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8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 3

Contents 4 Gift ideas for Father’s Day... Dan Williams believes kids are a gift in themselves

43 How to survive until they’re back to school

44-45 Tastes of summer... esssential kit and easy dishes to try

6-7 Knock-out dads Steven Ward and Michael Conlan on life in and out of the ring 8 Teens take on mountain challenge


10-11 Stylist Donna McCulloch on dressing to stand out 12 Hooked on crochet! 14-15 Beauty tips to have you at your shimmering best 16 Summer scents, skincare and nailing fake tan



It’s a season worth celebrating... especially for dads


ummer is here and with it the prospect of lie-ins and lazy days, holidays, barbecues and trips to the seaside. University students are off already and schools are on the wind down. But before the holidays begin, there’s a special date set aside to celebrate the man of the house. Father’s Day falls on June 17 – a day for dads everywhere to put their feet up and bask in the affections of their loved ones. For some, like Dan Williams, the best gift would be getting to sleep past 5.30am, however, we’ve had a look at other, wrappable gift options. Jamie Roberts chats to two rising stars of Belfast’s buzzing boxing scene – Steven Ward and Michael Conlan – to find out how they cope with being away from their children on Father’s Day. For those hoping for a great escape, we have lots of tips for places to go and things to do on holiday, as well as surviving a break with family in tow. One of the fun things about getting ready for a holiday is planning what to wear and we not only have up to date tips for summer fashion, shoes and accessories but we also meet stylist to the stars Donna McCulloch, fresh from dressing clients attending this year’s Oscars ceremony.

Style conscious readers will also enjoy a peak inside the home of Belfast family the McSorleys. Mum Morag demonstrates how to create a stunning environment without breaking the bank. There are lots of different trends to pick and choose from this season and we bring you many of them, as well as looking at the part of the home we’re all hoping to spend the summer enjoying – the garden. Dining al fresco is a huge part of the appeal of summer. Long evenings, relaxing over dinner with family or friends or packing a picnic and heading out to enjoy the sunshine, is what it’s all about. At Family Life, we love meeting inspirational people, some overcoming terrible circumstances, others simply driven to help others. Cathy McGuigan is calling for more support for people with depression as she and her family fundraise for charity in memory of her late brother. Also on a mission to make a difference is teenager Mia Jackson. She is defying her own physical struggles to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of charity Mitre. Have a good summer, see you in September!


46-47 Fun and funky style choices

18 18-21 Have a peek inside an eclectic and colourful Belfast home

48 Glorious shoes 52-53 Finish your look with a flourish 54 Health matters: Managing hay fever 56-57 Cathy’s fundraising tribute to tragic brother 58-62 Fun events and entertainment to take you through the summer


22-27 See what’s trending in home interiors this year 28 Dreamy gardens open


30-31 From barbecues to picnics, it’s open season for dining fresco 34-35 Fun breaks for families 36-37 Festivals to plan a short break around 38-39 Tips for travelling with children 40 Westport deserving of ‘best place’ title

Published by Belfast Telegraph Clarendon House, Clarendon Dock, Belfast, BT1 3BH FAMILY LIFE MANAGER Jackie Reid Belfast Telegraph EDITOR Fiona Rutherford Realtime Editing & Design NI Ltd CONTRIBUTORS Davina Gordon, Matt McCreary, Megan Kavanagh, Georgina Hatch, Jamie Roberts, Dan Williams DESIGN Susan McClean INM Design Studio, Belfast PRINTING INM, Newry

4 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Whattoget ’ Y U G G I B E H ‘T thisFather’sDay BY JAMIE ROBERTS


ollowing March’s show of appreciation to all the mothers out there, it’s time to treat the main man in your life. It’s true that not all superheroes wear capes, so let us help you choose the perfect present to show your Super Man just how much he means to you this Father’s Day. Firstly, if you want a gift with a local angle, you certainly can’t beat a jaunt to St George’s Market for its amazing range of regional knick-knacks. There’s no doubt that in the lead up to June 17, the local craft makers will have a host of goodies gracing their stalls that are suitable for your old man. However, for all the internet shoppers among us who don’t want to cross the doors, you don’t have to spend a fortune to pick up an out-of-this-world present. This novelty t-shirt would suit any Star Wars fan and, well, literally says it all. It’s £12.99 on Amazon and £7.99 at Blue Inc.

Dan Williams ponders the tired lows and daily highs of being dad to Alfie and Olivia

guide to ‘The Craft Beer, Cider and Spirits of Northern Ireland’ – from Carson’s Crisp Cider to Inishmacsaint beer to Jawbox gin, together with links to where to buy them. You can order a gift box filled with locally crafted chocs and other foodie goodies from, to complement the drink, or be creative and make your own. Of course, you can’t have your favourite tipple out of any old glass! Getting Personal is one of many sites out there that offer you the opportunity to personalise your present. And what better way to have

JSS men’s 12 piece stainless steel nail manicure kit gift set, £11.49,

Personalised stern whisky glass - Cheers Dad, £14.99, www.

Star Wars t-shirt, £7.99, Blue Inc and other retailers


a constant reminder of what he means to you than a message on his favourite pint or whiskey glass? From as little as £9.99, this sentimental offering is a great idea for those of us on a strict budget. Perhaps your Da would benefit from a grooming kit? Does your old fella rock the man bod? Or is he more into his manscaping? Either way, male grooming products have been reaching new heights and with so much to choose from, there literally is

something out there for every dad’s needs. Jenson Samuel advertise a great and compact 12-piece stainless steel manicure grooming gift set that comes in an elegant case for just £11.49. Finally, how about providing the perfect utensils for a barbecue? Love Emma offers a delightful four-piece personalised barbecue set and bag from £25 which would really make your Dad look the part on those occasional sunny days we like to call ‘summer’. Whatever you choose, it’s a great opportunity to make sure all the Dads out there feel the love more than ever. To the Dads!

Then there’s the usual alcohol ideas that have been a staple gift since this day’s invention. If you don’t want to pick up a four-pack from the supermarket, look no further than Bite to Savour for an A-Z

NI Chocolate Box, £25,

Personalised four piece barbecue set and bag, £25,

The day to celebrate dads around the country is almost upon us. June 17 is our opportunity to thank the patriarchs in our life, offer a big thumbs up to the man of the house… My kids, like many others, are a nightmare at times, but I wouldn’t swap a second of being a dad for all of the money in the world (though tempting it might be). If I close my eyes I can vividly remember the first time both of my children wrapped their finger around mine shortly after they were born, the first time I held them in hospital, the first time those big eyes opened and my whole world came into sharp, tunnel-vision focus around me. Nothing in the world was more important in that second than me and them establishing a bond that will hopefully never be broken. Though tantrums and arguments may have started further down the line, and sleepless nights had me on the edge of a complete physical and mental breakdown at times, we happily push those to the back of our minds and concentrate on the good times. It’s the first giggle from our babies’ mouths, the first long hug after a scraped knee when only a parent’s embrace will make the pain go away, the first time they said ‘daddy’ in that indescribably cute voice, the first time the tiny little humans went to sleep in my arms, the first time my boy told me I’m his best friend, the look of wonder on his face when we went to the circus for the first time, and the absolute joy I felt when he loved his first football match. It’s watching these little crying blobs turn into tiny humans, and then mini people. The first tooth popping through, the incredible moment when they take that monumental first step, the transition from babbling in that secret language that only a parent understands to words, and so many of them. It’s seeing my little girl as she wakes up and the beaming smile that radiates across her face as we make eye contact for the first time each day, it’s the boy climbing into my bed for a hug before he feels ready to go take on the world, it’s laying with him at night and reading him stories, it’s how he looks at me when I make up fantastical tales that feature all his favourite characters, it’s his belief that I’m some kind of super hero when we play in the park, it’s taking them swimming and for ice cream at the seaside. Cynics everywhere will happily tell you that Father’s Day is nothing more than another ‘pretend day that Hallmark created’. I used to be one of them, but there will be nothing I’ll treasure more in the world than a home-made card from my two and some ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ socks. And I’ll be sure to send my old man something to drink to thank him for all of the times he’s been there for me as I continue in my quest to be the dad to my kids that he is to me. I raise a glass to all my fellow dads... Happy Father’s Day.

e 17 n u J y, a D With Father’s Day looming, Jamie Roberts caught up with s r’ e h t Fa two of boxing’s rising stars and found they’re both champion dads,

6 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

even when training keeps them away from home...

Ward in action against Poland’s Michael Ciach at the SSE Arena on April 21 in his winning bout on the Carl Frampton v Nonito Donaire undercard. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Steven Ward with wife Cathy and children Kacy and Noah

‘TheQuietMan’aimingfor ayearworthtalkingabout BY JAMIE ROBERTS


t’s important to have goals in life, and taking a world title back to his hometown of Newtownabbey is the long-term aim for rising boxing star Steven Ward. Seven fights into his professional career, the 28-year-old light heavyweight is hoping for big things this year. The six-foot-two pugilist has already experienced the big stage after fighting on some great cards on home soil in his short career and he is likely to keep doing so as his MTK stablemates, Mick Conlan and Carl Frampton, continue to headline major fight nights in the city. However, he knows that to be the best inside the ring, you must miss out on so much outside of it. Nicknamed ‘The Quiet Man’ because of his timid persona as a child and his ‘wee flat cap’ growing up, which reminded his dad of the John Wayne movie, Ward is preparing for another Father’s Day away from his wife and children Kacy (12) and Noah (3). He admits that it’s ‘not ideal’ missing such occasions – socks and a bar of Dairy Milk are his ideal gift – but he knows it’s a necessity if he’s to reach his long-term goal

Being a dad? It’s childsplay....

Steven and Cathy Ward with Kacy, Noah and Mickey Mouse of having that world title strapped around his waist. Training camps mean a lot of time away from the family. “It’s tough,” said Ward, who lives on the outskirts of Belfast. “I love seeing my kids and they love seeing me, but like a lot of boxers I am away a lot

and I miss them, especially on days like Father’s Day when they wake up with cards and I’m not there. “I remember when Noah was younger and I went away, when I came back I was amazed at how much his speech had evolved and how his wee personality had

changed, but me and the lads in camp keep each other company and try to make it easier.” He admits that he couldn’t follow his dreams had it not been for his family, including parents Bruce and Annette, and his management team. “It goes without saying that family is everything to me,” he said. “From a young age, my mum and dad have supported everything I have done with boxing. When I met my wife Cathy, she was the same. “She really is the foundation of our family. When I am away she holds down a job while looking after the kids and the running of the house. She knows this is what I want to do, and I’ll always be thankful that she has put her life dreams on hold so that I can try and live mine.” On his management team, MTK Global, he added: “MTK are the best management out there. I think I have the abilities to win a world title and I have a great team and management around me to make that happen. It’s exciting.”

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 7 Conlan is ready for the Homecoming event at the Belfast SSE Arena on June 30 Picture, Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

Conlan expectsa knockout summer


Michael Conlan with his daughter Luisne as famiy and friends welcomed the Ireland team returning to Dublin from the AIBA World Elite Championships in 2015 Picture ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

elfast’s next boxing sensation, Michael Conlan, is set for a huge summer — both personally and professionally. Not only is the 26-year-old set to headline a great night of boxing on the aptly named ‘Homecoming’ show on June 30 at the SSE Arena, but he’s also expecting his second child less than two weeks later — and he can’t wait for either. The featherweight star, who has a daughter, Luisne (3), with his fiancée, Shauna, admits he is ‘dying’ to meet their new arrival while also planning a ‘knockout performance’ to wow the Belfast crowd. Of his first home bout since turning pro, he said: “I can’t wait. I don’t feel the pressure. I live for this kind of situation. Headlining at a sold-out Madison Square Garden on my debut has stood me in good stead. It was bunged. ” He has regularly been billed as the person to take Carl Frampton’s crown as the king of Belfast boxing, but the Top Rank fighter doesn’t enjoy being placed in competition with Frampton, saying it’s more of ‘a passing of the guard’ with Carl. Nevertheless, he has ambitions to surpass The Jackal’s fantastic achievements in the sport and knows just how important

Michael Conlan punches Luis Fernando Molina during their Featherweight bout at Madison Square Garden on December 9, 2017, in New York City Picture, Steven Ryan/Getty Images

A well deserved holiday for the family

boxing is to the city. “I want to be a three-weight world champion,” he said. “I’ve done the amateur side of boxing and now it’s time for the professional records. Carl has done phenomenally to become a two-weight champion, but I want to pass him by doing three. “I think, for the size of the city, the talent is unmatched around the world. It’s a special place; a special city. I can’t wait to give the fans a night to remember.” The 2012 Olympic Bronze medallist knows that his family — including his father, John, who is a boxing coach and his older brother Jamie, who is also a

professional in the sport — will continue to play a huge part in his bid for success inside and outside of the ring in the years to come. This has led to him moving back from America to join up with his new coach Adam Booth. “We are a close-knit family so it’s important to be close to home and have the help from our family. One of the best moments I have had was winning Commonwealth Gold in 2014 with my dad in my corner, and being able to celebrate with him was amazing.” Asked whether fatherhood has had an impact on his career, he said: “It has

changed my outlook on my career dramatically. I look at boxing very differently. It’s a sport where you can easily lose your life, but I’m more focused than ever. I know what I’m doing all this for. It’s a huge honour being a dad.” With Father’s Day in the middle of another busy camp, he insists June 17 is ‘just another day’ for him, with ‘love and respect’ remaining the best presents you can give and receive all year round. For tickets to Michael Conlan: The Homecoming on June 30, contact the SSE, www.

8 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018 The group has been going on hikes to train for the challenge

Mia with pal Anna Majury



or many of us, the most ambitious tasks of the summer are managing our tan and eating our ice-cream before it melts. But a group of 10 Irish teenagers have set their sights a little higher and are aiming to conquer Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. And as if climbing 19,340 feet isn’t tough enough, the brave teens going on the trip all suffer from scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. Some even have up to 24 screws inserted into their backs at the top of two metal rods, but that’s not going to stop them climbing one of the world’s great peaks. Mia Jackson (15), a fourth-year pupil at Methodist College Belfast, is a prime example of the courage and dedication needed to go on such an adventure. Mia was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2014 and regularly receives physiotherapy in Musgrave Park Hospital for her condition. Shortly after being diagnosed, Mia joined Straight2Swimming, the world’s first tailored swim programme for pre and post-surgical scoliosis patients under the age of 18. After being chosen for the trip as part of Straight2Swimming, Mia describes her experience so far as life-changing but daunting. “I’m definitely most nervous about the heat and the constant climbing,” she says. To prepare, she’s on a rigorous

Mia Jackson spinning to raise funds for the trek

Teensaiminghighwith peakchallenge training schedule involving gruelling hill sprints and strength training, as well as her regular swimming regime. Mia is also combining get fit with fund-raising, as a series of ‘Spinathons’ have put her well on track to raise £1,000 for Mitre, the Musgrave Park Hospital Charity that helps people like Mia get the treatment they deserve. The trip itself takes place in August and consists of six days of hiking up to the summit and two days back down. Kilimanjaro is at such a high altitude that temperatures can rise to a sweltering 27 degrees Celsius and then drop to a teeth shattering -7. “It’s important to invest in good clothes and boots,” she advises. “You have to start with small hikes and gradually get bigger. And never hike alone.” Four coaches and 15 medics will also be making the journey in order to ensure a

safe return for everybody. Mia recognises that there there will be a mountain of challenges to face on the trip. “We cannot carry heavy day bags”, she explains, “and those with metal rods in their backs need to wear lots of layers as they could catch hypothermia.” However, Mia seems mostly worried about her sleep. “My bed is the thing I’m going to miss the most.” As far as others’ reactions go, she says her parents, Paul and Gail are “quite nervous but excited for me”. Some people look ‘flabbergasted’ when she tells them about the trip. “Most are just really impressed.” And even though her training isn’t complete yet, Mia has already got her eyes on a much bigger prize. “If I finish Kilimanjaro, when I’m old enough I want to climb Mount Everest,” she says.


Seriously folks, we’re not even a quarter of the way through the summer and I’ve already endured at least four barbecues where my parents and their friends have sat around telling us teenagers just how wonderful their summers in ‘the olden-days’ were. I’m talking about the ‘70s and early ‘80s – they count as ‘the olden-days’, right? My parents are almost 50-years-old, so it could be their age, the barbecue fumes or that third glass of wine that clouds their memories because from what I’ve heard, their summers seemed all nettle stings, sandy sandwiches and long walks and far too few festivals, summer camps or foreign holidays. On evenings like these the conversation always begins with one of my parents putting down their iPhone, turning to us teenagers and declaring: “When we were your age, of course, we didn’t have mobile phones...” They’d then stare off into the distance wistfully. “We’d walk for half an hour to the nearest phone box only to find six other people in the queue ahead of us. By the time it was our turn, the person we were supposed to have called would have gone out. Aaah, those were the days.” Apparently queuing was a popular summer pastime back then. They’d spend hours queuing

for the cinema because there was only one screen. Queuing for any ticket they wanted – because they couldn’t buy them online. Or queuing for the local swimming pool – which apparently would have so much chlorine they’d be blinded for the next week! “Didn’t do me a bit of harm.” Really? It seems enduring physical pain was a summer hobby. Can you believe comparing sunburn was a thing in the ‘70s? “Oh we didn’t have such things as sun cream,” stated as if this is something to be proud of. “Our skin would be falling off us by the end of the day. Once I had a blister that covered my whole back.” Speaking of the weather, if I am to believe my parents it NEVER rained, not once, during a summer when they were young. “We’d head out after breakfast on our bikes and not be back until after tea time. Our parents wouldn’t allow us to stay in-doors. We’d have to be outside from dawn to dusk.” Frankly, this just sounds like their parents really didn’t like them that much and merely wanted them as far away as possible for as long as possible – normally somewhere dangerous, like the local quarry or disused abattoir. Probably one of the weirdest things my parents attempt to pretend was fun was being forced to

spend half their holidays (normally a week with their cousins in the next housing estate) writing postcards. “Oooooooh, do you remember writing postcards telling everyone how you missed them and wished they were there, even though we’d only been gone two days?” And after they’d recalled how they used to spend their days listening to the two albums they owned, over and over again, and spend all week waiting for Top of the Pops, only to discover the aerial on the


π The oldest person ever to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro was 87-year-old Frenchman Valtee Daniel. π Approximately 25,000 people try to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually. Around two-thirds are successful. Altitude-related problems are the most common reason climbers turn back. π Virtually every type of ecological system can be found on this mountain, including cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert, and an arctic summit. π In 2009 Alesha Dixon, Gary Barlow, Ben Shepard, Denise Van Outen, Cheryl Cole, Chris Moyles, Fearne Cotton, Kimberley Walsh and Ronan Keating conquered Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief.

