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Issue 11: November 2012

bloom Magazine The very latest news direct from the community delivered to your letterbox for free every month.

Food and cookery ranging from easy peasy inspiration to recipes to local restaurant reviews.

What’s going on in your own neighbourhood, health, beauty, local legends and much more.

Get The Kettle On

Rachel Allen has the cake sorted in this months cookboook

WIN!

You can win the new SD Bells book! Bloom Faves

Local Legend, Rising Star, Food Focus & much much more

Shop Local


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Soup/fresh bread/abernethy butter Co Antrim ham terrine/piccalilli/watercress salad/fresh wheaten Thai spiced squid/Asian noodle salad/lemongrass dressing Winter salad/roast beetroot/goats cheese/walnut dressing Spiced seafood croquettes/carrot fennel salad/lemon mayo

Mains

Roast turkey/roast ham /stuffing/trimmings/gravy Slow braised pork belly/red cabbage/mustard mash Roast Monkfish /osso bucco/saffron potatoes Daube of beef/parsnip mash/vichy carrots South Indian vegetable curry/basmati rice/naan bread/spiced mango chutney

Dessert

Christmas pudding/bushmills custard Chocolate brownie/vanilla ice cream Lemon cheesecake/fruit compote Homemade mince pie/fresh cream

3 Courses Only ÂŁ24.95

52-54 Upper Newtownards Rd. Tel 028 9047 3670 Este Bistro Este

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o m

Welcome : We don’t know about everyone else

East Belfast is in Bloom : Bloom Magazine Belfast

@bloommag

Bloom Magazine 308 Albertbridge Road Belfast BT5 4GX Tel: 07719 104862

Editorial: stuart@bloommagazine.co.uk Advertising: angela@bloommagazine.co.uk Accounts: info@bloommagazine.co.uk Printed by GPS www.gpscolour.co.uk

Any views expressed within are not necessarily endorsed by Bloom Magazine or Newborn Media. Reference to any specific product or service does not constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by Bloom Magazine. Links and contacts are provided for user convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement or recommendation by Bloom Magazine. Any reproduction without permission is prohibited.

but to us it seems that somewhere along the line someone has sneakily ripped out a few months from the calender and thrown them in the bin without us noticing. This year’s has been hurtling by at an astonishing rate. Hard to believe Christmas is now well and truly at the forefront of peoples minds. We may as well start getting the Easter eggs in. But before we put our face in Cream Egg, we have a rather bunged issue of Bloom for you to get through with a sharp focus on rallying the community to take a trip down the road and check out our incredible local trade. We kick off as always with our news headlines that matter to you. Then we speak to Robert Bell of SD Bells who have just launched a very special book celebrating 125 years in business. Find out how you could win a copy. We also have our resident beauty experts with advice on preparing your skin for the bitter winter ahoy. We meet Caspar and John Lund whose family history in furnishing yarn spans nine generations. You could become a part of its heritage. Our cookbook is Cake by the very talented Rachel Allen who shares her sweetest of recipes. In her column, Emma Dunn delves deep into the story of the now famous Horatio Todd. We meet Noel, the man at the helm of Ruby Tuesday’s on their quest of using local produce and our rising star is Deborah Toner, an exquisitely talented sewing and embroidery extraordinaire with a twist. And binding the magazine together, we have a fantastic array of local businesses advertising who we wholeheartedly thank for their support. We hope you’ll support them too, give them a ring, call in, tell them where you saw the ad, shop local.

Stuart, Angela, Juanita

www.bloommagazine.co.uk 3


The Christmas Shop

Christmas Gifts - Trees - Tableware - Decorations Ornaments - Lights - Garlands - Crackers

Everything you need on your doorstep to make this festive time perfect, visit The Christmas Shop. 11-13 Cregagh Road, Belfast BT6


Contents

2012  November  

Bloom. The local magazine for your community. 20

19

16

34

36

25

38

6 16 19 20 25

Local News We have all the latest headlines from the East and further afield.

Creating a Stir SD Bells launch a wonderful book to celebrate 125 years in business.

Health & Beauty You can feel the air getting colder by the day, prepare your skin and more.

Fan of the Cloth The Lund family have an extraordinary history that you can be a part of.

Cookbook The fantastic Rachel Allen shares her sweet secrets in her new book, Cake.

28 30 34 36 38

Our Heritage Emma tells us the story of a local man, famous of late, it’s Horatio Todd.

What’s On Once again the East is alive with goings on, we have the lowdown.

Food Focus A familiar name and a menu created with local produce, it’s Ruby Tuesday’s.

Rising Star Deborah Toner’s custom sewing and embroidery, hand made and beautiful.

Local Legend The Park Avenue Hotel, a vital part of East Belfast for over 50 years. www.bloommagazine.co.uk 5


Bloom News

Your local news & views

Come Fly With Mac... Macmillan Cancer Support is on cloud nine as Belfast City Airport announces them as their new charity partner. The City Airport will be getting involved in an array of events for the local charity and encouraging their staff and customers to get involved aiming to raise vital funds for this worthy cause. All funds raised will go towards providing medical, financial, practical and emotional support for the 55,000 people in Northern Ireland living with cancer. www.macmillan.org.uk or for further details on Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning email coffee@macmillan.org.uk or call 0845 602 1246

Local Historian Launches 7th Book Aidan Campbell launched his latest title in his series of East Belfast history books at Hillmount Nursery. ‘Stormont’ was introduced by Aidan in a remarkable presentation to guests including the Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson featuring some wonderful archive photography from the book. All proceeds go to Marie Curie and will be added to the £86,000 already raised by his Aidan. This really is an incredible body of work and will make a fantastic gift for Christmas as it is a joy to behold. Aidan’s books Beaconsfield, Knock, Cherryvalley, Gilnahirk, Castlereagh and Cregagh are on sale at Hillmount Nursery and the Marie Curie Hospice. Pictured l-r Aidan Campbell, Sue Curry - Manager Marie Cure Hospice and Tommy Sandford - Deputy Mayor Castlereagh. Aidan will give an illustrated lecture at East Belfast Historical Society on 8.11.12 at 7.30pm in Belmont Tower. Local Business Woman Loses Over 2 Stone in 6 Weeks

