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TOP

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Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

IN ASSOCIATION WITH


TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

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CELEBRATINGTHE TOP100HOSPITALITY BUSINESSESIN NORTHERNIRELAND2019

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We’reallwinners

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ongratulations to this year’s Top 100 hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland who were revealed at a black tie awards ceremony at Titanic Belfast, hosted by Hospitality Ulster. From Michelin starred restaurants and five-star hotels to buzzing city centre nightclubs, gastropubs, quaint country pubs, restaurants and hotels, Hospitality Ulster’s Top 100 shines the spotlight on Northern Ireland hospitality at its best. Among the newcomers making the list were Asian fusion eatery Yugo and the newly opened Grand Central hotel, Belfast, Ocho Tapas in Portrush, and The Guildhall Taphouse in Derry~Londonderry. Firm favourites such as Sally’s of Omagh, Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Friel’s of Swatragh and Kelly’s Cellars are amongst those that have remained on the coveted list for a second year. The only industry recognised awards, Hospitality Ulster’s Top 100 Hospitality Business Awards winners are decided by a panel of independent judges. Headed up by Belfast Telegraph food critic Joris Minne, the panel includes chef Paula McIntyre, Allison Morris (Irish News),

Ulster Business editor John Mulgrew and Sunday Life Pub Spy columnist and music journalist Edwin McFee. Making the Top 100 is a team effort that extends back through the supply chain to the farmers, growers and producers who provide the raw materials for all that culinary and quaffing magic. Collectively, they’ve been quietly gathering admirers all over the world, particularly since the 2016 Year of Food and Drink. The result has been winning Best Food Destination at the World Travel and Tourism Awards last year – a superb achievement. The spotlight is about to get even more intense when Royal Portrush hosts golf’s biggest tournament, The Open in a few weeks’ time. Millions of TV viewers all over the world will see the game played against the spectacular Causeway Coast backdrop. It’s shaping up to be a once in a lifetime chance for Northern Ireland to shine on the world stage and there are events happening across the north coast and Belfast to celebrate the occasion. Rest assured, no matter who lifts the Claret Jug on July 21, Northern Ireland will come out the winner – just like the people who live here, enjoying the best of hospitality, year in, year out. Cheers!

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

e are very pleased to be introducing The Top 100 Hospitality Businesses in Northern Ireland for a second year, after the successful launch of the new awards format in 2018. Quite a few new names have made the list in 2019, and we also offer our congratulations to those entrants successful for a second year. Celebrating the best of our hospitality industry across Northern Ireland, Hospitality Ulster has welcomed the positive reception to The Top 100 which recognises those who, through their premises, staff and product offer, encompass the very essence of our unique hospitality industry and go the extra mile to deliver a great customer experience serving both their target audience and customer demographic. The Top 100 Hospitality Businesses are unique as the only awards made by the industry to the industry, recognising every sector of our industry, the diversity of our offer and the people who make our industry great. I would like to thank our partners who

Mark Stewart, chair of Hospitality Ulster work with us throughout the year and our sponsors who, together, have made The Top 100 Hospitality Businesses awards possible. I look forward to visiting as many of the 2019 Top 100 Hospitality Businesses as possible in the coming year.

Contents 4-5 A capital time in Belfast

34 Belfast’s got the Blues

6-7 Top 100 Hospitality Business Awards winners

36-38 More cocktails than you can shake (or stir) a stick at

16-17 For a flavour of this summer’s foodie festivals

42 Seaside Revival ahead of Open House Bangor

20 High achievers honoured at NI Tourism Awards

48 Fairs and festivals in Lisburn and Castlereagh

22 NI shines as World’s Best Food Destination 24 Top 100 mapped 26-27 Taste the island – a new annual event? 28 Celtic Smoke to fire NI onto world barbecue circuit 30-31 Summer entertainment, sorted 32-33 Countdown to The 148th Open at Portrush

Published by Belfast Telegraph, Clarendon House, Clarendon Dock, Belfast, BT1 3BH ADVERTISING Jackie Reid Belfast Telegraph j.reid@belfasttelegraph.co.uk EDITOR Fiona Rutherford, Realtime Editing & Design NI Ltd, f.rutherford@redni.co.uk DESIGN Susan McClean, INM Design Studio, Belfast PRINTING INM, Newry


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Cathedral Quarter

Titanic Belfast, image Tourism Ireland

Belfast City Hall

Summer inBelfast

St George’s Market

The Palm House at Botanic Gardens, image Tourism Ireland

This summer, make it Belfast. Enjoy a perfect day exploring the city from the city centre and out through its eclectic quarters, each with something special to uncover and enjoy. Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich

City Centre

At the heart of the city centre is Belfast City Hall. Opened in 1906, it hosts a visitor exhibition that tracks the City’s history. After exploring the shops and stores on Donegall Place and Royal Avenue, or the Victorian St George’s Market, hunt out the many cool cafes, cosy pubs and tasty restaurants hidden in the entries, streets and avenues. TOP TIP: As well as sensational shopping at Victoria Square, don’t miss taking the lift up to the huge dome to enjoy 360° degree views right across the city.

Cathedral Quarter

This historic trading quarter is a maze of cobblestoned streets and warehouses that are now home to trendy bars, clubs and restaurants. Visitor attractions include the Metropolitan Arts Centre (the MAC), St Anne’s Cathedral, the Oh Yeah Music Centre and the Discover Ulster Scots Centre. Full of colourful street art, this area of town is buzzing with music, entertainment and fun at night. TOP TIP: Make time for afternoon tea in the luxurious Merchant Hotel to admire the opulent surroundings, huge domed ceiling and Ireland’s largest chandelier.

CS Lewis Square

Linen Quarter

The area behind Belfast City Hall, where the White Linen Hall once stood, visitors can enjoy the architecture of old linen mills which now house a mix of offices, chic bars and award-winning restaurants. This is a great part of town to enjoy pretheatre dinner and drinks before catching an entertaining show at the Grand Opera House. TOP TIP: Be sure to visit Ireland’s tallest bar, the Observatory at the Grand Central Hotel, where you can take in the view and savour the most masterfully mixed cocktail creations.

Titanic Quarter

Steeped in memories when Belfast was a world centre of maritime trade, shipbuilding and commerce, the Titanic

Quarter is one of world’s largest urban waterfront regeneration schemes. Visit or take a tour of the many Titanic related visitor attractions, be wowed by the interactive visitor centre W5, catch a show, concert or ice hockey match at the SSE Arena or discover the fascinating history of World War One survivor, HMS Caroline. TOP TIP: Make sure you catch GAME OF THRONES™: The Touring Exhibition on its only visit to the UK and Ireland at TEC Belfast (until September 1).

Queen’s Quarter

Home to Queen’s University Belfast, the area is abound with tranquil parks and gardens. Come face to face with dinosaurs, get up close with an Egyptian mummy, or marvel at some of the best Irish art at the Ulster Museum. Stroll through the recently restored Tropical Ravine in Botanic Gardens, take in an art-house movie at QFT or enjoy great live music or stand-up comedy at the Empire Music Hall. TOP TIP: The neighbouring Lisburn Road offers the ultimate designer shopping experience dotted with a selection of cafes, artisan delis, salons and wine bars.

Gaeltacht Quarter

The Peace Wall

The focus of Irish language, music and culture is in the west of the city. Many visitors come to see the area’s famous political murals and peace wall but there’s plenty more to discover. Start at An Chultúrlann, the Quarter’s culture and arts centre, explore Clonard Monastery or enjoy the three mile Divis Summit Trail, a specifically designed loop walk on Divis Mountain with spectacular views over Belfast. TOP TIP: Visit the newly-opened James Connolly Centre - explore the visitor centre exhibition, relax in the Hatch café or learn something new in the library.

EastSide

Once the beating heart of the city’s industrial past with thousands of people employed in linen mills, rope factories, engineering works and shipyards, EastSide is now thriving once again but this time as a hub of culture and creativity. Make the EastSide Visitor Centre your first stop, with information on key attractions in east Belfast and famous people who lived in the area including CS Lewis, George Best and Van Morrison. TOP TIP: Rediscover The Chronicles of Narnia with a walk through CS Lewis Square, featuring seven bronze sculptures from ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’.

The Shankill

Straddling North and West Belfast, the Shankill is home to a wide collection of painted murals depicting the social and political history of the area. Places of interest include the Old Shankill Graveyard, dating back to the 14th century, the Shankill Memorial Park and the ancient Bullaun Stone. St Matthew’s Church, built in 1872, is nearby and is known as the Shankill Shamrock due to its unique design and distinctive shape. TOP TIP: Stop at Cupar Way to see the murals, graffiti and short messages of peace and hope left by thousands of visitors to the Peace Wall. For more tips on planning a day out in Belfast, go to visitbelfast.com.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

TheTop100Hospitality Businesses-fulllisting VENUE

LOCATION

CATEGORY

Anchor Bar Complex

Portstewart

URBAN PUBS

Angler's Rest

Benone

RESTAURANTS

Auction Rooms

Dungannon

RURAL PUBS

Balloo House

Killinchy

RURAL PUBS

Bank Bar & Bistro

Newry

URBAN PUBS

Billy Andy's

Raloo

RURAL PUBS

Bishop's Gate Hotel

Derry-Londonderry

HOTELS

Blackbird

Derry-Londonderry

CITY PUBS

Blakes of the Hollow

Enniskillen

URBAN PUBS

Brewer's House

Donaghmore

RESTAURANTS

Bridge Bar

Newry

URBAN PUBS

Browns Restaurant

Derry-Londonderry

RESTAURANTS

Bull & Claw

Donaghadee

RURAL PUBS

Bullitt

Belfast

HOTELS

Bushmills Inn

Bushmills

HOTELS

Canal Court

Newry

HOTELS

Cellar Bar

Lurgan

URBAN PUBS

Church Street

Magherafelt

RESTAURANTS

Coachman

Magherafelt

URBAN PUBS

Coppi

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Corner House

Lurgan

URBAN PUBS

Corr's Corner

Newtownabbey

HOTELS

Crosskeys Inn

Toome

RURAL PUBS

Crowne Plaza

Belfast

HOTELS

Cyprus Avenue

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Deanes @ Queen's

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Deanes EIPIC

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Dirty Onion

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Dorman's Bar

Magherafelt

URBAN PUBS

Duke of York

Belfast

CITY PUBS

EDO

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Entrada

Derry-Londonderry

RESTAURANTS

Errigle Inn

Belfast

URBAN PUBS

Europa Hotel

Belfast

HOTELS

Front Page

Ballymena

URBAN PUBS

Fullerton Arms

Ballintoy

RURAL PUBS

Galgorm Resort & Spa

Ballymena

HOTELS

Garrick

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Ginger Bistro

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Goat's Toe

Bangor

URBAN PUBS

Grand Central

Belfast

HOTELS

Granny Annie's

Limavady

RESTAURANTS

Guildhall Taphouse

Derry-Londonderry

CITY PUBS

Hadski's

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Hagan's Bar & Bar Bella

Dungannon

URBAN PUBS


TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph VENUE

LOCATION

CATEGORY

Harp Bar

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Head O'The Road

Portadown

RURAL PUBS

Henry's / Jailhouse

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Hillside Bar & Restaurant

Hillsborough

RURAL PUBS

Hop House

Bangor

URBAN PUBS

House

Belfast

HOTELS

Howard Street

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Jumon

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Keegan's Bar

Armagh

URBAN PUBS

Kelly's Cellars

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Killyhevlin

Enniskillen

HOTELS

Kiwi's Brew Bar

Portrush

URBAN PUBS

La Taqueria

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Lavery's

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Limelight

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Lobster Pot

Strangford

RURAL PUBS

Londonderry Arms

Carnlough

HOTELS

Lough Erne Resort

Enniskillen

HOTELS

Mary McBride's

Cushendun

RURAL PUBS

Mattie's Meeting House

Cairncastle

RURAL PUBS

McAleer's Bar

Dungannon

URBAN PUBS

McConville's

Portadown

URBAN PUBS

Merchant Hotel

Belfast

HOTELS

Millbrook Lodge Hotel

Ballynahinch

HOTELS

Morning Star

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Muddlers Club

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

NOBLE.

Holywood

RESTAURANTS

Northern Lights

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Northern Whig

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Nu Delhi

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Number Seven Duke Street

Warrenpoint

URBAN PUBS

O'Neill's (Red Ned's)

Armagh

URBAN PUBS

Ocho Tapas

Portrush

RESTAURANTS

Ownies Bar & Bistro

Carrickfergus

URBAN PUBS

OX

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Peadar O'Donnell's

Derry-Londonderry

CITY PUBS

Portaferry Hotel

Portaferry

HOTELS

Primrose

Derry-Londonderry

RESTAURANTS

Rafters / Friel's

Swatragh

RURAL PUBS

Ramore Wine Bar

Portrush

RESTAURANTS

Rostrevor Inn

Rostrevor

URBAN PUBS

Ruby's Bar

Larne

URBAN PUBS

Sally's

Omagh

URBAN PUBS

Saltwater Brig

Kircubbin

RURAL PUBS

Sandinos Café Bar

Derry-Londonderry

CITY PUBS

Shepherd's Rest

Draperstown

RURAL PUBS

Shu

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

Spaniard

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Still House

Moira

URBAN PUBS

Sunflower

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Taphouse Gastro Pub

Enniskillen

RURAL PUBS

Union Street Bar

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Voodoo

Belfast

CITY PUBS

Wine & Brine

Moira

RESTAURANTS

Yugo

Belfast

RESTAURANTS

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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

An aerial view of Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort

SPONSORED

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Relax in Elements Spa

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algorm Spa & Golf Resort, Northern Ireland’s premier luxury Hotel and Spa situated only 30 minutes from Belfast, is the perfect location to relax and get away from it all. Set within 163 acres of lush parkland with the spectacular River Maine flowing through the estate, Galgorm offers a truly unique and memorable setting. The Resort is a destination having been transformed from an 18th Century gentleman’s Manor House into an opulent Resort & Spa complex, unrivalled throughout the island of Ireland in terms of the choice and quality of facilities. Home to 122 guestrooms and selection of log cabins and cottages cottage suites nestled within the grounds, guests are offered an exceptional choice of accommodation.

