Eat, Drink & be Merry at Belfast Christmas Markets

Jess Orr lifestyle blog Belfast Christmas Markets

Belfast Christmas Markets

Everyone looks forward to the Belfast Christmas Markets returning each year. At this time of year Belfast City Hall is lit up to the nines, the beer tent is hiving and the cabins are offering up  tasty treats for all. The following details my highlights at the markets this year, after visiting last weekend ??

Baileys Hot Chocolate

Grab a boozy hot chocolate just to the right on your way in to the markets from the front entrance – you can’t miss it they have a lot of bottles of Baileys on hand ?

Mourne Seafood Shack

Mourne Seafood have a setup at the Christmas markets this year, offering up something different from the burgers and sausages. I could’ve ordered everything on the menu! But with only having two hands this wasn’t quite achievable. We had Salt and Chilli Prawns, Salt and Chilli Squid, Piri Piri Fries and Truffle and Parmesan fries – SO GOOD, definitely worth a try!

Toasting Marshmallows

An open pit fire for toasting mallows close to Santa’s grotto and the giant snow globe ??

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Belfast Christmas Markets The German Beer Tent

If you are visiting the markets in the evening, prepare yourself for a busy tent. But don’t let it put you off. Grab a stein…or a pint and if you can, a seat at the long tables. The atmosphere is great!

I’m not sure if they have it on tap this year, but if it is be sure to try a passionfruit or cactus beer ?

Dutch Pancakes

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Belfast Christmas Markets

You must join the queue for dutch pancakes! You will not regret it! These babies are devine, especially when there is Nutella involved ?

Melting Pot Fudge

Stop by the stall for some award winning Melting Pot Fudge, handcrafted by a Belfast family business called Blackthorn Foods. They have a fab range of flavours and you can pick up 3 bars of fudge for £5 ?

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Belfast Christmas Markets

If you’re visiting Belfast for a festive weekend, doing your Christmas shopping or on a night out, Belfast Christmas Markets is well worth visiting!

Jess x

 

A Trip to London

I have had the pleasure of visiting London at least once over the past three years, whether it be to visit friends, for work or as a stop-over when going on holidays.

There is so much to see and do in London and even more fab bars and places to eat and drink!

Shoreditch

While visiting London for a conference over the past couple of years I have stayed at the Z Hotel Shoreditch. The hotel itself is 2 minutes walk from Old Street tube station, so it is handy for travelling into the city centre and getting to the train station to and from Gatwick – definitely not off-central!

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Z Hotel Shoreditch

Source: theZhotels.com

The hotel has minimalistic, contemporary, urban styling, the rooms are compact but fantastic, with complimentary wifi and 48″ TV with Sky at the end of the bed. A jug of water is there for you every night before bed and sometimes they even have complimentary wine and cheese in the evenings ?

There is a Starbucks almost next door to the hotel, handy for a coffee run in the morning. Just 5 minutes walk from the hotel on the other side of Old Street tube station, you will find Lantana Cafe, which does the most amazing brunch! I recommend the french toast, corn fritters and their chai latte – unreal! You can find Lantana’s menus here.

Jess Orr lifestyle blog lantana cafe brunch shoreditch

Across the road from the Z Hotel in Shoreditch is a speakeasy cocktail bar called The Nightjar, which I am dying to get to. If you plan on going, book well in advance!

I have heard great things about Boxpark in Shoreditch for shopping, eating and drinking. They also run a number of events and workshops daily. It is only 15 minute walk from the Z Hotel!

 

London City Centre

There are so many amazing places to see, eat and drink in London and of course I have not been to them all. But here are some of my recommendations:

Wahacas

Delicious mexican food, tequila and margaritas! I love Wahacas in Soho and their basement tequila bar ?

