Named the UK’s Best Large Indoor Market 2014 and plays host to some of Belfast’s coolest pop up stalls offering everything from Indian street food to waffles, I believe our good friends at Simply Crispy have even been known to make an appearance.Plus this is a great way to find out if your potential partner has a spending issue – and will inevitably bleed you dry in their pursuit of posh cheese and vintage teapots.Lavery’s, The Empire and The Pavilion all offer these on various days of the week so you should always be able to catch one.
A trendy, slightly hipster-eque joint (yes I suppose Belfast does have a lot of those), Woodworkers is unique in it’s focus on craft ales which you can try a variety of in a tasting board – a kind of smorgasbord of ales from various hops, barrels and regions.
If beer really isn’t your thing they’ve got a pretty funky cocktail menu going on as well.
If you really think you’ll struggle to have enough to talk about for an hour or so go somewhere that has props!
On a weeknights they have a Pub Quiz, Bingo and Open Mic (how brave/cocky are you? They have a fully stocked bar and lots of foreign/vintage/intellectual type films so you can either engage in a riveting conversation about Bresson’s use of light in Un condamné à mort s'est échappé or make an escape of your own with several glasses of du vin. Something about a dimly lit wine bar, sharing plates of food and Spanish music that will make it incredibly difficult not to find the other person attractive.
) And if these really don’t appeal, they also have a selection of board games behind the bar for you play over a pint. If you step out into the light of day after one to many Riojas and decide to make a run for it – at least you’ve had a pretty tasty meal.
Just don’t get too competitive, especially if you’re playing Connect 4. Great central location, historical landmark in Belfast, beautiful décor, reputably the best stew in Ireland and private booths to foster intimacy – what’s not to love.
Next door in Fibber Magee’s there’s normally a good session of Irish music if you decide now’s the perfect chance to show off your high kicks.
The dating game has been flipped on its head since the advent of Tinder, wherein a plethora of potential dates are literally at your fingertips. A wander round the Ulster Museum is a great way to start a budding romance, staring at works of great artists trying to garner meaning when all you can really see is something remotely resembling a paw print or taking a stroll through the history of the universe and pretending to know what the difference is between metamorphic and igneous rocks is.
But once the match is made and date is set – where’s the best places to actually go? All going well you can then take a stroll around the Botanical Gardens and grab lunch at one of the nearby trendy cafes.
It’s a pretty difficult decision to make when you haven’t actually met the person you’re going there with. Here’s a rundown of 10 places in Belfast to go that, even if your date does turn out to be a wet blanket, will ensure you’re time wasn’t completely wasted.
Black Bear, The Barking Dog and The Yellow Door are particularly good.