Archive: November 2010


30 November 2010
Niall McKenna is presented with James Street South's Award for Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland by Restaurant Magazine's editor William Drew

Following on from the success on Great British Menu, James Street South restaurant has added an extra jewel to its already sparkling crown, having been awarded Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland at The National Restaurant Awards 2010. The awards, which took place in London last month, were attended by the UK’s greatest culinary talent in a celebration of what has been an amazing year of innovation and achievement in a challenging environment.

It has been an outstanding year for James Street South, which also came in at number 74 in the list of the 100 best restaurants in the UK at the same awards.  Voted for by chefs, food writers and restaurateurs from across the UK, the list includes everything from fine-dining institutions to beach bistrots and new gastropubs to old country-house hotels, with plenty in between.

“Niall and Joanne McKenna have steadily built the reputation of this contemporary fine-dining restaurant since opening in 2003, and it now tops an increasingly impressive list of restaurants in Northern Ireland," said William Drew, editor of Restaurant magazine, who chaired the awards. "The chefs, restaurateurs and food writers who make up the National Restaurant Awards Academy were impressed by the use of local produce in the kitchen's modern European dishes, all exquisitely presented, which are complemented by an impressive but accessible wine list. A well-deserved accolade for a great Belfast restaurant."

 Since opening its doors, James Street South restaurant has won a loyal following of customers and has enhanced the Belfast restaurant scene. Its menu offers clean, fresh and simple cuisine using the best of local produce and it is a place where good food, wine and service come beautifully together.

Santa Claus Cruises to CastleCourt

23 November 2010

With Christmas just around the corner, Belfast’s brightest family shopping centre is hotting up for the coolest of seasons, with its fun, family Santa’s Grotto and a whole host of things happening for Christmas shoppers throughout the festive season.  Paul McMahon, Centre manager said: “This year CastleCourt is going to be completely transformed into a winter wonderland with our friendly Santa and everything from gift wrapping to carol singing to ensure Christmas shopping is calm and hassle-free.  We hope the our local school choirs’ happy harmonies will put a spring into shoppers’ steps, helping them through those tough purchasing decisions or else providing some simple Christmas cheer as we’re encouraging people to sing-a-long with the children.”

For those little kiddies who have been to Santa’s Grotto and still want to get an extra word in to the big man, a letter is the perfect way to ensure their Christmas list isn’t forgotten; and with a special ‘Express Delivery to the North Pole’ post box beside the Concierge desk, last minute kids’ requests are made easy.  For busy shoppers, a gift wrapping service is available on the upper mall, with donations going to children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent. 

Paul also said the seasonal atmosphere is building in the centre with many shoppers anticipating Santa’s arrival: “Everyone in the centre has been counting down the days until Santa makes his journey through the city centre to take up residence for a couple of weeks at CastleCourt.  The Grotto is a haven of Christmas cheer, and Santa’s elves are busying themselves making lots of presents for the lucky children that visit.  With the huge selection of stores in the centre, no one will be stuck for ideas and soot certainly won’t be on the gift list for anyone!”

To get your child’s wish list straight to the big man in red, be sure to call in to the centre and join the fun at the veritable winter wonderland. And when Junior has had his or her moment with Mr Claus, why not relax and enjoy the variety of fashion stores to choose the perfect little Christmas dress for mum? 

The Magical Toy Workshop Grotto will be open throughout December until Christmas Eve, where children can have their picture taken with Santa and take away a present.  Prices start from £3.95 per child.  For more information call CastleCourt on 02890234591, visit or pick up your free Christmas gift guide at the CastleCourt Customer Relations desk.

Appletiser�StyleFIX Returns with a Festive Twist

16 November 2010

Following on from the success of the Appletiser StyleFIX summer roadshows, this autumn/winter three of Northern Ireland's top bars and restaurants will be bringing you Appletiser FestiveFIX.  These events will be presenting a festive mix of fizz, fabulous food and fashion, featuring this season’s winter warmers and a preview of fabulous Christmas party dresses.
The events will kick off this Friday at the Apartment where guests will be treated to delicious nibbles, cocktails and a fabulous fashion show to really get the festive season started.  Guests should arrive from 8.30pm to secure their place.
For any yummy mummies who can’t make this evening, a chic brunch will be held at Horatio Todd’s on Saturday 20 November.  Collections from the stylish Bloomfield Avenue boutiques will be shown in a relaxed atmosphere, while local salon Beauty Culture will host a mini pamper zone - perfect for ladies of leisure.

The trio of events will be rounded off on Thursday 25 November at Bellini’s in Newry, where Northern Ireland’s leading style, beauty and make up experts will be on hand to give top tips for the perfect Christmas look, and of course guests will enjoy a fashion show featuring Newry’s top designer boutiques including Silk, Dali and Pillar Box Red. Money will also be raised to support breast cancer charity Pretty ‘n’ Pink.

Show stylist Cathy Martin said: “With the party season almost upon us, these events are a great way to preview the great selection of party dresses on offer as well as taking a look at the season’s cosy knitwear, fabulous furs, luxe leathers and abundance of accessories.”

