A New Era Of Theatre For Northern Ireland

Cahoots Artistic Director Paul McEneaney launching the new Cahoots show University of Wonder & Imagination.Photo by Francine Montgomery / Excalibur PressFor more information contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

Theatre lovers in Northern Ireland will be treated to a new era in theatre thanks to innovative and forward thinking company Cahoots NI.

Following the closure of theatres across the UK, Ireland and abroad as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, creators at Cahoots NI knew the only way to survive was to bring the magic of their shows to life online.

However, for a theatre company who specialise in magical shows that excite young audiences, translating their unique style online wasn’t going to be easy.

Artistic Director, Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney, said pivoting their offering and being creative with their thinking was more important than ever before.

He added that adapting quickly to the new market was vital to maintain survival of the 19 year old organisation.

“When the pandemic hit we were in the middle of a few different projects. Penguins, our co production with Birmingham Rep, was mid-run in America and still had six weeks left to go but we made the decision in the second week of March that we would have to bring the full company home. 

“We were also in the middle of development of new work and were about to start a tour in Northern Ireland of production Secrets of Space to local primary schools, which didn’t happen.

“Like the rest of the arts sector we were forced to close up shop, in terms of our revenue, we have lost in excess of £420,000 this year, which is a serious amount of money, and our business plan, whilst at the start of March was being applauded as being something unique and different within the arts sector has gone from being what an incredibly productive and forward-thinking model to ‘Oh my goodness, where does that fit in now?’.”

But rather than let the pandemic get the better of him Paul was determined not only to keep the magic of Cahoots NI alive but to ensure he created a business model that could help the organisation survive and thrive.

He explained: “Obviously there was that initial month of just firefighting projects that were no longer happening, dealing with venues, cleaning up a tour that got cancelled halfway through and cancelling a tour that was about to start. It took us about a month, maybe six weeks to really sort the logistics of that through. 

“It was after this that I started to think less like a producer and more as an artist. I remember thinking ‘I’m looking at this too much from a business perspective’. I needed to go back and think as an artist. 

“The amazing thing about artists is their adaptability – so often artists create their best work when they are out of their comfort zones and sometimes when the chips are down, actually that’s when nuggets of gold start appearing. 

“It was really clear that we needed to be involved in projects during lockdown – we needed the creative output to continue because that’s our business model.”

As a result Paul and his team have created a new show which will see families be able to interact online with actors who will be situated in full theatrical settings.

“The University of Wonder and Imagination will be a full theatrical production, that will see six  families enter different themed rooms and interact with actors,” said Paul, adding: “This isn’t performed at home in front of a computer screen, we’ve constructed a socially distanced theatre set, full of all the tricks, wonder and illusions.”

The University of Wonder and Imagination opening dates will be revealed soon but already the company have confirmation that it will show across Ireland and Northern Ireland and they’ve had interest globally from their international agent.

For Paul it’s important for people to understand whilst it’s an experimental production it will have all the professionalism and creative input of any Cahoots NI show.

“It’s somewhere in between a journey through Hogwarts and the Crystal Maze,” he said “It’s quest led. It’s magical. It’s full of theatrical adventure and it’s live.”

Working online, the challenge, and I think we’ve cracked it, is to still have that element of surprise and wonder that makes theatre special and memorable.

Another project that Cahoots NI has been developing is a book.

“One of our business models was to take a popular children’s book, turn it into a stage adaptation and produce that as a show.

“We have a huge production we’d planned for next year, it’s a show called ‘The Vanishing Elephant”, which doesn’t come from a book. It came from an idea that I had a few years back and that show was actually planned to start in January 2021 including a run on Broadway at the New Victory Theater from May 2021.

“We realised we had a brilliant story but it never came from a children’s book.”

Working with the original writer Charles Way and costume designer Sabine Dargent as the illustrator, the book is in its final stages.

And, as Cahoots is developing new ways to entertain and enthral young people, Paul said keeping the arts sector alive is more important than ever before.

He said: “The arts are there to respond, offering alternative ways to look at the world”.

“My job is to respond to what’s happening in society and to place people from society into uncomfortable, comfortable, interesting, remarkable, fascinating, different worlds so that they can compare their world to that.”