TV had snapped, one of them might let it slip about just how LONG the summers seemed back then. “Do you remember how bored we used to be?” and everyone will laugh. “Yes! You could pass a whole day picking a scab you got a month before falling out of a tree.” At that point someone will remark about how young people these days never have scabs and how they’re missing out. OK, I admit that some of what they say sounds like it might have been fun. The freedom to go off for the day without any plans or schedules just to see where the day takes you. Simply having nothing to do, nowhere to be and not feel like I should be doing something. I know how lucky I am to have sports camps and holidays plans for this summer – but every week ‘I have something on’. I can’t imagine months ahead with nothing to do except sitting on a wall talking about Duran Duran (seems to have been what my mother did.) But I’d give it a go, for a couple of days, at least. Yes, we have our mobiles, festivals, more disposable income and activities coming out our ears but I wonder are we happier? In 30 years’ time will I be sitting around with my kids recalling how much fun it was spending our summer Snapchatting our friends all day long? Everyone looks back through rose-tinted glasses – although my parents would claim they wouldn’t have had anything near as fancy as sunglasses!

10 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018



MidasTouch Celebrity stylist Donna McCulloch chats to Davina Gordon about dressing the cast of Oscarwinning short film The Silent Child, her favourite fashion item, and living to stand out...


onna, originally from the Wirral, outside Liverpool, is prepping for a front cover shoot for Darling Magazine before our chat. Her subject is statuesque actress Rachel Fielding, known for New Tricks, Hotel Babylon and most recently, The Silent Child, which won an Academy Award for Best Short Film. The SulkyDoll stylist (a childhood nickname) has a background in speech therapy but retrained in her 30s to become a stylist. “I inherited some money and attended the London School of Styling. I was quite lucky, being older meant I brought different life skills to the job. I took it seriously, I didn’t turn up hungover. It meant much more to me. My big break was working on the bareMinerals campaign when they launched in 2015.” Donna met her Belfast-born husband at university and has a son (6) and daughter (12). She sees the vibrant city as a second home. When it comes to her work, Donna says style is different to everyone. “It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, not slavishly following trends. Know what suits you, don’t be forced to wear something that doesn’t. I don’t hold to societal expectations. I’m short with an hourglass figure, so I play to my strengths.” While the stylist has worked her sartorial magic on celebrities including comedian Roisin Conaty for the BAFTA Television Craft Awards, she also does personal styling for men and women wanting to reinvent their look. “It’s interesting. I think styling is a different form of therapy. I ask my clients who they want to be and how they want to come across. I give them a questionnaire and ask them to pinpoint

Above, Donna at Elan Cafe in Mayfair and left, actress Rachel Shenton Donna posing in her garden what they want out of the experience, to think of a time when they were happy and what they were wearing. It’s not always a wedding, more often, it’s being out for a meal on holiday and wearing a simple shift dress. Did that outfit contribute to their feeling of contentment at the time?” Donna describes her own style as edgy and glam with an inner rock chick. “I was on a beauty shoot recently and was told I had a real rock chick look. This surprised me, I didn’t think that was apparent but it’s interesting how people perceive you.” Donna, who has a different jumpsuit for every day of the week and lives to stand out, doesn’t think it’s frivolous to care about how you look. “The right outfit will give you confidence. That’s not to be trivialised.”


Her must-have accessories are belts. “I wear belts all the time, I want to show off my waist, but it’s astonishing how many women don’t even own a belt. For an

investment piece, I’d say a bag – it’s said to be a better investment than a house. Controversially, I wouldn’t say shoes. There’s a reason why they’re shoes, they get walked on, rained on, you can’t just keep them in a dust bag. However, if I’m working on a red carpet, I use Kurt Geiger, they’re mid range and good quality.” Her most prized possessions are a Gucci

bag and a McQueen travel bag. “It means even more to me now that Alexander McQueen is no longer with us.” However, you don’t need cash to burn to stand out from the crowd. “I’ve had clients with a budget of £300 right up to £30,000. The British high street is the best in the world. I think Zara is the best at translating catwalk trends, but Primark is also good. Kate Moss is my British style icon – she mixes high fashion with high street. You might see her with a Louis Vuitton bag and a Zara top, she’s also closely connected to Topshop. “Investing in accessories will take your outfit to the next level. A nice bag and a good belt are essential.” Besides Kate, Donna is equally admiring of Jennifer Lopez who rocked a structured Balmain gown at the Met Gala in New York in May. “She looks phenomenal and she sends such a strong body image. She is curvy but tiny. I adored her strong look.” Donna would love to style Colin Farrell and Kate Winslet. “Kate has an incredible figure, but she plays it a bit safe. It’s strange, because she is quite fearless in the roles she plays, I’d like to edge her up.” The straight-talking stylist admits to ‘ab-

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

solutely’ committing some fashion faux pas in the past. “I came of age in the ‘90s, so all sorts of stuff I’d rather not mention!” There is no right or wrong way to dress, according to Donna. “It’s down to what you feel comfortable in. It irks me when a woman comes to me and says their partner doesn’t like certain things on them.” On her blog Selfish Mother, she speaks about the loss of identity women can feel

Family Life | 11

From left, Rachel and Chris Overton, the cast and Donna with the Oscar after having children and the importance of not losing their sense of self. She says: “How I choose to dress is integral to who I am and all those elements that make me did not get discarded along with the placenta. “I get that not everyone wants to stand out,” but, she says, “in the words of Angelina Jolie, “stay weird”.


Icons: Jennifer Lopez and Kate Moss

Her proudest achievement to date was on Oscars night for The Silent Child, the story of a four-year-old deaf girl whose world is transformed when a

social worker teaches her to communicate. She styled its writer and lead Rachel Shenton as well as Rachel Fielding and two producers of the film ‘from head to toe’ for the awards ceremony. “It was an amazing project. There was so much love and heart in it. It was the perfect synergy between my former career as a speech therapist and my current role as a stylist.” The stylist would like to keep building on her illustrious career. “I’d like to do more red carpet, editorials, and really for the business to grow and grow. I hope I haven’t peaked too soon with the Oscars,” she laughs. She has some exciting projects coming

up but has to remain tight-lipped about them. “I can tell you I have an editorial for Arcadia and I’m dressing Rachel Shenton for Royal Ascot.” Donna has a few mantras she lives by. “I always think, ‘What would Elizabeth Taylor do?’ and ‘if it costs too much to your soul, it’s not worth it’. But really, just go with your gut and you can’t go too far wrong.” She will be taking a break in Portugal with her family and friends in August but she’ll not be packing a capsule wardrobe. “Don’t overpack but don’t leave yourself with limited choices either. Accessories are key too, they will pull your looks together. “You need to have clothes for the woman that you are today. I once packed seven pairs of shoes for a mini break in Rome.” ✸Follow Donna: Instagram @sulkydollstyling

12 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Hooked on crochet

From knitting to crocheting and quilting, it’s boom time for crafts with new groups and classes springing up all over the country. They offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind, meet new people, express one’s creativity and go home with something truly unique.


ou can usually find them through your local community centre, churches or craft shops, but also look out for places like the new Robin’s Hobby Cafe opposite the iconic Strand Cinema and arts centre on east Belfast’s Holywood Road.



ots of artists and crafters stick to a couple of different techniques. For an incredible range of unique and beautiful items, many of them fun, funky and functional, check out Fi Ingham at If you have an idea for something specific, she also takes commissions. We put a few questions to this multi media maestro:

Craft Month

If you love arts and crafts – so long as someone else has made them – check out some of the amazing work on sale at galleries, art centres and exhibition spaces. Check out for details of what’s happening for August Craft Month, the annual celebration of Northern Ireland’s creative community.

Emma is delighted at the rise in interest in her lifelong hobby. She realised there was a demand for classes while selling kits for knitting, crochet, sewing and felting at craft fairs. “Time and time again I came up against people saying ‘oh I could never do that’ or ‘I would be rubbish at it’. That got me thinking about taking a step back and teaching the crafts rather than selling the kits and so Flock Belfast was born! “The classes are very relaxed and there is no right

Crafty fun at a Flock Belfast class

or printing on fabric, glass and paper, and utilising fabric to create art pieces and art pictures. Each item is unique.

fabric or ceramic and range from £5-£10. Her decorative and functional plates are incredibly appealing and make great gifts. There are lots to choose from and the same goes for her colourful, handpainted fabric shoppers. Both ranges start at £10. Fi also makes bespoke fabric cushion covers with prices starting at £15. She’s offering a 40% summer discount on prints which include collographs/lino cuts/ mixed media (framed). Typically, that’s a reduction from £50 to £30. Finally, her crochet work including baby blankets and throws start from £50.

Follow it on Facebook to find out what’s going on there. A regular at Robin’s Hobby Cafe is ‘certified crochet-a-holic’ Emma Gibson. She has been teaching crochet to adults and children for years and recently set up Flock Belfast, running beginners’ classes for adults as well as one-off kids’ workshops at different venues and kids’ parties. Courses last four weeks with a class lasting two hours and cost just £35.

Q. Would you agree there’s a big rise in interest in hand crafted goods these days - either people wanting to learn how to make things themselves or buying from others? A. Absolutely. There is great satisfaction to be had from creating something. Those who do so, understand both the time and skill required. Making or buying a handmade piece brings pleasure, offers a more personal touch and allows for fun as well as functionality. Q. What are your favourite techniques? A. I love texture and colour. I graduated in Printed & Woven Textiles and upskilled in new techiques with print and fabrics; this equips me to create a three dimensional experience of colour, including painting

Q. What inspires you? A. That’s easy! Creation inspires me - it’s alive with colour and has huge variety within it. Fi believes: “Everyone should be able to enjoy having something that is truly unique at an affordable price.” Her blank greetings cards, which are primarily her own photographs of memories at home and abroad, are printed by a local firm and are sold at just 75p/£1 while at the other end of the spectrum, handmade lap quilts and throws start from £100. She also makes brooches which can be

or wrong – everyone finds their own way of holding a hook, or the wool. We have a lot of left handed crafters who have struggled for years and given up – all it takes is a bit of time and guidance and we now have a strong fleet of very confident crafters who are happy to give things a go. My current group are planning to stay on to the informal knit and natter group that we run on the same night as the classes, so we will continue with them and they have also made new friends in each other!” There are classes far and wide. At Mad About Fabric at Dargan Crescent there are knitting and crochet classes on Saturday mornings and the shop is planning to introduce upholstery classes too.

For further details, visit, find her on Facebook or email



ibraries NI is inviting everyone aged 15 and under to join the Big Summer Read 2018. This free, annual children’s reading event runs from Monday, July 2 – Friday, August 31, with this year’s theme being Sea to Shore. With summer holidays just around the corner, the Big Summer Read is a fun, interactive way to encourage children to keep reading during the summer. Throughout July and August, libraries across Northern Ireland will host a programme of fun, free activities highlighting all aspects of coastal life.

Events will include fascinating talks and workshops promoting stories about our rugged coastline, the launch of the beautiful new picture book: Molly and the Stormy Sea by Malachy Doyle, safety at sea talks by the RNLI, storytelling, craft sessions and more! Participants of the Big Summer Read will also have unique opportunities to enter competitions to win fantastic prizes. Competitions will be announced through the 96 branch libraries and 16 mobile libraries. For further information about Libraries NI’s

Mya is getting ready for the Big Summer Read at Portrush beach biggest ever programme of summer events, visit:

14 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018


t’s time to come out of the shadows and indulge in glorious colour. Summer is the perfect time to experiment with bright and bold eyeshadow. Glossy lips are back with a bang and no shade is off limits – from nudes to oranges and reds, the right lippy will enhance your pearly whites and beautifully finish your look. Skin should be flawless and glowing so whether it’s a dewy or natural finish or a golden goddess look you’re after, here are the top products that need to be in your make-up bag for this summer’s adventures in the sun. IT Cosmetics CC Cream Illumination gives skin a flawless glow and with SPF50+ it also offers protection, while Mii Flawless Face Base adapts to give a photo-perfect finish, ideal for those obligatory holiday Insta snaps. For an added touch of glamour try Inglot’s Sparkle Dust which can be used on the body too. Bronzer is a must and Chantecaille’s stunning packaging CC Cream Illumination, is hard to resist, while Mac’s £30, IT Hyper Real Glow is a fab palette Cosmetics of three highlighters with an irresistibly creamy powder formula. Urban Decay’s Beached Palette is perfect for looking smokin’, sipping pina coladas by the pool, and for those who don’t shy away from colour, Huda Beauty’s Electric Obsessions palette makes a bold statement. Let your eyes do the talking – Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes Volume 2 will make your peepers pop. For the perfect pout, Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color lip gloss locks in moisture with brilliant shine while NuSkin’s Powerlips range promises long-lasting colour while also nourishing lips. Mii’s Mineral Perfecting Pressed Powder evens skin tone and removes shine while a blend of circulation-boosting gemstones, organic jojoba and olive extracts means it doesn’t clog pores and it’s actually good for your skin – it’s a summer must-have!

Electric Obsessions, £25, Huda Beauty

Fashion Frantic Palette, £32, MAC

Flash and Awe Hyper Real Glow, £35, MAC Cosmetics Beached Eyeshadow Palette, £28, Urban Decay

Colour party

Flawless Face Base, £19.95, Mii Cosmetics

Sunkissed Face Gelee, £24.50, Clinique Sirena Bronzer, £68, Chantecaille

Fourever Glow Highlighter Compact, £29, Elizabeth Arden

Dare to Bare Bronzing Gel Pearls, £25, Elizabeth Arden

Mystical Lip Strobe, £17, Huda Beauty Pretty Obsessed Beautiful Color Liquid Lip Gloss Finish, £16, Elizabeth Arden

Sparkling Dust no 2, £15, Inglot Aqua Perfect Foundation, £17.50, No7

Legendary Marvel Mineral Lashes Exquisite Eye Volume 2, Colour, £13.50, £22.50, Mii Cosmetics Charlotte Tilbury

Skin Pop Berry Pop, £17, Clinique

Summer Collection Bronzing Palette, £31, Clarins

Summer Collection 4-Colour Pen, £28, Clarins

Bronze and Glow Powder, £42, Lancome

Fearless Powerlips fluid, £18.50, Nuskin

Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer Illumination, £23.50, IT Cosmetics

Marimekko Pop Lip Melon Pop, £17, Clinique

Instant Light Lift Comfort Oil, £19, Clarins

Collagen Lip Bath, £25, Charlotte Tilbury

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Six Super Skin



Looking a bit pasty? Breathe new life into your skin with our pick of the best serums and creams out there.


Pro-Collagen Super Serum Elixir, 15ml, £49.50, Elemis This super serum works on two levels. Beneath the surface, it helps cells maintain their optimal condition, which gives skin its bounce back and it effectively ‘fills in’ any existing fine lines and wrinkles.


Confidence in a Cream, 60ml, £38, IT Cosmetics A quick-absorbing super cream that is perfect for multiple skin types and can be used on its own or as a moisturising base to prepare your skin for make-up.

Family Life | 15

GLOW like J-Lo


Inglot Ireland has unveiled a gorgeous limited collection in partnership with global beauty icon Jennifer Lopez. The extensive colour line will bring Jennifer’s and Inglot’s vision of strong femininity to life and offer women diverse ways to express themselves through beauty. Here our some of our favourites from the 70-piece collection which includes powders, bronzers, lipsticks and shadows. Sure to be a hit are the Freedom System Palettes that let you customise your must-have palette for any occasion. Build the palettes online or in store, choosing a variety of products from the collection.

JLO Freedom System Palette (makeup not included), £14.50, Inglot

JLO Breathable Nail Enamel in Latte, £17, Inglot

JLO Pure Pigment Eye Shadow in Ethereal, £20, Inglot


JLO Viva Las Lashes Mascara, £21, Inglot


JLO Lipglossy Lip Gloss in Goldilips, £19, Inglot

Guinot Hydra Summum Moisturiser, £75, Guinot This moisturiser provides an innovative boost with an average 54% increase in moisture levels after one month of use. It leaves skin soft, supple, resilient and radiant.


Day Cream, 50ml, £100, Cult51 A beautifully scented cream, with SPF15, which sinks in quickly and leaves skin soft, smooth and firm while boosting skin’s moisture levels and addressing redness.

Optimal Skin ProSerum, 30ml, £51, ESPA This luxurious serum has a beautifully silky texture and is easily absorbed into the skin. The formulation is 99% natural and is suitable for all skin types and ages. ProSerum helps brighten and even skin tone and enhances elasticity.


Line Correcting Boosting Serum, £38, No7 This new fast acting noninvasive solution is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles thanks to its anti-wrinkle peptide technology.

JLO Lipstick in Besame, £17, Inglot

Slow Age Eyes, 15ml, £25, Vichy Slow Age combines three naturally inspired active ingredients and broad spectrum UV filters. This unique formula slows down the appearance of ageing signs. Its light fluid texture provides 24-hour hydration and is suitable for all skin types.


Eye Architecture Cream, 30ml, £45, Elequra This highly-effective eye cream is carefully crafted to care for this delicate area. Packed with peptides and hydrators, the restorative formula helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness.

GoHighBrow Just like a signature, brows are uniquely personal. With this in mind, Kat Von D has pushed the boundaries of innovation to create the ultimate brow collection for herself and everyone. What’s more, all products are 100% cruelty free and 100% vegan. Must-haves from the collection are:



They may be the windows to the soul but our eyes are also one of the first indicators of our age. It’s never too early to start using an eye cream... prevention is better than cure. However, if your skincare routine is a little wanting and your face is succumbing to deepening crows feet and dark eye bags, here are four awesome eye creams that will treat and revive this problem area.

