Eastside Awards Win For Little Wing Pizzeria

Little Wing Pizzeria have won the Eastside Awards Business Contribution to the Community.

Geri Wright of awards sponsor Phoenix Gas and Jonathan McAlpin, Eastside Awards committee chair, congratulated Jamie Mendez of Little Wing Pizzeria.  The Eastside Awards judges commented on the work of Little Wing Pizzeria in supporting local schools and children’s sporting clubs. And their committment to making a positive impact in their local area.

Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd Communications Manager, Geri Wright commented that the company were delighted to sponsor the Eastside Awards to recognise and reward talent within the East Belfast community in which Phoenix Natural Gas are based as well as showcasing the best of the East as a hub for creativity, culture and innovation.

Jonathan McAlpin, Chief Executive of East Belfast Enterprise and Chair of Eastside Awards Committee, commented that the awards are a fitting way to celebrate all that is great about East Belfast and have proven to be a magnificent success. The success of the awards last year was testament to the talent of the local community and the contributions made through business, voluntary and community work.

Geri Wright of awards sponsor Phoenix Gas and Jonathan McAlpin, Eastside Awards committee chair, congratulate Jamie Mendez on Little Wing Pizzeria winning Eastside Awards Business Contribution to the Community.


Jet2.com Celebrates 15 Years In The Skies

Jet2.com have reached a key milestone, recently celebrating 15 years since their first flight, which took off from Leeds Bradford to Amsterdam. To mark the occasion, celebrations took place yesterday at the company’s first base, Leeds Bradford Airport. Having started with two aircraft serving nine destinations from Leeds Bradford that first year, the company has since grown to become the UK’s third largest airline with a fleet of 88* aircraft flying to 65 sun, city and ski destinations from nine UK bases and have carried more than 65 million passangers. The popularity of its friendly low fares, great flight times and generous 22kg baggage allowance (plus 10kg hand baggage) has enabled the airline to enjoy this growth.

The airline has operated here in Belfast since 2004 and will operate a fleet of 4 aircrafts at the airport this summer having carried over 2.75 milllion customers over the years. Jet2.com flies to 36 sun, city and ski destinations from Belfast International Airport.

Jet2.com customers and staff, including colleagues who worked at the airline on that very first day of operations and who were on the company’s first ever flight, were joined by Peter Andre for a morning of celebration. The celebrity guest surprised customers at check-in and even boarded the aircraft to serenade customers and staff with a special ‘Happy Birthday’ rendition.

He also launched a competition called ‘15 Seconds of Fame’ to mark the 15th anniversary. By creating a video to capture the spirit of Jet2.com, one lucky customer can win 15 free return flights, and 15 runners up can win a pair of free flights. https://www.facebook.com/jet2/

Last year, the company also celebrated 10 years of package holiday specialist Jet2holidays, which is today the UK’s second largest tour operator. Through Jet2holidays the company offers great value ATOL protected package holidays to over 40 top sun destinations, across the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and Europe. Everything is wrapped up in one great package.  Customers have a choice of thousands of 2-5 star hotels, with Jet2.com flights, an industry leading 22kg baggage allowance and airport transfers included. Infants go free on all holidays and all holidays can be secured with a low £60 per person deposit.

For summer 2018 Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has launched its biggest ever flights and holidays programme yet!

Need Some Inspiration This Valentine’s Day?

Would Valentine’s be complete without a cocktail? If  you think a cocktail is the perfect way to add some romance to your evening, then we’ve got some perfect ideas for you! Cocktail culture is back to stay, with more people experimenting with different spirits and mixers at home. But what should you serve your special someone, your best mate or indeed your Ma this Valentine’s?

Here are some ideas!

First we have the crowd pleaser… Gin!

Jawbox Small Batch Gin is less than two years old but has already secured a cult following both at home here in Belfast and abroad. Championed for its premium quality and unique flavour profile, this is the perfect choice for the gin-lover in your life.

Gin has become the centre-piece of the cocktail scene, not just here in Northern Ireland but across the globe. It’s actually even more fitting as a base for Valentine’s cocktails than you would think. Jawbox gin features cardamom, a powerful, potent spice said to be used as a natural aphrodisiac by kings in olden times. Juniper, the main botanical of all gins, are highly aromatic and are often considered to be the most sensuous of all berries.

