Monday, 21 November 2011

Christmas at the Cottages

It is christmas and the Cottages are decorated and ready for the festive season.
To give the cottages a Christmas feel and to make you feel at home we make sure Santa Claus knows you are staying at Whitethorn Cottages.
I cut down some twigs from the garden and twisted them in the shape of a Christmas wreath.
Got some bubbles and beads and this is the end result.
Belfast is 15 mins from the cottages. Take a trip up and see the lights and have a look round the shops. The Christmas lights were switched on  saturday the 19th November. At the very top of the Victoria Centre you can see view out over, Samson and Galiath ( the cranes),Belfast Castle, Stormont Buildings and across to Scrabo Tower.
Christmas at the cottages!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Christmas at Whitethorn Cottages

There is nowhere nicer to be at Christmas when there is a bit of snow on the ground. This is a reminder of what Christmas at Whitethorn was like last year.

Things to do, you can go up to belfast and visit  Belfast in Christmas mode. See the Christmas lights, do your christmas shopping and enjoy the festive atmosphere.Date: Saturday 19 November - Monday 19 December 2011 Venue: Belfast City Hall grounds

The Christmas Continental Market will be at Belfast City Hall from 12 noon on Saturday 19 November to 6pm on Monday 19 December, selling a range of food, drinks and crafts.

Kids can enjoy the merry-go-round and visit Santa in his grotto! They can also post their letters to Santa using Santa's postbox.

Opening times

  • Monday - Wednesday: 10am - 8pm (except Monday 19 December when it will close at 6pm)
  • Thursday - Saturday: 10am - 10pm
  • Sunday: 1pm - 6pm

Food and drink

Highlights include:
  • Bratwurst sausages and German beers
  • warming gluhwein
  • liqueur coffees
  • gourmet burgers
  • Spanish paella
  • toasted baguettes
  • waffles, crêpes and Dutch pancakes
  • cakes, fudge and sweets
  • Continental and Irish cheeses
  • exotic meats from around the world.

Gifts and other items

If you are looking for an unusual Christmas gift then you are bound to find something among the great selection of gifts and crafts, including:
  • leather handbags, purses and wallets from France
  • candles
  • jewellery
  • 'smellies' from Provence
  • natural carved wooden furniture, statues, figurines from Kenya
  • pashminas and scarves.

 Celebrate the countdown to Christmas with our annual Christmas lights switch-on at Belfast City Hall on Saturday 19 November.

Join Lord Mayor Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile and special guests as they light up the city.

The Christmas Continental Market will be open from 12 noon on Saturday 19 November.

Venue: Belfast City Hall

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Biggest showbiz event to come to belfast

Ready to Rock!! Stars hit town as Belfast prepares for the biggest showbiz event in its history. It has taken 10 years in the planning but it has finally arrived. On Sunday, Lady Gaga, Jessie J and Justin Bieber are set to stroll down a red carpet in Northern Ireland, on their way in to MTV's European Music Awards.
Stars such as Britney Spears and Rihanna have recently launched the European legs of their tours in Belfast, and purpose-built venues have sprung up to replace the playing fields and leisure centres that used to host gigs.
"The whole new capital infrastructure in Belfast means we're on the list for every art form now," says Carolyn Mathers, a culture and tourism officer for Belfast City Council.
Like a glitzy, musical version of the Olympics, MTV considers bids from a number of cities before settling on a venue for its annual awards show.
"It's crucial that the city embraces the European Music Awards in the right way," says Matt Cook, Director of Talent MTV UK and Ireland.
"Belfast's a great city. It's got a great heritage of music. And they've put on a music week in the run-up to our show, which not only gets everyone ready, but also highlights the breadth and wealth of local talent."
Despite reports that Lady Gaga will be staying at the Culloden Hotel sources claim that the Grammy winning artist has choosen a quiet location not too far from Belfast.
We have a good idea where that is!!!
Lady Gaga looks set to dominate the MTV Europe Music Awards later, with six prize nominations and a show-stopping performance in Belfast's Odyssey Arena.
Lady Gaga
 The US star goes up against the likes of Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber at the annual awards show.  Justin Bieber's teenage girl friend , Selena Gomez will be hosting the MTV EMAs.
Previously, it had been felt that Belfast's infrastructure could not cope with the demands of a show that requires to house personnel from production crews to celebrity entourages.
"It's a multi-million dollar event," MTV's Richard Godfrey said. "It's the most ambitious show we've done for a long time."
Belfast City Council believes  especially organised Belfast Music Festival in the run-up to the show, so it has been a great build up.
Katy Perry at the MTV EMAs in Liverpool, 2008
Katy Perry, who managed 12 costume changes at the 2008 show, is up for four awards
Tonight thousands will be watching as images of the star- studded event will be beamed from the heart of Belfast to all around the world. Excitement has reached fever pitch and we just hope belfast puts on the best show possible.
Thank you MTV for putting belfast on the world map for something good.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Whitethorn Cottages are luxury accommodation in the heart of the countryside however within easy traveling distacne to a plethora of events and activities to keep you well entertained during your stay.