1 Super Brow Long-Wear Pomade, £17, Kat Von D Beauty 2 Pomade Brow Brush, £16, Kat Von D Beauty 3 Signature Brow Precision Pencil, £17, Kat Von D Beauty 4 Browstruck Dimension Powder, £17, Kat Von D Beauty

2 4

3 Pucker and Pout

The new Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick launches with 40 incredible colours in three finishes: Satin Matte, Glimmer and Metallic. From nudes to brights to bold pops of colour, Studded Kiss offers a full spectrum for any lip look. Here’s our faves: 1 Studded Kiss in Muneca, £17 2 Studded Kiss in Lolita, £17 3 Studded Kiss in A-Go Go, £17

1 2 3


Anti Ageing Eye Serum, 15ml, £220, Revive Potent, lightweight and effective eye serum. It gives skin a smoother, more youthful appearance while helping visibly plump hollows, volumise and re-contour the delicate eye area. The look of dark circles, under-eye bags and crepiness is diminished.


Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal, 15ml, £65, Elemis This intensive eye cream contains a unique synergy of potent seaweeds and volcanic algaes that mimic the skin’s function for a visible restructuring effect on the eye area. This cream-gel texture glides on easily to dramatically smooth fine lines without overloading the delicate eye area or causing puffiness.

16 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Prepareandprotectyourskin SIX

As we shed our layers to feel the gorgeous rays from that fiery ball in the sky, make sure you protect your precious skin too. Whether you’re faking it or planning to tan naturally, make sure your skin is smooth and soft so you tan evenly. The sun is one of the biggest causes of premature ageing, so slather on the SPF on both your face and body. Keep all your sun protection in one place with a pretty Gem organiser bag from Mia Tui.

It’s only right that we ladies should have a few signature scents for the summer season. Here’s our top six fragrances... so fresh and summery, you’ll want to spritz yourself from head to toe.


Tropical Fruits Coconut & Lime Sugar Scrub, £6.95, The Somerset Toiletry Co. Gently exfoliate to reveal instantly smoother, healthier skin. Remove impurities by cleaning away excess oil and dirt and reveal radiant skin that’s less prone to blemishes.


Solid Sunscreen Wash SPF 30, £8.95, Lush Each third of the block offers enough sun protection to cover the whole body, so you can quickly and easily protect skin on the go. Enjoy scents of rose absolute, chamomile blue and eucalyptus blue oils.

4 5

Sun Logic Anti-Ageing Sun Cream Eyes, 15ml, £39.95, Guinot, available at This cream has been specially formulated to protect the fine and fragile skin in the eye contour area, which requires specific protection from the sun.

Summer 4

English Pear & Freesia Cologne, 30ml, £45, Jo Malone London

Aromatics in White, 30ml, £44, Clinique



Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF 30, £27.30, SkinCeuticals This sunscreen defends, enhances and optimises the entire eye area, including the eyelid. It provides broad spectrum UV protection without migrating into the eyes.


Wild Bluebell Cologne, 30ml, £45, Jo Malone London

Happy, 50ml, £44, Clinique


Daily Defence Shield SPF 30, 40ml, £46, Elemis This broad spectrum sunscreen helps protect the skin from environmental microparticles and harmful UV rays.


Sun Logic Anti-Ageing Sun Cream Face, 50ml, £39.95, Guinot, available at The high protection formula protects the skin against sunburn and UV rays, which cause skin ageing.




Gommage Biologic, £33, Guinot This natural exfoliant with gentle fruit acids removes dead skin cells for new and radiant skin.


Beau and Gem Toiletry Bag, £10 & £12, Mia Tui These organiser bags can be used for toiletries, makeup and sun creams with elasticated pockets making your products easy to find.


Bloom & Glow Radiance Restoring Face Oil, £20.50, This potent oil with chia seed and sea buckthorn has been named by the Good Housekeeping Institute as their best facial oil of 2018. Perfect for sensitive RADIANCE skin, this is your IN A BOTTLE recipe for gorgeous, glowing, radiant skin.


Clementine California, 30ml, £55, Atelier Cologne


Botanical Essence, 50ml, £54, Liz Earle

Luxury Tanning


ward-winning Irish brand Bellamianta provides a wide range of clean, nutritious, luxury athome and professional tanning solutions to suit every skin type and tone. Bellamianta aims to bring you the ultimate tanning experience every time with none of the dreaded snakeskin effect. Through the use of odour neutralising technology, there

is no fake tan smell. The tanning range contains premium grade DHAs which are bursting with natural fruit extracts such as mango, papaya and goji berry. Plus, the formulae are enriched with shea butter and aloe vera which contain vitamins A, C and E which soothe and restore elasticity. Here are our favourites from the range, available at stockists nationwide.


Scrub your way to smooth, beautiful skin with this Coffee Scrub from Another World Belfast. It’s vegan and cruelty-free as well as completely natural and ethically sourced from the finest Fair Trade coffee. Himalayan salt, sea salt, olive and almond oil combine to give fantastic moisture post scub. Another World Belfast is the brainchild of Connor Kerr, a former in-demand hair stylist and now an activist for funding humanitarian aid ‘from the ground up’. The focus is on refugee assistance, support for local homeless

charities including The Homeless Period amongst other initiatives such as The Love Box. Currently, the Coffee Scrub is available from Belfast Flea which happens once a month and Another World Belfast sale days on June 10, July 8 and August 12. £15 for 250g. Visit @anotherworldbelfast



Self Tanning Tinted Lotion, £16.99


Self Tanning Tinted Mousse, £19.99

Self Tanning Tinted Liquid, £12



Skin Perfecting Instant Tan, £14.99

Self Tanning Gradual Moisturiser, £14.99


Self Tanning Clear Mousse, £19.99

18 | Family Life

Barry, Morag, Orlagh, Finn and Tobin on holiday in Yorkshire

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018 The kitchen/diner with its unique lights and recycled larder doors, opens onto the garden, Morag’s next project

The wood floors were added by the couple

Morag’s home is proof that big I ideas don’t need to cost the earth


t’s hard to maintain eye contact when you visit Morag Stuart’s home for the first time – and probably the second and third time too. It’s impossible to ignore all the quirky, pretty, interesting and eye-catching things waiting to distract you. From the distinctive dragonfly door-knocker, to the stained glass window in the upstairs hallway, the eye is constantly drawn to some detail or combination of colours or patterns. No doubt actor Thandie Newton had a similar experience two years ago when Morag’s garage was being used for filming a scene in the series Line of Duty. “It was one of the strangest things – we had the film crew and Thandie Newton hanging about the kitchen,” she recalls. Morag, who’s from England, had just finished up for the day at Young at Art, where she works on events, and picked up Orlagh (12), Finn (10) and Tobin (8) from school when we arrived. She and husband Barry McSorley and the children moved into this lovely brick, five bedroom Victorian home in Ballyhack-

A retro sideboard sets off the display amore about eight years ago from a smaller house in the same area. They employed architect Sarah Macauley to help them make a few structural changes and adapt the house to modern family living, while respecting its original

The kitchen is white with distinctive pops of colour

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 19

The hallway is lit by a test tube chandelier (above) sourced from Etsy. It is also home to a colourful display of plates which chime with the painting by Emic, the chair, upholstered by Morag, and rug which she waited years to find

The printer’s tray (above) is one of the many curios in this bright, comfortable family room (top) which is now easily accessible from the kitchen features. “It had been a much-loved family home but we were keen to open it up a bit,” says Morag. They knocked through and joined three rooms together to create a spacious kitchen and dining area with bifold doors through to the garden. “Everyone spends their entire time in here now and it’s great to have the garden so accessible,” she adds. The other alteration was to create a route from the kitchen to the family room. “The family room was off the kitchen but you had to walk down a corridor to get to it so we put a door through there as well.”


With the shapes they wanted and drawing on their experience of doing up their pre-

The family room, hall and living room

vious home, Morag set to work at a relaxed pace. The result is an eclectic, light-filled house where the mainly white palette provides a perfect backdrop for her stunning colour combinations. “I don’t do a room overnight and think, ‘that’s it done’. It can take years. It’s taken three or four years to spot the perfect rug for the hall.” While Barry takes an interest in the ongoing evolution of his home, he bows to his wife’s talents in this area. “I’m far more into interiors than my husband and he trusts my taste by now but if there was something he didn’t like, he’d speak up,” she says. “I very much like the sense of repurposing and reusing things and we wanted to keep as much of the original house as possible.” Wooden kitchen cupboard doors now front a high larder while old curtain fabric has been used for cushion covers. “I would love to be able to do more of that,” says Morag. “We have an excellent joiner and plumber and like giving them work and leaving them to be creative as well – you’re not

Morag’s ‘AWESOME’ holiday memento

20 | Family Life

Conor McSorley designed the distinctive lamps and (top) Morag had the McSorley’s book cover enlarged only getting something unique but you’re supporting local workmanship as well, which I think is important. “We did the house up one room at a time and to a very strict budget. I don’t think you should rush into these things.” Their biggest expense was replacing many of the carpets with wide plank oak flooring. “We did the kitchen first because we felt it would make the greatest difference to our lives.” Barry’s brother Conor, an electrician, created the first thing you notice when entering the bright, airy kitchen – the set of three pendant lights over the big rustic table. “He wasn’t too sure about using industrial piping at first but he was won over,” says Morag.

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Morag had Finn’s bedroom furniture made (above). The bright yellow door to his en suite was already in the house The bathroom sink is from the science labs at Queen’s where Barry studied, while a chandelier inside the front door continues the reference as it comprises lots of test-tubes set into two rings. Items that have an association with her own family are also cherished. “I think not living near my family means things that remind me of them mean more to me. My grandmothers have passed away in the last few years and being able to bring something over and having something of them in this home is really good.” Inherited treasures aside, the house bears witness to Morag’s artistic flair and impeccable taste. It’s an uncluttered celebration of colour, with favourite motifs, like peacock feathers, appearing, not in a

show-offy way but subtly and unexpectedly. The family room, just off the kitchen, had been decorated in a mid-century style and was the second room to receive the Morag treatment. Pride of place goes to a huge framed picture of a book cover, McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon, over the fireplace. “That was actually an old Penguin book that a friend found in a junk shop - it’s a well known story about the pub in New York. I got it blown up as a surprise for Barry.” Finding finishing touches like that come from being constantly open to creative solutions. “It’s a case of thinking, ‘what could I do with that’ and having the guts to do it, or finding people to do it for you.” The room perfectly showcases Mor-


“Everything has got to mean something to me, whether it’s a piece of furniture that we have inherited or brought from a previous home or picked up when travelling,” she explains, pointing out the tiles on top of a dresser in the kitchen that spell out the word Awesome. “We got those on holiday in San Francisco and started with the letters O and M for Orlagh and Morag.” There are lots of Belfast references through the house with a huge, framed map of the city in the kitchen and posters from Belfast’s time hosting the international cycle race the Giro d’Italia in the utility room, because, “Barry did the Giro and he cycles to work along the Comber Greenway.”

The living room with its bespoke table and Morag’s granny’s clock above the fire

ag’s eye for decor with a retro sideboard flanked by a striking floor lamp and interesting collectibles, such as a printer’s tray and tiny replica Harland and Wolff crane.


The living room is furnished with big slouchy couches and a coffee table inlaid with a pattern which picks up on the fireplace tiles. “There was an ‘80s fireplace in here which we felt had the wrong dimensions for the room so we sourced an original Victorian fireplace from Barewood Salvage in Belfast. I found the art nouveau tiles at Bloomfield Auctions - it’s really unusual to find a full set of tiles so we were very lucky there. I commissioned England based designer Lucy Turner to make the Formica coffee table because I love her furniture and wanted it to match the tiles.” When the fire’s lit, the flickering light brings out the peacock hues from the tiles, the table, peacock feathers on the mantlepiece and the beautiful turquoise oil lamps. “At our wedding, we had an oil lamp at every table and my mum gifted me them years later. The clock came from my granny. I like having it because it was hers.” Even the hallway is given its place, with the original corridor running between the kitchen and family room sporting three huge portraits of the children photographer Fiona Jamieson and in the corner, an eye-catching arrangement of colourful Anthropologie plates above the dresser, a chair which picks up on the colour combination and taking pride of place, a stunning painting entitled ‘Disconnect’ by street artist Emic depicting a dragon-

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 21

The framed artwork in the main bathroom is made from Avoca wrapping paper. (Inset) one of the other bathrooms contains a sink from Queen’s science labs, a nod to Barry’s student days bathroom when you don’t have babies.” Again, Morag’s frugality, creative mind and good taste are to the fore in the main bathroom where a striking botanical picture turns out to be framed wrapping paper from Avoca. In Finn’s bedroom, the floor is tough vinyl and there’s an en suite with a cheerful yellow sliding door, again repurposed from elsewhere in the house. Plenty of storage makes for a functional room and it’s finished with Morag’s signature style. “The boys had a shared room but I had this bed and shelving made by the joiner, Gerry.”


The living room with its bespoke table, oil lamps and (right) art nouveau tiles fly against a vivid red background. Red, turquoise and yellow are clearly favourites of hers. I’m impressed that she upholstered the armchair herself in Ikea African-inspired fabric. “I do make things - lots of cushion covers and the chair and the lampshade. It’s not done to perfection though. It’s a matter of quickly getting it done. I am really into colour - that red and turquoise

is a bit obsessive,” she acknowledges with a laugh. The couple decided on a few further structural changes when they turned their attention to the upper floors. “We changed the big family bathroom into a bedroom and put bathrooms into two of the box-rooms and I think that’s a good use of space because you don’t need a big

She had Co. Down designer Donna Bates, whose lighting has since figured in high profile exhibitions in London, create the chair and headboard in her bedroom. “We used fabric from my wedding dress in the headboard,” says Morag. Again, the peacock motif is present and the window blind is from an Orla Kiely duvet cover. While the overall impression is of quality and ease, the family haven’t spent lots of money on the house. “Nothing is horribly valuable or anything and if I buy high street stuff it might be just from Debenhams. It can take a bit of time to source the right thing but I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on anything. I couldn’t justify spending thousands of pounds on a sofa.” She says people have more to choose from these days, when styling their home. “There hasn’t been that much choice in the past. There’s not a big secondhand or vintage scene here – there was for a while but I think it’s dried up a bit which is a shame. Some people don’t enjoy the process but I do. It’s great fun finding things that don’t cost the earth, blowing pictures up and so

Donna Bates designed this chair and the headboard (inset) for her bed on. My granny was an artist and I’ve inherited some of her sketches and I’m going to get those enlarged too.” Often people who are into collecting things can end up with a lot of clutter and Morag says a lecture she heard some years ago never left her. “The lecturer spoke about ‘the rolled up carpet at the top of the stairs’ – it can lie there for years and people stop seeing it. It’s a good idea sometimes to just take a fresh look and spot things – if you don’t really like them, pass them on.” Far from striving for a showhouse, the McSorleys’ home is welcoming and friendly. Rather than leaving consumed with envy, visitors tend to depart full of ideas and inspiration for their own homes. Morag says there are particular challenges with older houses. “You’re not going to get perfection in an old house with its lumps and bumps and drafts.” But who needs perfect when you can have beautiful.

22 | Family Life

Dine in style

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018


he surge in demand for spacious kitchens, with dining area included, has influenced a new raft of dining suite styles. While the versatile wooden table is still very popular, whether it’s old and worn or pristine and modern, there are also lots of options with materials more commonly found in the kitchen. A new phenomenon is ceramic topped dining tables for a thoroughly modern, functional and beautiful design. They are going down a storm with Italian design companies such as Calligaris and Callisto in the USA, available from Harvey Norman. Glass is making a comeback for dining tables as well as beautiful, natural marble. Mix up the colours of your chairs or add a bench for style and extra seating. Round tables also lend themselves to squeezing in an extra chair, while for entertaining friends, extendable tables are the way to go.

MARBLE: Carlow Dining Table £899, Console Table £599, Small Sideboard £799, Hutch £749, Elsa Dining Chair £129ea, Harvey Norman

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 23

San Quentin Tahoe Rectangular Dining Table, £799, and Titus Vintage Leather Dining Chair, £229 ea,

GLASS: Lucci Extending Dining Table £1499, Calvino Chair £179, Harvey Norman

CERAMIC: Callisto Extending Dining Table £1099, Aletta Chair £169ea, Harvey Norman 12 piece marble dinner set, £38, Next

Contemporary Italian made Priamo Extending Dining Table with a Ceramic Top by Target Point, £1987.50, A round table is perfect for a smaller space Black accent colours are in and this shiny black cutlery set from A by Amara makes a style statement, 24 piece set, £250, range of stockists

Alessini Children’s Cutlery Set in 18/10 stainless steel by Alessandro Mendini for Alessi, £22 ‘70s Bubble glass carafe, £15, and wine glass, £7.50, www.


Silentnight Connect fold out sofa bed, from £899, range of stockists

Isaac day bed with trundle can convert up to king size, bronze, £249, Harvey Norman


o you need an extra bed for guests but don’t want to have to lug one in and out of the house? A bed settee is a good option and can be stylish, functional and comfortable when being used as either a bed or settee. They come in many styles and sizes but can take up a lot of space when extended. For a small room, a futon or a day bed could be better solutions. A futon functions as a low, armless settee during the day and folds out to a double mat-

Mix and match colours. Mark Webster chairs, available from a range of stockists

tress as required. The mattresses are thinner than a bed mattress so they aren’t ideal for those who love luxury. They’re best for teens as a guest bed for sleepovers, or for students as they are so easy to set up and they make practical use of space. People who struggle to get out

of a low seat won’t thank you for them. The day bed is a versatile option, especially if you’re stuck for space as they stay as they are. They come in a huge range of styles – from vintage wrought iron to wood, rattan or fabric covered frames. They’re suitable for one person

Indiana futon, £179, Dreams

unless you opt for one with a trundle which can be tucked underneath, but they do boast a proper deep, 3 feet wide mattress for a comfy night’s sleep. You’ll need cushions for the back for when you’re using it as a settee, unless you don’t mind your feet sticking straight out in front of you.

24 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Bright and


Crown’s Monday Blues theme includes a Hall & Stairs paint range which can be used on wood and metal work too - one colour across all creates a harmonious feel Pitch Blue and Calke Green from Farrow & Ball

RETRO PEACH: The HN Interiors new collection of floral digital prints can be seen on gorgeous velvet feather-filled cushions. They’ve chosen furniture with a contemporary feel, but with materials that are warm and nostalgic. Cushions from £18, Biza Leather Armchair £999, Hamburg Bookcase £499


ummer is ideal for bringing a fresh look into the home and with the vast variety of colours, styles and fabrics available now, it’s never been easier to find a mix that you’ll love living with. It’s too early to sound the death knell for the nation’s love affair with grey. It remains an enduring favourite, however, there is no doubt that warm beiges and creams are back in vogue, as well as fresher base tones, like a soft peach. All sorts of berry shades, from dark purple to bright red, are huge this spring/ summer, along with fresh shades of green and blue. Harvey Norman’s Beeten track is based on the pale greens and purple shades of celery and beetroot with the shades combining in homewares and paint.

