ClubWorld Travel Holiday Deals Event at Titanic Belfast

Holidaymakers wanting to grab an exclusive deal are invited to the first ever Clubworld Travel Showcase at Titanic Belfast on 30th September 2018.

The event will have more than 25 travel companies with many offering ‘one day only’ deals.

A broad spectrum will of breaks will be on show, from sunshine holidays, luxury cruises and romantic getaways to business trips, golfing breaks and ferry travel.

Competitions are being run on the day also with prizes to be won which include a Royal Caribbean Cruise and a trip to Las Vegas!

Golf fans can even test out their skills on a pro golf simulator – while their partners are shopping around for a holiday bargain or listening to travel presentations from companies such as G Adventures, Wendy Wu Tours, MSC Cruises and Kuoni.

With seven branches across Northern Ireland, Clubworld Travel is one of the biggest independent travel companies, having almost 30 years experience creating perfect getaways for the Northern Ireland public.

Tickets to the event are free and available to download at clubworldtravelshowcase.eventbrite.co.uk

Mr NI Paul Pritchard, Dearbhla Digney and Clubworld founding partner Delia Aston

Lisnamulligan To Lorient: Local Pipe Band In International Festival

The streets of Lorient in France were packed with 4500 musicians, singers and dancers from the UK, USA and our very own Northern Ireland at the beginning of August. Lisnamulligan Pipe Band from Rathfriland took part in the Festival Interceltique de Lorient France.

For five evenings they played and performed amongst thousands of others who had travelled from all over the world to be part of the occasion. The Interceltique Night at the Lorient Football Stadium was a highlight which concluded with a spectacular fireworks display.

The local band treated festival audiences to some well known Irish tunes that included ‘Black Velvet Band’, ‘Molly Malone’ and ‘Galway Girl’. They performed each time they embarked and disembarked from a ferry on their travels and on their last day were awarded three fourth place prizes at a pipe band completion featuring nine international bands.

 

Belfast Mela set to return to Botanic Gardens for 12th year

Northern Ireland’s biggest celebration of cultural diversity, the Belfast Mela, together with Spar was launched in Babel Belfast on Thursday 2ndof August by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey. More than 25,000 people visit the Belfast Mela each August and this year’s festival promises to be the biggest ever. Returning to Belfast’s Botanic Gardens on the 26thAugust, the event will once again be hosted by U105’s Carolyn Stewart and UTV’s Paul Reilly and Julian Simmons. Organised by ArtsEkta, the Belfast Mela is a wonderful family day celebrating Northern Ireland’s increasing cultural diversity with music, dance, food and much more from around the world.

Speaking at Friday’s launch, the Lord Mayor congratulated ArtsEkta on the hugely positive impact the Belfast Mela has made on Belfast saying: “The Mela is a leading example of Belfast at its best – a welcoming, positive and vibrant city with diverse and proud citizens. It is a celebration of our continuing journey to become a truly shared and cosmopolitan society where communities live harmoniously and with mutual respect.”

For full details of this year’s Festival go to www.belfastmela.org.uk.  Tickets are £7 for adults; £6 concession and a family ticket costs £15, covering entry for 2 adults and 2 children under 16. Access to the main family attractions at the event are free of charge. Children 5 and under go free.

 

 

 

Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes For World Record Attempt At Culture Night Belfast 2018

The people of Northern Ireland are being asked to dust off their dancing shoes and get their toes a-tapping in a bid to break the world record for the largest tap dance lesson.

Bank of Ireland UK is the headline sponsor for Belfast’s Culture Night this year, and are calling on people to take part in the lesson.

The initiative is joined with visa to highlight to people the ease of being able to ‘tap, pay and go’ and promote contactless payments at this years Culture Night.

Ian Sheppard, Managing Director Northern Ireland at Bank of Ireland UK, said:

“Northern Ireland has seen a rapid growth in the number of people choosing to pay by Visa contactless. Our customers benefit from a fast, simple and secure way to pay for everyday items.”

Culture Night Belfast is a fantastic celebration of the vibrant culture we have on offer in Northern Ireland. We are really excited to be a headline sponsor this year and hope that as many people as possible will sign up to try and break the current world record for the largest tap dance lesson.”

Belfast Culture Night will take place on Friday 21st September 2018 this year and will boast more than 250 free events across 100 locations in Belfast City Centre- making it the biggest one to date.

Kerry Rooney, Culture Night Belfast Manager, added:“2017 was a record breaking year for Culture Night when an astounding 100,000 people poured into Belfast city centre to take part in the event. This year we are looking forward to breaking another record as we prepare to celebrate our 10th birthday.”

Pictured (L-R) are Culture Night Tap dancers; Ian Sheppard, Managing Director Northern Ireland at Bank of Ireland UK; Evan Power, Senior Relationship Manager at Visa Europe; Kerry Rooney, CEO of Culture Night.
Pictured (L-R) are Culture Night Tap dancers; Ian Sheppard, Managing Director Northern Ireland at Bank of Ireland UK; Evan Power, Senior Relationship Manager at Visa Europe; Kerry Rooney, CEO of Culture Night.

