Let Sir William treat you to Breakfast!


To celebrate today (Jan 29) being Ulster Fry-Day Sir William Hastings is treating everyone who books an overnight stay in any one of the six Hastings Hotels to a free Ulster Fry during their stay.

This offer can only be booked today, Friday January 29, for stays until Saturday April 30. For further information or to book call Hastings Hotels on 028 9047 1066.

Chesterton Comes Alive at The Courtyard this February!

Award winning Box Tale Soup present their stunning new production, Manalive!

Saturday 6th February, 8pm at The Courtyard Theatre.

★★★★“GK Chesterton’s tale is brought to vibrant and cheerfully eccentric life with

Box Tale Soup’s characteristic ingenuity.” The Stage

All is gold that glitters…

Following great success from their last two shows at The Courtyard Theatre last year, award winning company Box Tale Soup return with their latest work, Manalive! The new show tells the story of Beacon House, a broken-down boarding establishment, and its brooding tenants. When an exciting new guest arrives everyone is uplifted by his infectious charm and energy… but the visitor may not be as innocent as he seems.

Adapted from the novel by G.K. Chesterton, Manalive! features just two performers alongside a cast of Box Tale Soup’s signature handmade puppets, including the captivating life-size Mr. Smith! It features a soundtrack created and recorded especially for the show .

Performers Noel and Antonia have appeared in shows such as Doctor Who, HBO’s Game of Thrones, BBC’s The Hour and CBBC’s Mission 2110, and are now very excited to present their new production at The Courtyard Theatre.

Tickets are £10 & £8 (Concession) – Group discount available

Available from Box Office: 028 9034 0202 or www.thecourtyardtheatre.com

Red Brick Road Productions presents Maggie’s Feg Run, Millennium Forum, 19th August

The loveable Maggie Muff is back in the highly anticipated sequel to 50 Shades of Red White and Blue and Dirty Dancin in le Shebeen.

Maggie’s Feg Run arrives at the Millennium Forum for one night only on Friday 19th August.  Tickets are now on sale from the Box Office and are priced from £14.50.

Maggie and Big Sally-Ann are on top form as they head to Benidorm on a ‘Feg Run’ to smuggle cigarettes home and sell for a profit. Sun, Sea, Sangria and Sticky Vicky! Sure what more is there to want? But here, it turns out to be a holiday they will never forget. We’re talking a dive on a pedalo (and I don’t mean into the sea), a slider from the poke man (not of the ice-cream variety) and some nudists from Rathcoole that have Big Sally-Ann in a tizzy. And you’ll never guess who makes an appearance at the All-Inclusive breakfast buffet……

“Margaret?”  – He’s back.

The grand finale in the Maggie Muff trilogy!

From best-selling author and playwright Leesa Harker and directed by Andrea Montgomery. Starring the critically acclaimed Caroline Curran.

(In other words, you’re guaranteed a geg.)

Maggie’s Feg Run performs at the Millennium Forum on Friday 19th August.   Tickets are now on sale from the Box Office and are priced from £14.50.   Telephone 71 264455 or visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.


Grainne Duffy is a unique talent, raw and powerful, edgy and elegant. So far in her short career, Grainne has already graced the stage at Glastonbury for three electric performances and has toured much of Europe.

Recently Grainne was asked to open for Jools Holland on his tour. Her wonderful mix of blues rock and soul in her own material and her treatment of a few carefully selected standards, charged with true emotion and feeling can win over any audience and leave you begging for more. Grainne will take to the stage on Saturday 6 February at 8pm. Tickets are priced £14 each.

With Valentine’s just a few days away, why not treat a loved one to a night of great music and food at our popular Valentine’s Jazz Supper Club on Friday 12 February. Taking centre stage will be the hugely popular Martello Jazz Band who feature a sound reminiscent of the Dixieland bands of 1920’s New Orleans, stamped with their own brand of drive and flair. The menu for the evening will include spiced BBQ pork with stir-fried vegetables, creamy chicken pasta, Cajun spiced meatballs, all served with Cajun wedges, salads and breads. Tickets for the evening are £11 for the performance only, or £21 which includes supper.