This is the year to not only embrace gold but go a step further and marry it with yellow. Harvey Norman’s ‘Gilty Pleasures’ trend has been influenced by the resurgence of the arts and crafts movement; a movement

that advocates a return to traditional methods of crafting. Clean colour For anyone planning to get decorating, look out for scrubbable paints for walls

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 25 Dulux’s Reflect theme is full of rich jewelly blues, greens and purples with gold accents

’GILTY PLEASURES’: The hero of this look is the ‘Zoey’ Chaise Sofa, shown in mustard quilted velvet and also available in more muted tones. Zoey Chaise Sofa, £1,299, Harvey Norman that come in for a lot of abuse from messy kids – they are now available in the full spectrum of colurs. Dulux captures the berries and greens theme with its Reflect palette which has bluey-greens and rich purples for a vintage luxe vibe, complemented by gold accessories. It ups the ante with much brighter, tropical pinks, blues and greens for its fun Escapades palette while its other key theme for the year is Kinship, full of earthy terracottas and natural greens paired with natural wood, wicker and stone and the occasional black accent.

‘BEETEN TRACK’: Maximus Corner Sofa £1,699. Textured Oval Glass Pendant Light £85, Harvey Norman

Farrow & Ball’s Wisteria wallpaper takes up the yellow theme

For the most part, Crown Paints opts for more muted shades of blue, green, purple and pink with the occasional flash of bright, leafy green for jazzing up furniture. Farrow & Ball is embracing the move towards surprising colour combinations with themes such as its jewelly Pitch Blue and Calke Green which are used in equal measure, rather than one being there for accent.

26 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Materialmatters ✸

Apart from shifting shades, materials also come and go and much of the modern style is about light reflecting surfaces which can brighten up any room. Clear acrylic, mirrored and glass finishes provide your home with a light, airy feel that can help create the illusion of space, especially useful in smaller rooms. Easy to clean and always modern, glass tops can fit

Kelly Hoppen by Resource Decor Parker Table Lamp, £799,

effortlessly into any existing decor. The instant attraction of marble is its sense of heritage as a natural material formed thousands of years ago. While it never went out of fashion, it’s rarely been as in demand as it is this year, not only for kitchens and bathrooms but throughout the home in the shape of accessories. Versatile wood ages beautifully and brings character to the home. Not only does it offer warmth to a space, but also a sense of calmness, and it can be adapted to changing interior trends.


Pia Gold Block Frame £20, Oliver Bonas


metals W

hether your style is modern or traditional, minimalist or eclectic, no scheme is complete without the main must-haves... plants, metallics and statement lights. You can combine lots of different elements when accessorising a room – with glass, wooden, marble or metallic plant pots. Brass and copper are warm and enriching while gold is gorgeous in any scheme.

LIFE: Keep your houseplants looking their best by checking how to care for them. There’s nothing as disappointing as buying a plant in mint condition and watching it die in front of your eyes. The maidenhair fern loves having its leaves sprayed with water daily while dracaena thrives on neglect and will go brown if over-watered. If you’ve given up on ever being able to grow anything indoors, there are many variations on faux plants available, from the realistic to the zany.

Cross Bottom Marble Table, £180, A by Amara Find quality that won’t go out of date with Everyday Luxe items from Harvey Norman: Mirrors from £50 Calex LED Full Glass Filament Globe £18, Cushions from £20, Harvey Norman

Set of four tumbler glasses, £20, Next

Bloomingville Art Deco Wall Clock - Gold Black, £49, Amara

5A Rose Gold Clock, £30, Dunelm

Faux succulents in gold pot, £10 ea, Debenhams Set of three marble succulents, £18, Next

Glass Vase £25, Faux Flowers from £4, Harvey Norman

Notre Monde Midnight Raspberry Organic Glass Tray, 30cm, £59, Amara

Maidenhair ferns love mist

Hammered Gold Tone Cased Candle, £9.99, TK Maxx

Wellington Rug, Citrine, £65 - £320, John Lewis

Olivia Console Table £249 and Sunrays Mirror £210, Harvey Norman

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 27

Switchedon A vital part of getting any room looking its best is the lights. There have been huge changes in lighting in recent years with LED leading the way on a technological front and from a design perspective, the choices are practically endless. Lights not only help you achieve a warm and welcoming ambience, they can also be the perfect final touch if you just need one more splash of colour, dash of metal or glamorous statement piece.

Amara table lamp, £38, Next

Mango wood floor lamp, £129, Dunelm

Coco ceiling lamp in copper, £99,

Latham large light, £200, Harvey Norman

Light-up globes from £90, Harvey Norman

Handmade Crystal Brampton Chandelier £ 420,

Hereford 3 Way Clear Antique Brass & Pigeon, £525, www.

28 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Greatdays outwith



upport the National Trust and feast your eyes on some of the lushest gardens in the country with the Ulster Gardens Scheme. The series got underway at the end of May with the McCracken’s garden at Kircubbin and this month brings a wealth of opportunities to draw inspiration from gardens in a range of settings. All the participants open their grounds from 2–5pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with most including a plant stall and refreshments for visitors. First up is Holly House garden at Nutts Corner on June 16–17. This six -acre site, belonging to Will Hamilton, has woodlands, herbaceous borders and an iris garden, wildlife pond and a contemporary garden too. On June 23–24 it’s over to Islandmagee for Cherry Townsend’s beautiful, organic

garden with views over Larne Lough. Highlights include the beds for cut flower production, cottage garden, orchard and veg and herb gardens. The month ends with a return, after a break of 18 years, to Alan and Esme Stewart’s garden in Crumlin. They have a four acre woodland garden and a one acre cottage garden with a section given over to roses.

Visit the award-winning Azeem, Dr and Mrs Z Huda’s garden at Dungannon, with its waterfalls and fountains, on July 7-8. August opens with a visit to the McKelvey’s garden at Bessbrook, near Newry, with its superb collection of alpines and clematis followed on August 11-12 by Mrs A Buchanan’s Magherafelt garden which featured in the BBC Television ‘Secret Gardens’ and is described and illustrated

in Shirley Lanigan’s ‘The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland’. A number of gardens across Northern Ireland are also open by appointment in aid of the National Trust. Admission is £4 and you can find further details, including directions, at or follow Ulster Gardens Scheme on Facebook and @UlsterGardensScheme on Twitter.

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph


Family Life | 29


rost-free nights mean it’s finally time for all those summer bedding plants you’ve grown from seed or bought as plugs to go into the ground. Water is the primary concern for helping them to get well established and they’ll need plenty over the next few months. With colourful flowers and lush foliage increasing by the day, any gaps are in

plain view. Adding a container grown herbacious perennial, like a lupin or some bright erysimum (wallflowers) could be just the finishing touch you need, or pop down to the garden centre and pick up more bedding plants for instant summery colour. Many will last right into winter, such as osteospermum, the daisy, or antirrhinum (snapdragon). Go for dahlias, calendula or marigolds for hot oranges and

Hozelock Watering Globes drip water into the compost for up to a fortnight, approx £10.99 for 3 from stockists

Go potty

yellows. Geranium and Stock are fragrant additions and you can’t beat lots of purple or white lobelia tumbling delicately over the edges of walls. Don’t forget to keep on top of those weeds and if you didn’t mulch in springtime, why not do it now? A good layer of bark, well rotted manure or compost can help the soil retain moisture. It gradually breaks down, adding nutrients to the soil

around the roots and helps repress weeds. Among the stars of the garden in June are roses but warm and wet days can contribute to the problems besetting these colourful and often fragrant shrubs so check for fungal diseases such as black spot, rust or powdery mildew and remove any affected leaves. Greenfly, blackfly and whitefly can also wreak havoc with the blooms.

A typical hanging basket collection includes geraniums, fuchsias, petunias and trailing lobelia. Image from Thompson Morgan, www.


hile gardeners with greenhouses may have a headstart, being able to plant up their perfectly sheltered hanging baskets and window boxes as early as March and unveil their lush and colourful arrangements now, everyone else tends to get down to this enjoyable task from late May on. There’s barely a part of the home or garden that can’t be enhanced with a stylish container, window box or hanging basket. If you’re planning your first hanging baskets, aim to hang them somewhere you can easily reach them as they thrive on lots of TLC. If you expect to have difficulty reaching up, a device like the Darlac Hi-

Low enables the gardener to pull hanging baskets down by about 80cm. Whether you want to get to work on hanging baskets or other types of containers, they all require the same basics – good compost, good drainage, plenty of feed and regular watering. You can give them a hand by adding water storing crystals to the soil at the time of planting or add a water globe – a glass ball which you can fill with water which then drips via a funnel into the container for up to a fortnight. There are lots of options for lining a hanging basket - a plastic liner will retain water while a moss liner, while pretty, allows the water to run right through. You can include a water retaining mat to help the basket from drying out. Add a slow release fertiliser at planting time to provide additional nutrition to the plants throughout the summer or feed weekly with a liquid feed that’s high in potassium like tomato feed for the healthiest looking flowers.


It may sound like a no-brainer but make sure the tallest plants are at the back of

The Hi-Low enables you to lower the hanging basket by almost a metre, making it easy to water, approx £5.99 from stockists your window box, with smaller plants in front and trailing plants to the front. For hanging baskets, the tallest plants go in the middle. Don’t be so preoccupied by the thought of that brilliant splash of colours from the flowers that you overlook the foliage. Ensuring that you include some leafy plants or pure foliage adds a luxe look to your containers. Popular options for containers include verbena, petunia, lobelia, begonia, fuchsia, million bells, bacopa, diascia, geranium, or alyssum. For the best effect, have a couple of containers or baskets similarly planted, rather than every one being different. For the best results, place your containers in a sunny spot.

30 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

It’s open season for outdoor feasting. Georgina Hatch finds out what’s hot and what’s not for al fresco dining...


t’s finally here and we just can’t ignore it. What is it about summer that makes us go mad and shed our jerseys and leggings to deliberately turn our skin beetroot red, or become accidental arsonists as we incinerate innocent steaks and chops and ditch our dinner dishes for paper plates and plastic glasses and cutlery? Yes, summer is the period when we love to eat outside whether the sun is shining or not and even if we have to invest in a patio heater! I always know when summer has arrived as the information filters through via various smells and sounds, all associated with food. The acrid scent of burning charcoal laced with lighter fluid; the sizzling sounds of sausages cooking on the barbecue; the chatter and natter of friends and family; the shrieks of the children as they try to (ahem….) I took it upon myself to samsteal another burger from the griddle. ple some of the new foodie offerings Plus, the queue is a mile long outside currently appearing on supermarket our famous local ice-cream merchant shelves. If kebabs are your thing, who takes advantage of the season how about a delicious combination to experiment with flavours such as of chicken, bacon and apple or vintage lime ripple and chocolate sticky salmon skewers? Burgers and sea-salted caramel. have turned exotic with a variety of There has never been a better flavours including lentil and beettime to socialise outdoors and to root. The good old steak or pork do it in style. Bangers and burgers bangers have been replaced with may remain perennial favourites unusual specimens that include but there is no reason now to Spanish pork and white bean stick with the traditional barbie Dot this solar hanging or Mediterranean chicken with food. Supermarkets appear to glass ball throughout sundried tomato. All tempting be in a war of the sublime as the garden to create enough to tear open that bag of they introduce new ranges for a warm glow on a charcoal right now! our al fresco culinary delight. summer’s evening, As research for this article £12, National Trust


20 multi-coloured Festoon Lights, £35,

An ingenious space saving design makes the Go-Anywhere Charcoal Barbecue easy to pack and store with folding legs that help to hold the lid in place during transport, £79.99,

Pack a picnic Of course, cooking on fire is not our only option for outdoor summer adventures. My personal favourite is the picnic. Yes, the word initially conjures up the sand-coated meat-paste sandwiches and warm cola drinks of my youth, but these days picnics have become a rather sophisticated affair. And I’m not just talking about the food. How you set your table is just as important and the supermarket displays are fairly ablaze with colour as they array the options for your personal selection.

This compact VonShef 4 Person Red Geo Picnic Backpack holds a complete set of stainless steel cutlery, together with lightweight plates and glasses for four plus a handy chopping board and cheese knife, a small cruet set, bottle opener and matching napkins. The cooling compartment is just the job for keeping salads and sandwiches cool and fresh, £32.99,

Paper plates have been transformed from the thin white bendy paper of old into beautiful, sturdy platters that are almost too good to use and throw away. Featuring patterns that range from classic garden roses to gaudy abstract paintings, the plates can be teamed with matching cups, napkins and cutlery. If paper is not your choice, there is a wide selection of vibrant melamine picnic-ware that comes with complementary accessories such as serving platters, jugs and lightweight rugs. And I haven’t even mentioned the accompanying décor that includes outdoor

Pack the perfect picnic with this Wicker Insulated Picnic Basket for two. Plenty of space but not so large that carrying it is some sort of endurance test, it has an insulated, zipped, chilled compartment. Comes with proper china plates, glass wine glasses, stainless steel cutlery and corkscrew, £35. www.

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 31 Perfect for enhancing the atmosphere in your outdoor space, these spherical boulder style lights add a soft glow to your terrace or patio and blend seamlessly into a natural environment when switched off, £100,

Flamingo LED Neon Light is made from flexible acrylic tubing and powdered by batteries, £24.99,

Rainbow bistro set, £279, and local stockists

Red Devil 30cm Table Top Ceramic BBQ is small enough to fit on a table top whilst looking chic, £399,

Indoor Outdoor Hanging Chair comes with a hanging stand or can be suspended for a different look, £375,

Retro watermelon set of two deckchairs, £55, George at Asda


lamps, decorative paper lanterns, scatter cushions, vases filled with silk blooms and elaborate candle holders. As for food, picnic fare has become inventive. Yes, you might still be served the odd egg and cress sarmie, but it’s more likely these days that you will enjoy mouth-watering options such as fresh fruit kebabs served with minted yoghurt dip, frittata, falafel wraps, vivid salad combinations served in jars, Eton Mess or homemade chocolate brownies and elderflower and cucumber G and Ts. The nice thing about picnics is that they are portable, so you can hold them in the comfort of your own garden or transport them to the nearest beach or beauty spot. It’s a great, easy way to entertain. There is something about eating outdoors that seems to bring out the summer in people. Maybe it’s the sense of commu-

Flamingo print drinks dispenser, £20, Next nity as everyone mucks in to prepare the table and serve The VonShef Tawny Orange Picnic Blanket is easy to the food. Or just the sheer joy carry and is extra large (147 X 180cm) so there’s plenty of having your first morning of room for everyone. Made from hardwearing polyester, coffee on the patio instead the blanket has a fleecy feel and waterproof PEVA of huddled in front of the heater. backing, £12.99, Perhaps it’s the chance to eat something other than egg, beans and chips just because it’s Tuesday. It could when it’s eaten outdoors, especially if there be the banter that inevitably takes place happens to be a campfire and cool-boxes around the grill or the good-natured gossip nearby. that’s freely shared. Not to mention the Whatever it is, the Northern Ireland odd bevy or two….. summer seems synonymous with outdoor Or it could be just the known fact that eating. We don’t even seem to mind the whatever we eat, food simply tastes better midges!

If you are entertaining or just organising dinner outside for the family, here are some tips to make your life easier: When lighting a barbecue, don’t go mad with the lighter fluid – firelighters work just as well and are much safer. If you are a visitor, stay away from the barbie! A grill has only one master and even well-meaning advice on how to turn the chops will not be welcomed. Other forms of help are acceptable, especially when serving up and clearing away. If you are the host, don’t under-cater. It’s better to eat left-overs for a week than not have enough food to go around. Leave the booze to be taken with or after the meal, not before. Invite people to arrive shortly before you are ready to dish up so that they don’t get too hungry – or thirsty. Light up your garden; wonderful lighting can transform a garden so think of fairy lights or battery-powered candles. If you have invited children, set up an entertainment corner to keep them occupied while the adults relax. Offer simple activities such as face painting or give every child a cheap, plain white tee-shirt with some fabric paints and get them designing their own unique tops.

34 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Learning is fun at the Cool Planet Experience

The school holidays are almost here and with several weeks of glorious summertime ahead make sure to schedule in some time to explore Ireland with your family. Here are 20 great familyfriendly ideas for a memorable start.


Have a sleepover with a difference Five millennia of history is showcased at the Irish National Heritage Park, Ferricarrig, Co Wexford. Try a family sleepover in a replica 1,500-year-old ring fort, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that the kids are bound to love.


Go hiking in the woods The Dublin Mountains are but a short hop from the city centre – and easily accessible too. Tibradden Wood offers great views of the sprawling capital and there’s a zipline for those after a pulse-quickening experience!


Investigate our animal life There’s an incredible diversity of animal life along our shoreline and the Sea Synergy and Activity Centre at Waterville, Co Kerry, is the perfect destination for nature lovers. There are shore rambles with expert guides, snorkelling courses and even a guided beach walk at night.


Learn about your ancestry The CHQ Building in Dublin’s financial services centre (IFSC) boasts a plentiful range of restaurants and cafes and it’s also home to EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum. Here you can learn about the impact generations of Irish have had on the world stage.


Have an adventure The picturesque, medieval town of Carlingford, Co Louth, is a must-see for history buffs, and – thanks to the Carling-

A day at the beach is a perennial favourite

Irish National Heritage Park

Summerfamily funstartshere

ford Adventure Centre – it’s also a perfect destination for thrill-seekers. Try zorbing, rock-climbing and kayaking.


Visit a great lighthouse The magnificent beacon of Hook Head Lighthouse has been guiding ships on this stretch of the Irish Sea for almost 800 years. The nearby Dunbrody Famine Ship and Irish Emigrant Experience is another unmissable Wexford attraction.


Explore a great National Park Connemara is one of six National Parks in Ireland and the rugged and wild landscape of the Derrygimlagh bog near Clifden is especially captivating, not least when you walk around what’s left of Marconi’s cable operation.

city centre. The hardy can swim at Sandycove’s famous Forty Foot and a stroll along Dun Laoghaire Pier is all the better with a Teddy’s icecream.


