Monday, 23 July 2012

Our Premier Weekend!

 So, we FINALLY got around to using our fancy restaurant voucher from Secret Santa on Friday night. It had actually expired a month before, but after the obligatory groveling phone call, we booked a table and sorted the sitter.
 Alright then, that's not EXACTLY how it went down... You see, I had come across the voucher, immediately after throwing a (totally justified) strop, about a certain person's apparent inability to make even the most basic of social plans, concluding with,
'Oh, and you needn't think I'm booking my own birthday meal again this year, cos I'm not.. unless of course, you've it all organised already?'
 (As if). Cue exaggerated feigned innocence from me, and predictable 'caught in the headlights' shiftiness from him. 
Later on, I strategically positioned the voucher next to the kettle with highish hopes, but a few days later, I quietly backtracked and rang the restaurant to do it myself. I did the whole grovelling thing, only to then sheepishly discover, that my less than subtle hint HAD indeed been heeded. Proof that a well placed metaphorical boot up the arse does actually work... sometimes.
Our room
Then it just so happened, that soon after that, I got an email from Premier Inn, offering me and my family a weekend in any of their hotels. I know-tres exciting! (Back story-Premier Inns are sponsoring the 'Family Life' category in the MAD BLOG AWARDS, and as one of the finalists in that category, they offered this lovely freebie to little old me.)
Unfortunately, and to cut a very long story short, it turned out that our super size family was too big for their family rooms. So instead, it was decided that the two of us would stay in the Premier Inn in Belfast's Waring Street, in the hip and happening Cathedral Quarter, after our fancy meal out on  Friday night. Then, after a day out in Belfast on the Saturday with the kids, all of us would have dinner in the hotel restaurant that evening. Sure, it would've been rude not to....
I suppose that I should mention at this point, that Belfast's most gorgeous 5 * hotel also happens to be on Waring Street, and on passing it, it took ALL my willpower to focus on the purple Premier Inn sign further up the street, and not get waylaid by all it's 5* fabulousness....but, believe it or not, I was glad that I did.
Honestly, from the moment we arrived until the moment we left, I don't think I've met nicer, more welcoming staff anywhere (and just for the record, they had no idea of my superstar status!) It's true -from Rachel on reception, to Marty in the restaurant, to lots of others who just chatted to us and the children, everyone was friendly, helpful and chatty, without being fake, in your face, or just too much. In fact, they could teach many fancier hotels a thing or two!
Our room was huge, bright, and spotlessly clean, and the bed turned out to be super comfortable- always a bonus! Once we were settled, Loverboy went down to the bar to get us both a glass of wine, and discovered that if you bought 2 glasses, you got the rest of the bottle free! (Now you won't get that in Fancy Schmancy up the street!)
Gotta love the brekkie!
 It must be said though, that breakfast next morning in the Thyme Restaurant was the piece de la resistance. It was self service, with Costa coffee, the freshest of cereals, fruit, toast, muffins and all the cooked breakfast goodies as well. I was only sorry that the kids weren't there to enjoy it too, because for them, nothing says 'I love you' like an 'all you can eat' breakfast!
 (The only minor downside was my unlucky view of the next table- each time this Lovely leaned forward, I was treated to more of the same!)
The view...now that's some craic!

After collecting the kids from my mum's, we headed into the brilliant St. George's Market, where I could happily have put in the day, but we'd pre booked tickets to the  Titanic Museum, and honestly, it was world class. Informative, emotional, exciting-everything a museum should be. If you get the chance, go. Afterwards, when we stood on the exact spot where her keel was laid and gazed into the water where she was first launched, it was surprisingly moving.

Then it was back to the Premier Inn's Thyme restaurant for dinner with the kids. We had the meal deal, which was 3 courses and a glass of wine or soft drink for £22, and the kids had an great selection to choose from for £4.25, or £4.75 with dessert. (There was even a baby and toddler menu for up to 7 months and 10 months+!) The food was tasty and seemed to really hit the spot- proof were the clean plates afterwards!
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But the big question is-would I go back to the Premier Inn and pay for it this time? For a family break, the answer is a resounding YES! In terms of a child friendly, great value hotel,  it's top of its field. (We stayed recently in a Holiday Inn and there was simply NO comparison).And the icing on the cake was definitely the staff- in Waring Street Belfast anyway. 
So that was my weekend..did you get up to anything yourself?


  1. Agree, hotel staff are great, the ones in the hotel we won a prize for were fabulous too. Makes you think the tourist must love it.

    Glad you enjoyed it and am now naming you MIss Fancypants as you only receive freebies if you are famous...but hope you never say 'Do you know who I am", cos that would mean I don't get to say "DO YOU KNOW WHO I'M WITH"!

    1. OMG I'm ready for my close up! Miss Fancypants- I love it...heres hoping its not the last freebie!

  2. It looks like a great spot. I don't think they make hotel rooms to fit super size families, well I've never found one.

    1. I know! Adjoining rooms have worked for us a few times but it's still a squash. Thank goodness for the caravilla:-)

  3. Well I worked then
    Powerhosed the drive.. Comparison.. I think not x

    1. I dont spend every weekend in the Premier Inn y'know! Lovely treat- back to porridge now though!

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  5. Glad you liked it Cristeen!