Design addicts and home makers will be flocking to Belfast when The Modern Home Show appears at Malone House on Sunday 14th June featuring a perfect blend of vintage interiors and contemporary design for the stylish home.
The unique and exciting event will afford visitors the perfect opportunity to choose unique focal pieces for the home from design originals of the 1930s – 1970s and to invest in the collectibles of the future from a carefully edited selection of Irish vintage dealers, designers and artisans.
Boasting 40 quality exhibitors from all over Ireland, The Modern Home Show will showcase affordable 20th century design classics including the best in vintage furniture and homewares sourced from all around the globe, as well as innovative restyled creations. Visitors will also be able to purchase contemporary designs for the home with everything from ceramics, cushions and art prints to quilts, candles and rugs, as well as textiles, haberdashery and artisan food!
Brought to you by the inventive folks at Frock Fairs NI, creators of the fabulous Frock Around The Clock Vintage & Handmade Fairs, this event promises to be the hottest home and interiors destination this year with the coolest stuff on the planet for your abode! Exhibitors include Dublin-based Kirk Modern and Mid20c who specialise in mid-century furniture and decorative items, Donegal-based artist Paul Brady who designs and builds robot sculptures from found objects and bespoke furniture from aircraft fuselage, ceramicist Patricia Millar who produces unique ceramics inspired by the landscape and history of the Ards Peninsula, beautiful tweed textile art from Laird and Gillie, and limited edition giant bolsters and floor cushions, colourful throws and quilts from Shabbie.
With cool and laid back sounds provided by Back Alley Beats, who will also be selling original rock prints, The Modern Home Show will enjoy the fun and relaxed atmosphere that has become a trademark of all the events from Frock Fairs NI – it’s a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
The Modern Home Show takes place from 12-5pm on Sunday 14th June at Malone House, Barnett Demesne, Belfast BT9 5PB. Admission costs £3 for adults and children go free. More information can be found at frockfairsni.com.
Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited one of Northern Ireland’s most famous houses and gardens today as they marked the official reopening of Mount Stewart, following an £8m restoration project by the National Trust.
The Royal couple were met on arrival by Lady Rose Lauritzen and Mr Peter Lauritzen. Lady Rose’s family has lived at Mount Stewart since the 18th century.
The welcome party also included Heather Thompson, Northern Ireland Director, National Trust and Jon Kerr, National Trust General Manager.
TRHs were invited to tour the reinvigorated house and see previously unopened rooms. They also enjoyed some of the many new items that are on display including no fewer than 11 family portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence, PRA (1769-1830), perhaps the greatest British portrait painter of the early 19th century.
Amongst the more striking items now on display is the Congress of Vienna Desk which belonged to Viscount Castlereagh when he was British Foreign Secretary at the close of the Napoleonic Wars and is said to have been used at the signing of the Treaties of Paris and Vienna in 1814 and 1815.
TRHs took the opportunity to meet with a number of National Trust staff and volunteers who played a pivotal role in the three year restoration project.
Speaking about the historic visit, Jon Kerr, manager at Mount Stewart said: “It has been a huge privilege to welcome the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Mount Stewart today and the perfect way to mark the reopening of this famous house which has been restored to its former glory.
“It has taken a team of hundreds of people to bring our vision for this grand house to life including builders, joinery apprentices and expert conservators and curators. So today was a real opportunity to celebrate with some of the team.
“We also couldn’t have done it without our 200 volunteers who have helped with every aspect of the project including the restoration of fabrics and furniture. They will also play a huge role in welcoming many more visitors over the coming months and years. ”
Before departure, the Royal Couple received a gift of plants connected to the world famous gardens at Mount Stewart.
The £8million restoration project at Mount Stewart was funded by the National Trust with support from partners including the Garfield Weston, the Wolfson Foundation, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Royal Oak Foundation, the B H Breslauer Foundation, the Lauritzen Foundation, Friends of National Libraries, NI Museums Council and a range of individual National Trust supporters.