Jawbox’s signature drink, the Perfect Swerve is a great choice for Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t take much time to make, meaning you can give your loved one your undivided attention. Simply pour 35ml of Jawbox into an ice-filled glass. Top-up with chilled, premium ginger ale and garnish with a squeeze and a wedge of fresh lime. Ginger ale was invented in Belfast too, how’s that for an ice-breaker?”

Jawbox Small Batch Gin is available from all good licensed retailers including Amazon.

If you’d like to create something a little more extravagant try this, the Jawbox Love Club. Inspired by the classic Clover Club this one is garnished with rich, red berries.


¥ 50ml Jawbox Small Batch Gin

¥ 10ml Lemon juice

¥ 5ml Grenadine

¥ 10ml Sweet Vermouth

¥ 1 Egg white

¥ Redcurrants to garnish


Dry shake all the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Add ice and shake again until cold. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with redcurrants.


Another amazing cocktail worth trying is Braemble Gin Liqueur’s take on The Bramble, with its vibrant berry colour fitting with the occasion.

Just recently hitting shelves locally, Braemble Gin Liqueur is a sublime mix of sweet blackberries and finest London Dry Gin. Created by Jason Scott and Mike Aikman of the esteemed Bramble Bar in Edinburgh, along with proclaimed gin-genius Craig Harper, this simple yet sublime liqueur will have your Valentine thinking you’re not only a trendsetter but a pro-mixologist too.


¥ 25 ml of your favourite gin

¥ 20 ml lemon juice

¥ 10ml sugar syrup

¥ Blackberry / mint or both to garnish


Pour the gin into a short-stemmed glass, add lemon juice and sugar syrup. Fill with crushed ice and stir. Add some more crushed ice and cap with Braemble Gin Liqueur. For an extra touch of finesse, garnish with mint, a juicy blackberry or both.

For more sublime ideas visit braemble.com or @braemble on Instagram. Braemble is available from all licensed retailers including Harvey Nichols.

Last but not least the final cocktail idea will help you add an exotic twist this Valentine’s Day!

It might be freezing here in Belfast but Malfy Gin will make you feel like you’ve jet-setted off to Italy. The Malfy distillery is at the heart of Moncalieri just outside of Turin, the cultural centre of Northern Italy, famed for its production of wine and spirits. Established in 1906, Torino Distillati is owned by the Vergnano family – Carlo, wife Piera and their children Rita and Valter. Malfy Gin offers an indulgent, authentic taste of sought-after Italy anywhere in the world.

Malfy con Limone celebrates the finest, Italian produce including the humble lemon – a thrilling symbol of the sun-soaked country. Italian juniper is expertly blended with five other botanicals including coriander, Angelica root, cassia bark to giving a delicious and refreshing bite. The peels from the freshest coast-grown lemons of Amalfi and Sicily are steeped in to create a unique, crisp, zesty gin.

Malfy Gin con Limone offers an indulgent, authentic taste of sought-after Italy anywhere in the world.

To enjoy a Malfy moment this Valentine’s,

Pour 40ml of Malfy con Limone into a goblet of ice.

Top up with chilled, premium tonic water

Garnish with two to three slices of lemon peel.


For more information visit malfygin.com

Lidl’s Valentine’s Collection

As the season of love approaches, turn up the romance and turn off the lights this Valentine’s Day with Lidl Northern Ireland’s collection of Esmara lingerie, which is available in 38 stores all around Northern Ireland this February.

Whether you’re treating yourself or buying a gift for a loved one, Lidl’s selection of luxurious lace and silk pieces will suit every shape and size. The stunning, limited edition lingerie includes a selection of intricate lace and silk lingerie in a variety of colours to create matching combinations. Many sizes available in an array of colours.

The stunning collection includes a variety of fashionable pieces and items, including matching underwear, perfumes and colognes. There are a range of gifts for him and her. Lidl have also included the perfect selection of drinks to suit every taste and every budget this Valentine’s Day, including Prosecco and Pink Gin. Lidl also have a range of flowers to suit your budget because nothing says ‘love’ like a bouquet of red roses.

If you’re spending your Valentine’s Day at home, Lidl also have included an exclusive meal deal starting from Saturday February 10th to Wednesday February 14th, including a main dish, a side, a dessert, a bottle of Prosecco and a box of chocolates, all to make your night even more magical.

