From Connemara to Waterford, a round up of trips and tips to make your bank holiday sparkle …
Take this Roundstone Bay & Island Tour, Connemara
If you’re fortunate to be in Connemara this weekend, Damien O’Malley, a fourth generation fisherman, brought up around the scenic coast of the Wild Atlantic Way, has devised a choice of four interesting tours setting off from Roundstone Harbour. These tours, on board O’Malley’s 21-foot “Benbaun” boat, take in the beaches of Gurteen and Dog’s Bay, the harbour at Ervallagh, and the deserted island of Inishlacken. Along the way, expect to see seals as well as dolphins, sunfish, otters and basking sharks! The Eco Tour, €100, takes in the bay and islands and lasts one hour, for five people. There is also a day trip for families or friends – the Drop Off & Pick Up tour to Inishlacken, €100. I particularly like the sound of the “Catch & Cook” trip, €450, a three-hour excursion which includes feasting on fresh lobster, seafood and bubbles on a sandy beach, with private hire available too; www.roundstonebayandisland.ie.
Take a Foodie Tour in Tipperary
In November 2021, Tipperary was named one of the top foodie places to visit in the world by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. As an addition to a gourmet getaway (stay at Cashel Palace), book one of the Tipperary Food Tours, and visit one of ten producers across the county. Each producer runs their own tours, offering options to suit everyone. The ten producers involved are; Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Magners Farm, Galtee Honey, The Apple Farm, Brookfield Farm, Crossogue Preserves, Blackcastle Farm, Inch House, Sheep Milk Ireland, and Tullahay Farm. For pre-booking and information visit: www.tipperaryfoodproducers.ie/food-tours/.
See Van Gogh before it’s gone!
Over 75,000 people have now attended “Van Gogh Dublin – An Immersive Art Journey” in the RDS Dublin, since the digital art show’s opening this May. If you haven’t seen it, there are still a number of discounted tickets on sale; the exhibition ends on August 4. By the way, did you know, the organisers have been analysing sales data of those who have attended and from where. Tallaght, apparently, has nabbed the title of Ireland’s most culturally advanced neighbourhood, with Blackrock and Swords next. Tickets are available at www.vangoghdublin.com. @vangoghdublinrds.
Going to the Galway races? Try this glamorous afternoon tea
The g Hotel’s g Races Afternoon Tea Event in partnership with Champagne Taittinger is back and has been running all week, and ends on Sunday, July 31. Each day, stylish ladies are invited to book and enter its daily Best Hat Competition. The hotel staff choose a winner each day with prizes including vouchers from ESPA, Les Jumelles and Harper Boutiques, Taittinger; Hartmann Jewellers and Don’t call me Dear Boutique. It’s a great opportunity to dress up and enjoy the Races’ themed savoury and sweet treats created by the Hotel’s culinary team. To enter and book the g Races Afternoon Tea visit www.theghotel.ie.
Join this Street Festival in Waterford
This weekend, the 30th Spraoi International Street Arts Festival rolls out in Waterford. Spraoi has grown to become Ireland’s biggest annual summer street party. Street artists and musicians from six countries will transform the city’s medieval streets into a giant stage and the annual festival parade and fireworks headlines on Sunday evening. All events are free; www.spraoi.com.
Also on in Co Waterford is the All Together Now festival, taking place at Curraghmore Estate. Jameson will be opening the doors to its new stage called “The Circle”. Along with a line-up of artists and performers, The Circle area will be home to a host of immersive workshops that are open to public and are available to book via the Jameson Connects platform. Also a must-visit is the Schweppes Ultimate Mixer Stage for music from January Winters, Hidden Agenda DJ’s and Soul Jam among others throughout the weekend; www.altogethernow.ie.
Book an immersive theatre trip
Albatross, written by Matthew Spangler (who adapted The Kite Runner for stage), is a fast-paced adventure story which is on until July 31 at Smock Alley Theatre, 6-7 Exchange Street Lower, Dublin 8. Performed by Benjamin Evett, pictured, audiences can expect an immersive experience. Also on until July 30 is a chance to see the young English performers from PurpleDoor return with two of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays King John and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, performed in the company’s edgy sassy style; www.smockalley.com.
