Celebrating Fashion AND Food in Holywood

An exciting two day event is coming to the bustling town of Holywood on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 March 2017.

This two day, free, family event will celebrate all things Fashion and Food in Holywood.

Come along and sample the finest foodie delights at the pop-up restaurants or learn how to whip up a range of delicious dishes at the demonstration kitchen, demonstrated by local chefs.

Head to the Food Market where you will find everything from gourmet ingredients, home-made treats or a quick bite to eat.

If fashion is your passion then don’t miss the Fashion Zone where you can get your hands on this seasons must haves.

End your weekend in style and sneek a peek at the latest trends at the Fashion Show. Here you can watch a parade of models showcasing collections from some of Holywood’s finest boutiques.

With music, performance, radio roadshow, children’s entertainment zone and so much more to keep the entire family entertained.

Head to Holywood and enjoy the fun, Friday 24 March (1pm – 9pm) and Saturday 25 March (10am – 9pm).

Further information available at visitardsandnorthdown.com and Facebook ArdsandNorthDownBoroughCouncil

Fashion AND Food in Holywood is supported by The Department for Communities.

Ben Glover takes his Emigrant tour to Flowerfield Arts Centre

Glenarm-born singer/songwriter Ben Glover will take to the stage at Flowerfield Arts Centre later this month.

The gig on Thursday 30th March is part of his Emigrant tour – the same title Glover has chosen for his new album.

And it’s easy to see where he draws his inspiration– Irish-born but now based in Nashville, Glover’s world is split in two with an ocean in between.

Co-produced along with Neilson Hubbard, the album features six traditional folk songs and four original compositions (including co-writes with Gretchen Peters, Mary Gauthier, and Tony Kerr) as he addresses the universal theme and personal challenge of immigration.

“Over the past couple of years, I have been going through the process of getting my U.S. Green Card, so the reality of immigration was very present in my world,” Glover says. Not only did he have to slice through web of bureaucratic issues, he also found himself face-to-face with the bigger questions posed by the process. “Contemplations like ‘what and where is home?’ were never far from my thoughts,” he said.

The Flowerfield event will showcase songs from the new album, including the title track which Glover started writing while on a rural writing retreat in Ireland.

It was completed with Gretchen Peters in Nashville, and when the song arrived, it unlocked a desire to make an album that brought together an older tradition with a present-day spirit.

Tickets are available online at www.eventbrite.co.uk or through Flowerfield Arts Centre. Please contact 028 7083 1400.

Spring into Fashion at Castle Mall Antrim

For the first time, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council will be showcasing the best of what Antrim Town retailers and bespoke boutiques have on offer for spring 2017, styled by Pearl Mitchell from Style Solutions.

The Mayor, Councillor John Scott, launches the Spring Fashion Show with Dave Pettard and Pearl Mitchell.

A contemporary spring fashion and beauty show will take place on Saturday 8 April in Castle Mall from 12pm to 3pm. Audiences will be treated to a stunning selection of the latest high street style trends including colours, cuts, patterns, textiles and silhouettes. As well as clothing and accessories, there will be hair and makeup demonstrations to help to complete the look.  There will also be some gorgeous mini models showcasing the fashion trends for children this spring so why not come along and support your local shops?

The event will be hosted by Nuala Meenehan, one of Northern Ireland’s top models and Ulster Tatler columnist. Throughout the event she will be passing on her expertise to the models selected for the fashion show to ensure that Antrim puts its best foot forward.  For more information T. 028 9446 3113 or Email Karen.Uprichard@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk.

Armoy Road Races Title Sponsorship Up for Grabs

Armoy Club thanks long-standing title sponsor SGS International

THE Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club has announced that title sponsorship for their ninth races in 2017 is up for grabs and has thanked long standing Club supporter SGS International.


Bill Kennedy, Clerk of the Course of Armoy Road Races, said, “We would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to Brian McGrath and SGS International. Brian’s support over the years has been unwaivering and Armoy Road Races would not be in the position it is today without his and the company’s fantastic support. 

Brian McGrath, SGS International said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Armoy Road Races over the years. Bill and his team organise a fantastic race schedule and the atmosphere in Armoy is unlike any other on the road racing calendar. I encourage anyone thinking of sponsoring the races to get on board with one of the most exciting road races in Ireland!

