24 Hours In Belfast
This year St Patrick's day brought a nice extra bank holiday Monday and we decided to use it to explore Belfast. It's a city neither of us had been to and we wanted somewhere with not too much driving involved for a quick 24 hour city break.
We went straight to the Giant's Causeway which added on another hour to the journey. I didn't know what to expect but thought it would be a simple park the car and enjoy the view situation but I was totally wrong. There is a very extensive tourist centre with a coffee shop and souvenirs on sale. The walk to the causeway itself takes about 15 minutes and it's very exposed and really cold so wrap up warm. It was worth it to see something so special but I wish I had read up a bit more on it - to be honest it was so, SO cold we rushed through it. On a warmer day when you can take your time, and get the audio lessons, I'd say it would be even better.
Afterwards we went for all-day brunch in General Merchants Cafe which is cozy and very cool. They had one vegan option of Mushroom ragout on sourdough toast which was so delicious and according to Andrew - who likes his coffee A Lot - the coffee was very good. I had an almond hot-chocolate which was lovely.
We checked into our Hotel - the Bullitt Hotel and were honestly so delighted with the location. When people say a place is central unless you know the lay of the land it can be tricky to be sure. but this is right in the centre. The Victoria Square shopping centre is a five minute walk and there were loads of nice bars and restaurants around.
The Bullitt is a very cool, modern place to stay where the rooms are paired back on extras but super comfy beds, great wifi, smart TV's and waterfall showers - with natural products - all feature. It's scrupulously clean and what really set it apart and pleasantly surprised me was how good the food was. On the Saturday evening we were tired from the drive and just cuddled up on a couch and ordered some tapas plates. These were so tasty and really considered, which isn't often the case with smaller plates. The following day we had breakfast and given that there was a proper barista - honestly I wish more hotels would invest in really good coffee - and green juice on offer I knew we weren't going to be offered tired menus with little flair. I had fresh sourdough, green tea, avocado, roast potatoes and relish and it was so delicious.
We set off for the Titanic Exhibition which was a 25 minute walk from the hotel. This was so huge and extensive. It brought you through the steel mills, the designing and building of the ship, the interiors and the artefacts. I have always been fascinated with the history but I didn't expect to be as moved and emotional as I was. We both left feeling quite sad. I would definitely recommend it though.
We walked back towards the hotel along the waterfront which was so beautiful and kind up uplifting which was needed! We went for lunch in The Cloth Ear. This is a really gorgeous bar which had a lovely relaxed vibe and also lots of TV's if someone wanted to watch a match. They also have a dedicated Vegan menu which had a number of options. It was just handed to us with the normal menu which I really liked, as against having to ask for it specifically. The service here also really stood out. The staff were so obliging and friendly. I had bruschetta to start followed by their famous tempera sea veg and chips served with mushy peas. At this stage I've eaten and cooked a lot of vegan food and this was something I had never come across. It's really tasty and well worth coming here alone for.
We finished off with a coffee in Established Coffee. This is vast space with a large central table and lots of plugs implying they likely would welcome coming in with a book or your laptop.
We really randomly had decided to make the trip but we felt there was lots to do and the food, in the places we ate was fabulous. 24 hours felt too short but it was all we had.