Hi ye daen! I was away over the 12th, unlike last year when I stayed to watch the main orange order parade in Belfast. Returning home to the Lisburn Road I find more changes. Some businesses have closed in the past year because of the economic downturn. Last month I called into the butchers only to discover that the nearby greengrocers shop had shut permanently. But others have come to take their place, especially in the hospitality sector. I have not done a survey but there are now several eateries in the area including pizza restaurants, some of them situated alongside each other. A well-established one has been joined by at least three rivals and some more further down the road, towards the city centre. Take-aways, fish and chip shops, coffee shops, a tea room and sandwich bars also thrive as well as other types of restaurants. Who would expect a queue outside a coffee shop on a Sunday evening, as happened on at least one occasion. No doubt a sociologist could tell us what this means about the eating habits of local residents! I have just returned from lunch at one of the new pizza restaurants but I will not offer a review here. One positive sign was that when I complained about the taste of the glass of red wine I ordered, it was replaced with another type. It is sometimes difficult to find a good restaurant with a reasonably-priced menu. But when I was in Littlehampton in England this week where I stayed overnight, I discovered a very good fish restaurant at 9pm in the evening, thanks to a recommendation from the bed-and-breakfast owner. In fact the dinner there (scallops starter & fish curry main course, with 2 pints of beer) worked out only £3 more expensive than my Belfast lunch (bruschetta, prawn pizza and a red wine).
This blog page is in its infancy, so please be patient while I construct it. Comments (and followers!) are welcome. In the meantime I continue tweeting @fishbelfast. Go raibh maith agaibh/Danke sehr/Merci/Thanks