WHAT: Opening on Friday May 24 is Jam Park – an adult playground located at Airside Retail Park, Swords, Co Dublin which will have an evolving rotation of events. There’ll be Sunday farmers’ markets as well as weekly rooftop terrace parties with international DJs including Optimo, Palms Traxx and Kornel Kovaks. This week sees its first exhibition “Synthesis” opening at Studiotonic as well as the Eatery Park where food will be served from 11am onwards. To find out more about the activities on offer visit www.jam-park.com.
WHY: Are you festival ready? The season is underway and this weekend sees the very first Féile Nasc – a folk and traditional music festival for all the family at Marlay Park on Sunday May 25, from 2pm – 10pm. Headlining the event will be Liam Ó Maonlaí agus Ré, supported by The Bonny Men, Black Bank Folk, Steo Wall among others, as well as local and emerging musicians. Expect plenty of artisan food and a good day out, weather permitting. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. www.nasc.ie.
WHERE: For a contemporary riff on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Midsummer (A Play with songs) is a streetwise romcom starring Roseanna Purcell as Helena (a divorce lawyer in the throes of an affair) and Aidan Crowe as Bob (a small-time crook who once aspired to rock stardom). Punctuated by wry songs, it is emotionally underpinned by the idea we can reinvent ourselves. Midsummer is on at Project Arts Centre, 39 Essex Street East, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 until June 8 at 7.45pm. www.projectartscentre.ie.
HOW: In anticipation of barbecue week, which runs from Monday May 27, we’re getting organised inside and outside. I’ll be heading to Dunnes Stores to peruse Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic’s new summer range of pretty platters and tableware – perfect for suppers on the terrace. Søstrene Grene also have lots of new gardening gear – inspired by RHS Chelsea Flower Show I hope to do some potting and planting, if the weather holds up.
WHO: Should you like your Chinese served in interesting surroundings then the Old Post Office, Blackrock beckons. Serving Sichuan cuisine in a “fine dining setting”, the restaurant opened this week after a pricey refurbishment of the former Post Office on Blackrock’s main street. With a team of four in the kitchen, head chef is Yu Shuchen, whose aim is to source Irish organic ingredients for his series of tasting menus. His signature dishes include Sichuan spiced steamed black sole with ginger and scallion and marinated Seatrout in black bean sauce. Lunch starts at €45, with a choice of €70, €90 or €120 for dinner. The latter starts with a glass of Bollinger and is followed by two starters, hot and sour soup, four main courses with vegetables and rice or noodles, and a chef’s selection plate for dessert. www.oldpostofficeblackrock.ie.
AND … Time to book ahead for an elegant evening of opera at The Merrion Hotel on June 5 – 6, when Wexford Festival Opera will perform the comic one act operette Le Docteur Miracle by Georges Bizet in the gardens. This bubbly piece apparently gives a foretaste of Bizet’s most famous opera, Carmen. Numbers are limited for the black-tie event, which starts with a champagne reception on the terrace, followed by the performance and a private dinner served in the Georgian Salons of The Merrion. To book tickets telephone 053-9163527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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