Life al fresco

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Here at home we are in the midst of a heat wave.  The sun has been reigning down on us for days now and it’s fabulous. Gardens are in bloom, everything looks gloriously green and a feeling of summer has settled on the place. On Saturday myself and a good friend treated ourselves to a long overdue girly afternoon in Belfast and with the sun shining it was the perfect opportunity to enjoy life al fresco. In recent years some great venues have popped up in town that really come into their own when the sun shines and we decided they would make the perfect spot for a cocktail or two and a good old catch up.

First up was The Treehouse. Cited by The Times as one of Britain’s  30 best rooftop terraces, The Treehouse is owned by the same people who run the fabulous am:pm which I blogged about in my Afternoon delight post. We climbed a few flights of stairs to get to the top and on walking through the door were greeted by a lovely interior in typical am:pm style – dark walls with twinkling lights, chandeliers, silver chairs and floral tablecloths.

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The balcony was already fully occupied so we settled ourselves at one of the long tables indoors  and ordered some wine and food to while away the afternoon. We were just discussing what a lovely day it was when the roof and the doors to the side of our table began slowly retracting to reveal the glorious outdoors. Suddenly we were dining al fresco with the sun shining down on us – it was a lovely surprise. I later discovered that The Treehouse is Ireland’s only rooftop restaurant with retractable roof .

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The door beginning to retract to reveal the great outdoors


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Doors and roof now retracted, the people of Belfast enjoying a Saturday afternoon al fresco

After a pleasurable hour or two, our next port of call was The Ivory – a bar and restaurant  with a rooftop terrace with views over Belfast city. I’ve been here a couple of times – the service is great and they have a great cocktail menu. It’s like a little haven of luxury in the centre of town and if you are ever passing by, I highly recommend their signature cocktail, the  Ivory Martini – described as ‘a mix of Absolut Vanilla, Passoa, vanilla infused sugar syrup and passionfruit puree served with a mouthful of bubbles’.

On this occasion my tipple was a Rossini – strawberry puree topped up with prosecco. Delicious !

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People enjoying birthday celebrations on the terrace


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View from the Ivory terrace towards the Waterfront Hall

Our final destination was Cathedral Quarter -the oldest and a long forgotten part of Belfast that has undergone a massive transformation in the last decade and is now a thriving cultural quarter full of great bars and restaurants. More blog posts on Cathedral Quarter to come but it is definitely worth a visit while in town for the cobbled streets, great architecture and  general vibe. With the lovely warm weather, the crowds had spilled out on to the streets and it was lovely to see.

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All in all, a lovely day spent in great company at some amazing venues right here in my home town. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little round up of life al fresco Belfast style. I’ve listed below the websites of the places we visited where you can get lots more information.

The Treehouse Belfast

The Ivory Belfast

Cathedral Quarter

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