There’s a reason it’s called EIPIC

Tasting Menu at Deanes Eipic - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

Last Friday we visited one of Northern Ireland’s top restaurants, if not thee top restaurant, Deanes EIPIC.  Deanes EIPIC is the flagship restaurant of celebrated top local chef Michael Deane, and was recently awarded its first Michelin star, along with another Belfast restaurant, OX.  EIPIC is one of seven restaurants owned by Michael Deane and was recently named in the top 100 UK restaurants at the 2016 National Restaurant Awards, Northern Ireland’s only representative at position 83.  EIPIC was also listed the La Liste top 1000 restaurants in the world, coming in at 708, one of only two restaurants from Northern Ireland to make the list (the other being The Boathouse in Bangor, which was ranked 831st).

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A lovely stay in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast

Stormont Hotel Belfast Review - Pikalily Travel Blog

We recently had the opportunity to attend a 50th Anniversary dinner in the luxury Stormont Hotel to celebrate 50 years of ownership by Hastings Hotels.  The evening was a great success and we were lucky enough to have a room booked, which proved very handy as it meant we could both enjoy the delicious wine which was paired with all eight courses and not have to designate a driver between us!

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Celebrating 50 Years of Stormont Hotel

Review Stormont Hotel Belfast - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

On Friday night we were invited along to a gourmet evening at The Stormont Hotel in Belfast to celebrate 50 years of The Hastings Hotel ownership of the hotel.  The hotel has grown from a 10 room venue in 1966 to a fantastic, modern 105 room hotel with a range of standard and executive rooms, and a number of suites, overlooking the stunning gardens of Stormont Castle and Estate.

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An evening at Fratelli, Belfast

Review Fratelli Belfast - Pikalily Food Blog

A few weeks back we were invited along to try out the new menu at the Italian restaurant Fratelli, in Belfast.  The restaurant is owned by the Galgorm Hotel (an amazing hotel you should all try to get along to at some point if you get a chance) and located in the city centre along the popular Great Victoria Street (opposite the Europa Hotel and bus station).  We parked the car at a nearby car park and went along to take our seats in what was a pretty packed restaurant.

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Marco Pierre White Steakhouse marks a new era for Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast

Marco Pierre White Belfast - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

Last week (Friday 9th October) we attended a media preview of the new Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill at the Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast. It’s a real statement of intent both for the hotel and the local area to have the famous Marco Pierre White (MPW) associated with Park Avenue in East Belfast. While we didn’t get to see the whole interior of the hotel, the fact it has evolved from modest 2 star to boutique 4 star is testament to Mandy Patrick, the third generation of this family owned hotel which has been in business since 1959. [Read more…]

Light lunch in Harlem Cafe Belfast

Harlem Cafe Belfast - Pikalily Food Blog

On a recent excursion to Belfast with one of my friends, we stopped at the trendy Harlem Café on Bedford Street to grab a quick lunch.  We were definitely impressed with the food, service and elegant decór.  It was one of the few sunny days that we experienced over the summer months here in Northern Ireland so we both opted for a Chicken Caesar Salad.  The menu described the salad as:

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Culture night hits Belfast Harbour

Culture Night Belfast Harbour - Pikalily Food Travel

Last year we made the trip from Newcastle to Belfast to take in our first experience of Belfast’s Culture Night. Culture Night is a celebration of the culture and essence of a town or city, and in recent years has spread across many towns and cities in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. While we enjoyed taking in all of the festivities last year around the Cathedral Quarter, this year we went down a different route, and one that left us pleasantly surprised.

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A food lover’s guide to Belfast

Belfast Food Guide - Pikalily Food Blog

When you think of some of the gourmet capitals of the world, you might think of, perhaps, Paris, Barcelona, London or New York but Belfast?  Yes, the capital city of Northern Ireland is starting to make inroads in the culinary scene and we’ve been fortunate enough to visit many of the city’s popular eateries.  We’ve still plenty to tick off our list but if you’re travelling to Belfast any time soon, here’s a few local hotspots you may want to check out.

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Foodie Heaven at St George’s Market, Belfast

Trip to St Georges Market Belfast - Pikalily Food Blog

It may be hard to believe, but having lived in Northern Ireland our entire lives we only recently decided to take a trip to the famous St George’s Market in Belfast.  We had always heard friends talk positively about the market, and after it was recently voted the best large indoor market in the UK, we decided it was time to get along and check it out.  It’s fair to say we were blown away and have since returned on numerous occasions.  This article has been a long time coming, but here is a little taster of what you can expect to see and enjoy when you visit St George’s Market.

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Afternoon tea at the Europa Hotel Belfast


We recently took a trip to Belfast city centre and to the popular Europa Hotel for some afternoon tea.  It is believed that the tradition of afternoon tea dates back to the early 19th century when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford was left feeling hungry in late afternoon, and so she had bread & butter and cakes to help tie her over until the normal evening meal time of 8pm – 9pm.  Afternoon tea has continued to grow in popularity and has become a British institution in recent years.  Indeed, many tourists flock to parts of the UK to enjoy afternoon tea, in the same way that many go to Spain to enjoy a delicious serving of tapas.  Afternoon tea in Northern Ireland has become an extremely lucrative business in recent years, no more so than in our capital city Belfast.  With so many hotels and restaurants competing to entertain guests with afternoon tea, we thought we’d check out the offering at the popular Europa Hotel which is a member of the Hastings Hotel Group.

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