Spa Village

Over £30 million has been invested at the Resort over the last 10 years to create facilities and experiences to compete on a global stage. The jewel in the crown is most certainly the unique Thermal Spa Village, where guests will experience the ultimate in relaxation and luxury wellness. The first of its kind in the UK and Ireland this breathtaking space which opened in September 2015, is committed to creating a truly authentic Irish Spa experience. Inspired by an idyllic woodland location perched along the River Maine, it is a haven for the certified zen-seeker and firsttime spa-goers alike, combining awardwinning spa facilities and professional service to create an environment where tranquility can flourish. A smorgasbord of heated and cool spa experiences awaits, including saunas, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, heated loungers, private riverside tubs and the famed snow cabin, to name but a few. Savour the views and awaken your senses in the surroundings of the River House or the comfort of the Orangery or immerse yourself in one of Galgorm’s bespoke Spa Rituals. The Celtic Sauna, originating in Finland and now practised worldwide, is Galgorm’s unique presentation on the Aufguss sauna ritual, where you will be guided through a meditative experience by

A Deluxe guestroom

Planyourperfect escapetoGalgorm your Sauna Master. When you have worked up a hunger, you can further indulge the senses with refreshing drinks and nourishing nibbles in Elements Spa Café, a robe only riverside dining experience housed in the Halo Dome, a unique structure one of only 5 in the world. The Thermal Spa is complemented by a completely bespoke spa treatment menu available in one of 13 individual treatment rooms or the unique Boudoir designed for groups. Exclusively designed for at The Spa at Galgorm these signature treatments have been created in partnership with the luxury product house, Aromatherapy Associates. The latest addition to The Spa is the Skin Clinic using SkinCeuticals products. The mission is to improve skin health and provide advanced skincare backed by science.

making it the largest in Ireland and housed in a stunning bespoke Gin Library.

Fratelli Belfast

The owners behind the award-winning Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort have also invested in Belfast’s growing hospitality sector over the last number of years, bringing their Fratelli brand to one of Belfast’s most hustling and bustling streets, Great Victoria Street. Fratelli oozes rustic Italian charm with a contemporary edge. Meaning ‘brothers’ in Italian the Fratelli brand concept is one of welcoming guests into a family friendly, informal

Dining & entertainment

At Galgorm Spa & Golf Resorts the guests’ enjoyment is always at the forefront of their mind and dining and entertainment play a very important part of their offering. The Resort boasts a range of restaurants and bars offering an unparalleled selection of flavours, themes and dining experiences. Whether you are looking to enjoy the decadence of Afternoon Tea in the stunning setting of the Conservatory, elegant dining in the 3AA Rosette River Room, the casual setting of Gillies Bar & Grill or family-friendly traditional Italian in Fratelli, there is an option for you at the Resort. Opened in 2018, at Galgorm Castle was Castle Kitchen + Bar, their authentic BBQ smokehouse. Live music can be enjoyed seven days a week at The Resort, from traditional Irish sessions to jazz in the Conservatory and no visit to Galgorm would be complete without experiencing their Gin collection with over 400 varieties,

The leisure pool

environment where the focus is on simple yet quality cookery and a warm welcome. Their friendly team serve traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist. Authentic Italian cicchetti perfect for sharing, handmade pizzas, mouthwatering pasta dishes and tempting mini desserts all feature on the unique menu. Keeping with the family friendly environment, kids can build their own pizza before enjoying a mini bambinocino whilst reading the story of the 3 little boars as the chef puts the finishing touches to their masterpiece. The owners have opened a French-style restaurant at one of the city’s most iconic sites, Cleaver House overlooking Belfast City Hall. he restaurant is set over two floors offering a modern twist on the classic brasserie dishes for lunch and dinner as well as afternoon teas. There is also a private dining provision and a terraced area with generous panoramic views over the city. More recently they have purchased the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick with exciting and energetic plans for the redevelopment of the property. Plans for a new hotel, bar and restaurant at the former derelict church on Belfast’s Ormeau Road were also approved earlier this year. With luxurious facilities to enjoy and our renowned warm welcome, let us be your perfect escape – whether it be for a luxurious overnight stay or for a culinary experience.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

SPONSORED

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Gluten free food for people on the move

Keeping itfresh

From new ideas to fish, North Coast entrepreneurs Sean and Geraldine McLaughlin are building a successful hospitality business by keeping it fresh and innovative

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rade was up 80% year on year in May for Ballintoy country pub and inn the Fullerton Arms, following a three-and-a-half-year investment programme totalling over £300,000. Refurbishment of dog-friendly accommodation marked completion of husband-and-wife-team Sean and Geraldine McLaughlin’s main programme of activity to rejuvenate the rural property. Geraldine, perhaps the voice of reason in the partnership, was hoping to take things down a notch after a busy few years completely overhauling the property. For anyone who knows Sean, however, that was never going to happen. He explains how completing the planned

programme of works for the Fullerton Arms has only freed him up to explore new ideas. Among those are expanding the property’s dog-friendly credentials further with on-site glamping pods, and embarking on a new business venture with Kraken Fish & Chips. Offering dog-friendly services is just one of many innovations the entrepreneurial couple have introduced to make the Fullerton Arms the success it is today. Scandi-chic bedrooms bring an unexpected element of comfort and style to the historic property, while its food and beverage offer champions local produce and includes Northern Ireland’s first moulerie.

‘Throne’ room

Introducing a Game of Thrones-themed room, featuring the sixth Door of Thrones, has placed the Fullerton Arms at the heart of the tourist trail for the many avid fans of the HBO show. And while the property was already

ideally located for North Coast tourists, being a stone’s throw from the Carrick-aRede Rope Bridge and short drive from the Giant’s Causeway, the McLaughlins have boosted its prospects further in partnership with tour operators. The success of the business has


TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

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A refurbished room

Sean McLaughlin in his Kraken van

supported the investment programme, and also facilitated expansion of the Fullerton Arms team from nine to 16 full-time staff members off-peak, rising to 38 full and part-time employees in high season. “The Fullerton product as we saw it four years ago, is now complete,” says Sean. “We have a four-star product in terms of our accommodation, and what we do generally. We have a very well-rounded food and beverage business. Anything else left to do is cosmetic.” While coach tours have been filling the restaurant and bar with international visitors since Sean and Geraldine took over the property, one area they are seeing more business from this year is self-drive tours. “We’re selling a lot into Holland and Switzerland and the demand for our bedrooms is great,” says Sean. “They’re all loving the product, and what we have done with the design. We really wanted to appeal to the European market because it offers massive growth and a return factor, so that’s working quite well.” Building long-term relationships is a strategy for the business, with the McLaughlins opting for a legacy impact through a partnership with Tourism NI during The Open in Portrush rather than short-term gains from maximising rates over the week. “If you drive around the town, look how good it looks,” says Sean of Portrush’s facelift for The Open. “It’s taking shape.”

Fresh fish

And the couple has launched its latest business venture, Kraken Fish & Chips, in a vintage Citroen H Van in prime

position outside Barry’s, beside Portrush’s revamped train station. A second mobile Kraken unit, in a horsebox, is already in operation in Dunfanaghy, Donegal, and Sean is looking at acquiring a tram to put in the Portrush location, so he can free up the Citroen for private functions around Northern Ireland. Kraken Fish & Chips is bringing something new to the category, with a 100% gluten-free offer focused on quality ingredients and sustainable packaging. “I’ve always wanted to do a chip van, I don’t know why,” says Sean, “and over the past eight or nine years, so many people are doing different things with them.” Citing the same lack of a quality seafood offer which inspired the Fullerton Arms’ moulerie, Sean says: “I knew there was an opening. Portrush is a seaside town, and there was nobody doing a fresh, bespoke product you can come and enjoy.” A lot of development work has gone into the Kraken’s product, with Sean sourcing high-quality cod from Keenan Seafoods which is delivered three times a week from van door to van door. And he is in talks with fishing boats operating out of Portrush Harbour to add local pollack and coley to the offer. “I wanted to have proper big thick, flaky fish, perfectly cooked in a really crispy batter because that’s what I would remember from years ago,” says Sean. “We also didn’t want to fry in dripping or suet so we use rapeseed oil, because there’s a bit more of a health benefit, and gluten-free batter. “We’re opening it up to a lot more markets. In a family of four, if two are

coeliac, everyone can have the same food and enjoy it and don’t have to have a separate portion. We don’t use any flour anywhere at all in the van. “We are the only people to use smoked fish and batter it, and our chips are all local potatoes chipped fresh every day. We have our own secret curry sauce, which is served with all the fish and is going down a storm and then we have the daily specials.”

NW200 debut

Making its debut during the NW200, the van is now open seven days a week over the summer months, with opening hours and specials well publicised on its Facebook and Instagram sites. And Sean, who hails from a chefing background himself, is often found in the van himself, enjoying a bit of banter with customers. “We’ll be doing the Kellys event down at the beach, and we’re getting lots of enquiries about private functions, birthday parties and weddings,” he says. “It’s a nice brand, it’s identifiable and people are starting to see what it is.” Fresh specials might include, for example, monkfish, hake goujons with

peperonata, cod cheek scampi, salt and chilli squid and tacos. “We’re just testing to see what people want and then we’ll narrow that down,” he says. “If it continues to grow, you might see one site going static, staying in a shop somewhere and increasing the range but the same ethos would be there.” Wyatt & Ackerman in Bristol has created stylish, branded packaging for Kraken Fish & Chips, in line with the bespoke ethos of the brand. “The packaging is all compostable,” says Sean. “Everything comes from a natural source, with no waxing on it. The boxes are made from a compressed corrugation that allows the food to stay hot for longer, and we’re sourcing a compostable container for the peas and the curry.” Development of the Kraken business is also offering inspiration as the Fullerton Arms’ food and beverage offer continues to evolve. Sean hopes the partnership with local fishermen will also extend to supplying the Ballintoy property and, in the meantime, he is looking at boosting its menu with lobster nights. Keeping it fresh of course.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

SPONSORED

TheErrigleInn... alwaysinseason

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Enjoy a meal in the Inn

We have something for everyone this summer...

The Errigle Inn is a city institution

Catch up with friends

The roof garden

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njoy a local Gin & Tonic outside in the sun or on our Roof Garden, follow the summer sport on our 4K screens in the Pinewood bar, have a quiet pint of Cask ale in the Oak Lounge, or tuck into a fresh summer salad in Tom McGurran’s bar. Based on the bustling Ormeau Road on the outskirts of the city centre, the Errigle Inn is one of Ireland’s most famous traditional pubs. Our Oak Lounge is a Belfast institution and is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Not much has changed from 1936 when it first opened, as the same furniture is used to this day along with the Irish Oak wooden floor. There’s no TV and no background music – just a great place to meet friends for a catch-up.

Cheers

If you enjoy beer, you’ll love our selection of Cask, Craft and old favourites. We were pouring Craft beer before it was cool and we’re still as passionate about the beers we serve to this day. In the Oak Lounge you’ll find rotating Cask beer pumps and a Craft Cider pump, while in the Pinewood Bar you’ll have a choice of eight, regularly rotating craft beer taps from breweries such as Beavertown, Boundary,

Cocktail, anyone? Farmageddon, Verdant, and many more. These beers are also available to take away and enjoy at home using our state-ofthe-art Canister machine, Craft Draught Canned.

Lounge, where some of the best local comedians have appeared such as Colin Murphy, Tim McGarry, Owen O’Neill, Colin Geddis, Mickey Bartlett and Shane Todd to name a few.

Entertainment

Games

Our famous pub quiz takes place every Monday night, Tuesday is the night for Traditional music in Pinewood bar, while during the rest of the month we have a live Bluegrass session, plus regular Real Music Club gigs, amongst other live music. Wednesday nights we have the String Ninjas, an instrumental duo from Belfast: fingerstyle guitarist Gavin Ferris and classical violinist Mick Conlon. We have a monthly Comedy Club in the Arbele

The Pinewood Bar is the place to be for all this summer’s big sporting events. We’ll have all the big Hurling and Gaelic Football matches throughout the summer. If you can’t get a ticket for the Open Golf Championship in Portrush we’ll have it all on our big screen. We’re proud to be the home of Rugby. Our Arbele Lounge is the place to be for the 6 Nations and other big Rugby matches. We’ll have all of Ireland’s warm-up matches for the World Cup.

Plus, we’ll be open for all of Ireland’s early morning World Cup matches. The Errigle Inn has become the go-to place for Ulster home matches, whether you’re going to the match or simply planning to watch it on the big screen in the bar. Enjoy the prematch craic between home and away fans.

Great food

We serve food seven days a week. Our menus are updated seasonally using fresh local ingredients. We have a daily lunch and evening menu that includes the Errigle Inn classics and seasonal favourites. Join us on Sunday for our traditional Sunday pub roast including our 3 Course offer.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Summer events seem more summery when the air is heavy with the aromas of good food and the gentle clinking of glasses. Here’s our foodie festival round-up to whet your appetite...