Liberty London

Even if you aren’t planning on purchasing, this department store is a must see!Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Liberty LondonCarnaby

carnaby-london-travel-blog

A cobbled street hub for shopping and gorgeous places for food and drink in London’s West End and can be found just behind Oxford Street and Regent Street. Jess Orr lifestyle blog London CarnabyRum Kitchen

This amazing Caribbean eatery is in Kingly Court in Carnaby, a great spot for a jerk lunch and a Mai Tai!

rum-kitchen-london-travel-blog

Flat Iron

Being a lover of steak, I LOVE coming to Flat Iron! No frills, just flat iron steak, sides and sauce and for great value (Flat Iron Steak- £10, Sauce – £1,Sides – £2.50-£3.50). There is a Flat Iron just by Kingly Court, it doesn’t take bookings and can get very busy, it is worth popping by and getting your name on the list and going for a drink until your table is ready!

Oxford Street & Oxford Circus

A must for shopping, window shopping and most importantly TOPSHOP!

london-topshop-travel-blog

Cahoots

A fabulous speakeasy in the underground abandoned Kingly Court tube station, which was once an air raid shelter. From the door, you will literally be transported to the 1920’s. The menus are printed on old newspaper and their retro cocktails are served in teacups, milk bottles and flasks. There is more than one cocktail that is served up with a digestive biscuit! To avoid disappointment, you’re best making a booking with the captain!Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Cahoots London
Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Cahoots LondonLondon Cocktail Club

I have been to LCC in Oxford Circus, where the theme is gangsters paradise with graffiti and clowns spray painted on the walls. The music is unreal and the cocktails are even better! They even have happy hour every Monday ALL DAY and Tuesday-Saturday 4:30-7pm. The bar staff know how to party and make sure you are partying too!Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog London Cocktail ClubThe London Gin Club

If you are a gin lover like me, this place is worth a visit. They have over 250 types of gin, all with their own unique garnish for serving in a copa glass.

Zelman Meats

I discovered this place on the BarChick app, well worth a download by the way to find fab places to eat and drink when you are on a city break. Zelman Meats is owned by the founder of Burger and Lobster. The venue in Soho is furnished with red leather booths and sultry lighting. It specialises in steak ? We had chateaubriand with black truffle and parmesan chips, washed down with a bottle of Malbec – AMAZING!

Piccadilly Circus

Worth a dander to see the Westend, neon lights and Shaftesbury memorial fountain.

travel-blog-london-piccadilly-circus

Artesian

On a stop off in London en route to New York a couple of years back, me and my boyfriend (being fellow cocktail lovers) took the opportunity to visit one of the best bars in the world, the Artesian at the Langham Hotel. It is well fancy! The decor is stunningly chic and the service is top notch, their Pina Colada – there is just no words!

food-blog-artesian-london

Burger and Lobster

They have burgers and they have lobsters and it is a great spot! There are 11 of these fab eateries in London, take your pick!

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Burger and Lobster London

Incase you haven’t noticed, I’m a major foodie and have a serious apprecitation for cocktails and great bars. There are many more places I wish to visit in London. I always love to hear recommendations, if you have any please do let me know ?

Jess x

Christmas Tree Picking

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree Farm

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree Farm

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree Farm

Christmas with a Real Christmas Tree

It’s that time of year again, for getting the Christmas decorations out and choosing that special Christmas tree!

I have a bit of a thing for real Christmas trees, I just love the smell of them and it isn’t Christmas for me without a real tree ?

Greenmount Christmas Tree Farm

For the past three years we have got our Christmas tree from Greenmount Christmas Tree Farm on the Comber Road, not far from Hillsborough. It is such a quaint place…you will be sure to spot some geese pottering about the yard. They have a selection of Christmas trees to choose from, big and small, as well as some gorgeous Christmas wreaths.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Greenmount Christmas Tree Farm

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree Farm

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree Farm

We chose a lovely 6ft Noble Fir Christmas tree that has a blue green foliage and great shape ?The guys at the farm are a great help, they pack your tree and get it tucked into your car for you to take home.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree Farm

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree Farm

We got the tree home and up in the living room, got the decorations out, fire on and a wee hot whiskey – a great way to start December! ?

