Valentines Dates in Belfast
Love is in the air, etc etc but Christmas has still left something of a dent in your pocket. What to do? You want to impress your other half with a fabulous gift and a romantic Valentine’s Day but you can’t afford to break the bank but is that possible? It certainly is! Allow W[r]ite Noise to be your fairy godmother and guide you through the dilemmas leading up to the most romantical day of the year :)
Buying something local always seems, somehow, nicer. It’s thoughtful and unique and you don’t have to worry about how long it will take to arrive in the post. With that in mind, don’t forget that this weekend there are two key present purchasing opportunities afoot. The first is the Frock Around the Clock vintage fair at the Holiday Inn on Ormeau Avenue on Sunday. We went before Christmas, check out our review here… Perfect if your beloved is a fan of clutch bags, corsages, elegant jewellery or pretty hats. And if your other half is a painfully hip type? Then make a bee-line for Black Market at Black Box, also on Sunday, where you can find edgy t-shirts, zines, records, contemporary baubles and other such tokens of your undying affection all to the backdrop of records being spun by local deejays. Or if you prefer to let your significant other choose their own gift (hey, people can be picky!) then wait til the glorious day itself and whisk them down to heARTS for Haiti and peruse lovely local crafts and donate to charity at the same time or off to the Fashion Souk in the Ulster Hall lobby – if you can bear to spend hours reassuring them they’d look good in a bin bag and trying not to grind your teeth as your capricious other half utterly fails to make a decision! Can’t argue with that. Other ideas for locally sourced objects of desire for the object of your affection might include delicious but pricy Koka Chocolates from Jordanstown, the Marlene Cuff from Belfast-based Catherine B’s Hollywood collection or a rather fetching t-shirt from Bag of Bees.
So, present bought…now where to go on the perfect date? The new French Village cafe on Botanic Avenue, which I have not yet visited but that is a situation soon to be amended, looks like the perfect place for a lazy lunch of hot chocolate and French fayre.
The premises may by new but French Village have been around for nearly thirty years and you’ve probably sampled their wares if you’ve been down to St. George’s City Food and Garden market of late. You could follow this up with a stroll around Botanic Gardens – cheap as chips, and if Language of Flowers‘ lyrics are to be believed it is the perfect place to confess your undying love. And if it’s cold you can take shelter in the palm house, the tropical ravine or in the Ulster Museum.
Or maybe you’d like to do something a bit quirkier? If your inamorata is an animal lover then you might want to check out the Perfect Partner Valentine’s celebration at Belfast Zoo.
Promising to bring out your animal magnetism and match you with your perfect animal partner, this might be one of the zanier days out you could go on but it would certainly be memorable!
QFT is showing a matinee screening of silverscreen romantic classic, Casablanca so you could call into Clements, pick up a few cheesecake swirl brownies (or smuggle in a bottle of gin for authenticity’s sake) and snuggle up in the dark to watch Bogie and Bergman show you how it’s supposed to be done.
So we’ve sorted out your present and your date options for you. Don’t say we never give you anything :)
Leave us a comment below if you have other suggestions about how to get loved up in Northern Ireland – we’re intrigued to find out!