Take a nature walk with a difference Ards Forest Park is located in Sheephaven Bay, Donegal, and is the ideal place to get close to nature – no matter how young. The specially–designed boardwalk was constructed with buggies in mind.


Cycle an old rail line The Waterford Greenway is a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail along the old railway line that used to connect Waterford city with the historic port of Dungarvan. Its a superbly scenic route to appeal to all the family.







Tour Dublin differently The amphibious vehicles of Viking Splash Tours have been a regular sight on Dublin’s streets for years now and their lively tours are adored by young and old. Travel ancient streets and take to the waters at Grand Canal Dock. Have a thrilling time Brave enough to tackle the longest zip-line in Ireland? Head to Loughcrew Adventure Centre near Oldcastle, Co Meath, for zip-lining, archery, climbing trees and a chance to explore the Forest Crystal Maze.

Swim in the open water Dun Laoghaire and its environs makes for a delightful day trip from the

Visit a seaside town It may be a proud part of Co Dublin but Skerries feels like a world away from the bustle of the city centre. There are some great restaurants and plenty of coastal treks to work off all that yummy seafood.

Be a Viking for the day Waterford is our oldest city and synonymous with Vikings. The perfect way to learn more about these fearsome invaders is through the King of the Vikings 3D Virtual Reality experience which is located in an exact copy of a Viking house. Fuel young imaginations There are oodles of kid-oriented cre-

Carlingford Adventure Centre ative workshops in art, theatre, writing and music for kids all across Dublin. Children’s theatre The Ark and the inventive play centre Imaginosity will fuel imaginations!


Be eco aware The Cool Planet Experience at the Powerscourt Estate, Co Wicklow, offers an interactive experience which immerses you in climate action. Its mission is to educate, engage and inspire people about climate change.


Go ‘sky-walking’ It sounds like a Star Wars character, but Skywalkers is, in fact, Ireland’s longest rope bridge, and it’s to be found at Kells Bay House, Co Kerry. Have you the nerve to walk 11m above River Delligeenagh for 34m?


Get a culture fix Dublin has several excellent museums, including the revamped National Gallery and the Natural History Museum which are both fantastic and the Irish Museum of Modern Art has free family fun days.


Impersonate Willy Wonka Lorge Chocolatiers, near Kenmare, Co Kerry, is run by a French chocolate maker and he loves to help children learn how to make their own delicacies. Everyone – grown ups too – get to sample their creations.


Explore a brilliant beach Family fun is synonymous with sea and sand and there is an abundance of glorious Atlantic beaches to make your own, including Ballymastocker in Donegal and secluded Mullaghroe at Belmullet, Co Mayo. Check out; and irelandsancienteast. com for lots more ideas.

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 35 Advertising feature

Haveagreat Donegal escape


he Redcastle is a deluxe 4 star resort on the shores of Lough Foyle in Inishowen, Co. Donegal – one of the most beautiful peninsulas in Ireland. The secluded hotel is set among mature parkland with its own private 9 hole golf course, exciting award winning restaurant, fantastic spa facilities and complimentary leisure facilities for guests which include our swimming pool and gym.

Unrivalled Location.. Book our Great Donegal Escape package which includes two nights’ bed and breakfast, plus a delicious three course evening meal in the award-winning Edge Restaurant, plus bubbly and chocolates on arrival for only €119pps. Redcastle hotel is the perfect base for exploring Donegal’s sandy beaches, rolling mountains and friendly towns and villages. Guests at the Redcastle Hotel can enjoy warmly appointed rooms, unrivalled location and a genuine welcome. Exploring The Wild Atlantic Way… There is no better place to start than at the top! Visit us in the Redcastle Hotel and kick-start your Wild Atlantic Way journey in the Inishowen Peninsula. Situated a short 25 minute drive from Derry~Londonderry and 1 hour and 45 minute drive from Belfast, it’s the perfect escape to experience


the beauty that the Wild Atlantic Way – the world’s longest coastal route – has to offer. This 2,500km scenic drive along the west coast of Ireland includes 188 discovery points; the closest is Inishowen Head, just a 10 minute drive from the hotel. From our tranquil setting on the shores of Lough Foyle, the Spa at The Redcastle Hotel provides a calm and restful place. Whether your reason for visiting us is for healing, relaxation, beauty or pampering, we will take care of you. It offers the complete package to every guest. The people of Donegal have a special saying, “Up here, it’s different.” Come and see why at The Redcastle Oceanfront Golf & Spa Hotel, Donegal. Contact the Redcastle Oceanfront, Golf & Spa Hotel on W: E: T: +353(0)74 9385555.


tep into Summer at the five-star Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort where nature and luxury meet to create a memorable experience, nestled in 400 acres of countryside between the Wicklow Mountains and the Irish Sea yet only 30 minutes from Dublin. Retreat to the privacy of one of their 145 spacious guestrooms and suites where comfort and understated luxury prevail. Dine in the stylish, surroundings of Hugo’s, their two AA rosette restaurant, which offers a superb culinary experience using fresh Irish produce. The Garden Rooms and Bar is the heart of the hotel, with stunning views overlooking the famous 13th hole on Druids Glen Golf Course and an impressive terrace sets the scene for a relaxed experience in the ‘Garden of Ireland’. Indulge in their Spa which offers seven treatment rooms and a tranquil relaxation

suite to unwind after your treatment. You can also enjoy the facilities in the Druids Glen Health Club – overlooking the stunning grounds with an 18-metre pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and fitness suite with a wide array of equipment and a programme of fitness classes. Follow in the footsteps of legends and play two unique courses in one stunning location. Their two championship golf courses, Druids Glen and Druids Heath offer varied play over equally exhilarating landscapes. Whether you are staying for golf, spa or a family break the resort offers a range of wonderful facilities and activities. Add in all that Wicklow has to offer, Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort is an ideal choice for a summer break. Visit or call their Reservations Team on 00353 1287 0877.

36 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Laya Healthcare City Spectacular

Laya Healthcare City Spectacular

Galway International Arts Festival

Livenuptheholidays withafamilyfestival


rom sport to music and the arts – and with a wild Kerry mountain goat thrown into the mix too – there’s a super festival or one-day event to cater for all tastes and ages this summer. Here’s 18 to captivate in 2018 …


Cork Harbour Festival, June 2 – 10 Cork has the second largest natural harbour in the world, and the Cork Harbour Festival is a great way to celebrate this amazing resource.


Colour Dash, various dates in June There is a huge range of races to tempt runners throughout the year – but this 5k is one of a kind. You wear old running gear and trainers and get sprayed with paint on every kilometre. In aid of Irish Cancer Society. Takes place on the 10th in Galway, 17th in Phoenix Park Dublin, 23rd in Limerick and 24th in Cork.


Westport Food Festival, June 29 - July 1 Foodies can enjoy a taste of the West with this fun-filled festival which features everything from children’s pizza-making to epicurean tours. Seasonal, local produce is the star of the show and visitors will be spoiled for choice.


Seafest Galway, June 29 - July 1 Galway Harbour will be transformed for what’s billed as the country’s national

Galway International Arts Festival

maritime festival and there will be a host of free family-friendly activities both on and off the pier.


Féile na Mara, July 1 - 21 The three-week Festival of the Sea, to use its English name, is a celebration of the best of Wild Atlantic Way seafood. And what a setting – Achill’s Purteen Harbour! Its rugged beauty will make that sumptuous wild food taste all the better.


Féile Brian Boru, July 4 - 8 The High King, famed for defeating the Vikings at Clontarf in Dublin in 1014, had associations with Lough Derg in Tipperary and each year the lakeside towns of Killaloe and Ballina celebrate this most mythologised of historical figures.


Laya Healthcare City Spectacular, Dublin, July 6 - 8 and Cork, July 14 - 15 The kids love this fun-filled weekend in the lovely setting of Merrion Square Park. There are plenty of activities for them to try and some great, healthy food options too. It also takes place in Cork city’s urban oasis, Fitzgerald Park the following weekend.


Groove Festival, July 7 - 8 The Arcadian surrounds of Kilruddery House and Gardens in Bray, Co Wicklow, is the setting for a family-friendly music festival that’s as celebrated for its chilled vibes as it is for its eclectic line-up.

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 37

Féile Brian Boru

Dublin Horse Show

14 9

Earagail Arts Festival, July 7 - 29. The multidisciplinary arts festival is a countywide celebration of the rich culture of Donegal. There’s music, theatre, visual arts, film and literature in both English and Irish. Home-grown and international acts are part of a packed programme.


Galway International Arts Festival, July 16 - 29 The world-renowned festival is an essential part of the Irish cultural landscape and it’s schedule features the very best in cutting edge drama, music and visual arts. Great efforts have been made to make it welcoming for children and a life-long love of the arts can be fostered here.

Dungarvan Summer Music Festival, August 3 - 5 The picturesque coastal town plays host to three days of music in a trio of venues, all within a short walk of each other. Highlights include traditional Irish music outfit, Lunasa.


Dublin Horse Show, August 8 - 12 One of the best loved and most venerable events of Dublin’s summer, this magnificent institution has thrilled generations of horse lovers. They come back year after year to the RDS - one visit and you’ll understand why.


Puck Fair, August 10 - 12 One of Europe’s longest running - and gloriously unusual - festivals takes place in Killorglin, Co Kerry, and centres on a wild mountain goat that is crowned King of the Town. The coronation parade is not to be missed.





Festival of Curiosity, July 19 - 22 This one-of-a-kind festival is especially child-friendly and will fire their enthusiasm for the arts and science thanks to fun, innovative activities. It’s held in a variety of city centre locations.

Spraoi International Street Arts Festival, August 3 - 5 Waterford, the country’s oldest city, has an abundance of excellent family-oriented festivals throughout the year and this one is all about the best in street performance from home-grown and international acts.


Beatyard, August 3 - 5 A hardy perennial on the summer music calendar, this acclaimed Dun Laoghaire festival is all about quirky, offbeat acts – and there’s a huge choice of food options and pop-up cafes too.

The Little Festival at The Big House, August 18 - 19 The magnificent stately pile near Gorey in Co Wexford has teamed up with the Wexford Arts Centre to present an arts and entertainment programme with something for all the family. Cruinniú na mBád Festival, August 10 - 12 The uniquely Irish vessel, the Galway Hooker, was once the workhorse of the Atlantic coast. This, the annual Festival of the Boats, celebrates these majestic boats – and the maritime culture of Kinvara, Co Galway. Check out; and irelandsancienteast. com for more festivals and more information.

38 | Family Life

If you thought your first holiday as a family was going to be relaxing, think again. Dad of two, Matthew McCreary knows only too well the demands of a break with kids...


olidays used to be so simple. Pick a date — any date, at that — from the calendar, log on to your website of choice and the world was laid out in front of you. Grand tours of the Far East, fly-drives across America, hiking in the Andes, no challenge seemed too great, no destination too far. And whether it was a beer-fuelled jamboree with a bunch of pals, or that tentative first holiday as a new couple, the possibilities were endless. What becomes of those dashing adventurers once cosy domesticity and the demands of a young family kicks in, though? Your first holiday as a young parent can be a shock to the system. And that can often begin before you’ve clicked on your

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Goodbye restful travel... Helloholidays withkids! email out-of-office and got the bags ready in the hall. Perhaps the trickiest aspect is getting used to your horizons changing. To begin with, booking a holiday is no longer about

what you want, but about what you can manage — physically, psychologically and financially. While most airlines, ferry operators or hotels will allow very young kids to travel

for free, there are pitfalls. If flying, you have to bear in mind that your child does not get their own seat. For the duration of the journey they will be on your lap — fine for short hops, but on longer haul excur-

No matter where you go or where you stay, you will want to make the most of your precious family time by getting out and about come rain or shine. From wellies to sunglasses, to games and picnic blankets, we have your travel accessories covered. All you need to think about is finding the ice cream van...

Yellow Pokemon Sunglasses, £8, M&Co

Kids’ Minnow Wellington Boots, £25, Regatta Great Outdoors

Rainbow Suitcases, £25,

Kids’ Zepher Animal Daypack Rucksack Penguin Ash, £15, Regatta Great Outdoors


8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 39 Advertising feature

Strangford Lough

Photo © Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Your first holiday as a young parent can be a shock to the system

sions like Australia it can be a challenge for you and your fellow passengers. Going by road/ferry can allow more wriggle room, but added to this are the demands on your luggage space — travel

systems, travel cots, sterilisers etc can take up a fair chunk of space, even in a generous family saloon. Where to go? Along with distance from home, extremes of heat and cold are probably the most important consideration. Australia is a bold gamble for any young parent, given that even winter temperatures can match a scorching day in the UK or Ireland. Likewise, southern Europe can be hot and crowded, roads busy, prices hiked. What can work well, though, is revisiting a previous holiday destination which you know will have what you need for your children, while offering the peace of mind that comes from familiarity. While the Highlands of Scotland offer plenty of action-packed options, for example, the less-visited borders regions such as Dumfries and Galloway are a pleasant alternative, replete with cosy villages and forest parks, as well as lovely secluded beaches and caravan parks. Likewise, taking youngsters into the hustle and bustle of a big European city can be a challenge, given the buggy-phobic narrow pavements and cobbled streets. But plenty offer wonderful villas or family campsites on the outskirts which are within easy access for day trips. In the end, it is you who knows your child best and what they will and will not tolerate. There will be ups and downs along the way, but making family memories — even less desirable ones — is what holidays are all about.


Enjoy some of the best family days out, outdoor activities and leisure facilities Co. Down has to offer! For an amazing summer full of adventure and special memories, be sure to explore the beautiful region of Ards and North Down. Pack a picnic and head off to the beach – with 115 miles of coastline you will be sure to find your piece of paradise. Why not shop local and visit the traditional markets in Ards, Bangor or Comber to pick up wonderful fresh produce from the surrounding fields and seas. Get outdoors and climb Scrabo Hill taking in the wonderful views from the top or stride out along the North Down Coastal Path, skirting Belfast Lough from Donaghadee to Holywood. There are also many events to keep you entertained - from music in the parks or creative workshops, to festivals and exhibitions. Why not get out and about with a series of guided tours, organised to help you explore the North Down coast, Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula.

Sony Cybershot, £69.99, Argos Twister Picnic Blanket, £17.95,

Traditional Rounders Set, £8, nationaltrust.

Selfie Stick, £6.95,

Happy Jackson Hello Hotness Flask, £16,

Rainy Days Game, £12, nationaltrust.

Pack your camera and binoculars and hop on-board a boat trip out on Strangford Lough, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, or set sail on Belfast Lough. Book a coach tour, delving into the history of the area or get up close to nature and artefacts on one of the many guided walking tours. For free weekend family fun, pop by Cockle Row Cottages, Groomsport or Portaferry Visitor Information Centre during July and August where children can be amazed by a science show, fascinated by a magician, or be captivated by the animal roadshow. Make the most of your summer holidays and stop off at Ards or Bangor Visitor Information Centre where friendly staff will assist with advice, inspiring ideas and directions. For further information telephone 028 9182 6846 or go online to for further information and downloadable guides.

Coral Stripe Hamper, £49.50, M&S

Beau and Elliot Brokenhearted 12 Piece Melamine Picnic Set, £44.99, Argos

Toucan Water Bottle, £15, saramiller. london Tote Cool Bag, £14, M&S

All Day Rechargable Fan, £17.95,

Women’s Bayeux II Mid Calf Wellington Boots Lifeguard White, £50, Regatta Great Outdoors

Anodize Hooded Woven Stretch Softshell Jacket Skydiver Blue Amber, £50, Regatta Great Outdoors

Print 20 Litre Easy Grab Zip Puller Daypack Nautical Grey, £30, Regatta Great Outdoors

Portable Barbecue, £54.95, Fish Picnic Blanket, £36.95,

40 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Westport worthyof ‘bestplace’ label

Croagh Patrick viewed from Westport Quay

Our charming base



oted the Best Place to Live in Ireland a couple of years ago, Westport has more than enough charm to have holidaymakers returning again and again. Its winsome mix of beautiful location on the Mayo coast and stunning scenery, with Croagh Patrick looming over the town, certainly give it a head start. But factor in the incredible number and variety of independent shops, bars and restaurants and you have all the ingredients for an entertaining break. Invited to get a feel for the place by Destination Westport, we opted for mid-May and found there was barely a room to be had, even though the summer season hadn’t begun. Thankfully, we got the last beds going in the Wyatt Hotel and were delighted with this bright yellow landmark in the heart of the town. Our twin room would have easily accommodated a family of four and had everything from a welcoming bowl of fruit

