WITH St Patrick’s Day just around the corner, Northern Ireland has a jam-packed programme of festivities lined up to help people celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.

From street carnivals to open air concerts and food events to storytelling, there is something for everyone during this year’s celebrations and Pauline Gormley, Destination PR Officer for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is encouraging people to make the most of what is on offer and explore Northern Ireland.

“Every corner of Northern Ireland is action packed with events and festivals to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. There is plenty of family fun, parades, carnivals and music with a great event or happening to suit every taste.

“If you fancy following in the footsteps of St Patrick and discovering more about his life and legacy with the St Patrick’s Trail which takes you through Christian sites at Bangor, Newtownards, Downpatrick, Newry and Armagh to uncover just how strong Northern Ireland’s links are with the patron saint. The 92 mile linear driving route links 15 key sites, all identified as having some connection to his life, legacy or landscape – they are all just waiting to be explored,” Pauline added.

To help get the celebrations underway NITB has put together a guide to St Patrick’s Day festivals and events across Northern Ireland:


Belfast St Patrick’s Celebrations promises a great day out for the whole family when the city centre becomes awash with colour and splendour during the annual carnival parade which takes place on Sunday March 16. The parade will depart from Belfast City Hall at 12 noon and community groups from across Belfast will take part along with professional and amateur performers, musicians and acrobats. It will finish at Custom House Square where the day’s festivities will continue with an exciting outdoor concert including Shane Ward.

Co Antrim

St Patrick’s Day at Slemish in Ballymena gives visitors the chance to learn about St Patrick and his historical legacy plus the history, wildlife and geology of Slemish. Storytelling, traditional music and children’s entertainment will be part of the event at the Ecos Centre between 12pm and 4pm. People can also enjoy delicious traditional Irish fayre at the Ecos Cafe.

The Londonderry Arms Hotel, situated in the picturesque Glens of Antrim in the small coastal village of Carnlough, invites people to enjoy An Audience with Hector McDonnell on March 14. Hector is one of Ireland’s leading artists and people can join him for an informal talk on St Patrick where he will consider St Patrick’s life.

Co Armagh

Celebrate St Patrick in his chosen city of Armagh with a lively and varied festival from March 13 – 17, showcasing the best of the city’s culture, music, song and dance. Highlights of the Saint Patrick’s Festival include The Poet, The Pier & The Painter at Navan Centre & Fort, Comedy Weekend at The Market Place Theatre and Armagh Trad Trail in Armagh City Centre.

The Saint Patrick’s Festival Concert in Market Square on March 15 will see the Red Hot Chilli Pipers take to the stage with support acts including local band Castlestreet, The Legend of Luke Kelly, and Catherine Grimley & The McCuskers.  There will also be a special appearance from mentalist David Meade who promises to astonish the crowd with his unique talent.

The Saint Patrick’s Day Carnival Procession will see the city come alive with a spectacular display of colour, music, dance and entertainment for all to enjoy. The celebrations will begin with a high energy carnival procession departing the Palace Demesne, making its way through Armagh City Centre complete with colourful floats, marching bands and street performers.

Living History special for St Patrick’s Day is taking place at Navan Centre & Fort from March 15 – 17. The Living History department will reopen the Iron Age Dwelling especially for visitors to Navan enjoying the Saint Patrick’s festivities. Recreating Celtic life through cooking, weaving, weaponry and much more the dwelling brings to life the sights, smells and sounds of the Celtic era. Join in all the fun as the Celts transport you to a bygone age!

Co Londonderry

The St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival 2014 in Derry on March 16 and 17 is packed with fun for all the family including on street entertainers who will dazzle and bemuse, a fantastical carnival parade which will enchant, traditional musicians who will make your toes tap and a mythical children’s treasure trail which will lead you through a taste of ‘Music, Myth and Magic’.

The LegenDerry Food Festival in Guildhall Square from March 15 – 17 showcases the wealth and range of local food on offer in the city and across Northern Ireland. With themes from ‘plot to plate’, ‘grown here not flown here’ and ‘catch and cook’, it celebrates food and includes celebrity chef demonstrations, family activities and live cook offs.

