Over the New Year’s weekend we took a trip to Belfast for two nights, stopping en route in Kildare Village for a coffee and some energy balls at Joe’s.
And later at Banbridge Outlet, where we shopped and then ate at Linen Hill. I had the green Thai chicken curry with rice and a side of sweet potato fries (gluten free bread came with the dish). Fresh, tasty, lively restaurant with good meal deals for the cinema next door.
After checking into our hotel, Ibis Hotel Queens Quarter, we freshened up and made our way to the SSE Arena for our first ever ice hockey game! It felt like we had been transported to the States when we got inside – there were cheerleaders, flame machines, you name it! The entertainment before and during the game really contributed to the atmosphere as 3 periods of 20 minutes made for a pretty long game for newbies to the sport! Nonetheless – GO GIANTS!
By the time we got out of the parking and traffic (be warned – patience is essential here!) I was extremely hangry and it was now just after 10pm which meant most decent outlets were closed. By chance we took a drive and stumbled across Camile Thai on the Lisburn Road. After having one Thai curry already that day I looked for another option and the only gluten free one available was the Thai beef salad – which if I’m honest, I wasn’t that keen about. But I ate my words (and the salad!) when it arrived because it was really tasty! I also had a side of edamame and E had some noodles.
Next morning, I snuck out of the room early to indluge in my healthy-café-visiting addicion at Raw Food Rebellion, also on the Lisburn Road. A small, relaxed café with friendly and helpful staff (101 questions Emma!). I chose the Classic RFR Porridge made with gluten free oats cooked in coconut milk with swirls of peanut butter, topped with roasted peanuts, maple syrup, cinnamon and chopped banana. In other words – to die for! I also had a really good turmeric latte and I brought back a hazelnut milk latte to the sleeping beauty 🙂
Fueled up we headed off on our Black Cab Tour. This is a must-do! We learned a lot about our own history and the current day situation visiting various areas around the city and signing the Peace Wall.
After our cab tour we visited St. George’s Market later that day which was really nice for a short wander around. Live music and the natter from all the stands gave a fun, lively vibe to the big, open space. We shared some Indian vegan and gluten-free pakoras and I bought some Suki dark cocoa tea.
We ventured around the city for the rest of the day and drove out to see the Titanic museum, which is very costly to visit so we just took a stroll nearby.
We stopped by Bullitt Belfast for some tapas style snacks around 4pm and it was buzzing! (Taking into account it was New Year’s Eve). I liked it’s tucked away courtyard setting, their cocktail menu sounded delicious but we just stuck to food. I had the Cauliflower steaks with harissa and sunflower tahini while E had Beef short rib fritters also with sunflower tahini and a side of chips. Definitely just snack size and pricey snacks but I like the ingredients and imagination used for their dishes. Bar staff were unfortunately though a bit rude.
To cap off the night and to ring in the New Year we made a booking at Home Restaurant. They have a vast menu selection and cater really well to those eating with dietary requirements, be it gluten free, vegan, vegetarian or else wise. Service was seemless and the staff were superb. However it was a very expensive meal for the quantity and quality of food we got – £84 sterling for 2 starters, 2 mains and 1 dessert, no drinks? It was nice, they had some fabulous-sounding options but I definitely wasn’t leaving raving about it or dying to go back.I did very much so enjoy the vegan dessert though but even my partner commented how I must still be hungry after my main course as portion size was small.
Pictured below is a starter of tofu, another mango and beef salad starter, a curry and quinoa main (not pictured steak main) and a vegan panna cotta. (Dishes from a special New Year’s menu so I don’t have exact menu descriptions – must have been the free bubbly that had me distracted!) 😉
Finishing off a great trip to the North was a noteworthy brunch at Established Coffee followed by a coastal road trip to Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway. Definitely a few bucket lists ticked that day!
If you haven’t been Belfast and the North of Ireland should definitely be put on your 2017 travel list.
For more pics and to keep up with my travels, follow me on Instagram @thecinnamonfiend !