30 August, 2013

If it's Made in Belfast, it's good!

I stumbled upon an online review of a restaurant called 'Made in Belfast', and made a point of visiting it on a recent trip there. Wow - this place is fantastic!

The decor is eclectic, with mismatching chairs, and a shabby chic style - but it really works, and gives the place an informal, but quirky feel about it.

The food is simply stunning. I had the dish pictured above - beetroot and feta risotto. I wasn't sure what to expect with the vivid pinky colour of the beetroot, but I was secretly hoping it would be pink, and I wasn't disappointed! The flavours were fantastic, and the portion was HUGE!

My dining partner had the Moroccan lamb, and it was so tender, it just fell to pieces with his fork. He also thought the flavours were delicious, and I agreed when I had a little taste of his dish!

If you're looking for somewhere to eat in Belfast city centre, then I can't recommend this place highly enough. It's cool without trying too hard; the staff were fantastic, and the menu rocks! It's so successful there are now two venues in the city, so if you want more information, visit the official website here.

23 August, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Tucking in

Today's photo, which comes courtesy of Tanya Davie, is one of my favourite contributions to date. It's the sort of photo that takes your mind a moment to ask itself "Am I really seeing this?". You are indeed seeing a giant fork in the middle of a lake! The lake in question is Lake Geneva, and the fork has become an emblem for the town of Vevey. It's made of stainless steel, and is 8m high and 1.3m wide! It was designed by Swiss sculptor Jean-Pierre Zaugg, and was embedded in the lake in 1995. It was initially intended to stay there for a year, but has become a permanent fixture - and I love it! 

Tanya, thanks so much for the photo contribution - it's certainly one of the more unusual shots to be featured on Travel Lightbulb! 

If you have a photo you'd like to contribute, I'd love to hear from you - details of how to get in touch are on my contact page.

16 August, 2013

Crazy architecture in Seville

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking the structure I'm featuring today is a roller-coaster.....but it's not!

It is, in fact, a wooden structure called Metropol Parasol in the old quarter of Seville. It has totally revitalised the Plaza de la Encarnación, and contains a market, shops, and a podium for concerts and events.

The parasol (locally nick-named 'The Mushroom' because of its shape) was completed in 2011, and is said to be the largest wooden structure in the world, and the world's biggest building to be held together by glue - quite a scary thought when you're at the top!

Speaking of the top, the views from the upper level are sensational and well worth the €1.60 fee to get there. You can see right across the whole of Seville, and beyond, and there are signs to tell you about the many interesting buildings that you can see along the way.

The market is worth a wander, and below ground there are impressive Roman ruins so there's plenty to see here. The main attraction for me though, was the trip to the top, and the way the crazy modern structure seems to frame the old buildings of Seville perfectly. Well worth a visit if you're in this stunning city.

09 August, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Beauty in Burma

Today's photo was kindly donated by Naomi Alyssa, who also writes a travel blog. It was taken in one of her new favourite countries, Burma. Here's Naomi's tale: The photo is of the Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda in Mawlamyine/Moulmein. I got there one day for some sightseeing, and wound up witnessing an initiation ceremony for a group of novice monks. One of the families spotted me watched and invited me to join; by the time the ceremony had ended and we'd all eaten dinner, the sun was setting and had turned the pagoda a deep gold. It was such a gorgeous sight, and something you see often in Burma!

Thanks Naomi - what a beautiful shot - I can almost feel the heat of the sun! If you want to read more about Naomi's travels, then visit her blog www.anywhere-but-home.com. If you'd like to contribute your own travel photo, then please get in touch - details of how to do just that are on my contact page.

02 August, 2013

A hotel with history in Worcestershire

I love featuring quirky places on Travel Lightbulb, and today I'm not only showcasing something of that ilk, but it's also jam-packed full of history. The Wood Norton Hotel in Worcestershire is just a few miles from the Cotswolds, and Stratford-Upon-Avon, and was originally built as a hunting lodge for European Royalty in 1897.  

In 1939, the BBC bought the site, and by 1940 it had become one of the largest broadcasting centres in Europe. It was used for some the filming of the Doctor Who series Robot, where Tom Baker made his first appearance as the much loved time lord!

Following a four million pound restoration in 2012, it is now a beautiful luxury hotel. There are fifty rooms, which make the most of traditional features including oak-panelled walls, and stunning fireplaces. Fine British cuisine is served in the restaurant, with food made from local ingredients.

The hotel is the perfect location for exploring the Cotswolds, Worcestershire, and the Malvern Hills and it would also be a beautiful wedding venue. If you'd like more information on the hotel, you can visit the official website here.