Mooching around art galleries, Christmas markets, and checking out the sales are all on the agenda this weekend …
Opening on Saturday, November 20 is House of Bubbles, surely one of the glammest places to have brunch. This new venue, on Crow Street Dublin, combines sparkling wine, innovative food pairings, a photography exhibition by Leon Farrell, a disco soundtrack and a chance to dress up. Brunch (€49.95) starts with a glass of Capçanes Brut Reserva Cava, with entrees ranging from burrata on sourdough toast to potato cake Benedict with smoked salmon paired with Champagne Gosset Extra Brut. The three-course set dinner menu (€99.95) includes a selection of hors d’oeuvres paired with sparkling wine, a twist on some classic mains paired with Champagne Louis Roederer, before finishing with some sweet treats; www.houseofbubbles.ie.
If you noticed children going to school in all manner of pyjamas and slippers this morning, that’s because it’s National Pyjama Day. It’s an annual fundraising event organised by Early Childhood Ireland, with funds going to support children with additional needs. AsIAm, Children in Hospital Ireland and The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation are the chosen beneficiaries of National Pyjama Day this year needs. To date, the event has raised over €3.5 million for charities that support children with additional needs. For further information see www.earlychildhoodireland.ie. As for stylish pjs, top of my wishlist are some from the new “Elements” collection by KDK, perfect for cosy nights in. Sleepwear sets start from €210 for 1 Mulberry silk versions; €120 for cotton silk versions; and €98 for Ecovero viscose; www.kdk.ie.
‘Tis the time of the annual festive markets; one of the most anticipated is the return of the Galway Continental Christmas Market which takes place in Eyre’s Square until November 26. It features amusement rides, puppet shows, school choirs, photo ops (against the enchanted light gardens, Santas post box and more!) and artisan food stalls. Food lovers can feast on a bratwurst, French pastries, crêpes and waffles. To make a day and night of it, why not stay at The Hardiman which is offering “The Christmas Market Experience”? This is from €376 per room (for two adults) and includes two nights’ accommodation, breakfast and four-course dinner in the Gaslight Brasserie on one evening; www.thehardiman.ie.
To celebrate sustainability month and its recent Silver Eco-label award from Green Hospitality, The Imperial Hotel in Cork City is hosting a Sustainable Christmas Market this Sunday, November 21, in partnership with Fifty Shades Greener and Cork Zero Waste. Open from midday to 4pm in the hotel ballroom, visitors will find exhibitors including Jiminy Eco Toys, Pinocchio’s, This is Chariot (sustainable clothing brand), Ivys Attic Jewellery, Cork Crafts, Eco Straws, Wildflower Creative, Cork Zero Waste, an Imperial Hotel Vegan food stall and a coffee waste fertilizer stall in addition to many more. Do make time for a hot chocolate on the South Mall; www.imperialhotelcork.com.
In the mood for mooching around an art gallery? Check out “Totems Of The Highway” a new exhibition by John Doherty at Taylor Galleries, Kildare Street Dublin, beginning today and running until December 11. The exhibition focuses on Doherty’s fascination with petrol pumps (the so-called totems of the highway) which he first noticed as a boy, stopping at country outposts for petrol and refreshments, and later became symbols of war and peace (after the first oil crisis in the 1970s); www.taylorgalleries.ie.
Research has shown that many young people feel art is elitist and inaccessible. “Boring Art?” at the National Gallery of Ireland aims to debunk that narrative. This new, free exhibition is part of Apollo Project – the Gallery’s dedicated programme created by young people, for young people, which emphasises the importance of co-creating new experiences for audiences. Over the next month art lovers can enjoy mindful audio clippings, attend interesting workshops or tune into webinars and online discussions inspired by the exhibition which was curated by young writer Oisín Kenny, software developer Matthew McNulty, photographer and social media manager Ayesha Ahmad, student, tour guide and artist Jessica Sharkey, student and tour guide, Ellen Kane and students Méabh Scahill and Sarah Hannigan. The free exhibition runs until January 16 in Room 31 at the National Gallery of Ireland. www.nationalgallery.ie
If you have already started your Black Friday wish list, take note of an extended Black Friday Event at Kildare Village which starts from this weekend until November 29. With exclusive offers from many of Kildare Village’s 100 luxury boutiques that means shopping at this destination is even more tempting than usual. Whether looking for a beautiful bag, a classic coat or investment piece, or doing some special Christmas gift-buying, Kildare Village’s open-air setting, beautifully styled and decorated for Christmas, provides the perfect festive backdrop. Read more about the offers available in this post. www.tbvsc.com
Who can resist an advent calendar? One of the most original we’ve received is that of Gran Gran’s Foods special “Condiment Countdown Calendar”. Each day leading up to December 25, a little door will reveal a miniature serving giving you something to enjoy before the main holiday event. Holiday editions include Christmas pudding marmalade, Winter Berry & Mulled Wine preserve, Honey & Irish Craft Cider mustard and their famous Carrot Cake jam will be included – all products are gluten free. The food producer, stocked in over 300 stores nationwide is famous for their small batch products, with that “taste of home”. You can purchase the calendars, €65, online on www.grangransfoods.com or in The Gran Gran’s Food Pantry, located in Kilcolgan, Galway.
Talking of Christmas countdowns. Are you having the entire family for Christmas? Getting a bit anxious about Getting It All Done? The Butler’s Pantry can provide a stress-free gourmet four-course Christmas feast. The best quality Irish meats, unique seasonal dishes, a choice of spectacular desserts and Festive Yule Logs (now a firm favourite among those in the know), not to mention Christmas cakes and puddings, means you can concentrate on other preparations – and enjoy the occasion yourself – knowing the menu is under control. To see more about the options available, read this post. www.thebutlerspantry.ie
For a family day out, Dundrum Town Centre, has just launched its outdoor Christmas experience, “Once Upon a Christmas”. Upon arrival at Town Square, visitors will experience the immersive Christmas pop-up storybook as they take a journey through an enchanted forest, which leads to Santa’s Storytime Set at the band stand in Town Square. Children hoping to get a glimpse at Santa can stop by Town Square between 3pm – 6pm every Thursday to Sunday in the lead up to Christmas. Santa will perform a number of Christmas singalong classics and narrate some traditional Christmas stories for the whole family. Afterwards, pop into Ruby’s Presto which has just opened. From the same stable as Ruby’s Pizza and Grill, Ruby’s Bar and Grill and Hot Chix by Ruby’s, this new casual dining spot serves great pizza, loaded fries and more. www.dundrum.ie
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