The property stayed open throughout the restoration so that visitors could see some of the conservation in action.
Other highlights for visitors to Mount Stewart will include:
– A selection of rooms open to view for the first time, including family and guest bedrooms. Visitors will be able to find out more about key members of the family, in particular Charles and Edith Londonderry and their daughter Mairi in the newly opened billiards room.
– A world class collection of family portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence, recognised by many as the greatest British portrait painter of the early 19th century.
– One of Northern Ireland’s most famous paintings, Stubb’s ‘Hambletonian, Rubbing Down’ has been given a brand new frame. Hambletonian was one of the best thoroughbred racehorses of the late 18th century, having won all of his races, except one.
– A collection of beautiful table silver including ambassadorial silver used by Charles Stewart while British Ambassador in Vienna 1814-22; a set of early 19th century racing cups including three Doncaster Cups, one of which was won by the great racehorse Hambletonian.
 H&J Martin were the lead contractor on this project. H&J Martin were founded back in 1840 and the family owned company has been going strong ever since. H&J Martin have a close affinity with the conservation of historic buildings being responsible for the construction of some of Ireland’s most iconic buildings. Belfast’s City Hall, famous around the world, was built by the company along with other famous city landmarks such as the Central Library (the first free library in Belfast) and the Opera House along with many similar buildings both in Belfast and Dublin. Belfast’s Opera House became the city’s first listed building and H&J Martin has revisited the building twice in recent years, to carry out major conservation works.
H&J Martin’s Chairman Billy Martin MBE stated. “Care for historic buildings is in our blood, everyday our staff pass spectacular buildings which are part of our history as well as the history of the region. We are proud to have been involved in the restoration of Mount Stewart house and we are particularly proud that so much of the works could be carried out by local craftsmen and women, helping to demonstrate the strength of the construction industry in Northern Ireland.”
About the National Trust
The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 775 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information and ideas for great value family days out go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
12 noon – 2.00pm Music with Alan Logan at The Amphitheatre
12 noon – 2.00pm Tour of the ‘William Gordon Burr’ and the historic ‘Joseph Soar’ lifeboats at the Quayside
12.30pm – 2.00pm RNLI ‘Rookie’ Lifeguard Challenge at West Strand or ‘wee beach’ if inclement weather.
New event aimed at kids aged 10-15 years old having a go at some basic lifeguarding skills in conjunction with the RNLI Beach Lifeguards. From a beach start participants will complete a short sea swim, followed by a knee paddle on a surf rescue board, finishing the timed event with a run along the beach.
12.30pm – 2.30pm Music by Limavady Big Band Sound beside the Boathouse
1.00pm – 5.00pm Children’s Entertainment and Street Theatre
Paddle 4 Sport Club League Junior, Senior & Masters Sea Races. Leaving Portandoo Harbour at Landsdowne, around the Skerries and back to Portandoo harbour. www.ccka.co.uk
2.00pm – 3.00pm Tour of the historic Joseph Soar lifeboat – on the Quayside
JOSEPH SOAR is a Watson Class Motor Lifeboat of timber construction with twin Gardner diesel engines model 5LW.She was built by J Samuel White of Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1962 and placed on service at St Davids in 1963. In 1985 she was transferred to Dunbar and in 1988 transferred to Shoreham Harbour. Withdrawn from service in 1990 and sold out of service in 1992. Throughout her life with the RNLI JOSEPH SOAR was launched 135 times and saved 135 lives.
2.00pm – 5.00pm Coleraine & District Historic Vehicle Club Cavalcade – display of cars and bikes at Kerr Street Green
2.00pm – 5.00pm Portrush – a Historical Dander in Pictures – Portrush Yacht Club
There will be a historical display of old photographs of Portrush harbour and the surrounding area going back as far as 1900. They will give a fascinating view of what the harbour looked like and the characters that lived, worked and played there, most of them ancestors of present Portrush families. The photographs will be displayed in the first floor training room and everyone is welcome to come in and take a step back in time in Portrush.