Brenda Shankey spent summer 2012 embarking on a regime of weight loss and fitness. Not only did she lose over two stone in just six weeks, but she has dropped from a size 14 dress to a size 8! The secret to her success is the new craze in the UK.... Fitness Bootcamp. Brenda says, ‘My weight was creeping up and I was doing no exercise at all. I was working long hours and eating on the go and I knew I needed to change my lifestyle. Bootcamp was the perfect solution, helping me to lose weight quickly and safely in a week. I was also re-educated into changing my lifetyle to keep the weight off. I lost a stone in my first week and my fitness improved dramatically. My bootcamp instructor Scott Wright also designed me a fitness and food plan to continue at home, and I quite easily lost a further stone in just four weeks’. I loved the experience and the change in my health and weight so much, I am bringing celebrity trainer Scott Wright to Northern Ireland to operate fitness bootcamps in Northern Ireland.’ For further details on dates and locations visit www.scottwrightbootcamps.com 6 www.bloommagazine.co.uk


Gift vouchers available · · · · ·

Dante jewellery Seasalt accessories Peony scarves Mela D’oro leather handbags Dansk Smykkekunst jewellery

Make your shopping experience stress free and look no further than your local fashion store. Gifts for your loved ones available now from Silhouette. 76 Belmont Rd, Belfast, BT4 2AA Silhouette Belfast Tel: 028 9065 2428 www.silhouettefashionbelfast.co.uk

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Bloom: News

Belfast Music Week Launched The Belfast Music Week 2012 will feature more than 250 events in 70 venues across the city. This is a dramatic increase in activity for the third year of this event, which takes place November 4-11. There will be live music in a rich variety of places, including iconic venues such as the Ulster Hall, The Lyric Theatre and The MAC. But there will also be unique performances at Europa Bus Station, Connswater Shopping Centre, HMV record shop, An Cultúrlann and the Palm House in Botanic Gardens. There is chamber music and hip hop, blues and electronica, talent nights, music exhibitions and traditional sessions. Some of the highlights include a celebratory day at the Ulster Hall, on November 10, marking 25 years of electronic music in the city. Barry Douglas and Cameratino perform at the Naughton Room in the Lyric Theatre on November 5. An exceptionally intimate performance with a programme of Mozart, Brahms, Breval and Mercadante. Belfast City Council’s Belfast Music Week is co-ordinated by the Oh Yeah Music Centre and supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland. www.belfastmusic.org

T

Restyled Furniture & Accessories

he team at Doris and Jeannie believe that everyone is creative and every home has creative potential. They sell beautiful restyled furniture, solid vintage pieces which they have hand finished using the Annie Sloan chalk paint, as they explain. ‘All our furniture is locally sourced, and individually redesigned. Each is a one-off, artisan piece which has been made to last. We are pleased to be the only Belfast stockist of the paint which, in Annie Sloan’s words, is ‘the best paint in the world’. It is a unique formulation in a range of heritage colours, and can be used on furniture and walls for a distressed or ‘French-look’ without any priming or undercoating. We also offer workshops which give people hands-on experience with the paint and provide ideas for re-crafting their own furniture. We are also showcasing the work of other local crafts people and artists such as Loveollio candles, personalised cushions, bunting, prints and paintings. I envisage Doris and Jeannie being a hub for local unique craft design and we welcome inquiries from local craftspeople who would be interested in selling their work through the shop, or who would be interested in renting rooms for workshops or even their own business.’ There is a preview night on Friday 2nd November 2012 from 8-9pm. 25 Belmont Road. Tel 028909 543 8177. www.dorisandjeannie.com Elizabeth’s Home Bakery has now arrived on Belmont Road. Proprietor and main baker Stephen Brown previously traded under Elizabeth’s Cake Shop in Ballyhackamore and now Belmont customers have been enjoying the varied bread range including wheaten, soda, pancakes and cherry scones not to mention the various pastry on offer especially the fudge bar and the fresh cream selection including the extremely popular pineapple slice! Local businesses, churches and schools have been enjoying a tea break with a difference! Orders can be placed the previous day by calling 028 9065 4871. 10% discount on orders over £30. 29 Belmont Road. Find on Facebook. Elizabeth’s Home Bakery is Back!

www.bloommagazine.co.uk 9


Bloom: News Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Gavin Robinson visited Nettlefield Primary School in east Belfast for the unveiling of a new mural. The pupils worked with the local Ravenlink Residents’ Group to create a mosaic of the famous ship made up from different photographs, each with a Titanic connection. Pictured with the Lord Mayor are Amy Manning and Modestus Ogunwa.

Winter at The Arches Come celebrate on Thursday 6th and Thursday 13th of December in various locations in the Holywood Arches area, East Belfast including Holywood Arches library, Espresso East and Bloomfield House. ‘Winter at the Arches’ will include a Christmas craft fair, lantern making workshop and parade, storytelling sessions with appearances from very special guests, choir music and late night shop opening with exclusive discounts and promotions. Over twenty traders and organisations from east Belfast are taking part to celebrate what the local area has to offer. Come along and support your local community this winter and celebrate what East Belfast has to offer! For more information please visit www.eastbelfastpartnership.org. Questions or comments? www.facebook.com/eastbelfastpartnership. Are you a trader/organisation interested in getting involved? Email sarah@eastbelfastpartnership.org. or phone 028 9045 1900 for more information. Catering staff at Grosvenor Grammar School scooped the top prize in the NI School Caterers’ Association (NISCA) at the Titanic building. Grosvenor GS lifted the honours in the Post Primary School of the Year category. Pictured Norman Lynas from sponsor

Lynas foods, Suzanne Clarke, Grosvenor SMK Catering assistant John O’Dowd, Minister for Education, Pauline Thompson, BELB Area Manager, Mary Lagan, Grosvenor SMK Senior Unit supervisor, Mandy Johnston Grosvenor SMK Catering Assistant and Janet McAllister, NISCA Chairperson.

10 www.bloommagazine.co.uk


     

          

          

   



New Season Must-Haves At Peel

New Season

Embrace two seasonal trends with your denims with these shocking pink and floral styles from Citizens of Humanity.

Embrace two seasonal trends with your denims with these shocking pink and floral styles from Citizens of Humanity.

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Don’t miss our stock clearance in the Sale Shop. Sale shop opens Saturdays 10am - 5pm 111 Bloomfield Avenue Belfast BT5 5AB

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MASSIVE REDUCTIONS

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Exclusive to Peel, Jucca, offers all the style of Marni but at a fraction of the price.

Lesley Manor 805, Lisburn Road Belfast BT9 7GX.

Award winning designer T: 028 9068 7050 handbag collection, Abro, is the perfect complement to any outfit casual or smart.

