This week we asked Deborah Toner for her 5 favourite things in Belfast. Deborah studied architecture and for her thesis she created machine stitched maps of Belfast. This marked the beginning of what was to become a successful business recreating architectural designs stitched on to Irish linen. You can find out more about Deborah at www.deborahtoner.co.uk
Here are her five favourite things to do in Belfast:
I love the sort of shop that you wont find anywhere else. There are not enough of these places here in Belfast! Space Craft in the Fountain Centre is stocked full of extremely talented artists, designers and makers all from Northern Ireland. It is always my go to for gifts. It also houses a little gallery, which showcases the most amazing work and talent by people from all over Ireland!
I love having a day off. This doesn’t happen often but when it does I love to go to Muriel’s in Belfast. It does really lovely food, wine and cocktails. It is great for a relaxed boozy lunch. I love the small characterful building and the laid back atmosphere. And of course the great and very friendly staff!!
Favourite Place to Get Away
The Tow Path at Shaw’s Bridge is a great place to go for a walk and blow the cobwebs away!! We love to take the dogs here early on a Saturday morning. It is full of rowers, runners and dog walkers and is a great little escape! There is also a beautiful little van that does amazing coffee, which is great now that it is starting to get chilly!!
Due to my background I feel I should include this one, although it is tough! I don’t think I can choose one.
I love the Ulster Museum. I adore the concrete form and the juxtaposition of the original building and the brutalism of the extension that was added in the 1960’s. I also think I have quite a romantic view of this building as so much time was spent here as a child on school trips or rainy weekends out with my family.
Another place I love is the shipyard. It truly represents where we have come from as a city. I adore the cranes, as I’m sure some of you are aware from my work. They are a massively iconic part of the city and remind us of the industrial town that Belfast once was. I know they represent many different things for different people but I think it is important to look at them as an icon for our city in the future.
This is a difficult one too as I love to eat out!! My favourite would probably have to be Il Pirata in Ballyhackamore. I love Italian food and Il Pirata offer small tapas type dishes so you can get lots to pick at at once! They are always adding new and exciting things to their menu and the food is so fresh and extremely tasty!!
They also have great wine and cocktails!
Deborah can be found at St George’s Market every Sunday. You can also purchase her work at VisitBelfast, Spacecraft, and Queen’s visitor shop.