This week we asked Leesa Harker for her 5 favourite things in Belfast. You’ll know Leesa from her hugely popular 50 Shades of Red White and Blue books and plays.
We love reading our guest bloggers five favourite things to do in Belfast. These 5 from Leesa absolutely reflect here fun personality!! Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Here they are:
Place to THINK – Belfast Lough
If I ever need to think/chill/escape, anywhere at all where I can look out at Belfast Lough does the trick. I lived in middle England for years and the one thing I really missed (besides my mammy) was the Sea, and in particular, Belfast Lough. We are spoilt in Belfast with mountains/hills on one side and the sea on the other. I find the water calming and I can make sense of life’s wee complications when I am nearby it. The docks area needs a wee facelift and hopefully it will come soon. But just along a bit, towards Hazelbank, there’s a lovely walkway and quite a few spots to sit and admire the Lough in all its glory.
Place for SCENERY
I love the Cavehill. You can see all over Belfast to the lough and beyond. It was my favourite place to go on the beak from the Girls Model when I was a grumpy teenager – we used to hike up to the caves with our sausage rolls from O’Haras and spend the day foraging through the forest and scaring the life out of each other with tales of devil-worshippers and ghosts! These days, a hike to the caves with the kids and dog is hard work! A lot of puffing and panting! But the view from the top is so worth it. And of course, we have the gorgeous Belfast Castle at the foot of the Cavehill, as well as the children’s play park. I love that you can see the Cavehill from pretty much everywhere in Belfast and on a sunny day, the colour of it, contrasted with the sky, is just beautiful.
Place to EAT
I really enjoy a dinner at Flame restaurant in Howard St with my chums. The food is gorgeous, their open-plan style kitchen with the tandoori oven makes the place smell delicious! The music and entertainment is fab and you can be as noisy as you like! It’s the kind of place you can go on a night out and spend the whole night there. I like places with relaxed atmospheres and lots of cocktails to choose from. I’ve been known to down a Long Island Iced Tea or two in my day…
Place to DANCE
With a business to run, writing to do and two young kids, nights out are seldom. But the one spot I try to get to is the Pleasuredome nights at The Empire. They are on once every 2 months I think. There are rock type ones but my favourite are the eighties nights. There is nothing I love more than to throw some crazy shapes to Rick Astley. Yes, I am sad, I know. The Christmas one is on my birthday this year so hoping to make that one!
Place to SHOP
I am a stationery addict. Honestly, a leopard-print notebook gets me all sorts of excited. So, I love a good browse around Paperchase in House of Fraser. They have some really random greeting cards too. I could spend hours in that little corner of the shop! Aside from that, I like trinket-type shops. There is a hidden gem called Brightsides on the Shankill Rd. They sell gifts, candles, smellies and things you don’t see on the High Street. They also sell Maggie Muff merchandise, which is how I came to know about them!