Vote for your favourite Irish podcast
It’s official: Ireland is a nation of listeners, perfectly complemented by our reputation as a nation of talkers. In 2021, Acast Ireland reported there are over 7.5 million podcast listens every month across the country. That should make voting easier in The Irish Podcast Awards 2022, which has just opened. Over 150 podcasts have been nominated including Blindboy Boatclub, David McWilliams, The Good Glow, as well as The Tommy, Hector and Laurita Podcast and true crime documentary The Witness. Listeners can search and nominate their favourite podcast here, and there is one vote per email address. Voting is open until Sunday September 11 and this year’s ceremony will be held in Dublin on September 16. See the full list of nominees here.
Treat yourself to some new Irish jewellery
The National Gallery of Ireland’s excellent shop has just launched some new art-inspired jewellery and accessories which are gender neutral and exclusive to the shop. Pop in and have a look at Margaret O’Connor’s pieces, which include some eye-catching headpieces (she has worked with Lady Gaga and Pink Floyd) as well as a range of jewellery inspired by Irish culture and humour, from €45 to €180. Dublin artist Kiki Na Art has created an eclectic line of hand painted jewellery, from €50 to €250; each colourfully designed piece features an artist or an artistic image. Maeve Barry’s Eve Ray Designs are a range of earrings inspired by Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miró. These are all exclusive to the shop, priced between €65 and €70; www.nationalgallery.ie.
Sort out your clothes ahead of this swap shop
A long weekend ahead is the perfect time to do some wardrobe decluttering, ahead of the “Swap Till You Drop” event at Solas Eco Garden Centre and Food Market, Portarlington, Co Laois. If you haven’t been to Solas, it’s a unique concept, as much of the five acre development is built from old steel shipping containers, mixing garden, retail and food elements. The centre is modelled on a directional, sustainable centre in Amsterdam. As for the clothes swap, held next Sunday, August 7, organiser Georgina Carey says, “It is a fun and easy way to reduce waste, contribute less to the increasing accumulation of toxic chemicals in the environment and upgrading our wardrobes without spending a cent”. “We’re keeping our upcoming Clothes Swap event simple – drop your unwanted clean clothes to Solas any time before the event – up to ten items of women’s and men’s clothes per person. You will then receive ten tokens that you can use to swap till you drop!” The event takes place from 11am to 3pm; www.ecogardenshop.ie.
Visit this family art and poetry event
Following its success last year, the Hugh Lane Gallery’s family “Art and the Outdoors” event returns this weekend. Taking place outdoors on Parnell Square North, visitors can expect artist-led drawing for all ages, an opportunity to make colourful paper blossoms to “plant” in a pop-up wildflower garden and “Poetry Bursts” in conjunction with Poetry Ireland. It’s a chance to hear poets Simon Costello, Eva Griffin, Enda Wyley and Peter Sirr with music by harpist Aisling Ennis and the Botanic String Quartet performing favourites from the Beatles to The Cure to Coldplay. The Derek Copley Trio will also present a lively string band of banjo, fiddle and guitar, just some of the many performers to enjoy while having a coffee and cake from The Gallery café Luncheonette. In tandem with “Art and the Outdoors”, Hugh Lane Gallery is presenting its inaugural exhibition of children’s art on the theme “What I Love About the Great Outdoors!”. A collection of 52 beautiful artworks have been selected for display, which are on view at the Hugh Lane Gallery until October 2; www.hughlane.ie.
Main featured image: From the “We Can Summer Anywhere” Summer 22 collection by Irish brand Joe Noe. “The collection title pays homage to the Seamus Heaney quote that helped many people during lockdown”, explains designer Carol McHugh. Joe Noe pieces range from £115 – £240 and there is a discount with the code FIRSTORDER; www.joenoe.co.