Whether you are a keen golfer, a fan of retail therapy, a lover of arts,music and history or someone who enjoys the great outdoors, your Luxury Belfast package will provide your perfect distraction when you are visiting Northern Ireland.

Dedicated followers of fashion will love an appointment with a stylist and personal shopper from the Fashion Pharmacy. These experts on the local retail scene will make sure you get the most from your shopping trip and give your personal style a refreshing make over.

Music lovers will appreciate an evening spent in the company of the acclaimed Ulster Orchestra in one of Belfast’s premier music venues. With an ever-changing program of classical genres in the orchestra’s repertoire and guest appearances by world-class soloists, fans of classical music will enjoy a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

With a rich social, industrial and artistic heritage, Northern Ireland’s museums present lovers of the arts and culture a chance to explore local history in the company of an expert guide. History is brought to life in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, while the Ulster Museum is home to fine art, natural history, zoology and archaeology.
Northern Ireland’s compact nature means that in a just a few minutes’ drive Belfast city melts behind you and the landscape becomes lush green, rolling countryside or breath-taking coastal scenery, peppered with quaint, historic towns.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Rhianna comes to the fields outside Bangor

First Eminem and now Rihanna - you'd be forgiven for thinking the seaside town of Bangor has rather inexplicably become some kind of Mecca for international superstars ...

And the unexpected visitor managed to bring the traffic to a standstill.
Fans flocked from far and wide once word started to circulate that they might be able to catch a glimpse of the singer.
So why Bangor? Well, why not!
Rihanna's actually filming her latest music video for We Found Love, with Calvin Harris. And for about 50 locals, there was even the chance to appear as extras.
Who is your women?? I like like her Rug, Tartan must be in!

Next up for the chart-topping sensation is a three-night run at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, as part of her Loud tour - where she's expected to perform hit singles Only Girl (In The World) and What's My Name.
And her Bangor co-star Calvin Harris will actually be providing the support.
Later this year, Rihanna could also be among the world-famous faces performing at the MTV
European Music Awards in Belfast - she's been nominated in the Best Pop category.

One of the world's biggest selling pop stars Rihanna has swapped her normally glamorous surroundings for a bucolic backdrop near Bangor in County Down, 4 minites from Whitethorn Cottage

The 23-year-old sex symbol was shooting her new video ahead of three concerts in Belfast later this week.

A number of callers to the BBC said that traffic practically ground to a halt near Ballyrobert as drivers strained to get a glimpse of the singer and her cavalcade.

Hundreds of people also gathered by the roadside to watch the improptu performance with many local schoolchildren using their camera phones to record the event for posterity.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Summer fun

To round off and brilliant summer of fun we had the last Night of the Proms in the Park.
Thousands enjoyed an evening of classical and contemporary music in the grounds of Bangor's Castle
Park. It featured Northern |Ireland's own Barry Douglas on piano, the Ulster Orchestra,under the baton of David Braphy and the acclaimed singer/songwriter declan O'Rourke.
Ahead of her performance at BBC Proms in the Park, Lesley Garrett said: "I am very much looking forward to returning to Northern Ireland and Bangor Castle in particular where I have always been made so welcome by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. I can't think of a better way of spending a late summer's evening with wonderful fellow artists and musicians celebrating the end of the Proms."
Multi award-winning pianist Barry Douglas said: "It is a great thrill to perform at the Proms in the Park and I am really looking forward to it."
 Australian born guitarist Craig Ogden told us that his Mother was from Northrn Ireland, from Helen's bay, Co Down.
Giant screens meant that concert goers were able to view sections of the Last Night of the Proms from the Royal Albert Hall and simultaneous live events in Scotland,Wales and England marking the end of the world's largest classical music festival. Even the weather was brilliant.

Monday, 18 July 2011

The place to stay while Golfing in Northern Ireland

Let us recommend - Our Top 5...

  • Royal Portrush Golf Club
  • Royal County Down Golf Club
  • Lough Erne Resort
  • Kirkistown Castle Golf Club
  • Clandeboye Golf Club

Golf Breaks in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a place of stunning beauty and there is plenty to discover here – the beautiful cities such as Belfast, the beaches, historical monuments and even the angling will draw you in.
Whitethorn Cottages are located 10 miles from Belfast City airport with easy access to all the top golf courses in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is also the homeland of British Open Champion Darren Clarke, US Open Champions Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, so this is a really exciting place for golf as this was their training ground. Book a golf break to some of the best golf resorts in Ireland, including Lough Erne Golf Club with a Faldo design, and the championship links golf courses which can be found at Royal County Down Golf Club are second to none.
Browse Golf Resorts on a Map to see how central Whitethorn Cottages are to all of them.
Two driving ranges right on our door step Blackwood and Bradshaws Brae. Bradshaws Brae Golf Centre is the oldest golf range in Ireland established in 1965. It has been run by Gordon Fairweather PGA Professional for the past 5 years and consists of 18 covered floodlit bays and a professional teaching bay.
It also includes a putting green and bunker. We use the Explanar Golf Training Aid. The Explanar has been helping 1000s of amateur golfers, club and touring professionals every year hit the ball consistently longer and straighter. 