Join in the craic and celebrate a memorable St Patrick’s Day in the Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre with music from the amazing Blackthorn. Fun and laughter is guaranteed with this lively and entertaining band.

Co Down

What better place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than in Downpatrick, one of Northern Ireland’s most ancient and historical towns and reputed to be the burial place of St Patrick. And once again, Down District Council is offering a seven day programme of events with the St Patrick’s Festival from March 10 – 17.

More than 30,000 spectators are expected to gather to see the highlight event, the traditional Cross Community Carnival Parade through the town on March 17.

Session trails throughout the festival will offer opportunities to celebrate St Patrick’s life through song and dance. An artisan food market offering food produce from local provenance will get your taste buds tingling and there will be lots of entertainment including a busking competition and an open air concert.

Downpatrick lluminations Show – come visit Downpatrick at night over the Festival period and see three of the local iconic buildings, Down Cathedral, St Patrick’s Church and The Saint Patrick Centre illuminating green in colour to celebrate our Saint.

The St Patrick’s Centre is bursting with great things to see and do including a special U105 broadcast on March 14 when Frank Mitchell will host his Morning Show at the centre with special guests and topical discussion.  Also on the March 14 you can get hands on with some snakes, said to have been banished by St Patrick, at the St Patrick’s Centre Reptile Display plus tortoises, spiders and much more.  On March 14, there is the Brigid O’Neill Trio in concert with Bill Johnston and Barry Kerr featuring Country Blues, Folk, Jazz and Bluegrass (tickets available by calling the St Patrick’s Centre).

Downpatrick Racecourse will host its first Drive-Thru Mystery Movie so make sure you pick up a free ticket at the Visitor Information Centre.

St Patrick’s Day celebrations at Castle Espie in Comber invites people to take part in a shamrock trail, meet St Patrick’s snakes and sample homemade traditional Irish cuisine.

The Newry & Mourne St Patrick’s Day Festival starts at 12 noon with the annual parade which departs from the Quays Shopping & Leisure Centre and finishing in the Cathedral Quarter Hill Street. There will also be an open-air concert and street entertainment including a traditional street ceili and lots to keep children entertained. In addition to this, there will be events taking place in the Town Hall, Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry & Mourne Museum and Newry Variety Market.

Co Fermanagh

The main St Patrick’s Day parade in Enniskillen starts from Lakeland Forum at 3.30pm and then circles the island town. Visitors can look forward to seeing battling Vikings, wake boarding leprechauns as well as St Patrick’s arrival in his traditionally unusual manner. There will be other family activities at Broadmeadow at 1pm with attractions including inflatable assault courses, bouncy castles, face painting, gelato’s, candy floss and chocolate fountains as well as music and Lough based displays.

Enjoy free admission to Enniskillen Castle Museums on St Patrick’s Day. Enniskillen Castle, situated beside the River Erne in County Fermanagh, was built almost 600 years ago by the ruling Gaelic Maguires. Today, the historic site houses two museums, Fermanagh County Museum and the Inniskillings Museum.

Co Tyrone

The Saint Patricks Day Festival in Omagh, from March 10 – 21, features many wonderful events starting with the ‘Building Bridges’ Primary Schools Exhibition at the Strule Arts Centre on March 10; a screening of the Bafta nominated Good Vibrations at the Strule Arts Centre on March 14; an open air concert and colourful St Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17; culminating in a tuneful musical session by popular Ulster-Scots group, Kilted Konnections, on March 21 at the Strule Arts Centre, to name a few.

The Ulster American Folk Park invites people to celebrate the “American Wake”. Countless thousands of people left Ireland in the 18th and 19th Centuries and for many, the hours before departure became known as the ‘American or Living Wake’. Watch this dramatic re-enactment complete with music and songs.

To find out more about what is happening in Northern Ireland over St Patrick’s Day or for further information on places to stay or things to see and do contact the Northern  Ireland Tourist Board on Callsave 1850 230 230 or click on www.discovernorthernireland.com

Enjoy a LegenDerry festive feast this St Patrick’s weekend

Handmade fudge and chocolates, sourdough bread and goat burgers will be among the fantastic fare on offer in Derry this St Patrick’s weekend during the 2014 LegenDerry Food Festival.

