To celebrate, The Hubs suggested heading away for a few days as he had some holidays left to use up. Belfast was our destination of choice - we go there every year and love it - so I was in charge of arrangements.
A trawl through various websites brought us to Dukes at Queens - a small but perfectly formed hotel in the Queens/Botanic area of the city. The hotel was gorgeous and our room was stupendous - I tried to steal the entire bathroom but the sanitaryware wouldn't fit into my bag, goddammit. Our deal included dinner on one night and seeing as I was suffering from a stinking cold when we got there, it's where we landed on the first night. The food was fabulous and the service was pretty good. Oh, and they make great Eggs Benedict for breakfast...
As the weather was so bad while we were there, we decided to eat close to the hotel on our second night, and we were very fortunate to be right beside the sublime Molly's Yard. This is a gem and I urge everybody heading to Belfast to make a booking for a wonderful experience. The staff deserve the biggest round of applause for being so bloody good at their job - nothing is too much trouble for them and they are all genuinely charming and love what they do. The food is just delicious and they stock the locally-brewed beers from Hilden Brewery which The Hubs loved - a lot.
A highlight of our visit was meeting Deirdre McCanny who is the brains behind the amazing Co Couture on Chichester Street. Deirdre is a chocolatier who makes the most stunning chocolate creations which are a work of art with beautiful packaging. We were blown away by the chocolates we bought, which tasted even better than they looked. She's planning to sell online very soon and I will definitely be placing an order!