My Little Duke

coffee hang

Our Best Coffee Hangs ( Portadown + Misc )

Coffee Hangs, Motherhood, TravelSteph DukeComment

Finally, our last instalment in the Coffee Hang Series! This one's a bit more random (location-wise.) You'll find some incredible local (I use this term very loosely!!) coffee hangs, including my absolute favourite ... let's get going!

NEWRY AREA

1. Finegan & Son, Newry - @fineganandson

From my first visit here, I was hooked. The vibe is relaxed and chilled. The staff are friendly and welcoming. The coffee is spot on and the doughnuts are UNREAL. Finegan & Son is the one place I keep coming back to, time and time again. I've gone solo, with my mum, my husband, my family and had a mummy/daughter date with Phoebe. I'm back again this Saturday for doughnuts and hangs with @motherbeastie! I simply cannot recommend this place highly enough. It's the kind of place, with the kind of people who keep your favourite doughnut for you so you don't miss out! Thanks guys!

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2. Strandfield, Dundalk - @strandfield 

My mum and I visited Strandfield for the first time this Autumn. I literally can't wait to go back. This beauty is a Cafe / Florist / Grocer all in one. It's super handy off the motorway and a must visit if you're ever in that area. The coffee was delicious and our sweet treats were divine. My coconut macaroon was incredible. I've been well informed too that the food is excellent (it's a vegan menu) and I'm sure to be back to try some first hand. 

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MOIRA

3. The Fat Gherkin (affectionately known as 'The Gherk'), Moira - @thefatgherkin 

I have such a soft spot for this cosy nook on main street Moira. Always made to feel so welcome and looked after, especially when I've visited solo. They have the most delicious menu and their breakfast is superb. They also happen to have created my favourite sweet treat of all time - the 'everything bun.' This dreamy concoction includes mars bar, cranberry, coconut, fudge, marshmallow, biscuit and more! Simply perfect with a wee sneaky flat white! 

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Portadown

4. Ground, The Pumphouse - @groundespressopumphouse 

I've always loved the old Pumphouse at the bottom of town. It just oozes history and charm and I'd kind of hoped that I'd turn it into a coffee hang myself one day! Never mind. Now that Ground has moved in, I couldn't love it any more. It's quaint, the custard tarts are unbelievable and the view is beautiful. The fact that I've been able to stop after a cycle for a flat white to go is pretty much perfection. With fast wifi and a great loyalty card scheme, what's not to love?! 

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5. Bob + Berts, Portadown - @bobandbertscoffee 

We have been really spoiled in Portadown with the opening of both Ground and B + B in the same week! Bob and Berts has been the meeting place of choice recently for some local insta-mums and it's a class spot. Big and spacious - perfect for all the buggies and babies! The menu is huge, with something for everyone, including gluten-free options. The staff I've met so far have been wonderful, really accommodating and helpful. They have been super generous too, treating us to a free coffee for our meet-up just today! Thank you so much again. There's a real community atmosphere, brightening up the main street, bringing a real buzz back to town. If you want a festive coffee hang over the next few weeks, this one hits the spot. 

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Gorgeous mamas and littles  @the_tales_of_us  +  @mindfulnessmumma

Gorgeous mamas and littles @the_tales_of_us + @mindfulnessmumma

They sure enjoyed their visit :)

They sure enjoyed their visit :)

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And that's all my lovelies. I really hope you enjoyed our little coffee hang tour of sorts! I'm so loving all the festive combinations out there at the moment, lots of cinnamon and gingerbread feels!

Here's to the weekend and some Christmassy coffee hangs!

Steph xox

Our Best Coffee Hangs ( North Coast Edit )

Coffee Hangs, Food, TravelSteph Duke1 Comment

Who doesn't love a day to the North Coast?! For us, it doesn't happen often enough! Our days headed to the sea usually mean a few stops on the way and a few detours to visit some of our absolute favourite coffee hangs. I've 5 beauties for you this time, so let's get started:

1. Middletown Coffee Co, Ballymena - @mtowncoffee 

An absolute gem in Ballymena. No journey up North for us would be complete without a wee pit-stop at M'Town. N. Ireland Aeropress Champion in 2015 and with the friendliest service around, they are hard to beat! Their sweet selection is always stunning and we always grab a box for the road.  

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2. Ursa Minor Bakehouse, Ballycastle - @ursaminorbakehouse

When we first discovered Ursa Minor, we were hooked. There was something about this visionary husband and wife team that resonated with our hearts - Dara and Ciara welcomed us in on our first visit and the homely atmosphere has kept us returning ever since. Their passion and drive sees them going from strength to strength. The breads, sweet bakes and vegetarian savoury dishes that these guys create are incredible. GO and visit, seriously! 

The old premises @ Ballycastle Garden Centre

The old premises @ Ballycastle Garden Centre

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The new digs 

The new digs 

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3. Lost + Found, Coleraine - @wearelostfound

One of my all time favourites is L + F. Nestled in the heart of Coleraine is this wonderful little coffee hang. Excellent food and super coffee make it a must visit. They even won best cafe in Ireland this year at the Irish Restaurant Awards! For us, no North Coast adventure would be complete without a stop here.

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Illustration by the super talented  @zoebarkerdraws

Illustration by the super talented @zoebarkerdraws

4. Bothy, White Park Bay - @bothywhiteparkbay

Next up ... a shelter and haven from those Atlantic gales ... is Bothy. I LOVE this place. In summer, you can sit outside (in the front porch or back garden) and enjoy the BBQ grill or pizza oven delights. In winter, you can cosy up and feel like you are home from home. 

