It’s all happening in Cork this weekend. Firstly, the 64th Cork Film Festival, which runs from today until November 17 and features the Irish premiere of Feras Fayyad’s gripping film on war-torn Syria The Cave (15 Nov), Aoife Crehan’s comedy-drama debut The Last Right (14 Nov), Disney’s long-awaited Frozen 2 (17 Nov), Ordinary Love starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville and Irish-Belgian drama The Other Lamb. Over 300 films and events are included in the packed 2019 programme. Tickets are available at www.corkfilmfest.org
Opulent costumes (from the Mariinsky Ballet in St Petersburg), alluring sets and Andrei Bolotin, principle dancer with the Bolshoi, (dancing the lead role of Prince Siegfried) are all reasons why seeing Swan Lake is a must. Presented by Cork City ballet in the Cork Opera House from November 7 to 9, this version ends with a fairytale twist. Artistic Director Alan Foley explains: “Yuri Demakov and I have re-produced the original Petipa/Ivanov choreography where the Prince destroys the evil sorcerer Rothbart, and is joyfully reunited with the Swan Queen”. Prima ballerina Ekaterina Bortyakova is in the lead roles of Odette/Odile. The ballet opens this evening at 8pm. www.corkcityballet.com
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Brown Thomas and see the Christmas windows, you’re in for a treat. Channelling a luxe train journey the theme is continued in The Restaurant by Johnnie Cooke (on Level 3), where guests are invited aboard a magical train carriage for a delicious new afternoon tea experience. Priced from €45, the savoury menu includes goat’s cheese tartlets, truffle chicken gougeres, coronation chicken and buckwheat crêpes served with smoked salmon. Sweet treats include raspberry macarons, Sicilian lemon tarts, crème brûlées and a special verrine. Served daily, with sittings at 3pm, 4pm and 5:15pm from now until December 19, bookings can be made by telephoning The Restaurant at 01-6171163.
For fashionistas there’s plenty to inspire this weekend. I am a huge fan of Donna Ida aka the “queen of denim” and she is popping up this weekend at The Westbury, Balfe Street, Dublin 2 in collaboration with Parkadays. Donna will be personally advising on jeans, while Catherine Kelley from Parkadays shows the luxe AW19 edit. With expert advice and a 20 per cent discount on all purchases, it’s worth a visit. All the details about the event are here.
On Sunday, November 10, the “New to You” Designer Fashion Sale and Show, now in its 8th year, returns to the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin 4. It offers pre-loved and recycled designer outfits – from designers including Louise Kennedy, Helen Cody, Dolce& Gabbana and Alexander McQueen among others. All proceeds from the one-day event, which takes place between 11am – 5pm, will go to aid the work of the charity, St Michael’s House, providing services for people with intellectual disabilities. For a sneak peek at various other designer pieces up for grabs go to @newtoyoufashionsale
AND: We’re booking ahead for a (much needed) three-day yoga escape from November 17-20 at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. Hosted by Yoga Mara comprising Galway sisters, Rachel and Hannah Healy, the aim is to bring back balance and calm through yoga, mindfulness, good food and great company. Just what is needed before the Christmas onslaught! Fully inclusive of yoga classes, breakfast and dinner the escape is available from €655 per person sharing.