An ideal Valentine treat for you and your loved one is the inimitable Eddi Reader. Having first hit the limelight in the 1980’s with the group ‘Fairground Attraction’ [who enjoyed huge chart success with their debut No.1 single ‘Perfect’ and album ‘First Of A Million Kisses’], Eddi went on to collaborate on many celebrated projects throughout the years, famously harmonizing with Annie Lennox while touring with ‘The Eurythmics’. However, it has been Eddi’s subsequent solo albums that have cemented her image as a powerful figure in British music. With an MBE for outstanding contributions to the arts, three BRIT awards, a number one single and eight critically acclaimed solo albums, what sets Eddi apart is the depth and quality of the performance. Eddi will perform on Saturday 13 February at 8pm. Tickets are priced £16 each.

Details of all events can be found online at www.marketplacearmagh.com, and tickets can be booked by contacting the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821.

And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.


It is the biggest launch of the year- the spectacular Meet the Stars night for the 2016 Vauxhall International North West 200 and this year it will be on March 23 in the Titanic Suite of the Titanic Building, Belfast. Every road race fan will want to be there to meet the biggest names in the sport.


Very soon race fans will have the chance to get free tickets to meet the top race stars of the event at a special chat show and social evening

An evening of fun and chat will include a special quiz featuring two teams of riders hosted by Clare McCollum and Stephen Watson.  Race fans also have the opportunity to meet their favourite riders for photographs and autographs. These will hopefully include the first rider to enter the 2016 races, Tyco BMW’s new signing, Ian Hutchinson. Already confirmed for the Meet the Stars night are Alastair Seeley, who will be going for a record breaking sixteenth victory on the 8.9 mile Triangle course, 2015 Macau Grand Prix champion, Peter Hickman and last year’s North West 200 Superstock race winner, Lee Johnston. Young guns Dean Harrison and Glenn Irwin will also be amongst the racers walking down the famous Titanic staircase on March 23.

A line-up of some of the top machinery competing in this year’s races will also be on display.

Fans will have an opportunity to meet and discuss the 2016 races with the racers, the North West 200 organisers, the BBC commentary team and all of the sponsors and partners of the event during the evening. Alongside the current stars, riders from North Wests of yesteryear will also be making special guest appearances.

Entry to the event is by ticket only and we will soon be giving away 1000 free tickets for this spectacular evening!

To find out how to get your tickets, please visit the official race website at http://www.northwest200.org/

A Brand New Dream at The Courtyard Theatre

Shakespeare’s magical comedy comes to Newtownabbey in a beautiful new family show from award winning Box Tale Soup.

★★★★“..Gorgeous. Where other adaptations for seven-plus audiences would patronise, Box Tale simply beguile” The Stage

Deep in the forest, fairies wait…

Following fantastic responses for their previous family show, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Box Tale Soup are back with a brand new performance to charm adults and children alike. This exciting version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream keeps the original language while making the story more accessible to younger audiences with the use of handmade puppets, original music and imaginative design.

Box Tale Soup’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, has been edited, running at 60 minutes and is recommended for children age 6yrs+.  Performers Noel and Antonia have appeared in shows such as Doctor Who, HBO’s Game of Thrones, BBC’s The Hour and CBBC’s Mission 2110, and are now very excited to turn their hand to Shakespeare.

Sat 6 Feb @ 2.30pm Tickets from £4  available from Box Office : 028 9034 0202.


THE first hotel in Northern Ireland to be granted 5-star status, the Culloden Estate & Spa, is celebrating 20 years this month since it was first awarded the highest rating a hotel can receive.

