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All the best: Frances Maguire on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 10/08/2015

Festival organiser: Frances Maguire
Festival organiser: Frances Maguire

The 45-year-old is a co-ordinator of the Hilden Beer Festival, as well as managing Molly's Yard and the Tap Room restaurants. She lives in Lisburn with her husband, Rory.

My best moment

My wedding day in 2007, which was wonderful. We got married in Florence, with only close family, and had a meal in Villa San Michele overlooking the city. I’ll never forget that.

My best song

One of my favourite acts at the moment is Rackhouse Pilfer — they’ve been playing at the festival for the last couple of years. Their album is Love And Havoc and I love any of the songs from that. Whenever I hear them, it brings me straight back to their performances at the festival.

My best way to relax

It’s not good for the waistline, but I find baking very therapeutic. I always end up doing a big baking session and then giving half of it away because if I didn’t, I would be the size of a house.

My best bit of advice

It was given to me by my dad when I was thinking about whether or not I should continue my education and do A-levels or just go into the family business at Hilden. He told me that whatever I did, I shouldn’t miss out on university, that it would be the best time of my life. I would never be surrounded by so many people who were the same age and peer group again. He was right, of course, and I had a wonderful experience at university.

My best book

I only really get to read on holiday — then I’ll just read anything I can get my hands on. The one I remember from when I was younger is The Picture of Dorian Gray, which I kept thinking about long after I read it.

My best gift

Rory bought me a MacBook Pro a few years ago and it’s really helped organise my life. It helps that everything is collected through the iCloud, so if you have an appointment, it pops up everywhere, on your phone, laptop or iPad. I don’t know how I would switch back again to being without it.

My best buy

Any really good pair of shoes, as I tend to be on my feet for 12 hours at a time, managing Hilden. My best pair at the moment are a pair of black Timberland boots — they’re never off my feet when I know I’m going to have a long day.

My best achievement

About 15 years ago, I was accepted on to the Leaders for Tomorrow programme and got to spend eight weeks at the Kennedy School at Harvard.

I also got to work in other small breweries around the Boston area.

This was a time when Hilden was in the wilderness in terms of craft brewing, but everything was happening in Boston.

I arrived two days before September 11, 2001, so it was a very intense time. It was a life-changing experience.

My best job

Obviously the job I’m doing now is amazing because it’s so varied and never boring. However, when I was at university, I took a year out and spent it teaching English in Paris. It was a wonderful experience and people were so friendly.

My best film

There are so many, but the ones I watch over and over are the three Godfather films. The first one is the best, but I still watch them all. I don’t have a lot of time to read anymore, so I like to switch off in front of a movie.

  • The Hilden Beer & Music Festival will take place at the Hilden Brewing Co, Lisburn, August 28-30. Tickets from Molly’s Yard, the Tap Room, Belfast Welcome Centre and at www.taproomhilden.com

Belfast Telegraph

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