Shopping, eating and having fun with Belfast One

When I get a Saturday off work my favourite thing to do (along with a morning bleaching the house while singing along to the Eagles, don't judge!) is morning coffee, pottering around the shops and most importantly spending time with the girls doing something fun. When Belfast One asked if we fancied spending a day in Belfast and sampling a little of what the area has to offer for families to say I jumped at the chance is an understatement!


To be honest I could have written a blog without heading there as we visit Belfast (at least) once every month, normally for a Zara and SoStrene Grene fix but who am I to decline a great excuse to tell the husband 'we HAVE to spend our day off eating, shopping and exploring Belfast!'


We started off as I now believe every Saturday morning should start, meeting friends in Hotel Choclat for large hot chocolates. The girls could have got involved in some chocolate decorating but we decided to limit the sugar intake to the chocolate lollies and frothy milk at that time of the morning. If you haven't been to Hotel Chocolat yet then I highly recommend and the salted caramel hot chocolate is to die for, it was our first time and I can't wait for another visit.


We made a quick dash just around the corner to Waterstones book store for their 11am Saturday Story telling. The girls loved it and got to so some colouring in while listening to the stories. I finally got around to picking up this book that I've been meaning to get for a while, I just love the sound of it... not that I need to encourage anymore rebel behaviour out of my girls.


The suggestion had been made of trying out Learning Space which is very close to Waterstones, it is a really fabulous toy shop and very different to the norm. Learning Space has a sensory area, a large range of educational toys and skills development toys, puzzles and books and also cater for special/ additional needs. I picked up some magnetic words for the fridge and sensory toys.


I thought at this stage I could squeeze a little trip to my favourite Oliver Bonas for a look at the homeware before heading to lunch. I really love in here for interiors items but I feel in love with a pale blue top that I ended up going back for... I really didn't want to have regret for things I didn't buy.


We headed next door to Avoca for some lunch, it's somewhere we always go, there's so many other amazing places to try but it's a firm favourite of ours. The girls get a sausage roll, cookie and smoothie for £4.95 and I love the sandwiches, scones and coffee too.... not to mention the 20 minutes it takes to get in and out due to swooning over all the stunning items in the shop. It's just such a beautiful place!


After a few shops the girls were getting cranky, I always have to try to remember to manage my expectations when shopping with kids so decided to take a walk over to the City hall for a run around and an explore inside.


The City Hall must have been updated inside since the last time I was in. There is a fabulous section dedicated to Belfast's history and a favourite of ours had to be the room that has videos of children playing in the street and of the old games. Bella and Annie were fascinated and could have stood watching for hours!


A run around outside and lots of fresh air meant that they would be happy to relax a little while in the pram again while I cram in a dander around Mango and my ultimate favourite, SoStrene Grene!


I love the homeware finds in the City Centre. Oliver Bonas and SoStrene Grene is where I will normally head when in Belfast for a Little interiors fix and to add some quirky and affordable pieces.

SoStrene Grene is fabulous, from little seasonal accessories and crafts to very affordable furniture, I always love to see what's on offer.


Chair from SoStrene Grene.

I picked up some little Easter craft bits for the girls, a new note book (because you can never have enough stationary) and a vase.... (see previous statement and add vase/ trinkets). I really love this little side table so having a think about where it could fit in.


I had to squeeze in a trip to Joules to have a nosey at the kids new Spring/ Summer range and Colin has also been looking for a light jacket. Annie and Bella just love the fun, bright colours and patterns and were in their element trying on and posing in front of the mirror... no idea who they take it after! The summer wardrobe has the first additions so just waiting for the weather to catch on. Colin also got what he was after so everyone was winning!


Before we knew it, it was 4:30pm and time to start thinking about dinner. We headed to Little Wing as it's a firm favourite of Colin's and thought a large pizza to share would be handy for everyone before heading home.


We all had a brilliant day from start to finish in Belfast in the BT1 area (City Centre). It's always been a favourite place to go when we all get a day off together and even just when Colin and I get some time alone for cocktails and a bite to eat.


Thank you to Belfast One for planning a lovely day for us. This is a sponsored post but you don't need to scroll too far back to see how much we enjoy a trip to Belfast shopping, eating and exploring. All words, images and love for shopping is my own.... as my husband can declare.

Check out here for a list of things that's on, happening and to do in Belfast City Centre.