The world record attempt will take place in the Europa Hotel in Belfast at 6pm on Friday 21 September as part of the wider Culture Night 2018 celebrations.

If you would like to take part in the record attempt for the world’s largest tap dance lesson, make sure to pre-register at: www.culturenightbelfast.com.

Baillies Mills Accordian Band Entertains Newcastle Crowds

Day trippers and holiday makers enjoyed a free two hour open air concert in Newcastle centre on Sunday afternoon, 22nd July.

Baillies Mills Accordian Band entertained the crowds under the direction of Musical Director, Aubrey Campbell.

Prior to finishing with ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the talented local musicians played the well known ‘The Mountains of Mourne’.

GALGORM RESORT & SPA SCOOPS TOP GLOBAL LUXURY SPA & RESTAURANT AWARDS


Galgorm Resort & Spa, Northern Ireland’s globally-recognised luxury hotel and wellness destination, played host last weekend to one of the world’s most prestigious hospitality award ceremonies, the World Luxury Spa & Restaurant Awards 2018.

Attracting over 200 guests including VIP’s, luxury spa & restaurant owners from 42 different countries and global media, Galgorm were privileged to have been selected as the host venue on 14th July. It was the first time the awards have been held in the UK or Ireland with previous hosts having included Qatar, Vietnam, South Africa and Thailand.The Awards are accepted as the pinnacle of achievement for luxury restaurants and spas worldwide. With all 32 categories voted for by diners and guests, they stand to reward and congratulate those restaurants and spas which have excelled in their hospitality and spa offering. Accolades are presented to winners on a country, regional, continent and global basis.

Galgorm played more than just host on the evening, with the Resort joining the winners of the night by taking the top award in 2 categories. The Spa at Galgorm scooped the coveted title of Best Luxury Countryside Spa (UK) while the Resort’s 3AA Rosette River Room Restaurant was named the Best Luxury Hotel Restaurant (Northern Europe).

With plans for an additional 64 new bedrooms, an exclusive roof top spa, additional external spa garden and executive lounge, Galgorm want to cement their reputation as one of the UK and Ireland’s leading spa destinations by continuing to bring unique first of a kind experiences and facilities to the Resort.The evening, which was hosted in the Great Hall at the Resort, treated the glamorous international crowd to a mythical Irish themed event complete with a lavish 5 course banquet showcasing the very best in local Northern Irish produce. 

 

ALEX BEST LAUNCHES PORTAFERRY GALA WEEK

Alex Best, star of “I’m a Celebrity…” and former wife of soccer legend George Best, officially launched Portaferry Gala Week at Exploris Aquarium. Press and VIPs basked in the sunshine in the courtyard of Exploris and were treated to a BBQ and an intimate taster gig from some of the artists who will be taking to the stage in the festival marquee from 15-21 July.

Veteran Irish rockers Bagatelle, who will be headlining on Thursday 19th July performed some of their much loved hits, including Summer in Dublin, Second Violin and Raining in Paris and were in awe of the sheer talent of local teenage pop/rock buskers Orlaith and Mollie, who will be supporting Derek Ryan on 18 July.  Local singer songwriter Michael Kerr, who is playing support to Bagatelle, performed some tracks from his latest EP Treasure Chest.

Cash Returns, the UK’s leading Johnny Cash Tribute, who will take to the stage on 16 July, effortlessly performed a few Johnny Cash songs with Ken Doyle from Bagatelle praising the lead singer by saying,  “Johnny Cash will never be dead when JP Mac from Cash Returns is alive.”

The launch finished on a high with star of Hit the Diff Ritchie Remo playing his upbeat repertoire. Kieran Quinn from Exploris is looking forward to the forthcoming festival.  He says; “Excitement is mounting as our festival is only a few weeks away and with such a strong and diverse line-up of music, this year’s music fest is sure to attract tourists from all over Ireland.  There’s no better, picturesque festival backdrop than Portaferry and the local hotel, shops and bars are so welcoming and friendly, it’s not surprising that so many people return year after year.  We have already received lots of pre-bookings for tours at Exploris Aquarium, during the festival, which I’m proud has become one of the leading tourist attractions in the heart of the Ards Peninsula.”

 Alex Best, who lived with George in Portavogie for three years, said; “I feel honoured to be the ambassador for Portaferry Gala Week, especially as Northern Ireland is my second home.  I have many fond memories of walking our dogs on the beach in Portaferry, eating at the Portaferry Hotel and buying furniture for our home from a quirky reclaimed furniture shop in Portaferry. I’m really looking forward to returning in July and the music will be fantastic.  There are so many talented artists from Ireland performing.”

