A favourite from home

Before I head across the Irish Sea for pastures new I want to tell you about one of my favourite places on this side of the pond, should you ever be in the area looking for somewhere lovely to visit! Unfortunately, time is not on my side so I am writing this post in the wee hours between bedtime and daylight. I’ve mentioned the focus of this post a few times before but it’s such a special place it really deserves a post all of its own.

Ever since I was a wee girl I’ve loved to visit Mount Stewart. I can feel myself beginning to smile in the car on the way there. Our journey sees us snake round the bends of the Portaferry Road with fields on our left and Strangford Lough on our right. As a child I can remember walks around the lake with our dog, Lucky and picnics on the lawn with my nanny in front of the house. Each time I visit I’m reminded of many happy memories. More recently I enjoyed taking pictures of the gardens as I helped a friend in search for some last minute seasonal inspiration ahead of her autumnal wedding which I wrote about here. Incidentally, my friend found the beautiful lace shawl she is wearing in the picture at the Autumn fair!

Continue reading

Culture in the city

You might have noticed that Belfast has had a bit of bad press over the last few months but that’s not what this post is about. Now I am preparing to leave her behind I feel more connected to Belfast than I ever have before and Culture Night – the city’s biggest, annual, free, arts event – plays its part in this.

One Friday in September Belfast is transformed into an in-your-face riot of colour and culture, where the streets are packed with artists and performers along with those who have come to appreciate the art they have to offer. Culture Night is, in my humble opinion, the jewel in the city’s cultural crown. Every performance is free of charge and it offers visitors and locals alike a terrific opportunity to road test the arts without having to part with their cash. This year saw over 250 acts come from all over the province – maybe even beyond – and the thousands of people who flocked to the city for the event were certainly entertained.

Continue reading