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he not so humble new potato is star of the Comber Earlies Festival in Comber, Co Down, from 10am– 4pm, tomorrow, Saturday, June 29. Celebrity chef James Tanner will be there and you can expect interactive cookery demonstrations, artisan food market, potato themed children’s craft, vintage tractor display, and lots of live entertainment.

The Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival returns to Shanes Castle, Randalstown on June 29–30. A country sports and family day out, there’s a lot going on from fishing to ferrets, dogs to donkeys, living history, jousting and more. The Fine Food Festival revolves around two marquees featuring the finest foods, preserves, drinks, cheeses, oils, meats. There’s a dedicated Good Food is in Our Nature marquee for Northern Ireland producers and there are also speciality artisan producers from southern Ireland and GB, like Sillfield Farm in Cumbria. Food historian, chef and author, Emmett McCourt is leading the demonstration kitchen.

Foraflavourofthis summer’sfestivals...

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Food Festival, on July 5–7 is a new festival in partnership with BBC Good Food.

Armagh Food and Cider Festival

There are live cookery demos in The Kitchen from Nadiya Hussain, Chris Bavin and Dr Rupy Aujla, there’s a Discover Northern Ireland Tasting Theatre, live entertainment on the bandstand and much more.

Go along for Blues and Shortcross Gin outside on the terrace at Rademon Estate, Crossgar, on Sunday afternoon, August 4. Featuring Ronnie Greer and his band, a full bar service will be in operation and a Shortcross Gin Bar will be outside on the terrace.

Join chef Jean-Christophe Novelli for the annual Portavogie Seafood Festival on August 10, from 12–5pm. Visitors can buy and taste an array of seafood delights from Northern Ireland’s biggest fish market and artisan food stalls. Kids will be kept well entertained with fishy fun including a touch tank, fishy characters, crafts TV chef James Tanner will be at the and a funfair (charges apply). Children Comber Earlies Festival

Enjoy Shortcross Gin and the sounds of Ronnie Greer at Rademon Estate


TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph Jean-Christophe Novelli will be at Portavogie Seafood Festival

Go along to The Argory, Dungannon, for a Lazy Sunday treat

are invited to enter the pirate fancy dress competition and the family entertainment includes Trialstar motorcycle stunts, a Strongman Trawler Pull and live music throughout the day. There are free buses all day, see visitardsandnorthdown.com for more information.

Lazy Sundays at the Argory are a chance to relax in the courtyard every Sunday afternoon in July and August with music, kids’ entertainment and you can buy lunch from the barbecue.

Armagh Food and Cider Festival ushers in autumn on September 19–22. Visitors to the iconic city of Armagh and the Orchard county can expect to raise more than a glass to an incredible spread of mouth-watering events. Enjoy a range of events and activities including open air markets, Tasting Dinners, Cider Discovery

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Food Festival Dinners and tastings, culinary masterclasses including Mediterranean, Sushi and Cooking with Fire, Bramley Apple Banquet, One Giant Step - G-Astronomy Culinary Evening at Armagh Planetarium, Hedgerow Foraging, foodie film nights, Art in the Orchard, Floral Demonstrations, Wine V Cider Dinner, Sushi Masterclass, Retox- Detox Jazz Brunch, Beef Barons Dinner, orchard tours and more. See www.visitarmagh.com/foodandcider

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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

SPONSORED

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

ANu experience

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u Delhi Lounge, a highend award winning Indian restaurant welcomes you to a ‘Nu’ concept of eating out. Food, cocktails and music, all in one place and all delivered to perfection. We have combined this new concept to suit Nu Delhi’s cosmopolitan look – London has come to Belfast.

A NU LOCATION Found on the 1st floor of the old Donaldson & Lyttle building at 68-72 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, a bright spacious setting with the added benefit of our heated terrace, we really have stepped away from the traditional style into a new vibrant dining experience while still sticking with our Indian roots, from the tuk tuk in the lobby to the Bollywood beauty adorning the back wall ensuring we never stray too far from our origins. A NU TASTE With the old favourites such as Masala, Korma and Jalfrezi we also have an extensive fusion grill menu, including Haldi Chilli Sea bass, one of our customers’ favourites... a cuisine never before seen in Northern Ireland. Our fusion mix of Indian Spices is used with local produce like tender lamb chops or sea bass – light, tasty and vibrant, this is sure to have your taste buds tantalised. Our ‘Nature’s Delights’ menu offers customers wanting a gluten free and/ or vegetarian option an opportunity to experience the full Indian flavour full of our own mix of herbs and spices. The experience doesn’t end with the food as we have developed a unique drinks menu to further enhance your experience, from specialty wines to perfectly served spirits and expertly mixed cocktails. We believe we have created something special and can’t wait to share the Nu Delhi experience with you. Call our team on 028 9024 4747 to book your Nu Delhi experience.


28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

SPONSORED

Alabouroflove

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ne of Ireland’s hidden gems, the charming village of Rostrevor has changed little since its Edwardian heyday when it was one of Ireland’s leading tourism resorts. Located in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, overlooking Carlingford Lough, it is once again becoming a popular visitor destination. It was faith in Rostrevor’s renaissance that lay behind the recent million pound restoration of the original 18th century building where the Crawford family first served drinks in the 1850s. The original stone and brick walls have been stripped back and the original timber beams are now a decorative feature. But the Inn’s success is not just down to its atmospheric décor. From its opening in 2015 it has been at the heart of local culture, its walls lined with the paintings of local artists, its intimate traditional bar, Crawfords, a haven for the remarkable musical talent of the area. Every other Monday the Rostrevor Folk Club at Crawfords has hosted the likes of Eleanor Shanley, Mick Hanly, Andy Irvine and Eleanor McEvoy. “If Carlsberg did folk clubs…” as Aoife Scott remarked when she played the club. Wednesday’s songs and stories session is a regular favourite, as is the

Sunday afternoon session which attracts traditional musicians from around the area. Crawfords is the old family hardware shop, converted into a bar for the film, “How about You?’ starring Vanessa Redgrave and Brenda Fricker. These days it and the snugs in the cobblestoned Stables areas are one of the area’s most popular watering holes, with a selection of local craft ales and gins and fine wines by the glass. Served in the atmospheric bistro area, the Rostrevor Inn’s acclaimed food menu is famous for its signature grilled hake, superb steaks and popular halloumi burger. It’s renowned for its hearty breakfast too. The Rostrevor Inn is situated just yards from picturesque Fairy Glen and the entrance to Kilbroney Park and its wonderful Narnia Trail. Follow that trail up the mountain to the famous Cloughmore Stone, and the view over Carlingford Lough that inspired Narnia, There are a host of exciting activities to enjoy locally too, from banana boating and kayaking to Rostrevor’s world-class mountain biking trails. The perfect stopover from which to explore the Mournes, the Rostrevor Inn has seven elegant ensuite B&B rooms, from single to family. What are you waiting for?

TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Highachievershonouredat NITourismAwards2019

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any of the Top 100 Hospitality Businesses were among the winners at the 2019 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards in association with Diageo Northern Ireland. The ceremony, held at the Palace Demesne, Armagh, brought hundreds of industry professionals together for the annual celebration of excellence and innovation. Winners revealed included Derry International Hallowe’en Festival, which scooped the Best International Experience, and the Balmoral Show, which lifted the Best NI Event or Festival Experience award. Derry~Londonderry was also a winner in the coveted ‘Best Stay’ accommodation category, with the Bishop’s Gate Hotel earning the title of NI’s Best Hotel Stay. Completing the category were Peartree Hill B&B near Dundonald in County Down, which won NI’s Best Guesthouse/B&B Stay, and Ballygally Holiday Apartments in County Antrim, which took the title of NI’s Best Self-Catering Stay. There were two awards up for grabs in the Authentic NI Experience of the Year. The site based award was won by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for Antrim Castle Gardens, while the tour, trail or immersive award went to Armagh Cider Company. In a great year for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council contested in three categories, gaining the top step in the NI Food & Drink Experience

of the Year for its Armagh Food and Cider Festival. In other categories, Gareth Murphy of We Are Vertigo in Belfast was awarded the title of Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year and Limavady’s Stendhal Festival lifted the Most Promising Authentic NI Event or Festival Experience. National Museums NI was given an Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award for its long-term commitment to growing the quality of the cultural and tourism offer across Northern Ireland. Another special award went to Mark Rodgers of Dalriada Kingdom Tours, who earned the title of Tourism Hero for his exceptional efforts to support the widow of a man who tragically passed away while visiting Northern Ireland. The awards, now in their 41st year, have had a hugely positive impact on the tourism and hospitality sector, providing a benchmark for all businesses to aspire to and delivering significant benefits to shortlisted and winning businesses alike. Tourism NI Chairman Terence Brannigan said: “Tourism is now one of Northern Ireland’s most important export industries with almost 3 million people visiting from out of state, spending some £2.5 million per day and supporting 65,000 jobs. “The energy, commitment and enthusiasm of the hundreds of businesses, large and small, that make up our tourism eco-system is outstanding. They make us all proud of where we live and make Northern Ireland a better place in which

to live.” Paddy McKenna, Commercial Manager, Diageo Northern Ireland, said; “It has been a fantastic evening for the tourism and hospitality industry in Northern Ireland and a fitting occasion to acknowledge and celebrate the individuals, businesses and initiatives helping to put us firmly on the tourism map. On behalf of Diageo, congratulations to all the winners, indeed to everyone shortlisted for awards. I think we can feel extremely positive and excited about the future of tourism in Northern Ireland.”

The full list of 2019 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards winners is: Authentic NI Experience of the Year – Site Based – Sponsored by Diageo NI Winner: Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council for Antrim Castle Gardens Highly commended: RSPB Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre Commended: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for Armagh Georgian Festival Authentic NI Experience of the Year – Tour, Trail or Immersive – Sponsored by Diageo NI Winner: Armagh Cider Company for Tours of Armagh Cider Highly commended: Causeway Coast Foodie Tours for Catch and Sea Tour Highly commended: DC Tours, Belfast Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council Winner: W5 – Dinosaur Encounter Highly commended: Nerve Centre in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council - Derry Halloween Commended: Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism, Seasonal Digital Marketing Campaign Best International Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Tourism Ireland Winner: Derry City and Strabane District Council for Derry International Hallowe’en Festival 2018 Highly commended: National Trust NI – Giant’s Causeway Visitor Experience Commended: Odyssey International – Leaders of Excellence Best NI Event or Festival Experience – Sponsored by Tourism Ireland Winner: The Balmoral Show, Royal Ulster Agricultural Society Highly commended: Féile an Phobail for Féile 30 – A Community Celebration of Global Culture Commended: Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2018

Bishop’s Gate Hotel was awarded NI’s Best Hotel Stay. Receiving the award are Sharon Dunne and Marie Linton from Bishop’s Gate Hotel alongside Charles Robb from category sponsor Robb Brothers Wine Merchant and Tourism NI Board Member Michael McQuillan. Images, Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Best Use of Digital Technology to Improve the Visitor Experience Winner: Belfast City Council and Titanic Foundation for Hello Maritime Mile Highly commended: National Trust for Introduction of online timed ticketing system for Carrick-a-Rede

National Museums Northern Ireland received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism. Pictured receiving the award is Chief Executive of National Museums Northern Ireland, Kathryn Thomson, alongside Paddy McKenna from category sponsor Diageo NI and Tourism NI Chairman Terence Brannigan

Most Promising Authentic NI Event or Festival Experience Winner: Stendhal Festival Highly commended: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for Armagh Food & Cider Festival Highly commended: Open House Festival, Bangor Commended: Outdoor Recreation NI for Giants Causeway Coast Sportive NI Food & Drink Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Yellow Door Winner: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for Armagh Food & Cider Festival Highly commended: Hughes Craft Distillery/ The StillHouse Moira for Distillery Gastropub and Gin School Commended: Country Lifestyle Exhibitions (CLE) Ltd for The Food Festival, Shane’s Castle NI Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year – Sponsored by Ulster University Winner: Gareth Murphy, We Are Vertigo Highly commended: Albert Titterington, Country Lifestyle Exhibitions (CLE) Ltd Commended: Sean McLaughlin, Fullerton Arms Commended: The Wilson Family, Montalto Estate NI’s Best Guesthouse / B&B Stay – Sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council Winner: Peartree Hill B&B Highly commended: Baytree Boutique B&B Commended: Rooms at Rue NI’s Best Hotel Stay – Sponsored by Robb Brothers Wine Merchant Winner: Bishop’s Gate Hotel Highly commended: Bullitt Hotel Highly commended: Bushmills Inn NI’s Best Self Catering Stay Winner: Ballygally Holiday Apartments Highly commended: Larchfield Estate Commended: Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Lodges Special Awards Outstanding contribution to tourism – Sponsored by Diageo NI Winner: National Museums Northern Ireland NI Tourism Hero Winner: Mark Rodgers, Dalriada Kingdom Tours


28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

SPONSORED

TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Trad musicians gather in Kelly’s Cellars, image Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Kelly’sCellarsstillgoing strong,300yearson

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ourists may make a beeline for it but Kelly’s Cellars – Belfast’s oldest traditional bar – knows how to keep the locals coming too. This bastion of the Belfast city centre bar scene celebrates its 300 birthday next year and has stayed faithful to its roots, right down to the original features that make Kelly’s such a favourite. That, along with the excellent Guinness, stew, music, friendly staff and atmosphere. Food critic Tom Parker Bowles singled Kelly’s Cellars out along with The Crown last year as among the UK’s cosiest pubs. “The walls are whitewashed, the floors uneven, but there’s an open fire, good ale

and usually a singalong or two. “Plus, it’s a famed music venue with an ever-revolving cast of guest bands.” he wrote. The bar has seen its share of historic events. The Ulster History Circle has erected a Blue Plaque dedicated to The United Irish Men who used Kelly’s Cellars as a meeting place and plotted the 1798 rebellion. They were defeated at Antrim and Ballynahinch. Traditional musicians are always welcome at Kelly’s and players come from far and wide to join in the sessions on weeknights while there’s a mix of live music at weekends starting with The Garden session every Saturday throughout

the Summer and live bands every Friday to Sunday night. There’s seating outside for those who like their stew under the sun. Or if you want something else to eat, the Mourne Seafood Bar, Manny’s Fish and Chips and Havana Bank Square are nearby. Also, for private functions ‘upstairs’ a catering menu is available and there’s free wifi throughout. Kelly’s Cellars is at Bank Street, behind Primark and opening times are 11.30-1am, Tuesday–Saturday, 11.30am to midnight Monday, 1pm to midnight on Sunday. Check out the new website at kellycellars. co.uk for more details.