Dan encourages locals to discover their Titanic roots this Autumn

To mark the 35th anniversary of the discovery of RMS Titanic (1st September), Dan Gordon, Northern Irish actor, director and playwright, specifically of the critically acclaimed The Boat Factory, a play about the Harland and Wolff Shipyard where his ancestors worked, is challenging locals to discover more about RMS Titanic this Autumn along the Maritime Mile.

Dan is aware that everyone thinks they know the story of RMS Titanic but he has been revisiting his roots and pulling out the archives to discover ‘Titanafacts’ and some of the best stories about the ‘Boat Factory’ or ‘his family firm’; that locals, kids and adults alike, should know. These include:

  • It took three years and approximately three thousand men to build RMS Titanic … but Harland and Wolff had to prepare for two years to be able to build the world’s biggest ships.
  • She cost about £1.5 million – but to build her today would cost millions!
  • At the time, Belfast was the fastest growing city in the British Empire, it was the linen and ropework capital, with the largest ship building firm in the world. Evidence of this can still be seen along the Maritime Mile today – it was like a city within a city.
  • People were proud to work in the Shipyard – it took five years to become a qualified joiner in the yard… the same time as it would take to become a doctor.
  • Titanic was nearly 270m long, long enough to span three tempestuous Atlantic Ocean wave crests …. You can see the outline of the deck plan on the Titanic Slipways.
  • She was made of steel plates held together with 3 million rivets. You can see the size of these panels inside Titanic Belfast’s grand Atrium.
  • She was powerful and had three engines… She generated the same power as 46,000 horses.
  • She had three wheels for steering.
  • She had four funnels – three that worked and one to make her look grander. They were so big that a train could drive through them!
  • She was very grand indeed, she had a gym, a Turkish bath, a kennel for first class dogs, and a squash court. The first class cabins on Titanic, were the same standard as hotel cabins, second class was as good as first class on other ships,.. and she even had a heated swimming pool. Today, you can find some of the same tiles that were used for the swimming pool in the Titanic Hotel Belfast.
  • The famous staircase, which was among the most luxurious appointments on the ship, was inspired by the staircase at Belfast City Hall.
  • Titanic was launched in 62 seconds on 31st May 1911 from the Slipways. On the same day, the Olympic, and the tender ships Nomadic and Traffic left Belfast, drawing over 100,000 spectators and journalists travelling from London and America.
  • Exact numbers of those travelling on the Titanic is debated to this day. What is known is that over 1,500 souls perished that night.
  • It took over 70 years to find the exact location where RMS Titanic had sunk.

She now lies 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, nearly two and a half miles (4000m) below sea level overlooking a small canyon below.

Dan commented, “On this day, 35 years ago, Dr Robert Ballard and French diving engineer Jean-Louis Michel discovered the world’s most famous ship’s final resting place and the world was captivated but she was built here, by us. Being from Northern Ireland, we all think we know the story and there is nothing new to discover. However, Belfast is the home of RMS Titanic, her history is ingrained here and it’s our duty to keep the story alive for future generations. Therefore, I’m encouraging locals to look closer, go deeper and be surprised by what they didn’t know this Autumn.”

Judith Owens, Titanic Belfast’s Chief Executive, “At Titanic Belfast, we celebrate the hard work and ambition that built RMS Titanic so naturally we love Titanafacts and will be sharing Dan’s favourites throughout the month of September on our social channels. To support Dan in his mission to get locals to rediscover RMS Titanic this Autumn, we are running our ‘Kids Go Free’ throughout September and October so families can enjoy Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic and discover the world-famous story right on their doorstep.”

Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Titanic Foundation, commented, “Visitors can also create Titanic Memories along the Maritime Mile. Titanic Belfast, the building itself and the surrounding area has secrets and symbolism ingrained in it, and as such we have developed a new Maritime Mile Treasure Trail for families to learn more about Belfast’s iconic waterfront or for those who want to delve deeper and learn more about the men who built the ship they can visit our free exhibition – Out of Stores –  in Titanic Belfast’s Andrews Gallery, showing how Belfast’s shipbuilding legacy was born.”

