It always seems like a miracle when the sun comes out and we can finally shed our winter layers. With weather this stunning it is tempting to join the streams of cars leaving Belfast for the likes of Newcastle or the North Coast. But this weekend we decided to soak up the sunshine closer to home. Here is our ultimate guide for spending the perfect spring day in Belfast.
It is hard to snooze the alarm when the sun is streaming through the crack in the curtains and you can tell the day is going to be glorious. With our trainers on and a S’well bottle under our arm we set off on a morning walk. Our favourite walk in Belfast would have to be Cave Hill but we were after something a bit less strenuous. We chose to take an easy stroll along the Lagan Meadows and on to Belvoir forest park in South Belfast. It always surprises us how a place so beautiful and tranquil can be found so close to the bustling city centre. It truly feels like you have stepped into a patch of wilderness in the middle of nowhere.
Photo by Gerard Callaghan
By this time food was definitely at the front of our minds so we made a beeline straight for the French Village Café in Botanic. The laid-back atmosphere and generous servings of great food keeps us coming back to this café. Mr Stitch can’t go past their take on a traditional Ulster Fry. While I always battle with the choice between the French toast or the raspberry and white chocolate pancakes. On a day so beautiful this café is perfectly positioned, with an outdoor seating area that catches the sun. After the obligatory second round of coffee we give in to temptation and buy a banoffee muffin to take away. If Mr Stitch is lucky he can share it with me.
Once sufficiently full we then wandered the short distance over to the Botanic Gardens. It’s a favourite spot of ours and where we shot some of our wedding photographs. Whenever there is even just the slightest glimpse of sun this is a popular picnic spot. So you can imagine that on a beautiful 20 degree day the grass is dotted with families, tourists and students alike. Find a quiet spot amongst the flower beds and listen to the soft mix of music wafting over from other groups sharing the spectacular day. It is easy to spend many blissful hours in the gardens, especially when there is a conveniently placed icecream van. Make sure you pack some sunscreen because, like Mr Stitch, you don’t want to find out the hard way that it is indeed possible to get sunburnt in Northern Ireland!
Now warmed from the sun’s rays we headed to Perch for some cocktails to keep the warm buzz going. Perch is Belfast’s highest rooftop bar, and if you have ever taken the stairs up to the top you would definitely agree! Stepping out onto the glass-enclosed terrace is like entering an enchanted garden, complete with hanging plants and ornate birdcages. If you are stuck on which cocktail to try first, picture this: Pimm’s, lemonade, prosecco, mint, strawberries, apple, cucumber, and orange on ice. The Perch Pimms Punch is spring in a glass. Enjoy the easy house music played by the resident DJ and watch the sun set on a glorious day. Check out the Sundown party at The Perch this Sunday 28th May from 1pm. Party from day to dark with Steve Simpson.
Lets hope this weather sticks around so we can do it all again next weekend!
Mrs Stitch x