Archive: November 2013

Northern Ireland's Favourite Personalities in Call to CLIC for Christmas

29 November 2013

Some of Northern Ireland’s best known personalities have joined forces with local singer Jason Clarke to show their support for leading cancer charity CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home appeal by taking part in a Christmas video which they’re hoping will go viral across the province. 

Dressed in festive jumpers and Santa hats, some of our favourite celebrities - including Eamonn Holmes, Paul Rankin, Dame Mary Peters, Pamela Ballantine and Paddy Barnes, among other well-known faces from TV and radio, showed their humorous side by miming along to singer Jason’s variation of Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody and joining in on some Christmas craic, all to raise awareness for the worthy cause and get people to dig deep this Christmas and donate.

Jason recorded the alternative version to the song and decided to organise the video after receiving thousands of online hits last year for his version of Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone which he filmed outside Belfast City Hall at midnight just four days before Christmas. This year, the video appeals to viewers to donate to CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home appeal via Just Giving or text message and also to share the link on social media using the hashtag #CLICForChristmas.

Corporate Fundraising Manager for CLIC Sargent NI, Eimear McCooey said CLIC Sargent is overwhelmed by the support from our Northern Irish celebrities: “We’re absolutely beyond thrilled to have such great support from Jason and our local celebrities to help raise awareness of this important campaign. 

“Every week in Northern Ireland, two families hear the devastating news that their child has cancer.  On average, a family will make a round-trip of 95 miles, up to five times a week so that they can access the cancer treatment their child needs.

“The Homes from Home Appeal will provide free accommodation for families within walking distance of the two main hospitals, reducing the emotional and financial strain for families and, most importantly, providing a homely environment just a few minutes’ walk from the hospital ward, keeping the whole family together.”

Singer Jason said he had intended on doing another Christmas song this year but this time if he was going to get views, he wanted to get a message across at the same time for a cause close to his heart:  “I wasn’t expecting last year’s video to get as much attention as it did, lots of people asked me what I was going to do this year so I thought it would be a great opportunity to support and raise awareness for the Homes from Home appeal, which is such a fantastic cause and one I’m really passionate about.” 

 Watch the video online at to donate to CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home appeal visit or text SONG70 (followed by amount) e.g. £2 to 70070.

Ian Stuart makes over the brides

27 November 2013
Models Kellyanne, Gemma, Ashleigh and Adriana pictured with bridal designer Ian Stuart and Blush Boutique owner Aileen Wilson at the Ian Stuart bridal showcase in The Merchant Hotel on Saturday 23rd November

On Saturday 23rd November the Rita Duffy Suite in The Merchant Hotel transformed into a bridal wonderland with the stunning 2014 wedding dress collection from world-renowned designer Ian Stuart on display. Models worked the room in the stunning gowns while guests feasted on the delicious Merchant afternoon tea and awed over the dazzling creations.

Organised by Blush Boutique on the Lisburn Road, this unique event was a first for Ireland and brides-to-be were left full of ideas and stuck for words on the choice of gowns on display. Plus as an extra special treat Ian was available for one-on-one consultations after the show and quite a number of ladies took up the opportunity to try on the dresses and get Ian’s opinion on the style, colour and design plus he offered bespoke ideas to a few lucky girls.

For floral inspiration The Flower Room in Holywood provided the stunning room displays plus the hairpieces and bouquets that fitted in perfectly with the Ian Stuart wedding dresses, hair was created by Brenda Shankey and her team and the make-up was by Caoimhe Curran. The final style gave brides-to-be the overall idea on how to finish off that bridal look perfectly.

To view the Ian Stuart 2014 bridal collection visit Blush Boutique or tel: 028 9066 1101 to make an appointment to try the dresses for yourself and feel like a princess in that Ian Stuart magic.

City's Golden Mile in Revival with Opening of Malt Room on Great Victoria Street

15 November 2013
Pictured (L-R) Head chef David Mageean, Raymond McArdle and general manager Liam Whiteway.

Businessman Lord Rana along with Northern Ireland chef Raymond McArdle have joined forces to bring an exciting new addition to Great Victoria Street - Malt Room Bar & Restaurant – in what is hoped to be the start of a new revival of the city’s Golden Mile.

Headed up by head chef David Mageean and general manager Liam Whiteway, the restaurant, which has opened just in time for Christmas, welcomed hoards of foodies who turned out in force for the launch event enjoying a taster of what the new restaurant has in store. 

