Ireland day 0997. Friday 21 June 2024- Stormont Dining

Ireland day 0997. Friday 21 June 2024- Stormont Dining
Today’s summary Drove up to Stormont for a belated (and second) birthday lunch for Val in the Members’ dining room. Very enjoyable indeed despite quite a lot of driving. “Take That” just firing up through the rain for their concert in the Malahide Castle in the demesne this evening.
Today’s weather Overcast but dry until evening, then rain. Moderate southerly wind. Appx 16c
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The blue line shows where we walked)
(No GPX today)

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

We planned something a bit different for today. A few weeks ago, when we had been in Belfast, we stopped off in Stormont to have a look at the Parliament |Buildings, seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It’s an imposing building and well worth a visit in its own right, but more to the point, we discovered that there also is a Members’ Dining Room in the Parliament Buildings, that is open to the public.

So as a belated extra lunch to celebrate Val’s birthday last week, I thought we would pay it a visit and today was the first date when we were free, and also when there was a vacant table.   And it was midsummer’s day today too – giving us an extra excuse to celebrate

It’s a good two hour drive up to Stormont, and a bit fiddly getting through Belfast and out to Stormont. So we were up and on the road by 10:30, to allow time for delays and also to get through security to access the Parliament buildings themselves.

In the event, we needn’t have worried because the drive, although a bit tortuous, was straightforward. And the security was very low key. We were even allowed to drive right up the impressive Prince of Wales Avenue to the car park.

All the staff at Stormont are super-friendly and the dining room is a beautiful wood-panelled space with about 50 dining places. We had possibly the best table in the whole of Belfast – a table for two, right by the centre window looking straight down the Prince of Wales Avenue.

The lunch was good, and the service friendly and attentive. We were there for over two hours, but the time flew.  Altogether a brilliant experience.   Then after lunch we just had time for a quick look round before hitting the road for the journey back south.

Coming back was a bit slow – heavy traffic again in Belfast, and then also in Malahide as the concertgoers for tonight’s gig at the castle started to pile in. And talking of concerts, it’s Take That tonight and the support band sounds like it’s just beginning to fire up. Sadly for all the revellers at tonight’s event, it’s also started raining. I do hope it isn’t going to be a damp squib.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Approaching the security checkpoint on the way in.   Like all the staff in Stormont, the guards were super friendly The view from the window table
In the dining room – note the wood panelling! There’s a terrace outside the dining room which you are apparently allowed to go on (though nobody else was and we didn’t have time to negotiate access)
On the top step, with the Prince of Wales Avenue behind About to leave.   A really good day out.
Stormont from the top of the Prince of Wales Avenue (it isn’t actually curved – it’s just my lens..)
Interactive map

(No map today)

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