Titanic Belfast is registered with the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard and through its “Confidence Charter” is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its visitors and crew. Measures including advanced booking only, prearranged time slots, reduced capacity, vulnerable time-slots, themed one-way tour, sanitisation stations and social distancing throughout, advanced cleaning regimes, fresh air-conditioning, contactless and cashless experiences and a grab and go food offering have been introduced to allow visitors to have a memorable and safe experience. Customers must book online in advance of their visit to Titanic Belfast. For more information visit titanicbelfast.com or maritime-mile.com.

Armagh Food & Cider Weekend is back on the Menu

Ireland’s Orchard County’s award-winning food and drink event confirmed for a September return

Picture: Philip Magowan

Northern Ireland’s best-loved celebration of local food and drink is officially back on the menu this autumn as Armagh’s Food & Cider weekend safely returns next month with an exciting new line-up of events including cider tastings, orchard tours and grand farm-to-fork treats.

Famed the world over for its Armagh Bramley apples, top class cider and its local quality cuisine, the region’s award-winning food and drink experience will share its proud heritage with locals and visitors alike from Thursday 24th until Sunday 27th September.

Food and drink lovers this year are invited to enjoy more than 20 pre-bookable events to celebrate Armagh’s unrivalled Food Heartland status and the warmth of its welcome in the ultimate weekend of culinary indulgence.

Already six years old, this annual weekend in one of this Island’s top foodie destinations and provides a perfect pairing of gastronomic delights and cidery experiences that will have you coming back for more.

This special gourmet weekend is led from the front by some of the area’s best local chefs, including Ireland’s Hotel Head Chef of the Year, John Whyte, from Armagh City Hotel, and Gareth Reid from 4 Vicars Catering, Simon Dougan, Yellow Door Deli, Joyce Brownless, Blackwell House and Fiona and Rory Chapman from On the Hoof as well as a legion of local food producers who have worked creatively together to produce a unique menu of food events that combine tradition and contemporary taste.


Weekend highlights include tours of Armagh’s famed apple orchards accompanied by exclusive tastings and talks with global cider expert and author Gabe Cook and a scrumptious five-course feast curated by Gareth Reid from 4 Vicars’ Catering at the stunning Crannagael House.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Kevin Savage, said:

“Enriched by a beautiful landscape and a welcome that will warm your heart, Armagh is the perfect location to celebrate this year’s harvest and the quality, heritage and experience we have producing the best food and drink available anywhere in the world. 

Developed with everyone’s safety in mind, this year’s special series of events rightly commends our proud past and our present culinary successes and I’m delighted that this award-winning event is back on the menu this year so that more people can enjoy our local provenance, meet the people behind it and share many memorable stories for years to come.”

Supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, this year’s weekend includes many of the area’s leading visitor venues including Blackwell House, Long Meadow Cider Company, Armagh Cider Company, FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio, Elmfield Estate, Crannagael House, Armagh City Hotel, Navan Centre & Fort, The Vault and Groucho’s on the Square.

There is also plenty to entertain younger family members too, including a lunch inspired by the Celts at Navan Centre & Fort and a foraging event at Oxford Island to seek out wild and tasty ingredients. From Armagh City to Banbridge, Scarva and Portadown to Markethill and Richhill, there are plenty of tasty events to get your teeth into.

Armagh Food & Cider Weekend carries the accredited ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard developed by VisitEngland in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland, which means all events fully adhere to government and public health guidance.

To see the full programme of events and to book your place at these unmissable events, visit www.visitarmagh.com/foodandcider.

Derry YouTuber Adam Beales Confirmed As New Blue Peter Presenter

The world’s longest-running children’s TV show has today unveiled Derry-born Adam Beales as its newest Blue Peter presenter. 

Adam is the 40th Blue Peter presenter and will co-host alongside Lindsey Russell, Richie Driss, Mwaka Mudenda and Henry the dog, in his first show this Thursday (September 3rd) on CBBC and BBC iPlayer at 5.30pm. 

