Wide Angle Phone

Grand Central Hotel, Belfast

I recently published an image of Ewart’s Mill that included a small section of the Grand Central Hotel. I would’ve liked at the time to have shown more of the hotel but lack of a wide angle lens and traffic on the busy street prevented this. My new phone has however, I think, a lens equivalent to 13mm and this photograph of the hotel was taken a few days ago.

St. Anne’s Cathedral viewed from Writers’ Square

Later I came across this young couple standing in Writers’ Square where the darker flags intersect.

The widest ‘proper’ lens I own is a Canon 17-40 zoom. The Canon produces images vastly better than a mobile phone, but then there’s that saying about the best camera being the one you have with you.

Contrasting Eras

Ewart Building, Bedford Street

Ewart’s Mill or the Ewart Building, once a Victorian linen warehouse in Bedford Street, has been redeveloped at a cost of £85m. Now a modern office building it is connected, at the first and second floors, to a new 17-story office complex. I take it this is the modern looking building behind.

The building to the right is the luxury Grand Central Hotel, formerly Windsor House. It was originally an office block and at one time the tallest building in the city.

The Europa Hotel can just be seen in the gap between the buildings. It opened in 1971.

If you build it….


…they will come.

Grand Central Hotel, Belfast
Grand Central Hotel, Belfast

This building stands in Bedford Street, Belfast. It was originally an office block called Windsor House and at one time was the tallest building in Belfast. In 2015 it was acquired by the Hastings Hotel Group and It will be opening soon as The Grand Central Hotel.

In recent years the hotel business has been booming. A quick search on Google reveals that in March 2017 (the latest figures I could find) there were 27 either under construction, have received planning permission or have applied for planning permission.

The city has been named the top place to visit in 2018 and one of the safest cities in the UK. Tourism has kicked off over the last few years and it is difficult, even on a cold January,  to walk any distance without hearing accents from mainland Europe and much farther afield.


Grand Central Hotel, Belfast
Grand Central Hotel, Belfast

Also owned by the Hastings Hotels Group, The Europa is the most well known hotel in Belfast. At one time it was famous as the “most bombed hotel in Europe” or the “most bombed hotel in the world”. Things are much quieter now.