Answer The Call With Bushmills Irish Whiskey

As part of the #AnswerTheCall series, Bushmills, Ireland’s oldest working distillery, has partnered with Ciaran Larkin, a local inventor and entrepreneur, to host ‘Whiskey and Invention’, an intimate event at The Menagerie, Belfast. Attendees will enjoy specially created Bushmills Black Bush serves whilst hearing Ciaran’s exciting journey as an international product designer.

The #AnswerTheCall campaign celebrates local talent, sharing the unheard stories of adventurers, entrepreneurs, artists and creatives, inspiring others to follow their own true calling. Despite graduating with a degree in Electronic Engineering from Queen’s University in Belfast, Ciaran struggled to find his place. He was an engineer on paper, but an artist at heart. He is now the inventor and designer behind and works with American company Hasbro, splitting his time between Belfast and the U.S.

The ‘Whiskey and Invention’ event will take place on Thursday 28th September. For more information on the series and to be in with the chance to attend, visit and register at the events section.




Celebrating Belfast Mela This Bank Holiday Weekend

Belfast Mela took place this Bank Holiday weekend on Sunday 27th August. The annual celebration took place in Botanic Gardens where people from a global range of cultures gathered in their thousands to celebrate their unique and diverse heritages together.

The event hosted a massive range of activities including a ‘Fantasy Forest’ for young children to explore with a variety of nature inspired artistic workshops and a story telling tree. Music was available for all ages, with live performers.

There was a ‘World Food Market’ which offered culinary experiences from all over the world as well as an Artisan market featuring locally produce food from Northern Ireland and a live cookery theatre. The Global Soak had artists from local, national and international backgrounds being represented.

The weekend displayed an impressive array of cultures and had an inclusive atmosphere with something for everyone to enjoy in the heart of Belfast.

New Bar ‘The Tipsy Bird’ Hosts stunning Summer ‘Style Edit’

Style queen Rebecca McKinney and award winning makeup artist Stevie Lennox came together for a second sell out ‘Style Edit’ event – the Summer Edition. Ulster Tatler’s ‘Girl About Town’ Nuala was in attendance to bring us a very glamorous report featuring garnished chilled Shortcross Gin and Schweppes tonic as well as pop up stations from Urban Decay, Kiehl’s, The Walk in Wardrobe, Reiss, Ted Baker, Coast, Narah & co, The Vintage Satchel Company and Chloe Dougan Design.

If you missed this event don’t panic, there is an upcoming September Style Edit, this time an Autumn/Winter edition. Tickets are in high demand and selling fast so do your wardrobe a favour and book now!

Read More on this event in our September 2017 Ulster Tatler. 



‘An evening with Carl Frampton and Lee Johnston’

‘An evening with Carl Frampton and Lee Johnston’ was held in the Ulster Grand Prix Marquee yesterday as part of the MCE Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week events. It was presented by Mark Sidebottom from the BBC in aid of the cancer charity Marie Curie. The event saw extensive and interesting interviews with both of the dynamic Irish sportsmen as well as presentations about the charity in question.
Both Lee Johnston, the Fermanagh born, double North West 200 bike race winner and Carl Frampton MBE, the Belfast born featherweight and super bantamweight boxer have spoken passionately about the work that Marie Curie do. Indeed, they were not disappointed with the support that their event received from their fans which saw an impressive £10,000 raised and gratefully received.

Ulster University Art Degree Show

Ulster University hosted their annual School of Art and Design Annual Degree Show, which showcases the talent of the next generation of artists and designers who will lead the way into the future. The show never disappoints, providing a positive representation of the creative minds within Northern Ireland.

This event not only gives students the chance to promote themselves and their work to potential employers and partners, it also provides members of the public and corporate companies with the opportunity to purchase artwork from the artists of the future.

A variety of disciplines could be seen as you walk around this impressive show including architecture, painting, photography, fashion and more.

Carrie Neely, a contemporary art expert, attended on behalf of the Ulster Tatler and her write up of this event can be found inside our July issue which is on sale now.

Have Fun This Summer

Children today don’t get as much physical exercise as they should which can lead to an increased risk of strokes and heart disease as they get older.

To tackle this growing problem, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke with the help of it’s Ambassador, Ulster and Irish International rugby player Chris Henry, have created a new campaign, ‘Ready Set Summer’ to encourage children to have fun by being active this summer.

The charity has joined up with the Park Life education programme and have organised two days of activities, on Friday 11 August at Botanic Gardens and Tuesday 15 August at Falls Park, both featuring a scavenger hunt, wildlife olympics, crafts and ultimate Frisbee.

Special packs of activities have been made available to anyone interested in the ‘Ready Set Summer’ campaign along with a competition including multiple prizes for children who participate, sponsored by the National Trust and MACE.

