Friday, 31 July 2015

The Best Breakfast in Belfast

Belfast is fast becoming a foodie’s paradise and is gaining a reputation for innovative cooking with wonderful fresh, local produce. The city is full of a whole range of eateries; from fine dining restaurants, to fantastic delis, gastro-pubs and cosy bistros. In recent years Belfast has been put on the food map with great restaurants including Ox, Shu and Deanes at Queens. At Tara Lodge, a superb boutique hotel in south Belfast, in the Queens Quarter, as well as offering four star hotel bedrooms, we take great pride in offering an outstanding breakfast.

Many hotels offer a disappointing hot buffet display but each one of our hot breakfast dishes is freshly prepared, for each one of our guests. Our breakfast chef, Colin Douds, is often heard reminding the team of his motto ‘five star standards guys’! And Colin definitely has five star standards when it comes to the Tara Lodge a la carte breakfast. He understands the importance of using excellent, locally produced food to ensure the best quality ingredients.

Our breads are delivered daily from Hyndmans Bakery; wheaten, soda, potato breads and pancakes of the finest quality. Our bacon and sausages come from JH Givans, who have been providing the finest pork products since 1938. Our eggs are laid just up the road and brought to us by the Caldwell Bros. Ltd. The freshly laid eggs make wonderfully fluffy omelettes!

Our porridge has become famous among our guests who often ask for the recipe. Made with Irish porridge oats and milk, Colin whisks the porridge to perfection, giving it a lovely light, frothy texture. Served with a choice of seasonal berries, banana & honey or a tot of Irish whiskey it’s a great start to your day.

Ah the fabulous, Ulster Fry! Slightly different to the Irish Fry, the Ulster Fry has the traditional soda and potato breads, along with the usual fried egg, bacon, sausage and tomato - Mushrooms and beans are optional!

As well as the Ulster Fry we offer scrambled eggs with Irish smoked salmon and wheaten bread made with whole wheat flour and buttermilk, perfectly poached eggs on hot buttered toast, pancakes with smoked bacon and maple syrup (one of the few non-locally sourced ingredients!), fluffy omelettes and the steadfast boiled eggs with soda bread soldiers.

Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day at Tara Lodge. You’ll not be hungry until dinner time after you have had the power porridge and Ulster Fry but when you do we also offer dinner, bed and breakfast packages with two great restaurants, ShuRestaurant and Deanes at Queens – our long term favourites!

Fancy trying our mouth-watering, freshly cooked breakfast at Tara Lodge? Book an overnight stay or one of our fabulous Belfast Hotel Deals!  Our rates are all-inclusive of free parking and free high speed Wi-Fi. Simply click on the following link to check out our rooms & current range of fantastic packages!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Our favourite things for you to do in Belfast while at Tara Lodge

Belfast City Hall in the summer sun
If you’re in need of an incredible city break, a weekend of adventure, culture, atmosphere and fun, Belfast is definitely the place to be!  Anyone who lives in our cracking little city knows this already and could easily rhyme off a million and one things to do to fill ten days, never mind two.  For guests that are new to Belfast, Tara Lodge (Belfast’s Number One Hotel on Tripadvisor since 2007) decided to ask you, the experts, for your favourite hotspots in and around Belfast….needless to say we were inundated!  

Belfast is without doubt known as one of, if not the friendliest city in Europe.  Our born & bred always go that extra mile to make sure all visitors have a memorable visit. We have some of the trendiest nightclubs, enviable shopping and enough eateries to satisfy every taste and budget. Local and international artists and bands flock to perform at fantastic venues like Belfast Waterfront and the world class SSE Arena. With walking, bus and taxi tours, cultural escapes, scientific exhibitions and literary inspirations, guests will leave with no shadow of a doubt why Belfast is the city that inspired the Chronicles of Narnia and Gulliver’s Travels! 

So what is the best of the best in Belfast then?  The list is limitless but here’s your top suggestions!

Best Hotel in Belfast:  Naturally Tara Lodge got the only vote on this one!  Our award winning Belfast Hotel is a luxury 34 bedroom, 4 star Boutique Hotel based in the very heart of Belfast’ Queens Quarter. Tara Lodge has racked up a stack of awards in 2015; AAGuest Accommodation of the year for Northern Ireland, NIHF Reception Team of the Year, NIHF Housekeeping Team of the Year & a highly commended for hotel of the year in the recent Belfast Business Awards!  Needless to say it has been a great year so far.

Best Places to Eat in Belfast:  The top spots that came in were the fabulous French Inspired Shu Restaurant on the Lisburn Road and the delightful Deanes at Queens which is led by Head Chef Chris Fearon, of Great British Menu fame.  Botanic Avenue proved a very popular area for the foodies with Molly’s Yard & the Metro Kitchen coming up trumps and of course the amazing a la carte breakfast provided by Tara Lodge, with special mentions going to the scrumptious homemade soda & potato bread.  For fish food lovers there is only one place to dine, The Mourne Seafood Restaurant, situated right beside Belfast’s famous Kelly’s cellars.

Places to see:   Unmissable spots included St George’s Market, where hundreds of stalls cluster beneath its fine Victorian canopy to sell specialty foods, antiques, crafts and clothes. A stop at the nearby National Trust Owned, Crown Liquor Saloon is perfect for a little liquid refreshment. You can take a free tour of the outrageously majestic City Hall before heading for the upmarket Victoria Square shopping center, where you can ascend to a glass dome that affords panoramic views of the city. Fibber Magee’s Traditional Irish Music Bar is the genuine article; a good old spit and sawdust bar, packed to the rafters with little bits of history and steeped in Irish tradition.

Things to do:  Top of the list is the world famous Titanic Belfast.  Its recent accolade of the being voted the best Visitor attraction in Europe for 2015 speaks for itself!   Take Paddy Campbell’s Black Taxi Tour for an awe inspiring social & political Tour of Belfast, definitely not one to be missed!  You also cannot miss the sometimes spine chilling Crumlin Road Gaol which dates back to 1845 and unbelievably only closed its doors as a working prison in 1996! 

From the moment you arrive, the energy in Belfast is palpable. Its bustling pace, its atmosphere, its warm spirit and open armed welcome leave visitors in no doubt that this is a city that is well & truly making its mark as a top European City Break! 

Why not sample some of these delightful offerings & take a luxury break at the fabulous Tara Lodge! Book an overnight stay or one of our fabulous Belfast HotelDeals!  Our rates are all-inclusive of free parking, free high speed Wi-Fi and our mouth-watering a la carte breakfast! Simply click on the following link to check out our rooms & current range of fantastic packages!