Tickets for all concerts are available from info@explorisni.com or tel: 028 42728062.

 

Keith Drury Art

Internationally renowned artist Keith Drury held a special drinks reception and art exhibition at the Old Inn Crawfordsburn recently. Full coverage and photos from the night are available in this months Ulster Tatler. https://bit.ly/2hnGksL

Down Royal Summer Festival

The Down Royal Summer Festival of Racing took place over the weekend. The crowds were well and truly out with race goers making the most of the stunning weather. Full coverage will be available in our upcoming issue!

 

BUSHMILLS IRISH WHISKEY EXPLORES WORLD OF MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY

Bushmills® Irish Whiskey has kicked off the #BlackBushStories collaboration series, showcasing and celebrating those who have gone against the grain to follow their passion and become champions in their chosen field. A collaboration with Belfast photographer Ronan O’Dornan will see the talented documentarian host a mobile photography masterclass at House Belfast on Thursday 21st June in association with #BlackBushStories ambassador and acclaimed bartender Paul Rocks, who will offer a tasting session on some of Bushmills’ best loved whiskeys.

Former art teacher Ronan threw himself into a career in photography following a serious car accident in 2017 which pushed him to make the most of every day and pursue his passion for capturing people, moments and experiences in images. Ronan is now one of the country’s most exciting new talents, attracting commissions from big brands that see him travel all over the country to capture Ireland’s untold stories. The ‘Black Bush and Photography’ interactive event will see Ronan teaching attendees how to take great photos on their smartphones with tips and tricks that can be applied straight away, and how to tell stories through images. Alongside a tasting session, attendees will also be treated to specially-created Bushmills® Black Bush® drinks throughout the night where whiskey enthusiasts can experience the signature rich, fruity notes and velvety smooth character of Black Bush.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey has also collaborated with Ronan to launch an all-Ireland social media competition, whereby budding photographers are encouraged to find an Irish story that moves them and upload their photographs to social media using the hashtag #BlackBushStories. The photograph could be a city, a person, a landscape, a moment or anything else that captures their imagination. A winner from each county in Ireland will be picked and will receivea bottle of Black Bush, with the overall winner also receiving a Sony Xperia XZ2 smartphone and trip to the The Old Bushmills Distillery (including an overnight stay at the Bushmills Inn.) Inspired by the supreme craftsmanship, passion and care that goes into the special premium blend of Bushmills Black Bush, #BlackBushStories celebrates the stories and talents of independent, spirited and extraordinary Irish individuals who challenge traditional thinking in their fields and live outside the box. A series of immersive collaborator events will be held across the country’s leading venues over the coming months. Each event will celebrate those who have pioneered their craft with phenomenal success and have had the determination to nurture their talent to be the best they can be.

To register for ‘Black Bush and Photography’ and for more information on the photography competition visit blackbushstories.com.

 

 

150th Anniversary of the annual Balmoral Show

The 150th annual Balmoral Show took place last week, see our gallery below.

 

Darkness Into Light

On Saturday, May 12th Pieta House and sponsorship partner Electric Ireland marked the tenth anniversary of Darkness Into Light, a global movement and fundraising event with over 200,000 participants across fifteen countries including thousands of people across nine venues in Northern Ireland who woke up and walked from Darkness Into Light to de-stigmatise suicide and raise funds for suicide prevention, suicide bereavement and self-harm in Northern Ireland.

From humble beginnings in 2009 with 400 walkers in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, Darkness Into Light, has grown from strength to strength.   This year the first walk took place in New Zealand as teams were setting up for the 180 locations across the island of Ireland. From there it moved to Australia, on to the US, the United Emirates, across Europe with Belgium, Spain and Germany, before finally crossing the Atlantic after Ireland and the UK, with the last event being on the west coast in Vancouver, Canada.

Clare McAllister, Sales and Marketing Manager, Electric Ireland, said, “We have been incredibly proud to support Darkness Into Light since 2013. We are thrilled with the swelling number of people participating every year, making this event a powerful international movement in the fight against suicide; together we can offer hope, community and solidarity to people impacted by suicide and self-harm.’’

Brian Higgins, the CEO of Pieta House, said, “I can’t thank the volunteers, supporters, participants and our sponsors Electric Ireland enough. Each year, I’m blown away by the support and compassion shown around the world on this very special day. We must not get complacent however, and I urge our walkers and the public to remember that the finish line is only the beginning of our journey. We need to replace suicidal thoughts and self-harm with hope and understanding and practice hope and empathy every day.”

Electric Ireland has sponsored Darkness into Light for the past six years. To celebrate all those who make the event a success, from participants to volunteers and fundraisers; an inspiring video has been produced which includes impactful scenes from the event to serve as a reminder that the finish line is just the beginning in the fight against suicide.

Watch Electric Ireland’s ‘Thank You’ video here: https://youtu.be/euRgRpitxPs