From hill walking to history and theatre matinees to musical duos, here’s some weekend inspiration …
Walk For Your Wellbeing
It’s World Mental Health Day on Sunday, October 10: one way to mark it is put on some walking shoes, get out in the fresh air and take in some inspiring scenery. If you are in the Limerick area, then Ballyhoura Walking Festival is taking place from October 8 – 10. The festival has partnered with Leave No Trace Ireland, to encourage all participants to be mindful of the local environment and to help protect the stunning surroundings of the Ballyhoura countryside; www.visitballyhoura.com
Travel virtually to The Moon at The River Club, Cork
Celebrating our increasing collective fascination with astrotourism, the new immersive terrace installation at The River Lee, Cork focuses on all aspects of the sky – from the Greek mythological character Icarus to hot air balloons and moon landings. The installation was designed in partnership with Hendrick’s Lunar Gin and Cork florists, Fox Flowers, and the focal point is a dramatic cloud of pampas grass and gypsophila lit by sparkling lights. Of course, guests will have a chance to sample some whimsical cocktails designed to reinforce the celestial theme including a “Cloud Nine”, a “Freefall”, and a “Moon Mist”. The River Lee will be donating €1 from each cocktail sold to Blackrock Castle Observatory and Dark Skies Cork project. Blackrock Castle Observatory is currently working with Dark Skies Europe to raise awareness of light pollution and its effect on nocturnal biodiversity and pollinators, bringing this worthwhile initiative to wider attention, as well as helping create a greater understanding of our askies and the cosmos. “To The Moon at The River Club” runs until February 2022; www.doylecollection.com
Get Spooked at The Nightmare Realm, RDS
The Nightmare Realm, voted the “Best European Halloween Attraction” and the “World’s No. 1 Halloween event”, is back at the RDS, Dublin from October 9 – 31. Three new haunts – Church of the Damned, The Butcher Boys and Panic Attack – are some of the spooky attractions as is a new Little Museum of Horrors. Of course, sharing the experience is half the fun! In addition to professional green screen photos within the Nightmare Realm, there’s a new social media zone for Halloween selfies with movie props and memorabilia from iconic horror films.
Created by husband-and-wife team Karl and Sylvia O’Connor, who design all the sets and costumes themselves, they say, “This year is undoubtedly bigger, better and more terrifying than anything we’ve done before as it’s been two years in the making.” Capacity has been reduced to comply with regulations so early booking in pods of four, five or six is advised. Group discounts are available too; www.thenightmarerealm.ie
Enjoy This Talented Musical Duo
Irish violinist Mairéad Hickey (pictured) will be on tour with the French harpist Agnès Clément until October16, with stops in Baile Mhúirne, Cork City, Tinahely, Dún Laoghaire, Stradbally, Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny and Clifden. Featuring a selection of music by Bach, Saint-Saëns, Massenet, Viardot, Renié, Spohr (the inventor of the violin chin rest!) and a new Music Network commission by John McLachlan, their programme is sure to delight music lovers. Composer John McLachlan will present a “composer insight session” during the final concert of the tour at Station House Theatre, Clifden on October 16. To book tickets, visit www.musicnetwork.ie.
Participate in Dublin Festival of History
Gendered violence against women during the War of Independence, LGBTQ+ and Ireland’s public history, the Protestant community in Northern Ireland today, family conflict over land, the cruelty of Ireland’s Civil War, the cataclysmic 1882 Phoenix Park murders, along with a sympathetic view of the life and legacy of ‘the cruelest tyrant’ King George III are the themes of the final “Big Weekend” of this year’s Dublin Festival of History. Now in its ninth year, the Big Weekend of events on Saturday, 9 and Sunday, 10 October, will be a series of in-person and live-streamed talks with leading writers and historians such as Kate Drinane (pictured) taking place at The Printworks at Dublin Castle; www.dublinhistoryfestival.ie
Order some cocktails
Craft Cocktails is celebrating its first birthday with the launch of its new cocktail factory “Cuckoo Lane”. Named after the local area around the historic fruit markets in Dublin 7, where the team source a lot of the fresh fruit for Craft Cocktails, the multifunctional space is a working cocktail lab, tasting room, brand showroom and event space. Craft Cocktails’ motto – Made by Bartenders, Not by Pretenders – is displayed across the two large bay windows of the traditional timber shopfront.
Craft Cocktails are made using natural ingredients only – fresh fruit, handmade syrups, cordials, and infusions. The range has twelve cocktails including Tommy’s Margarita, Mai Tai, Aviation, Raspberry Negroni, Strawberry Daiquiri, French Martini, Cosmo, Whiskey Sour, and a silky Belfast Coffee. Made to be served straight from the bottle over ice, they are available in two sizes: a small 200ml bottle (€12.50) serves two, and a large 700ml bottle (€35) contains seven serves. The bestseller is the small mixed bundle, a rainbow box of six flavours priced at €75 with free shipping all over Ireland. Craft Cocktails are available directly from www.craftcocktails.ie, with delivery nationwide, or collection with ice and garnishes from Cuckoo Lane, Ulysses House, Green Street, Dublin 7. The range is also available in independent retailers nationwide.
Find out about dance poems
I’m intrigued by Night Dances – a new theatre event – which is taking place at The National Stadium from October 13 – 16, and live streamed thereafter on demand. Created by Emma Martin with music by Daniel Fox, Night Dances is part of Dublin Theatre Festival and is a series of dance poems that “express the invisible energetic, connective tissue that joins us”. Four poems will be performed during the evening – Lost Boy, God is a Girl, Red and The Raver. The latter takes its inspiration from James Joyce who said, “When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight… I shall try to fly by those nets”. Loud music and laser beams are part of the performances. A preview is taking place on October 12 and tickets are from €20 at dublintheatrefestival.ie.
Book a mini break and Sunday matinee
If you haven’t been, The Harrison Chambers of Distinction is a bohemian bolthole in Belfast. Owner Melanie Harrison has transformed a 19th-century merchant’s home into a chic shrine to local authors (pictured is the Seamus Heaney room). Freestanding baths, reclaimed floorboards, four poster beds, lush wallpaper and antiques give the hotel a playful vibe. As for its setting – in the heart of Queens’ Quarter, Belfast’s theatre and museum district, there is so much to explore right on the doorstep – the Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum, café culture on the Lisburn Road … A further incentive to visit is a new package which can be booked for October 10 and October 17. Stay in an Aristocrat Suite at The Harrison (£185 for two people sharing), and included in your stay are two tickets to the matinee performance of The Border Game at The Lyric Theatre. From the award-winning writers Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney (My Left Nut and The Alternative), and Irish Times Theatre Award-winning director Emma Jordan (Red and A Streetcar Named Desire), The Border Game is a timely reflection on 100 years of the border and how it has impacted those who live along it; www.chambersofdistinction.com
It’s National Handbag Day on October 10. If, like me, you haven’t needed a handbag, much less a clutch over the last 18 months, then it’s maybe time to make an investment. On my wish list is one of August Night’s beautiful bags created by designer Caoimhe Grant, who worked with John and Simone Rocha before setting up her own brand. Her collection of ethically made bags are constructed in duchess satins and velvets with gentle twists and knots being signature details. Pictured are two (on-trend) mini bags from the Knot collection, €199; www.augustnight.ie
Holding shot credit: From the new “Postcards from Home” collection by Cobbler’s Lane which launches on October 14; www.cobblerslane.com
Sign up to our MAILING LIST now for a roundup of the latest fashion, beauty, interiors and entertaining news from THE GLOSS MAGAZINE’s daily dispatches.