When I was little, a trip to Belfast was an epic journey. It seemed to take all day to get there and even longer to get back, but we loved it all the same. Going around the shops was a treat in itself because they had different sweets, crisps and drinks to what was available in our local shop. Imagine chicken or spring onion flavoured crisps - the exoticness of it all! As my Mum is from Belfast, I also have an unhealthy love, actually, probably an obsession with potato and soda farls. The potato farls must be fried in a drop of oil and butter so they're crunchy on the outside and meltingly soft within, and the soda farls have to be toasted. Any other way is the wrong way, as far as I'm concerned.
We still love our trips to Belfast and I was delighted when the founder of Isle magazine Lisa McGee asked me where my favourite places were to eat and drink in Belfast, for a feature in the latest edition. Some of the places we love are Cayenne, The Bar+Grill at James Street South, Molly's Yard and Little Wing Pizza. I also have a pronounced fondness for the cocktails at The Merchant Hotel. There's nothing like sitting in their elegant bar and sipping a Sicilian or Dark & Stormy cocktail.
Actually, we're just back from another night away and there's a few more recommendations you should look out for... they'll be appearing over coming weeks.
Isle Magazine is an online only magazine for lovers of Irish style, living and enterprise across the globe, published quarterly.