Archive: January 2016


19 January 2016


Belfast’s leading boutique hotel Ten Square is celebrating a massive makeover for brides in its newly refurbished Linenhall Suite with a wedding showcase on Sunday 24 January 2016.  All brides who come along and register on the day will enjoy cocktails and canapés overlooking the prestigious City Hall and will be entered into a draw to win a luxury wedding package for up to 100 guests at the hotel, which will include an arrival drinks reception, 4 course gourmet menu, ½ bottle of wine per guest, sparkling toast, evening buffet and complimentary overnight stay in the hotel’s luxurious suite as well as room design from Mood Events and a DJ from Vertu Entertainment.


The dedicated bridal events team, who together have a century’s experience in weddings and bridal planning, will have the beautiful Linenhall Suite set up for a chic wedding to give prospective brides an image of what Ten Square would look and feel like on their wedding day. Wedding co-ordinators will be on hand to answer questions and discuss bespoke ideas and themes, and couples can liaise with the hotel’s preferred partners including Mood Event Design, Bradley Quinn Photography, Victoria Gault Florist, Cakes by James and Vertu Entertainment.


Wedding and Events Manager Lucy Anderson said: “From initial plans to the magic of the day itself, our wedding team at Ten Square Hotel will carefully co-ordinate every moment to make each bride’s wedding an unforgettable experience." 


“Highly personalised and professional planning are just two of the many facets that make Ten Square a wise choice for a couple’s special day. Our exceptional culinary team presents creative dishes to suit all tastes and budgets accompanied by a prestigious selection of wines."


“Couples attending the showcase will be able to peruse menus and wine lists and taste the culinary delights from the hotel’s executive chef Chris Bell, who has worked under iconic chefs such as Paul Rankin, Michael Deane and two-star Michelin chef Paul Heathcote. Chris spent a year working at the seven star Burj Al Arab in Dubai and twice represented Northern Ireland on the hit BBC Television show, Great British Menu."


“I can also personally advise brides on the ideal wedding cake, floral designer and room design; plus, as a licensed venue for civil partnerships and civil ceremonies, we can liaise with the City Hall Registrars to make marriage applications."


“Our exquisite 23 guestrooms offer luxurious overnight accommodation for the bridal party and guests at preferential rates, allowing the couple’s special day to last all day or even over several days!"


“My own wedding vow is to bring every bride’s dream perfectly to life with impeccable attention, imaginative presentation and perfect timing. Our experienced team of specialists will ensure that each detail unfolds accordingly to the bride’s desires and we look forward to meeting lots of couples here on 24 January.”


The win-a-wedding couple will be drawn at random by the General Manager of the hotel on the day and the winner notified by 31 January. 



08 January 2016


Are You Fit for This Fodder?

Belfast-based online food company, which sends deliciously fresh and healthy foods to homes and businesses across the UK and Ireland, has this month launched a new 30 Day Challenge which aims to help re-programme unhealthy habits out of peoples’ lives for long-term health benefits.


The 30 Day Challenge encourages participants to agree to give up alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar as well as stick to a healthy diet which is high in protein and vegetable fibre and low on ‘white’ carbohydrates.  Participants must also agree to train or work out at least three times a week.


Company founder Kevin Traynor said: “This programme probably collates many people’s New Year Resolutions into one plan, and so it is an ideal way to kick-start 2016, but it’s no quick fix, we’re aiming to help people change habits for the long term and to make positive impacts on their health, for life! It’s not focused entirely on losing weight, although that can be an extra benefit, but we’re confident that at the end of the challenge anyone taking part will look and feel better; plus our partners 352 Healthcare, 121 Dietician and the Collective Gym can help to foster any improvements in overall health.

“FitFodder can also devise the best eating plan for each individual and their lifestyle as well as their goals. Once we know what sort of food each participant needs, the team at will then provide them with a weekly food bundle of locally sourced, healthy food, delivered directly to their doors along with a bunch of easy and nutritious recipes, plus healthy eating and food tips devised in partnership with the nutrition team. Mind you, everything on our website is healthy and nutritious, so it’s simply a case of ordering what you like or trying something new with one of our recipes.

“Anyone can sign up for the programme (which can start at any time – it’s not just a January thing!). To register, log on to: or join the FitFodder 30 Day Challenge on Facebook, where even those who aren’t taking part can get inspiration from the group’s recipes and training tips. It’s free to join the Facebook group and get inspiration from those taking part although costs for FitFodder food bundles and extras including bespoke diet planning will vary.” sources and sends out the finest, fresh grass-fed beef, as well as a variety of locally caught fish and chicken with no added salt or water, nut butters, healthy snacks as well as vegetables like cauliflower rice and courgette spaghetti and more. All products are delicious, nutritious and have an excellent provenance as well as farm traceability. They come cool-packed and, once delivered, will keep fresh on desks or doorsteps for up to 48 hours in the packaging.