Jamie Dornan is put to work

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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Michele Shirlow, Food NI chief executive, reflects on the achievements of our food and drink industry over the past year and promises exciting developments ahead for Northern Ireland

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eing named as the world’s Best Food Destination in 2018 at the World Travel and Tourism Awards in London last November was an immensely important stage in the emergence of Northern Ireland as a global location for fabulous food and drink and exceptional hospitality. It was a tremendous privilege for me and the entire Food NI team to collect the prestigious award at the gala event in London. The award was recognition of our role in the hugely successful Year of Food and Drink in 2016. Food NI played the central role with Government departments including the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Tourism NI, Tourism Ireland and Invest NI in delivering this celebration of outstanding food and drink and the people who lovingly produce it and provide it. Coming out ahead of longer established food destinations as Spain’s San Sebastian and West Cork was particularly satisfying. Northern Ireland, as the award shows, is now among the very best for food and drink. Food NI played the central role with Government departments including the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Tourism NI, Tourism Ireland and Invest NI in delivering Northern Ireland’s outstandingly successful first year-long Year of Food and Drink in 2016. The international award, a marvellous accolade for our industry and local producers in particular, is being used very effectively by Tourism NI and Tourism

World class food: Visitors and local people now have an amazing variety of premium quality and outstandingly tasty food and drink to enjoy

Fabulousfoodanddrink benefitsfromWorld’sBest FoodDestinationrecognition Ireland in their respective campaigns to attract visitors from abroad to these shores. We’ve been working with Tourism Ireland, Tourism NI and Invest NI to harness the business potential of the award in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Major exhibitions

Our work with Invest NI, for example, has featured a series of presentations at major food and drink exhibitions in both markets including Borough Market in London, Scotland’s Speciality Food in Glasgow, Fine Food North in Harrogate and the big Farm and Deli Show in Birmingham. We’ve promoted Northern Ireland as the World’s Best Food Destination at these events for smaller food and drink companies. And we’ve also marketed this achievement at major food shows in Dublin and Galway. As a result, Food NI is now firmly established as the industry’s leading promotional body here, in Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Companies taking part with us in the presentations certainly embraced the opportunity to promote Northern Ireland as the perfect destination to visitors and on social media for great food and drink and hospitality. And they also did really good business. Food and drink currently

contributes around £5 billion to the economy here and is a major exporter. The enthusiastic support that we’ve received from the industry for our promotional activities in Britain and the Republic has been excellent. The industry has really grasped the business opportunities arising from World’s Best Food Destination status with great passion and pride.

Tourism growth

Recognition as the World’s Best Food Destination abroad also came at a time when tourism here is growing strongly. Recent visitor figures from Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI are certainly very impressive, strengthening the role of tourism as the most important and fast growing industry on the island. A record 2.218 million overseas visitors – up 2% on 2017, chose Northern Ireland last year. Holiday visitors accounted for 794,142 overseas visitors – up 12%. Also extremely significant is the growth in holiday visitors from Britain (+10%), North America (+22%), Mainland Europe (+5%) and Australia and Developing Markets (+14%). Overseas visitors delivered over £560 million for the local economy. This strong growth means greater prosperity for the entire community and especially rural

communities and new employment opportunities as well as greater disposal income which can be spent on food and drink shopping and dining. According to figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, visitors from the Republic made a ‘record-breaking’ 591,000 trips here in 2018, spending £108 million in Belfast and further afield. The hotel sector has invested substantially over the past two years by investing in a 19% increase in room numbers over the past two years. We now have first class hotels and other accommodation for visitors. The quality and innovation of restaurants continue to achieve Michelin and Bib Gourmand awards as well as recognition from the Restaurant Association of Ireland. I’ve also been delighted by the growth in restaurants specialising in dishes with the superb range of local products. We’ve a growing cadre of talented local chefs who are making a huge contribution to our international standing as a gastronomic hub. And remember that hospitality helps to sustain over 65,000 jobs. And food and drink processing sustains 100,000 across an extensive supply chain. Food and drink spend accounts around £350 million or 30% of total visitor spend here.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

TOP100Hospitality Businessesin NorthernIreland

Armagh Keegan’s Bar O’Neill’s (Red Ned’s) (New for 2019)

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Benone

Portstewart

Limavady Derry~Londonderry

Ballintoy Fullerton Arms Ballymena Front Page Galgorm Resort & Spa Ballynahinch Millbrook Lodge Hotel Bangor Goat’s Toe (New for 2019) Hop House Belfast Bullitt Coppi Crowne Plaza Cyprus Avenue Deanes at Queen’s (New for 2019) Deanes EIPIC Dirty Onion Duke of York EDO (New for 2019) Errigle Inn Europa Hotel Garrick Ginger Bistro Grand Central (New for 2019) Hadski’s (New for 2019) Harp Bar Henry’s / Jailhouse (New for 2019) House (New for 2019) Howard Street Jumon (New for 2019) Kelly’s Cellars La Taqueria Lavery’s Limelight Merchant Hotel Morning Star Muddlers Club Northern Lights (New for 2019) Northern Whig Nu Delhi (New for 2019) OX Shu Spaniard (New for 2019) Sunflower Union Street Bar Voodoo (New for 2019) Yugo (New for 2019) Benone Angler’s Rest (New for 2019) Bushmills Bushmills Inn Cairncastle Mattie’s Meeting House Carnlough Londonderry Arms (New for 2019) Carrickfergus Ownies Bar & Bistro Cushendun Mary McBride’s

Draperstown

Magher

Omagh Donaghmore Dungannon Moy

Enniskillen


TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

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Derry-Londonderry Bishop’s Gate Hotel Blackbird Browns Restaurant Entrada Guildhall Taphouse (New for 2019) Peadar O’Donnell’s Primrose (New for 2019) Sandinos Café Bar Donaghadee Bull & Claw (New for 2019)

Portrush

Ballintoy Bushmills

Donaghmore Brewer’s House Draperstown Shepherd’s Rest

tstewart

Dungannon Hagan’s Bar & Bar Bella McAleer’s Bar

Cushendun

Enniskillen Blakes of the Hollow Killyhevlin (New for 2019) Lough Erne Resort Taphouse Gastro Pub Hillsborough Hillside Bar & Restaurant

Carnlough Swatragh

Holywood Noble Killinchy Balloo House (New for 2019)

Cairncastle Ballymena

Kircubbin Saltwater Brig Larne Ruby’s Bar

Larne

Limavady Granny Annie’s (New for 2019)

Raloo

Lurgan Cellar Bar Corner House

Toome Magherafelt

Carrickfergus Newtownabbey

Magherafelt Church Street Coachman Dorman’s Bar (New for 2019)

Bangor Holywood

Donaghadee

Belfast

Moira The StillHouse (New for 2019) Wine & Brine Moy Auction Rooms

Donaghmore Moira

Dungannon

Lurgan

Moy

Kircubbin

Hillsborough

Newry Bank Bar & Bistro Bridge Bar (New for 2019) Canal Court (New for 2019) Newtownabbey Corr’s Corner (New for 2019)

Portadown

Ballynahinch

Omagh Sally’s

Armagh Portaferry Strangford

Portadown Head O’The Road (New for 2019) McConville’s Portaferry Portaferry Hotel (New for 2019) Portrush Kiwi’s Brew Bar (New for 2019) Ocho Tapas (New for 2019) Ramore Wine Bar Portstewart Anchor Bar Complex Raloo Billy Andy’s

Newry Warrenpoint

Rostrevor Rostrevor Inn (New for 2019) Strangford Lobster Pot

Rostrevor

Swatragh Friel’s Bar & Restaurant Toome Crosskeys Inn Warrenpoint Number Seven Duke Street (New for 2019)


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 19 June 2019

Seafood: Northern Ireland has tasty seafood and shellfish from ports such as Kilkeel prized worldwide for quality, taste, wholesomeness and provenance. Our oysters are regarded as the best in the British Isles. Langoustines from Strangford Lough have been described as the world’s best. Crabs are exported as far as China and Japan

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aste the Island, an exciting initiative by Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI, provides a tremendous opportunity to spotlight, celebrate and enjoy the quality, originality, creativity and entrepreneurship now underpinning our amazing food and drink industry. Food NI is supporting this important development as part of our commitment to promote and assist food and drink themed festivals, markets and other experiences based here. It’s an extension of our immensely successful Year of Food and Drink 2016 programme. Taste the Island is likely to become an annual event and will build on the existing close collaboration on food and drink between tourism bodies on the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland, in particular, has a tremendous international reach and is resourced to ensure continuing growth in visitor numbers. Food NI has been closely involved in what represents another important initiative that’s aimed at increasing tourism by showcasing food and drink within the hospitality experience for visitors from around the globe.

Events, tours and tastings

The industry has embraced the initiative with enthusiasm through contributions to a programme of workshops designed to motivate international visitors and local people to enjoy our fabulous food and drink. In fact, many of our smallest companies are at the front of visitor experience initiatives, often linked to the tours and tastings now readily available in many parts of the region and being driven by enterprising people. Taste the Island, which will run from September to November, seeks to involve farmers, fishermen, food producers, brewers, distillers, chefs, restaurants, the wider tourism and hospitality industries, and public bodies and agencies committed to the long-term development of the immense potential what is now our most important industry. The experiences Taste the Island has in mind are visits to food producers; distillers and brewers; food trails; food festivals; participation in traditional skills; opportunities to forage and fish or just sit back and enjoy our fabulous cuisine in traditional pubs; restaurants; city bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants.

TastetheIsland– enjoyoursuperb foodanddrink andoutstanding hospitality need is a spell of good weather! Golf fans will certainly have plenty of opportunities to enjoy our food and drink at this global event. Substantial investment in amenities has enhanced the surrounding area and the overall infrastructure for both visitors and locals. Food NI, in addition, has been assisting the caterers on including as much local food and drink as possible in meals at the course. Local products will also be showcased in the shopping village and it will certainly be a spectacular occasion for Northern

‘Open’ season

It will build on the success of the Open Golf Championship at Portrush in July, another marvellous opportunity to showcase our dynamic and increasingly confident industry to a discerning international audience. Work at the historic course has created a stunning venue, among the world’s very best. All we

Fish: Creative chefs are producing innovation fish dishes

Ireland and another huge economic boost. Visitors will benefit from the legendary hospitality for which Northern Ireland is now justifiably renowned.

Hillsborough Castle

The restoration of Hillsborough Castle by the independent charity Historic Royal Palaces is a stunning addition to our hospitality scene and will have huge benefits for our rapidly developing tourism industry. And I am delighted to report that the charity has linked the sensational restoration to our vibrant food and drink industry in excellent catering provision at the refurbished complex. An integral part of the £5 million restoration of what is rightly referred to as ‘the grandest house in County Down’ is the food being provided by Yellow Door, a Food NI member company headed by Simon Dougan. This will mean that visitors to the castle and its extensive gardens are able to enjoy delicious food made from locally sourced ingredients including from the site’s extensive and historic walled garden. Hillsborough Castle is going to become one of our most important ’must see’ visitor attractions and is already bringing tangible benefits to the historic village and wider community. And it is a massively important addition to our strengthening portfolio of attractions for both local people and visitors from the UK, Ireland and further afield.

Meat: Premium meat is popular with diners

The eel deal

Visitor experiences are also being developed steadily by many progressive and ambitious food and drink producers here. Among recent developments is the development of a visitor centre by the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative at Toome, the largest eel fishery in Europe which has attracted the imagination of visitors here for generations. They are now able to see for themselves how eels are raised and harvested within strict conservation rules. The centre is an authentic and multifaceted showcase of the heritage of eel and scale fish fishing on Lough Neagh, the legendary status of the lough and the folklore surrounding it. The centre highlights fish indigenous to Lough Neagh including eel, pollan and dollaghan (brown trout) and turns fishery folklore into


TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

19 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

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Apples: Armagh’s historic Orchard Country produces superb fruit and an increasingly successful cider and apple cider vinegar sector acclaimed worldwide. Award winning processor now host tours for visitors

Beef: Our grass-fed beef has won international awards and is preferred by many of the world’s top chefs fishery fact in a visually captivating, fun and informative manner with something for visitors of every age and generation. It has now a central feature of a fascinating tour of the area.