YouTuber Adam, 20, is already familiar with the CBBC audience as he is a regular face on The Dog Ate My Homework. He left school as Head Boy with 11 GSCE’s at A* and was considering Oxford or Cambridge before his YouTube channel took off, which now has nearly 3 million subscribers and often features his mum and dad and younger brother, 11-year-old Callum.  He’s best known  for posting pranks, challenges, DIY crafts and life hacks so should slot right in with the ‘here’s one I made earlier’ creations on the show as well as the formidable challenges the presenters have to undertake. 

In his spare time he loves to spend time with his family while eating pizza and watching TV, as well as driving his beloved car. Despite his claim of leading a ‘boring life’ Adam loves pranking people (especially his younger brother), travelling, meeting new people around the world and living and experiencing their culture. He’s travelled from as far as the USA to Thailand. 

Adam follows in the footsteps of fellow Northern Ireland presenters, the late Caron Keating and, more recently, presenter number 30, Zoe Salmon.

Adam says: “I’m super excited to become Blue Peter Presenter number 40. I am humbled and ecstatic to be part of such a legendary production. It’s kind of weird – in a super exciting way – that the show I once watched when I was younger, is now the show I will be presenting along with the talented Lindsey, Richie, Mwaksy and of course, Henry. I can’t wait to get stuck in, even with the challenges they throw at me, though I am hoping none of them involve cheese – I hate cheese!”

It might not involve cheese but Adam’s first challenge is a biggie. He has been thrown straight in with a mountain rescue challenge. He will be winched down a cliff face to complete a training exercise with the Buxton Mountain Rescue team and will share the results of his challenge live in the studio in the coming weeks. 

Blue Peter Editor, Ellen Evans, said: “Adam really impressed us during his auditions, he’s a natural in front of the camera but he’s also very funny, incredibly warm, brilliant with kids and also perhaps a little bit mischievous which the Blue Peter audience will absolutely love.”   

Head of BBC Children’s In House Productions, Helen Bullough, adds: “Throughout lockdown Blue Peter fans have been telling us how much they’ve enjoyed and appreciated the show’s unstinting commitment to engaging, inspiring and entertaining them and we can’t wait for Presenter Number 40 to join us and get stuck in!  Adam is playful, thoughtful and already popular with our audience, who I’m sure will give him the biggest ever Blue Peter welcome.”                 

Blue Peter is live on CBBC every Thursday at 5.30pm and is available on BBC iPlayer.

www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/blue-peter

Gear Up for a Weekend Celebration of Culture & Fun with the Lough Down Drive-In Arts Festival

Social distancing has put a stop to some things we love like gigs, trips to the theatre and festival season but lovers of live entertainment tired of cancelled events, will soon be able to shake-off their lockdown blues when a new drive-in Auto-Arts festival parks up at Catalyst, Queen’s Island , Belfast.

Lough Down takes place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September 2020 and boasts a weekend line-up of feel-good entertainment including music, opera, comedy and arts while following social distancing guidelines.

While lockdown and social distancing makes conventional gigs impossible, the Lough Down Festival is a creative alternative and much-needed opportunity for culture fans to safely engage with the arts.  The festival also showcases Northern Irish talent providing a boost to local arts organisations, suppliers and individuals scrambling to replace lost income. 

Audiences will take part in the interactive event from the comfort and safety of their cars, parked in front of a performance set, with live action transmitted directly from the stage to LED screens and through a dedicated FM radio channel to their car radio.

Speaking at the launch Festival Organiser, Sarah-Jane Montgomery from MayWe said: 

“MayWe are so excited to be offering fans of live arts and culture something new to enjoy.  Lockdown has shown just how important the arts are to our mental health and wellbeing for young and old. As well as catering for adults during the festival we will also feature a ‘May Wee Ones’ mini-morning series of events with family-oriented content and earlier start times.

“It’s great to be able to provide families and friends with a much-needed distraction to stay local and social but while, we love putting on a good show, we don’t want to risk anyone’s safety so strict hygiene measures in line with government guidelines will ensure a safe environment for all. 

“We are delighted to be doing our bit to keep our local arts alive. Our Artists and creatives make our community vibrant.  It’s MayWe’s aim to generate new ways to support the sector during this time.  We would especially like to thank Arts Council of Northern Ireland for their contribution and Catalyst for allowing us the use of their site and kindly donating their hire fee towards artists. 

