A Day Off

I had a great day yesterday!

After a bout of illness, I had Friday booked of as a lieu day and was really happy to be feeling a bit more human by then. I realise now that I should have taken some pictures, but honestly after a serious case of cabin fever and general rotten-ness I was having such a nice time getting out and about that it completely slipped my mind! I’m disappointed now, of course, but not that much. In fact this is the only photograph I took all day:

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Not very informative, is it?

My mum and I went out for a cup of coffee at Hillside Nursery up in Newtownabbey. I love it there! I rarely buy anything because we don’t actually have a garden, but I still love to look around and the coffee shop is fantastic. I had a cappuccino and a whack of chocolate cake that could have put an elephant into a sugar coma.

We came back to my mum’s house for a bit. I haven’t seen my cat in a while, so I hung out with him for a little bit and drank a lot of tea – the usual activities when I’m at my mum’s, really.

The evening was a bit more involved. We got dinner together at the Fitzwilliam Hotel first. I’ve never eaten there before, and I have to say it was absolutely amazing. First of all the atmosphere is not what we expected at all. While we definitely felt that we were about to experience some luxury dining, it didn’t feel cold or intimidating at all. The wait staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming, and were very quick to apologise and oblige when I had a bit of a smear on my fork and asked for it to be changed.

We ordered from the pre-theater menu, as we arrived at six o’clock. My main was “Breast of Fermanagh Chicken, Burnt Onion Mash and a Little Pot of Blanched Vegetable”. Essentially, it was fancy chicken with potatoes and vegetables, but the fancy part shouldn’t be downplayed here. It. Was. AMAZING. The chicken was cooked to absolute perfection and there was plenty of it. Creamy as they were, the potatoes didn’t overload the plate, and the veggies were buttery and full of flavour. I really wish I could get the recipe for the jus they used, too. It was all I could do not to clear my plate entirely. My mum ordered lamb and thoroughly enjoyed it, too!

My dessert was “Dark Chocolate Tart with Chantilly Cream”. My emphasis is on the “dark” part. If dark chocolate isn’t your thing, give this a miss. It’s an extremely rich dessert, which suited me just fine as I could eat nothing but chocolate for the rest of my life, but there are plenty of people who maybe wouldn’t go for this after a big meal. Personally though, I loved it.

It’s worth noting as well that the pre-theater menu is excellent value, at £16.95 for two courses and £19.95 for  three. Next time you’re out to catch a show, give this place a try as it’s right next to the Grand Opera House…

…Which is, incidentally, where we headed next!

Based on a colleague’s recommendation, I got my mum tickets to see Nine to Five at the Opera House for her sixtieth birthday. I had no idea what it was about, but I was assured it was a great girl power show, perfect for a girls’ night out. I have to say, we were definitely not disappointed!

Nine to Five centers around three women, each from very different backgrounds, working at the fictional company Consolidated. As they navigate the aggressively misogynistic boys’ club that is the late 1970s corporate landscape, they gain an understanding and appreciation for one another’s differences and learn to handle business as a team, despite the pressures placed on them by their sexist CEO.

Honestly, this was a wonderfully feel-good show and I’d recommend it to anyone. Although it dealt with a lot of genuine issues faced by working women in the seventies (and sometimes even now), it did so in a light-hearted way that left the audience cheering for the leads and laughing with them in their successes.

This performance was by St. Agnes’ Choral Society, and honestly I would happily go and see a show by them again. The three leads were funny, charming, and had excellent command of the stage, and the actress who played Judy in particular had an absolutely incredible voice. After the opening sequence I had total confidence that the chorus would deliver a solid performance throughout, and I wasn’t disappointed. Props to the actors who played Hart and Roz as well for being hilarious.

I had a brilliant day overall, and honestly I’m actually looking forward to getting stuck back into work on Monday.

What about you? How’s your weekend been so far? Let me know!

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