Raymond said the restaurant will provide a refined dining experience with a modern and local twist, “We are excited as a team at the opportunity that Lord Rana has given us in putting Great Victoria Street back on the map as the Golden Mile. We have added something to the city, a restaurant that was needed. I didn’t want to go down the road of another bistro or brassiere because the market is already saturated with great offers at that level. At the Malt Room you’re going to get Irish influenced food that’s still bespoke and littered with artisan producers.”

This chic and modern restaurant is sure to attract diners seeking to experience beautiful comfort and contemporary food at an affordable price. The 85-seater fine dining restaurant, which was designed by interior stylist Adrian Bailie, has a very avant-garde feel, with light grey colours throughout along with a cool and crisp twist.

Food on the menu is all sourced using Irish artisan producers, such as Leggygowan Farm goat’s cheese, Rockvale chicken, smoked Armagh bacon, Antrim Shorthorn beef, Mourne Blackface lamb, Hannon Meats and many more. The wine list is provided by two of the best wine merchants in Belfast - James Nicholson and Robert Neill.

Dishes on the menu include fillet of Antrim Shorthorn beef with soft braised brisket, roast onion purée, tomato & tarragon; or angel haddock goujonettes, served with thick cut chips, roast garlic & chive rouille as well as chocolate & malt tart, Guinness ice cream, plus coco soil for dessert.

On the unique name, Raymond said: “I wanted to marry food and drink and came up with ‘malt’, because there’s malt in both drink and food. I thought that was very important and it’s what the bar and restaurant is all about. I wanted to create a chic city dining room with linen, beautiful comfort and modern food; it’s turned out exactly how I envisaged.”

Another fascinating and unique element to this restaurant is that all profits will be given to charity. Lord Rana and Raymond feel very strongly about giving the proceeds to charity and to invest in young people locally and internationally.

An ambassador for Barnardo’s Northern Ireland, Raymond has been supporting young chefs from Dr B's Kitchen for a number of years - offering trainee placements in his kitchens. At the Malt Room, he has already taken on three young chefs to work alongside head chef David.

Raymond said: “Barnardo’s approached me to see if I would train any of their budding young chefs. Between myself and David we have been working with three young individuals; training them properly, so that they can slot into the team. I thought it was a good idea, because I’m training people that have no experience and therefore no bad habits! It’s a good scheme for us and them. They are here to learn and gain great experience for the future.”

Raymond needs no introduction to the Irish food scene he has successfully represented Northern Ireland in the Great British menu 2012, 2013 and 2014, he runs his own critically acclaimed restaurant in Warrenpoint – Restaurant 23 at the Balmoral Hotel, and is in every international food guide.

Head chef at the Malt Room, David Mageean has been with Raymond for seven years and knows how to run the kitchen as Raymond would. He will be taking full control of the Malt Room kitchen under the guidance of Raymond.

Malt Room Bar & Restaurant will be opened Monday through to Saturday 12.30pm - 2.30pm for lunch, 5pm – 7pm early evening menu, and 7pm -10pm for the A La Carte menu, closed Sunday. To make a booking telephone Malt Room Bar & Restaurant on +44 (028) 9031 0008.

Start Line, Finish Line, Bottom Line - the Business of Events.

11 November 2013

The cream of the busy and prosperous events industry in Northern Ireland will come together next month to celebrate home grown, world-class events as well as listen to international speakers on global innovation, best practice and maximising return on investment for those in the business of event planningand event management here.


This is the third conference held by the Northern Irish events industry body - In Any Event - and trade association Chair Michael Jeffrey spoke on the conference theme:  “Our conference theme ‘Start Line, Finish Line, Bottom Line – the Business of Events’ was chosen to represent both the race and pace of creating, managing and executing an event – that is, the entire journey and process of running any kind of event. From the concepts and initial ideas, through the planning stages, working with all the various stakeholders and suppliers, delivery, execution, deadlines, and importantly, the post-event reviews and learnings measured against tangible business objectives.”


He continued: “As the industry body’s leading event, with 30 exhibitors and a packed conference programme of leading international industry speakers, this is a key networking and learning opportunity as well as a platform to showcase the very best in events suppliers and talent in our region through our exhibition and Artists Exposé. It really is the event for the events industry.”