“The Lough Down Drive-in Arts Festival is a wonderful opportunity for all of us as a community to celebrate the best of home grown talent and support our local artists and creative and technical teams”.

Live show tickets range from £15-£20 plus booking fee, per vehicle.  Test Drive Tickets priced at £10, per vehicle are available for community groups and those who may experience barriers to attending the arts.

For further details and to be the first to secure tickets when bookings go live visit www.facebook.com/MayWeEvents

Ulster American Folk Park launches new tourism experience, Folk Park Live

Tourism NI and Arts Council of Northern Ireland team up with award-winning arts organisation, Snow Water, to bring visitors on a 300 year musical journey

25th August: The Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, launches ‘Folk Park Live’ this week on 27th August, taking visitors through a 300 year musical journey. This is an exciting new tourism experience by Snow Water, an award-winning arts organisation that celebrates NI’s finest artistic talent.

Snow Water has gathered together some of Northern Ireland’s most talented and versatile musicians to take visitors on a journey through music and song that charts the stories of emigration. Visitors will enjoy an immersive audiovisual tour of the museum, with songs that tell of the lives and plight, the hardships and the successes of those who had to leave Ulster over 300 years.

A partnership between Tourism NI and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, ‘Embrace the Place’, was established in 2019 to animate key tourism sites across the region by using the arts to tell the stories of that particular area, offering visitors something new and inspiring to enjoy. Following an investment by Tourism NI, Snow Water was commissioned to present a collection of original art work that reflects the heritage of the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh. 

Rosemary Lightbody, Experience Development Manager, Tourism NI, said:

“Embrace the Place has been an opportunity to collaborate innovatively with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland across some of our most iconic visitor destinations including experiences at Belfast’s Maritime Mile, Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, Navan Fort in Armagh and now, Folk Park Live at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh.

“Snow Water’s Folk Park Live, the final project in this initiative, delivers a whole new layer of emotion to the visitor experience at the Ulster American Folk Park and a deep connection with the place and its stories of emigration. This new interactive visitor trail also compliments Tourism NI’s new experience brand, Embrace a Giant Spirit, as through the tremendous musical talent of the participating artists and the emotional stories within the songs, visitors are taken on a journey that truly engages with the authenticity of the destination and the spirit of its people.”

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to see the final project from the Embrace the Place programme of events, Folk Park Live, launch at the Ulster American Folk Park, where it will be enjoyed not only by visitors to the museum but also to digital audiences around the world. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our venues and tourism sites have had to close their doors and it’s heartening to once again see this wonderful space reopen and present this terrific new musical experience that we can all engage with and be inspired by.

“We are proud to partner with Tourism NI on the Embrace the Place initiative which has been a tremendous success and has breathed new life into some of Northern Ireland’s most scenic and iconic locations by re-telling stories of those areas through the arts. Huge congratulations to Snow Water who now present an incredible line up of some of the region’s top musicians to take audiences on an immersive, thrilling musical journey charting the story of Ulster emigration.”

This new experience features musical talents such as Neil Martin, Jack Warnock, Gemma Bradley, Niall Hanna, Maurice Leyden, Eilidh Patterson, Gareth Dunlop, No Oil Paintings, Cathal Hayden, Mary Dillon and ROE.

A live performance from each musician was filmed at 12 locations across the Ulster American Folk Park to create a musical experience that can be enjoyed both online and on site at the Ulster American Folk Park. It includes songs from home and songs written from afar about home; Scottish-influenced fiddle music and piping; Appalachian music; religious songs; fast, lively energising music and slower reflective pieces.

Aaron Ward, Head of Audience Development, National Museums NI, added:

“We are very excited to give a warm welcome back to visitors at the Ulster American Folk Park and to launch this new partnership project, Folk Park Live. This immersive music trail is a great way to creatively and authentically explore new ways of bringing the heritage at the museum to life. The artistry from Snow Water combined with the museum expertise from National Museums NI has created a unique experience that our visitors will greatly enjoy, both from home and while they are visiting.”

Book tickets online in advance to guarantee your timeslot, with a range of ticket options available. The new visitor experience is included in the cost of the ticket. Visit www.nmni.com/whats-on/ulster-american-folk-park-tickets for more information. The experience is also available to view at www.folkparklive.com.