Rugby player, Chris Henry said, “The summer holidays represent a massive opportunity for young people to take part in brand new activities, learn some new skills and most of all have fun.”

To be ready for action this summer, request a ‘Ready Set Summer’ pack at

Chris Henry is helped by kids from Elmgrove Primary School Belfast to launch ‘Ready Set Summer’.


‘Here We Lie’ To Premiere At Craic Theatre Coalisland This Month

A stellar all female cast  is to take to the stage at the Craic Theatre Coalisland on the 20th of June to preform the premiere of ‘Here We Lie.’

Following last years huge success of ‘As the Tide Ebbs’, Rawlife Theatre Company, in association with the Lyric Theatre, has once again teamed up with writer Patrick J. O’Reilly to bring the comedy of ‘Here We Lie’.

The dark and physical tale takes an unconventional look into our post-truth world of fake news and alternative facts to bring hilarious and terrifying results.

Writer of the play, Patrick J. O’Reilly, said: “It explores our moral compass and asks do we continue to go around in circles or do we finally draw the line? Here We Lie is also an exploration of Brexit and political elections such as Trump and Stormont.”

Here We Lie will be at Craic Theatre Coalisland 20th June (, Cushendall Golf Club 21st June ( and Naughton Studio Lyric Theatre from 22 June- 2 July (

Louise Mathews, Claire Connor, Rosie McClelland, Bernadette Brown and Antoinette Morelli.

Belfast Gears Up To Celebrate Bike Week 2017

People across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to replace their usual travel routes with bikes to celebrate Bike Week 2017, taking place from June 10-18.

The event was launched by the Department for Infrastructure’s Travelwise NI and the Lord Mayor of Belfast in a bid to create a healthier Belfast and highlight to individuals how commuting by bike can easily become a part of every day life.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister said: “I would encourage as may people as possible to enjoy Bike to Work Day even if they usually travel by other means. Sometimes it is just taking the first step in becoming more active which is the hardest.”

A mass bike ride will take place on Friday 16th June where 100s of people are invited to participate in a bike ride from the McClay Library at Queen’s University Belfast at 8am to finish at Belfast City Hall where refreshments will be served before heading to work.

Ride On Belfast is also hosting a Tour De Lunchtime event later that day, starting at the gates of Belfast City Hall at 12:30pm, where cyclists can enjoy  trip across Belfast by bike.

Andrew Grieve, Head of the Department for Infrastructure’s Cycling Unit, said: “Each year the Bike to Work Day event grows in numbers and it’s great to see more people taking up cycling in the city.

Northern Ireland already enjoys over 1,300 kms of National Cycle Network lanes and the infrastructure is continuing to improve year-on-year.”


WHEELY GOOD FUN: Andrew Grieve, Head of the Department for Infrastructure’s Cycling Unit joins Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister to launch Bike Week 2017.



New McCoy’s Crisp Range Launches

John Baxter and Ricky Watts of KP Snacks (NI) hit the seaside to enjoy some good old fashioned chips… well almost!  The daring duo topped up their tans on the beach in Newcastle, County Down, to launch the brand new McCoy’s Chips range in Northern Ireland.  The new snack from the province’s best-selling ridged crisp replicates the authentic taste of the humble chippy and comes in three different flavours including Chip Shop Sea Salted, Chip Shop Salt & Vinegar and Chip Shop Curry Sauce. Ricky Watts said of the new creation: “People have said to us that they like crisp stick snacks, but that they’re often too small or full of air so disappear too quickly.  What we have done with McCoy’s Chips is created a chip snack that is much more filling and also tastes authentically of chips, while maintaining the famous McCoy’s ridged crisp texture.”

Anna Henry is Crowned 2017 Insanity Tan Miss Northern Ireland

Anna Henry has been crowned the 2017 Insanity Tan Miss Northern Ireland at the glittering black tie event at the Europa Hotel, Belfast on Monday 15th May.

The stunning 22 year old Renewable Energy engineering student from Portglenone impressed the panel of judges on the night with her beauty, charm and personality, giving her the winning edge over twenty-three other finalists, to acquire the coveted crown from previous titleholder, Emma Carswell.

The exclusive gala final was a glamorous affair hosted by Q Radio breakfast presenter Stephen Clements and former Miss Northern Ireland and television presenter, Zoe Salmon Corrie.

Full coverage of this event will be available in our July issue. 

 Miss Anchor Anna Henry is crowned 2017 Insanity Tan Miss Northern Ireland.

Miss Anchor Anna Henry is crowned 2017 Insanity Tan Miss Northern Ireland.

