The summer may be over but we’re looking forward to a great line-up this Autumn in Belfast. Foodie festivals, cultural delights, big gigs and big nights out are all on the bill this Autumn. Belfast is a top spot for a great city break, check out our Autumn guide to the city.
Belfast Festival at Queen’s
October 17th – 27th – Various venues, Belfast
The 2013 Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s has announced the first of its shows for this year’s event with an international mix of tenors, tension and transformation. Opening this year’s event on 17th October is an international double- bill with the unveiling of Ireland’s largest land-art portrait created by acclaimed Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez- Gerada followed by a performance by world renowned tenor Joseé Carrerras at The Waterfront Hallin the evening. Roger Bernat’s theatrical experiment in political engagement Pending Vote makes its Irish premiere as does Rob Drummond’s ‘edge of your seat’ performance of the infamous magic trick Bullet Catch. Add to the mix world-class, home grown talent with a new major production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and an epic closing concert from the Ulster Orchestra and the stage is set for Festival 2013.
The Food and Drink Show Northern Ireland
25th-27th October, Kings Hall Pavilions
The Food & Drink Show Northern Ireland 2013 will take place this autumn at the King’s Hall Pavilions in Belfast – and it promises to be a huge attraction for consumers. Highlights include a celebrity chef theatre, an open kitchen, a special area to promote artisan food producers and dozens of food and drink exhibitors are among the ingredients for the first ever large scale indoor consumer event of its kind to be staged locally. Enjoy a delicious mix of great produce, celebrity guests and live demonstrations, the show will feature a host of celebrity chefs including James Martin, Neven Maguire, Rachel Allen, Paul Rankin and more. The King’s Hall Pavilions will be transformed into a food and drink lover’s paradise with the best products to sample and buy, locally-produced artisan food to discover, the latest kitchen equipment and decor.
And stay tuned for details on Belfast Music Week 2013 – an unmissable week of music in the city. Here’s some of the highlights from last year’s event:
Make a weekend of it
With so many great events coming up, why not treat yourself to a short break and enjoy the full city experience. Visit some of Belfast’s top attractions – Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic, go on a Black Taxi Tour or stop off at the BIG Fish! No trip to Belfast is complete without a shop of retail therapy, you’ll find all your favourite names in Victoria Square located in the heart of the city centre and if you want a more authentic shopping experience take a trip to St. George’s Market. The present St. George’s Market, built 1890-1896, is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. As well as being home to some of the finest fresh produce, with customers travelling near and far to sample the delights of Friday and Saturday markets, it has become one of the City’s most popular places to visit.
Belfast really is a foodies paradise, the city offers a huge range of delicious delights from local dishes to the more exotic. St. Anne’s Square, located in the Cathedral Quarter is a beautiful Georgian style open square which offers a wide range of great restaurants and cafes including local favourite Coppi. The Square is the perfect spot for dinner or to relax with a coffee during the day. A new addition to Belfast’s growing restaurant scene is Ox, located on Oxford Street in the city centre, overlooking the River Lagan, Ox offers fine dining at excellent value. For those looking for a more relaxed dining experience – Alley Cat also in the Cathedral area of the city offers fantastic burgers and a great selection of world beers. For something a bit more exotic there is Cafe Havana, Belfast’s first Cuban styled Cafe/ bistro based in the city centre. Fantastic, iconic Havana decor and great food. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and deli menu from early morning through to late night opening. Other chic eateries include Home Restaurant, Mourne Seafood Bar and Deanes. And you never know who you will run into in the city – the stars of Game Of Thrones were recently spotted on a night out in The Barking Dog, which offers relaxed dining in a rustic, candlelit setting. The first class menu combined with the unique vintage decor make this one of the city’s most popular spots.
Belfast has a cracking selection of bars to suit all tastes and personalities. Whether you’re looking for a big night out or just a cosy spot to wind down – you’ll find it all in the heart of the city centre. For first time visitors to the city, a pint in the Duke of York is a must, It’s where Snow Patrol played their first ever gig and remains frontman Gary Lightbody’s favourite haunt – and we can see why! The famous Duke of York is located along the cobblestones of Commercial Court – a popular spot with both locals and visitors with a huge range of trendy bars all within a stones throw of each other. No visit to the area would be complete without at stop off at the quirky Spaniard Bar or enjoy jam jar cocktails in the cosy surroundings of Muriels Cafe. And for music lovers, the city is bursting with great venues and good tunes, city hotspots include the Black Box or the lively Limelight complex. If you fancy a bit of luxury, why not pop into Bert’s Bar in the 5* Merchant Hotel in the Cathedral Quarter. Find yourself instantly transported back to the chic, intimate jazz bars of the 1930′s New York as you soak up the sophisticated atmosphere and let the cool jazz melodies wash over you.
Don’t miss out on a great season of events in The MAC – Belfast’s brand new arts centre. This Autumn has a wonderful line-up of theatre, gigs, shows and exhibitions including Oscar winning Glen Hansard, Tom Ravenscroft, Ghost Poet and Slow Dance Party – a unique and intimate club night all the way from East London. Watch out for a few new additions to Belfast’s already eclectic range of bar and pubs. The National Grand Cafe Bar and Patisserie in High Street due to open later this month will also be home to Belfast’s biggest beer garden. And that’s not all – The Dirty Onion a traditional music centre and pub is also due to open in the Cathedral Quarter later this year. The new pub is on the site of one of only three wood-ridge buildings in Ireland dating back to the 18th century and will also house a restaurant upstairs. That’s just a few of the exciting new bars and restaurants coming to the city this Autumn – stay tuned for more details!
Belfast on a Budget
You don’t have to break the bank to have a great weekend in Belfast. We’ve put together a handy guide to 10 things to do in the city for £10 – find out more here: discovernorthernireland.com/blog/belfast-on-a-budget/
There’s so much to offer in this really cool and creative city! The quality of hotels and dining options are up there with the very best. With the perfect blend of adventure and time together, Belfast is great all-rounder and worth checking out! To find out more about short breaks in Northern Ireland from only £49 per room* visit discovernorthernireland.com