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Tree

Her Christmas Wish List

I am guilty of making a ‘Santa list’ ?? every year in my Notes on my phone (I can’t be the only one). I love shopping at the best of times, but at Christmas retailers pull out all the stops to get you inspired for Christmas gifting ?, as well as key pieces for your winter wardrobe & I just love it!

I have come across a number of fab pieces while doing my Christmas shopping over the past few weeks, as well as some bits for my own little wish list. So if you need some inspiration for purchasing a gift for a friend, family member, girlfriend or you simply want to treat yourself and don’t know where to start, here are some of my top picks…

Fashion Gifts

A winter wardrobe staple for every girl, a pair of black ankle boots. These black leather sock boots from Next are just stunning and have a nice twist with the colouring in the heel.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Next Black Sock Boots

If like me your giftee likes to dress down a little and loves a good pair of runners, these Adidas NMDs are perfect.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Adidas NMDs

You can’t go wrong with something velvet for the festive season. This party dress from Zara and t-shirt from Missguided won’t break the bank and would make a great Christmas gift.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Zara velvet dressJess Orr Lifestyle Blog Missguided velvet t-shirt

Don’t forget the Christmas jumper! I try to get one each year now if I can, I recently purchased this one from notonthehighstreet.com (one of my besties had it on recently and I just had to have it too – sorry not sorry). How could I resist proseccho ho ho!

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Christmas Sweater

Accessorie Gifts

I am loving the CLUSE watches this season. Being in need of a black and gold watch and loving a bit of marble print this CLUSE La Roche black watch is just gorge.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Black and Gold Cluse Watch

Last Christmas I treated myself to a rose gold Storie locket charm necklace from Argento and I wear it all the time. Their new T-bar locket bracelets are divine, a great choice for a personable Christmas gift for someone special.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Storie locket

If you are buying for someone who has been particularly good this year, the Mini Lily Mulberry bags are gorgeous.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Mulberry Mini Lily bag

Beauty Gifts

This little baby is definitely on my Santa list this year! What girl doesn’t need or love matte eyeshadows in their life? Urban Decay recently launched their new Naked Ultimate Basics palette, which has every matte eyeshadow you could wish for, particularly the nudes we all love! Urban Decay’s Naked palettes are always an great investment, she will love it!

Jess Orr Blog Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics

Lush always have a fab selection of gifts boxes at Christmas. Their Christmas bath bomb knot-wraps make for a great stocking filler or secret santa gift, like this Little Sprout one which contains their ‘So White’ bath bomb. The scarfs are 100% organic cotton and all of Lush’s products are handmade, ethically approved, vegetarian and cruelty-free.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Lush Christmas gift

The Body Shop ‘Gifts to Go Wild For’ campaign is one that hasn’t gone unnoticed this Christmas. For every specially selected Christmas gift you purchase this year from The Body Shop will help protect endangered creatures and restore one square metre of rainforest. You can find more information about the campaign here.

In-store you can also get personalised ‘Wild For’ stickers for any body butters you purchase – the perfect stocking filler this Christmas!

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog The Body Shop Christmas Body Butter

Source: The Body Shop Facebook

You won’t see any ladies disappointed after opening a gift from Jo Malone, their gifts are so beautifully wrapped, smell gorgeous and you can even build your own bespoke gift from their product collection.

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Jo Malone Christmas Gift

Nightwear Gifts

Every girl loves getting home and putting their comfies on and getting cosy, particularly in the winter by the fire with a cuppa in hand. Christmas nightwear is out in force in the shops at the moment, my personal favs have to be from Next!

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Next pyjamas

Primark also have a cute selection of Disney nightwear ?

Irish bloggers Louise Cooney and Lauren Arthurs recently did a shoot for this range at Disney land, be sure to check out Louise’s blog post, it looked amazing!

Jess Orr Lifestyle Blog Primark Tinkerbell slippers

I hope this sparked a few ideas, enjoy the Christmas shopping! Be sure to treat yourself! ?

Jess x