Appletiser Assistant Marketing Manager, Kylie Dunlop said: "Appletiser is a unique sparkling drink made from 100% fruit juice with no added sugar, colours or preservatives. It also contributes to one of your five a day, making it the perfect guilt- free bubbly to celebrate with over the festive period."


05 November 2010

The fabulous Lady Boys of Bangkok will return to Belfast in spectacular style this November with ‘Fantasy & Feathers’, the fun-packed new 2010 production of the country’s favourite cabaret party show.
Taking place in a custom built venue in Custom House Square from Saturday 06 until Saturday 20 November 2010, this fantastic show is performed by sixteen of the world’s most beautiful show-girls (who just happen to be men), and it’s the show everyone talks about. Their show is not just ‘a night out’, it’s a must-see event, with slick, irrepressible production packed with raunchy razzamatazz combining the heady spice of Bangkok's exotic nightlife with the glamorous showgirl appeal of Las Vegas. Unique performances of popular hits - from Lady Gaga to The Saturdays and a song to get all the ‘Single Ladies’ on their feet –  are performed with not a centimetre of cellulite in sight!
With recent appearances on ITV’s This Morning and The David Dickenson Show, The Lady Boys of Bangkok come direct from the heart of Bangkok’s pulsating nightlife; audiences are guaranteed to be entertained like no one has entertained them before. With their trademark painstakingly immaculate make up; the glittering array of over 300 designer-inspired hand-sewn outfits; the show-stopping choreography and the sexy, (but never crude or vulgar) performance the show is firstly about fun and all about glamour. It is uniquely ‘The Lady Boys of Bangkok.’

And new for 2010 is the addition of fresh Thai food from the show’s resident Master Chef Thanpwat Phanmee. Choose from the mouth watering menu of inexpensive dishes from satay to delicate Thai curry, all to be enjoyed either before or whilst watching the show, with a drink from the bar.
Executive Producer Carol Gandey said she is delighted to bring the show back to the UK for a twelfth successive year.  “During our 2009 tour there was a large increase in the number of men accompanying their wives or partners to the show. Many of them have told us they regret not coming to see the show in earlier years.  In fact several have told us they thought their wives or partners had been deliberately putting them off coming to see the show so that they could have a really good girl’s-night-out!”
Director Phillip Gandey said “The Lady Boys of Bangkok now occupies a unique position in the world of entertainment. We staged the first show in Edinburgh 12 years ago, we knew then we had something very special.  Each year our audiences continue to grow and our productions become more ambitious. Laughter is a vital element in every show.  Our audiences want a good night out, where they can really let go and enjoy themselves. They will never look at the opposite sex in the same way again.”
Due to the show’s outstanding popularity the organisers advise people to book as early as possible for the ultimate cabaret party night out.
The Lady Boys of Bangkok, Fantasy & Feathers, is a world in which everything is not quite what it seems.  Tickets are available now from the box office on 0871 705 0705 or online at Also, the Box Office opens on site from Wednesday November 3rd 2010 from 11.00am until 9.30pm daily.

It's Glamour Time for Northern Ireland

02 November 2010

The red carpet will roll out once again as Northern Ireland’s celebrity and social monthly IN! Magazine, this week hosts its second ‘Glamour Awards’ in association with luxury jewellers Lunn’s; and this time, with two new glamorous categories.

The eagerly anticipated awards, which will take place in the Merchant Hotel on Thursday 04 November, will celebrate the glamour and style of Northern Ireland’s home grown stars. Hosting the awards this year will be stunning TV presenter Zoe Salmon (a previous winner of Most Glamorous Female sponsored by Vita Liberata), who will be accompanied by much loved BBC radio presenter Gerry Anderson.

The 120 stars who have been invited to the glittering gala include singer and pop star Nadine Coyle, Daybreak presenter Christine Bleakley and super model Kiera Gormley as well as model boss Alison Campbell with partner and golfing legend Darren Clarke. Other males who will be out in force to prove themselves in the style stakes include ladies’ man Calum Best as well as chef Niall McKenna who is originally form Cloonagh.

The two new awards see Christine and Nicola Bleakley battle against Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford as well as pop stars Westlife for the coveted prize of Most Glamorous Cover, while the Ambassador of the Year award is hotly contested by golf champion Graeme McDowell, Olympian Mary Peters and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody.

Not only will the event announce the deserving winners of each of the six principal categories,  which are sponsored by businesses including House of Fraser, Audi, the Merchant Hotel, Vita Liberata, airline bmi and, an online insurer; but there will also be a prize for ‘Most Glamorous on the Night’ sponsored by Victoria Square. In addition, one lucky guest will also win an item from the unique ‘Fantasy’ jewellery collection by Lunn’s, which will be launched on the evening. It is the first ever bespoke jewellery collection designed by the long-established local jewellers and both host Zoe Salmon and guests including Nadine Coyle will be wearing pieces on the night.

Organiser and IN! publisher Lisa Harrison said:  “Since launching the magazine back in 2008, we have profiled so many fabulous people and stylish events in Northern Ireland and the awards are our way of celebrating all that is glamorous here.”

Once again, the awards ceremony will also play host to the legendary Pudsey Bear. Last year all proceeds from the awards were donated to Children In Need and this year the event will continue to support the charity through a high end auction.

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