A million whiskeys

We’ve also seen significant benefits from extensive investment here by local distilleries at which there are several purpose-built visitor centres. Irish whiskey is becoming one of the fastest growing attractions among tourists and other visitors. Statistics show that almost one million people visited 13 Irish whiskey distilleries on the island last year. Irish whiskey, furthermore, is the fastest growing premium spirit in international markets. In addition to the longstanding and hugely successful Old Bushmills Distillery in Co Antrim, popular visitor centres are now to be found at Rademon Estate in Crossgar, home of Shortcross Gin, Echlinville in

Kircubbin, Boatyard in Enniskillen, Ion in Carrickmore, Copeland in Donagadee and Killowen in Rostrevor. Others are in the pipeline at Hinch Distillery in Ballynahinch, Darcy’s in Newry and Mourne Dew at Warrenpoint. The owners of the successful RubyBlue vodka and fruit infused spirits, Stuart and Barbara Hughes have taken it a stage further by opened The Stillhouse gastro pub and spirit academy in Moira. Overseas visitors made up 88% of total visits to Irish whiskey distilleries in 2018, with the largest number of visitors coming from the US and Canada (40%), followed by the UK (14%), Germany (8%) and France (7%). Visitors from the island of Ireland (North & South) accounted for 12% of total visits in 2018. The results show that the industry is well on track to reach target visitor numbers of 1.9 million by 2025, as set out in the Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy. Irish whiskey tourism is attracting

Distillery: Irish whiskey, the world’s fastest growing premium spirit, is also now a major tourist attraction and many distilleries here now have purposebuilt visitor centres international visitors, creating jobs and supporting local economies, both urban and rural, right across the island of Ireland. Northern Ireland is manifestly well-positioned to exploit this developing business.

Craft food and drink

Dairy: Dairy herds graze lush pastures here and produce superb milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream for local and international consumers

Entrepreneurial cider processors, such as Long Meadow in Loughgall and Portadown’s Armagh Cider, are now harnessing the visitor potential of Armagh’s Orchard Country and also the iconic Bramley apples which have EU protected name status. Long Meadow has pioneered the development of a stunning light and sound show at its orchards on Valentine’s Night. And our brewers are also making an increasingly important contribution especially in terms of visitor experiences. Whitewater in Castlewellan, for example, has recently opened a great visitor centre and is displaying its own products as well as brewing in the Mournes. Hilden in Dunmurry, our original craft brewery, has long welcomed visitors to its brewery and on-site Tap Room restaurant. Hillstown at Randalstown is home to a unique craft

brewing museum within the Economusee international network of artisan workshops now open to visitors. Other smaller food companies are also part of this experience network. They include Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil in Limavady, Ursa Minor Craft Bakery and North Coast Smokehouse, both in Ballycastle. Another Ballycastle family business, Broughgammon Farm has opened its doors to visitors keen to find out more about cabrito and veal production. What this all adds up to is a vibrant and enterprising industry that’s now well placed to benefit from the promotional boost of Taste the Island. And it’s an industry backed by many visionary local councils, such as Derry and Strabane, Causeway Coast and Glens, Derry City and Strabane, Mid and East Antrim, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, and Newry and Mourne which have been coming up with smart ideas for food festivals, tours and other targeted events. It all adds up to the reason why Northern Ireland was named as world’s best food destination at the international Travel and Tourism Awards. We’ve great food and drink for everyone to enjoy.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 19 June 2019

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n international barbecue competition is being held in Northern Ireland for the first time. Celtic Smoke will be held at Glenarm Estate in Co Antrim as an integral part of the popular Dalriada Food and Music Festival in the picturesque grounds of Glenarm Castle from July 13-14. The colourful outdoor cooking spectacular will feature 10 barbecue teams from across the world pitting their culinary talents against each other. It is being held under the umbrella of the influential Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) which supervises the competitions. There are now barbecue competitions in most countries around the world. KCBS, for instance, sanctions over 500 barbecue contests worldwide. From volunteering to actual event production, members offer assistance to civic and charitable organisations which arrange spectacular events. Already lined up for Celtic Smoke is one of the best known figures in the international barbecue competition scene. Texan chef Byron Chism, now based in Florida, will be bidding to add another trophy to his hugely impressive collection. He has won a host of awards in the global barbecue competition awards as Bad Byron’s Butt Rub. And Scotland’s star team Angus and Oink will also be coming to the inaugural event to challenge Byron Chism’s dominance. There’s a German team on the way. Other teams are expected from the Netherlands, Ireland and Wales for the event which has been endorsed by the influential KCBS. KCBS is a competitive cooking organisation founded in 1985 to put together a local group for competitive barbecues. It has since grown exponentially and provides oversight to hundreds of competitions worldwide. Celtic Smoke is being organised by local barbecue enthusiast Mick Duffy in conjunction with Food NI. Duffy leads the three-strong Smokin’ Yankees BBQ team from Belfast, a team which has also won international competitions. The competition has also been supported generously by Mid and East Antrim Council. Backing from the council has made it possible to attract international teams. “We expect a really exciting and fun competition at Glenarm over the two days and hope this will ensure that Celtic Smoke becomes an annual event in the local food calendar,” Mick says. “It’s shaping to be a really colourful and entertaining event for

Mick Duffy (left) getting ready for Celtic Smoke at Dalriada Festival at Glenarm Estate on Saturday & Sunday, July 13-14

CelticSmokecontestsetto fireNorthernIrelandonto worldbarbecuecircuit all the family. Attracting Byron Chism is quite a coup because he’s won just about everything in the barbecue circuit. There’s nothing he doesn’t know about cooking outdoors. He’s quite an entertainer too. It will be his first time here. “I also want to see Celtic Smoke become a popular feature on the international barbecue competition circuit. “We have since won backing from the

whole KCBS international team involved including Jim Johnson, barbecue cooking royalty! Jim will be supervising the judging and leading training courses. “Chism heads a list of top names in coming to Celtic Smoke. There will be judging and cooking courses for those barbecue fans wishing to boost their knowledge of backyard barbecue cooking as well as the competition scene. A place on the international barbecue circuit is also likely to boost tourism and enhance Northern Ireland’s outstanding reputation as the World’s Best Food Destination. There are still opportunities for local people to get involved in the competition by contacting Food NI’s Christine Cousins,” he adds. The event will also showcase our standing as the ‘World’s Best Food Destination’ won by Food NI at the World Travel Trade Awards. All the ingredients used in the competition will be locally sourced. Smokin’ Yankees BBQ has won the title of Irish BBQ Champions and has competed in huge competitions such as the ‘Jack Daniels World Invitational BBQ’ in

Tennessee and the American Royal World Series of BBQ’ in Kansas City Teams at Glenarm will compete in several categories. Sunday, the main competition day, will focus on cooking chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder and brisket. Saturday will see the teams cooking steak, lamb and salmon. The meat is being provided by Peter Hannan’s Meat Merchant shop in Moira. Celtic Smoke is also part of a compelling programme of events at Dalriada Festival, Northern Ireland’s biggest family festival of music and food. Attracting in excess of 25,000 annually, the festival has something for everyone and encompasses a varied programme of action packed events to include numerous music and dance stages, fine food, drink and chef demonstrations, craft/trade stalls and exhibitions, performing arts, children’s entertainment featuring the official stars of children’s television and much more including our main stage which features world renowned performers. For more info: Christine Cousins at Christine@nigoodfood.com


SPONSORED

19 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

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Forfood,drinks anddancing,see SallysofOmagh

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ne of Northern Ireland’s most celebrated venues, Sallys has been trading under the brand name in Omagh for almost 35 years building a reputation for excellence in food, drink and live entertainment. The venue is split into four distinct sections – a traditional front bar, modern lounge, award winning bistro and state-ofthe-art nightclub. The award winning Sallys of Omagh has everything for the ultimate nightlife experience. The traditional front bar offers up live music on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights in its charming, traditional surroundings. Alongside the front bar is the modern and stylish lounge known for its premium drinks selection and chilled atmosphere. The bistro has quickly established

a reputation for its stunning food and award-winning customer service. With its sleek and stylish surroundings, Sallys is perfect for laidback lunches or a romantic meal for two. Sallys nightclub, spread over two floors including an exclusive VIP lounge,

offers everything you could need from a modern, premium nightclub experience. Sallys attracts customers from all over the province and further afield with the some of the best DJ acts Ireland has to offer. Give them a call, make a reservation and enjoy the unique experience at Sallys.


Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019 The Summer Rose Fair is at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park on July 19–21

Yoursummer entertainment fixtures...

If you’re planning a visit to one of Northern Ireland’s best hotels, bars or restaurants over the summer, why not make a day or two of it and tie it in with an event. Here are some dates for your diary over the summer....  The first Thursday of every month sees people scribbling over their pints in the Black Box. Real Sketchy used to be a get together for artists but now anyone can go along and sketch between 9–11pm.  Celebrate Independence Day on July 4 at the Ulster American Folk Park outside Omagh. As well as music, there’s lots of old style refreshments and crafts to enjoy.  Derek Ryan, Mike Denver and Johnny Brady are on the bill for the outdoor extravaganza Country Comes to City in Derry~Londonderry on July 6.  The prestigious All-Ireland Pipe Band Championships will be held in Mid and East Antrim in the grounds of Ballymena

Lúnasa are opening Belfast Tradfest at the Lyric on July 26

Geraldine Hughes in Belfast Blues at the Lyric from August 6–11 Academy on Saturday, July 6 – admission will be free.  The talented cast of Ta Da Irish Dance Company presents the tale of the famous song ‘The Fields of Athenry’ at Cabaret Supper Club, Belfast, on July 11, August 14, September 11 and October 16.  Glenarm Castle once again takes centre stage with the award-winning Dalriada Festival (#DALFEST19), Powered by Purple Bricks, on Saturday and Sunday, July 13–14. There’s music from Peter Andre, Fleur East, Atomic Kitten, Samantha Harvey, D:ream, East 17, Republica, Phats & Small and more. Stars of children’s TV will be out in force and a highlight will be the ‘Celtic Smoke’ International barbecue Competition sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society. See www.dalriadafestival. co.uk.  The Summer Rose Fair is a celebration of the international Rose Garden at Sir


TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Sir Ian McKellen brings his 80th birthday tour to Northern Ireland in July The smash-hit musical Paperboy is back at the Lyric from August 1–4. This heart-warming, coming-of-age, musical drama is set in 1970s Belfast. Based on the book by peace builder Tony Macaulay, it features music from Duke Special and writing by stand-up comedian Andrew Doyle.

Derek Ryan is in Country Comes to City in Derry on July 6 Thomas and Lady Dixon Park. The Fair, July 19–21, includes music and entertainment for all ages.  Belfast Pride takes place from July 26–August 4 with the carnival parade on Saturday, August 3. Over the 10 days there will be 100 events.  Actor Ian McKellen is celebrating his 80th birthday by touring the country with anecdotes, acting and more. Catch him at the Lyric Belfast on July 25-26; Waterside Derry on July 27; The Braid Arts Centre, Ballymena, July 29 and Theatre at The Mill, Newtownabbey, on July 31 – August 1.  Ebrington Square, Derry~Londonderry, will be pulsating for the dance festival We Are Together, with an international line up for July 26-27.  Dergfest returns to Derg Castle Park, Castlederg, on July 26–28 with three nights celebrating dance music, country and ‘Rewind Night’ featuring Chesney Hawkes, Toploader, and Rough Justice.  Belfast TradFest presents three top acoustic acts for its opening concert at the Lyric on July 26. Lúnasa, Ulaid & Ríoghnach Connolly share the bill for a spectacular night of trad music and song.

 Fans of youth theatre can catch local talent in action at Miss Saigon® School Edition (for 16-18 year olds) and Bugsy Malone (for 10-18 year olds) at the Grand Opera House on July 18–21 and August 1–3 respectively.  The spectacular Walled City Tattoo in Concert returns, on August 3, with a 200 strong cast to commemorate the completion 400 years ago of the iconic walls of Derry – now a World Heritage site.  Playwright and performer Geraldine Hughes depicts over 20 characters in the award-winning Belfast Blues, which played to rave reviews in Chicago, Los Angeles, Belfast, London, and New York. Catch it at the Lyric from August 6–11.  Shoreline Music Festival, in the grounds of Enniskillen Castle, runs from August 9–11 with outdoor dance event Planet Love followed by Feeder, The Logues, Rory & The Island, Olivia Douglas, Nathan Carter and Cliona Hagan.  Written by Marie Jones and Martin Lynch, The Miami Showband Story, at the Grand Opera House from August 8–17, takes us through the joyous dancehall days of the 1960s to the tragedy in 1975. It promises to be an amazing night out.  Legendary songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson is performing a solo show at the Ulster Hall on August 11.  The Matchmaker – John B Keane’s hit comedy based on the novella ‘Letters of a

The finale of the 2018 Belfast International Tattoo, image by John Kelly

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Dalriada Festival is back at Glenarm Castle on July 13–14 County Matchmaker’ returns to The Lyric Theatre, from Thursday to Saturday, July 4–6. The production stars Mary McEvoy, ‘Biddie’ in RTE’s series Glenroe and Jon Kenny of d’Unbelievables, Father Ted and Mrs Brown’s Boy’s D’Movie.  The Ring of Gullion Lúnasa Festival from August 3–31 is all about slow adventures, guided walks, and tours of the Ring of Gullion and wider south Armagh area. www.ringofgullion.org/events.  EastSide Arts Festival, August 1–11, sees locations across east Belfast and beyond feature music, comedy, movies, theatre, talks, workshops, exhibitions, poetry, events for the young and old, community events and heritage tours.  Uplift Performing Arts presents Broadway to Belfast, a musical theatre

show showcasing young locals at The MAC, Belfast on August 17.  The Ould Lammas Fair is an annual Ballycastle fixture on the last bank holiday of the summer, on August 26–27. The fair itself is preceeded by a weekend of fun and Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market will be out in force.  Airwaves Portrush returns with lots of action in both air and sea on August 31– September 1.  Ravara Productions presents Sister Act, the feel-amazing musical comedy based on the 1992 hit film at the MAC, from September 3–7.  Belfast International Tattoo has attracted an international line-up to the SSE Arena for three shows on September 6–7.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

A view of the new 572 yards par 5, seventh hole designed by Martin Ebert on the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush Golf Club the host club for the 2019 Open Championship, image © 2018 Rob Durston

All eyeson Northern Ireland forthe th 148 Openat Royal Portrush

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orthern Ireland is ready to take the world stage when golf’s biggest tournament, The Open, comes to Royal Portrush Golf Club, from July 18–21. It’s almost 70 years since the competition was in Northern Ireland and this, the 148 th Open, will be shown in an estimated 600 million homes worldwide. They’ll be watching the game’s top players, such as Tiger Woods, world

Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods at the 2019 US Open, Christian Petersen/Getty Images number one Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, defending champion Francesco Molinari and of local favourites Rory McIlroy,

Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell compete for the famous Claret Jug. The biggest sporting spectacle ever to

be staged here has been more than five years in the making, and the combined economic benefit from hosting golf’s original Championship will be felt for years to come. John McGrillen, Chief Executive Tourism NI, said: “The waiting is almost over and with a team of 6,000 staff and 350 volunteers preparing to warmly welcome visitors in three weeks’ time, Northern Ireland stands proud, ready to stage and to savour this major festival of golf. “We are a country at the forefront of the game, a place that nurtures golfing superstars and a destination that offers world-class golf courses and outstanding events. “I am confident that The 148 th Open will be remembered by players and spectators alike as one of the highlights of the Championship’s long and illustrious history.” With the spectacular Causeway Coast in the spotlight, events to celebrate the occasion are planned for the north Coast, Derry~Londonderry and across Belfast.