Ian Orr Chef and Co-Owner Browns Restaurant Derry with his team. Ian won the Irish Chef of the Year 2013 in the prestigious Georgina Campbell Awards, as well as represented NI on the Great British Menu. He was also voted Ulster Chef of the Year 2013 and has been accredited by Bridgestone and many other industry accolades. Ian will be taking part in the 2014 LegenDerry Food Festival to take place over St Patricks Day weekend 15-17th March 2014.

Sponsored by the DARD NI Regional Food Programme, Invest NI and the City of Culture Legacy programme, the festival will take place from Saturday 15th until Monday 17th of March. Guildhall Square will be filled with mouth watering aromas drifting from the immense marquee which will house a feast of local produce given the star treatment by some of the biggest names in Irish cooking, and the very best local chefs.  The event is organised by Derry City Council with support from Food NI.
The city’s Mayor, Councillor Martin Reilly, said the festival was a fantastic addition to the St Patrick’s weekend festivities. “The North West has always enjoyed the finest produce and the LegenDerry Food Festival provides the ideal opportunity to sample and celebrate some of the finest food available right on our doorstep.

“Food tourism is a massive industry and with such fantastic resources and great emerging talent in our restaurant kitchens, we should all support the local producers and chefs endeavouring to put Derry on the food map. I would encourage everyone to come along and enjoy a delicious and entertaining culinary day out.”

From RTE’s Nevin Maguire to BBC Radio Ulster’s Paula McIntyre, there’ll be demos and tastings aplenty. Compere Brian McDermott aka ‘The No Salt Chef’ will be introducing chefs from Derry who will be sharing recipes and staging live cook offs throughout the weekend. Seven local producers will also be showcasing a range of quality regional produce, including Broughgammon Farm’s cabrito burritos made with meat reared near Ballycastle, as well as a wide range of handmade baked goods.

Among the local talents revealing the secrets of their signature dishes will be chefs from La Sosta, Browns, The Sooty Olive, The Custom House, Harry’s, Primrose Café and many more.  Irish Chef of the Year 2013, Ian Orr, will talk about the importance of local supply and celebrity chefs will share their insider tips. There will be many opportunities to try and buy some of the finest local products, including award-winning delights like Abernethy Butter, Broighter Gold rapeseed oil, Passion Preserved chutneys and relishes and Braemar Farm ice-cream, as well as a whole host of freshly prepared dishes.

Event organiser Mary Blake said the festival was simply a celebration of the best local food. “With themes from ‘caught here not brought here’ and ‘grown here not flown here’, the focus really is on local food,” she emphasised. “We’ve got great taste in Derry, and LegenDerry produce on offer from farm to fork.

“Many of our restaurants are continually raising standards and monitoring the latest in culinary trends, so this event promises to be a foodies’ paradise. Food Tourism is key to Derry and the second highest area of visitor spends. Out-of-state visitors to NI spend over a third of their money on food and drink and make a massive contribution to the NI food and drink industry. In fact, while the food service sector was worth an estimated £1.52 billion in 2011, food tourism has been one of the driving forces helping this sector to return to growth.”

During the festival, nutritionist Jane McClenaghan will be giving a talk and signing copies of her new cookbook and local chef Emmet McCourt will also be there with his new book Feast or Famine, charting the fascinating food history of the North West. Street food is also a growing trend and Tricycle Trading’s and Pyke and Pommes sweet and savoury offerings are sure to please.

We can’t promise good weather, but we can promise great foodie fun this St Patrick’s weekend.

Phoenix Dance Theatre captures Theatre at The Mill

‘Phoenix Dance Theatre’ will be mesmerising audiences at Theatre at The Mill for one night only on Wednesday 5th March as part of their highly anticipated UK tour. The contemporary dance company will be presenting a diverse bill that features two thrilling new works and one classic from the company’s archive.

Document is a powerful, relentless piece by exciting choreographic duo Ivgi & Greben – their first to be performed in the UK. Didy Veldman’s See Blue Through plunges the stage into a fascinating, mysterious undersea world that features sensuous elastic choreography and costumes. Inspired by his Mapping series, Darshan Singh Bhuller’s latest work is filled with dynamic, physical choreography.