One of the sitting rooms in Westport House and bottles of water to hair dryer, tea and coffee and a shower so powerful I feared for my fillings. As for the beds – if there was a god called luxury, you’d be snoozing soundly in her lap at the Wyatt. We dined the first night in the hotel’s upmarket JW’s Brasserie with its contemporary menu of everything from steaks to duck to seafood. The place was abuzz and we knew we were in good hands from the minute our starters arrived, through to the desserts, many calories later. The brasserie’s walls are covered in art of all sorts, a theme that continues throughout this very

set off towards Louisburgh. With Croagh Patrick looming to the left and Clew Bay unfolding to the right, every twist and turn attractive hotel. It’s one of Ireland’s few pet in the road brought new delights. Across friendly hotels and though our next door the bay was Achill Island, with Clare Island neighbours included a pair of dachshunds, the largest of hundreds of tiny green dots there was barely a bark from them and the punctuating the turquoise waters, and the place was so spotless you wouldn’t have Atlantic Ocean ahead. thought there was an animal anywhere After a quick lunch at Derrylahan Bar near it. in Louisburgh, where the chowder proved We had planned to book a massage in a particular hit, we headed back for a the suite in the hotel, or take up the free ac- walk along the quays at Westport. Plans cess to Westport Leisure Park nearby which to explore a section of the Great Western is offered to guests but there’s only so much Greenway – the walking and cycling trail you can do in a weekend and especially that follows the old Westport to Achill rail when the sun is shining in such an obliging line – fell by the wayside, as well as a hoped fashion. for trip across to gorgeous Achill Island. There simply weren’t enough hours in HERITAGE TOWN the day to enjoy all the area’s attractions. There’s an air of prosperity around this des- Besides, there was a table waiting for us in ignated Heritage Town that lifts the spirits Cian’s Bistro, just a few minutes’ walk from and its pedestrian friendly streets, which the Wyatt. fan from The Octagon, where the Wyatt On our first night, we’d made a beeline is sited, are lined with brightly coloured after dinner for the Clock Tavern, the base shops and cafes and dotted with trees. for The Acoustic Yard Music Festival. Our Its famous sons include Matt Molloy, The disappointment at arriving for the end Chieftains’ flute player, and his bar of The 4 of Us vanished as brothers on Bridge Street is one of many Brendan and Declan Murphy where you can catch a few decided they were having tunes. Bridges cross the Carsuch a good time, they were rowbeg River which flows going to keep on playing. through the town and along Frontman Brendan and one of the main streets, The music maestro Declan had Mall, and onto the Quays, the crowd dancing in their a redeveloped area full of seats and having played for upmarket shops, restaurants about an hour past their slot, and holiday apartments. were happy to hang out with One of the town’s most fathe music loving fraternity that mous attractions, Westport House, lingered on at the bar. is accessed from both the Quays Cobbler’s Bar in The next night, Mundy was and from the back of the Wyatt and the Wyatt Hotel, headlining but any hopes of its beautiful grounds are perfect for is famed for its getting along to that gig were saba stroll. You can take a horse drawn trad music and otaged by the sumptuous food at carriage around the grounds and craft beers Cian’s Bistro, winner of this year’s through the town or hop onboard Best Restaurant in Connaught for a Westport Train Tour which takes you Award, and my sister’s determination to around the main sites, including the hugely watch Eurovision. None of the bars was popular Pirates Adventure Park in the showing it so my crestfallen sibling steered grounds of Westport House. us back to the Wyatt and there it was, on Pirates and stately homes tend not to the lounge bar TV. The room quickly filled go hand in hand but in this case, Westport as people came in to watch it and to chat. house is on the site of pirate queen Grace Next morning we had another fine O’Malley’s castle and her descendants, the breakfast at the Wyatt, surrounded by Brownes, built the current house in the beautiful pictures and ceramics, and 1730s. The lives of its former residents – packed for a fond farewell to Westport. It including their efforts during the Famine was a great weekend, well worth the drive and in helping end the Jamaican slave and the roads, while winding in part, are trade – inform the many exhibitions as much improved on the last time I travelled you take a self guided tour of the house, this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way. Next starting at its huge marble staircase with time we’ll bring the kids and explore the its Angel of Welcome statue. It’s beautifully outdoorsy aspect of Westport, from the preserved from the pretty ladies’ drawing watersports available along its Blue Flag room to the luxurious bedrooms and grand beaches to horse riding, cycling, zorbing dining room right down to the kitchen cafe and zipwiring. where you can have a cuppa and survey the amazing surroundings before venturing For further information, including what’s into the dank dungeons, if you dare. on in this town which never seems to be without an event or festival, visit SUN AND SCENERY For Out into the sunshine again and we were information on the Wyatt Hotel, see www. keen to get a feel for the wider area and

42 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018


eaching children to ride a bike is a rite of passage for both teacher and pupil. It can bring tears and tantrums (on both parts) but sooner or later, they tend to wobble off on their own. It’s a triumphal entry into independence. However, often by the time they’ve hit puberty, they’ve outgrown their old bike, mum/dad’s is a bit too big and it’s easier to pester the parental cabbie to get behind the wheel than consider updating. Give yourself a well-earned break from endless taxi duties and help your teens stay healthy in the process with a bike. If you are concerned about their safety on the road, encourage them to stick to the footpaths. In Belfast, cyclists are now encouraged to use the footpaths in certain areas such as the Titanic Quarter and Laganside and pedestrians are now accustomed to sharing space with two wheelers travelling by them at speed. Don’t forget a few essentials - choose one with mudguards, rather than a mountain bike, if they’re going to be cycling to school. Mud splashes up the back of the uniform aren’t the look most schools are going for. Also, check that you can fit a carrier rack for that heavy schoolbag.

The magic of those first wobbly moments..

Bikes can cost anything from £200 to many thousands so be sensible. If you decide to buy one secondhand, get it checked over at a bike repair shop before letting them loose on it. Safety comes first - always. Even if you are buying used, go to a bike shop first so that you can find out what style and size is best for them. There’s no point in going to the trouble of getting them a bike if they aren’t comfortable and confident riding it.

A helmet: Let them pick it so there’s some chance of them wearing it. Point out that all the serious cyclists wear them so they are no longer uncool. Show them a picture of someone with head injuries only if it’s absolutely necessary to drive the point home.

Lock: Bear in mind whether your kid is better with remembering passcodes or holding on to a key and encourage them always to use it. At least that way, if they go off on their bike and come home without it, there’s a chance of recovering it if they’ve simply forgotten to ride home.

For excellent advice on bike shopping for kids of all ages, check out this article by Cycle magazine Editor Dan Joyce and Cycling UK’s Victoria Hazael at guide/buying-right-bike-for-your-child It concludes with these Golden rules for buying a kid’s bike: 1. Don’t buy a bike for your child to grow into. For safety’s sake, it must fit. 2. Pick it up. Light weight is vital. Look for aluminium tubing or thin (i.e. cricket stump diameter) steel tubes. 3. Be suspicious of suspension – especially at the rear of the bike. Cheap suspension is dead weight that serves no practical purpose. 4. Your child must be able to get a foot down easily when sitting on the saddle 5. More gears are not better. Front derailleurs are superfluous until secondary school. 6. Consider semi-slick tyres. Knobblies look cool but are hard work. 7. Riding position should be fairly upright, with handlebars higher than the seat. 8. Try the brakes using only your little finger. That’s equivalent to a younger child’s grip strength. 9. If the cranks are much too long, see if they can be exchanged for the next size down at point of sale. 10. Less is more. You never get something for nothing. Corners will be cut.

AutismaccreditationforRoeParkResort ✸

In a first for Northern Ireland, the Roe Park Resort, Limavady has been revealed as Northern Ireland’s first autism friendly hotel following an endorsement from Assistance Dogs NI, who provide Assistance Dogs for children with Autism and wheelchair users. The achievement follows the resort’s recent opening of an autism-friendly room for guests to stay in. Furthermore, staff in the resort have undergone training to help interact with guests with autism and other additional needs as part of an on-going partnership with Assistance Dogs NI. Sinead McNicholl, Sales and Marketing Manager, said: “Through our work with Assistance Dogs NI we became aware of the needs of those with autism, and in 2018 we set ourselves the mission of becoming Northern Ireland’s first autism-friendly hotel. Following consultation with Assistance

Dogs NI, we designed the room to include special lighting, a sensory area plus dine-in room facilities among other changes. We invited a local family to try out the room and to see how they found the experience and the feedback was really positive. We’re delighted to have received the accreditation and look forward to welcoming more families and individuals with autism as well as Assistance Dogs to the resort.” Fiona Burns-Kirby, who tried out the new room with her family, commented: “My son Joe has autism and we find it difficult to go away together as a family. It’s been over two years since we’ve had a break away together, so we were both excited and nervous. I’m pleased to say it turned out to be a success. We could not have been more impressed by the spec for the autism-friendly suite. The hotel has made every possible accommodation to help facilitate a stay and we would

The Kirby family enjoying their first break in two years encourage other families and individuals to try the room for themselves.” See

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 43 Family fun at Belfast Zoo, pic © Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Here are our tips for getting through it with your sanity intact.


Summer schemes are your friend. Sign them up for one at your local leisure centre or through a youth group, adventure centre or church camp. They can be expensive but worth it to give the kids, especially the age 10–13 group, a week to remember and a chance to make new friends. Of course, parents also benefit from the peace.



Send them away. Sounds outrageous but it works a treat if you have family living far enough away that your young uns can’t get home every day. Pack them off to your parents/siblings for a week’s bonding with their relations. This is particularly effective if they have cousins around the same age that they get on well with. It works best if you can return the favour and have one of your young relations stay later on. Any inconvenience to you is more than compensated for by the fact that your kid has someone to play/fight with all day every day, leaving you – barring referee duties – relatively free.

tipsforsurviving thesummerholidays 3


he countdown is on to the long summer holidays. Exams and homeworks will be quickly forgotten and there’s a collective sigh as the uniforms are washed for the last time or alternatively, kicked under the bed to be forgotten. Whether the children will be at a childminder’s or at home, the shift away from the rigidity of term time is

a blessed relief. However, a few weeks in and the initial euphoria begins to wear off. Eight weeks is a long time to put in. And costs can shoot up, especially if you find your weekly childminding bill is going from part-time to full-time. If they’re at home all day, expect to spend a lot more on groceries and as for days out - you could end up with tennis elbow you’ll be dipping into your pockets that often.

Try to establish a mix of routines involving some pain (chores so they can earn spending money) and pleasure (a weekly treat, like a trip to the cinema). Teens may be a lost cause but try to prevent younger children from lying in too late and staying up late. It’s not only bad for their health, but it seriously eats into your relaxation in the evening. Who wants to be repeating ‘Brush-your-teeth-and-get-intobed’ 100 times at 11pm?



icture the scene. You enter a pretty run-of-the-mill building and suddenly your phone is taken from you, you’re handcuffed and blindfolded. When you manage to get your bearings, you’re trapped in a pitch-black room, one hand secured to the floor – with little idea where you are or what’s happening. Have you been kidnapped? Why? What do they want? Are you in real danger? Sound terrifying? Welcome to the world of escape rooms – the craze that’s sweeping the nation. The premise sounds simple enough. You have an hour to work through a

number of clues and puzzles in order to secure your safe passage from the room (or rooms) that you’re trapped in. Each has a specific theme, with the room and the props tailored to really immerse those taking part in the atmosphere of their escape. Whether it be escaping from a killer, being thrown into the past, breaking out of prison or getting off the Titanic moments after it hits an ice berg, it’s a nerve-jangling race against the clock that forces everyone to work

together before time runs out. After gathering your bearings, it quickly becomes apparent that an hour really isn’t the long period of time you expect it to be. There is no choice but to work quickly, first discovering what you need to be looking at, trying to gather a bigger picture while spotting the smaller tasks that become essential in the long run and figuring out who is best suited to tackle each issue as it arises, as one challenge will often lead into the next. As the clock


Share the burden. If your summer is shaping up to be a thankless round of taxiing kids from one place to another, see if you can find some other parents to split lifts with, taking it in turns to do runs or one leaving them off at an activity and the other picking them up.


Make sure you’re having fun too! If you have to watch them at the pool or playground, arrange to meet a friend and have a catch up over coffee. Don’t let entertaining your kids ruin the summer for you.


Don’t give in. If every time you suggest they go to the park/beach/garden you get a chorus of complaints, put your foot down. Insist they go and arm them with the basics for a good time – a ball or a bucket and spade (handy for rockpooling as well as sandcastles or burying each other/dad in the sand) and the chances are they will end up enjoying themselves, despite their best efforts.


Plan ahead. Don’t do all the fun outings in the first week. Pace yourself and space the big excursions out and they’ll have different trips to look forward to all summer. Between big attractions like the Titanic Centre, HMS Caroline, W5, the Ulster Museum, Exploris, Belfast Zoo, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum or the Ulster American Folk Park and the Armagh Observatory, there’s plenty to choose from – and that’s before you factor in festivals, community family fun days and trips to the seaside.

ticks down, things become more and more fraught and frantic as the chances of getting out of the room dwindle, and a combination of physical effects and actors pile even more pressure on. Thankfully, staff are always monitoring the room and will happily relay any simple clues to a group that seems completely stuck. And panic not, though the doors may be locked until the final task is complete, there are always emergency routes out for anyone feeling a little overwhelmed by the claustrophobic nature of the game. Most rooms are designed for two-tosix people, though many establishments cater for larger groups by running more than one room at once, creating a sense of competition between those taking part with everyone keen to get out quicker than their rivals. Belfast already has a number of escape room challenges available in the city centre, with more and more popping up around Northern Ireland all the time. Whether looking for a fun-filled hour with friends or family, or a team-building/bonding exercise with colleagues from work, escape rooms have it all in what promises to be a tense, adrenaline-filled 60 minutes.

44 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Tastesof summer


You don’t need sunshine to feel summery with an electric grill. Get that barbecue flavour going without putting a foot outside the door. Grills, like the famous George Foreman, reduce the fat you consume from barbecue favourites as it simply runs off into a container. It’s the perfect piece of kit for teens too. They can cook up a chicken fillet or a piece of salmon in minutes and make themselves a healthy wrap – much better (and tastier) than crisps or biscuits.

Fed up with the same old salads? Spice up mealtimes with these quick and easy side dishes.


INGREDIENTS 2 Avocado pears 1 small tin sweetcorn 2 tablespoons Light mayonnaise 1 tsp curry powder

Magimix Le Duo Plus XL juicer, £199.99

George Foreman 360 Grill, approx £90 Some, like the George Foreman 360 Entertaining grill, cater for the whole family and will even cook pizza. The hotplates are easily removed for washing in the sink or dishwasher. Make the most of all the fresh fruit on offer – and reduce the amount you have to throw out – by getting a juicer. It’s an easy way to help your family exceed the 5-a-day target (experts believe we should be aiming for 9 a day). There are two types on the market now – the slow, crushing masticating juicer and the fast, slicing or centrifugal juicer. The masticating juicer crushes through nuts, veg and fruit and is believed to produce a more nutritious end product.

Spend anything from £50 to thousands, depending on your lifestyle, budget and storage space. Choose one that’s easy to clean and everyone is more likely to want to use it. recommends Sage by Heston Blumenthal The Nutri Juicer, 1200 Watt for speed and ease of cleaning while for a slow juicer, rates the Magimix Le Duo Plus XL juicer for ease of use and yield.

This is so easy a child could make it but it tastes delicious, especially with barbecued or chargrilled meats. If you don’t like curry, jazz it up with chopped plum tomatoes and tuna.

METHOD Peel and chop up the avocados in a bowl, drain the sweetcorn and add to the bowl, add the mayonnaise - as much or little as you like. Sprinkle over with the curry powder and stir all the ingredients together. Keep refrigerated.


Sweet Cucumber Pickle, photo from

A light, refreshing salad dish that is full of summery zing. Keep it in a hermetic glass jar in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS 150g sugar 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced 1 onion, thinly sliced 1 tsp sea salt 100ml white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

Sage by Heston Blumenthal The Nutri Juicer, 1200 Watt, £119.99

METHOD Leave the peel on the cucumbers and slice

thinly. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Mix the liquid ingredients together in a bowl or glass jar, add the cucumbers and onion and mix or shake well. Keep refrigerated for up to three hours, then tuck in.

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 45

Delicious foodfor everyday




was only slightly offended when I asked my husband to get me some eggs to try out a recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake and he came back with the eggs – and a lemon drizzle cake, just in case mine flopped. I’m no baker, hence the insurance cake, but I felt like Mary Berry as we tucked into the moistest, lightest, lemoniest sponge ever. In fact, next day, the consensus in the house was that the shop bought one, from an award-winning bakery, didn’t come close. The recipe was from the most ordinary – and most useful – book I’ve seen in a long time, Brian McDermott’s Donegal Table. Despite shelves groaning with the wisdom of Nigella & co, I tend to cook tried and tested favourites, including some from my kids’ home economics books. Jamie Oliver is great for getting the best out of a roast but neither me nor my family share his obsession with olive oil and so it was with delight I saw that McDermott favours our staple, rapeseed oil. It brings out the flavour of the produce cooking in it, rather than overwhelming everything with its own pungent smell. Brian McDermott describes in the introduction how his career has brought him full circle to an appreciation of the food his mum served up to her 12 children in their Inishowen home and he now champions

Brian McDermott’s Donegal Table, £17.99, O’Brien Press, available from bookshops local produce at his cookery school, on TV and radio and as a consultant to the Irish food industry. Of local butchers, he writes: “Butchers know meat better than anyone and your local butcher is the key to you and your family eating well. Your butcher can tell you which cuts work best in which dishes and will always have recommendations or suggestions for new things to try.” McDermott’s book, subtitled Delicious Everyday Cooking, delivers page after page of dishes that we all cook but with little additions that give everything a boost. Who ever thought of adding cabbage to bacon and pasta but we tried Brian’s 15 minute Orzo Pasta with Bacon and Cabbage and it was great. His recipes use ingredients ordinary home cooks tend to have already – especially if they have lots of herbs to hand – and are so easy to follow, it’s a joy to open. It’s the perfect recipe book for someone starting out. As esteemed chef Neven Maguire says, “This is one of those books you’ll find yourself using again and again.”

Spice up your repertoire with lessons from the professionals! Belfast Cookery School is a purpose built teaching kitchen behind Mourne Seafood Bar in the city centre. Some of Northern Ireland’s top chefs generously share their expertise with everyone from beginners to accomplished home cooks in half day sessions. With a maximum of 16 students participating, the atmosphere is fun and friendly. Go with a group, a friend or alone for a hugely entertaining educational experience. Choose from a vast range of courses, from the Fish Masterclass to French Bistro to Simply Pasta and many more. One course focuses on showing you how to put together the perfect dinner party, another on rolling out sushi. There are lots of opportunities to taste superb food as the chefs demonstrate a number of dishes before showing the class how to make a select few. Students get to don an apron and try mak-

ing the dishes at state of the art work stations, under the friendly direction of the staff. Everyone sits down together to enjoy the fruit of their labours, washed down with drinks. Students go away equipped, not only to put together a delicious meal which they can recreate at home, but also with lots of extra knowledge and in many cases, a newfound love of cooking. You can hire the whole place for an event, or buy a gift voucher and give someone the gift of a great experience that will benefit them long past the event itself. Find out more at www.

FOR THE MARINADE 2 cloves of garlic, sliced 1 lemon, juice and zest 1 red chilli, thinly sliced handful of fresh basil leaves 50ml rapeseed oil freshly ground black pepper

CHARGRILLED VEGETABLEAND MONKFISHKEBABS WITHCOUSCOUS “Greencastle Monkfish, just landed” is the best phone call I can get, says Brian McDermott, who lives a few minutes from the pier. This light, healthy recipe is perfect for summer and serves 4.

