5 Glossy Things To Do This Weekend

We’re planning brunch at RESIDENCE, trying out AIRBNB‘s new Experiences and heading to the SKIBEREEN ARTS FESTIVAL

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WHAT: We’re heading to Russborough, Blessington (Co Wicklow) for The Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland’s garden show on Saturday July 29. Foundation and Quinns of Baltinglass have teamed up to host the event which starts at 10am (until 5pm) in the beautiful parkland setting. The show will celebrate the way we garden today with particular emphasis on quality plants, labour saving tools, garden accessories, flower arranging demonstrations and expert advice. An entertaining line-up of speakers includes Paul Martin, Martine Walshe and Dara Craul and we are also looking forward to browsing The Marketplace with its specialist plant nurseries, botanical artists, tools and antiques. Admission is €8 per adult, or €6 for RHSI members with free entry for children. www.rhsi.ie.

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WHERE: We’ve booked brunch at Residence on Saturday. After nearly 10 years as a private members’ club we’re looking forward to enjoying the townhouse and its ideal setting on St Stephen’s Green. Brunch is served in the refurbished Garden Terrace, which as the name suggests, is al fresco and is also open for informal dinners and private celebrations. Executive head chef Peter Byrne has created a tempting menu of contemporary classics which perfectly match the overall ethos of flawless food and service. All told, this means Residence may become our new home-from-home! www.residence.ie.

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HOW: Having a staycation is the perfect excuse to participate in some of Airbnb’s Dublin-based experiences. There are over 20 in all, designed and led by local experts, in the areas of music, art, food and the outdoors. Our top picks include A Brush With Painting, this experience, which lasts six hours, starts at the Irish Museum of Modern Art Kilmainham, Dublin. Hosted by Andrea, who started oil painting at the National Collage of Art and Design Dublin, she will provide tuition as well as oil paints, canvas and brushes for participants. Lunch at Blas Café will also be provided.

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Then there’s the Cooking Wild experience led by private chef and international mountain leader, Kieran, who combines his love of the outdoors with cooking. Lasting three hours, (starting at Ticknock car park), a short hike onto Three Rock Mountain is the start of the cooking workshop. Kieran will provide a three course meal, (catering for those who are vegetarian, lactose intolerant and coeliac). For these and other inspirational ideas on how to enjoy Dublin fully visit Experience as part of Airbnb’s new Trips offering.

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WHERE: The ninth Skibbereen Arts Festival opens this weekend July 28 (until August 6) with a 1970s Street Party Friday Night Fever – a tribute to the 1977 movie classic with John Travolta. We may have to practise throwing a few shapes before joining in with the Hustle, but the rest of the programme is less energetic with a priority on “inclusion and accessibility” reflected in the prices and many free events on offer. Musical highlights include Ladysmith Black Mambazo from South Africa, Scottish superstar Eddi Reader, and an evening of Gregorian Chant with Noirín Ní Riain. Theatrical events include The Words Are There by Ronan Dempsey, an adaptation of James Joyce’s Dubliners and Alan Rickman’s My Name is Rachel Corrie. As for the film festival, it concentrates on the transformative power of the arts with thought-provoking films such as Alan Gilsnean’s Meetings with Ivor, Adam Sjöberg’s I Am Sun Mu, Glenn Holstein’s The Barefoot Artist and a film on Paul Simon’s Graceland album Under African Skies. For more information about poetry and art exhibitions during the festival visit, www.skibbereenartsfestival.com.

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WHY: For those wanting to add some hispanic flavour to the weekend, then there’s still time to book a special tasting dinner this Friday July 28 bringing the spirit of San Fermín to Ely Wine Bar & Brasserie. Executive chef Ryan Stringer and wine manager Ian Brosnan match a selection of wines from the Navarra region with a series of dishes with a modern Irish twist inspired by the typical gastronomy of this Spanish region. The showcase dinner is hosted by Wines from Spain and guests will be given tasting notes for each wine, making the evening both informative and delicious in equal measure. Pre-booking is required with the restaurant. The Navarra wine tasting dinner begins at 7pm costs €60 per person. In addition, don’t forget, every Friday and Saturday after 10pm in Ely Place, you can enjoy any bottle of Champagne with 40 per cent off. www.elywinebar.ie.

Penny McCormick

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