SGS International has supported the Armoy Road Races for the past two years as title sponsor and has been continually supportive of the races over a number of years.

Bill continued, “We are now entering into our ninth year, and the growth that has taken place over those years could not have happened without the valuable support and engagement from all our sponsors – we really are grateful to have the backing from many of our sponsors year on year.

“Without sponsors, there are no Armoy Road Races. Regarding a new 2017 title sponsor, I would urge that if anyone is interested in sponsoring, supporting or engaging with us, I’ll be only too glad to talk to them.

 “There may be a few other sponsorship changes this year so it would be good to hear from companies and organisations who would like to play a part in the continued growth of the Armoy Road Races and the Race of Legends.”

 “Armoy is continually ranked as a favourite race by some of the road racing elite, and I truly believe this is an excellent opportunity to be part of a fantastic race.”

 Bike Week 2017 is from 23rd – 29th July. Sponsorship enquiries should be made to Bill Kennedy on 07734 776 694 or Jackie Logan on 02890 918 675. For more information on the Armoy Road Races www.amrrc.com or search for ‘AMRRC’ on Facebook and join the official fan page and you can also follow us on twitter at @ArmoyRoadRaces.

Get creative in Ballymoney and Ballycastle

Get creative this April with a range of arts workshops from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

On Saturday 1st April, Sheskburn House in Ballycastle is hosting a drop-in Easter-themed workshop for children from three-years-old. This is a special intergenerational opportunity for children to come along with their family or carers to make and decorate a special plaster Easter egg to display in the home. The workshop will be led by experienced tutor Jacqui Dougan, and runs from 10.30am – 12 noon. On the same day, in Ballymoney Town Hall, inspirational tutor Elaine Harkness leads a Mad Hatter workshop where children can create their very own over-the-top display in the style of Alice in Wonderland. Look out for further children’s workshops taking place in both venues in May.

There are plenty of creative opportunities for adults in Ballymoney Town Hall as well. On April 1st from 10 am – 4pm jeweller Diane Lyness will lead a silver jewellery workshop where each participant will learn techniques including soldering, shaping, piercing, texturing and polishing. Everyone will make a finished piece of jewellery to take home and no previous experience is necessary. All you need to bring is an apron and bundles of enthusiasm!

The popular flower-arranging workshops also continue with tutor Heather Colvin who will teach participants how to make an Easter nest arrangement on Saturday 8th April from 10.30am – 12.30pm. This will continue with workshops in May and June.

For further information on classes and workshops please contact Ballymoney Town Hall on 028 2766 0230 or Sheskburn House on 028 207 62225 or visit www.causewaycoastandglens.com


The Merchant Hotel’s iconic Fabulous Fashion Teas returned over the weekend to treat Belfast fashionistas to another season of style and decadence, serving up the hottest spring/summer fashion trends for 2017.

Press Eye – Belfast – Northern Ireland – 18th March 2017. Style Academy models showcase stunning new spring/summer designs from The Walk in Wardrobe at The Merchant Hotel’s Fabulous Fashion Teas. Harper at The Merchant, The Rosh Collection, APD Jewellery and David Yurman at Lunn’s the Jewellers also featured in the decadent series of Fashion Teas. Guests enjoyed new season fashion from the top designers and boutiques alongside champagne and melt in the mouth patisseries. Style Academy Models showcased the season’s hottest looks with an intimate round table show. Hair looks were created by Andrew Mulvenna, with complementary on-trend make-up looks from Lancôme. The Merchant also treated guests to special pop-up boutiques, with spring/summer must-have fashion buys available from each of the featured boutiques and designers. Funds raised from a luxury ballot at the events will be donated to The Merchant’s charity partner, Action Cancer. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Guests were treated to two days of sumptuous, new season styles from top designers and independent boutiques across Northern Ireland, accompanied by the famous Merchant Afternoon Tea a chilled glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Models from The Style Academy graced this year’s catwalk, showcasing this season’s hottest looks with an intimate round table show in the hotel’s stunning Rita Duffy Suite. Hair looks were created and styled by Andrew Mulvenna, with complementary on-trend make-up looks from Lancôme.