20 YEARS OF 5-STAR LUXURY…Sir William Hastings, Chairman of Hastings Hotels was joined by Adrian McNally, General Manager of the Culloden Estate & Spa to celebrate it being 20 years since the 5* hotel was the first hotel in Northern Ireland to be granted 5-star status. In addition to this, the Culloden was included by The Times, one of the UK’s largest daily newspapers, in a recent list of the 20 Coolest Hotels in Ireland.

In addition to this, the Culloden was included by The Times in a recent list of the 20 Coolest Hotels in Ireland.

Formally known as Culloden House, the Culloden Estate & Spa was built in 1867 as an official Palace for the Bishops of Down before being sold during the 1920’s by the Church to the late Sir John Campbell. In April 1959 Culloden House was purchased for £10,000 by farmer Thomas Reid who was before being sold again in 1962 to Ruthledge White of White’s Home Bakery Limited and opened the following year as a hotel with 11 bedrooms.

The hotel was then purchased by Hastings Hotels in June 1967 for £100,000 and has been transformed in to one of the finest and most luxurious hotels in Ireland. Hastings Hotels has continued to invest in the property to ensure it remains the jewel in the local tourism industry and it now boasts 105 deluxe bedrooms – one third of which are suites, 11 luxurious self-catering apartments, a luxurious spa, the Highland Conference Centre which boasts five purpose built meeting rooms and two major function suites, the Stuart Suite and the Cumberland Suite, which is undergoing refurbishment in 2016.

The Culloden is also the first choice for many of the famous faces visiting Northern Ireland and has played host to politicians, pop stars and sporting heros including Michael Douglas, Dolly Parton, Bono, Tony Blair, John Major, David Beckham, Sir Cliff Richard, Kylie Minogue, Shirley McClaine and Lionel Ritchie to name just a few.

Sir William Hastings, Chairman of Hastings Hotels said: “It is fantastic to celebrate 20 years since the Culloden Estate & Spa was the first hotel in Northern Ireland to be granted a 5-star status. When I first purchased the property in 1967, it was a hotel with 11 bedrooms and I am proud to have transformed it into what I believe is one of Ireland’s finest and most distinguished hotels.

“We have not rested on our laurels and have continued to invest in the property every year since we purchased it. In the last 20 years alone, since the Culloden gained its 5-star status, we have invested in excess of £20M to ensure we offer our guests a first class service every time. Not only have we invested in the property itself, but we continue to invest in our staff who ensure all our guests enjoy the 5-star treatment the hotel is well-known for,” Sir William continued.

“We are also big believers in supporting our local food producers and food provenance is of major importance to us. Where possible, we provide our guests with the very best of local produce which is reflected in the menus in our six hotels.

“Not only is the Culloden Estate the hotel of choice for well-known personalities when they are in town, but it has also established itself as a popular filming location thanks to Northern Ireland’s growing screen tourism. Recent productions filmed at the Culloden include The Journey with James Nesbitt, a Christmas Star featuring Kylie Minogue and China’s version of Next Top Model,” Sir William added.

“What’s more, I am thrilled at the news that the Culloden was recently included by The Times, one of the UK’s largest daily newspapers, in a list of the 20 coolest hotels in Ireland as I believe this demonstrates that while guests appreciate the hotel’s palatial surroundings they also value the modern aspects of the Culloden including the modern bedrooms, luxurious spa and the fabulous cocktail list in the Crozier Lounge,” Sir William concluded.

Jacqueline from whatsonni.com shares her pick of What’s On this week across the Northern Ireland.


This Thursday January 28th, join expert Dot Blakely for an informative morning birdwatch on the Castle Espie reserve overlooking Strangford Lough. Birdwatch Mornings meet in the Visitor Centre at 10:30am. Free for WWT members.