Walk of Life Fashion Show at the Crowne Plaza

The (CAT)Walk of Life Fashion Show was the brainchild of Julie Duckworth-Fitzsimmons in partnership with Cathy Martin, after the success of the Fifty over Fifty show at Belfast Fashion Week in 2016.

Julie’s unique, 1980s-themed event was dedicated to her Mother and Father John and Sheila Duckworth who both sadly had passed away from illnesses. She wanted to fundraise for the two charities close to her heart – and their illnesses; The Boom Foundation and Parkinson’s UK.  She enlisted a group of 16 models from the 1980s era and together with Cathy, they produced the show to a backdrop of popular music from that era, with a twist of 80s in the styling and event entertainment such as ghost actors dressed in 80s vintage dress, milling around two Delorean Cars displayed at the front of the hotel, an 80s retro film and a classic 80s disco hosted by Pete Snodden from Cool FM.

Many celebrities  supported the event by taking part in the catwalk or creating support messages via video – names such as Eamonn Holmes, Jamie Dornan, Nick Kershaw, Jimmy Nesbitt, Nuala McKeever, Peter Corry, Pamela Ballentine and May McFettridge all lent a hand, as well as Dame Mary Peters, Paul Clark, Tim McGarry, Big T, Caroline Fleck, Paddy Jenkins, Alison Fleming, Patience Bradley and Jim Dornan. They all gave their time for free and added the wow factor to the show.

There were many sponsors, donors, retailers and media who all added quality elements to the event, which saw 550 guests attending and £10,000 raised for the charities. Watch out for Walk of Life 2, in 2018!

Check out our June issue for more coverage of this event. 

Putting Belfast Visual Arts Scene in the Spotlight

Belfast Visual Arts Forum, working with Belfast City Council, has launched a campaign to promote the rich, diverse visual arts offering in the city.

Already a top destination for visual arts, the collaborative initiative aims to raise awareness, inspire and entice new audiences to Belfast by highlighting the many upcoming activities and exhibitions, home-grown artists and independent, artist-led galleries in the city.

With its wealth of world-class visual arts talent and venues, Belfast is fast-becoming one of the most popular cities for visual arts in the world. This is supported by a growing local appetite in visual arts with recent research revealing that 76% of Northern Ireland people are ‘interested in’ or ‘warm to’ visual arts. It also found that one in two people have viewed visual arts here over the last three years.

Further research shows that the visitor experience to galleries in the city was very positive, with two thirds of respondents rating their overall experience as excellent. In total, 98% of respondents felt their visit was excellent or good.

Hosting over 800 visual arts activities in 2016 and accounting for 65% of all visual arts activities in Northern Ireland, Belfast is a city where visual arts is being embraced with an agenda packed festivals and exhibitions programme planned this year.

Peter Richards, Chair of the Belfast Visual Arts Forum commented: “Belfast is bursting with stand-out talent which enables it to compete on the international visual arts stage. Our visual arts scene is particularly special due to a higher percentage – over 50% – of galleries in the city being artist-led when compared to the likes of Dublin and London.”

Adding: “Unlike many cities, visitors can immerse themselves in and explore Belfast’s visual arts scene on a budget as almost all exhibitions and galleries in are free to enter making it an exciting proposition for locals and tourists alike.”

From families and those beginning to explore the visual arts scene, Belfast’s exhibitions and events are delivering a source of enjoyment and unique opportunities for a range of audiences. Recent research also reinforced the popularity of visual arts among young people with a quarter of all gallery audiences falling in the 25 – 34 year old category.

Belfast City Council actively supports Belfast’s visual arts through funding and various other initiatives to help the sector continue to grow and expand, reaching residents, tourists and the wider community across the city.

Peter Richards continued: “We are particularly proud of Belfast’s visual arts offering as it continues to thrive and grow in popularity among not only locals and but also tourists visiting the city.

“We hope the packed schedule will help the sector continue to grow and have tried to include something for everyone this year. We always emphasise that you do not have to be an expert to engage with visual arts, everyone can enjoy it in different ways, it is what meaning you take away from it personally. With exhibitions and festivals taking place in many venues all-year round this really is the city of visual art.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Ellen Campbell added, “Belfast City Council fully supports the culture and arts sector through our Cultural Framework which shows our commitment to activities which inspire communities and attracts audiences.

“We grant over £1.7m per year to support the work of 56 cultural organisations and around 60 community festivals and arts and heritage projects. We receive a fantastic return on our investment, approximately £8 for the city for every £1 of our investment. We firmly believe the cultural sector in Belfast makes the city what it is and forms its identity as unique, edgy, adventurous and colourful.”

To get involved in the campaign, tweet using #BelfastVisualArts and to find out more about visual arts in Belfast, visit