My Little Duke

belfast

Six by Nico Review

Blogging, Fashion, FoodSteph DukeComment

On Sunday 10th March I took myself off to the big smoke for a few hours. The weather was wild and so was my hair as I bumbled my way through the door of Belfast’s hottest new restaurant ‘Six by Nico’.

There has been a real buzz around this new eatery and rumour has it that you can’t get a reservation before the end of April! So when I received an invite to come and try the unique 6 course menu at ‘Six by Nico’ - I couldn’t say no.

Pic by Michelle  @two_daisies

Pic by Michelle @two_daisies

Six by Nico offers customers a series of carefully curated and constantly evolving restaurant concepts. Each six weeks, Nico and his team will serve a brand new six-course tasting menu – each one themed upon a different place or memory.

I have to say a special thank you to Rumour Mill PR for the invitation to attend Sunday’s taster event. The afternoon was kindly hosted by SKAPA and Cathy Martin and we were treated to the current menu - ‘The Chippie’ - I cannot wait to share these incredible dishes with you.

Course One - ‘Chips & Cheese’   Parmesan Espuma | Crisp Potato | Curry Oil

Course One - ‘Chips & Cheese’

Parmesan Espuma | Crisp Potato | Curry Oil

Course Two - ‘Scampi’   Monkfish Cheeks | Pea Emulsion | Wild Garlic | Gribiche

Course Two - ‘Scampi’

Monkfish Cheeks | Pea Emulsion | Wild Garlic | Gribiche

Course Three - ‘Steak Pie’   Beef Shin | Burnt Onion Ketchup | Mushroom Duxelle | Red Wine | Glazed Puff Pastry

Course Three - ‘Steak Pie’

Beef Shin | Burnt Onion Ketchup | Mushroom Duxelle | Red Wine | Glazed Puff Pastry

Course Four - ‘Fish Supper’   Cod | Confit Fennel | Samphire | Beer Pickled Mussels

Course Four - ‘Fish Supper’

Cod | Confit Fennel | Samphire | Beer Pickled Mussels

Course Five - ‘Smoked Sausage’   Pork Belly | Salt Baked Celeriac | Caramelised Apple | Black Pudding

Course Five - ‘Smoked Sausage’

Pork Belly | Salt Baked Celeriac | Caramelised Apple | Black Pudding

Course Six - ‘Deep Fried Mars Bar’   Caramelia Chocolate | Orange Sorbet | Cocoa Nib

Course Six - ‘Deep Fried Mars Bar’

Caramelia Chocolate | Orange Sorbet | Cocoa Nib

The photos hopefully speak for themselves. Gosh. The food was really incredible! I’m not entirely sure I can pick a favourite … probably the scampi or the smoked sausage dishes topped the bill for me! I’m a dessert person though so I can’t not mention the deep fried mars bar - literally have no words for this dish! Stunning. Just stunning.

86F65347-D1AD-4ACD-99FE-F365660CC488.JPG

I can confirm that they make a decent skinny flat white too! Hurrah!

190310_069.JPG

Everything about this place is top notch, what an honour to get the opportunity to experience it like I did!

Lovely to share a table with these two beauties @lauras_little_loves & @two_daisies

Lovely to share a table with these two beauties @lauras_little_loves & @two_daisies

Photo by @brendangallagherphoto

Photo by @brendangallagherphoto

Our Best Coffee Hangs ( Belfast Edit )

Coffee Hangs, Food, TravelSteph DukeComment

There are countless options for a sweet coffee hang in Belfast these days. We're just going to share our four faves at the moment!  To find out more, be sure to check out @belfastcoffeemap. This class fold out map gives you the inside scoop on the buzzing Belfast coffee scene and more places to try.  

Pie + Drip Sunday @ Established, Belfast, coupled with BCM

Pie + Drip Sunday @ Established, Belfast, coupled with BCM

1. The Pocket - @thepocketcoffee

Nestled in amongst the red brick terraces opposite Queen's University, The Pocket is a nook worth checking out - especially on a Friday when the donuts are rolled out! Excuse the pun!! Grab a perch at the window and watch the world go by while enjoying their awesome menu and coffee. It's a tight squeeze when it's busy ... but, that's why I love it so much! 

986B31AA-A679-4D43-B6D7-7211DB9FA325.jpg
697AC25F-BB5F-4308-9C81-228F225463A1.jpg
Literally no words for this waffle...

Literally no words for this waffle...

The Pocket is a great spot for refuelling before or after checking out Queen's University, Botanic Gardens, The Palm House and The Ulster Museum (all of which are FREE to visit!) Hurrah!

IMG_3247.jpg
IMG_9090.jpg

2. Guilt Trip - @guilttripcoffee

This new coffee and donut joint is one of the coolest coffee hangs we've had. Awesome coffee and cracking donuts - although, be warned, they usually sell out fast so best not to visit late afternoon if you're after a donut!