Issued on behalf of by CMPR. For further information, interviews, photographs, videos or to review a FitFodder package, please contact: Cathy Martin on 07823882095 or email: 


Twitter: @fitfodder

Instagram: @fitfodder

Facebook: FitFodder

Hashtags #30daychallenge #fitfodder and #kickoff16

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK Fizzes Into Focus

21 January 2016

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK fizzed into focus as it launched the line-up for its twenty-first season today [21 January].  Celebrating this milestone with a ‘coming of age’ theme, the event sees the addition of a new ‘Fifty over Fifty’ show for fashionistas in their fifties and beyond, as well as the re-introduction of the Fashion & Retail Awards, which will celebrate the history of the event as well as looking to the future of fashion here.

The four day event, which will run from 10-13 March, will see the return of nightly catwalk shows featuring collections from both the high street as well as from independently owned boutiques plus local designers’ work and the popular Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday events to round off the long weekend of fashion.

FASHIONWEEK Director Cathy Martin said: “I’m sure everyone will agree that there is some incredible creative talent here in Northern Ireland and it’s time to acknowledge and celebrate what we have on our doorsteps. I watched with pride as former FASHIONWEEK participant and Magherafelt man J.W. Anderson spectacularly and deservedly won both Female and Male Designer of the Year at last year’s British Council Fashion Awards, and it’s only right that we give local designers and retailers recognition for their work too.”

Returning to the schedule, Thursday 10 March will see the latest collections from local designers and independent boutiques on the runway.  Confirmed to return are Blush and Jourdan from Belfast, as well as Diamond Dolls, (Banbridge) and Spoilt Belle Boutique (Magherafelt) plus designers Grainne Maher and Nor Lisa, among others.  FASHIONWEEK new-comers this season include Sarah Alexander Boutique in Newtownards and Lotus Boutique, which is due to open in Holywood in March stocking high-end designer collections for hire.

Preparing for her first season, proprietor of Sarah Alexandra Boutique, Sarah Holman said: “I'm so excited to be part of a fantastic line-up of designers and boutiques for what promises to be a successful event.  It is a fantastic opportunity for me to show Belfast’s top style enthusiasts the fantastic brands we have in store, including Lavish Alice, Freddy Jeans and Genese among many others.”

Following from the ever successful designer night, style proceedings continue with the High Street Heaven show on Saturday 11 March, bringing the latest looks from the nation’s biggest and busiest stores including Next, Warehouse, Remus Uomo, DV8 Fashion, Diamond Dolls high street range, as well as Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Designers at Debenhams and Miss Selfridge from CastleCourt, and brands like Joules, Tommy Hilfiger and Guess from Alana Lifestyle in Lurgan. 

No stranger to leading fashion trends, Chantelle Craig from high street retailer Next said: “We are delighted to be back at Belfast FASHIONWEEK for another season and can’t wait to showcase our latest collections which are inspired by spring floral prints and feminine frills in sumptuous fabrics for that truly feminine customer.  We’re not forgetting our every-day girl however, and fashion minimalists will also see us offer a wide range of pale casual knits and cottons and we hit the top season trend with double denims galore available in store.”

Speaking on menswear trends, Remus Uomo’s Marketing Manager Martin Byrne said:  “As men become more confident in their style choices, the move is away from plain, solid colours and toward pattern, interesting fabric structure and varied textures for the coming season.”

FASHIONWEEK director Cathy Martin spoke also on womenswear trends, adding: “Trends are sticking around and evolving over a few seasons now, it’s not like something is hot and trendy for just a few months and then it disappears again, so right now we’re seeing a return to colour popping and blocking from 2015, but contrasting fabrics as well as colours are used to create a bold and bashful look.  For those a little more fashion shy, pale pastels are perfect, and this season they’re mixed with off-shoulder silhouettes plus lots of romantic ruffles and frills for a feminine feel.  Florals abound again – they’ve been around for about four seasons now in various guises, but this time they’re also embracing frills and ruffles too. It’s quite a romantic and feminine season all in all. To counter this, there is a massive ‘death by denim’ trend, with all-denim-everything ensembles across most designer and high street collections.”

