#ConlethRecommends : Theatre, food and Les Mills

Hi Everyone!

Hope you all had a great St. Patrick’s Day! I loved all the pictures! I want to thank you all again about all the feedback after my last column, I am loving all your tweets and messages on Facebook – it’s so lovely to know that you are liking what I am recommending.

I have such an exciting week coming up.

Firstly, I am seeing my favourite singer of all time ‘Mariah Carey’ performing in London (I literally cannot wait), I have been a massive Mariah fan since I was at school and now I am actually getting to see her live in London. Two days after seeing her perform I am in the recording studio putting the finishing touches to my second single ‘Giving it Up’ with the UK’s hottest new house producers ‘DeepMatter’. I went up to Sheffield two weeks ago and we wrote the song in under an hour. I have sent snippets of the demo version to friends and family and they are loving it! I am extremely proud of it. It’s about how someone can be really lovely-dovey in your company but when they are not around you, you never hear from them – Out of sight, out of mind. That’s something i experienced very recently so that’s probably why the song was written so quickly! Ha! So excited to get it out there over the next few months

 chitty chitty bang bang poster 

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG – Currently show at the Belfast Grand Opera House until March 27th

Now if there is any show that is suitable for all the family, it’s this gem of a musical! ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ is on a nationwide tour and has made a stop at our glorious theatre here in Belfast. The only real show that families can go to is the annual Christmas pantomime but this show offers that and much more. We all have seen the movie (originally released in 1968) on our TV screens around the festive period but now is the chance to go and experience the magic live in the theatre. The show comes direct from a critically acclaimed run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and has been getting rave reviews in regional cities so far across the UK. The show has everything you want in a musical, from flying cars, spectacular choreography to famous numbers such as ‘Hushaby Mountain’, ‘Me Ol’ Bamboo’, ‘Truly Scrumptious’ and title song ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.

The cast includes Eastenders Stars Martin Kemp (Childcatcher) and Michelle Collins (Baroness Bomburst) and a special mention to my friends Andrew Hilton (Musical Director) and dear friend Nia Jermin-Rae (ensemble). The children in the cast are also from Belfast’s ‘Stagecoach’ which is run by the lovely Janet-Anne Phillips Walker. These kids are superstars and it’s all down to the great training they receive under Janet and her staff’s wing.

One of the world’s all time favourite musicals ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ will have audiences of all ages flying high with its mixture of madness, intrigue and exuberance! Book tickets at www.goh.co.uk


THE BAKERY 52 Howard Street Belfast

Whilst home at Christmas performing at the Grand Opera House I managed to find the loveliest little place called ‘The Bakery’, to go and grab a sandwich and a tea during rehearsals or in-between shows. This family run business is what Belfast cafes are all about – big smiles, amazing customer service, generous portions and great quality food. I think it’s really important to support local family run businesses.

Yes, Starbucks and Cafe Nero etc are great, but nothing beats local, fresh produce and the staff knowing you by your first name.

The cafe is based on Howard Street, just across the road from Spires. The reason I went in is because I always judge a place by how big the queue is, and on my first day of rehearsals I noticed this place had a nice long queue. The staff were always mega friendly and every day I went in, I tried to order something different each time because everything they had on offer looked so good, and I genuinely was impressed on every visit. I don’t drink coffee but I remember the cast members who came along with me said the coffee was excellent and my panto friend (X Factor star Chico) used to go in every few days to buy their fresh bread claiming it was ‘the best bread he had ever tasted’.

The clientele are lovely too, I remember one day I went in on my own and sat down to have my lunch and within about 10 minutes, everyone was talking to one another. That is just Belfast, and it is something us Northern Irish people should pride ourselves on – we are not afraid to be friendly!

The decor is also very charming. Lovely while and pale blue woods. Very charming to meet a few friends for a brunch/lunch meeting. I would highly recommend it.

Check out their Facebook Page and pay them a visit! www.facebook.com/thebakery.belfast/


Les Mills Body Combat and Body Pump

I have a new obsession! Les Mills Body Pump and Body Combat! For years I have mainly done my Bikram Yoga which I absolutely love, but I really wanted to start changing my body shape to be more defined, muscled and over all ‘manly’.

I struggled with weight my entire teenage life and for the most of my early 20’s. I believe I will always have the mentality of the fat kid at school, but recently I am starting to really overcome that and I believe it is down to my latest workout plan.

I joined the gym a few months back and I I was at first intimated by all the gym-bods that surrounded me, so I started going to classes and I started ‘Body Pump’ with an amazing trainer called ‘Anthony Deyn’ who is a Les Mills trainer and since doing his class once a week I am seeing serious definition starting to appear.

‘Body Pump’ is a 45/60min class that involves lifting weights and doing other various exercises to music.

‘Body Combat’ on the other hand is literally 45/60mins of serious cardio and fat-buring and it involves a lot of ‘air-punching’. So one ‘Body Combat’ class and one ‘Body Pump’ class combined with my Bikram Yoga is really shaping my body up to be the body I have always craved and desired, and it’s only been over a month. I cannot wait to see how I look come the summer.

Both classes are lots of fun, and I can’t wait for my classes every week.

Try it! Become the best version of you that you can be! I just googled ‘Les Mills Belfast’ and there are so many gyms that offer this brand of training. Go and give it a go, combine it with some Bikram Yoga too. If I can do it. You can.

Read more about Les Mills here: www.lesmills.com/uk/


Post Author: Belfast Times

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