Treat week, birthday week

It’s been a week of excess, actually it’s been a fortnight of excess, well, one has to max out on birthday celebrations when you reach 47! As I lie crashed on the sofa on a Saturday night checking out my diary of the last 2 weeks, I’m realising that it’s been hectic.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

3 concerts

3 meals out

1 night of musical theatre

1 exhibition

Lunch on a cruise ship

A trip to Dublin

A party in a dome

A Wee bike ride

and Pizza and prosecco.

The concerts

Nashville Live at 3 Arena Dublin

What a show and what a talented bunch the cast of this hugely popular TV show are. With impressive vocals, great self penned songs and music from the show, add to that, playing their own instruments and surprise appearances by extra members of the cast, Nashville in concert was a super night out in one of our favourite concert venues.

Rihanna at Aviva, Dublin

A last minute decision saw us end up staying in Dublin after Nashville and shopping in the city the following day before heading to Aviva for Rihanna.

Arriving at the stadium, we were surprised to find our tickets had been upgraded to premium seats. And although right at the back of the stadium, we enjoyed a covered space with very few people sitting near us, and a brilliant view of the stage.

Rihanna arrived in the stadium and performed her first track on a small platform in the middle of the audience before making her way to the mainly white set on stage. Everything was fairly tasteful and sophisticated, very unlike our expectations. It was all about the voice and the new album. Yes she cried at the start after a half hour delay coming on stage, but, she didn’t disappoint and proved why she is one of the biggest artists in the world.

Ellie Goulding at Belsonic

A new location and a bigger venue for the once boutique Belsonic now on the Titanic Slipways. It was Ellie Gouldings 6th time performing in Belfast, and unfortunately seemed to be the smallest crowd in a while. She put on a great show for the Belsonic crowd and as always interacted really charmingly with the audience, even slightly picking on the VIP stand at one point!

We were there as guests of Absolut and arrived on one of the Wee Toast Tours vehicles. Now that’s how to make an entrance to a Belsonic gig!

And to add some more fun to the proceedings, Absolut were encouraging us all to get our #AbsolutAface photos on to social media.

Eating out

Two restaurants featured in birthday week. The first was Tedfords Kitchen followed by nibbles and food in the fabulous OX Cave. Love that wee place!

Next was that new destination delight, the Bull & Ram in Ballynahinch. What a treat!. It’s a beautiful restaurant set in an old butchers. It’s worth seeing for the early 1900’s original decor and finally, eating that great grub. Delicious ! More on our night at Bull & Ram later in the week.

I guess eating out would also cover having lunch on the Caribbean Princess this week while it was docked at Belfast Harbour. We were given a tour of the ship, visiting galleys, asking questions, and finally with a buffet lunch. And trust me, we all piled our plates high!

Eating in

Of course, M&S grub was the food of choice on Thursdayp night, mainly because of their Pizza and Prosecco £10 offer. Fizz with dinner to celebrate birthday week ; it’s any excuse really!

The offer finishes on Monday, so get down for Pizza and Prosecco.


The musical theatre show that seems to be splitting opinions, American Idiot arrived at the Grand Opera House this week. Our reviewer, Anne Hailes was surprised when she actually really enjoyed it. We loved it and the show reminded us of our favourite musical, RENT.

McCombs party in the Dome

The McCombs gang and invited guests headed up to the Dome to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday. And those McCombs folks know how to throw a party. The drink was flowing and dinner was pizza from Pizza Express. On the night they announced a brand new Belfast bus tour and their new Belfast ticket kiosk due to open soon in the lower ground floor of Victoria Square. Good luck folks!

Finally let’s not forget about my visit to the Summer exhibition at Titanic Belfast about the race to the South Pole between a British team and a Norwegian team. It’s like a mini Titanic exhibition, with some fascinating stories. If you like reading about adventures then you’ll definitely appreciate this.

Now that was a birthday fortnight to remember! And then I was left shattered on the sofa for most of Saturday evening. 

Have fun



P.S. In all the crazy hecticness, I forgot that we also went to Nando’s in Victoria Sq to try out their new menu options. We ordered the new platter, and with a full chicken and a lot of sides, this meal option is enough for 3 or maybe 4 people it’s so huge!! Definitely worth trying it out!!

Post Author: Belfast Times

Leave a Reply