BOOK A 5-STAR OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE CULLODEN ESTATE FROM ONLY £85PPS

Enjoy a luxurious overnight stay at the Culloden Estate & Spa from as little as £85pps room only.*

This magnificent 5-star hotel is just six miles from Belfast and boasts stunning views over Belfast Lough and across County Antrim.

The Culloden stands in 12 acres of beautiful secluded gardens and woodland and offers a fabulous range of dining options including The Lough Bar offering light snacks and the hotel’s famous decadent Afternoon Tea and the Cultra Inn, a cosy bar and bistro which nestles within the Estate and is perfect for a tasty lunch or evening. The Spa at Culloden has partially reopened for residents of the hotel and will fully reopen at the end of September following the completion of a renovation programme.

Until the middle of September, the Culloden will be home to the Jawbox Mobile Bar, which is located on the lawn outside the Cultra Inn, and offers a delightful selection of gin serves, wine and beer.

For further information or to book go to www.hastingshotels.com or call 028 9047 1066

*Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability.

Culture Night Belfast Call For Submissions From Local Arts & Culture Sector

With Culture Night Belfast going ahead for 2020 with a core online programme that includes a rich mix of music, film, performance and more on September 18, organisers are calling for submissions for events to be added to their online calendar. 

While the popular celebration of arts and culture normally attracts tens of thousands into the streets of the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast and beyond this year’s offering is going online and the team behind Culture Night have made a commitment to do all they can to help support the local arts and culture scene.

Susan Picken, Director of Cathedral Quarter Trust, the charity behind Culture Night Belfast, said the arts sector across Northern Ireland has shown “great resilience in a time of adversity” and whilst the organisation doesn’t have the funding or ability to facilitate a large scale event on the streets this year she hopes this year’s online core and accompanying showcase programme will give creators from across the country the chance to showcase their work to a larger audience.

She added: “When we were putting the core programme together we wanted to ensure that we supported as many organisations and artists as we could within our means and I’m delighted that we’ll be supporting a diverse range of arts and culture across the sector in the main Culture Night TV broadcast.

“However, one thing we realise is that we have the ability to help further support the arts by opening up the programme to other events which we will help promote and highlight through our social media, press activity, website listings and more.

“Therefore, we’re calling on creators, artists, organisations and venues to submit something to be included in our supporting programme online.

“Of course the stipulation is that the event must have an online element to it. We’re happy to promote work that has already been created – so, for example, you may have a film available on YouTube or another platform that you wish to share with us. Or perhaps, you want to highlight some of the amazing work you did during lockdown.

“Regardless whether you are sharing a new piece of work, going live or sending us links to pre-recorded material we want to hear from you.”

Susan said this is a time for the arts sector to pull together in order to survive the challenges of 2020.

She added: “The arts sector has been really badly impacted by this pandemic, but I think on the whole it has shown how determined people are to keep going. Resilience is a bit of the theme this year, almost like defiance when we are up against it.

“People have plugged away for years, and they’re not going to let something they’ve built be destroyed. People are creative and will always find a way to make things happen.”

This year’s funding has been dramatically cut so Susan says the backing of Belfast City Council and the Arts Council NI has been vital to make sure that they can take Culture Night Belfast online.

The full programme is set to be announced shortly, but it promises to be a packed series of events pre-recorded at locations such as Belfast Cathedral, Oh Yeah Centre, Black Box and The Mac.

If you’re a creator and want to submit your event to Culture Night Belfast this year simply fill out the submissions form at culturenightbelfast.com/cnb-online and follow #CNB20 #CNBonline.

7 Cool Cocktail & Burger Combos You NEED To Try This Season

After reopening its doors following lockdown a Belfast gourmet burger bar has created an innovative menu.

Burger Burger Stranmillis have redesigned their menu to offer diners a larger menu with new takes on their classic favourites.

Here are 7 burger and cocktail combos to whet your appetite:

1. For the Spice Lovers

Too Hot to Handle + Dark and Stormy

If you are a lover of spice the ‘Too Hot To Handle’ burger is definitely the one for you, a sumptuous beef patty covered in a spicy cheese melt and crispy jalapenos is certain to curb your spice craving. Pair this with a Dark and Stormy cocktail of rum and ginger beer for the ultimate spice combo. 