Lesley Manor 805, Lisburn Road Belfast BT9 7GX. T: 028 9068 7050

find us on Facebook

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107 Bloomfield Avenue, Belfast, BT5 5AB T/F: 028 9045 2665 F: 028 9087 2491  E: elaine.peel@ntlworld.com

WWW


Bloom: News

Local Athletics Clubs Celebrate Success Following NI Relay Championships Saturday 6th October saw record numbers of athletes travel from the farthest corners of Northern Ireland to compete in Athletics NI’s annual NI Relay Championships. For the second year running the event was hosted by East Belfast Athletic Club Orangegrove AC in Victoria Park and boasted races for all ages from a Primary School run to the Senior and Masters relay team races. Annadale Striders stormed the finish line winning both the Senior and Masters Men’s races while North Belfast Harriers led the Senior Women to victory and North Down AC took the Masters Women’s title. Paddy Robb of St Malachy’s won the U17 3,000m in an impressive time of 9.38 and Lagan Valley runner Emma Laverty won her race in an equally impressive 10.53. Willowfield Temperance Harriers Arillalwo Bamisilp and Lois Magan won both U15 races with their team mate, Desire Bamisile,winning the U13 Boys 1,000m. Representing Ballyclare HS Emma Hutchinson took the title in the U13 title beating off stiff competition from Willowfield Temperance Harriers, East Down and Dromore AC. Orangegrove AC is a mixed, all abilities athletic club training out of East Belfast. For more information on training with the club please visit www.orangegroveac.co.uk

Trim Tone Tan Totally Transformed Trim Tone Tan Castlereagh has recently been taken over and is undergoing a transformation. Although this may not be visable from looking at the store the new management team, Stuart Watters and Paul Maguire are working hard to give new and existing customers a one stop shop experience. ‘With our sunbeds and amazing toning room already established and offering excellent value for money we have added our beautician Annie who has a wealth of experience in nails, waxing, HD Brows and massage to name but a few and our LA smile laser teeth whitening again is at an unbeatable £50 at all times and we have Shannon (LA smile specialist) who will leave u sparkling.’ With many more developments to come, why not pop in or call them to see what they can do for you. 215 Castlereagh Road opposite the new Tesco. Tel 028 9045 0433. 12 www.bloommagazine.co.uk


Find us on Facebook

The Destiny Gallery is a modern, bright and welcoming venue. It hosts a selection of original and limited edition artwork from many talented local and UK artists.

2 Cod Suppers

£9.99

Sit in or take away. Sit in includes tea or coffee 15 Belmont Road, Belfast BT4 2AA.

Tel: 028 9065 9824

The gallery also offers an on site bespoke framing service provided by a Fine Art Trade Guild Commended framer. The framer specialises in hand finished mounts and frames using techniques to best enhance and preserve artwork. Also available are gift certificates which can be redeemed against artwork or our bespoke framing service. 81 Belmont Road, Belfast BT4 2AA. Tel: 028 9065 9879 Tuesday to Friday 11am-6pm / Saturday 11am-4pm email: info@thedestinygallery.com www.destinygallery.com

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• Garment Alterations • Curtain Making Service • Roman Blinds • Bridal Alterations • Very Competitive Rates

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FairyDust Gift Emporium

Stocking the Green Company Organic Cosmetics and Skincare range Paraben free, for babies, children, teenagers, men & women. Helps combat: Psoriasis, excema & rosacea.

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Unwind while you shop & indulge yourself with a little pampering!

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Treats by Mandy • Reflexology • Foot pamper package • Pedicure • Manicure • Gel Nails • 3 week polish

415-417 Newtownards Road BT4 1AQ Tel: 028 9073 1141 www.fairydustemporium.webs.com

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Sun-Thurs 4pm-Midnight Fri-Sat 4pm-Late

DELIVERY SERVICE £1.30 ORDERS UNDER £5.00 EXTRA 30p Deliveries exceeding 2.7 miles price will increase by £1.00 Please leave a light on for our drivers


HANWOOD IRONING SERVICES New Kidswear for Autumn 2012 Designer brands on your doorstep

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Delivery/collection from home or work from £2.50

Unit 19 Hanwood Business Park.

028 9041 0297


Creating a Stir

SD Bells is an iconic East Belfast company, now in business for 125 years. To mark the anniversary, the family have produced a remarkable book which chronicles the development of the business over four generations and a lot more besides.

‘I

started putting it together on New Years Day, says Robert Bell. ‘Given 2012 was such a huge anniversary year with the Jubilee, Titanic, The Ulster Covenant, The Beatles, everyone was very nostalgic so I knew there would be an appetite and people would be interested. It’s about marking the history of the firm and how its developed over the generations. But its also about how it has developed in conjunction with the development of Belfast, the firms place in the history of the city plus the individuals involved. SD Bell was a well known character in the city and UK wide, especially London. He was the go-to-guy for quality tea and he lectured at queens. .’ The original house where SD Bells began on the Upper Newtownards Road was built at the time when other houses like Ormiston and Beaconsfield marked the start of the suburb developing. So for Robert, it seemed fitting that all proceeds from the book went to Marie Curie at Beaconsfield. But this is not your typical, back to back fact history book. This is an extraordinary piece of work that documents how this company not only has its heritage in our community, but globally. And this is just a fraction of the archive material that had been in the family, as Robert explains, ‘We lost a lot of archive material in the second world war plus a lot was given away for salvage or it was destroyed in the midst of the war effort. What we did retain I wanted to preserve in book form. The people who have come across the firm, have worked for the firm, suppliers etc run into the thousands.’ There’s a look at present day SD Bells; the atmosphere, the live music every Sunday. Then of course there’s an insight into tea and coffee about some legends and history. Robert full admits it’s not pretending to be the definitive history of coffee or tea, but it’s an opinion with history and quotes from everyone from Frederick the Great to Ronald Regan and tales about, JS Bach to the legendary coffee Kopi Luwak which is a fascinating story that

16 www.bloommagazine.co.uk

is a must read. It light heartedly analyses percolator coffee, asks who invented filter paper, the mocha express and the cowboy pot which is how they made coffee in the wild west. Incidentally at the time of the OK Corrall, it was just six years before SD Bells began. So, packed with interesting facts about their place in history, but also a lot of fun. ‘We don’t take ourselves too seriously, there’s a lot of making fun of ourselves in there. We canvassed customers and got some lovely snippets which are more human than the dry product stories. I also wanted to stake a claim, because if you don’t, no one else is going to do it for you! We’ve been around for such a long time and of course we are proud of the company and its history so wanted to share it with everyone.’ So if you want a fascinating history of a fascinating company in a fascinating city and if you want to know what SD Bells can tell you what opium, Afghanistan and tea have in common, then this is the book for you! Creating A Stir: 125 Years of SD Bells is written by Barry Bell, Robert Bell and Keith Drury with illustrations by Keith Drury. Available from SD Bells priced £20 with proceeds going to Marie Curie.

