Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans is one of the main speakers at the Dublin Festival of History on the October 20. The Wild Swans author will reveal her new research on the lives of three extraordinary women who shaped the history of 20th-century China. As for the ongoing festival programme – there is a focus on fashion as a feminist statement in the 19th century, 1930s film costumes, and Dublin’s textile industries. For information on these and other exhibitions and walking tours visit www.dublinfestivalofhistory.ie.
To counteract the growing gloomy evenings a visit to The Doorway Gallery is recommended to view Francis Boag’s exhibition “Con Brio”. Colours, shapes and rhythmic marks bring his joyful images to life. Pleasure is integral to Boag’s modus operandi and his interpretations of the world – from the view of his studio window to a palazzo in Venice, are all imbued with an optimism and harmony. These bright images are crafted through mark making, colour manipulation and careful placement of significant visual markers. The exhibition runs until October 24. www.thedoorwaygallery.com
The Irish Spanish Latin American Festival returns this weekend at Instituto Cervantes and other city venues. Inspired by Ángel Valente‘s poem “Memory and Signs”, 14 writers and artists will take part, evoking different artistic landscapes. Some of the festival guests are musician Katarina Garcia (pictured above), Colombian writer and illustrator Powerpaola, Northern Irish short story writer Wendy Erskine, Peruvian scriptwriter and journalist Santiago Roncagliolo, Irish author Ian Maleney and Argentinian photographer Patricio Cassinoni. ISLA will screen the documentary Love and Death, The Story of Enrique Granados at Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, and there are two workshops (on autofiction comic books and dance) and a multidisciplinary show about musicality in Lorca’s works. All events are free of charge. www.cultura.cervantes.es
Only an hour’s drive from Dublin, the new boutique spa at 12th-century estate Kilkea Castle has opened, following an investment of €2 million. With both day and overnight packages available, the spa offers five relaxing treatment rooms, and a thermal suite featuring a hydrotherapy pool, steam room and sauna. Treatments by Elemis include a luxurious Peptide 24/7 Skin Sync facial – which incorporates powerful botanic formulations and specialist massage techniques to give your skin a well-rested glow. And if you want to a manicure, pedicure or blowdry a visit to The Beauty Lounge is a must, where make-up artists will create bespoke looks using products from Charlotte Tilbury, Huda Beauty, MAC and Anastasia Beverly Hills. www.kilkeacastle.ie
This week I had the pleasure of attending a champagne tasting in the chic surroundings of Upstairs at No 4, Chatham Street, Dublin 2. It was organised by The Corkscrew Wine Merchants, who welcomed Boizel Champagne house – part of an ongoing series of wine tastings. They are collaborating with the Sallins-based TwoCooks who will pair a tasting menu with the wines on offer during the programme. If you want to explore organic wines, do book ahead for the visit of one of New Zealand’s top producers – Dog Point Vineyard on November 1. During this dinner Dog Point’s Matt Sutherland will present some wines that have never been served in Ireland. Tickets cost €150 per person. www.thecorkscrew.ie