We’re planning a staycation at THE SHELBOURNE, trying out a GIN EXPERIENCE at Dublin Castle and booking ahead for the SPRING CLEANSE YOGA RETREAT at Delphi Resort …
WHAT: Two art exhibitions are piquing my interest this week. Firstly “Incognito” which is currently on at the Solomon Gallery and is the public art initiative in aid of Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation. Over 1500 Irish and international artists have joined the initiative this year to paint, draw, photograph, or create something on a postcard. Featured artists include Tracey Emin, John Kelly, Peter Curling, Martin Gale, Abigail O’Brien and Richard Gorman amongst others – but all pieces are exhibited anonymously, and sold for €50 each to the first buyer at the Solomon Gallery after 10am on Friday April 6. You won’t know the artist’s name until you buy the art. www.solomonfineart.ie.
For canine lovers, “The New Breed” is a joint exhibition at The Lighthouse Cinema Smithfield, Dublin showcasing the work of photographer Audrey Dalton of Pawtrait Ireland and painter Gill O’Shea of Dabble in Art. The exhibition celebrates our love of dogs, the central theme at the heart of Wes Anderson’s new film Isle of Dogs, which is currently showing at The Lighthouse. www.lighthousecinema.ie.
WHO: To Castletown, Co Kildare, on Saturday April 7, for a special performance of Handel’s oratorio, the Messiah, in the Long gallery of the Palladian house. This will feature the Cambiata Chamber Choir and the Cambiata Baroque Ensemble together with soloists Sandra Oman (soprano), Raphaela Mangan (alto), Eoin Hynes (tenor) and Peter Manning (bass). The performance, which starts at 7.30pm, will be conducted by Niall Kinsella.
History buffs may be interested in the connection between Castletown and Handel’s Messiah. Katherine Conolly, wife of the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, who lived in Castletown with her husband, was one of the original benefactors of the Messiah’s historical first outing at Fishamble Street in Dublin’s city centre in April 1742.
WHERE: Still in Easter holiday mode? Why not continue the staycation at The Shelbourne Hotel, which has a tempting midweek offer which runs until April 10. With a deluxe room, three-course table d’hote dinner in The Saddle Room and in-room chocolate treats from the boutique bean-to-bar chocolatiers, guests can also make full use of The Spa facilities. From €350, per room per night based on two people sharing. www.theshelbourne.ie.
WHY: Ginthusiasts take note. Gin Experience Dublin arrives in Dublin on Friday and Saturday 6 and Saturday April 7 at the PrintWorks at Dublin Castle, featuring over 40 Irish and international gin producers. Gin cocktails, masterclasses and food pairings are all explored with plenty of samples on offer. Fruit and pink gins are very much on trend, don’t miss, therefore, Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin, one of the bestselling gins of 2017 created by local ginpreneurs Warner Edwards, which has special historical connections to Áras An Uachtaráin. Tickets are €40 plus booking from www.ginexperiencedublin.com, or the Celtic Whiskey Shop, Dawson Street. www.warneredwards.com.
AND: I’m booking ahead for the Spring Cleanse Yoga Retreat at Delphi Resort, Connemara. It takes place next Friday April 13 to Sunday April 15 and will be led by yoga-guru Kenneth Ryan in the resort’s purpose-built Wellness Studio, with its stunning mountain views. The cleanse consists of invigorating and soothing yoga and relaxation practices and healthy meals, with a choice of a detox menu or a gourmet menu in the 814 Restaurant, spa pampering and plenty of fresh air to boost energy levels and dull skin. www.delphiresort.com.
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