WIN A COPY OF CREATING A STIR! SD Bells is offering 5 readers the chance to win a copy of Creating a Stir. Simply answer these three questions which you can find the answers to at www.sdbellsteacoffee.com 1. What does the SD stand for in SD Bells? 2. In what year did the company move to Knock? 3. When is the Java-Jive Jazz Brunch? • Send your answers along with your name and contact number to info@bloommagazine.co.uk. • Or you can post your answers to Bloom Magazine, 308 Albertbridge Road, Belfast, BT5 4GX. Closes 30/11/12


Do you need a room for a meeting or event?

• CiNI has 3 rooms for up to 60 people to hire from as little as £30 per day. • We have a range of catering options available. • Very accessible to and from the city centre with FREE carparking. • Internet access and Loop system available. • See our website and Facebook page for further offers.

Children in Northern Ireland (CiNI) Unit 9, 40 Montgomery Road Belfast BT6 9HL T: 028 9040 1290 E: Lynsey@ci-ni.org.uk W: www.ci-ni.org.uk


Interiors, antiques, furniture and furnishings. Hand built painted in frame bespoke kitchens. Irish damask linen, upholstery, curtains, furnishing fabrics. Hand made plaster cornice and ceiling roses. Collection of antiques, collectables, furniture and furnishings, refurbished antiques, reupholstered new and old. Lamps, shades, desks, rugs, cabinets, chests, Silver tea & coffee sets. Also including the Caspar Lund damask Irish linen collection woven by John K Lund.

Keighley Lund Interiors

ANTIQUES . PLASTERWORK. COLLECTABLES . FURNITURE FURNISHINGS . BESPOKE HANDMADE FURNITURE

Unit 18 East Belfast Enterprise, 308 Albertbridge Rd, Belfast BT5 4GX Tel: 07776 152215. www.keighleylund.com cl@keighleylund.com

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Preparing for Autumn & Winter

Autumn and winter months are the perfect time to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation. Besides, how else are you going to prepare for high-shopping season? Not only can a trip to the spa help you relax and de-stress, but it’s also great for your skin.

Face Time

An Eternal Flame

Harsh weather and cooler temperatures can take their toll on your skin, making it more prone to breakouts and excessive dryness. You can stock up on moisturizers and at-home facial products, but sometimes a spa treatment is all you need to get yourself in tip-top shape for party season!

If you are looking for something a little different try [Comfort Zone] Lux Candle Massage. This unique treatment uses the innovative natural Lux Massage Candle. Especially selected and tailored to your needs, the warm oils and natural butters are drizzled over the skin for your massage treatment, to melt away tension and deliciously nourish your skin.

Health & Beauty

Winter Watch Winter facial skin care is one of the most important aspects of skin care health. Not only is your face usually a focal point, the face is also one of the more sensitive areas of the skin. Combinations of weather changes, exposure to environmental conditions such as rain, sleet, or snow, and dry indoor air all contribute to the appearance of dull, dry, tight, or skin. Dermalogica face mapping is just the thing to determine what facials or at home products you need to invest in this winter and best of all it is free in most good spas.

Welcome to The Secret Day Spa beauty page. Keeping the good people of East Belfast looking gorgeous & feeling fantastic!

Mud You Believe it! For the ultimate winter treat why not try a Mud wrap. We use {Comfort Zone} Monticelli mud for a luxurious envelopment of mineral rich mud containing thermal water from the springs of Monticelli, Italy, this treatment has a profound draining, decongesting action whilst relieving any physical tension from tired limbs. The body is left refreshed and toned.

Rolling Stones Look out for hotstone massages, deeply soothing and sensual massage using a unique combination of hot basalt stones, essential oils and the personal therapy of touch. The heat of the stones relieves the body of physical tension and pain, improves the circulation and also promotes an overall feeling of well being.

The Secret Day Spa, 30 Belmont Road, Belfast. Tel: 028 9067 1914. www.bloommagazine.co.uk 19


Fan of the Cloth

The Lund family connection to furnishing yarn stretches back nine generations. Originally based in Yorkshire, the operation moved to Northern Ireland 30 years ago yet the archive material and collection on offer today through their East Belfast base is nothing short of astonishing. We spoke to John K. Lund and his son Caspar about the family story.

I

t started around 1715 with three brothers who were farmers,’ says John Lund. ‘They bought English wool, sorted and scoured it, hand combed it, hand spun it and then had it woven on hand looms in cottages and it grew from there. Substantial mills were built in the region employing over a thousand people based around Bradford and Keighley. My Great Great Grandfather had a mill; G Lund & Son in Bradford and we had Crabtree Brothers and Lund as well. Then 30 years ago sold the mills in Yorkshire and moved all the production here.’ The family discovered eight chairs which were from the mill boardroom when they were clearing from the Demesne in Lurgan last year. ‘It was my step mothers family home,’ says Caspar. ‘They must have been sold 150 years ago from my Great Great Grandfather to my stepmothers Great Great Grandfather. We’re the only ones that had that design so coincidentally there was a connection with the families even before. It’s 16th Century damask, the mid 19th to early 17th century is where a lot of our designs originate from.’ Caspar’s father John moved the operation to Glenanne in South Armagh were they did the dying and spinning of their own yarn. They were producing for the top 5% of the market such as Zoffany, Nina Campbell, Osborne & Little. They’ve also gone into the likes of Royal households of the UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Dubai and various Presidents plus the French Assembly sit on Lund cloth. So the level of quality in their output is unparalleled as Caspar explains, ‘All the Equerries bedrooms in Buckingham Palace are done with our fabric (Oak Garland) which was originally found in Templenewsam House in Leeds. Another (Chrysanthemum Flower) The Prince of Wales and Princess Diana had and then when they got divorced they had them again, plus there’s one with a yellow ground in Clarence House today.’ So the archive material available now from the diverse and incredible range is the last of this fabric

20 www.bloommagazine.co.uk

anywhere in the world, once sold, it’s gone, no one can ever reproduce it ever again. ‘This fabric was selling in the USA for $800 a linear metre. We’re selling it now from £95-£125 a linear metre but it will last for 300 years. No one can get close to the level of quality anymore, not even computers. It’s all reversible it’s so well made, it depends on what way you want it. We’ve had a foot stool in our house for years that we sit on, eat on, put our feet on, spill tea on, and all you do is take a damp cloth to it because it’s all natural.’ Combined with the extraordinary stock of fabric, Keighley Lund Interiors also provide bespoke hand made furniture, kitchens, antiques, furnishings and a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience from their beautiful base in East Belfast. One of the Lund’s oldest family traditions is that the first born male heir is given the name Keighley Lund, as in John Keighley Lund. This name was given unusually to both Oliver Charles Keighley Lund and Caspar John Keighley Lund as they were identical twins. The company name is in loving memory of Oliver Charles Keighley Lund who passed on 1st November 2011.

