Kids and Family Activities Galore!

BUILDING on Glasgowbury’s reputation as Ireland’s Best Family Festival for the past three years, the festival are proud to announce a host of family friendly activities for the young and young at heart to get involved with at this year’s event.

Glasgowbury’s friends and all round great people The Beat Initiative will be joining them for the party once again, bringing their usual cacophony of colour and excitement to the festival grounds.

Re-designing your wellies, helping you with those festival placards and generally getting you into the festival spirit, the award winning team will be on hand throughout the day to get you into festival mode.

Elsewhere a team of samba drummers will be running drum sessions throughout the day in the festival arena with a special parade in the early evening and will be encouraging everyone to get involved.

In other areas of the site look out for our fantastic stilt walkers and festival face painters and if you’re in the mood, why not get a funky temporary tattoo?!

And if you want to work off some of those piled-on festival pounds, Swingball are kindly donating a number of sets of the cult game for use throughout the site.

This year the festival site will be packed full of goodness with lots for everyone to sink their teeth into away from the five stages of music and over 60 performing artists.

“Every year we try and add as much colour and vibrancy to the festival as we physically can,” said Paddy Glasgow.

“I am delighted that we can continue our working relationship with The Beat Initiative who do outstanding work in the field of carnival, and their presence at the festival has always added an extra tinge of excitement.

“This year we will also have an array of artists performing workshops, stilt walking, face painting and generally putting a smile on your face.

“So come along, join in and make the most of your festival experience.”

Glasgowbury 2011 takes place on Saturday 23rd July and tickets are on sale now priced at £30 (festival only) and £40 (festival and camping).

It’s ‘T-Day’ for the Ulster Orchestra!

With a choice of 35 main season concerts – including a world première – and nine lunchtime concerts that feature the work of more than 60 composers from 12 countries from around the world involving more than 20 guest conductors and almost 40 soloists – It’s ‘T-Day’ for the Ulster Orchestra’s as tickets to the 2011-2012 Concert Season go on sale today (18 July).

Entitled ‘World of Music’, the Ulster Orchestra’s 46th Season heralds some great classical music and unique contemporary collaborations with some outstanding local and international artists and a first for Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra in its Taster Concert.

“The Taster Concert on 21 September is a first for the UO,” explained the Ulster Orchestra’s Chief Executive, “as it will be the first time that we have given a concert that features music from the Season ahead. It’s a potted highlight if you like and a perfect way to open the door into our world of classical music.

“It will also be the first time that JoAnn Falletta takes the Orchestra through its paces in her first Season as our new Principal Conductor. Conducting and presenting the concert, JoAnn comes with a huge international reputation. Described by the New York Times as ‘one of the finest conductors of her generation’, she is our first female and first American to hold the post bringing passion and genuine presence to the stage,” he continued.

“The UO is a cornerstone of Northern Ireland’s diverse cultural life and this Season we want to continue to take people on a journey through a world of music that is rich and diverse and has the ability to draw people together from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages. It’s going to be a not-to-be-missed Season,” Declan said.


The acclaimed British pianist, Paul Lewis, opens the Season – which runs from September to June – in the Belfast Waterfront on 23 September. The Season also marks a welcome return for a number of local soloists of international standing like Barry Douglas and Sir James Galway – who closes the Season with the James Galway Prom in June.

The young Finish virtuoso violinist Pekka Kuusisto, who wowed the Ulster Hall last November is back in May, and one of last year’s Classical Brit Award winners Jack Liebeck, plays Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in a Beethoven-fest on 30 September.

The popular Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko also makes a welcome return as does the chart-topping Australian-born classical guitarist, Craig Ogden, who plays Rodrigo’s well known Concierto de Aranjuez.

Tasmin Little, winner of the Critics Award at this May’s Classic Brits for her interpretation of Elgar’s Violin Concerto and a favourite with Belfast audiences, will perform the piece in the Ulster Hall on 21 October.

The UO also marks the Titanic Centenary with ‘The stars, the seas’, a specially commissioned piece by the Orchestra’s Associate Composer Ian Wilson. Inspired by the Belfast-built liner and her sister ship Olympic, the world première takes place in the Ulster Hall on 17 February 2012.

As well as the new, the Season is full of traditional favourites like Handel’s Messiah, the New Year Viennese Gala and Family Concerts which include The Snowman, plus unique collaborations with Brian Kennedy in a big band swing style Christmas celebration, a Burns Night festival and an evening with the Orchestra and Duke Special.

“Tickets start from as little as £6 for a Lunchtime Concert and range from £8-26 for a Friday evening or Saturday night concert,” said Box Office Assistant Janet Armstrong. “And with more people attending concerts than in recent years, if you want to experience a live symphony orchestra for the first time, or you’re a regular concert goer, we’ve a great Season in store for you,” she said.