Flowers, chocolates, dinner and more, all with your loved one, what more could you ask for? This Valentine’s Day…

Love is in the air at The Lost City!

Belfast’s latest attraction ‘The Lost City’ is offering an innovative solution to couples that are seeking a ‘date with a difference’ this Valentine’s Day.

The Lost City Adventure Golf at Cityside Retail and Leisure Park in Belfast has become a top date destination since it opened to the public in December. In response to demand, the popular venue has decided to celebrate its first Valentine’s Day in style.

The Valentine’s Day in style, coincides with Lent. This gives the perfect opportunity for their two 18-hole adventure golf courses – ‘Sunken Skull Ridge’ and ‘Explorer Falls’ to offer the perfect alternative to a dinner for two!

For more information on ticket prices and booking information, visit: www.lostcityadventuregolf.com/belfast/

Young Musicians and Actors Wanted for Paperboy Auditions

Youth Music Theatre UK are looking for young actors and musicians from Falls and Shankill Road for the 2018 production of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy,

Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT), the leading UK music theatre for young people, that has helped shape the careers of many including Grammy award winners Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, is now searching for Northern Ireland’s next big musical theatre star!

The brand-new musical adaption for Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy will be performed in Belfast’s Lyric Theatre in July 2018. Special auditions will take place on the Falls Road at Falls Leisure Centre and Shankill Road at Spectrum Centre on the 16th February 2018.

Shankill Road is the location where the novel has taken place and is where author and peace wall builder Tony Macaulay grew up. Auditions are open to anyone aged between 11-21 years of age and no previous experience is required. Auditions for all eight productions of the YMT’s UK-wide 15th season of new musical theatre, including Paperboy, will take place at Dance Ireland Dublin on the 21st January, The Playhouse Theatre, Derry/Londonderry on the 3rd February and Lyric Theatre Belfast on the 4th February. The wide popularity of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy has led to its success across the world; the book has been published in the UK and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

Tony Macaulay has said that he believes the arts can break down barriers and build peace, bringing people together, which is why they are looking for some strong singers, actors, dancers and musicians from Ireland who will have the opportunity to work along side some of the most talented and best in the industry.

Belfast-born, platinum-selling singer-songwriter Duke Special and Derry born stand up comedian Andrew Boyle, will join renowned director Steven Dexter and choreographer Jennifer Rooney to bring Paperboy to life on the stage. Youth Music Theatre UK’s Executive Producer, Jon Bromwich, said that Paperboy is a flagship show of the YMT’s 2018 summer season and that it is also their 15th anniversary season, making it a special one.

Artful Ageing

An innovative 10-week arts project is offering care groups and organisations in East Belfast the opportunity to create and share two radio dramas based on their different caring experiences. Delivered by EastSide Arts and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Arts and Older People Programme, the project entitled ‘Artful Ageing’ aims to break down the stigma of isolation and loneliness and promote well being amongst older residents.

The two radio dramas will be developed through an interactive workshop delivered by east Belfast based writer and radio dramatist Jan Carson. It will include story development, writing, recording and editing of the two short dramas exploring different issues and experiences that are related to being a carer. The two dramas and a bespoke tool kit will be available to share with other care groups and organisations, with the hope that it will help to provide an opportunity to begin conversations about the positive and negative aspects of caring for another person.

EastSide Arts’ project ‘Artful Ageing’ workshops will also be run from January to June at a variety of East Belfast venues including the EastSide Visitor Centre. These free drop-in classes are for older members of the community and will feature a range of safe-space workshops including crochet, ceramics, textile art, painting and digital fabrication. Looking forward to delivering the workshops, East Belfast writer Jan Carson said that the project is a wonderful initiative by EastSide Arts and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Arts and Older People Programme that it is vital that carers within our community are given the opportunity to discuss and share their positive and negative experiences they have for caring for another person. He also states that the workshops will be a fantastic platform to capture those conversations and that he is very excited to working with the carers and seeing the outcome after those 10 weeks.

