Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Monday all the Best... with Mark Stewart

Mark Stewart enjoys being a pub landlord
Mark Stewart enjoys being a pub landlord

The 45-year-old is the chairman of Pubs of Ulster and owner of The Coachman in Magherafelt, where he lives with his wife Nikki

MY BEST MOMENT

That has to be my wedding day back in 2005 at the Templepatrick Hilton. We had ice sculptures of our silhouettes, a string quartet, and Niamh Kavanagh and the Illegals performed for us. You're too busy looking after other people to enjoy much of your day, but the guests told me they had a wonderful time.

MY BETS WAY TO RELAX

It's not all about pubs for me, but I do like to have a group of friends round to the pub for a few drinks. My favourite pub is, of course, my own.

MY BEST JOB

I went straight from university into the pub, which was my uncle's, and he was retiring. That was 25 years ago and I'm still here. I'm really enjoying being chairman of Pubs of Ulster. Normally it would be a two-year term but it's just been extended into a third year for me. It's enormously good fun, with things like lobbying Stormont and Westminster and launching the Great Pubs of Ulster Week.

MY BEST SONG

I love local talent such as Snow Patrol and Shauna Tohill, aka Silhouette. My current favourite is a band called Pretty Child Backfire, and we've chosen their song, And All The Things Said In The Twilight, as the theme tune to Great Ulster Pub Week.

MY BEST PIECE OF ADVICE

It was given to me a long time ago by a friend who also happens to be a customer. He said: "A day you don't learn something is a day wasted."

MY BETS GIFT

Her name is Zuzy and she's a pug dog my wife bought me a few years ago, just after we were married. She is truly a man's best friend.

MY BEST ACHIEVEMENT

A few years ago I completed three ski marathons in three days to raise more than £60,000 for Multiple Sclerosis Research, as my father-in-law has it. It was the training that was the hardest part; I bought a ski machine and for four months I would get up at 6am to slide on it. People kept on asking if I was just going on a ski holiday. I actually hurt vertebrae in my neck when I was training.

MY BEST BUY

I bought a road bike at the end of last year and it gives me great exercise and enjoyment. They're replicating a stage of the Giro d'Italia here before the main event for charity and I've volunteered for that, so I'm enjoying the cycling.

MY BEST FILM

Taken, with Liam Neeson. I was so surprised at it – I like action movies and didn't think Liam Neeson would do them, but it's so unpredictable.

MY BEST BOOK

There are two; the first is False Memory by Dean Koontz. I'm a big fan of crime writing and I really enjoyed that book. The second, I picked up in the airport when I was looking for something to read on holiday; it's Blood Red Rivers by Jean-Christophe Grange. I just happened across it and loved it and I've been looking for other books of his since.

The Great Ulster Pub Week runs from May 1-9. For details, visit www. GreatUlsterPubWeek.com or search #UlsterPubWeek on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Food and Drink News

Latest Motoring News