Last week we had the great pleasure of the company of the Lord Mayor of Belfast for a cuppa and a chat in The Dock Cafe (and an impromptu tour of our lovely neighbours on SS Nomadic!):
It was fantastic to hear about her vision of a shared city of Belfast, a welcoming multicultural melting pot of people united by the joy of living through days of hope in our beautiful city.
So I was very honoured a few days ago to be asked to join the Mayor’s team of Chaplains – another example of the kind of shared, connected city that’s being modelled from City Hall and a great chance for people of faith to play their part.
This is the whole gang of us – the many minions of the Mayor – gathered for breakfast at 174 Trust:
So we’ve now welcomed no less than four Lord Mayors of Belfast through the doors of The Dock… Some stood and chatted, some chilled on the sofas and chatted, some kissed babies and some prayed with us in the Prayer Garden… such a variety of personalities and parties, but all determined to work for a shared city and a better future.
And I think they all kinda liked The Dock…
It’s a sign! The Dock Markets are back all day Saturday – twenty-two (a new record!) local creatives, artists, photographers, bakers, waffle-makers and plenty more – our fantastic new market space full of the buzz of life and business and creativity. And a honking great big sign. Spread the word!
It’s a fry! Our new Saturday morning ‘Eats and Seats’ Ulster Fry at The Dock (delicious freshly-cooked not-at-all-unhealthy fry courtesy of the Mace, comfy squashy not-at-all-lazy seats and sofas courtesy of The Dock) – perfect way to start a Saturday morning
It’s a run! The Colour Run is happening in the TQ – the most joyful 5K on the planet – a mini-marathon in which the runners are pelted with powder paint as they go, finishing the race multi-coloured, messy but happy. Judging by the atmosphere last year, it’s going to be another fantastic day for Belfast - click here to see Jeremy’s great pics of a very colourful team from The Dock at last year’s run.
It’s a boat! The Nomadic are holding a Family Fun Day all day Saturday – complete with magic, fancy dress, Cool FM, carnival games and a Birds of Prey display. Check out their website here for all the details. (And if you haven’t been on board SS Nomadic yet, what are you waiting for? The Mayor visited the ship for the first time this week and was very impressed – but that’s another story!)
It’s a draw! Or at least a drawing day. The unspeakably beautiful old Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices are open for a Big Drawing Day with Julie Douglas – a chance to sharpen your pencils and sharpen your skills, whether you’re an experienced artist or a beginner. Click here for more details.
Ah, to think that Saturdays used to be dead as a doornail. Them were the days… (Actually no, these are the days. Did we ever dream of such great Saturdays in our wee city?)
There’s a new artist on display this week: Peter Lennon’s stunning local photography is up on the wall behind the coffee bar and looks absolutely amazing:
There’s a new super-duper boiler behind the counter (James called it “the Ferrari of boilers” – he gets excited by things like that), thanks to our wonderful tea suppliers at Suki Tea. (Any rumours of a burst pipe and a Titanic-style flood during its installation, complete with anguished cries of “Women and children first!”, are of course completely true.)
But all credit to Wes and Colin who brought the raging waters back under control and were therefore rewarded with the first cuppa from the new Ferrari:
There are new flavours of coffee on offer as well – every week we’ll be showcasing a new gourmet blend of some of the richest, tastiest, most exotic coffees from all over the world (all freshly ground on site just minutes before making their way into your mug). Just check the the blackboard on the pillar beside the counter to see what’s brewing this week:
There’s even some new flora and fauna – have you seen the huge new purple trees, donated by our Abseiling Window Cleaners?
And as always in The Dock, it’s not the product that matters as much as the process. Much as I love having superb coffee, tea and artwork in the cafe, what really brings me joy is the knowledge that it’s all thanks to people donating their time, gifts, talent, energy, enthusiasm and even plumbing skills… A community of people bound by the immense fun of living Life in the Titanic Quarter.