Lorraine Calderwood, Arts and Older People Programme Officer, explained how the programme is continuing to make a huge difference to peoples lives, saying that the links between creative expression through participation in the arts and improved wellbeing are now well established and that the programme has evidenced how successful the arts are in making a positive impact on older people with tackling issues such as isolation and social exclusion as they can give a much needed voice to older citizens through this.

To register and for further information about the EastSide Arts ‘Artful Aging’ Programme, visit: www.eastsidearts.net


Corick House Hosts Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI Winter Gala

Corick House in Clogher  was the setting for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI Winter Gala on Saturday Night where over 300 guests came to show their support for this worthy cause.

The event was organised by Dungannon man Barry Williamson who has been tirelessly fundraising for the charity following the death of his wife in 2016. Alison Williamson was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma in 2015 and sadly passed away just nine months later, leaving behind her husband Barry and their two children, Mya and Rhys.

An inspirational man, Barry has raised over £60,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI with a number of fundraising events and challenges throughout the past two years. This gala was a great opportunity to highlight the efforts of many friends and family members who have helped along the way.

The gala was kindly sponsored by Starplan fitted furniture.

Three people in Northern Ireland are diagnosed with blood cancer every day, making it the United Kingdom’s fifth most common cancer by diagnosis and the third biggest killer. This frightening statistic is a stark reminder that although research has come a long way the outlook for many blood cancer patients remains poor.

Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI is the only charity in Northern Ireland dedicated to funding research into the causes and cures of blood cancers. Established as the Northern Ireland Leukaemia Research Fund by the McDowell family in 1964 following the death of their daughter, the charity has since invested over £12.5 million pounds to life saving research.

Based at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queens University Belfast, the charity funds research into the causes and cures of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma in Northern Ireland by supporting laboratory research, clinical trials and education. All money raised by the charity is spent in Northern Ireland and 85% of all money raised goes into research.

Charles Hurst raising Awareness

Charles Hurst Motorcycle Village joined forces with BBB Motorcycle Club and leading mental health charity, AWARE recently for the chance to have won a superbike. The giveaway which took place at the NI Motorcycle Festive ran on Friday 2nd of February to Sunday the 4th February.

Attendees had their chance to chance their luck at guessing the winning combination at the Charles Hurst Motorcycle Village’s ‘Break the Safe’ stand to be in with a chance of winning a superbike with £15,000. All funds raised over the weekend went to Northern Ireland’s leading mental health charity, AWARE, who provide support groups, information outreach sessions and deliver mental health programmes to communities, schools, colleges and workplaces.

David White, Head of Business for Charles Hurst Motorcycle Village said that they were delighted to partner with such a worthwhile and active charity as AWARE provide such essential services around and right across Northern Ireland through education and supporting people affected by depression. He also added that not only was it such a fantastic opportunity to win a superbike but it was also a chance to learn more about the work that AWARE does and also a chance to raise essential funds for the charity.

Lesley Wright, Community and Events Fundraising Officer for AWARE, said that they were encouraging everyone to take part and that not only was the event an amazing time for everyone, but everyone also had a chance to help out with raising money for AWARE, the only charity in Northern Ireland that works exclusively for those with depression and bipolar disorder.

Those who were keen had a go at cracking the safe were asked for a small donation for taking part in the competition, most gave a recommended donation of £3 to be in with the chance to have won the £19,500 bike. Whoever cracked the code had the opportunity to drive away on any one of the top three bikes available: a ‘Yamaha YZF-R1’, ‘BMW S 1000RR’ or ‘Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP’.

‘Night Ride to Armagh’

World-renowned Irish folk musicians, Brian Finnegan and Sean Og Graham produce ‘Night Ride to Armagh’.

Ed Sheeran’s supporting act for his sold out Dublin show, ‘Beoga with Brian Finnegan’ have took their high profile success and followed it with a re-imagined style of music. Their new style of music, used to tell the story of Armagh from the eyes of a visitor captures everything that Armagh has to offer and comes complete with a promotional video on the ‘Visit Armagh’ website which has been recently re-launched.

It was originally created by musician, Brian Finnegan, who took upon himself to re-record and bring new life to the piece with a contemporary twist. A key feature of the reworked sound would have to be the different sounds that have been used.

The merging of Irish music and Lambeg drum is a key factor in the music to reflect on how the present day, modern Armagh has such an amazing background and a rich history, reflecting on the Celtic legends and mythologies associated with the city.