Harper at The Merchant Hotel, The Walk in Wardrobe, The Rosh Collection along with APD Jewellery and David Yurman at Lunn’s all wowed guests with their spring/summer collections. The Merchant also invited guests to shop the collections hot off the catwalk at special pop-up boutiques, with spring/summer must-have fashion buys available from each of the featured retailers and designers.

The event kicked off at 12pm on Saturday 18th March with Harper at The Merchant. Harper is an exclusive Northern Ireland stockists of some of the world’s most sought after brands, including Christian Louboutin.  The Harper fashion show did not disappoint, giving all fashion lovers the tools to put their best foot forward at every occasion this season with a selection of both classic shapes and fashion forward designs.

Exclusive Banbridge-based retailer, The Walk in Wardrobe, took its latest collection from boutique to catwalk at 2.30pm on Saturday 18th March. Specialising in the finest ladies’ fashion, the vibrant collection was jam-packed with beautiful dresses, hats and accessories sourced from Italy, Spain, Croatia and beyond. The collection exuded sophistication, with perfectly paired outfits ideal for weddings, mother of the bride and groom and special events.

Closing the Saturday 18th March line-up was a striking collaborative show from The Rosh Collection, styled and accessorised by APD Jewellery at 5pm. Making their debut at this year’s show, The Rosh Collection offered a host of designer ranges and leading fashion labels from all over the world, boasting eye catching pieces for any occasion. The Rosh Collection are experts in mixing edginess with elegance, serving as the perfect accompaniment to the eye-catching pieces from this seasons APD Jewellery collection. The new spring/summer collection is the crème-de-la-crème of statement jewellery; with unique, one-off pieces beautifully hand-crafted from various materials, both new and re-found.

On Sunday 19th March, the Fashion Teas were rounded off with the return of the beautiful David Yurman Jewellery range from Lunn’s the Jeweller at 1pm.  David Yurman’s master craftspeople expertly blend modernity with tradition using the finest precious metals, rare gemstones and innovative materials to make jewellery of enduring quality and beauty.  The jewellery is exclusively available at its UK and Ireland stockist, Lunn’s the Jewellers, in Queen’s Arcade, Belfast.

Funds raised from a luxury ballot at the events will be donated to The Merchant’s charity partner, Action Cancer.

The Fashion Teas will return for their autumn/winter style offerings later this year. For further information visit www.themerchanthotel.com.

Flatley brings Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games to the Forum

Following its Irish Premier in 2016 and sold out shows in Belfast, Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games – a spectacular new staging of the traditional masterpiece, has confirmed Derry dates in 2018 for a limited run to celebrate the creation of the Lord Of The Dance phenomenon.

With all the visceral precision and thrills of the original, Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games features new staging, new costumes and choreography and forty of the world’s most outstanding young performers. The show is directed by Michael Flatley, including his protégés, Morgan Comer and Cathal Keaney, who were trained to take on the lead role of Lord Of The Dance following Flatley’s departure from the show.  With new music by composer Gerard Fahy, this latest iteration combines the best of tradition with all the excitement of new music and dance.

After securing the dates with Joe Gallagher Entertainments, Flatley said:

“I am delighted to be bringing ‘Lord of the Dance’ Dangerous Games to Derry.  It is a perfect setting and myself and the troupe are very excited about our run. It is also a great time for me to be involved in taking  ‘Lord of the Dance’ to a new  level with Dangerous  Games.  There are so many great dancers in Derry, the home of Irish Dancing in Northern Ireland. I suppose you could say it’s Irish Dancing coming home.”

Tickets for Lord Of The Dance Dangerous Game go on sale on Friday 24th March from the Millennium Forum Box Office.  Telephone 71 264455 or visit millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.


St Patrick’s celebrations get the green light around the world!

Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening goes from strength to strength with 267 major landmarks and sites in 44 countries taking part this year.

Some 267 iconic landmarks and sites in 44 countries around the world will be illuminated in green over the coming days – as part of Tourism Ireland’s 2017 Global Greening initiative to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.

From Rome to Rio and from London to Las Vegas, a host of buildings and sites around the world are turning a shade of green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. New sites taking part in 2017 include four of Australia’s famous ‘Big Things’ (The Big Banana, The Big Kangaroo, The Big Merino and The Big Tasmanian Devil), One World Trade Center (the main building of the re-built World Trade Center complex in New York and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere), the beautiful Petit Palais on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc in Barcelona.