2.00pm West Bay Open Water Swim (1km) ILDSA
Following the briefing at 2.00pm, the swimmers will be dropped off at Blackrock (Island Dhu) by boat to swim the 1km back to the harbour, finishing at the slipway on the North Pier. Competitors are not permitted to wear wetsuits! This challenging event usually attracts entrants from all over Ireland so come along and show your support.
2.00pm Paddle Board Challenge in the Harbour
Come and watch the mayhem unfold with a series of short races and fun paddle board challenges taking place around the lifeboat. This promises to offer good fun and enjoyment to both spectators and participants. It will also showcase the growing sport of paddle boarding in the local area. Troggs Surf School will be on hand at the ‘wee beach’ to offer paddle board taster sessions at 2.00pm (small donation to the RNLI).Come down and have a go or support the race challengers from 3.00pm onwards.
The Crew of Portrush Lifeboat Station would like to extend a warm welcome to all visitors to our town. We would like to ensure holiday makers have a great time as well as a safe time and would ask that they observe simple safety rules when playing on the beautiful beaches:
– inflatables are dangerous. Never let children play on their own with inflatables.
– keep an eye on children at all times. They can wander off quickly and the sea holds a real fascination for them.
– do not mix the sea and alcohol.
– if you are going out on a craft, make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you intend to be back.
– ALWAYS wear a lifejacket, even if you consider yourself an experienced sailor.
As a charity, the RNLI depends solely on donations and dedicated volunteers
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea
Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (May 25-31).
GAA Legends Exhibition Game, St Patrick’s Park, Castlewellan Road, Newcastle, Co. Down, May 25. Some of Ireland’s renowned sports legends will participate in an exhibition game involving personalities from a range of sports including hurling, Gaelic, football, rugby and soccer. From 7pm.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation, Royal Country Down, Newcastle, Co. Down, May 28-31. Visit this ‘unmissable’ event and get involved in making history at Royal County Down golf course when superstars such as Sergio Garcia, world number one Rory McIlroy, and Rickie Fowler will compete for the illustrious title of Irish Open champion! Beginning at various times per day.
Mourne Landscape Guided Bus Tour, Donard Park, Newcastle, Co. Down, May 27. Come along and enjoy a guided bus tour through the Mourne Mountains, with lunch in Annalong overlooking the Harbour and Cornmill then enjoy the afternoon sightseeing and cultural experience. The event is free (lunch additional). Departs from Donard Park at 10.00am.
Banff Film Festival – World Tour, Theatre at The Mill, Mossley Mill, Co. Antrim, May 27-28.The world’s most prestigious mountain film festival presents two incredible evenings of extraordinary short films. Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most daring adventurers, see incredible footage of adrenaline packed action sports and be inspired by thought-provoking pieces, shot in some of the world’s most far flung locations. Show begins at 7.45pm.
Evening Of Music and Song with The Priests, St Patrick’s RC Cathedral, Cathedral Road, Armagh, Co. Armagh, May 29. Enjoy an evening of music and song with ‘The Priests’. The classical music trio ‘The Priests’ will present a special concert for audiences to sit back and get lost in. Concert starts at 7.30pm.
Rogue Robots – A Lasertag Activity, W5 at Odyssey, Belfast, May 23-25. Rogue Robots is W5’s new laser tag activity for summer 2015 and is a fun challenge for all the family. You will learn how to use phasers and then be challenged to deactivate robot targets as you make your way through two target range sets. Have you got what it takes to be a member of RoboSquad and will your squad deactivate the most robots in the time available to make it onto the Roll of Honour? Check w5online.co.uk for available time slots.
