Summer Sundays: Cathedral Quarter
Restaurants, bars and rock energise Belfast's Cathedral Quarter
Relaxed and welcoming, the bohemian Muriel's Cafe Bar (12-14 Church Lane, tel: 028 9033 2445) serves a wonderful choice for breakfast (eggs benedict anyone?) from 10am.
Meeting at the cutting-edge photographic gallery Belfast Exposed at 23 Donegall Street (tel: 028 9023 0965, open from 10.30am to 4pm) at 11am you can join the fascinating free two-hour Sunday Art Gallery Walking Tour, which also takes in PS2 (18 Donegall Street, tel: 028 9023 5912), the Belfast Print Workshop ((30-42 Waring Street, tel: 028 9023 1323, open 11am to 4pm), Red Barn Photographic Gallery (43b Rosemary Street, tel: 07821 260883, open noon to 4pm), the Golden Thread Gallery (Switch Room, 84-94 Great Patrick Street, tel: 028 9033 0920, open 10.30am to 4pm weekends).
Time to unwind with some tapas and a glass of Sangria at 2Taps at Cotton Court (30 Waring St, tel: 028 9031 1414, open from noon to 8pm). You're perfectly placed to enjoy the finest and funniest street theatre with Streets Alive, free performances hosted by Belfast Community Circus (23 – 25 Gordon Street, tel: 028 9023 6007, www.belfastcircus.org) at Cotton Court starting at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm with acts from the USA, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Britain and Ireland right through the summer.
Then it’s off to discover the story of Belfast’s rock music, from Van Morrison to Snow Patrol, at the Oh Yeah Centre, 15 – 22 Gordon Street (tel: 028 9031 0845, www.ohyeahbelfast.com, open 2pm to 6pm), told with audio visual displays, story boards, original artefacts, film footage, platinum discs and more .
You can also check out the Belfast Music Tour, starting with live music at the Ulster Hall at 2pm, arriving at the Oh Yeah Centre at 4.30pm). Chill out at the relaxing performance space Black Box (18 – 22 Hill Street, tel: 028 9024 4400) between 1.30pm and 5pm and enjoy free classic films, live acoustic music, and puppet theatre.
Take in a superb session of Irish traditional music organised by the renowned Francis McPeake School of Music at the Cloth Ear pub in Waring Street from 5pm to 8pm (call 028 9026 2719) before a superb meal at the intimate Hill Street Brasserie around the corner at 38 Hill St (tel: 028 9058 6868, open 5pm to 9pm). Round off the evening with a session of contemporary blues from 9pm at the atmospheric community-run John Hewitt pub at 51 Donegall Street.