A Weekend In Belfast | Tea & Post

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Weekend In Belfast

I'm not a morning person, so when I was woken up by my alarm at 5am on a Saturday it was all I could do not to hit snooze. That was before I remembered I was going to Belfast with my best friend for the weekend, I managed to leap out of bed and get ready just in time to be taken to the airport. 

After a short coach and taxi journey we were in our hotel room getting ready for the main reason we had chosen to go to Belfast, The Titanic Exhibition! The Premier Inn we stayed at was just a short walk away so we reached the exhibition in no time, we stopped to take a few pictures on the way though of course, not being able to resist having one taken with the sign.


We were starting to get peckish by this point so we decided to have lunch first before looking around, there was a cafĂ© and a bistro serving hot food, sandwiches and cakes. The hot food looked so good and it was so cold outside that chicken and mash seemed the best option, it did make me chuckle that when I was offered vegetables I was given another spoonful of potatoes! 


The tour began with information about trade in Belfast in the early 1900's and their history with shipbuilding. I wasn't expecting this at first but the interactive features made it interesting, especially the 'ride' which took you around showing you how the shipbuilders worked. I really was impressed with the technology they have now to show what it was like on the Titanic. They did have features such as touchable carpet samples that would have been on the ship and reassembled the first class and third class bedrooms to give you an idea of the size and layout. But what nailed it for me and really attracted my attention was how they projected the inside of the ship onto three walls. By standing facing into a room they would show you the engine room, panning around before moving up to the third class dining room on the deck above. It did this right until it got to the top part of the ship where the Captains steering post, it was incredible.



The next section had more information about the people who were onboard the Titanic, from the first class gentleman with a young pregnant wife to a third class family. There was a model of the ship itself and a fair few pictures of the ship sailing.


The sinking section of the exhibition once again amazed me with it's technology, screens showing simulations of how the ship sank were surrounded by transcripts of the messages sent at the time. There was also lots of information displayed about how the Carpathia finally reached Titanic but it was too late. There were also touch screens giving stories about the victims and survivors, how the boats went out to collect the bodies they were spread over hundreds of miles and they didn't have enough coffins. It really was a tragic loss of so many lives. My favourite part of the exhibition had to be the screen room which showed a short film of the Titanic wreckage, if you went down the stairs you would find yourself standing on a screen under glass which had been made to look like you were standing above the ocean floor. As the film played talking about rusticles and the shoes that can be seen still, the floor would look as though you were panning over a birds eye view of the ship, it was so eerie. Our final stop was the gift shop, packed with goods of every kind displaying the Titanic brand it was incredibly hard to resist buying lots of things. In the end I settled for a heart of the ocean necklace and a few gifts for my family.


Back at the hotel we attempted to have a quick nap before getting ready to head out for dinner. Our taxi driver that morning had recommended an Italian in St Ann's Square to us, I'm so glad he did it was one of the best pasta dishes I've had. I ordered the Duck Ragu with Porcini Mushroom Ravioli, Parmesan and Truffle, I need to try and make it at home it was so delicious. I also had one of the best cocktails I've ever had in my life, I'd say it was on the same level as one I had in New York last year. This was called an Elderflower Martini, it was very light and refreshing, although perhaps slightly dangerous as you couldn't taste the alcohol in it! Please excuse the fuzziness of the next few photos, I didn't want to take my big camera out with us as we were drinking. I promise the duck pasta was much more tasty than it looks!


After we finished eating we fancied grabbing a drink elsewhere, we weren't really too sure where to go though! Having wandered around for a while we realised it was going to be pretty impossible to find a seat anywhere, it was a lot busier than we expected. The drinks prices were a bit steep as well, we eventually ended up paying £20 for a bottle of wine! We got talking to a few ladies in the pub we were in and they recommended a club just a few doors down to us, called Ollies. Once we'd finished our drinks we decided to go check it out, drawn in by the guy playing and singing his guitar in the outside area we were persuaded out of £10 to just get in. I will say it was worth it though, we had a really fun night and didn't end up getting in till 4am having spent a lot of time dancing and chatting with the locals.

The next morning we were somehow blessed with no hangover?! Having checked out of the hotel we decided to pop along to the local indoor market to see what they had to offer. Once we got there we realised we had no cash so had to nip to an ATM quickly. On the way I had somewhat of a flashback, suddenly remembering how I'd poked two passports under the spare pillows in the bedroom the night before. We had left our passports in our room that we had checked out of an hour ago! Luckily the man who answered the phone at Premier Inn managed to find them, we didn't need them to get home as it was still the UK but think how much we'dve had to spend to replace them! The market itself was lovely, the smell of meat cooking hit you as soon as you walked through the door and there was such a variety of goods for sale. Tables were laden with items such as Alpaca blankets, jewellery, fresh seafood, vintage cameras and vinyls, we had great fun sampling a lot of them. I was particularly taken with some hazelnut vinegar but there's no way I would have got it on the flight as we only had carry on.


Whilst browsing the stalls we came across someone selling all kinds of fudge, the best part was he also had samples! The Raspberry Ruffle was so nice but I decided to buy a block of Rum and Raisin in the end as it's my Dad's favourite and I thought it'd be a nice gift for him and Mum. As well as the brightly coloured, mouth watering stalls there were two men playing instruments in the centre of the room with a group of people dancing.


Having explored the market as much as we could we ventured back out into the cold to find some lunch, we'd walked past a pub earlier that didn't seem too pricey so thought we'd pop in there. I decided to have the burger as we'd skipped breakfast and with flying that evening we weren't sure if we'd have time for dinner. Considering I'm not generally a burger person I really enjoyed it!


We flew back later that night after killing some time in the Premier Inn bar, I managed to sneak a quick nap in, they had such comfy chairs! I'm still very tired though, can't wait till this weekend so I can catch a few Z's. Belfast was amazing and I had such a fab time, thank you Loriley for such an awesome, thoughtful birthday present!

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2 comments

  1. It sounds like you had a lovely time, the Titanic exhibition looks so interesting! xx

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  2. Sounds like such an amazing trip! All the food photographs made me so hungry-- it all looks so good! I would love to see that Titanic exhibit!

    carly; sundays grace

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