The Market Place Theatre Cajun, Bluegrass Club returns this Saturday 30th January featuring the best of bluegrass and Cajun music and food that is as spicy as the music.  ‘Wookalily’ are a female led band hailing from all over the North who have gigged extensively throughout Ireland providing a lively unique sound, crafting a flourishing stage presence to be reckoned with and creating a unique and quirky sound that’s all heart. Their style, sometimes referred to as chillbilly roots, has an old-timey feel with a young-timey appeal.


Celebrate NI Year of Food & Drink’s “Breakfast Month” with a Big Breakfast at Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre on Thursday 28th January between 10.00 and 14:00 at the Belleek Restaurant.
The Big Breakfast Event will showcase local produce, support local businesses and invite the local community to enjoy a Traditional Full Irish Breakfast in the Belleek Restaurant, all served on Belleek Parian China.


Enjoy a Scottish Ceilidh
this Friday 29th January, 8:00 pm at the Burnavon Theatre Cookstown. Enjoy a great evening of Scottish Country and Ceilidh dancing.  With the help of experienced dance leaders Ken and Linda McLean, see how it is done and then join in. You don’t need to have danced before, just come along with your best dancing shoes and a sense of fun.  Music provided by Risin’ Stour.


This Sunday come to the hidden haven of Lough Beg near Bellaghy, Derry~Londonderry, to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2015. At this time of year, Lough Beg is home to a wealth of wildlife, from breeding waders like lapwing to wintering wildfowl like tufted ducks.


See the Metropolitan Opera perform Puccini’s Turandot at a live screening this Saturday evening at The Theatre at The Mill Newtownabbey.  Nina Stemme takes the title role of the proud princess of ancient China, whose riddles doom every suitor who seeks her hand.  Tenor Marco Berti is Calàf, the brave prince who sings “Nessun dorma” and wins her love. Franco Zeffirelli’s golden production is conducted by Paolo Carignani.


The Wedding Journal Show returns to the Titanic Exhibition Centre on the 29th – 31st January with an exciting all-new show!  Loved up couples from across the country will find everything they need to plan their perfect day in this one-stop-wedding shop with hundreds of exhibitors presenting thousands of inspirational wedding ideas.  A great day out, visitors can meets local businesses and suppliers, enjoy unique show offers and discounts and make their dream wedding a reality.  The fun continues with a new Entertainment Stage – a special stage where the very best in local wedding bands, singers and entertainers will perform throughout the weekend.  Celebrate in style in the VIP Lounge where VIPs will be treated to a glass of bubby and chocolates, a nail and paint and a fabulous free gift!

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.


If you’re looking to try something new in 2016, The Market Place Theatre in Armagh may just have exactly what you’re looking for!

The Spring | Summer 2016 season has just been released and is packed full of interactive, innovative and downright interesting workshops for both adults and children, from photography to poetry, writing to wood carving, and fashion to floristry. Many workshops are already booking fast, so you’ll need to be quick to secure your place.

The season kicks off with the massively popular ‘Doh Ray Me’ music workshops for babies and toddlers return on 27 January. These classes allow children and parents to bond through music and song. Using a wide range of instruments and props, children learn rhymes, counting songs and action songs in the company of other parents and toddlers.

‘Capturing The Moment’ takes place over 4 weeks starting on 2 February, and teaches participants how to take a decent photo with any camera. Learn in an active and lively environment how to include framing, proportion, and lighting in landscape, portrait, night and action photography.

Or if drawing your subject is more your thing, then you’ll love the opportunity to take part in the Life Drawing classes starting on 4 February. Aimed at the experienced artist as well as the novice, this course, as all the others, will be led by professionals in their field, who will assist each participant ensuring their individual drawing development.

Continuing the series of highly successful jewellery making workshops, ‘Wire Beating & Gemstone Bead Jewellery’ is led by an award-winning jewellery designer, and will see participants creating a spiral inspired jewellery set using silver and copper wire and gemstone beads to bring home at the end of the course.