Sean Og Graham, founding member of Beoga performed the music which he arranged and produced with Brian Finnegan, Liam Bradley, John Joe Kelly, Aidan O Rourke and Lambeg and snare drummer, Mark Wilson was a hit as it was set to support the launch of a five-year tourism development strategy.

Brian Finnegan, ‘Night Ride to Armagh’ composer said that he was delighted when he was approached to re-imagine and bring new life to the piece of music as it was a great ending to a memorable week as he performed with Ed Sheeran and Beoga at the O2 Arena.

The group, who originate from Co. Antrim, have performed at Glastonbury and also featured on Ed Sheeran’s award-winning album ‘Divide’. The band have also been shortlisted for a Grammy, performed with the Ulster Orchestra at the BBC Proms and have even been presented with a certificate of Congressional Recognition from the US House of Representatives, and now they are currently writing an album with Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol and Foy Vance.


To view the ‘Night Ride to Armagh’ video, please visit www.visitarmagh.com.



CIPR Taking The Industry Global

Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in Northern Ireland recently held their AGM at Clifton House Belfast, welcoming over 50 PR professionals to the event. CIPR’s new committee chair of Northern Ireland, Chris Pollock, Senior account manager at LK communications in Holywood, spoke at the AGM about how the professional body is committed to the goal of having the local industry hold its head high on the global stage and become a vibrant world class communications sector.

Northern Ireland already boasts the highest concentration of chartered practitioners in the UK with an ever growing membership. This included the large number of students graduating in PR, Marketing and related degrees. CIPR committee chair, Chris Pollock aims to ensure that these new recruits are welcomed, nurtured and encouraged as they find their place in the small yet thriving industry.

During the AGM outgoing chair Sinead Doyle of MCE peformed her final duties, presenting Rachel Burgoyne, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Cancer Fund for Children, and CIPR NI committee member, with the Chair’s Award, in recognition of her unwavering dedication and enthusiasm to her duties.Elected as new committee members were Haley Adams, Smarts Communicate; Lisa Rice, Navigator Blue; Clare Hiles, ASG and Conán Meehan from the Ulster University.

Tribute was paid to Sinead for her tireless efforts and to Seona McGrath of Smarts, Jane Williams of JComms and Sara McCracken of the Controlled Schools Support Council, as they step down from the committee. Chris added, “It goes without saying that I am delighted and honoured to accept the role of Committee Chair for the CIPR in Northern Ireland and I look forward to driving home the importance of a team approach with a focused calendar of engaging, informative and inspiring events. We all need to ensure that knowledge transfer and theory is brought back into the workplace and realised in the form of ideas, content, creativity and clearly defined strategy that will ultimately bolster bottom lines.”

For further information about CIPR Northern Ireland, visit www.ciprni.co.uk Connect with CIPR NI on twitter @CIPR_NI and Facebook www.facebook.com/CIPRNI/

Top Performing Castle Estate

Castle Leslie Estate has been recognised as a winner in three categories in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.  They scooped the awards for one of the Top 25 Hotels in Ireland, Top 25 Hotels for Romance in Ireland and Top 25 Best for Service in Ireland. These accolades, which honour hospitality excellence, are given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive these prestigious awards. To qualify, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.


Castle Leslie is situated on 1,000 acres of Irish countryside, surrounded with ancient woodland and glittering lakes. It is one of the last great Irish castle estates still in the hands of its founding family and offers authentic original interiors and old-style hospitality and complete respite from the world.

The Lodge is the social hub of the Estate and brings locals and guests together in an atmosphere of conviviality and comfort. It houses Conor’s Bar, the 2 AA Rosette award winning Snaffles Restaurant and The Victorian Treatment Rooms.

The Old Stable Mews and Village Cottages are the perfect spot for guests that want the convenience of hotel living combined with private luxury home rental.

A host of activities are on offer including pike fishing for the nature enthusiast, a private cinema for movie buffs, exceptional walking trails for those who want to breathe in fresh country air, kayaking and clay pigeon shooting for the more adventurous, hot air balloon-rides for those looking for exhilaration, falconry for those to experience nature up close, a fabulous spa for rejuvenation and of course the famous world-class equestrian centre.

For further information on Castle Leslie Estate, please visit www.castleleslie.com