Phoenix Dance Theatre’ will also be delivering workshops in local schools throughout the province as they teach aspiring Performing Arts and Dance students some of their poised yet thrilling instruction of movement.

Don’t miss this evening of contemporary dance at Theatre at The Mill on Wednesday 5th March. Tickets which cost £15, £13 & £11 (concessions available) can be booked online at www.theatreathemill.com or through Box Office on 028 9034 0202.


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (March 3 – 9).

  • Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend, various venues, Co. Fermanagh, March 7 – 9. Fermanagh’s Visitor Attractions are opening their doors for free as they kick off this year’s tourist season. Taking part in the weekend is the Aughakillymaude Mummers Centre, Belleek Pottery, Garden of Celtic Saints, Enniskillen Castle Museums, Florence Court, Crom Estate and Castle Coole. 

  • Belfast Children’s Festival, various venues, Belfast, March 7 -14.  A treat for families as a range of venues across Belfast will host some outstanding international and local productions for young audiences with a programme including theatre, dance, music, visual and the digital, sonic arts.
  • Rostrevor MTB Festival 2014, Rostrevor, Co. Down, March 8-9.  The Rostrevor Mountain Bike Festival makes its return with an exciting weekend of events including Round 1 of the Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series as well as the first round of the Ulster XC Series.

  • Phoenix Dance Theatre, Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, March 5.  Enjoy a diverse bill that features two thrilling new works and one classic from the company’s archive, from powerful and relentless to dynamic and physical choreography.

  • The ‘Them & Me’ Tour, Millennium Forum, City of Derry, March 8. Popular comedian William Caulfield returns to the theatre with his all new show for 2014, offering hilarious observations of everyday life coupled with his unique ability to tell stories that capture the humour of Northern Ireland.

  • The Three Tenors & Star Violinist, The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Co. Armagh, March 8.  Ireland’s Greatest Voices perform fabulous hit songs and a popular uplifting mix from Sinatra and Leonard Cohen to The Dubliners and Pavarotti.  
  • Adult Crochet Workshop, The Alley Arts & Conference Centre, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, March 7.  Back by popular demand, the crochet workshop will provide a chance to learn new stitches, embellishments and to use patterns to develop knitwear styles at basic and intermediate level.

  • Invasion Belfast VI – Return of the Garrison, W5 at Odyssey, Belfast, March 8-9.  Ireland’s premier Star Wars costuming club return to W5 for a weekend of fresh interactive fun, with a new line-up of actors, talks and activities as well as Emerald Garrison’s hugely popular replica props and scenes.
  • Meet the Maker – ‘Ebb Tide’ Exhibition by Rosemary McMillen, Craft & Design Centre, Newtownards, Co. Down, until March 29.  The natural forces of Strangford Lough’s tidal energy and the patterns of light reflected in the shallow waters of the mudflats are key inspirations for this glass sculpture and installation.  
  • Another World, Roe Valley Arts Centre, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, March 7 – April 26.  Local emerging artist and University of Ulster student, John McMacken will display a stunning collection of drawings in pencil, pen, charcoal, ink and paint, capturing people and landscapes with a sense of immediacy.

Jacqueline’s Pick of What’s On this week across NI.


The first round of the North of Ireland Karting Association summer championship takes place this Saturday 1st March at Kirkistown Racing Cicuit. The event is a short circuit karting meeting organised by the 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland.  The meeting features direct drive junior and senior classes.


For one night only – Thursday 27th Febuary, the Strule Arts Centre show their appreciation to the talented Northern Irish Poet Seamus Heaney.  Come along and hear some of the most popular and revered poems being read by some well known individuals and locals who have a love for poetry.  The evening will also include some light musical entertainment.


See Brendan Grace live on stage Wednesday 26th February at the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen.  The greatest family comedian of our generation proudly celebrates 42 years in the comedy business. Brendan’s latest show features some brand new material and some ‘Old Favourites’ from his vast repertoire.


The Riverside Theatre Coleraine will be rocked to the core as never seen before on Saturday March 1st at 7.30pm, when the Wrestling Superstars invade Coleraine.  Coming from successful tours in France, Spain, Japan, Germany, the United States, Mexico and beyond, this night promises to leave your hair standing, heart pumping and your blood boiling!


