Eimear here again from Coleraine. Its Christmas time here and its magical. There is Christmas trees and decorations everywhere, even in the college! Everyone is out and about, meeting up with friends and enjoying the festive atmosphere in Coleraine and the two seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart.
A lot has happened since my last blog post. We are in our final week of college now and I have to say I enjoyed every minute of my time here in Coleraine. I have since completed my product development module which was good fun and I learnt a lot from developing my own product from the waste products from certain companies around Northern Ireland. Two weeks ago, I also got the opportunity to work with Chef in a Box, a ready meal company, in university and it really opened my eyes into the ready meal market, specifically for the elderly. I was given a recipe and ingredients for a turkey and ham dinner and was asked to make the appearance and taste of the dish better, bearing in mind that it was being targeted towards the elderly. Overall, there are so many opportunities here which open your eyes to many aspects in the food industry.
With Christmas just around the corner, I decided to make the most of attending different Christmas events in Northern Ireland. I decided to go to a few Christmas markets. One in Portrush, Portstewart, Coleraine and Belfast. My favourite was the Christmas market in Belfast. It was a huge market filled with everything from food to jewellery, soap, perfume, candles, clothes and handmade ornaments. There was great festivity around that day and the Christmas lights were shining.
There are also lots of amazing restaurants around the North Coast. Portrush is a nice place to go for a night out with friends for dinner and a few drinks. It has many restaurants such as the Ramore Restaurants, Coast and Urban Restaurant. There are also many beaches in Portrush which are nice to go for a walk on during the day.
During my time here, I have also visited Derry, The Giants Causeway, Malin Head, The Dark Hedges and Dunluce Castle.
Myself and my friends planned two nights away in Belfast where we did some shopping, visited the Titanic and St Georges Market and also went out for a nice meal. We also walked around Belfast and made our way to Queens University and the Botanic Gardens. We returned to the Botanic Gardens a few weeks later and it was all decorated for Christmas.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time here in Coleraine. I was able to experience studying in a different university and also have fun with my friends. I would recommend coming to Ulster University in Coleraine to study. Everyone is so friendly and there is so much to do and see around the North Coast.