Loughfest at Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, Co. Fermanagh, May 30. The annual extravaganza is a free event which promises thrills and spills for the whole family with a range of activities including climbing walls, bouncy castles, high ropes course, face painting, fossil making and rubbing and much more! From 12-4pm.
International Children’s Day, An Creagán, Creggan, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, May 25. Celebrate international culture and heritage at this fun-filled day of international arts and crafts. The festival brings world geography to life through hands-on activities that help to give the children a taste of some ancient traditions. There will be arts and crafts from around the world, Henna, face painting, storytelling and much more.
Wild West Party, The Jungle NI,Moneymore, Co. Londonderry, May 30. In celebration of their 10th Birthday The Jungle NI are hosting a Wild West Party. The event will be staged in The Jungle’s activity barn which boasts a bar, state-of-the-art lighting and sound system.Visitors are encouraged to adopt the funky theme and come dressed as Cowboys or Indians and dance the night away to Country Music provided by a top local DJ. There will be a Rodeo Bull contest with prizes up for grabs in addition to some dancing wild-west cowgirls.
Fringe Festival – Comedy Night,Mary’s Hall, Main Street, Newcastle, Co. Down, May 29-30. Northern Ireland’s queen of comedy May McFettridge headlining on Saturday night for even more laughs. Friday show starts 7.15pm and 8pm on Saturday.
Families and Garden fans are in for a treat on Sunday 24th May at the Clandeboye Estate Food, Craft and Garden Fair in association with Simon Brien Residential. What could be better than a Sunday afternoon spent with the family enjoying the picturesque surroundings of Clandeboye, one Northern Ireland’s most beautiful private estates? Enjoy a delicious lunch, music, local crafts and children’s entertainment in the Courtyard followed by a leisurely walk through the private gardens and arboretum at Clandeboye – a rare treat as the gardens will only be open to the public once in 2015.
This Sunday is Welly Sunday at Navan Fort. A free family event celebrating our great Irish weather so get the wellies out and enjoy some fun making the most of that favourite footwear. Have fun with welly throwing and welly games. Even make your wellies into a useful garden planter to take home. Jumping in muddy puddles on the day is a must! Don’t forget to bring your wellies!
The County Fair at Florence Court takes place this Sunday 24th May with dog shows, rare breeds, live music, craft stalls and much more from 12noon-5pm. Normal National Trust admission applies.
Members go free.
This Saturday 23rd May from 10.00 am the Royal Hotel in Cookstown are hosting a charity craft fair and coffee morning in aid of the Mid Ulster Dementia Support Group. Admission is £5.
‘Be Our Guest’ is a Disney themed Charity Gala at the Maldron Hotel Derry this Saturday 23rd May, where you can escape into an enchanting world filled with musical performances, dance and even a Princess Pamper corner to treat yourself for a night. Dress to impress or dress as your favourite Disney character, with raffles, competitions and much more, it’s sure to be a magical night for all. Beautiful princesses will be there to guide you through the night with photographers on hand to capture each moment. There will be a VIP after party for those over 18. All proceeds are going to Aware Defeat Depression and Link Music Academy. Tickets are available on the night, no pre-booking required.
At the very heart of the spectacular Causeway Coast and Glens the communities of Ballycastle and Rathlin Island would like to extend a very warm welcome and would like to invite you to come along and join in and help celebrate the rich and diverse maritime culture during the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival. The festival is centred on Rathlin Sound, the body of water that lies between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle. The festival opens with an evening parade at Ballycastle seafront on Friday 22 May and continues through the week and both weekends until the closing event on Rathlin on Sunday 31 May 2015.
Bonkers Betty’s Bizarre Bazaar. A big bunch of artisan makers, bakers and sellers, all together under one roof. Come and see our wares at Fortwilliam and Macrory Church, Antrim Road this Saturday 23rd May for out-of-this-world, unique, precious handcrafted goodies! All our traders are handpicked to ensure only the finest and most quirky, unusual products are on offer. All of our traders are local, and we aim to make your visit to our fair a unique experience with something for everyone on offer!