Unit 18, East Belfast Enterprise 308 Albertbridge Road, BT5 4GX. Tel 07776 152215


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Caramelised pear upside-down cake

Cake By Rachel Allen Rachel Allen knows home baking. It’s her fail-safe recipes, with easy-to-follow methods, thoughtful tips and advice that have been helping her readers over the years to make the most gorgeous cakes and bakes that work every time. Sponges, muffins, brownies, pop cakes, cheesecakes, tortes, pudding cakes, whether they are indulgent or healthy(ish), chocolaty, nutty or fruity, sweet or savoury, or gluten-free, you’ll find them all in this ultimate cake bible published by Harper Collins. In this comprehensive collection with Photography by Philip Webb you’ll find a mix of delicious easy and everyday cakes, teatime treats, classics, festive baking, hearty puddings and even some free-from and healthier cakes. And when you’ve finished baking, Rachel will show you the best tips and tricks for decorating and icing. Here is just a handful of the 200 recipes from this wonderful book from one of the most renowned and respected chefs in the country. www.bloommagazine.co.uk 25


Caramelised Pear Upside Down Cake

Victoria Sponge

“ Peeled

slices of orange look lovely atop this upside down cake, infusing it with their tangy citrus flavour. The batter combines the zest of the oranges and olive oil for a distinctive tasting sponge. I like to serve this for dessert with a little custard or orange creme anglaise ” Prep time: 10 minutes Baking time: 40 minutes Ready in: 1 hour Serves: 8 75g (3oz) butter 125g (4 ½ oz) brown sugar 4 pears (about 375g/13oz) 150g (5oz) plain flour 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp salt 175g (6oz) caster sugar 4 eggs 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) sunflower oil 1 tsp finely grated orange zest Double or regular cream, whipped, to serve (optional) • 26cm (10 ½ in) diameter ovenproof frying pan Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (350⁰F), Gas mark 4.

zest and grated pear, then mix into the dry ingredients, whisking to combine. Pour the batter into the frying pan, not disturbing the spiral pattern, bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then place a plate on top and carefully turn the cake upside down (the right way up, in other words) and out onto the plate. Serve while warm or at room temperature, with a little softly whipped cream if you wish.

Put the butter into the frying pan and melt over a low heat, remove from the hob and sprinkle over the brown sugar. “Named after Queen Victoria who Grate one pear, including the skin enjoyed a slice of it with her tea. (but avoid the pips and core), and In its traditional form it consists set aside. Peel the remaining three of two layers of cake with pears, slice each into quarters and raspberry jam and cream filling cut away the core. Arrange the and dusted with icing or caster pear quarters, cut side down, in sugar. I’ve provided a version of a spiral pattern in the bottom of it here as it’s a classic, but it’s a the pan. seriously versatile recipe with lots of Sift the flour, cinnamon, variations that you can try ” bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and mix in the caster sugar. Prep time: 10 minutes (excl filling) Baking time: 18-25 minutes In a separate bowl, whisk together Ready in: 1 hour the eggs, sunflower oil, orange Serves 6-8

Victoria Sponge

26 www.bloommagazine.co.uk

175g (6oz) butter softened, plus extra for greasing 175g (6oz) caster sugar 3 eggs 175g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting 1 tsp baking powder 1 tbsp milk Icing or caster sugar, for sprinkling • Two 18cm (7in) diameter sandwich tins Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (350⁰F), Gas mark 4. Butter and flour the sides of each tin and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Cream the butter until soft in a large bowl or electric food mixer. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl for a few seconds until just mixed, then gradually add them to the butter mixture, beating all the time. Sift in the flour and baking powder, tadd the milk, folding in gently to incorporate. Divide the mixture between the two tins and make a slight hollow in the centre of each cake so that when it rises it doesn’t peak too much in the centre, making it difficult to sandwich together


with the other half. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 18-25 minutes or until golden on top and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then loosen around the edges of each cake using a small, sharp knife and carefully remove from the tins before leaving on a wire rack to cool down completely. Once cool you can sandwich the cakes together using the filling below. To assemble the Victoria sponge, place one cake upside down on a plate and spread over your filling. Place the second cake on top, right side up, then sprinkle over the icing or caster sugar to finish. Jam and cream filling Spread 3-4 rounded tablespoons of jam, such as raspberry, strawberry or blackberry over the first cake, followed by a layer of 125ml (4 ½ fl oz) of double or regular cream, whipped until almost stiff. This is best eaten on the day it’s made. If you want the cake to last for a few days (without putting it in the fridge), omit the cream and use just jam in the centre; this will keep in an airtight box for 2-3 days.

Date & Almond Honey Cake

100g (3 ½ oz) ground almonds 125g (4 ½ oz) wholemeal flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 25g (1oz) flaked almonds • 20cm (8in) diameter cake tin with 6cm (2 ½ in) sides Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (350⁰F), Gas mark 4, Butter the sides of the cake tin, line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Place the tin on a baking sheet, as some butter may seep out during cooking if using a spring-form cake tin. Place the dates in a saucepan and pour in 50ml (2fl oz) of water. Set over a high heat and cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside. Cream the butter and the 200g (7oz) of honey until soft in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl for a few seconds until just mixed, then gradually add them to the creamed butter and honey mixture, beating all the time. Stir in the cooked dates, along with any remaining cooking

liquid, followed by the ground almonds, then add the flour and baking powder and fold in gently to incorporate. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the surface gently with a palette knife, then scatter the flaked almonds evenly over the top. Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. It will be quite dark-looking, but don’t worry – the cake will be perfectly moist inside. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides using a small, sharp knife, carefully remove the cake from the tin, transferring to a cake stand or plate. Use a skewer to pierce a few holes in the top of the cake, then drizzle over the 2 tablespoons of honey and allow to cool before cutting into slices to serve.