Practicedayticketsindemand Golf fans are urged to secure any remaining practice day tickets in advance to avoid disappointment after 15,000 extra tickets for this summer’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush sold out within three days of going on sale. Organising body The R&A managed to boost overall attendance figures to 215,000 across the four days of Championship golf from July 18-21. As this is the first ever all-ticket staging of The Open, there will be no availability on the gates at the tournament. The R&A said the unprecedented demand from fans wanting to attend the tournament has led to record-breaking ticket sales. It’s the first time the tournament will be held in Northern Ireland since Max Faulkner’s victory at the famous north coast links in 1951. Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director of championships at The R&A, said: “The huge demand for the additional Championship day

tickets clearly reflects the desire among fans to be part of this historic occasion and the biggest ever sporting event to be held in Northern Ireland. “We really appreciate the passion and enthusiasm for The Open shown by fans in Northern Ireland and beyond. “The Open is only a matter of weeks away now and we are looking forward to welcoming tens of thousands of fans to Royal Portrush to enjoy an outstanding Championship and watch the world’s best players compete for the famous Claret Jug.” For those lucky enough to have a ticket, the message from The R&A is to remember to bring them on the day you are attending The Open. For some, this will require the downloading of tickets to their mobile phones or printing them off at home. All other tickets will be sent to purchasers in advance of the Championship. See www.theopen.com for details.

Graeme McDowell signing autographs for the fans


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28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

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HeadsforFairHeadin tributetogolfinggreats

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ourism NI has unveiled a fitting and fun tribute to our global golfing legends ahead of The Open. In a specially commissioned visual, the iconic cliffs of Fair Head in County Antrim have been digitally transformed into an eye-catching sculpture featuring the images of local golfing greats, past and present. Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, who will all now be competing in the tournament, feature in the design, alongside former Open Champion and Portrush man Fred Daly. Engaging the talents of Hollywood digital CGI artist Mike Campau, the tongue-in-cheek stunt has been designed to reflect how Northern is truly ‘Made for Golf’, illustrated not only by our sporting talents but also in our landscapes and rugged coast. The timing of the tribute could not be more fitting as Northern Ireland golfers celebrate their recent triumphs on the course, with Rory McIlroy winning the Canadian Open by seven shots to secure his 16th PGA Tour title and fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell after finishing tied eighth on 10 under. Tourism NI last week marked the last official stop of a 500-mile community engagement campaign ‘The Epic Journey to

The 148th Open’, and with just weeks to go, Open fever is starting to take a grip of the nation as the spotlight falls on Portrush. Tourism NI Marketing Director Naomi Waite said: “With ‘Open fever’ beginning to take a hold, we wanted to honour the global golfing heroes who collectively have played a key role in bringing The 148 th Open to Northern Ireland and, through their talent, have made Northern Ireland a growing international golf destination. It is just one of many activities we have planned to celebrate the enormous pride that the people of Northern Ireland have in the achievements of our golfing greats. “While Northern Ireland might one day boast its own ‘Mount Rushmore’ for golf, we can reassure everyone that this stunt is digital theatre and something we hope will raise a smile ahead of July.” Robin Daly, son of the late Fred Daly, said: “Our family are extremely honoured that my father is being remembered in this way. We are really looking forward to the return of The Open to our shores for the first time in nearly 70 years and this sculpture is a wonderful tribute to the talents of these local sportspeople who have earned their place in the history book of golf.” McIlroy and McDowell will tee up at Royal Portrush alongside fellow local and former Open Champion, Darren Clarke in

‘Mount Rushmore’ style sculpture of Fairhead, image Matt Mackey/ Press Eye front of a passionate home crowd when The Open, one of the world’s greatest sporting spectacles, returns to the famous Dunluce links for the first time in nearly 70 years. Rory McIlroy commented: “The Open returning to Portrush is massive for Northern Ireland - everyone is so excited and is getting behind it. I never thought I would have the opportunity to play in a major championship at home and I’m

really looking forward to it.” Fans can still book their place at Royal Portrush on Practice Days with a limited number of new official hospitality packages also remaining on sale. Visit TheOpen.com/Tickets. For further information on Tourism NI’s ‘Epic Journey to The 148 th Open’ campaign visit discovernorthernireland.com/ epicjourney

TNIhelpingsectorraiseitsgame

Portrush Harbour

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he economic benefits of hosting The Open are estimated at around £80 million and both Causeway Coast and Glens Council and Tourism NI have been helping the hospitality sector prepare. In January 2017 the Department for Communities (DfC) launched a £17m Portrush Regeneration Programme with key projects including a major public realm scheme and the redevelopment of the train station and a £500,000 Revitalisation Scheme. The result means the seaside town will be looking its best.

The Council and Tourism NI (TNI) have also been advising businesses on ways they can ensure the experience is rewarding for all parties. Simple steps can go a long way to helping visitors make the most of the trip.

TNI’s top tips include: 1. Know all about it – Making sure staff are up to date on the progress of the tournament through The Open website and social media and that they have resources for guests and spectators 2. Reach out to golfers… by providing information such as tee times, weather forecasts, working with complementary

businesses to offer golf packages, offering packed lunches etc 3. The Ambassador programme – making sure staff can answer customer queries on anything from bus timetables to where to eat 4. Working together… with other businesses, such as a restaurant teaming up with a campsite to offer evening meals. 5. International Thinking – Ensure that guests from overseas, including those who don’t speak good English, have their needs accommodated 6. Shout about yourself – Inform potential customers about your distance from Portrush, opening times etc. 7. Be Open ready – businesses in the Portrush area will need to work out the logistics of getting customers and staff in and out, extending their opening hours etc 8. Come again – encourage customers to come back to the region 9. Get online – websites and social media should be user friendly and up to date 10. Marketing protocol – Beware of claiming links to The Open, unless you are an officially licensed partner. “This famous competition is the oldest Major in the world and the only one held outside the US. It doesn’t get any bigger than that,” states TNI. “For your local business, let’s really savour this and make the most of every opportunity it brings.” The full toolkit is available at https://www.causewaycoastandglens. gov.uk/uploads/general/TNI_OPEN_ BUSINESS_TOOLKIT.PDF

Singer Matt McGinn & guests are playing at Kerr Street Green, Portrush, on July 18, as part of the festival around The Open

Jointheparty To mark the historic return of The Open to Portrush, the seaside town will be transformed into a hub of entertainment, live music and markets to explore with LIVE at The 148th Open from July 15-21. Kerr Street Green, Antrim Gardens and Station Square will host top performers and golf inspired activities for a full week as thousands flock to the area for one of the biggest sporting events in the world. A blend of soul, folk, blues and plenty of foot stomping contemporary and classic tunes will be showcased as a range of musicians take to the Live at The 148th Open stage. Outside Portrush, there are entertainments and events going on across the Causeway Coast and Glens, Derry~Londonderry and Belfast. Highlights include the inaugral LegenDerry Street Food Festival from Friday–Sunday, July 19-21. There’ll be Street food, complemented by craft drinks and Guildhall Street will come alive with DJ music sets. It will run from 5 to late Friday and Saturday and 2-10pm on the Sunday. #EATTOTHEBEAT.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Belfastmusicfestival returnstopaintthe town‘Blues’ If you like your blues music, then Belfast is the place to be this weekend.

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he Belfast City Blues Festival, presented by American Holidays and Visit The USA, is back in its 11th iteration and takes place over three days in 22 venues with 45 acts and over 60 gigs. The festival, which runs from Friday to Sunday, June 28–30, sees the return of a whole host of festival favourites as well as the introduction of new local and visiting acts to the stages. This year’s tribute to Rory Gallagher, ‘A Taste of Rory’ will take place on Saturday, June 29, at the Black Box and features The Pat McManus Band, The Willie Byrne Band and Blackwood. Visiting from London this year is the Robin Bibi Band, who will be performing throughout the weekend at The Hudson,

The Lee Hedley Band at the Belfast City Blues Festival launch at Kelly’s Cellars

Rob Clark and Ray Haller from the Red Hot Roosters at the Belfast City Blues Festival launch at Kelly’s Cellars The John Hewitt and The Northern Whig. Bibi is one of the UK’s top blues/rock guitarists and has performed with some of music’s biggest names including Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and Ben E. King. Locally on the line-up will be Rab McCullough, Speedy Mullan, The Reverend Doc and The Red Hot Roosters, while Tony Villiers & The Villains and The Lee Hedley Band will be performing at Kelly’s Cellars in Belfast City Centre. “There’s always such a fantastic buzz

Tony Villiers and Doc Doherty at the Festival launch in May around the whole weekend,” said blues musician Lee Hedley. “Belfast really comes alive over those few days. I just love playing it - and the guys in the band, they can’t get enough of it either.”

Karen Sheals Hoy from American Holidays, Seamus O’Neill, festival director and then Lord Mayor of Belfast Deirdre Hargey at the Belfast City Blues Festival launch at Kelly’s Cellars


TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

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SPONSORED

Luxuryand charmatthe ManorHouse CountryHotel

The crowd enjoyed a taster of what’s to come at the festival launch in May, Images by Debbie Deboo Councillor Deirdre Hargey was Lord Mayor at the time of the launch. She said: “The Belfast City Blues Festival continues to highlight Belfast’s rich blues heritage and raise the profile of many of our brightest local artists, as well as attracting top international names to our city. “The event has become one of the ‘must see’ highlights of the blues calendar for local fans and for visitors who travel from far and wide to enjoy a weekend of wonderful music.” The Belfast City Blues Festival weekend is packed full of gigs as well as the now famous Blues on the Boat Music Cruises, taking place over the weekend on Belfast Lough. Along with the music, there will

be complimentary food and drink for all ticket holders. Once again American Holidays and Visit The USA are on board as headline sponsors, with further support coming from Sunday World, Hop House, Europa Hotel, Grand Central Hotel, Kolormaster, Bairds and Oranga. The festival is also backed by Belfast 89FM, Lagan Boat Company, Destination CQ, Linen Quarter, Nova Print, NI Hospice, FT Contractors and Excalibur Press. For more information, festival listings and tickets log onto www.belfastcityblues. com or connect with the Belfast City Blues Festival official Facebook page.

Experience the best of the Fermanagh Lakelands from the comfort and ease of the multi-award winning Manor House Country Hotel. Visitors and locals alike attest to the warm, friendly welcome, fabulous food and sumptuous interior. Dating back to the 17th century, the building’s high ceilings and ornate fixtures enhance the sense of grandeur, however the facilities tick all the boxes for the 21st century guest. Visitors from all over the world enjoy its spectacular setting, right on the shores of Lower Lough Erne in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands with extensive grounds, perfect for a stroll along the lough-shore. To the rear of the hotel a striking fountain takes centre-stage in the landscaped gardens. While the Manor Country House Hotel is in demand as a romantic wedding venue, with its magnificent Grand Ballroom and banqueting suites, it’s the perfect base for the leisure or business traveller too.