You can book online at, call the Box Office on 028 9023 9955 or drop into the Ulster Hall to get your tickets.

Bugsy Malone comes to the Grand Opera House!

Bugsy Malone runs at the Grand Opera House from Thursday 28 – Sunday 31 July. Tickets are priced £10.25 - £15.00 are available from Box Office in the theatre foyer, online at or by calling 028 9024 1919.

Prepare to be amazed as the Grand Opera House Summer Youth Project presents a rip-roaring adaptation of Bugsy Malone from Thursday 28 – Sunday 31 July. Join the fun as 250 of Northern Ireland’s brightest young stars sing, dance and shoot their way through this high-octane, pint-sized gangster musical!

Proudly supported by The Co-operative, Belfast Harbour and the BBC Performing Arts Fund, Bugsy Malone is the biggest youth theatre project in Northern Ireland, bringing together 250 local young people aged 8-18 to perform on the magnificent stage of the Grand Opera House.

They will work closely with an experienced team of theatre professionals to present 5 fun-filled public performances of the classic custard-splatting gangster musical!

Auditions for Bugsy Malone were held in March 2011, with over 350 supremely talented young people from across Northern Ireland taking part. They were put through their paces by a professional choreographer, director and musical director, with 250 singing and dancing their way into the final cast.

13 year old Nathan Braniff, a student at Campbell College Belfast, will take on the role of Bugsy Malone.

‘I auditioned for Bugsy because I’ve been to the Grand Opera House many times before and always wanted to appear on the stage myself’ he explains. ‘I’m sure I’ll be nervous when the curtain goes up, but I can’t get wait to get stuck in during rehearsals’.

Nathan is joined by 16 year old Louise Brown from Strathearn School in the role of nightclub singer Tallulah. ‘I love acting and singing – it’s always been an ambition of mine to perform at the Grand Opera House, and I’m really looking forward to stepping out onto the stage on opening night’.

Thanks to the support of sponsors including The Co-operative, Belfast Harbour and the BBC Performing Arts Fund, the Grand Opera House were also able to provide financial bursaries for a number of participants.

Chief Executive Michael Ockwell, who is also directing Bugsy Malone, commented, ‘The Grand Opera House is often the first introduction to live theatre for many young people in Northern Ireland. We feel passionately that it is important to develop the performers of the future, and offer as many young people as possible the opportunity to appear on our magnificent stage’.

‘More importantly, projects such as these provide young people with the opportunity to develop essential life skills such as teamwork, communication skills, and enhanced self-confidence. The enthusiasm and commitment of the cast has been a wonder to behold and I would encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the fruits of their labour’ he added.

Bugsy Malone runs at the Grand Opera House from Thursday 28 – Sunday 31 July. Tickets are priced £10.25 – £15.00 are available from Box Office in the theatre foyer, online at or by calling 028 9024 1919.

Proudly sponsored by The Co-Operative. Funded by Belfast Harbour and BBC Performing Arts Fund.

Time for afternoon tea!

Everyone loves afternoon tea, but playing hostess can be hard work!

Rosie Lee Vintage Teas will take the hassle out of hosting by bringing afternoon tea to you and your guests! Just choose your tea party package and food from the mouth watering menu and Rosie Lee’s will deliver everything you need to your venue. Your food will be freshly prepared using the finest ingredients and served on the vintage china cake stands and plates. Rosie Lee’s provide everything you need from cups and saucers to bunting and table cloths.

Whether you’re planning a corporate meeting with style, a catch up with friends or an engagement party, there will be packages to suit. Rosie Lee’s also offer special packages for Tipsy Teas, Mum to Be Teas, Tiny Teas and Tie the Knot Teas. Menus can be fully customised and adapted for dietary requirements and allergies.

With a passion for all things vintage, all the china Rosie Lees use is pre-loved but treated with care! You can be the host of a party your granny would be proud of! A full menu is available on request and includes delicate finger sandwiches, mini millefeuille, scones with fresh cream and jam and a selection of delicious loaf cakes.

For more information and bookings, email or visit Rosie Lee’s will also be at Frock Around the Clock in the Holiday Inn, Belfast on Sunday 7th August.

The Belfast Cookery School opens it’s doors!

The Mourne Seafood Bars in Belfast and Dundrum are known the length and breadth of the country and beyond as a unique venture in Ireland, all the shellfish served has been sourced from our own shellfish beds and the wide range of specials served in our restaurants are landed each morning in the local ports of Kilkeel and Annalong. The aim is not only to introduce seafood lovers to lesser known but equally delicious species of fish but also to help take the pressure off threatened species such as Cod. Our shellfish beds are in nearby Carlingford Lough where the waters are classified grade A and are constantly monitored to ensure our shellfish arrive at the table in first class condition.