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If you do swing by Bothy, be sure to check out Ballintoy Harbour ( think Game of Thrones ) and White Park Bay too. A special place for us ( Matt and I shared our first kiss there!! ) and beautiful scenery as you make your way down to the gorgeous beach. 

Ballintoy

Ballintoy

Ballintoy

Ballintoy

White Park Bay

White Park Bay

5. Babushka, Portrush - @babushkaportrush 

Our last coffee hang up North goes to Babushka, who sits proudly on the South Pier of Portrush Harbour. It really is a prime location, facing the West Strand Beach. There's such a cosy and chilled vibe here, with great coffee and a homemade, locally sourced menu of goodness! 

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Much like Belfast, if you're headed up North, there are some class places to coffee hang. These are, again, just some of our favourites at the moment.

Can't wait to check out:

Sea Shed Coffee + Surf, Benone - @seashedcoffee

Feeling the North Coast pull? I think I am! 

Wherever you are drinking your coffee this week, hoping it's just how you like it!

Steph xo

 

 

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! 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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

Our Best Coffee Hangs ( West of Ireland Edit )

Coffee Hangs, TravelSteph DukeComment

It's International Coffee Day!

No better excuse for you to visit one of the growing number of coffee shops on our little island. 

Coffee tour of summer 2016

Coffee tour of summer 2016

Last summer, my husband and I discovered our passion for the 'coffee hang'. There are so many amazing coffee shops here in Northern & Southern Ireland. Places with a cool vibe and awesome coffee. I am no coffee expert, I'm actually more of a tea drinker at home! But, I am partial to a skinny flat white or cortado coffee when out and about. So much so, apparently, that our friends like to joke with us about where all our money goes ... 

I have far too many 'coffee moment' pictures, so when Ali of @ali_marriott mentioned about blogging some of my favourite coffee shops, 'International Coffee Day' seemed to be the right time to do so. So here goes. I'll share my faves and those I'm still dying to try.

There are way too many to share in just one blog post so they will be split into location (West of Ireland, The North Coast, Belfast etc) and shared during the month of October. I hereby declare October as 'Coffee Month'. Get out there and grab a sweet 'coffee moment' with someone special. Here are 2 beauties if you are ever fortunate enough to visit the West Country. It's just beautiful and holds a special place in my heart. 

 

1. Shells Seaside Bakery & Cafe, Co. Sligo - @shellscafe

Set on the West Coast of Ireland, at the infamous surfers paradise 'Strandhill Beach', is my most favourite coffee hang, Shells. Always hustlin' and bustlin' - the vibe is most definitely 'surfer cool', and nothing quite beats sitting outside with the fresh sea breeze in your hair! Famous for serving up the 'Best Flat Whites in Ireland' I have to wholeheartedly agree. Unreal. 

This coffee hang is so much more than good coffee, food and fresh air. For me, it's actually good for the soul. Soul food and surf. What more can you want? 

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The best flat white in Ireland. FACT.

The best flat white in Ireland. FACT.

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Shells also have the most delicious menu available. We've eaten both breakfast and lunch several times here, and have never been disappointed.

 

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Shells provide cosy blankets to keep away those chilly sea breezes - perfect for stealing snuggles!

Shells provide cosy blankets to keep away those chilly sea breezes - perfect for stealing snuggles!

The 'Little Shop' @ Shells stocks a stunning array of delights including:  @linesandcurrent ,  @creightonschocolaterie ,  LAGOM  by Linnea Dunne, prints by  @garyreddin  and much much more. Go check it out. 

The 'Little Shop' @ Shells stocks a stunning array of delights including: @linesandcurrent, @creightonschocolaterie, LAGOM by Linnea Dunne, prints by @garyreddin and much much more. Go check it out. 

 

 

2. Pudding Row, Easky - @puddingrowsligo

Approximately 40 minutes west of Sligo is the quaint and historic village of Easky. Before summer 2017 I had never heard of the place but the wonderful power of IG led me to the hidden gem that is Pudding Row. Our friends from @ursaminorbakehouse (don't worry, you will hear all about them in the 'North Coast' post) visited here on their summer travels and I knew instantly that we had to make the trip. And ... Wow. Blown away. Lots of locally sourced food, fresh home-baked bread and delicious treats! The coffee is also superb. There is such a homely and friendly atmosphere here. We could have stayed all day. 

Main St, Easky village

Main St, Easky village

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View of Easky Castle

View of Easky Castle

The Historic Easky Castle can be seen from Pudding Row and is worth visiting. If it hadn't been for Phoebe we would never have found the 'secret tunnel' and staircase that led right to the top of the castle! Incredible views and you can just feel the history of the place as you make your way up and round what's left of the castle. 

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So there you have it. Two splendid coffee hangs in the West of Ireland. If you do get a visit in, be sure to IG it and let us know how you get on. Use the hashtag #MLDcoffeehang so we can see your experiences! 

Bro-in-law @ianvennard selfie @ Strandhill

Bro-in-law @ianvennard selfie @ Strandhill

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There are a few more places I've yet to visit in and around these parts:

 

1. @driftwoodsligo

2. @sweetbeatsligo

3. @coffeewerkandpress - Galway!

 

Wherever and whenever, enjoy your coffee moment!

xo