Dining is a pleasure in this country manor with options ranging from fine dining in the AA Rosette winning Belleek Restaurant with its stunning views, to the sleek Watergate Bar with its marble bar and sophisticated decor, to casual dining in the Cellar Door Bistro with its traditional cottage style walls and vaulted ceiling. Its extensive all day menu is also served in the Cellar Door Bar, a hub of activity with live entertainment at weekends and sports on the TV screens. The lobby area and adjoining lounges are perfect for relaxing over tea or coffee and basking in the fireside ambience. The hotel’s leisure facilities include its beautiful swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, steam rooms, jacuzzi, sauna and fully equipped gym and fitness suite. And June 28 sees the official opening of the newest addition to the hotel – the Spa Sanctuary. In the surrounding area, activities on offer include angling, golf, sailing and a host of watersports while islands nearby include the famous Devenish with its round tower and White Island with its historic carvings. Guests can take a tour on the hotel’s own Lady of the Lake Cruiser or enjoy a special occasion or event on the water. Up to 40 people can be accommodated for lunch, dinner or simply refreshments on board. www.manorhousecountryhotel.com


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Morecocktailsthanyoucan shake–orstir–astickat

A delicious cocktail doesn’t need to be saved for a special occasion – especially not when homemade. We have a few straightforward recipes that won’t have you transforming your kitchen into a Walter White-like set up to concoct your own tasty mixed drink. Shake up your drinks repertoire with some of these tempting cocktails…

BacardíMojito Depending on who you believe, the mojito either came from the Spanish word ‘mojar’, which means to wet, or the African word ‘mojo’, which means to cast a spell. Most people will agree that it is thirst quenching and spellbinding in equal measures. Ingredients 50ml Bacardí Carta Blanca Rum 4 lime wedges 12 fresh mint leaves 2 heaped tsp caster sugar 25ml soda water / club soda Sprig of fresh mint

BacardíPiñaColada Just thinking the words Piña Colada conjures up a picture of summer holidays on a beach far away, with the sun beaming down, sand between your toes and a delicious cocktail sweating in your hand. A mellow rum cocktail best made with fresh coconut water and pineapple, the Piña Colada is just as refreshing as it is sweet. Ingredients 50ml Bacardí Carta Blanca Rum 35ml fresh coconut water 25ml fresh pineapple juice 3 - 4 chunks fresh pineapple 2 tsp caster sugar

Method Take the lime wedges and squeeze them in the glass. Gently press together the limes and sugar. Bruise the mint leaves by clapping them between your palms, rub them on the rim of the glass and drop them in. Next, half fill the glass with crushed ice, add the Bacardí Carta Blanca rum and stir. Top with crushed ice, a splash of soda and a sprig of mint.

Method Place the pineapple chunks into a cocktail shaker and crush them. Pour in the pineapple juice and coconut water and stir it all up to dissolve the sugar before pouring in the Bacardí Carta Blanca rum. Fill the shaker with ice cubes and shake vigorously. Next, pour the mix into a tall glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple slice and leaf.

BacardíMaiTai

RubyBlueBloodyMary

Mai Tai means ‘out of this world’ in Tahitian, and is supposedly what the first person to taste it cried out in disbelief, giving the perfect name for this irresistibly exotic cocktail. Created as a way to showcase the flavours of good-quality rum, a proper Mai Tai is a deep amber hue and allows the rum to shine through with the other ingredients.

Used as both a hangover cure and a step on the way to a new one, the Bloody Mary is the perfect brunch cocktail. Coming in a hundred variations and more, this tomato-based cocktail is great fun to experiment with and tweak until you find your perfect concoction.

Ingredients 75ml Bacardí Carta Negra Rum 25ml Cointreau 5ml Orgeat 5ml sugar syrup 2 dashes orange bitters 30ml lime juice mint sprig (garnish) orange slice (garnish) lime wedge (garnish)

Ingredients 100ml tomato juice 35ml RubyBlue Chilli Pepper Liqueur 35ml RubyBlue Potato Vodka 1 lemon wedge 1 lime wedge Pinch of celery salt and cracked black pepper Splash of Worcestershire sauce Stalk of celery (garnish)

Method To make your own Mai Tai, simply fill a cocktail mixer with ice and throw in the Bacardí Carta Negra rum along with the rest of the ingredients. Shake vigorously and then strain into a rocks glass filled with cubed ice. Garnish with mint sprig plus an orange slice and a lime wedge.

Method Pour some celery salt onto a small plate. Rub the juicy side of the lemon or lime wedge along the lip of your glass. Roll the outer edge of the glass in celery salt until fully coated. Fill with ice and set aside. Squeeze the lemon and lime wedges into a shaker and drop them in. Add the remaining ingredients and ice and shake gently. Strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a celery stalk.

ClassicDaiquiri An essential rum cocktail everyone should have in their drinks repertoire, the classic daiquiri offers a perfect balance of sweet and sour and is a flexible recipe that can be adjusted to your personal taste. And once you have found your ideal mix, rum, lime juice and sugar will never feel complete without each other again. Ingredients 50ml Bacardí Carta Blanca Rum 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice 2 tsp sugar Lime slice (garnish) Method Place the sugar and freshly pressed lime juice into a cocktail shaker and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Next, pour in the Bacardí Carta Blanca rum and fill the shaker with half-cubed ice, followed by some half-crushed ice. Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled. Finally, strain through a fine tea strainer into a chilled Champagne coupe or martini glass and garnish with a thin slice of lime.

RubyBlueCosmopolitan Made famous in the 1990s by the women of HBO’s Sex and the City, the pink-hued cocktail tastes as simple and refined as it is to create. Often viewed as a girly drink because of the show, this light and fruity martini is a great choice for a casual night out and one that any bartender worth their salt will be able to throw together in an instant. Ingredients 35ml RubyBlue Cranberry Liqueur 35ml RubyBlue Potato Vodka 50ml orange juice 1 lime slice (garnish) Method Simply add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

VodkaMartini

Bushmills OldFashioned

RubyMartinez A favourite tipple of MI6’s suave silver screen secret agent James Bond, the Vodka Martini has become synonymous with sophistication and masculinity ever since Ian Fleming’s main man ordered the cocktail in 1953’s Casino Royale. However, contrary to what 007 would have you believe, this martini is better served stirred – not shaken.

Inspired by Jerry Thomas’s 1887 recipe and created by Paul Lambert The ‘Ruby Martinez’ (predecessor to the Martini)

Ingredients 15ml Vermouth 60ml RubyBlue Potato Vodka Lemon twist (garnish)

Ingredients 35ml RubyBlue Vodka 35ml Carpano Antica Formula 10ml Briottet orange curacao Luxardo Maraschino Cherry 2 drops Spanish Bitters

Method Add both ingredients to a Martini glass and stir lightly. Garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy with either a beautiful sidekick or a villainous nemesis – or both.

Method Stir well with ice, then strain and serve in a cocktail glass garnished with an orange twist.

A drink so classic it has its own glass named after it, some date the Old Fashioned back to the late 1800s – then called the Whiskey Cocktail. Over the years it has evolved with the times, leading to the effortlessly cool and smooth iteration we have today. For a cocktail that is old-school but never out of fashion, look no further. Ingredients 2oz Bushmills Black Bush 3 dashes of orange bitters 1 white sugar cube Splash of club soda Large peel of orange zest Method In an old-fashioned glass, place the sugar cube. Add the bitters and a splash of soda. Use a muddler to crush up the sugar until it is dissolved. Then add the orange peel and squeeze it. Run it around the rim of the glass and muddle it right in with the bitters and sugar. Add the Bushmills Black Rush and the ice. Stir and enjoy.

Manhattan

IrishCoffee

TheRedRoy Bushmills Red Bush speaks for itself in this twist on the legendary Rob Roy cocktail. The toasted oak and vanilla notes of Bushmills Red Bush shines in this classic cocktail – a simple, no frills serve. Ingredients 3oz Bushmills Red Bush 4 dashes The Bitter Truth Nut Drops and Dashes (can be replaced with Free Brothers Black Walnut Bitters) Dash of soda water 1 sugar cube Orange peel (garnish) Method In a mixing glass add one cube of sugar and two dashes of The Bitter Truth Nut Drops and Dashes and a splash of soda. Press all with muddler. Add the Bushmills Red Bush and stir together. Pour into a martini coupe with no ice. Garnish with orange peel.

Another historied and classic cocktail, the Manhattan quickly rose in popularity across the world soon after its first concoction and, to this day, remains remarkably similar to the original iterations. The mixing of whiskey and vermouth, along with a few dashes of aromatic bitters, makes for a timeless and tasty cocktail – a mix every cocktail strives for. Ingredients 2oz Bushmills Black Bush 1oz sweet vermouth 2-3 dashes orange bitters 1 cherry (garnish) Method Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a cherry.

There is no better way to warm yourself up on a cold and wet weekend off than with a freshly blended Irish Coffee. Combine your favourite coffee with Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey, a few hits of sugar and top it off with lightly whipped cream for a hot, smooth classic that packs a flavour and smell that could brighten up even the gloomiest of days. Ingredients 1.5oz Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey 6oz hot, freshly brewed coffee 1 tsp granulated sugar 1 tsp brown sugar Freshly whipped cream Method Preheat a heatproof glass, then fill about 3/4 full with coffee. Add the granulated and brown sugars and stir until fully dissolved. Add the Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey and stir to incorporate. Top with freshly whipped cream and drink while hot.


28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

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Ryder Cup captain Ben Crenshaw at Friel’s

FromFamineCornertothrivingpub, Friel’sisatruemidUlstergem

F

riel’s Bar and Restaurant has been at the beating heart of the village of Swatragh since the time of the famine, when people were sustained by soup from the huge cauldron over the fire. These days, they’re drawn by the superb food in the refurbished restaurant, as well as the craic in the bar and the beer garden with its barbecue and play area. Now run by the fifth generation of the family, Friel’s has been recognised by Hospitality Ulster for its Commitment to Local Food and has a well deserved reputation for serving superb, homecooked dishes, using fresh local produce, complemented by fine wines.

Accredited by Taste of Ulster for the past 10 years, Friel’s Full Sunday Roast is a must and the daily menu has excellent options for all palates at affordable prices. The recent refurbishment of the restaurant includes a Treat Bar stocked with Morelli’s Ice Cream and desserts. The restaurant is now open from 9am to 9pm seven days a week, from breakfast to dinner, or just a delicious Java coffee. The famine story lives on in the traditional bar. Established in 1837, it retains its open hearth fire with the original Famine Pot – an outsized soup cauldron – as well as the original 19th century wooden ceiling and counter. The walls are a Who’s Who of local and famous people who have visited the bar over the decades including Ryder Cup captain Ben Crenshaw, who had ‘one of the most relaxing days ever’ at Friel’s after missing the cut in the British Seniors at Royal Portrush in 2004. With The Open happening at Royal Portrush in July, there’s likely to be many more golfing yarns swapped at the bar this summer.

A local institution, Friel’s is on the main A29 that runs all the way from Armagh to Coleraine and is a perfect stopping off point after a day’s hiking in the Sperrin Mountains, on a visit to Seamus Heaney Homeplace in nearby Bellaghy, or en route to the Causeway Coast at any time of year. As you would expect in south Derry, the staff are among the greatest assets of the business. The friendly service has helped Friel’s to its recent Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor and last month it won Best Tourist Bar in Northern Ireland at the LCN Awards as well as being shortlisted in the Best Food category. Its many awards have also included Rural Pub of the Year and Best Pub Breakfast in Northern Ireland. The restaurant is in demand for private parties and with music being in the air in these parts, the regular entertainment includes live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Owner Dermot Friel says: “We are one of the few rural bars serving local food and providing live entertainment in Mid-Ulster and our customers are our number one priority, should they be visiting us for food, drink or sampling some famous Friel’s craic!”

Historic bar

The premises was originally Dr Mooney’s surgery and a post office. During the Great Famine of 1845/46 Friels was used as a much needed ‘Soup Kitchen’ for nourishment for the starving people of the area. Dermot says: “We still had the original Famine Pot and window that was used for serving the soup and decided to create our own Famine Corner. Although this was an incredibly tragic time in our history, we thought if the Titanic story can

Poet Mick McAtamney is remembered at Friel’s

be told in Belfast, so can ours.” Local characters are also fondly remembered in the bar, including the famous poet Mick McAtamney who spent 47 years in the States where he joked “I was in every state in America except the state of Grace!” Seamus Heaney was among Mick’s admirers and when he died in 1946, his trusty walking stick was given to Granny Friel and now takes pride of place in the bar. For further information visit friels.ie.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Barbara Hughes in the distillery

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Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

The StillHouse bar won Pub of the Year

NostandingStill forpioneering Hughesfamily

T

he multi award winning RubyBlue range of spirits have quickly become a household name since they burst onto the scene. It’s hard to believe that it’s less than 10 years since Stuart and Barbara Hughes popped the cork on a new generation of craft distillers and unsurprisingly, this entrepreneurial twosome have no plans to sit on their laurels any time soon.

Much of their time is spent at The StillHouse, the family’s Distillery Gastropub in village of Moira, Co Down. This hub of activity is where the RubyBlue range of Potato Vodkas, Gins and Liqueurs is produced and where they run their popular Gin School and Cocktail Masterclasses. With Moira gaining a reputation as a foodie destination, people travel from far and wide to shop at Hannan Meats and

Stuart and Barbara with their daughters Hana and Mia. Hana has created her own alcohol free drink, Ginocent

Enjoy cocktails in the courtyard McCartneys – and increasing numbers of them will be making a beeline for the StillHouse when its ‘deli with a twist’ opens this summer. Meanwhile the awards continue to flood in: • The Distillery Gastropub and Gin School was highly commended in the Food & Drink Experience in this year’s Tourism NI Awards • RubyBlue Chilli Pepper won ‘Best Spiced Liqueur in the World’ • ‘The StillHouse’ won ‘Pub of the Year’. Barbara is delighted with the success of the business which now has a team of 40 and is currently recruiting for a distillery brand ambassador: “Our Distillery and Gin school are flying, and we’re opening a new liquid deli in a few weeks. You can drop in and taste our all natural small batch spirts and bottle up your favourite to take home.” All being well, visitors will be able to take home an alcohol free bottle too. “My 17 year old daughter Hana is in a trade mark battle with Innocent drinks, which is majority Coca Cola owned, as she named her non-alcoholic gin – Ginocent,” adds Barbara.

