Treat at The Europa

My wife and I recently spent a luxurious nights stay and breakfast at the Iconic Belfast Hotel, that is The Europa.

Our room was no 739 and it was spacious, the bed was massive and very comfy and the bathroom was excellent. For entertainment there was a flat screen TV, tea and coffee and an iPod dock. We had a wonderful arrival gift consisting of macaroons and a selection of locally produced preserves, condiments, oil and balsamic which is all served throughout the hotel eateries.

Note the two Wee Ducks … Gifts for our daughters!! After a great night out on the town it was back for a very comfy sleep on the extra large bed!!

The Europa Hotel was opened in 1971 and joined the Hastings group in 1993. It has the infamy of being the most bombed hotel in the world!! It was closed and renovated and reopened  as a bomb proof hotel in 1994. Arguably the most famous guests have been the Clintons in 1995.

James McGinn is the General Manager and has made The Europa his home. As such he pays impeccable detail to all aspects of its smooth running from excellent training of staff, to decor to locally sourced and cooked food, to name but a few!!

It was the quality, locally sourced, produced and cooked breakfast that was awaiting us in The Causerie restaurant on the ground floor the following morning.

There was a choice of breads, “scuffins”, cereal and porridge (with a splash of Bushmills if required!!) as well as ham,cheese, fruit or a full cooked breakfast. We opted for a bit of everything and were truly satiated. To drink there were juices, hot drinks and smoothies. The restaurant manager, Mr Abdul Jabbar, explained that the 120 seater restaurant is always busy and that all the cooked breakfast is oven prepared, with no addition of oils save the potato bread and soda bread, which had a little added for colour.

Breakfast is served until 11am on a Sunday which is very leisurely!! We chose a late checkout of 12 noon. Then it was off home. We would love to thank the staff at The Europa for making our stay very pleasurable and memorable and for the kind gifts.

Chilli Chicken

When Punjabi folk get together for a drink or “glassy” as its called they usually like a hot, spicy meat dish as opposed to crisps or nuts. Popular meat snacks can be seekh kebabs, lamb chops or chicken tikka to name but a few. My favourite is chilli chicken. This is quite strong in flavour and is great as a stand alone snack or as part of a meal. This recipe is for 2-3 people sharing.


  1. 1 large breast chicken sliced (1-2 cm size)
  2. 1 medium red onion finely diced
  3. 4 cloves garlic and 1/2 inch ginger finely diced
  4. 2 finely chopped ripe tomatoes
  5. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  6. Spice mix (1 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp salt, turmeric and Garam masala)
  7. Marinade (1/2 tsp paprika, cumin, coriander, peppercorn powder), 1 tsp yoghurt, 1 tsp lemon juice)


  1. Marinade chicken for an hour
  2. heat oil in a thin pan
  3. Add onions, ginger and garlic and cook until quite caramelised (8 min medium heat)
  4. Add spice mix and cook for 3 minutes
  5. Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes
  6. Add tomatoes, mix well, cover with lid and cook for 3 minutes

Garnish with lemon, fresh onion and coriander and serve with beer or whiskey or rum