5 Glossy Things To Do This Weekend

We’re planning an overnight stay at THE SAVOY in Limerick, watching the sunset on HOOK PENINSULA, and visiting Kilkenny for the Lustre exhibition …

Photograph by Agata Stoinska
Photograph by Agata Stoinska

WHAT: We’re putting on our dancing shoes and heading to The Gate for their lively production of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. Directed by Alexander Wright, the seats are removed from the auditorium, the chandeliers lowered, transforming the theatre space into the Gatsby Mansion in all its decadent opulence. This is interactive, immersive theatre at its best – backstage areas are accessible to the public – making the 1920s jazz age come to life. The costumes for the cast, (including Kate Gilmore and Mark Huberman), are designed by Peter O’Brien and those attending are encouraged to dress in authentic flapper styles. That’s too good an opportunity to miss. As Scott Fitzgerald said, “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”

www.gatetheatre.ie.

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WHY: We’re making tracks for Limerick to enjoy a special overnight package at the city’s only five star hotel – The Savoy. Their new staycation package (from €140) includes an overnight stay with breakfast and a three-course meal in The Savoy Restaurant prepared by head chef Graeme Campbell.

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Having stayed at The Savoy recently, we can recommend it as a lovely, welcoming base from which to explore the city. We enjoyed taking in the sights, sounds and tastes at the Milk Market, picking up some artisan chocolate from Wilde Irish Chocolates and local cheeses from The Flying Cheese Brigade. Then there’s the Hunt Museum where the exhibition Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry: Contrasting Visions of Ireland is a must-see and brings together 50 works of the two legendary artists, many of which are normally unavailable for public viewing. Go on a private tour of the museum, before wandering around the Fashion Quarter (follow the signposts to boutiques). After sight-seeing, we enjoyed a restorative steam and jacuzzi at the Savoy Aqua & Fitness Club; the perfect pre-dinner pick-me-up. In fact, The Savoy is so good we stayed an extra day; do make sure you dine at Hamptons – a buzzy eaterie with a great menu. You may need to go on a diet when you get home though!

The Savoy Hotel, Henry Street, Limerick, +35361448700, www.savoylimerick.com.

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WHEN: We’re getting together with some friends to form our own Pilates club, offered by  Grá For Fitness. Founder Gráinne O’Driscoll is behind this initiative, which provides home-tailored Pilates classes for groups of up to four friends. All that is needed is adequate floor or garden space – the rest is provided by your instructor. It can be a once-off treat or a six-to-eight class course, where you can really start to see the progress.  Says Gráinne, “A large part of my business comes from the corporate world, I go to offices to deliver Pilates classes as it’s a really convenient way for people to exercise, getting away from their desk but not having to leave the office. Pilates Club provides convenience but also a mini escape without leaving home.”

For further information visit www.graforfitness.ie.

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WHERE: To the Hook peninsula, on the ancient east coast for a special sunset tour. Organised by the Hook Lighthouse the tours started this week and run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm (until September) and involve a guided tour up the 115-well worn steps of the medieval tower and culminate in panoramic views enjoyed with Prosecco, canapés and homemade mini desserts. The lighthouse manager Ann Walters tells THE GLOSS, “Enjoying this vista of the sunset at the end of the day is something we have enjoyed at the lighthouse for many years and we are delighted to now offer this as a shared experience to visitors with the added flavour of some local and Irish food produce.” Pre-booking is essential and can be done so by emailing Cathy on info@hookheritage.ie or calling 051 397055.

Egg by Cassie McCann
Fabergé-style egg by Cassie McCann

HOW: Marvelling at Lustre, an exhibition by ten of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s graduates, which showcases their jewellery and goldsmithing skills. It opens at the National Crafts Gallery in Kilkenny on Friday July 14. A highlight of the exhibition is the collection of ten Fabergé-style eggs, ranging from minimalist silver eggs that are set with gemstones, to elaborately-coloured enamelled eggs; all house a piece inside and these and other pieces are available to buy.

It’s interesting to note the DCCoI Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course, (based in Castle Yard, Kilkenny City), is a unique programme in jewellery education in Europe – the only one of its kind in Ireland. Specialist subjects such as engraving, enamelling, gemmology, stone setting, and silversmithing are taught by experts from the jewellery industry in Ireland and abroad. The course is accredited through the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Lustre runs at the National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny until Monday, August 7; www.nationalcraftgallery.ie.

Penny McCormick

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