Next up on our tour of MSQ we travel to Northern Ireland to find out what the craic is at our Smarts Belfast office. The PR extraordinaires take us through the latest and greatest of the city’s offerings, from coffee pit-stops to famous pubs to the natural wonders of Belfast, from their Holywood High Street HQ and beyond.
Conquering Monday with caffeine is the motto, and we sure aren’t short of it around here. The coffee machine in the office fuels us for the day, safe to say without it nothing would be done! Not only is it top quality stuff, but also a great spot to meet fellow Smarts caffeine addicts for a quick natter about the weekend before tackling the to-do list. If you fancy a start-of-the-week stroll though, never fear; local spot Edge Coffee serves good brews and good vibes with their speciality coffee selection. And if you still want more, treat yourself to a sweet treat from Co Couture: one of the most well-known chocolatier coffee shops in town and part of the famous Belfast Food Tour.
One thing we aren’t short of is spots for inspiration around here. The goal to inspire this Tuesday was to make sure we get our 10k daily steps in (and a pint) while taking in the city in all its glory. A lovely evening without rain calls for a post-work stroll in Ormeau Park, open since 1871 it’s one of the largest parks in Belfast, and a personal favourite for the team. After we’ve worked up a sweat around the park it’s back through the city centre to finish the day in the Cathedral Quarter. Nothing beats a glass of the black stuff in the Duke of York.
We’re lucky to be able to call the High Street HQ the best home away from home we could possibly have to work happily and get things done from. Two years post-Covid we’re now in a place to comfortably come into the office and enjoy those all-important in-person brainstorms and mingling moments of creativity. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
Thursdays are a great day for the staff to participate in our Smarts Change initiative. Every employee has two days to devote to any charitable or worthwhile cause they choose. Five members of our senior team recently took part in the Simon Community’s One Big Sleep Out, raising vital funds for homelessness across Northern Ireland. And of course, the perfect way to finish Thursday is to ‘Escape the Desk’: from 4:30pm everyone comes together to enjoy a bitta craic over a beer or glass of wine in the office.
The only logical ending to the week, of course, includes a pint. For a bit of drinking and dancing, the Ulster Sports Club provides some good tunes and bants on a Friday night, perfect to let loose after yet another hard week’s work!
You wouldn’t really be making the most of Belfast without a spot of eating and exploring on a Saturday. Treating ourselves to a nice lunch or dinner is a must, some of our favourites include the beautiful Tetto rooftop restaurant and garden at Bullitt Hotel, Mourne Seafood Bar for their catch of the day and Dirty Duck. If you’re still looking for things to do, we love a spot of paddle-boarding in Millsle or catching the sunrise at Redburn. Whether it be a healthy hike or a simple stroll, enjoying the outdoors is definitely on our to-do list on Saturday.
The end of the week calls for fresh lunches and chilled vibes. One of our favourite Sunday spots is Sawers, a deli established in 1897, specialising in charcuterie and international gourmet foods where you can sit outside and soak in the sun or take home to enjoy a treat on a wet day. And finally, it’s only right to finish the week with a Sunday stroll along the Holywood coastal path, the perfect place to watch that famous Belfast sunset.