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Congratulations to Darren Clarke

Today Darren Clarke put Northern Ireland back in the news for all the right reasons. Something good to come out of Nothern Ireland and hopefully something to bring people to come and visit it Northern Ireland.  Darren Clarke won The Open Championship at Royal St George's with a nerveless display in the final round that saw him home three shots clear of the field.
The 42-year-old became the third Northern Irishman in the last six Majors to take one of the game's top prizes, following the US Open successes of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.
It seemed like half of Northern Ireland were shouting him on. They probably all thought it would be Rory who would lead our hopes but even better it was Darren.
With 14 golf courses within a ten mile radius (Royal Belfast in photo above) and Royal Portrush and Down Royal both within an hours drive, where better to stay than Whitethorn Cottages.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

What's on close to us this Bank Holiday

Botanic Gardens plays host to Belfast Sizzle, a new and exciting extravaganza which will pair the best in local culinary excellence with large stage live musical entertainment.
An excellent way to kick-off summer enjoyment, the Sizzle will feature top local chefs who will set the tone with a tantalising array of hot barbecue favourites and cool summer side dishes, accompanied by live musical entertainment.

A Taste of the Peninsula – Mon 30th May
Conway Square, Newtownards 11-4pm
A gourmet food event featuring food from local suppliers and around the world. There will be cookery demos, music and children’s activities.

Journey of the Turtle –Mon 30th May
Lempen Puppet Theatre Company
Castle Espie
12noon &2pm
A beautiful story based on the trilogy of “just so” – style Turtle tales about following your dream, told with shadows, table-top puppets and traditional story-telling. Inspirational for anyone over 5 years old
Free Admission

Time Blooms – 30th May Artists in Residence, Mount Stewart 2-5pm Come along and see the artists at work, they will be on site painting beautiful scenes of Mount Stewart at the peak season when the gardens are blooming Adult £7, Child £3.50, Family (2 Adults&3 Children) £17.50 Members free.
“I asked for Wonder” Sat 4th June-Sun 26th June The Loft Gallery, Portaferry: Mon-Sat 10-5pm, Sun 1-5pm Exhibition by Ceramicist LyndaB where she has taken a selection of friend’s stories and visually interpreted their words in porcelain. Admission free 028 42729882
Perspective – Sat 4th and 19th June Castle Espie, Comber A Les Jones Exhibition displaying an array of landscapes, seascapes and cityscape art. Admission free 02891 874146
Duckery Tours – Sat 4th June (Saturdays 11th, 18th, 25th & Sundays 5th, 12th, 19th , 26th June also) Castle Espie – 12noon-4pm Adult: (£6.50, Concession £4.95. Child - £3.20 (4-16years) Family: £17.50 (2 Adults & 2 Children) Under 4’s Free
Irish Clubman Championship – Sat 4th June Motorcycle Races , Kirkistown Race Circuit - 9am £10, Children under 12 half price. 02890402656
Car Boot Sale – Sat 4th June Mount Stewart : 9-12noon £5 per car, £10 per van and £15 per trailer. Free admission to car boot sale. Normal admission price for house and gardens: (Adult £7, Child £3.50, Family (2 Adults &3 Children) £17.50. Members Free

Pottery Workshop - Sat 4th June
1200 Centigrade Pottery, Portaferry: 10-12.30pm
Class run by Donald Nelson in his own working pottery studio. Each participant will make and decorate up to 2 pieces of pottery. No experience necessary. Please bring an apron.
£15 (Advance booking and payment required) 028 42728888

Grand Summer Fete – Sat 4th June
Movilla Presbyterian Church: 10-1pm
Interesting games and stalls. Teas and coffees scones with jam&cream.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

I have to apologise, it has been a time since I last did the blog for the cottages. We have had some lovely guests staying with us and we hope they enjoyed their time at Whitethorn. The weather has been particularly good especially for April and so alot of the garden is ahead of itself. This is a photo of the rose outside the first cottage. You couldn't ask for better.

With the good weather has come the chance to barbeque and fantastic walks in our beautiful countryside. We always love to hear the children outside enjoying the facilities. The chickens too are out enjoying their time, sadly the fox got the young rooster. However the hens seem happy and are laying lots of eggs for us.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Spring is here, everything is bursting into life.

It seems like things are warming up and finally all the snow and signs of winter have disappeared.
Bert and his mate,( haven't yet discovered his name) have had a brilliant holiday with us. These are are longest staying guests at Whitethorn. Recently Bert has managed to take his rug off but his mate still finds it a bit nippy up here.
The primroses are out and the hens are enjoying the better weather. Sunshine means it is pleaseant enough to be out in the garden enjoying the trees coming into leaf and the plants flowering.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

It is Valentine's weekend and half term from school. The sun is out and spring is in the air. So what about a lovely walk get out and about and see all the signs of spring. Snowdrops, crocus and signs of colour are bursting into life to cheer us all up after that cold and frosty winter.