It was from this ethos and passion for food that the Belfast Cookery School was born. The School is dedicated to helping those who want to share our passion and learn more about food and the way it should be prepared. Our aim is to encourage students to enjoy their cooking experience and to create an atmosphere of fun and learning that stays with them long after the class is over. The School itself is nestled at the heart of Belfast city centre within perfect distance of all major travel routes and public transport, not to mention hotels, pubs, clubs, shopping and other tourist destinations. The courses themselves last from a couple of hours to a full day and there are a wide variety of different classes available to suit all palates.

As the courses are designed for all ages and levels of experience anyone can come and sample what we have to offer. Our facilities are designed to accommodate up to 16 students at a time and the Classroom is fully equipped with sinks and ovens as well as individual cooking stations complete with hobs, utensils and ingredients. Under the expert guidance of our well seasoned chefs, students are given a step-by-step lesson in creating a delicious meal which they are then invited to enjoy together. As we provide each student with a folder detailing the meals they have created they can go home and confidently impress family and friends with what they have learned.

In the School students are encouraged to work however they feel most comfortable, whether this is individually, in teams of two or groups of four. Those who come to us in groups may wish to add an extra dimension to their experience by competing against family, friends or colleagues to see who can create the tastiest dish. The mood in the classroom should always be one of excitement and we will do whatever we can to ensure that this is the case for everyone who comes through our doors. With this in mind the School is an ideal venue for team building events, company nights out or indeed for entertaining clients. The School will also run a number of “Cook Your Own” events, wherein students are welcome to bring along a meal of their choice to prepare under the guidance of our chefs. In addition to this we will be providing a number of cookery classes for children, we recognise the importance of getting kids interested in fresh healthy food from a young age and building their confidence in the kitchen. While the youngsters get creative upstairs parents will be invited to relax in our restaurant and enjoy a spot of lunch – well away from the noise and washing up!

Belfast Cookery School is designed to be inclusive to everyone, sadly our building, because of its age, style and location is not wheelchair accessible. We were not to be deterred in our efforts however and the lovely people at Fleming Fulton School on the Upper Malone Road (a stones throw from Belfast city centre) have agreed to work in conjunction with us, enabling students who use a wheelchair to avail of our classes and chefs in their fabulous purpose built facilities.

Our website contains full information about us as well as an insight into the background of our chefs. Class information, dates, times and prices are easily accessed and you can book and pay online using our booking our calendar. Please feel free to sign up to our mailing list or follow us on facebook or twitter, we look forward to seeing you in the classroom very soon!

Belfast Cookery School
53-54 Castle Street

Tel: 02890 234 722

Twitter @belfastcookery


A married couple from Belfast have been named as Northern Ireland’s representatives at ‘Bushcamp’, the global final of Make it 2 Bushmills, a competition hosted by the makers of BUSHMILLS® Irish Whiskey.

Richard Roberts who works in Customer Service aged 59 and his wife Carol Roberts, a Health Professional aged 55, will be taking part in the final, dubbed the ‘BUSHMILLS® Whiskey World Games’ on the north coast this August.

The competition offers two friends the chance to win two weeks working at the world-famous Old Bushmills Distillery, where they will make their own unique blend of BUSHMILLS Irish Whiskey, stay in luxury penthouse accommodation and get £5,000 spending money. Then, the winning friends will get VIP access to the ultimate BUSHMILLS party back in their home city.

Richard and Carol were selected by public vote on Facebook to compete against pairs of friends from ten other countries at Bushcamp, in a number of challenges to find the ultimate winners of Make it 2 Bushmills. Some of the challenges they can expect to face include barrel-rolling, coopering and beach golf.

The final will be judged by the BUSHMILLS Master Distiller Colum Egan and some famous fans of BUSHMILLS, including Kevin Baird of Two Door Cinema Club, Jonathan Galkin of DFA Records and Rob Allanson of Whisky Magazine.

Colum said: “Bushcamp is going to be the World Games of Whiskey, played out in true Bushmills style. Kevin, Jonathan, Rob and I will be challenging the finalists to try out some of the things that the team at the Old Bushmills Distillery do on a daily basis as well as some of the things that we like to do in our spare time…all with a Bushmills twist.

“But of course, being the Old Bushmills Distillery, we’ll not be forgetting the whiskey itself. A couple of the challenges will test how passionate the friends are about BUSHMILLS Irish Whiskey. All will be revealed when we welcome them here in August!”

Bushcamp will take place from 16th – 18th August at the Old Bushmills Distillery, in Bushmills village and the surrounding area, with the winning pair of friends being announced on the evening of the 17th.

Visit to follow Richard and Carol’s progress and for more information on Make it 2 Bushmills.

Drink Responsibly for the facts

The BUSHMILLS word, the Pot Still device and other associated logos are trade marks. © The Old Bushmills Distillery Co. Limited 2011.