Speaking specifically on the ‘bottom line’ element to the conference theme will be keynote speaker Dr Elling Hamso, from the European wide ROI Institute, who will focus on return on investment and the creation of measurable and profitable returns. Referring to the conference content he said: “Customer, staff and association’s members’ events have great potential to increase a company’s or organisation’s revenue and performance. Too often their potential is not realised and there is no genuine ROI, so I hope to address this in my presentation and help create a professional, dynamic and sustainable industry that contributes to the local economy in Northern Ireland.”


Second speaker and global event planner Phil Clark, who is originally from Northern Ireland and is brother of popular local broadcaster Paul, has gained much notoriety in the international events field for his recent work with commercial holographic events similar to the infamous Les Dawson and Frank Sinatra shows. Speaking on the ‘finish line’ theme, he will give best practice examples of creativity and commerciality coming to life; making brands and projects truly live and engaging through modern interactive technology at events.


The event will take place on Wed 13 November 2013 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel at Belfast’s Shaw’s Bridge. Delegate places are charged at £65 (£45 for members) and this price includes lunch. Those interested in registering can log on to the website for further details or to book.

Appletiser StyleFIX Belfast

08 November 2013

Appletiser Ireland StyleFIX is set to sparkle at The Ivory Restaurant/Bar in Belfast's House of Fraser, Victoria Square. Our stunning models will be taking over the catwalk to bring you the latest Autumn Winter 2013 trends from the hottest stores in Victoria Square! Our make-up partners will be offering free 15 minute makeovers & audience members will enjoy a refreshing & gently sparkling, natural Appletiser on arrival!
This is a FREE event & you will not require a ticket on entry. We're looking forward to seeing you there!

The Sensational New Show - Glamorous Amorous

04 November 2013

Glamorous Amorous!  …..with a title like that it could only be the Lady Boys of Bangkok back with a  fabulous new show for 2013!

Arriving to entertain Belfast like no one else can from Saturday 2nd to Saturday 23rd November

Dripping with diamante and sizzling on stage with new songs and side splitting comedy. From J-lo to Whitney, the stars and chart topping hits just keep on coming. Party like there’s no tomorrow under the exotic ambiance of the Sabai Pavilion with The Lady Boys of Bangkok:  Europe's number one cabaret sensation!!

You can expect the usual truly glamorous and funny cabaret antics, this time complete with even more flamboyant costumes, painstakingly immaculate make up and show stopping choreography. With an all new set list, the Lady Boys will be performing classic numbers from Saturday Night Fever to current hits from Cheryl Cole and even a bit of Gangnam Style,  Glamorous Amorous is set to be the experience of a lifetime.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy in our purpose built Sabai Pavilion. Embrace the full dominating spirit during the enthralling Friday and Saturday night performances, which are guaranteed to have everyone on their feet joining in, or book in to the slightly more submissive Sunday and week day show and can enjoy a glass of wine whilst observing the magic from the comfort of your seat.

To complete your Lady Boys of Bangkok experience we have our resident Master Chef Thanpwat Phanmee, on site ready to ‘whip’ up a dish of your choice from our extensive menu. Choose from the mouth-watering selection of authentic Thai dishes and wash it down with a drink from our fully licensed bars.

Book now to make sure you don’t miss out on the inspiring and captivating sight of the Lady Boys of Bangkok live on stage! Also check out our special treats and packages to make your night a unique experience you will never forget. 

Producer Carol Gandey said “The continued appeal of the Lady Boys lies in the shows ability to renew itself every year. Our dancers, choreographer, set and lighting designer were given the ideas for the new show as soon as last year’s show opened. ‘Glamorous Amorous’ has been 12 months in the making. It is infused with the topical comedy, surprises and satire that only the Lady Boys can deliver. Dripping in Glamour, the result is our unique comedy cabaret experience ‘Glamorous Amorous’ which marks a new high for the spectacle that is The Lady Boys of Bangkok.”

The party like no other party!....The show like no other show!....The girls like no other girls!, The Lady Boys Of Bangkok are ready to party …. Are you?

Europe’s Number One Cabaret Sensation

"Escapism, lots of of the best value for money nights out money can buy”

Derby Evening Telegraph.

Tickets are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 90246 609 or by calling 0871 7050705 (10p BT per min) or book online, visit

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