suite overlooking the sea and Mourne Mountains. Definitely a good choice with those with a sweet tooth!

 

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 Afternoon Tea at Slieve Donard, Newcastle

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Afternoon Tea menu

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Couldn’t finish it all!

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Christmas sparkle at Slieve Donard