BY TIM HEDGLEY, TRAVEL EDITOR
MOST major cities around the world have some type of musical / cultural event to take visitors too.
Moscow has the state circus, Beijing has their state circus, New York has Broadway with a plethora of offerings, and London has the West End and the 02 Arena.
Florida has the Dolly Parton experience and Arizona has “Raw Hide” the faux cowboy town.
So where or what would you take someone visiting Belfast to see or do in cultural show terms?
It is indeed a hard question.
Well before the 19th July 2013, I couldn’t think of anything, which is until the good folks at Hastings Hotels decided to put on Celtic Dreams at the Europa Hotel.
The show is a mix of Irish and Scot’s music and Dance. Choreographed by Jenny Bailey from Chicago and Kevin Murray from Liverpool, they both set feet a “tappin” with our very own “Celtic Dance” Soon to be married, this energetic pair left the audience spellbound at their agility, speed and perfection.
Celtic Dreams featuring a cast of some of the finest Irish dancers and vocalists from around the world, giving the audience their own local Riverdance-esk production.
The audience is taken on a journey of enchanting journey of song and dance and thought provoking music.
Tickets £18 available from Ticketmaster or at Europa Hotel. Summer Show series began on the 19th July and runs every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night through to 26th August. Doors open from 8pm. Show begins at 9 pm.
Considering I was going to the Europa, I decided to make an event of it and booked a room in the hotel; if you have not stayed in the Europa then you are in for a treat, stylish, executive rooms at a very affordable price.
ALl washed down with a locally produced King Koil bed. With b&B from £55 pps from August 2013 for a classic room or 2 b&b + 1 evening meal from £75 pps for a classic room, you can see it’s a very good deal.
I had dinner in “CAUSERIE”. Loved by many for its laid back look and feel, The Causerie is perfect for a catch-up with friends before a concert, with the Europa’s pre theatre menu or a bite of supper after a business meeting.
Food was delightful, service right on the money and very reasonably priced. The Causerie is a firm supporter of local food suppliers, using only the freshest local produce. For a sneak peake click here
After the show and a great nights sleep on the Europa’s beautiful bed I was off to breakfast, which offers a wide selection of finest locally sourced produce.
From a Full Irish Breakfast via their special Bushmills Whisky Porridge to a Classic Continental breakfast comprising of fruit, Danish pastries, cereals, meats and cheeses.
One thing I found particularly useful was the printed guide at breakfast explaining where it all came from and needless to say it was all local.
Well done Europa Hotel, great job on supporting local businesses.
All in all I had a great evening, night and morning in one of Belfast’s iconic landmarks.
Well done Hastings Hotels!
Providing Celtic Dreams is an inspirational idea and has been well thought out and it’s a credit to John Rodgers of Van the man fame and Howard Hastings amongst others. So if you get the opportunity, go visit and support another local venture.
Or maybe this: Enjoy overnight accommodation, afternoon tea and breakfast from only £70pps*
TREAT yourself to an Afternoon Tea Break at the luxurious 5-star Culloden Estate & Spa from only £70pps*.
Enjoy Afternoon Tea on arrival, overnight accommodation and full Irish Breakfast the following morning. Guests can also use the luxurious spa facilities as well as free Wi-Fi in the public areas of the hotel.
The Culloden Estate and Spa is Northern Ireland’s most prestigious 5 star hotel just 6 miles from Belfast. Visitors can indulge in an ESPA Spa treatment and enjoy gourmet dining.
To avail of this delightful offer contact 028 9042 1066 or go to www.hastingshotels.com.*Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Offer available Sunday – Thursday. £75 non refundable deposit per room will be taken at time of reservation.