‘Nivelli’s War’ tells the dramatic story of Ernst, a six year old boy evacuated to the countryside from Frankfurt in World War II. When the war ends Ernst finds himself alone with no idea how to get home again. When all seems lost a mysterious stranger comes to his aid; a man who knows the true value of magic. As they travel together, through a war torn world, the stranger instils in the boy a love of conjuring which will last his whole life.  Nivelli’s War is inspired by a true story and is a vivid and moving theatrical account of an incredible journey and a lasting friendship. This enchanting production at the Market Place Theatre Armagh on Friday 28th February is a play suitable for age 7+, featuring music, magic and illusion.


Bann Valley Community Group present the Award Winning Johnny Cash and June Carter Tribute Show in Clady Hall on Saturday 1st March.   Tickets available from McCanns furniture shop, Clady post office and Clady Shop.


The Waterfront Hall is the venue for the Mind, Body, Spirit Show this Sunday afternoon. Covering complementary health, spiritual awareness, personal development and lots of pampering! This show is the largest of its type in Ireland. Its central feature is the Experience Zone where you can try out a range of activities from reflexology to an Indian head massage. There will be a host of inspirational and uplifting seminars and workshops, from aura photography to zen and from amazing fortune tellers to zumba classes.

Kennedy and O’Dowd announce two Giro d’Italia competitions for schools

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy and Education Minister John O’Dowd are urging schoolchildren to take part in two competitions linked to the Giro d’Italia – the world’s second largest bike race taking place in Northern Ireland this year.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy and Education Minister John O’Dowd are urging schoolchildren to take part in two competitions linked to the Giro d’Italia – the world’s largest bike race taking place in Northern Ireland this May. To maximize the local impact of the event, the Department for Regional Development (DRD) Travelwise NI and the Department of Education (DE) have joined forces with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), Sustrans and the Public Health Agency (PHA) to create a supporting programme of events and activities to inspire schools to ‘Think Pink’ and spread Giro fever across Northern Ireland. Schoolchildren of all ages are being asked to design a banner to use along the route of the Giro d’Italia and to make active journeys to school. Pictured: Transport Minister Danny Kennedy and Education Minister John O’Dowd with Holywood Primary school pupils, Poppy Woods (9) and Tom Muldrew (9). Picture by Brian Morrison.

To maximise the local impact of the event taking place in May, the Department for Regional Development (DRD) and the Department of Education (DE) have joined forces with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), Sustrans and the Public Health Agency (PHA) to create a supporting programme of events and activities to inspire schools to ‘Think Pink’ and spread Giro fever across Northern Ireland.
School children of all ages are being asked to design a banner to use along the route of the Giro d’Italia and to make active journeys to school.

Minister Danny Kennedy said: “This is an exciting time for Northern Ireland as 200 top professional cyclists from across the globe will arrive here for one of the greatest sporting spectacles on our shores during the weekend of 9-11 May. My Department, along with the Department of Education and all our supporting partners would like to encourage school children to get involved in the excitement. The Giro provides an invaluable opportunity to educate everyone about cycling, not just as a means of transport but also as a leisure activity and as a sporting opportunity.

“As a legacy of the Giro d’Italia, I want cycling to be carried forward in a meaningful way that will make it not only a landmark event but a means of encouraging and promoting cycling as we go forward.”

Minister for Education, John O’Dowd added: “Being active is a vital part of any child’s development and hosting the Giro d’Italia provides us with the opportunity to highlight the importance of physical activity to our young people. Along with the many health benefits, taking part in enjoyable sports activities such as cycling can boost young people’s confidence and self-esteem, in turn stimulating their motivation to learn.

“The Giro is also an amazing spectacle. My message to teachers is: think about how you can use the Giro to get children and young people excited about not only cycling, but exercise and healthy living in general.

“These fun and engaging competitions from Travelwise NI and Sustrans offer excellent opportunities to learn more about this prestigious cycle race, one of cycling’s three ‘grand tours’. And I would encourage parents and families to consider bringing their children out to see the race in action while it is here.

