When we are traveling, we naturally want to stay in a place that will give us a feeling of being in our sweet home. Comfort, relaxation, security, and the ability to carry out our normal household routines are few of the elements that are of important considerations.
My travel to Belfast City, Northern Ireland in March 2012, my first travel outside the Philippines, has been replete with positive memories of places – one of which was at All Seasons.
All Seasons are built in a red brick Victorian architecture along the busy Lisburn Road. The exquisite, classic appearance of it takes you to a step back in time.
It was Sunday at dusk when we arrived at the place and Lisburn Road was very quiet. We were greeted by the property’s owner and manager who introduced himself as Theo, a tall and rotund Irish man in his fifties. He speaks English in a clear accent. He was also warm and accommodating – attributes that are common in this kind of business, but his was natural and genuine.
The cozy breakfast room was at the right side after passing the main door. A staircase covered with soft red carpet was leading to the rooms in the upper storeys. The main property caters to a bed and breakfast accommodation. He handed us a Belfast city map and a few flyers that feature various activities and destinations for tourists, before he led us to our apartment.
Our apartment was at the Mowhan Street, across Lisburn Road. Before the trip, we spoke on the phone and agreed to pay £50 per diem for this three-bedroom apartment in three weeks. When we saw the interior, we thought it was worth it. My two colleagues occupied the two rooms in the second level, and I settled in a room at the third level.
It was well-furnished. The spacious lounge area had a television and large, cushioned sofa sets. The free wifi offered a very efficient connection. The dining table was good for six people. Beside it was a fire place that we never had the chance to use, because winter has just been overtaken by spring. Nevertheless, it was still colder than the weather that we are accustomed to in the Philippines. The heaters, a white, rectangular metal panels, installed on walls just few inches above the floor provided some warmth. The kitchen allowed me to cook my first Filipino dish, a pork sinigang. There was a refrigerator, microwave, electric kettle, bread toaster, electric stove, and several utensils. Also within the U-shaped kitchen were dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. The main bathroom upstairs had a large bathtub that you can fill with hot and cold tap water.
All Seasons is a convenient place as it allows you to explore the city without having to travel too much. It is accessible to major modes of transportation like buses and trains. A few meters away from it is the Marlborough bus stop. Taxis are available on call and arrive to pick you up in less than ten minutes. Value Cabs is an excellent choice. Adelaide train station is also a walking distance from the apartment.
If you are looking for a wide selection of items for shopping, the Belfast City Centre is approximately ten minutes away by cab or bus. Also in the vicinity are Starbucks Coffee, Bank of Ireland, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Lisburn Road Superstore, and restaurants. After work hours, we used to go to Camseng in Windsor Avenue to buy ingredients for our dishes. They sell a wide variety of Asian goods.
There is a park close to All Seasons, the Drumglass Park. It was a great place to see the signs of spring and hear laughters of little Irish children. On one occasion at about six o’clock in the afternoon, Paul’s Super Whip was in the park and I ordered a delicious, freshly made, whipped boat ice cream for a pound or two.
On our last day, I went to the owner to pay for our three-weeks rent. I smiled when he brought out his log book and started leafing through its pages and counting on the days we were checked in. Then, he manually did the computation on a piece of paper. He said he was too old to learn about computers and technologies. He took only the notes and gave the coins back to me. We said our goodbyes and hope-to-see-you-again parting words.
I will surely not forget Theo. I still have his business card kept on file.
Mr. Theodore McLaughlin
Telephone: +44 028-9068-2814
Visit All Seasons website to view updated information on bookings, promos, and rates. You can also contact them via telephone or email.