Cake by Rachel Allen Available now priced £25 Published by Harper Collins Date & Almond Honey Cake

“ This

fantastically dense, moist cake has echoes of sticky toffee pudding. It contains no refined sugar all the sweetness coming from honey and dates, while the wholemeal flour imparts its lovely nutty flavour.” Prep time: 15 minutes Baking time: 45-50 minutes Ready in: 2 hours Serves: 6-8 100g (3 ½ oz) chopped dates 200g (7oz) butter, softened, 200g (7oz) honey, plus 2 tbsp for drizzling 3 eggs www.bloommagazine.co.uk 27


Who Was Horatio Todd?

East Belfast Historical Society

How many people living in East Belfast now know the man behind the name of the bar & restaurant Horatio Todd? Emma Dunn explains the history of the man himself.

H

oratio Todd was born in Ballymena, moving to Belfast in 1899 where he eventually opened his own chemists shop on the Holywood Road in 1905 which he grandly named the Trafalgar Medical Hall. Those who remember him describe a bespectacled gentlemanly figure in a well cut suit who always wore a red carnation in his button hole and treated all his customers with the utmost courtesy. It was in this chemist shop on the Holywood Road that he manufactured his own range of remedies including Todd’s Own Thrixol Hair Lotion for those affected by dandruff, Todd’s Own Marshmallow Linctus for colds and bronchitis and Todd’s Laxative Emulsion which surely needs no further explanation! Horatio Todd prided himself that the drugs he dispensed were the very best that money could buy and on his advertisements he stated “When a human life is at stake the best is none too good. I do not handle cheap drugs; in fact every drug that enters your prescription is the best.” Horatio Todd was also known throughout the area for taking care of animals as well as humans although perhaps not in the same way, as many a family pet was taken there to be put down in his capacity as the local vet. It was for his scents and perfumes Horatio Todd was best known to the ladies of the wealthier social classes including royalty. He sent baskets of his scent to Queen Mary, grandmother of the present Queen of England and also to the Duchess of Abercorn, Lady Londonderry and the Mayoress of Belfast 28 www.bloommagazine.co.uk

at the time Lady Turner. Accompanying his basket to Queen Mary in 1925 he included a letter where he wrote “Your Majesty, I shall feel highly honoured if you will kindly accept the accompanying bottles of my perfumes, Ulster Violets and Flowers of Ulster. They are manufactured in Ulster in my own laboratory and under my personal supervision.” He received a reply from Buckingham Palace a few weeks later from the Queens Private Secretary saying that “I am to express to you Her Majesty’s sincere thanks for your kind thought and to say that it gives her great pleasure to accept the casket of Ulster Perfumes manufactured by yourself.” Although history does not record if she ever wore them or not, the fact that he was a recipient of the OBE perhaps speaks for itself. The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland was also formed in 1925 and Horatio Todd was named as its first President and he was the first fellow of the Society in the early 1970’s. He died in 1973 and his daughter Mia carried on the business until 1977. Sadly it is a sign of the times that the current chemist which replaces the shop opened by this colourful character of East Belfast at 72 Holywood Road is a branch of Boots.’ ©Emma Dunn. The East Belfast Historical Society meets in Belmont Tower on the second Thursday of each month. For further details please email secretary@ebhs.org.uk


Screen functi s, theatre availaon room privat ble for e hire.

The Strand Christmas Spectacular A Christmas Variety Concert. 6th - 8th December 2012. 7.45pm. Tickets £8 available on 02890 655830. www.facebook.com/StrandCinemaBelfast

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Whats On

Plan your time with our handy guide...

TODDLER GROUPS

Mondays Sydenham Parent & Toddler

Mon 10-11.30 £1 per family Tea/coffee/juice/toast. Inverary Community Centre BT4 1RN Tel: 028 9047 1456

St Finnians

10-11.30 Cregagh Park, BT6 9LF 028 9079 2793.

Wandsworth Mums & Chums

10-11.45am Wandsworth Community 26a Belmont Church Rd BT4 3FF £1 per family.

Calvary Baptist Mums & Toddlers.

10.30-12.00am. £1 per family. 100 Dee Street, BT4 028 9073 2331

Tuesdays Albertbridge Congregational 10.30-12.15 Woodstock Link Donation £1

CFC Mops & Tots

9.30-11am (term time - alternate Tuesdays from 11/9/12)

CFC Mops

9.30-11am (term time - alternate Tuesdays from 18/9/12) 10 Belmont Rd, BT4 2AN Tel: 028 9067 1838 www.thisiscfc.com

Mersey Street Presb. Parents & Toddlers

10-11.45am term time Mersey Street Presbyterian BT1 1EX Tel: 028 90 657025 aburcombe@gmail.com 30 www.bloommagazine.co.uk

www.merseystreet.org.uk £1 donation

St Donards Church

10am-12 Bloomfield Avenue Tel: 028 9065 2321 www.stdonards.com £1 for adults. Tea/coffee/juice biscuits and homemade scone.

Strandtown Baptist Tots

10.15- 11.45am (term time) Strandtown Baptist Church, 1 Clonallon Court Belmont Road, BT4 2AB Tel: 028 9080 8380 £1 per adult

Wednesdays Busy Bees

10 -11:30am Knock Methodist Church, Knock Road, BT5 6JA Tel: 07867 551366 jackie.blair@karrington.net

smallTALK @ orangefield

10-11.45am O’field Church & Community, 464 Castlereagh Road BT5 6BH Tel: 07745 076911 shajam38@yahoo.co.uk www.orangefield.org.uk

Willowfield Mother and Toddler Group

10-12pm Woodstock Road, BT6 8PR Tel: 028 9045 7654 office@willowfieldchurch.co.uk

Thursdays Bloomfield Methodist Church 10-11.30am £1 per family Grand Parade

Tel: 028 9065 8946.