Why not save money on visiting the salon, when you take part in the Nail Art class. Learn how to blend colours, apply nail accessories, and learn simple art techniques to produce stunning looking nail designs. Like so many of the workshops, this is a skill which you can carry on at home.

The list of workshops on offer is endless. Visit the website at www.marketplacearmagh.com for full details and places can be booked by contacting the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821.

And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.


Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (January 25 – 31).

  • The Fine & Dandy Market, Crescent Arts Centre, University Road, Belfast, January 31. Come along to this popular market which showcases the work of independent artists, designers, illustrators and crafters alongside collectors of records, books, vintage wares and quality local food and drink produce. It’s a great place to spend a Sunday morning!
  • Derry International Music Festival, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Great James Street, Derry~Londonderry, Co. Londonderry, January 31 – February 7. Presenting a brand new festival celebrating the very best in traditional and contemporary Irish music. Taking place in an array of venues across the city, the festival will include top quality live gigs, exclusive workshops and master classes, as well as an incredible jam-packed Trad Trail held at many of the city’s finest bars and restaurants.
  • The Big Breakfast at The Elk, The Elk Complex, Hillhead Road, Toome, Co. Antrim, January 30. As part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink celebrations in 2016, the Elk are holding a Big Breakfast day. Come enjoy a delicious, freshly prepared and locally sourced breakfast for a small donation to Chest Heart and Stroke NI. The Elk chefs will be preparing lots of options whether you like a hearty fry, a continental platter or a healthy omelette. From 8am to 12pm.
  • Big Garden Birdwatch, The Cloughmore Centre at Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, Co. Down, January 30. Taking part in this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch couldn’t be easier. Just call 028 30313100 to get involved.  Come and be an integral part of the conservation of birds in the County Down area. You will be watching and recording the birds in the park and enter your findings into the RSPB online counting tool. There will be lots of other fun birdy activities to take part in on the day from colouring sheets to making bird masks and finger puppets. There will be plenty of activities to help keep your kids entertained during the quieter moments of your Birdwatch hour. From 10am to 1pm.
  • Derek Ryan, Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, January 28-30. Derek Ryan has recently celebrated his fourth year on the road with his band, during which time he has gained a huge following up and down the country. His most recent album, ‘The Simple Things’ topped the Irish charts, overtaking some big names for the top spot. Begins at 8pm.
  • Cajun Bluegrass Club Feat. Wookalily, The Market Place Theatre, Armagh, Co. Armagh, January 30. Wookalily returns to the Orchard County’s Market Place Theatre featuring the best of bluegrass and cajun music with delicious food that is as spicy as the music. Begins at 8pm.
  • Stars of Country, Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, January 22. Kick off 2016 in style with this great country music extravaganza that features a fantastic array of acts guaranteed to go down a treat. The show will see popular singers including Curtis Magee, Gary Gamble, Trevor Loughrey and Matt Leavy who between them have legions of fans across the country. Begins at 7.45pm.
  • Cirque Berserk, Grand Opera House, Belfast, January 29-30. Showcasing the finest in traditional circus craft and skill, Cirque Berserk brings a treasured form of live entertainment bang up-to-date in a jaw-dropping spectacular created especially for the theatre. Check www.goh.co.uk for show times.
  • Educating Rita, Lyric Theatre, Ridgeway Street, Belfast, January 30 – February 28. Willy Russell’s award-winning comedy comes to the Lyric in this re-imagined new production starring the superb Kerri Quinn and directed by critically-acclaimed Emma Jordan.
  • Mourne Seafood Cookery School, The Nautilus Centre, Kilkeel, Co. Down, January 23- April 30. Perfect for seafood lovers, this is an ideal way to learn more about what to look for when buying, handling and cooking seafood. This tutorial is a fun and relaxed learning experience. The classes start at 10.30am for each class and run until 1pm, 2pm or 4pm depending on whether it is a half day or a full day class.

Please note some of the events require pre-booking. For more details on these and other events click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/events, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland