WHAT: The race season gets under way this weekend, starting with an inspiring Ladies Evening in aid of Breast Cancer Ireland at Leopardstown, this Friday May 17. Two events are taking place; in the Pavilion the “Race Forward” fundraising event comprises an evening of elegant dining and entertainment, hosted by Maia Dunphy, with Cathriona Hallahan, managing director of Microsoft and Chanelle, Lady McCoy sharing their inspirational strategies for success. The “Peak Performance” event is hosted by racing enthusiast Paddy Courtney who will be talking to top jockeys and trainers including Johnny Murtagh and Joseph O’Brien. As for the racing, the inaugural Microsoft Cup is the most valuable ladies race in Europe and celebrates trailblazing female jockeys. For further information visit www.leopardstown.com.
“Breaking the Mould” is the theme for this year’s Ladies Day competition at Naas Racecourse, on Sunday May 19, the concept being racing fashion does not have to be traditional and predictable. And there’s plenty of incentive – the “Best Dressed Lady” will win an overnight stay in the Manor House at Palmerstown House Estate with 19 of her closest friends, plus a €1,000 shopping spree at Kildare Village. As for the racing, The Royal Ascot Trials Day is one of the feature race meetings within the Irish Flat season. Admission to the Royal Ascot Trials Day is €15 per person. Registration for Ladies Day is free of charge with registrations taking place in the Ladies Pavilion from 1pm-3pm. www.naasracecourse.com.
WHERE: Founded by artists Kari Cahill and Hazel McCague, Lay of the Land curate and create site responsive art projects across Ireland. They are launching an outdoor art exhibition, “Tombolo”, in West Cork from May 16-19 in which six artists have developed artworks (such as the land flutes pictured), in response to the landscape, history and heritage of the area. The Tombolo trail, led by local historians and the artists themselves, culminates on Brow Head, Mizen Peninsula, West Cork. Says Kari and Hazel, “It is a wonderful way for everyone to immerse themselves in nature, experience community, creativity and engagement.” www.layoftheland.ie.
WHY: Yoga returns to the rooftop of the Marker Hotel, Dublin 2 from May 18. Led by instructor, Dani Sheil, the classes will take place every Saturday from 8.45 – 10.00am throughout the summer. Focusing on stillness, movement, breath and meditation, the classes are suitable for all levels and costs €25 for non-residents. Mats and blocks will be provided but guests can bring their own equipment. As for refuelling, do try the popular Equilibrium Menu afterwards. Created by chef Gareth Mullins, we hear the nutri box and avocado coconut and lime cake are recommended. To book contact [email protected]. www.themarkerhoteldublin.com.
WHAT: The inaugural Design POP (May 17 – 19) is an initiative from young architect Amy McKeogh who worked with London’s prestigious PRP Architects before founding her own Cork-based Fior Studios. The festival joins six designers and six food producers to create bespoke installations that will pop up across the city in a food and design trail. If visiting the city do see the Mary Elmes Bridge which will be unveiled on Saturday morning, May 18 – this new pedestrian bridge will link Merchant’s Quay to Patrick’s Quay cutting journey times for pedestrians and cyclists. www.designpop.ie.
AND … Every Monday, Fish Shop Benburb Street (who just this week won Best Seafood Experience at the Irish Restaurant Awards) hosts a weekly Wine Club from 5pm. There’s no need to book as it is a totally casual but still quietly adventurous way to explore some very fine wines. The samples could be be anything from Puligny Montrachet at €12 or a glass of grower’s Champagne for less than €10, all paired with their delicious bites. The fish and chips are legendary as is the fish-burger but the menu also features daily-changing small plates such as fish croquettes, sliders, various bites on toast like Cantabrian anchovies or smoked eel, and a selection of seafood from around the Irish coast. Fish Shop, 76 Benburb Street, Dublin 1; www.fish-shop.ie.
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