Overnight Date Night in and Around Belfast
Whether you’re an established duo with kids, a longstanding partnership of many decades, madly in the throes of young love or a reasonably new couple, the magic always lies in the Date Night! This time round in our series of where to go with your other half, we look at overnighter dates in and around Belfast. Northern Ireland has firmly established itself on the culinary map in the last few years, with superlative local produce and a wealth of craft beers, ciders and whiskeys made here. So a great gourmet experience is guaranteed.
What are you waiting for? Pack your toothbrush and your necessities and hit the road north, for a date night with a difference!
Europa Hotel is a place of class and chic, an international stopping point for many tourists. Located walking distance from most of the sights you want to see in Belfast city, including the Ulster Museum (free admission), Titanic Belfast and City Hall, to name a few. Enjoy cocktails in The Piano Lounge at the Europa Hotel before dinner in The Causerie Restaurant.
Retreat afterwards to the Lobby Bar to the front of the hotel, to mix with the many city residents who use this bar as their local.
When you’re done wining, dining and having fun, retire to a bedroom with all the comfort and luxury hallmarks of a Hastings Hotel. Breakfast in the morning is a veritable feast on the buffet, which includes Bushmills Whiskey Porridge (!) to favourites like the Ulster Fry. As with all Hastings Hotels, food provenance is a priority. Dining here is an education in where your food comes from. The Europa is perfectly suited for a city break overnighter date night for any couple, young and old! The only requirement is to be in love!
Culloden Estate and Spa
When it’s country house luxury you’re after on your overnighter date night, head to the Belfast suburb of Holywood. Culloden Estate and Spa was once the magnificent residence of the Bishops of County Down. Now it’s a five-star luxury country house hotel in its own grounds, with the sights and shopping of Belfast just a short drive away. In fact, you can see the docks of Belfast from the large windows of The Mitre Restaurant.
This dining room has been garnering the attention of food critics in the last while, with long standing chef Paul McKnight at the helm of a professional team.
Careful sourcing of fresh ingredients like heritage beef from Dexter and Hereford cattle, Finnebrogue venison, Clandeboye pigeon and shellfish from Strangford Lough may all make an appearance on the dinner menu this time of year. The Spa has a spectacular pool decorated with tranquil blues and greens, and serene treatment rooms where you can enjoy a menu of luxury massages and facials. For those who want to burn some fat, the fitness suite awaits. Bedrooms are luxuriously furnished, and the famous Hastings Breakfast is fit for a Bishop!
Autumn, Christmas and Spa Breaks are now on offer. A perfect place to unwind on an overnighter date night for couples escaping kids or long timers with something to celebrate.
The Stormont Hotel
Another Hastings gem lies a few minutes away from the hubub of busy Belfast city centre. The Stormont overlooks the Stormont Estate, location of Northern Ireland’s government buildings, which means it does attract a professional clientele. But it’s not all about work here. Relaxing is easy when you start with complimentary parking in the hotel car park, and a warm welcome by the Concierge at the door.
Find Glenarm Shorthorn Beef burger and Hannan’s Northern Irish Himalayan Salt Aged Sirloin on the meat mains. Be tempted by Glenarm Organic Salmon or fresh Irish Scampi on the fish courses. Bedrooms at The Stormont come with all the guarantees of Hastings luxury, including the famous Hastings rubber ducks in the bathrooms! Breakfasts attract the general public as well as residents, so you just don’t know what famous face you will spot as you munch through the buffet and hot cooked dishes. A people spotting date awaits!
Galgorm Resort and Spa
Just 30 minutes from Belfast lies Galgorm Resort and Spa. A magnificent 163 acres of parkland, with the River Maine flowing right through the estate, is waiting to be explored. This hotel combines the convenience of having the sights of Belfast just a short drive away, with the stunning attraction of the North Antrim coast also within driving distance.
What more could you ask for in a date night away from it all? The River Room restaurant has 3AA Rosettes under the stewardship of Head Chef Chris Rees, who devises daily changing menus to showcase local producers and seasonal ingredients, from suppliers and the restaurant’s own kitchen garden.
You can dine more informally at cosy Gillies Bar and Grill or enjoy some Italian favourites at Fratelli’s. Take advantage of the facilities in Galgorm’s Spa, which looks out over the superb grounds. Rooms range from Standard to Suites, and can we just say there is nothing ‘standard’ about the standard rooms! A Standard Double has a Queen size bed with plenty of storage space and table and chairs to enjoy an in-room snack. Rich upholstery and fabrics add the elegant touch.
Big windows create light and airy spaciousness in all the rooms and suites in this hotel. Galgorm is the place for those who want to push the boat out to celebrate an anniversary or special occasion together, while cocooned in the lap of luxury!