They are joined by some ‘old favourites’ which have gone green in previous years – including the Colosseum in Rome, the Sacré Cœur basilica in Paris, the Great Wall of China, Niagara Falls and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative has gone from strength to strength – from its beginning in 2010, with just the Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland going green, to this year, with 267 sites taking part.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the eighth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and it’s bigger and better than ever this year, with some wonderful new additions like One World Trade Center in New York, A’DAM Toren in Amsterdam, the Petit Palais in Paris and the Chain Bridge in Budapest.

 “St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message we offer the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage. Our St Patrick’s programme spans Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as emerging tourism markets like China, Brazil and the Middle East.


They say a fiver doesn’t take you far these days!  Well ferry company Stena Line disagrees!  Their brand new Fiver Fever fare will take you across the Irish Sea, to Scotland or England, for a fun adventure that won’t break the bank – but be quick as you only have three days to bag a bargain!

Leading ferry company Stena Line clearly has that ‘Friday feeling’! With the launch of their Fiver Fever fare giving customers the chance to purchase a special £5 single foot passenger ticket to Liverpool or Cairnryan.

This extraordinary offer is available to purchase from March 17th until March 19th and is valid for travel up to December 15th 2017 on the Belfast – Liverpool and Belfast – Cairnryan routes.  This means BIG savings for upcoming Easter, mid-term and summer breaks.

Orla Noonan, Travel Commercial Manager at Stena Line, said: “We are excited to launch our first ever Fiver Fever which gives our customers the opportunity to take a family holiday that won’t break the bank. Our £5 fares are only available to book from 17th to 19th March, so don’t miss out. Be quick to book as we expect this offer to prove very popular and for our sailings to fill up fast!

“On top of that, our low fare means there will be plenty left in the kitty to spend on having fun at your destination – so what are you waiting for?  Book now!

“Our Fiver Fever fare allows passengers to visit another country and enjoy all of these wonderful benefits once onboard, including excellent service, comfortable seating, speciality coffee house, free WiFi, free movies, great value dining options, kids play areas, discounted shopping, and so much more.”

Get online today to book your Fiver Fever crossing with Stena Line by visiting www.stenaline.co.uk/fiverfever.

*Terms and conditions apply. See the Stena Line website for full details.


Offers of the Week!

Northern Ireland boasts a unique collection of irresistible places to stay including quirky B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and hidden gem properties for an ideal short break and Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week for you to choose from.


  • Castlerock Golf Course

    Legenderry Golf Break, Everglades Hotel, Derry~Londonderry, from £123pps.  Discover the sights and sounds of the historic walled city of Derry~Londonderry and enjoy one night’s bed and breakfast at the four-star Everglades Hotel overlooking the River Foyle and only a five-minute drive to the bustling city centre.  Following your stay, journey down the coast and enjoy a round of golf at Castlerock Golf Club, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with beautiful views along the Causeway Coast. Valid until 31 March. To book call (028) 91 868642.

  • Put a Sperrin in your Step, Silverbirch Hotel, Co. Tyrone, from £65pps.  Located in the heart of Tyrone on the footsteps of the region’s famed Sperrin Mountains, the three-star Silverbirch Hotel is an award winning family hotel ideal for combining business with pleasure. Put a Sperrin in your step this spring & discover the region’s top attractions while enjoying a flavour of Tyrone. Offer includes overnight accommodation, full Irish breakfast, four-course evening meal in Barreta Bar & Grill and tickets to the Ulster American Folk Park. Valid until 31 March. To book call (028) 82 249061.
  • Wine and Dine, Malmaison Hotel, Belfast, from £119 per room. The four-star Malmaison, a one-time seed warehouse is one of Belfast’s landmark buildings, renowned for its grandeur style is just a short walk to the city’s bustling Titanic Quarter, Cathedral Quarter and shopping district. Enjoy an overnight stay, two-course evening meal from the Prix Fixe menu or an allowance of £19.95 per person towards the A la Carte menu, plus a bottle of fabulous house wine. Valid until 31 March. To book call (028) 96 001405