Add your events free at www.whatsonni.com. Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at fb.com/www.whatsonni.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.
Planning permission has been granted for a new four-star boutique hotel in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee today approved the application from Titanic Foundation Ltd and Titanic Quarter Ltd, for the conversion and refurbishment of the Harland and Wolff headquarters and drawing offices into a 84-bedroom hotel with heritage-related tourist and event facilities.
It’s the first major application that the committee has approved since council became responsible for planning in April, under Local Government Reform.
Giving the green light to the development, committee chairman Cllr Matt Garrett said it represented another boost for tourism in the city.
“The H&W site and the drawing offices are iconic on the city’s landscape, and it’s exciting that this project will be breathing new life into these beautiful buildings for a whole other generation of visitors and tourists to enjoy,” he said.
“The development work will be sympathetic to the heritage of the buildings in order to preserve the history of the site.”
Cllr Garrett added: “We have seen what a huge success story the Titanic Belfast visitor centre has been and this new development will further enhance the tourism offering in the Titanic Quarter area, so entwined with the city’s shipbuilding history.”
A number of remedial works – including archaeological digs and environmental impact assessments – will have to be carried out at the site before construction work can begin.
Planning permission had already been approved for a 111-bed hotel on the site; however the application was revised and a new one submitted for a 84-bedroom hotel.
It’s understood the development could generate up to 250 jobs during construction and 75 once the hotel opens.
The current buildings on the site were built between 1900-1919 as part of the world famous Harland and Wolff shipyard.
The committee considered a total of 33 applications at tonight’s meeting.
Ards and North Down Borough Council is pleased to welcome the return of the much-loved Sea Bangor Maritime Festival which is taking place this June 27 & 28.
Sailing into Bangor for the event is the impressive tall ship “The Morgenster” along with the HMS Ramsey navy vessel which will both be moored alongside The Eisenhower Pier and open to the public for both days of the festival.
“The Morgenster” has been sailing as a clipperbrik since 2008 after being restored. The owners Marian and Harry Muter aimed to build a beautiful historical ship, one to pleasantly spend time on and as a bonus they built her to be a great sailing vessel, as it can always be found in the leading group at the Tall Ship Races.
If you fancy sailing the high seas on the spectacular “Morgenster,” there are opportunities available for hour-long sailings on both evenings. The sailings will be at 7:00pm on June 27, and at 7:30pm on June 28. Tickets cost £15 each and are available now at Bangor Visitor Information Centre, Ards Visitor Information Centre and North Down Museum.
This year’s Sea Bangor, which is being kindly sponsored by Tourism NI, is absolutely packed with something to do for everyone. Situated in a tented village in Quay Street car park, highlights of the festival will include the “Big Bangor Bake Off” competition hosted by SERC which will include baking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, a cake contest and pancake challenges. Over in the kid’s tent “Tiddlers,” Cahoots NI will be performing a special magic show and The Dockside Emporium which is being hosted by Bangor’s Craft Emporium promises to be a world of entertainment and wonder with demonstrations and crafts from lots of local artists. With maritime themed street theatre, a gourmet food tent, a fantastic live music programme, an aerial display from the Twister Aerobatic Team, Jet Lev demonstrations and so much more, Sea Bangor is definitely not to be missed!
Speaking about the event, Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Events Officer, Wendy Smith said; “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Sea Bangor back as part of Ards and North Down Borough Council’s 2015 Events Programme. It’s always a great event with something on offer for all the family and we would encourage everyone to come on down and join in the fun.”
Sea Bangor will be open from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 27 June and Noon to 6pm on Sunday 28.
THOSE attending the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival this year are in for a real treat with local cuisine and local chefs at the ready to tantalise the taste buds.