Cregagh Mums & Tots 10-12pm

Cregagh Community Centre Mount Merrion Avenue BT6 OFL Tel: 028 9040 1444

Knock Parent & Toddler Group

10-11.45am Knock Presbyterian Church 53 Kings Road, BT5 6JH Tel: Pamela 07921 067927 or Gillian 07803 117619. www.knockpresbyterian.co.uk

Fridays Tots ‘R’ Us

10.30am House of Worship 127a Orby Drive, BT5 6BB Tel: 07791 776307/07980 984506 www.houseofworshipireland.com

St Columba’s Mums & Tots

9.45-11.45 (term time) St Columba’s Parish Church 29 Kings Road BT5 6JG Tel: 028 9065 1412

EVENTS ETC

Mondays Wandsworth Community 028 9065 1668 Zumba 6-7pm Aerobics 7-8pm Yoga 8.15-9.30pm

Tuesdays Belmont Tower www.belmont-tower.co.uk

Core fitness 9.30am-10.30am Childrens dance classes 4-7pm Zumba Classes 6-7.15pm Pregnancy Yoga Classes 7.30-8.30pm

Wandsworth Community

Childrens Irish dancing 4-6.30pm, Aerobics 7.15-8.15pm Tai Chi 8.15-9.30pm


HS Studio Hair

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The HS Studio is situated in a unique location in East Belfast with a comprehensive selection of treatments and products including Label M, L’Oreal, Organic Colouring, Fantasy Tan and Lauren’s Way.

Tel: 07854 431830

Holly Savage HS Studio

Appointments Tuesday - Saturday, afternoons & evenings


Whats On

Plan your time with our handy guide...

Wednesdays Bloomfield Methodist Church

12.30 Over 50’s Lunch Club 3 courses for £3. Grand Parade Tel: 028 9065 8946.

Belmont Tower www.belmont-tower.co.uk

Baby massage 10am-1pm Yoga with Eleanor 5.45-7.45pm 39th Old Boys 7-9pm

Wandsworth Community 028 9065 1668

Sewing Group 10am-12noon Flower Arranging 1.30-3.30pm, Yoga 7-8.30pm

Thursdays

028 9065 1668

Belmont Tower www.belmont-tower.co.uk

Art classes 10am-1pm Baby Sensory Classes 7-13 mths Thurs 10-11am 0-7 mths Thurs 11.30-12.30 Yoga with Sharon 6-8pm East Belfast Historical Society 8th Nov. 7.30pm .Stormont.

Wandsworth Community 028 9065 1668

LA Dance (kids Hip Hop) 5-6pm Aerobics 7-8pm Core Combat 8.30-10pm

Shiloh Hall 07725 914458

76 The Mount, BT5 4ND Coffee Morning 10:30-12 noon Free tea, coffee, homemade cakes

Saturdays Cregagh Community Centre Wandsworth Community 028 9065 1668

Belcanto School of Singing 10-1pm

Wandsworth Community

Busybees musictime for babies 9.45am-10.45am £3.95 per family. Computers for beginners 10am12 and 1-3pm, Childrens Ju Jitsu 7-8pm Boxing 8.30-9.30pm

Musical Bumps. Music for babies and toddlers. www.muscialbumps.com

Fridays Belmont Tower www.belmont-tower.co.uk

life new

Jump Jiggle & Jive 9.30-12.30, Childrens Art Class 10am-11am & Ignite teens dance 1.30-4.30pm

Begin your child’s journey toward a lifetime of golf enjoyment with our new and innovative golf class! Led by PGA class AA Professional with 17 years experience Improve physiology and co-ordination “Skills for life” through golf etiquette Bands and certificates awarded on completion of key skill stages Indoor classes with safe, child friendly equipment Starts 15th November - Wandsworth Community Centre 6 lessons every Thursday

For more information contact Chris Bell 32 www.bloommagazine.co.uk

Call: 07796 443148 Email: Chrisbellgolf@yahoo.co.uk Find Us: Facebook.com/golftastic

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Elizabeth’s Home Bakery Kelly’s Beauty Salon

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Food Focus

A Classic Revival

Ruby Tuesday’s is a name that many of us will know from living in Belfast. The restaurant very much lives on in Dundonald and we spoke to owner Noel to get an insight into what they offer.

M

y brother in law used to manage a hotel in the Isle of Man.’ says Noel of his culinary background. ‘I went over as a barman but he was short staffed in the kitchen and he brought me in there and my passion for food escalated from there really.’ Noel then came back to Belfast and worked in Saints and Scholars for 18 months before moving to Maloneys and when the first Ruby Tuesdays opened around 18 years ago on the Lisburn road he relocated there. ‘The concept did well and had three in Belfast; Lisburn Road, Stranmillis and Antrim Road. I ran the restaurants for a lady called Angela McGinley at the time. Then I wanted to take my career in a different direction so joined Botanic Inns, staying with them for nine years.’ Noel took a sabbatical for two years and came back with the inspiration that there would be a market to regenerate the Ruby’s brand again in Dundonald. That was August 2011 and the new restaurant opened in the October as Ruby Tuesday in East Belfast. ‘I always felt it was a great brand and people knew the name and what we were about. We were always famous for our food, especially our breakfasts. Most of the original items on our menu originated from the first Ruby’s. But we have modernised them to fit into what people want now.’ So what can people expect when they visit Ruby’s for the first time? ‘A warm welcome, friendly service and very good food at reasonable prices. We know the industry well and the recession hits hard so we want to give the best value for money. Between myself and the other kitchen members who also worked in the old branch there’s probably around 45 years experience between us plus we have talented young chefs from East Belfast making their mark. We do a great two course lunch for £7.95 which features the best of local produce. We try to use local suppliers, keeping the money we spend within East Belfast and helping the local economy. In the evening we do pizza, pasta, surf and turf all at reasonable prices. Our chicken fajitas are well spoken of around East Belfast as is our chicken peri peri. Our beef is sourced from Armstrong Meats on the Castlereagh Road and they have their own abattoir so it’s good NI beef that we use. I worked in Tony Roma’s for almost five years years, but I think our ribs here are second to none. The way they’re prepared and finished and the sticky BBQ sauce that I was taught in Miami when I was training was a great inspiration, the full rack is great value, very tasty and very messy too!’ The restaurant is also extremely child friendly with a dedicated kiddie corner with the emphasis on casual dining encouraging people to relax and appreciate the good food and service. ‘We do BYO as well,’ says Noel ‘and a couple of great deals on a Tuesday and Thursday; two 10 oz sirloins, all the trimmings, choice of sauces plus four bottles of bud for £30. We also do a deal with the cinema for two cinema tickets, two main courses and a bottle of wine for £35.’

