As part of its sustainability drive this month, Glendalough Distillery is sharing its expansive local knowledge of Wicklow’s natural forests and valleys with its “Taste of The Wild” experience. Each Saturday you can join Geraldine Kavanagh, one of the world’s only full-time foragers, to explore the landscape and learn, among other things, where and how botanicals are selected and harvested sustainably to produce Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin, €37. It is an inspiring way to spend three hours – learning about native wild plants of Ireland in their natural habitats. Spaces are free but limited. If interested, register at GlendaloughDistillery.com.
“Brightening Air” (Coiscéim Coiligh) is a ten day nationwide season of arts experiences from June 11 – 20, in celebration of renewed optimism and brighter days ahead. The programme, with live and virtual experiences, takes place in all sorts of venues, with the aim of creating sparks of joy throughout the country. The 15 experiences include Ar Ais Arís (pictured) filmed in Connemara. Brú Theatre has created three unique 180 degree films which will be shown on VR headsets in arts centres and coastal venues along the Atlantic coast. For the full programme visit: www.brighteningair.com.
“Living with Pride: Photographs from the Christopher Robson Collection” opened this week at the National Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. The exhibition documents LGBTI+ life and activism in Ireland during the 1990s onwards and tells the story of Christopher Robson, who captured – through his personal photography – much of Ireland’s remarkable journey toward LGBTI+ equality. Christopher Robson played a key role in the decriminalisation of homosexuality, and was pivotal in the introduction of civil partnership and the enactment of State equality legislation; www.nli.ie.
It’s World Gin Day on Saturday, June 12 (as if we need a day to celebrate one of our favourite tipples). One of the most comprehensive selections can be found at Aldi, where you’ll find Boyle’s Gin, a London Dry Gin in style, but very much Irish hailing from Blackwater Distillery. It recently won Double Gold at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition and is defined by fruity notes of blackcurrant and apple, warm spices and citrus zest (shown here as a gin fizz). The gin has also been awarded Best Irish Classic Gin at the World Gin Awards 2021, 3 Stars at the International Taste Institute Awards 2021, Silver at the International Spirits Challenge 2021, to name a few; www.aldi.ie.
Why not whip up a gin that everyone can enjoy with Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits. Whether you are serving a gin connoisseur or gin newcomer, the extensive selection of non-alcoholic spirits from Lyre’s allows for a mindful drinking experience; www.lyres.eu.
If you are in need of some retail therapy, Kildare Village will welcome the Italian fashion brand, Pinko, to its line-up. Founded by Pietro Negra in the 1980s, the contemporary brand has seen a roster of international designers such as Mark Fast, Alessandra Facchinetti, and Marina Spadafora create collections. To celebrate the store’s arrival at Kildare Village, Pinko is offering a silk scarf gift with every €150 of purchases made. This month the Village will also welcome activewear brand Gym + Coffee and Skechers, as well as the opening of cult French brand Zadig & Voltaire in July. Look out for new culinary additions coming too: Murphy’s ice-cream and the award-winning Thai and Vietnamese restaurant, Saba, in July. Kildare Village is open Monday – Sunday (9am – 9pm); www.tbvsc.com/Kildare.
If you are heading to the coast and want to pick up a stylish picnic, Sligo’s Pudding Row The Grocer, situated in the picturesque village of Easkey, has just what you need. Its new picnic offering, presented in beautiful baskets complete with crockery and cutlery, can be enjoyed along the Wild Atlantic Way and the breathtaking views of Slieve League and Ben Bulben.
Choose from the medium (€45) or large (€65) baskets. The former features a range of homemade sweet and savoury treats including sausage rolls with apple and tomato chutney; veggie-filled focaccia bread with red peppers, red onions and pesto; a box of artisan crackers from Wexford’s Isle of Crackers; a mini Cooleeney cheese; a tub of Tom & Ollie’s stuffed olives. To finish, there’s a Cookie Burger walnut and oat cookie with espresso buttercream and a decadent brownie, with a bottle of Con Traas Still Irish Apple Juice. You can also build your own picnic and add some bubbly. To find out more and book online visit www.puddingrow.ie.
It’s Bloomsday next Wednesday, June 16. To celebrate the event fine art photographer Louise O’Gorman has produced The Ulysseas. O’Gorman manipulated a photograph taken at the Forty Foot, Sandycove, Co Dublin and overlaid it with the famous quote from Ulysses: “The sea, The snotgreen sea, The scrotumtightening sea”. Explains O’Gorman, “The artwork is inspired by the traditional celebratory swim with my 82-year-old father, who was born on Bloomsday. Having left Ireland in my early 20s it’s the culture, literature, coastline and swimming in the freezing cold sea that I miss the most.” O’Gorman’s work is sold internationally through Saatchi Art and other galleries. She is offering a discount on this print via her website www.louiseogorman.art.
This weekend is the last chance to visit The Positive Space exhibition at Brown Thomas, Dublin. The Positive Space, in association with the Gallery of Photography Ireland, has partnered with Brown Thomas to bring an exclusive photography exhibition and sale from Irish photographers including Andrew Nuding, Leonn Ward, Linda Brownlee, Naomi Gaffey and more. The Positive Space is a nomadic photography exhibition responding to empty spaces, offering visual beauty for moments of reflection and joy. In 2020, the first edition of The Positive Space filled unused poster sites in Dublin city centre, when the live events sector, exhibitions, theatre, and concerts were cancelled at the outset of the pandemic. Each print on display is available to buy in-store at Brown Thomas Dublin and www.brownthomas.com, priced at €120 with proceeds going to St.Vincent De Paul.
AND … In case the weather turns, Omar Sy returns to his role as Assane Diop in Lupin Part 2 on Netflix this weekend. This modern retelling of Maurice Leblanc’s literary saga is a must for heist fans and francophiles; www.netflix.com.
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