2. For the Instagram Queens 

Apple Fennel + Purple Haze 

If you love to get that perfect food selfie shot for the gram this is the combo for you. The apple fennell burger is the perfect photo worthy dish with heaps of apple fennel slaw added on top to give that drama. The purple haze cocktail is adorned with pretty petals sure to get you that great gram pic. 

3. For the Thrill Seekers 

Flaming Zombie + Roquito Pepper Burger 

If you like to live life on the edge, how about trying the Flaming Zombie cocktail, with four different types of rum and a flame, this cocktail is sure to make sparks fly. Pair it with the fiery roquito pepper burger for a tasty combo. 

4. For the Retro Lovers 

Bacon and Cheese Tower Burger + Dirty Starburst

If you like a modern twist on classic favourites then you should try the Bacon and Cheese Tower Burger. A gourmet take on your classic Bacon and Cheese with extra helpings of streaky bacon, american cheese and special house sauce. This is perfect paired with the dirty starburst cocktail which will take you back to the fruity flavours of your childhood. 

5. For the DareDevils 

Beef and Octopus + Popcorn Espresso Martini

If you are a sucker for all things new and exciting, then the Beef and Octopus is the burger for you, an exclusive and innovative creation the burger takes surf and turf to a whole new level. Pair this with a Popcorn Espresso Martini for a new twist on a classic cocktail.

6. For the Avid Foodies 

The Ram + Peach and Elderflower Sours

If you have a taste for the refined things in life, why not try the Ram burger? A beef burger topped with goats cheese, sun dried tomatoes and rocket and fig mayo. Perfectly paired with the peach and elderflower sours cocktail, an on trend and chic cocktail perfect for the avid restaurant goer. 

7. For the ‘Can’t Deciders’

The Triple + Long Island

If you are the type of person who can’t decide and just wants a bit of everything the triple is the perfect burger for you. A beef burger, chicken fillet and brisket topper all packed into one bun is sure to solve your menu dilemmas. Not sure whether to have gin or vodka? The long island has it all with the perfect combination of spirits so you don’t have to decide. 

To make a booking with Burger Burger Stranmillis visit: https://bit.ly/3fKEPNv or call 028 9543 3131

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council issue appeal after extensive littering at coastal locations

Discarding broken glass on beaches is a disgraceful act which poses a major hazard, especially for children and pets.

This is the message from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council after a number of incidents over the weekend.

At Benone Strand, a large amount of cans and broken bottles were left close to the beach boardwalk, while glass was also found on the sand at Castlerock along with discarded belongings and other items including plastic bottles and bags.

There are concerns that groups are congregating to use beaches and dunes as ‘drinking dens’.

Council wants to remind everyone that there is a zero tolerance approach to littering, with offenders facing an £80 Fixed Penalty Notice. Those found drinking illegally can also face further enforcement action.

Condemning the recent spate of incidents, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Alderman Mark Fielding said: “I want to appeal directly to anyone who visited our coastal locations at the weekend. What did you do with your rubbish? Did you think it was acceptable to leave it behind? Did you expect someone else to clean it up for you? Litter is proving to be a huge challenge at this time, and we need everyone to take more responsibility.

“Our beaches are one of our greatest assets and they are there for everyone’s enjoyment. Leaving broken glass where it can injure visitors, children and pets is a disgraceful act. I would ask those who did this how they would feel if a member of their family was badly injured because of their completely unacceptable behaviour?

“Parent and carers should share this message with their children so they realise that littering of any kind is wholly unacceptable. We need everyone to play their part to help keep our Borough clean. Dispose of your rubbish or take it home with you, and show the Causeway Coast and Glens the respect it deserves.”

To report an incident of littering please contact Environmental Health by ringing 028 2766 0200 or email environmentalhealth@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk. You can also contact us on Facebook and Twitter. Please provide as much detail as possible.

If you see anything suspicious at any of our local beaches or coastal locations, or you have concerns about illegal drinking, please contact Police by ringing 101.