If you ever happen to be in Belfast, then you must stop by Avoca. Located in Arthur Street in the centre of the city, Avoca is a treasure trove for shoppers and one of my all time favourite places in town. It combines a shop, foodhall, café and restaurant all in one and is both a visual feast for the eyes and a culinary delight. No wonder then that my mum and I easily spent about two hours in the store last weekend !
From a shopping point of view, Avoca stocks a wide range of merchandise – from books to jewellery, from clothing to beauty products, knitwear, greetings cards and kitchenware. What I love especially is that everything is beautifully and creatively displayed and instantly draws you in to explore more. And as well as stocking well known brands such as Orla Kiely and Nkuku, you will find local art and locally made textiles – a combination which I think works really well because you are guaranteed to find something a little bit different and some pretty souvenirs to take home with you. Of course, I also need to mention that Avoca have been weaving beautiful throws since 1723 in the village of Avoca in County Wicklow, Ireland and that tradition continues today with a colourful selection of throws for you to choose from.
For me it is just a pleasure to browse the store, perhaps picking up some ideas for my home or indulging in a little treat – and in my case, that can range from just a few pounds for some freshly made scones to over £100 for one of their dresses !
Then, of course, there is the food. You have a number of options. You can just grab something to take home from the foodhall where you will find mouth watering cakes, breads, ready made meals, sauces and much more. Or you can walk up stairs and enjoy a light bite in their café or perhaps go a step further and enjoy waiter service in their restaurant. The café and restaurant have a nice, relaxing vintage style about them with quirky chandeliers and pretty plates covering the walls. Be warned, though, the café is extremely popular and the queues long. Last Saturday we chose the restaurant instead and enjoyed salt and pepper scampi followed by mini pineapple cheesecake. Lovely !
All in all a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon with my mum and I’ve no doubt we will return pretty soon ! Hopefully these pictures will give you a flavour of Avoca and if in Belfast, you will take some time out to discover its delights for yourself.
You can learn more about Avoca at their website www.avoca.com