Returning for its third time in association with West Coast Cooler is the COVERGIRL competition.  FASHIONWEEK will once again seek to find ten models – and one ultimate COVERGIRL – who will walk away with a host of amazing prizes including £1000 worth of fashion from Victoria Square, plus return flights from airline partner Aer Lingus and make up and hair by the event’s official partners Oonagh Boman and Jason Shankey Hair.  The Top Ten COVERGIRLs will take to the Victoria Square catwalk at the Fashion Awards on Saturday 12 March when the top three finalists, who’ll be jetting off for a sunny destination photoshoot, courtesy of airline sponsor Aer Lingus and West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, will be announced.

Make Up director Oonagh Boman talked of her excitement of returning as the official make up partner saying “We can’t wait for everyone to see the catwalk make up looks we have in store for the season ahead, which will be created using Senna Cosmetics and Domina Skincare to achieve flawless complexions that match the stunning Spring fashion.”

Fashionistas in their fifties and stylistas in their sixties and seventies will also enjoy a Fifty Over Fifty fashion show on Saturday 12 March as part of the Fashion & Retail Awards, the theme of which is ‘coming of age’.  Siobhan Casey, Director of Marketing at AgeNI commented, “Age NI is delighted to be associated with Belfast Fashion Week’s new ‘Fifty Over Fifty’ showcase to highlight how fashion, style, image and body confidence are important at any age – we all want to look good and feel great.  Being part of Belfast Fashion Week’s Coming of Age themed event this season demonstrates how the fashion industry is positively reflecting our ageing population and shows that older people are valuable and visible, in fashion as in life.  We’re looking forward to seeing Age NI volunteers and ambassadors on the catwalk, showcasing the best SS16 looks for men and women in later life and we’d love to see fashion-forward Age NI supporters of all ages at the show too!’

For those unable to make the evening catwalk shows, the return of Sushi Saturday at the uber-chic Zen is a welcome treat.  The “Director’s Cut” fashion event showcases 36 of the best looks from across all shows at Belfast FASHIONWEEK, whilst guests enjoy a welcome West Coast Cooler cocktail and an Asian inspired afternoon tea - all for the bargain price of £30 per person.

Last, but definitely not least, the schedule will close as always in sumptuous style with the flagship Style Sunday luncheon at Deane’s at Queen’s on 20 March. This glamorous four course gourmet luncheon, which is run in association with Action Cancer, accompanies trend forecasts, a mini fashion show and a mini masterclass from FASHIONWEEK’s hair, style and make up partners. Deane’s at Queen’s chefs will deliver a delicious meal while guests enjoy designer fashion from Candy Plum boutique in Hillsborough. The charity lunch costs £45.00 per person and places can be booked directly through the restaurant on 028 9038 2111.

West Coast Cooler brand manager Laura Blair said: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of FASHIONWEEK as it officially comes of age, and there’s no better time to raise a glass of chilled West Coast Cooler in celebrating our perfect partnership.

The full show schedule is available online at along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  Catwalk tickets, which cost £20 (or £30 for a limited number of exclusive front row seats), are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609 or via the website. Ticket price includes a fabulous goodie bag and a refreshing West Coast Cooler.


Issued on behalf of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK by CMPR. For further information, stock or catwalk pictures or interviews with retailers, designers, models or director Cathy Martin, please contact: Christopher Wilson at CMPR on T +44 (0) 28 9042 1509 or via: Mobile: +44 (0) 7823882095


Notes to Editors:

  • The event is called West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK in the first instance & FASHIONWEEK or Belfast FASHIONWEEK thereafter.
  • Please also ensure FASHIONWEEK appears in capitals as one word where possible.
  • Throughout the week, breast cancer charity Pretty‘n’Pink will collect funds at all shows to support women after undergoing debilitating breast cancer surgery or treatment. Action Cancer is the official charity partner for Style Sunday and funds raised with go towards their breast screening for women aged 40-49 and 70+

Schedule of Shows & Events:

THURSDAY 10 March, ALL DAY ‘Cutting It’ Workshops & Seminars. An all-day event geared towards those seeking careers advice or inspiration/information on careers in the fashion, film & costume industry locally. For more information, contact BFW on 02890421509

THURSDAY 10 March, 8.00PM - DESIGNER BOUTIQUES AND LOCALDESIGNERS. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via

FRIDAY 11 March, 8.00PM - HIGH STREET. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via links on      

SATURDAY 12 March, 2.00-4.00pm - SUSHI SATURDAY “The Director’s Cut” at ZEN. To book, call 02890421509 price £30pp.

SATURDAY 12 March, 8.00pm – FASHION AWARDS.  Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via links on

SUNDAY 13 March, 2.00-5.00pm - STYLE SUNDAY in support of Action Cancer at Deane’s at Queen’s. To book call 02890382111

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