Festival goers are being urged to bring their appetite along to the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival this year as food traders are being joined by renowned chefs to celebrate the local fare of the Causeway Coast and Glens.
The Festival will take place between 22nd May and 31st May this year, with the Ballycastle Town Market running from Saturday 23rd to Monday 25th May, offering a diverse mix of local produce, art and crafts. The Market has a strong maritime theme, incorporating various seafood and inspired cookery demonstrations.
Caroline Carey, Tourism Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens explains: “The food on offer at the Festival celebrates our love of local produce, especially seafood and how it is such a big part of our cultural heritage. In addition to delicious seafood, we have some exemplary cooks and bakers exhibiting the culinary talents here in the Causeway Coast and Glens, with some amazing bread, cakes, cupcakes and tray bakes on offer, to name but a few!
“We are also lucky to have secured Derek Creagh from the Great British Menu, who will be appearing from 12:30 to 2:30pm on Sunday 24th May at the seafront in Ballycastle.”
Derek won the Georgina Campbell Chef of the Year Award and has worked with proprietor Donal Doherty to open the new Harry’s Shack restaurant on Portstewart Strand. Derek’s cuisine is modern with a focus on using the best local produce – this time pioneering the best on offer in the Causeway Coast and Glens.
“Local lad Oliver Molloy will be representing Gidleigh Park in the Seafood Cookery demonstrations. Well known for providing quality food at O’Connor’s Bar in Ballycastle, he was offered a position after his placement with 2 Michelin Star Gidleigh Park in Devon, after completing his Professional Chef’s Diploma in June 2014. He will be on the same afternoon as Derek, which is perfect, as it shows the level talent in the area,” continued Caroline Carey.
Shauna McFall, Ballycastle Town Market, said, “This Festival is great news for the town and we are delighted to be playing our part. We are a not for profit community group which holds a regular market in Ballycastle with the aim to promote and encourage local producers, crafters and artists with a strong ‘shop local’ ethos.
“At this event there will be some amazing gastronomy on offer and Ballycastle will be a hive of activity over the ten days of the Festival, with a variety of events happening throughout, so I’d encourage everyone to come along, particularly to the Ballycastle Market as you’ll be missing out if you don’t!”
“It’s also worth mentioning that our fabulous restaurants and hotels use the freshest local produce on a daily basis, so make sure to sample these delights too. The Traditional boats, the Drontheim and the Currach are gracing Ballycastle seafront, as well as a fabulous Maritime Exhibition, exploring our fishing heritage. We have Treasure Hunts and Fishing Trips as well as the RNLI and Coastguard displaying their equipment and holding rescue exercises,” concluded Caroline Carey.
Fane Valley recently announced plans to become the headline sponsor to Armagh County Agricultural Show.
The support for the annual family Show will commence from Saturday 13th June 2015 until 2018 and once again reinforces Fane Valley’s close relationships in the rural and local community.
The Armagh Show is one of the oldest and standout dates in the County calendar and has grown significantly over the years with its re-location to the beautiful backdrop of Gosford Forest Park. The show each year endeavours to broaden its appeal and add to its vast selection of attractions and family festivities.
Speaking at the launch Trevor Lockhart, Fane Valley – Chief Executive said: “Fane Valley is very excited to become Principal Sponsor to Armagh Show for the next three years. This wonderful family event has gone from strength to strength and is a testament to the commitment and dedication of their members and volunteers. We feel it is the correct time to increase our sponsorship for the show and where we can, help support the vision for its growth over the coming years.”
Stephen Hamilton – Armagh County Show Chairman commented: “We are very proud to be able to announce Fane Valley as our lead sponsor. Fane Valley is a major player in the agri-food industry and have long and established relationships with many of our farming and local communities. Fane Valley is no stranger to the show and has contributed to our success over the years. So it’s great that they have officially came onboard as headline sponsor. This new partnership is a perfect fit for the show and the committee and I are delighted to work with Fane Valley over the coming years.”