“The prospect of world class professional sport on our doorstep can only serve to inspire our young people to get more active.”

The DRD Travelwise competition is tasking all schools in Northern Ireland to create a banner for use along the route of the Giro d’Italia. The school with the winning design, will have their banner printed, with the winning class (30 pupils and 10 adults) winning a trip to watch the race and display their banner to the watching world.” The closing date is the 14 March 2014. Visit http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/giro-banner for more information.

And, to encourage schools to get active this spring, Sustrans’ innovative 10-day ‘Giro Schools Challenge’ is an inter-school competition that will encourage pupils to cycle, scoot and walk to school each day from 31 March – 11 April. The more active journeys they make, the more points the schools will earn, helping them to compete for a range of prizes including a BMX display session from T13, cycle and scooter parking pods, and Dr Bike sessions.

The Giro Schools Challenge is funded jointly by the PHA and DE. PHA Chief Executive Dr Eddie Rooney said: “PHA is delighted to support this challenge which will help more children to take part in physical exercise, which is so important for their growth and development, not to mention the fact that it is good fun. Too many of our children do not get enough exercise and this poses real, long-term risks to their health and wellbeing.”

To register for the challenge or for more information visit http://www.girochallenge.sustrans.org.uk


Lakin McCarthy Entertainment presents
“I’m hilarious, trust me.”

On 13 April, Ruby Wax – comedian, writer, mental health campaigner – will bring her one-woman show RUBY WAX: SANE NEW WORLD-THE TOUR to Theatre at The Mill. Ruby has based this new show on her No. 1 bestselling book Sane New World: Taming the Mind, which has enjoyed worldwide success since publication in 2013.

RUBY WAX: SANE NEW WORLD-THE TOUR will help us understand why we sabotage our own sanity and provides a manual on how to survive the 21st century, using Ruby’s knowledge from her recent Masters Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at Oxford University spiked with comedy.

Why we need a ‘manual’…

Ruby comments: “We are not equipped for this century, it’s too hard, too fast, and too full of fear; we just don’t have the bandwidth. Our brains can’t take so much information in a world where we’re bombarded by bad news and force-fed information. I can just about take in the weather then I’m exhausted. You open a newspaper, everyone’s dead. We’re only supposed to know what our neighbour is up to; if the woman next door to you is having sex with the man next door to her we need to know; but four doors down and it’s none of our business.”

Using her signature humour, Ruby gives a tour of the brain and how to tame it: “We know so much about how the world works – but so little about our how our own minds work.  It’s like having a Ferrari on top of your head but no one gave you the keys.”


About Ruby Wax

Arriving in Britain from the United States in 1977, Ruby Wax began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  She went on to write and perform in her own hugely popular television programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 and was Script Editor on all series’ of Absolutely Fabulous.  Ruby has since obtained a Masters Degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University and has spoken at TED Global.  She has become a respected campaigner for mental illness in the UK.

RUBY WAX: SANE NEW WORLD tours to Theatre at The Mill on Sunday 13 April. Tickets priced £17.50 and £15 can be booked online at www.theatreatthemill.com

The Courtyard Theatre hosts ‘Ted and Co – The Dinner Show’

Ahh, Go on, Go on, Go on! Come to The Courtyard Theatre on Saturday 15 March where ‘Ted and Co – The Dinner Show’ is serving up guests a hilarious treat!

A parody to the TV classic Father Ted, the unique and interactive comedy dining experience ‘Ted and Co – The Dinner Show’ was a sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. During its tour, it received five star audience reviews, thanks to its high energy improvisation, audience participation and perfect comic timing.

The highly acclaimed cast combine satire and surrealism with a good helping of old fashioned comedy to bring the tribute show to life. With a three course meal included in the ticket price, you’ll enjoy this entertaining evening as Ted, Dougal, Jack and the housekeeper keep you company, you will, you will you will!

Tickets are selling fast so get yours quick for ‘Ted & Co – The Dinner Show’. They cost £40 (includes 3 course meal) and are available from the Theatre’s website at www.thecourtyardtheatre.com or by phoning Box Office on 028 9034 0202.


The Merchant Hotel’s fabulous Fashion Teas return this March, serving up the sweetest spring trends from a selection of Northern Ireland’s top boutiques.

