So last Wednesday I finally made into Belfast for a bit of a ‘dander’, as we say in these parts. Having been confined to the house for the last five weeks or so and with cabin fever setting in, I felt like I had been pretty much released from house arrest. I was just SO happy to be walking about on a crisp calm winter’s day, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. And having made an effort to put on a dress and a touch of make up, I actually felt like my old self (which was such a good feeling !)
With a new resolve this year to spend less and experience more, it was enough just to enjoy the colourful shop displays without parting with my hard earned cash. In truth, having not been in the city centre for some time, I actually think I enjoyed it more – (I think there is a lesson in there somewhere).
My sole indulgence was a cappuccino and a pain aux raisins at the lovely Patisserie Valerie who have recently opened two cafes in Belfast. I think this might be the perfect place to take mum for a treat as she has looked after me so well in recent weeks. The selection of cakes was mouthwatering….
Spurred on by a shot of caffeine, I wandered around some of my favourite shops in Belfast, admiring the creative retail displays and the bright colours – the perfect contrast to a greyish afternoon. Avoca as always is a great source of inspiration with colourful throws, cosy socks and pretty ceramics from Pip Studio…in fact Vogue have listed Avoca as one of the best 100 shops outside London. I’ve been a fan for years as you can tell from my earlier post Awesome Avoca @ Arthur Street
Next I paid a visit to Sostrene Grene, another new store that has opened recently in the city centre. This is a Danish retail chain (which I must admit I hadn’t heard of) who sell a range of home and interior products, craft items, kitchenwares and more. It will inevitably be compared to Ikea , but I personally prefer it – the range might be smaller but it had a lovely calm interior with well designed products and colourful displays of wool and candles . I spotted a few accessories I will go back for – mainly storage items I need as my efforts to declutter and get better organised continue ! Best thing of all, the prices are very affordable so it won’t break the bank.
All in all, I had a lovely afternoon around my home town. I didn’t spend much money but came home feeling inspired, full of ideas, ready to get creative and inject some colour around my home. It’s also great to see new places opening in Belfast – it really is becoming a destination well worth travelling to. Hopefully this post gives you just a little flavour of what’s on offer, if like me, you enjoy a little bit of window shopping when you are on holiday!