Guilt Trip isn't in central Belfast, but it's definitely worth the trip to go and see what the fuss is all about! Their branding is super sweet and they've even got their own merch, if that's your jam.

IMG_0054.jpg
IMG_0055.jpg
IMG_0056.jpg
95120898-AA12-41DD-8A29-860E6080D0E1.jpg

3. Established - @establishedcoffee

Next up is Established, a true gem! If you are ever milling around Cathedral Quarter, get yourself over to Established ... pronto. Even better, if you're in the area around 3pm on a Sunday, be sure to stop by here for their weekly 'Pie + Drip' combos - incredible. (see first image)

You will never be disappointed with a visit here. Check out their IG here to whet your appetite for their signature pancakes and waffle creations.

IMG_0024.jpg
40EF5DE9-31DD-4E01-99C1-6AF143700194.jpg
Last Christmas when I had super long hair! 

Last Christmas when I had super long hair! 

4. General Merchants - @generalmerchants

Our final Belfast Coffee Edit goes to our most recent coffee hang. On Thursday we visited General Merchants ( the one on the Newtonards Rd ) and I was super impressed. The decor is so lush! Plus, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I tasted their custard bun ... oh heck yeah! Well worth a visit if you're in the area or well worth it for a solo trip. The selection on the menu is superb and one of the best Cortado coffees I've had yet. 

FFEB5576-9457-4DE5-8038-5904402517E9.jpg
01972B2A-61D4-4EE5-BC01-0B0772048E44.jpg
D5C89520-352A-40D6-AE1D-A25E9C3AA75F.jpg

So, there you have it. There is simply no excuse not to enjoy good coffee in Belfast these days. Seriously. No excuses! Get yourself a copy of a @belfastcoffeemap and get out there and drink some exceptional coffee. If you're out and about Belfast this week and you snap your coffee hang using #MLDcoffeehang, you could be in with a chance of winning your very own Belfast Coffee Map! Our favourite picture will be chosen next Sunday 22nd October, so get sharing!

 

Still looking forward to checking out:

1. Haptik - @wearehaptik

2. 5a - @5acafe

3. Root & Branch - @rootandbranchcoffee

 

Have an awesome week guys, wherever you drink your coffee!

S xo

A sewing good time with Bluebird Belfast!

SewingSteph DukeComment

I’m a bit late with this one, but since the lovely Alex from Bluebird Belfast has recently given birth to the most beautiful baby girl – it’s about time I reviewed our workshop together!

In April I sat nervously at a ‘Make your own Doorstop’ Workshop at Bluebird Belfast HQ. When Alex first posted a photo of her handmade doorstop on IG - I swooned! Alex stocks such a gorgeous selection of fabrics and has a real knack for all things creative. Despite being a complete novice, I contacted her immediately to see if I could attempt to make something similar of my own! So there I sat one Saturday morning in April, with the sewing machine in front of me and NOT A CLUE what on earth I was going to do with it!! At that moment I was seriously questioning my decision to take part! 

However, right from the outset, Alex was a calming voice of encouragement. I was put at ease instantly with lots of reassurance that I would be just fine. The workshop was small in number which was perfect. Alex was able to spend time with everyone (especially me who didn’t know a bobbin from a back-stitch!) To begin with, we all anxiously stitched up small sample pieces of fabric into little rectangles to fill with rice. This was our practice before we began stitching on our actual doorstop fabric. I have to say, I was definitely way too proud of my little rice rectangle! But it gave us a real boost of confidence before we embarked upon our individual doorstops.  After a cuppa and a delicious scone (provided and served very kindly by Alex’s lovely husband) we were ready to get to work …

Alex provided detailed step-by-step instructions and guidance on paper alongside her verbal instructions and practical examples. Each step was completed slowly and carefully and modelled beforehand by Alex. When things went wrong (quite often in my case!!) Alex was always there to help and fix the problem. Not once did I ever feel like I was a failure or couldn’t complete the next row of stitches. I even attempted some hand sewing ... well, until I managed to prick myself and bleed all over my nice new fabric! At that stage I was more than happy for Alex to step in and ‘tidy up’ all my askew stitching haha!!

For someone whose previous experience of sewing was virtually non-existent (give or take the odd button here or there) look at what we made!

 

 

All is quiet at the moment at Bluebird Belfast as Alex and her hubs enjoy lots of precious newborn cuddles and down-time together as a new wee family of three. I wish them God's richest blessings as they begin their journey of parenthood together and I have no doubt that Alex has lots of plans up her sleeve for new baby creations. In fact, check out her Instagram @alexbartholomew_ for all her latest makes and give her a follow. I am seriously IN LOVE with her changing mat (I will be needing one of those if there is ever a baby number 2 Alex!!)