East Point Entertainment Village Old Dundonald Road, Dundonald. Tel 028 9048 5566 Facebook: Cafe Ruby Tuesdays. 34 www.bloommagazine.co.uk


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100’s Of Quality Beds And Mattresses In Stock Ready For Free Local Delivery 8 Templemore Avenue Belfast BT5 4FP www.discountbedsbelfast.co.uk


Rising Star

Right: City Hall.

Left: A commission by Deborah. Multicoloured Skyline

Stitched Up

Deborah Toner’s custom sewing and embroidery is hand made, bespoke and beautiful. We find out more about her wonderful creations.

‘M

Right: One of Deborah’s signature map designs.

y work came about while studying architecture at the Art College in Belfast, says Deborah. ‘It was only while studying for my Masters that I discovered that I could use different media to express my ideas. I have always had a big interest in textiles and studying in the Art College in Belfast made it easier for me to explore different ideas. I began by making a series of maps which went along with my thesis and made a series of machine stitched maps showing the changing of the city pattern throughout history. The Ulster Museum bought these from me and I think that’s when I realised I could maybe take my methods and ideas further. The original copy of these maps sits in permanent display at the Ulster Folk Museum.’ When Deborah completed her Masters she started looking into new ideas and began making small pieces such as cushions and panels. It was only really about a year ago that she decided she would try and sell her pieces. ‘I applied for a stall at St George’s Market and over the Christmas period I attended a few craft fairs. I got a permanent Sunday stall at St George’s Market a few months ago and things have been going really well. All of my work is machine stitched and hand made using unbleached Irish Linen. I source all of my linen locally from a mill in Dungiven. My work has a lot of unique qualities. I will never make the same thing twice. If someone requests something the same as I have done before I will always make sure it is done on a different type of linen or in a slightly different way. I take a lot of commissions. I think my work sparks an idea in people’s minds and it’s nice to work along with them to create what they want.’ So with such a fascinating career path to date, what has been the highlight for Deborah? ‘It was a great feeling to see my work displayed in the Ulster Folk Museum and for them to want to buy my collection of maps from me. But that was really only the beginning and I still feel I am only getting started so hopefully there will be a few more highlights along the way. I also love the relationship I get to build up with my clients and getting to work along with them on ideas and creating what they imagine. It’s definitely a highlight when people have seen work I’ve done for someone else or they have heard about me from other people and they come to me because they love what I do. I enjoy the idea of distinguishable patterns, especially when something like a map or a skyline which is very structured and architectural, can be made into something soft and tactile. These individually designed, machine stitched and handmade pieces are all made from unbleached Irish Linen. I am continually exploring different ideas and methods to add to my collection of works. I love that I get to experiment with my ideas. I have the freedom to create what I desire and I am always working on new designs and pieces. I just really enjoy that freedom.’

Deborah is at St George’s Market every Sunday from 10am-4pm and is currently taking Christmas orders. Visit www.deborahtoner.co.uk for updates, stockist additions or find her on Facebook under Deborah Toner, Custom Sewing and Embroidery. Also stocked in Kingfisher Gift Shop in Killyleagh. 36 www.bloommagazine.co.uk


Local Legend

The 50’s

Be Their Guest The Park Avenue Hotel has been as much of a value to the local community as it has to the people from all over the world who come to stay. We spoke to Sales & Marketing Manager Katrina Martin and Director Mandy Patrick to find out why.

The 70’s

One of the bedrooms, present day.

‘I

t’s been in our family over 50 years,’ says Mandy. ‘I’m 3rd generation, Katrina 4th generation. It was originally bought in the 50s as two semi detached villas. One of these, Cranthorpe House was developed into a hotel. There was then a fire in 1964 which destroyed them both. It reopened in 1967 and was the first in Ulster to be purpose built as a hotel. From there theres been significant periodic investment.’ After the fire there were 76 bedrooms, a bar, restaurant and functions rooms. The building and business gradually developed over the years and in the early 80’s the ‘Chalet’ was demolished and was replaced with The Oxford Suite function room which could be divided into three separate areas. In the early 80’s the ‘Cambridge Rooms’ underwent major refurbishment along with the hotel bedrooms. Still wanting to progress and keep up with demand, fully ensuite bedrooms were built in the early 1990’s bringing the total down to 56, along with renovations in the ballroom and the major redevelopment of the foyer and reception entrance. ‘Now all the external function rooms have been demolished and we’ve added those as part of the main hotel over the years,’ says Katrina. ‘The most recent refurbishment was when all the bedrooms were redesigned and we’re 4 star now since 2009. It was a 2 star until 15 years ago, then 5 years ago we felt the market was ready and got our 4 stars with a £3m investment.’ Mandy and Katrina talk positively about the friendly, close knit hotel industry in Belfast with everyone helping each other out. And that close knit ethos extends to the community. ‘We’ve had great community support from weddings, funerals, christenings, family celebrations, anniversaries of people who got married here decades ago who come back every year or their children getting married. We wouldn’t be here without the support of our community. We get regulars to the bar, restaurant and also accommodation wise too.’ Mandy’s work echoes the hotel’s commitment to its surroundings with ties to East Belfast Partnership (EBP), NI Tourist Board, Tourism Ireland, Vice President of the NI Hotel Federation,, Deputy Chair NI Consumer Council and she received an MBE for services to tourism two years ago. ‘As part of the EBP we hope to have our civic square soon at Holywood Arches, the tourist info centre, the Greenway and along with Titanic quarter bring the story of Titanic people to life to give tourists an option to put in an hour or two in east Belfast. The community have supported us so we want to give a little bit back. Katrina and Mandy speak extremely highly of the staff and see them as one of the key factors in the hotel’s success and longevity in the area. ‘The staff are very important, we are a big employer and they are magnificent, as we take more on we just keep getting stronger and stronger. Our customer feedback highlights the staff performance.’ And what about any famous guests who may have checked in over the years? ‘We’ve had everyone from major football teams, Alan Hansen, George Best, Van Morrison to people from Made in Chelsea! There wouldn’t have been a choice in the 70s and 80s. The city centre wasn’t an option for people. So, overall peace has been the greatest thing to happen in this country and things have improved from there not just in the industry, but life here in general.’

158 Holywood Road Belfast BT4 1PB. Tel 028 9065 6520. www.parkavenuehotel.co.uk 38 www.bloommagazine.co.uk


No.36

Fresh, Local, Homecooked Nosh Home cooking at its best using fresh local ingredients. Daily specials on breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

Now taking orders for home baked Christmas hampers

36 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AN Tel: 028 9065 7476 no.36belmontroad@hotmail.co.uk



Bloom November 2012