Belfast: A Girl's Guide To The Best Hotels, Shops And Restaurants

Kate Finnigan, The Daily Telegraph, February 12, 2014


From its contemporary but cosy lobby to the floor-to-ceiling-glass-walled suites, The Fitzwilliam Hotel is a slice of New York in Belfast. Superbly located for instant access to the city. Rooms with breakfast from £120 per night;

If you’re flying into Belfast International, stop off at Galgorm Resort & Spa. Book a room with a view of the River Main and visit between Wednesday and Sunday when the fantastic River Room restaurant is open. From £120;


OX is the new kid on the Belfast block and with its locally sourced, seasonal menu, world-class wine list and trendy spare interior it’s caused quite a stir across the whole of Ireland.

For a more traditional gastro experience, try Mourne Seafood Bar. Generous helpings of fresh, local fish are brilliantly served and the atmosphere is lively.


The opulent Bar at the five-star Merchant Hotel has been named the world’s best and shouldn’t be missed. Cocktails are beautifully mixed by a team of cheery perfectionists. Try the Phoenix, with plum-infused poitín.

A trendier, relaxed crowd is to be found at Coppi, a Venetian-style bar and restaurant in St Anne’s Square.


Envoy is a joy to discover. Run by a former teacher, it stocks understated fashion by Céline, Dries Van Noten and Marni, as well as the rarely found label Paul Harnden and shoes by Guidi.

The bijou Red Ruby Rouge in the suburb of Holywood was recently voted best boutique in Ireland. It specialises in relaxed daywear and accessories from American labels that you won’t find anywhere else.


Belfast is rightly proud of its new Titanic Quarter and tour, celebrating the engineering might of the Harland & Wolff shipyard. Go to feel truly part of the city.

If you’re interested in Irish political history head to the 225-year-old Linenhall Library and see its powerful display of political posters from The Troubles.


The Spa at Galgorm has relaxation sussed – there are indoor and outdoor thermal pools, spacious treatment rooms (using Aromatherapy Associates products) and a glitzy boudoir for private parties.

Fly with

EasyJet flies from London Heathrow to Belfast International ( )