The famous RubyBlue range of spirits

One of the StillHouse’s signature cocktails


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019 Villagers are at First Bangor church on August 23

K

ing of the chat show sofa, Sir Michael Parkinson, leading forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes, and BBC Radio 6 Music’s poet-in-residence Murray Lachlan Young are among the multitude of artists and performers joining The Specials, Villagers and The Staves at this year’s Open House Festival Bangor in August. The 2019 programme for the month-long festival features 163 events in 46 venues over the 31 days of August, with over 600 performers, participants and producers taking part. This will be the 7th annual Bangor Festival, which has more than tripled in size since 2013 and continues to reestablish Bangor as a thriving seaside town. It has become known for combining headline national and international artists with local musicians, writers, chefs and other creatives, and for curating bespoke events such as Folk on a Boat, Island Picnic and the Bangor Rocks Musical Bus Tour – a 90-minute trip that takes in the birth places and stomping grounds of some of Bangor’s most famous musical offspring, including Snow Patrol, Foy Vance and Two Door Cinema Club. Northern Irish participants this year include three Bangor playwrights, including Carol Moore who is one of

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Legendsofska,scriptand screenamong600acts forOpenHouseFestival

The Specials are playing Bangor seafront on August 25 this year’s Arts Council Major Individual Artist recipients, DJs Bobby Analog and Mark Blair, Ronnie Greer with his Blues Band, and author and former Newcastle United player, author Paul Ferris. Another event with a Bangor connection concerns internationally acclaimed artist and video maker Charlie Whisker who was born in the town. His former partner, Dublin author Julia Kelly, will be talking about her book, Matchstick Man, which details Charlie’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Food and drinks

“As well as being our biggest, this year’s festival is probably our most eclectic yet,” said Festival Director, Kieran Gilmore. “Aside from welcoming such household names as Sir Michael Parkinson and Alan Johnson, and ska legends The Specials, it

is a true celebration of Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage and particularly embraces Bangor’s vibrant creative scene. Alongside multiple music, literary and theatre events we have Irish whiskey tastings, lots of quirky food events showcasing local produce, a local brewery Taproom takeover and tasting events in Donaghadee’s brand new Copeland Distillery.” Around 45,000 people are expected to visit the festival throughout August. Tickets start at just £5 and more than one third of the 163 events are free, including a series of after-show gigs when The Specials wrap up at 10pm.

£2.1m injection

Stephen Reid, Chief Executive, Ards and North Down Borough Council, said: “If you thought last year’s Open House Festival was good, this year is going to be even better! Since the first Open House Festival in 2013, it has continued to grow year on year, bringing an exciting mix of international artists, home-grown talent and household names to our Borough. Local businesses, visitor attractions and accommodation providers all reap the

Staves are playing First Bangor church on August 22 benefits. Last year’s Open House Festival injected an estimated £2.1m into our local economy – a figure that I’m confident will grow even larger in 2019. I hope all of our residents and visitors to the Borough enjoy the many events on offer and to all those involved, I’d like to wish you a splendid seventh Festival!” Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support this terrific festival which demonstrates the power of the arts in bringing people and communities closer together as well as being a tool for economic regeneration.” Tourism NI’s Chairman Terence Brannigan said: “Tourism NI is pleased to support the Open House Festival as it enters its seventh year. Events such as the Open House Festival are valuable in generating significant economic benefit and helping to boost the profile of tourism in Northern Ireland. My best wishes for another successful year go to the organising team, their sponsors and all the participants and attendees.” For details: www.openhousefestival.com

Vintagedaytorevive Bangor’sseasideappeal B angor is revisiting its heyday as a holiday resort with a free, one day festival on Saturday, July 6, from 1–10pm. Seaside Revival – a celebration of all things vintage, local and seaside-inspired – is the second vintage festival in a three-year project led by Open House Festival and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Great Place Scheme. Seaside Revival will take place from the McKee Clock Arena beside Bangor Marina to Skippingstone Beach, just past Pickie Fun Park. The attractions include more than 60 stalls at the vintage flea market, vinyl DJs, classic cars, vintage fashion shows, dog shows, donkey carriage rides, Punch & Judy, plus quality hot food stalls and a full bar. Live music includes Vintage Revue, The Swingtime Starlets and The Sabrejets, Ireland’s best Rockabilly band. There’ll be dancing from the era of swing, jazz and big band, celebrating Bangor’s famous dancehall days at Caproni’s, Milano’s and The Savoy, plus a Disco Revival for the kids of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Visitors can take a stroll down Memory Lane wit its pop-up vintage tattoo parlour and hair salon and share memories in the Conversation Caravan, supported by Bangor Historical Society. There’ll be pizes for Best Dressed Window as well as Best Dressed Lady and Man,

courtesy of Main Street My Street. Seacourt Print Workshop, Boom! Studios and the Ulster Folk Museum will offer workshops on letterhead press printing, sewing, traditional crafting techniques and much more and Etsy will host a local makers’ market alongside Project 24’s artist pods.

Fringe events

In addition, several fringe events will take place throughout the week, including Bangor’s Ghost on Thursday (4th), with local artist and musician Rachel McCarthy; a Tenx9 on Friday (5th) with personal seaside-inspired stories of Bangor; and Revival Picnic in Ward Park on Sunday (7th) with the splendid Victory Rollers, with prizes for best dressed and best vintage picnic. Open House Festival Manager Alison Gordon, said: For the last six years, Open House Festival has been working to re-connect people to the seafront and town centre through arts and cultural events. Seaside Revival is about bringing together local partners and communities to celebrate our cultural heritage – the things that made Bangor a great place – to help shape its future as a modern seaside resort.” Paul Mullan, Director of NI, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said the Great Place

Phillippa Wilson (centre) who was the last female winner of the Pickie to Pier Swim 30 years ago, shows off the shield which she has kindly donated to Open House Festival. Phillippa will be taking the plunge on July 6, along with Scott Riley and Louise Foster of the Dash and Splash sea swimmers programme was supporting four pilot projects, adding: “We hope everyone has fun reliving a bit of Bangor’s past.”

Pickie to Pier Swim

One of the event highlights will be a special resurrection of the legendary ‘Pickie to Pier Swim’. The original race was organised by Bangor Amateur Swimming Club who swam the route weekly from 1910. It carried on through two world wars, drawing hundreds of swimmers and spectators to the town until the late 1980s when the new heated indoor pool proved more appealing. On July 6, around 200 swimmers will brave the 650 metre route, some of them in vintage swimwear, starting from Skippingstone Beach, just past Pickie Fun Park, at 11am (registration from 10am) and finish at the RNLI slipway. The 650m route will be supported by kayaks, ribs and the RNLI

lifeboat. Supported by Ballyholme Yacht Club and Quay Marina’s Kevin Baird, the swim is open to members of sea swimming groups and triathletes, skins and wetsuits – over 16s only. Trophies will be presented to the fastest male and female by the reigning champion, Phillippa Wilson, who will be taking part on the day. Caroline McCoubrey, Seaside Revival Project Coordinator, said: “In addition to the 200 registered sea swimmers, we really hope the event attracts hundreds of spectators to cheer them on, perhaps even those who might have taken part during its long 80-year history. This is a wonderful way to celebrate both the resurgence of sea swimming along our coast line, and our own little piece of history here in Bangor, and we hope this will re-establish the famous Pickie to Pier swim as an annual summer event.”


28 June 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

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TheNorthernWhig– readallaboutit

O

ne of Belfast’s most popular gastro bars, The Northern Whig reopened its doors after an extensive refurbishment project that saw a complete transformation of the building in April 2016. Its name is taken from the newspaper, no longer in publication, which used to occupy this building, Northern Whig House. In previous times the building has been a hotel and a gentleman’s club. Today, The Northern Whig, part of the Horatio Group, is open seven days per week, offering casual dining, small plates and contemporary gastro choices, lunch and evening, in addition to a huge selection of premium wines, spirits, beers

and cocktails. Live entertainment is provided five evenings per week, as well as Sunday afternoon, and there is a mezzanine area overlooking the main bar which is available for private bookings. Their cocktail classes are extremely popular. Situated at the entrance to the Cathedral Quarter, The Northern Whig provides a memorable dining and drinking experience in the heart of Belfast. With a blend of luxury, comfort and glamour, The Whig is dedicated to delivering the best that Belfast has to offer in all aspects of hospitality. The friendly staff are key to an authentic Belfast experience.

TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

C

orr’s Corner Hotel has been in the heart of the community for generations and celebrates being named in the Top 100 Hospitality Businesses in its 100th year in business. As Managing Director Eugene McKeever stated when talking about his 52 years’ service at Corrs Corner, he sees people coming to the hotel with their grandchildren, who he remembers coming in themselves as young people. There’s no doubting the huge part Corr’s Corner Hotel plays in the community and the upcoming generations. Corr’s Corner Hotel is widely known for its iconic Lady R Bar & Grill, which is packed out every day of the week, serving over 250,000 covers per year. This success is down to the talent and consistency of the team at Corr’s Corner Hotel, which has only had two Head Chefs since Eugene Mckeever hung up his Chef hat in 1986. The average length of service – both full and part time across the entire hotel – of seven years per team member, is unique in the hospitality industry. Corr’s Corner has always worked closely with local food producers to ensure that only the very best ingredients enter the kitchen, so that the customer has an enjoyable dining experience: ✱ Beef is sourced from award-winning local Butchers, K & G McAtamney and Miller Meats ✱ Fish is supplied by Keenan Seafood in Belfast ✱ Vegetables are delivered by Arnott’s and Scott’s ✱ Eggs come from the farm down the road.

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Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

Corr’sCornerHotelenters Top100incentenaryyear Corr’s Corner Hotel also enjoys partnerships with local businesses. It has its own Bespoke Coffee Blend in tandem with the local 38 Espresso Team. It also has a Craft Beer which is exclusive to the McKeever Hotel Group, produced at Hillstown Brewery. On top of this Corr’s Corner led the way in helping to educate both EHOs and other hospitality businesses on how to cater for food allergens in a commercial kitchen when the legislation changed and produced education videos with the Food Standards Agency. With 68 bedrooms and a new Fitness Suite which opened this year, Corr’s Corner Hotel enjoys constant return business by corporate clients, who choose the hotel every time they are in Northern Ireland. They cite the excellent service they receive throughout the hotel – a result of the ongoing training all staff receive on providing a first class service on every occasion to every guest. More than simply an hotel or its iconic Bar & Grill, Corr’s Corner Hotel has become a home away from home for many and continues to leave a lasting impression on those who cross its door.


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TOP 100 Northern Ireland Hospitality Businesses 2019

Belfast Telegraph | 28 June 2019

W

ith the food and drinks festival season upon us, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has announced its own unique programme of Food & Drink experiences. Running from June to December 2019, it includes exciting events, festivals and tasting experiences scheduled to take place across Hillsborough, Moira, Lisburn and Dundonald. The 2019 LCCC Food & Drink Programme was officially launched at The StillHouse of Moira and the lineup includes a number of larger scale events happening across the Council area including the popular Hillsborough Farmers’ Markets and Moira’s Speciality Food Fair, which this year is spreading its wings and running for two days (August 17–18) as part of a newly created Moira Festival. There will be a series of ticketed intimate events including a ‘Global Cuisine’ themed series of cookery classes, a ‘Winter Drinks Masterclass’ and a ‘Long Table Dining’ experience, hosted over the coming months by chefs, producers and hospitality providers from within the Lisburn Castlereagh area. Chair of the council’s Development Committee, Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, said: “We are delighted to be able to coincide the launch our 2019 Food & Drink Programme at the start of the summer season of food markets and festivals. This year we have introduced several smaller, more intimate events and masterclasses across the council area that will give local talented traders the opportunity to showcase their produce. I would encourage you to get your tickets for the ‘meet the maker’ events that tickle your taste buds. “The Moira Festival will start on Thursday 15th August with a programme that includes a Meet the Producer themed supper in Wine and Brine, designed and cooked by Chef Chris McGowan; a comedy evening in the Distillery at The StillHouse; and a Family Fun and Music Street Party in Moira on Friday 16th August.” Alderman Ewart MBE added: “The council is delighted that the ever-popular Hillsborough Farmers’ and Christmas Markets, and the Speciality Food Fair

Denise Ewart and Alderman Allan Ewart

Peter Hannan, Trudy Hodkinson, Stuart Hughes, Paula Latuske and Barbara Hughes

Fairs,festivalsandeventsfor LisburnandCastlereagh

will return once again to Dark Walk at Hillsborough Fort and Moira Demesne. It is also excited to be hosting two new food events this autumn: Festival of Food in Lisburn and Taste the Harvest in Dundonald. Over the coming months we look forward to seeing how our Food & Drink Programme rolls out. We would encourage all families, friends and food enthusiasts from across the country to attend and get a real taste of what Lisburn

Castlereagh has to offer.” Following the official launch of the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Food and Drink Programme, the second Hillsborough Farmers’ Market of the season will take place on Saturday, June 29, at the Dark Walk, Hillsborough Fort. With up to 40 stalls, visitors can once again expect a range of seasonal produce with additional offerings including horticulture and handmade organic skincare and crafts.

Marketgoers will experience a delicious array of fresh, artisan foods and homegrown favourites from traders such as Indie Fude, Barn and Bread, Castlescreen Farm, among others. For more information and updates visit www.visitlisburncastlereagh.com or find VisitLisburnCastlereagh on Facebook; Twitter: @VisitLisburn, Instagram: @visitlisburncastlereagh.

Michele Shirlow of Food NI and Alice McIlhagger, of Brambleberry Jams, at the programme launch


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