On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March, The Merchant’s opulent Rita Duffy Suite with four stunning spring Fashion Teas from independent boutiques, Red Ruby Rouge, Edge Emporium, Rio & Brazil and The Boudoir.  In a Fashion Teas first, a children’s collection will also take to the catwalk, as Little Citizens Boutique in Holywood join Red Ruby Rouge to create a show that’s sure to please yummy mummies.

During the decadent round table event, guests will indulge in a luxury afternoon tea including Moet et Chandon champagne and melt in the mouth patisseries, whilst Style Academy models sashay through the room in the season’s hottest new looks, with stunning hair by Andrew Mulvenna and spring make-up looks from Lancôme.

The stylish spring series of Fashion Teas kick off on Saturday March 22nd with Holywood boutiques, Red Ruby Rouge and Little Citizens Boutique at 12.30pm, followed by Dungannon boutique, Edge Emporium at 3.30pm.  On Sunday March 23rd, stunning designs from The Boudoir, Dungannon will take to the catwalk 1pm, with and Belfast boutiques Rio & Brazil bringing the spring event to a close with its stunning spring collection at 3pm.

Following each show, guests will have the opportunity to shop the collections, hot off the catwalk with pop-up boutiques for each retailer taking up residence in The Merchant for the weekend.

Look out for ice cream brights, simple separates and sports luxe looks from Red Ruby Rouge. With statement oceana-inspired jewellery from Martha’s Vineyard, abstract leather print clutches, totes from Israel and hand painted menswear inspired silks from Brooklyn, Red Ruby Rouge will showcase beautifully unique and globally inspired collections.

The award-winning Little Citizens Boutique will present a spring collection full of bright and fun colours such as sherbet yellow, berry pinks and clover greens.  Styled with chambray neutrals, the look embodies easy living.  The print on print trend seen on the international catwalks will be evident in their Fashion Teas show, with a range of unusual colour combinations such as camel, neon green and black, as well as white chequered prints and paisley.

Exclusive Dungannon boutique, Edge Emporium will show a stunning selection of key spring/summer looks with a focus on new season colours and prints, including bold brights, sweet pastels and monochrome, all combined with striking prints such as graphic florals and other eye-catching patterns.

The Boudoir at The Linen Green Designer Village, Dungannon, specialises in occasion and casual ladies fashion and accessories.  Its Fashion Teas show will feature an array of the latest trends, with punchy spring brights such as pink, lime green and yellow creating on-trend looks for both mother and daughter.  With over 30 labels in-store, this show will be packed with must-have pieces, perfect for creating a capsule spring wardrobe.

Belfast’s Rio & Brazil will present a fashion-forward collection of candy coloured oversized outerwear alongside sports luxe and sophisticated tailoring from By Malene Birger, as well as metallic weave fabrics in shift blouses with printed silks and American heritage pastels and stripes from Gant.  Except to see the best of this year’s spring/summer trends.

Tickets to The Merchant’s Fashion Teas cost £35 per person and include an exclusive fashion show, champagne afternoon tea and a luxury goody bag.  Tickets can be purchased by calling The Merchant Hotel on 028 9026 2717.  Funds raised from a luxury ballot at the events will be donated to the hotel’s 2014 charity partner Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.

‘In The Window’ comes to Theatre at The Mill

Northern Ireland’s Queen of Comedy, Nuala McKeever, will entertain audiences with her black comedy ‘In The Window’ on Saturday 1 March at Theatre at The Mill for one night only.

Written and performed by the established actress herself, Nuala McKeever astounds us with this brand new one woman show about the resilience of the human heart in the face of…well just about everything that can go wrong in people’s crazy modern lives.

Divulging the sorrows of a woman called Margaret whose life hasn’t turned out the way she had dreamed and throwing in a burglar, a match-making nosey neighbour, a sexy policemen and a series of little white lies and this black comedy delivers a cocktail of humour and disaster that’s just to die for.

Tickets for ‘In The Window’ which cost £14, £12, £10 (concessions £2 off) are available from the Theatre’s website at www.theatreatthemill.com or by phoning Box Office on 028 9034 0202.