There are plenty of galleries to choose from, depending on your interests. Frankie Quinn’s Red Barn Gallery, Rosemary Street, has a permanent exhibition of amazing documentary style pictures taken during the troubles, which also capture life in Belfast in bygone day. Well presented photo prints are available for sale too if you fancy a memento of your visit. Find out more about the exhibition at www.rbgbelfast.com/.
For a more girly afternoon- head to StarStruck at the Ulster Museum. This exhibit features 50 of the world’s most filmed and photographed costumes, including some from The King’s Speech, Shakespeare in Love and Evita.
StarStruck is on until 25th September and professional make-up artist Pamela Smyth will be holding workshops on 24th September where you can watch her transform a model into a star from one of the featured films. Prices for the exhibition can be found at www.nmni.com/um/What-s-on/Exhibitions/Starstruck, while the workshops cost £2 with booking via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If it’s a bite to eat or a drink you want- try somewhere a little bit different. Teatro Cabaret Restaurant, Botanic Avenue is the perfect venue for a lovely glass of Spanish house wine and some tapas. Feel all bohemian while people watching and listening to Chet Baker and other tastefully selected music on the sound system.
The Dark Horse, Hill Street (pictured left) is the sister venue to the Duke of York and while you could be forgiven for assuming it’s a pub – it sells nothing stronger than a black coffee. Stacked with character and old pub and coffee house paraphernalia, it is a unique and interesting setting for an afternoon catch up with pals.
Make sure to look out for the beautiful antique perfume bottles and makeup counter accessories from old department stores on display in the ladies! And while you’re there, peek around the side of the building to check out the amazing mural on the gabel wall, with famous and infamous faces of Belfast people from the music, film and art world.
The Galley Café anchored on the Lagan near the Waterfront is another interesting place to visit for a locally and ethically sourced light bite and while you’re there- why not take a little rowing boat out on the Lagan!
If you just want to get out and about take a saunter around Botanic Gardens – not just the great lawn – there are little nooks and crannies with fabulous flowers (see photo below) and why not try the Palm House and Tropical Ravine? This is a sensory sensation with amazing sights and smells that will transport you to some far-away tropical jungle.
Popping down to see the construction and buzz of activity around the Titanic Quarter is sure to wile away a few hours – and the Lagan Boat Company is now offering a unique Titanic Boat Tour at only £10 for adults and £8 for children/concessions. For more information – laganboatcompany.design.ceon.net
The Queens Film Theatre often holds free film talks and its newly designed Jameson bar is the perfect place to sit and read the free cult film magazines available while sipping on a Peroni. To find out more about what the QFT has to offer, pick up their informative programme or check online at www.queensfilmtheatre.com
The Rusty Zip at Botanic is sure to provide some entertainment for you and your pals as you can waste the time away trying on funky costumes and glamorous wigs– think of it as early inspiration for Halloween!
The new Skate Park, Nelson Street is free to use – and even if your boarding and parkour skills are not quite up to scratch it’s a great place to watch the cool kids do their tricks- you’ll be surprised how mesmerising it can be!
If shopping is more your thing, Best Vintage, Ann Street is great for a rummage around – and you might just pick up some cool threads and vintage jewellery at a knock-down price.
For more info on things to do in Belfast log onto www.gotobelfast.com
Photo of Botanic Gardens (below) by Peter Forster.