Irish charm meets city chic at the Grand Central Hotel Belfast. Read about a weekend getaway with a welcoming stay
By Helen Brown
Designed as an ode to Belfast, the Grand Central cuts an impressive figure and delivers all of the warmth and the welcoming spirit that the city is renowned for. Having originally opened on Royal Avenue in 1893, the hotel as it stands today – now on Bedford Street – is a contemporary reincarnation of its Victorian predecessor comprising 23 floors and 300 luxurious bedrooms and suites. The building itself is vast while the decor is glamorous with rich fabrics, royal hues and marble.
Convivial and contemporary, The Grand Cafe is the hub of the hotel, perfect for a latte, a bistro bite or a glass of Sauvignon. The gastronomic gem of Grand Central is Seahorse Bar & Grill. The space itself has been finished to the utmost quality and the food is phenomenal. Art Deco nods and impressively high ceilings create a sense of drama as you dine on the likes of rabbit and chicken terrine, truffle risotto and beef wellington. The desserts are just as tantalising – Bakewell tart, salted caramel chocolate torte, lemon posset – but for something especially decadent, the afternoon tea is a must.
A selection of finger sandwiches, scones, ginger cake and decadent pastries is served from a gorgeous tea trolley, and the drinks menu is extensive. The Observatory is the jewel in the hotel’s crown. Beautiful on the inside and with an unmatched cocktail menu, this is Ireland’s tallest bar and as such, offers spectacular views of Belfast and beyond.
Located in the heart of the city, in the up-and-coming Linen Quarter, Grand Central is primely placed for exploring the city’s many attractions. Don’t leave without getting lost in the charming cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter and discovering a fascinating aspect of the city’s history at Titanic Belfast. St George’s Market is another must; this extensive food hall exhibits Belfast’s finest producers and suppliers and is made all the more enjoyable with a tour from Taste & Tour. Purveyors of all things delicious, Taste & Tour will take you on a brilliant four-hour expedition of the city’s finest foodie hotspots. Stretchy trousers required.
Rooms from £190; grandcentralhotelbelfast.com