FOR THE KEBABS 600g monkfish tails 1 red pepper 1 yellow pepper 1 courgette 1 red onion 4 wooden skewers 1 lemon, sliced, to serve handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped, to serve

FOR THE COUSCOUS 240g couscous 500mil boiling water handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped METHOD π Cut the monkfish into nugget size pieces. Cut the pepper in large 2.5cm pieces and cut the courgette into large rounds. Cut the onion in half and each half into 3 wedges. Thread the cut vegetables and monkfish onto the skewers. π Using a pestle and mortar, grind all the marinade ingredients together. Reserve a small amount for serving, then spread the rest over the skewered fish and vegetables. π Grill or barbecue the kebabs. Cook for approx 10 minutes, turning occasionally. π Meanwhile, place the couscous in a bowl and add the boiling water. Stir with a fork and add the chopped basil leaves. Cover tightly with cling film and set aside until all the water has been absorbed. π Serve the kebabs with the couscous, a slice of lemon, sprinkle of freshly chopped basil and the reserved marinade.

Pictures by A Fox in the Kitchen

LEMONDRIZZLECAKEWITH SUMMERBERRIES INGREDIENTS 225g unsalted butter, softened 225g caster sugar 4 eggs 225g self-raising flour, sieved Drizzle of vanilla essence zest of 1 lemon, finely grated FOR THE DRIZZLE TOPPING Juice of 1 lemon 120g icing sugar TO GARNISH 18 raspberries 10 strawberries 20 redcurrants

METHOD π Preheat oven to 180C, gas mark 4. Line a 25cm round tin with parchment paper. In a bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar using an electric mixer until creamy and light in colour. π Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition, followed by the sieved flour. Then add the vanilla and lemon zest. Mix well. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake in the over for 40-45 minutes. π Prepare the drizzle by adding the lemon juice to the icing sugar π Remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack, then drizzle with the icing. Arrange the berries on top. Enjoy with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

46 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Factorsomefun intoyour

J by Jasper Conran Dress, £69, Debenhams



e can’t always depend on the sun but that’s no excuse not to inject a bold flash of colour into your summer wardrobe. Summer dressing is all about having fun... whether you’re sipping an al fresco iced tea or enjoying a zingy cocktail at a garden party, let your breezy attire do the talking. There are no hard and fast rules; in fact, you can indulge in sequins, ruffles, tassels and feathers – texture is key. Colour-wise, you can either opt for gelato hues in lilac, pink or lemon or crayola brights in canary yellow, vibrant blue or racy red. There’s a nod to heritage checks which marry perfectly with a voluminous coat for when the

sun sets and the evening chill sets in. Always show off your assets, so if you’ve an hourglass shape, choose tops and dresses that nip you in at the waist. In a nod to the 1980s, strong shoulders are also on trend so choose your summer blazer with this in mind – even better, make it pink. A pencil skirt with a bold colour or print should be a staple and you can wear it with everything. Plaid, polka dots and vintage florals are the prints to be seen in. Of course, it’s not summer without a denim invasion; opt for a tailored jacket, dress or top for instant style points. It’s not so much maxi as midi, so if you’re on the hunt for that perfect summer dress to float about in on holiday, splurge on a yellow midi. Whatever you wear, make sure you stand out and shine bright...

Jacket with Tassels, £70, River Island

Autograph Dress, £79, M&S

Maggie Fern Shirt, £99, Fabienne Chapot at House of Fraser

Sequin Floral Jacket, £149, Issa London at House of Fraser

Striped Wrap Top, £26, Dorothy Perkins

Belted Jacket, £55, Star by Julien Macdonald @ Debenhams

Fluted Sleeve Tunic, £40, V by Very

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 47

Frill Sleeved Top, £29, Red Herring @ Debenhams

Jacquard Full Skirt, £70, Next Red Herring, £35, Debenhams

Straight Crop Jeans, £28, Next

Pinstripe Ruched Sleeve Jacket, £42, V by Very Autograph Dress, £55, M&S Striped Skirt, £45, H! by Henry Holland @ Debenhams

Belted Trousers, £42, River Island Printed Tencel Peplum Top, £60, House of Fraser

Autograph Trousers, £39.50, M&S

Printed Blouse, £59, Biba @ House of Fraser

Navy Blue Tropical Print Trouser, £32, Dorothy Perkins

Skirt, £35, M&S

Denim Embroidered Jacket, £52, Next

Trousers, £35, Principles @ Debenhams

Pleated Skirt, £55, Topshop

Lemon Print Skirt, £29, Red Herring @ Debenhams

Stripey Top, £25, M&S

48 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018


Booquet White Heel, £95, Dune

Sandal, £19.50, M&S

Mule, £32, Faith @ Debenhams

Nalia, £85, Dune

Sequin Slider, £35, V by Very

Slider, £49, Faith @ Debenhams

Slider, £32, V by Very

Espadrille, £10, Primark


Shoes, glorious shoes!

t’s time to book your mani-pedi and go shopping for gorgeous footwear to show your off your tootsies which have been hibernating for much too long. There are plenty of options if you decide your feet are off limits though. You’re encouraged to have fun so look for playful details like fur,

Court, £19.50, M&S

Bow Slider, £6, Primark

Loupe, £80, Dune

bows and tassels. If you love detail, opt for embellished sliders or espadrilles - the perfect way to dress up muted outfits. If you’re not a fan of fuss, then go for bold and bright platforms, courts or mules. To nail classic chic, stick with white, a huge trend for spring and summer.


Espadrille Wedges, £25, M&Co

Black Tassel Sandals, £15, George

Court, £45, M&S

Fur Slider, £8, Matalan

Fruit Salad, £55, Office




Fluffy Slider, £25, Dorothy Perkins

Platform, £35, M&S

White Knot Strap Block Heel, £27.99, New Look

Sandal, £39, Faith @ Debenhams

Isadora, £85, Dune

50 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018 Advertising feature

Exposa Decorative Concrete Tuscan Pebble 02



f you are looking to upgrade your property inside or out, you can take some of the stress out of the process by talking to RTU. With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, RTU is a market leader in the supply of ready to use concrete, mortar, plaster and screed, making them a popular choice for the self-builder, as they are able to offer a complete building solutions package. The self-build and home improvements market has grown significantly over the past number of years and RTU is delighted to supply products directly to these markets. In addition to the standard range of products on offer, RTU also manufactures two unique products – Ultraflo Hemihydrate liquid floor screed which will help keep you and your family warm when installed with underfloor heating, and Exposa Decorative Concrete for your exterior patios where you can relax and spend valuable family time.


Ultraflo® is an innovative product from RTU and is Ireland’s only ready mixed hemihydrate liquid floor screed. It is produced in RTU’s state of the art manufacturing facilities (accredited to ISO 9001), ensuring a perfect

A finished Ultraflo floor

Exposa Decorative Concrete Tuscan Pebble 02 Ultraflo to a depth of only 50mm compared to 100mm with non-compacted sand and cement screed. Ultraflo therefore allows enhanced thermal control with underfloor heating and overcomes heat lag commonly experienced with sand and cement screed, thus reducing energy costs. Being formulated as a by-product of flue gas desulphurisation, Ultraflo also has great eco-friendly credentials. As a recycled product, it does not contain cement, a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Ultraflo has a proven track record of success over more than 10 years, with thousands of happy customers throughout Ireland. It is an affordable alternative to traditional sand and cement screeds, creating a superior level finish. Tried, tested and trusted, Ultraflo is the only choice and the perfect partner when installing underfloor heating.

EXPOSA DECORATIVE CONCRETE Ultraflo is installed with pumps screed every time. As a hemihydrate calcium sulphate liquid floor screed, Ultraflo’s unique properties make it an ideal solution for all domestic projects. Being a hemihydrate screed means it does not suffer from surface laitance (a scum/ dust of material adhering to the top of the screed during the curing process). Ultraflo therefore requires no buffing/grinding to the floor surface prior to the application of floor finishes. The advantages are enormous. Ultraflo offers improved energy efficiency with underfloor heating. This is due to the fact that the heating pipes are encapsulated with

A highly durable range of decorative concrete which can be used as an alternative to traditional paving, asphalt, tarmac and loose gravel, Exposa® is a first choice for any hard landscaping project. Beautiful, durable, practical, safe and flexible, with a slip resistant finish, Exposa is ideal for use on driveways, patios, footpaths and steps. With a natural aggregate finish, Exposa has the durability and structural integrity of concrete. It is designed to withstand heavy traffic and extremes of weather without shrinking or heaving. With the added benefit of a low maintenance finish, Exposa also inhibits the proliferation of weeds and moss. It is a naturally slip resistant product, laid as a continuous surface, thus reducing trip hazards in large surface areas. The flexibility of the product allows de-

signers and architects alike to be as bold or subtle in their design as required. With a wide variety of colours and finishes, Exposa allows you to shape your space to maximum effect – straight or curved or anything in between! If you cannot find your desired colour in the standard range, then we can tailor the aggregate and colour to your specific individual requirements. When used together in one project, different colours of Exposa work extremely well side by side to create a stunning effect. In addition, other materials such as cobble or paving stones may be positioned as movement joints or to form a border, thus adding to the design options. RTU manufactures Exposa under stringent quality control procedures, ensuring conformity to the requirements of BS EN206. We also recommend that Exposa is installed by RTU approved installers in order to ensure the quality workmanship and attention to detail that is required for the product to have maximum aesthetic appeal. Exposa has recently been recognised within the industry, having been awarded the Environmental Improvements Award from the Concrete Society for the Portstewart Promenade project. If you are looking for a clever hard landscaping solution for outside your home, then look no further than Exposa Decorative Concrete. If you would like to find out more about our product range, visit or call our Sales Team on 028 9085 1441.

52 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Finish witha I Flourish n the immortal words of Coco Chanel: “Accessories are what makes or marks a woman.” You may have carefully chosen your outfit, but it’s the clever details that tie it all together. Beginning at the top, baker boy hats are back on trend. They’re casual but cool and perfect for the weekend. Statement earrings have been enjoying centre–stage for the past few seasons and they’re not going away. The more eye-catching, the better, so pick the longest and boldest pair you can find. Sunglasses are not just a necessity, they’re another way to stand out from the fashion pack. Go retro with slim, narrow and sharp styles. Cat eye frames are also enjoying a moment. Hurrah for every girl’s best friend - the bag. Forget oversized and impractical arm candy, summer bags are all about comfort. The short strap cross-body bag is an alternative to the also-on-trend belt bag, but not quite as attention grabbing. Choose a bright jewel tone and wear across your body so the bag sits just below your bust. Other must-have bags include those of the straw variety and and super ornate feminine box clutches. Finally, every girl should have a selection of belts for every outfit. They have the wonderful knack of nipping in your waist and bringing an outfit together. We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Here are our favourite must-haves for your wardrobe this summer...

Amber Cat Eye Sunglasses, £45, Oliver Bonas

Black Baker Boy Hat, £9.99, New Look

Denim Baker Boy Hat, £9.99, New Look

LEAVEYOURHATON Beige Baker Boy Hat, £20, River Island

Red Baker Boy Hat, £18, River Island

Blue Denim Baker Hat, £7.99, TK Maxx

SULTRY SHADES Amelie Honey Tort Sunglasses, £39, Oliver Bonas

Red Cateye Sunglasses, £10, Next

Kaya Oval Round Sunglasses, £12, Monsoon

Pink Cateye Sunglasses, £6, New Look

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 53


BELTUP Eyelet Detail Belt, £18, Very

Green Earrings, £12.50, M&S Tassel Earrings, £4, Primark

Straw Bag, £8, Primark

Infinity Belt, £4, Primark

Tassel Earrings, £12, River Island

Green Earrings, £7, Next

Pink Belt, £10, Next

Tassel Earrings, £9.50, M&S


Evening Bag, £45, River Island

Quilted Crossbody Bag, £8, Primark

Green Crossbody Bag, £20, Red Herring @ Debenhams

Crossbody Bag, £19.50, M&S

Baby Blue Belt, £6, M&Co

Leopard Purse Belt, £32, Topshop

54 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Howtosurvivehay feverthissummer


hile most of us relish the arrival of warm, sunny days and the chance to live life to the full outdoors, for many, summer means misery and suffering. Hay fever, an allergic reaction to pollen, affects up to 30% of adults and up to 40% of children in the UK. Irritating symptoms include sneezing, coughing, itchy nose, headache, earache and feeling tired. If you’re asthmatic, hay fever can bring on a tight chest, a cough and leave you short of breath. The affliction can last for weeks, or even months, depending on the pollen count. As of now, there is no cure for hay fever and you can’t prevent it. You can ease your symptoms though. Some of the things you can do include putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes and shower and change your clothes after you’ve been outside. Things to avoid include keeping fresh flowers in the home, walking on grass and smoking. It’s also a good idea to limit or cut out mucus-producing foods which can exacerbate common hay fever symptoms. Try alternatives to dairy such as almond milk and rice milk and try to supplement your

diet with foods that have natural antihistamine properties such as broccoli, garlic and pineapple. You should also avoid or cut down high-histamine foods such as chocolate, walnuts, smoked meats and alcohol. Along with taking sensible preventative measures, you can take over-the-counter drugs to alleviate your symptoms. Ask your pharmacist for the best treatments, like antihistamine drops, tablets and nasal sprays. Speak to your doctor if hayfever treatments don’t work, as they may be able to suggest other options like steroids or immunotherapy. Last month, a possible new vaccine for hay fever sufferers hit the headlines. Developed in Vienna, the treatment involves synthetic grass pollen being injected into the sufferer’s system, reducing symptoms by up to 25%. The vaccine, known as BM32, passed its latest trials in March but it has another round before it can be approved, and won’t be available until 2021 at the earliest. In the meantime, reduce your suffering by downloading a pollen count app and avoid going outside when the count is high, especially between 10am and 4pm. It is a pain to be inside when all you want is to be out enjoying the weather, but as the old adage goes - prevention is better than cure.


Advertising feature

Achieve a natural, younger looking you with Ultherapy WHAT IS ULTHERAPY? Ultherapy is an exciting, non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure, which uses ultrasound and your body’s own healing processes to improve your appearance. It lifts, tones and tightens loose skin, of the upper and lower face, brow, neck and décolletage. Finally, there is a non-surgical treatment for the neck! NATURAL, NOTICEABLE RESULTS One of the many advantages with


After 90 days

Ultherapy is that there’s no downtime, and no radical or drastic changes to facial appearance, just a more natural, youthful you. Ultherapy treats deep layers of the skin and muscle with ultrasound, creating collagen production and the desired skin tightening. CELEBRITY FAVOURITE “I just take care of my skin, eat well, exercise and I love Ultherapy.” Jennifer Aniston “Ultherapy was my favourite of all the treatments I tried. I definitely would have it done again and I do think it’s worth the money,” says Anna Richardson, Channel 4’s ‘How Not to Get Old’. THE BEAUTY OF ULTHERAPY With Ultherapy, your daily routine is not interrupted. It requires a 60 to 90 minute procedure. You may notice an immediate improvement in your appearance, but the natural process of creating new collagen

Before occurs over time and is well worth the wait. Beautiful results will unfold over two to three months and some patients have reported continued improvement for up to six months. These include lifting and tightening of the skin on the neck, along the jawline, and the entire face and brow areas. While ultrasound does not achieve the results of face lift surgery, Ultherapy is an excellent alternative for


After 90 days

After 90 days people who are simply not yet ready for major surgery. Typical results should last anywhere from 18 months to three years - with maintenance once every other year thereafter. WHO OFFERS ULTHERAPY IN IRELAND? Medi Cosmetic, leading aesthetic clinic situated in Whiteabbey village, five miles from the centre of Belfast, provides Ultherapy treatment and their many clients are delighted with the results. This innovative, non-invasive anti-aging treatment is trusted by Aesthetic plastic surgeons worldwide with over 1 million treatments performed. Ultherapy is the only FDA approved facial and neck lifting and tightening treatment that targets the area previously only reached by surgery. Contact Medi Cosmetic today for a complimentary, confidential consultation with one of their highly experienced aesthetic team.

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Privatehealth carecheaper thanyouthink intheNorth! Waitnolonger

Family Life | 55 Advertising feature

Here are some comment from past patients and family:


I had an op last week in the North West. The kindness, dedication, expertise and professionalism of every member of staff I came across was lovely to experience and really helped allay my fears and worries. You all should be proud of the excellent facility and care you provide for your patients Thank you all very much.


he North West Independent Hospital is one of the longest established, privately owned, hospitals in Northern Ireland. We have been delivering high quality healthcare since 1989 and work hard to maintain an impeccable reputation. Our mission is to provide high quality, patient-centred care in an environment which is safe, which fosters respect and which encourages personal and professional growth. With advanced surgical and medical facilities and highly qualified and professional staff, we are committed to providing our patients with excellence across a wide range of specialities. You will be cared for by a team of professionals who are dedicated to ensuring you receive the best possible treatment. The Hospital team consists of Heads of Departments, Registered Nurses, Nursing Auxiliaries, Allied Health Professionals, administrative, ancillary and maintenance staff, who all contribute to the delivery of a safe and effective care pathway for all our patients.

FELICITY The Hospital is registered by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority under the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 as an ‘Independent Hospital” (IH). The Hospital is registered to provide care and treatment to patients over the age of one year and all services provided are Consultant-led. We are proud to work in partnership with some of the most well-qualified and experienced Consultants/ Private Doctors available in their specialist field. There is a wide range of facilities, including: 31 single bedrooms with en-suite, two double bedrooms with en-suite, 13 day case spaces – four single rooms with en-suite, one single room, a

4-bedded room, three operating theatres and one Endoscopy suite, MRI Department (operated by Alliance Medical) and Physiotherapy Department. We aim to provide a caring, high quality service and as part of our commitment to continuous improvement we strive to obtain feedback from our patients. If you are happy with your experience, we would like to hear from you as this helps us to know when we get it right. We also need to know when we have not met your expectations, so we can review shortcomings in our service delivery. The information we receive is vital for the continuous improvement of our service, questionnaires are audited monthly and the overall findings are shared with all members of our Hospital team.

Thank you so much to all the staff and especially Dr. McCormack and his surgical team for their wonderful care of my Mum on having her hip replaced. This is her second hip replacement here and we would definitely recommend this hospital to anyone choosing a medical facility. The friendliness, attentiveness and care is exceptional.


