Wednesday 10 January 2018

24 Hours in Belfast

Mr. FFID and I spent a weekend in Belfast last year, during which we visited some great some spots that I shared in my A Weekend in Belfast: where to eat in drink article. But there was one place in particular that was closed when we visited that I've always wanted to try, which was a great excuse to go back to Belfast for a night between Christmas and the New Year. If you follow me on Instagram (@Frenchfoodieindublin) you probably know where I've been already but I thought that I'd share some of the most worthy addresses we tried out during our 24 hours in Belfast.

I wanted to try a different hotel this time and looked for something central and not too expensive, so I decided to book Bullitt. I'd describe it as an hybrid between The Hoxton Shoreditch and the Dean Hotel in Dublin, both of which I've experienced. The location is spot on as it's right in the city centre and the hotel has a hip kind of vibe with a great design. The lobby area is great if you need to a space to hang out, work on a laptop or want to have a drink from the bar. We went for the cheapest room type (GBP 100 at the time of booking), 'dinky' which was very small with a comfortable bed. But beware, this isn't one for people who suffer from claustrophobia. A light breakfast of granola pot, orange juice and fruit was included in the price.

We made sure to arrive at around lunch time to check out General Merchants cafe. We visited their Ormeau Road branch as the other one is a bit further out of the way. The place was packed when we got there, full of millenials (amongst some older clientele) having brunch. It's a nice mix between a cafe serving speciality coffee and a casual restaurant. The brunch/lunch menu included many options that sounded appealing; I settled for corn fritters with avocado, Ballymaloe relish and a poached egg while Mr. FFID had the huevos rotos. 

I visited their original location last year and was delighted to see Root & Branch had a new cafe and brew bar closer to the city centre. It's in a long and narrow space with stools and a counter top against the wall. Their coffees are roasted in their small roastery on Ormeau Road. It was the perfect little spot for a quick coffee stop in the afternoon.

The Muddlers Club was the reason we planned this little break to Belfast. Having heard good things about it, I really wanted to have dinner there. It seems that Google Maps doesn't really know where it is, so we got a little lost before finding it. It's located in a dark laneway in which they have their own dedicated street art, not an obvious location but this makes it even more special. The dining room is spacious with big windows and an open kitchen where the chefs are busy crafting delicious food. They only had a 5 course tasting menu for £45 available that night, which totally delivered. Highlights included a smashing earthy celeriac and chestnut dish and a duck with miso, almond and carrots. Great cooking with seasonal ingredients, casual atmosphere and friendly service.

So that's it for now, I might make a January foodie trip to Belfast a little tradition and hopefully I'll be able to try out more spots on my next visit.

More recommendations: A Weekend in Belfast: Where to eat and drink.

What are your favourite spots in Belfast? Let me know in the comments.

Disclaimer: this is a fully independent article, all drinks, food and accommodation paid by yours truly.