Typical car journey times to the North West Independent Hospital: Ballymena 45 minutes, Belfast 90 minutes, Enniskillen 90 minutes, Newry 90 minutes, Omagh 60 minutes and Strabane 35 minutes. North West Independent Hospital, Church Hill House, Ballykelly, BT49 9HS Tel: 048 777 63090. Email: info@ Web:

56 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Asmile could savea life

A Draperstown woman is calling for more to be done to support people suffering from depression, as her family marks the 20th anniversary of her brother’s death. Davina Gordon reports.


athy McGuigan (43) has spearheaded a hugely successful fundraising event in memory of her brother JJ Gallagher, who tragically died by suicide on April 27, 1998. Hundreds of people gathered to remember JJ in his home town of Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, on April 26, with an anniversary mass followed by events throughout the weekend, including a family fun day, 5K run and a country and rock musical showcase at Voodoo, Belfast, organised by Martin Orr of the Honky Tonk Heroes, featuring artists such as Pat Gallagher, David Craig, Hugo McLaughlin and Eddie Gallagher. “To have Pat Gallagher from Goats Don’t Shave was unbelievable,” says Cathy. “If JJ was alive, he would have thought it was gas craic.” At the time of writing, the amount raised for Pieta House, was 16,000 Euro and rising. The island-wide charity offers a free, professional one-to-one therapeutic service to approximately 6,000 people experiencing suicidal ideation annually. “It’s a hard anniversary,” says Cathy. “We wanted to remember JJ in a fitting way and Pieta House, which does such amazing work, was a natural recipient.”


Cathy describes her brother, the eldest of five siblings, as “a funny young man”. “He was the life and soul of the party, a prankster, always up to high jinks. He was a trend setter and people would often borrow his clothes.”

Family, friends and supporters gathered for the JJ Gallagher 20th anniversary weekend JJ was very active in the community and was a drummer in a Ceili band. “He was very artistic and had a flair for art. I used to get him to do my art homework,” she laughs. “He loved sketching and would often do portraits of people as a pastime.” Sadly, as Cathy, a nanny for 25 years, says: “A smile can hide a multitude.” Around the time of his tragic death, the Gallagher siblings were organising the 25th wedding anniversary celebrations for their parents, Eileen and Josie. “There were no outward signs that JJ wasn’t coping and on the day he died, he went about his normal routine. He even went to the sweet shop for his youngest sister Bernice as he had done so many times before.” Cathy was working in America and remembers a phone conversation with him about collecting a specially etched mirror for their parents. “I had no reason to suspect anything,” she says.

Cathy with her children Ethan and Bethany


In her father, Josie’s words, JJ’s death came as “a thunderbolt”. Cathy echoes that sentiment: “It was a massive blow that left so many unanswered questions.” Josie worked as a paramedic but says: “You never know the pain until it comes to your own door.” Still, Josie is stoic when it comes to talking about his son’s death. “We don’t want to dwell. We had 24 years with him. We have the memories.” Cathy says that the tragedy has brought them closer as a family unit. “We’re very close and that is a testament to JJ.” The Gallagher family were honoured to start the recently held ‘Darkness into Light Walk’ organised by Pieta House in Letterkenny. Approximately 18,000 people attended the event last year which has become a movement across the world. Cathy believes one of the reasons for the high instance of male suicide is that men are reluctant to open up. “Mental health starts at a young age, I’ve heard of cases where children as young as 11 or 12 are

taking their lives. “Social media is a big factor too. There is so much emphasis placed on body image, which doesn’t just affect females; depression doesn’t discriminate. “Celebrities are quick to jump behind healthy eating campaigns, but there is nothing more important than a healthy mind.” Cathy is a single mum of two children, Ethan, 17, and Bethany, 10. Conversation is cherished in her family. “Phones are banned from the dinner table to encourage conversation. Mealtimes are one of the only times you get to sit down as a family and talk through issues.” She welcomes the age appropriate methods introduced to support mental health at schools, such as Bethany’s – St Eoghan’s in Moneyneena, near Draperstown. “If a child has something on their mind, they can go and put a note in the listening box or place their hand on a worry plaque. Both are placed outside the staff room door. The plaque lights up when touched and this offers the child a tangible way of feeling that their worry has been absorbed into the plaque. There is also a ‘friend stop’ in the playground where those who want to make friends, but are nervous of making the first move, can stand and then be approached. “St. Eoghan’s also offer a counselling service available to any of their students. This is an invaluable service.”


Cathy is adamant that not enough is being done to combat suicide in Northern Ireland and plans to continue to raise funds for the charity. “Pieta House has had to expand because of the need. I know of people it has helped - it is making a difference. I really appreciate what they’re doing. “While suicide has brought our family together, it has driven others apart. There isn’t enough help available for the people left behind.” Cathy believes there is still a stigma attached to the word. “It’s used as a label which can be very hurtful. My mother doesn’t like it but we need to talk about it to raise awareness. “We’re well aware of what happened to

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 57


Cathy and Bethany at Letterkenny to celebrate JJ’s memory Josie and Eileen Gallagher JJ and we’re not trying to hide it.” She adds poignantly: “Nobody should be defined by how they died, but remembered for how they lived.” Cathy believes that preventing suicide begins at home. However, it’s not always easy to pick up the signs that children may be in turmoil. “You can love them and guide them but still not be privy to what’s going on in their head. There should also be more support for parents to help them connect with their children.” She is at pains to point out the difference we all can make in our everyday lives. “Life goes by in a blink. A simple smile can make a big difference to someone’s day. I’ve always said, ‘manners costs nothing’. People

take one another for granted. You might see people every day, but, do you really see them?”


Cathy has this advice for anyone struggling with depression: “Talk to someone. A family member or a stranger. There is always someone there to listen. Nobody wants to wake up to that news. Your family would rather have you here. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay.” Cathy captures her sentiments beautifully in a poem she wrote about her brother to mark World Suicide Day in 2015: “But what if there was a way that no one else would feel that pain. That they could simply hug their loved ones

Instead of looking at them in a frame.” She thanks family and friends for their unwavering support through this emotional time. “The fundraising event started off as a seed but it grew and grew. I couldn’t have done it on my own.” She stresses how important it is to make memories. “My friends call me Cathy Click as I’m always taking photos. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring so make memories. You can’t imagine the sheer joy that old photos will bring to you in the future. There is nothing as beautiful as looking at a photo album.” Donate using friends & family link Pieta House Freecall suicide helpline: 1800 247 247

In November last year, it was reported that Northern Ireland has the highest rates of suicide in the UK but mental health funding is 25% lower. The most recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics report that 297 people died by suicide in 2016 and that 221 were male and 76 were female. David Babington, chief executive of Action Mental Health, said in February this year: “Our health service is being starved of funding and decision making, and we are seeing a deeply worrying rate of suicide. It’s hard to believe that more people have now died through suicide than were killed in the Troubles. Where is the £50 million in extra funding for mental health which was promised nearly a year ago?” Coronation Street recently highlighted the important issue of male suicide when ‘everyman’ Aidan Connor inexplicably died. Actor Shayne Ward said of his character: “Talking could have helped Aidan turn his life around. Suicide is a very permanent response to what are usually temporary problems.” Producer Kate Oates said: “Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. We quite simply can’t afford to not talk about it.” Ruth Sutherland, CEO of Samaritans, added: “Soaps can play an incredibly powerful role in increasing people’s awareness and understanding of difficult issues. By illustrating the dangers of staying silent when it feels like life’s challenges are overwhelming, we hope others who are struggling will be encouraged to reach out for support.”

58 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

Storming theCastle 10KRun andFamily FunDay even bigger evenbigger in2018


ith the countdown on to this year’s Storming the Castle 10K, on Sunday, August 26, race organiser Seapark AC is encouraging runners to secure their place as entries are filling up fast. Part of the Novosco 10K Grand Prix series, this annual race is renowned as a fast, flat course, ideal for both experienced runners and beginners with the opportunity to record personal and season best times. Race Director Andy Smyth said they were expecting this year’s event to be even bigger than last year’s: “We have increased our numbers to 1,000 places to allow even more people to take part and so we are hugely encouraged to see the number of entries – almost half of the places are taken already. With the early bird rates still available until the end of June we are urging runners to take advantage of the discounted rates and get registered. We will continue to take online entries up until August 20 or until we are sold out. “We have, once again, a fantastic team working to deliver this year’s event which offers something for everyone. Working alongside Mid and East Antrim Council, there will be two medieval–themed fun runs entitled ‘Chase the Knight’ for children between 4-9 and 10-14 at the Amphitheatre Leisure Centre. This takes

Storming the Castle organisers, Seapark AC say its ‘time’ to get registered for this year’s event as places are filling up fast. Joining Seapark’s Andy Smyth, Race Director and Bobbie Irvine are Amy Beatson and Ryan Campbell from Carrickfergus, who both took advantage of the discounted early bird entry rates still available until end of June. Register online at place before the main 10K race event starts so everyone can get involved. “Alongside post-race refreshments for all participating athletes, we will be working with our main sponsor Ownie’s Bar Bistro to offer a range of family entertainment in Shaftesbury Park located near the finish line. Overall the event attracted around 2,000 people last year between runners, spectators and volunteers and we believe it is the unique combination of a road race and family fun day which gives this event such wide appeal. “Of course, we have also had great feedback on the route for the main event – Storming the Castle 10K which makes the most of the town’s iconic attractions such as the castle and picturesque harbour and marina making it a striking choice of venue for both runners and spectators. In addition, there will be prizes for main race categories as well as spot prizes on the day. For anyone running the Belfast Half Marathon, the timing of our 10K can also fit well with your training plan. To register

simply visit Storming-the-Castle “We will once again have pacers for 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and 70 minutes carrying new, easy to spot pacer flags to help people get the time they want.” Andy also thanked the sponsors: “We are very grateful to all our sponsors for their generous support. This year new sponsors are onboard – Acorn Blinds will be an age category sponsor and will also be supplying the water for our 10K runners and Pyper Property will be also be sponsoring one of our age category prizes. “We also welcome back Carrick Osteopathic Clinic and SPR McGowan Tree Services, sponsoring the Open male and female winners with Castello Italia, Domino’s Pizza, Marina Motors and Abbey Insurance all back as category winner sponsors. Pure Running is also back to sponsor the junior category. “There has been much coverage of the popularity of running as a sport with over 2 milliion people in the UK now running

at least once a week. You just have to look at the numbers now doing Parkruns, participating in ‘Couch to 5K’ initiatives and the growth in Athletics NI affiliated clubs. Once people get the bug, they are hooked! As head coach of our local club it is great to see this level of interest and the wider health benefits it brings to society. “We look forward to welcoming both individual athletes and clubs from right across Northern Ireland to this year’s event. Full details are available at www. or Facebook Storming the Castle, #STC10K. *Earlybird entry (until June 30): Affiliated £13, Non–Affiliated £15 On-line entry, July 1 – August 20: Affiliated £15, Non–Affiliated £17 Chase the Knight Fun Run: To book a place contact Mid and East Antrim Council Amphitheatre Leisure Centre on 028 9335 8342 or email amphitheatre@


“We are so excited to be bringing The Magic Storybook to Northern Ireland for the very first time,” said Milkshake presenter and show director Derek Moran. “It’s a magical show full of audience participation. The Milkshake! audience will love the classic fairytale storylines, the songs and seeing lots of their favourite Milkshake! characters live on stage.” Milkshake! Live, The Magic Storybook, stars Milkshake! favourites Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Toyland Detective, Fireman Sam, Shimmer and Shine, Pip Ahoy!, Winnie and Wilbur, Wissper as well as Milkshake!’s very own Milkshake! Monkey and two Milkshake! presenters at every show. The show, on Wednesday, August 8, will take audiences on a journey through their

favourite fairy tales featuring much-loved stories that will be familiar to everyone – young and old. With music, singing and dancing, Milkshake! Live, The Magic Storybook is the fourth nationwide live tour from Channel 5’s Milkshake! “It’s incredibly important that we are able to take Milkshake! to our audiences around the UK so that everyone can have the opportunity to experience the brand in an immersive way,” said Sarah Muller, Head of Children’s, Channel 5. “Through our live tours, we can give families a Milkshake! event that they won’t find anywhere else, one where they can meet their favourite characters and presenters whilst enjoying a brilliant family day out.” UK families can find out more about Milkshake!

All the Milkshake! favourites will be in Belfast Live ‘The Magic Story Book’ by visiting facebook. com/milkshakelive/ or by following the tour on twitter @milkshaketour or

Instagram @milkshakelive. There are shows at The SSE Arena, Belfast, on Wednesday, August 8, at 12pm and 4pm.

60 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018 Sea Bangor Maritime Festival runs this weekend, June 9–10

Now that summer has finally arrived, you’re probably wondering how you can fill up your free time over the next few months. Not going abroad? Fret not, we have you covered! From rockin’ gigs to fun festivals and maritime experiences, Northern Ireland is surely where the sun will shine. Here are a few of our top picks: JUNE

 This is a real treat for all you bookworms out there as the Belfast Book Festival returns for an eighth time, at The Crescent and partner venues across the city from now until June 16. As Northern Ireland’s leading literary festival, it showcases some of the brightest and best in local and international talent. This year’s highlights include a look back on the classic Van Morrison album Astral Weeks by Boston Globe, Vice and Boston Magazine journalist Ryan H Walsh. Sport fans will be delighted to hear that respected Spanish football journalist, author and pundit Guillem Balague will also be in attendance as he talks all things related to the beautiful game. For more information, visit  Staged in a range of venues across Greater Belfast, the Belfast Photo Festival Compact runs from June 7-30 and explores the use of photography and music with two major exhibitions showcasing the works of visual artists, Brian Griffin and James Mollison. Visit www.belfastphotofestival. com for a full programme of events.  The ever-popular Sea Bangor Maritime Festival docks on June 9-10 with a host

The Script are playing Belsonic

Makethisa SUMMER toremember of activities including live music, food stalls, street theatre, impressive displays and a rowing competition. And with the Tall Ships arriving in all their glory, this promises to be bigger and better than ever.

 One of the top events in all of UK music once again returns to Belfast – and it is sure to get the city rocking. Belsonic 2018, running from June 15-30, has arguably its most impressive and diverse line-up to

date. Nile Rogers and Chic (June 15) is the first headliner, followed by Liam Gallagher (June 16), Picture This (June 17), Timmy Trumpet (June 21), Carl Cox (June 23), The Script (June 24) and concludes with Eric Prydz presents Holo (June 30). Tickets have been selling fast, so be sure to snap

See chef Jean-Christophe Novelli at the Comber Earlies Food Festival

up any that are remaining. To book, visit

 Multi-Michelin star chef JeanChristophe Novelli will be hosting this year’s demonstrations at the Comber Earlies Food Festival on June 23. Join the celebrations and have a relaxing picnic while listening to a brass band and all the other fun sights and sounds. With amazing savoury potato-based traditional gourmet dishes to try, children’s activities and street theatre to enjoy, this is going to be a great family day out.  Having burst on the scene last year, the Portaferry Sails and Sounds Festival (June 28-July 1) brings together a sizeable fleet of traditional sailing craft racing on Strangford Lough, as well as hosting traditional Scottish music, dance workshops, free kids’ entertainment and concerts throughout the town. There will also be maritime history talks, exhibits and one act drama events in various locations. For further information, visit www.

8 June 2018 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 61 Sharks at Exploris

The Grand Opera House is hosting a family festival in July


 A three-day programme of unmissable events, sure to excite all ages, from July 3-5, the Grand Opera House Family Festival provides a behind-the-scenes look at theatre life. From operating the lighting and sound boards in the special daily family theatre tours, to the Fairy Godmother’s Tea Party, where you can join your favourite fairy-tale and pantomime characters for an interactive and fun event that the whole family can enjoy with storytelling and a sing-a-long. There will also be animation, magic, dance and exotic

animal workshops. For more information on events, times and booking, visit www.

 Get ready to feel the bite at Shark Awarness Day at Exploris Aquarium on July 14. Learn more about these fascinating creatures and the aquarium’s blacktip reef sharks. There will also be lots of fun shark-themed activities to enjoy. For more information, visit  Strictly sweethearts Kevin and Karen Clifton are back with their brand new

show Kevin & Karen Dance: The Live Tour 2018 at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, on July 28. Get ready to be dazzled as the duo break out their fancy footwork and weave their own spellbinding style of ballroom magic. Join in with the salsa, foxtrot, tango and cha cha as this high-energy night of entertainment will surely mesmerise! To book tickets, visit

 Belfast Pride 2018 runs from July 27

to August 5, with Pride Day on Saturday, August 4. This is one of the biggest events in Northern Ireland’s festival calendar, and runs over 100 events across 10 days. The centrepiece parade on August 4 leaves from Custom House at 1pm and winds its way down Royal Avenue and around City Hall before returning to Custom House Square. For more information on events, visit

62 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 8 June 2018

The Pride parade

Belfast Mela celebrates a world of cultures at Botanic Gardens The Twilight Market


 Hosting over 100 traders specialising in local and continental foods, the Twilight Market returns to St George’s Market on July 31 and August 1. It will be open from 4pm-11pm each day. All Twilight Market events are strictly over 18s after 9pm. To find out more, visit uk/twilightbelfast.  Open House Festival 2018 will see Bangor buzzing throughout August, with 142 events, including headline acts Public Image Ltd (PiL), The Waterboys and John Grant. Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell is booked, as are Dr Helen Pankhurst, Martin Bell OBE, singer songwriter Hannah Peel, author Patrick Gregg and mentalist Joel Mawhinney. As well as large scale open air concerts against a backdrop of beautiful Bangor Bay, the festival includes the Seaside Revival Weekend, celebrating the town as a seaside resort. Many events are free – check out the programme at www.openhousebangor. com  Singer Olly Murs (right) has gone on to become a huge star since he started out on the X Factor in

Liam Gallagher 2009. On August 11, the singer headlines an unmissable night in Falls Park for Feile 30. To book tickets, visit www.

 If you love fresh seafood, then this is the day out for you... The Portavogie Sea Food Festival on August 11 will be filled with delicious grub, children’s entertainment and much more.  Embarking on their first UK tour in 12 years, The League Of Gentlemen, starring Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson, returns to Belfast at the SSE Arena. To book your tickets, visit www.  The Belfast Mela is back on August 26 at the Botanic Gardens which will be transformed into a sea of vibrant colours, high energy, dancing and great family fun. The event, which is increasing in popularity, celebrates diversity and brings people together. For more information, visit www.belfastmela.

Family Life June 2018  
Family Life June 2018