Sit back, relax and enjoy the June bank holiday weekend with this special list of ideas to make the most of your time at home …
Pictured: model Eska Hosk wears white straight leg jeans and Dior clogs; via @hoskelsa.
REFRESH YOUR WARDROBE
The three-day bank holiday weekend is the perfect opportunity to pull out all the pieces that have been tucked at the back of your wardrobe since last September. What says the beginning of summer more than a brand-new pair of white denims? The ultimate wardrobe palate-cleanser, the right pair of jeans makes summer dressing so simple, whatever the occasion. Avoid any styles that are see-through or too tight. To see my top picks, read this post. Whatever you choose, make sure they have a comfortable yet chic silhouette that suits your figure and style with tonal hues, classic black and elegant neutrals. To add polish to laid-back denim, pair with a classic-cut linen blazer in the perfect shade of camel, minimalist leather mules, a great leather belt and your best earrings. AC.
TEND TO YOUR TOES
Suddenly it’s summer and you want to wear your Arizonas every day. A salon pedi is a treat, but since you have time, a pair of socks and a good foot cream, such as Clarins’ Foot Treatment Cream, does the job efficiently; don’t bother with those single-use foil foot masks – they’re expensive, and horribly wasteful on the packaging front. Forgo gel nails in favour of polish – far less damaging (we keep hearing stories of people suffering from serious issues and allergies due to gel and acrylic nails). Just use a base coat and cuticle oil regularly. Go cool nude with Essie’s Sand Tropez, a pinky beige (around €8), or full summer with Chanel Le Vernis in Immortelle (€32), a glossy, long-lasting pale lavender. SH.
HOST AN ALFRESCO LUNCH
Why not throw a lovely bank holiday alfresco lunch for your nearest and dearest? Plan a menu that’s seasonal, one you can prepare in advance. Make sure you have enough seats for everyone. And real glasses and cutlery too. Forever table linens are where you want to spend your money. How to create the perfect garden tablescape? “If you don’t have a garden table, don’t worry. I love to bring my kitchen table outside and dress it up for summer entertaining,” Tara O’Connor of The Designed Table tells us. “A tablecloth or a runner will create a great foundation for your table. This summer, try combining greens and blues or pinks and reds for a colour scheme that will really sing. Let flowers be the centerpiece: mini flowerpots of summer bulbs in bloom or pots of herbs look great at this time of year. And lots of tea lights. Tie napkins with a piece of ribbon for the perfect finishing touch and add a fresh sprig of rosemary or summer bloom to each setting.” We love the Green floral Jaipur hand-blocked cotton tablecloth, €120. Lastly, don’t forget the music. Find a good playlist on Spotify or a DJ in the family! AC.
TAKE THE TIME TO TRY OUT SOME NEW RECIPES
This month’s collection of recipes from Trish Deseine unabashedly rejoices in all things strawberry, veering off track only slightly to include their shinier cousins, cherries, also in season. You can see the full list of recipes (and download or save them for easy access!) through this link. Trish says, “The aperitif ideas are substantial enough to allow you to completely dispose of starters, and are perfect for keeping appetites satisfied while your barbecue does its thing.
The watercress and strawberry tabouleh can be served alone, or as an accompaniment – and you can leave out the mozzarella for vegan guests. Le Fraisier is one of my favourite French pâtisseries, (coming after the layered masterpiece that is l’Opéra) and my recipe, although needing time and a little bit of kit, requires no daunting levels of skill. It is a great one to master and is chic and romantic enough to serve at christenings, confirmations and weddings. With its lime green and deep red and pink hues, it is a wonderful edible incarnation of the colours of June.” TD.
EMBRACE FLOWER POWER AND DO SOME PLANTING
Was it just us or was the hoopla around the RHS Chelsea Flower Show bigger than ever this year? (On Instagram, we spotted some people waxing lyrical about the BBC highlights like it was Glastonbury.) With that in mind, we’ll be using the long weekend to do some planting. Sunflowers are perfect to sow around now. And while I love the classic shades, it’s the dark maroon petals of Black Magic as well as Vanilla Ice, a twist on the traditional sunflower that has petals in a creamy pale yellow, that I’ll be planting this year.
I’ll be taking the floriferous theme into my wardrobe too. The easiest way is with a floral corsage. I’ll be pinning one to the lapel of a just-purchased cream linen blazer to give it a little zhuzh. (I love how Laura Jackson recently upgraded a Zara cream suit by doing the same.) Taking it one step further, I’d pin a floret of hydrangea to a dark jacket (less potential for staining) for a special occasion. Or try a dainty daisy pinned into French plait or low bun.
After your seed sowing is done, reward yourself with some downtime in the back garden. Embrace the simpler things in life – while away an afternoon under an umbrella, nestled amongst the plants, playing card games. In a nostalgic revival, my husband and I have been embracing games of Go Fish. (Wholesome and quite entertaining. We had to google how to play it as neither of us could remember.) Enjoy some antipasti while you play or mix up a jug of lemonade, swirling with mint leaves, berries and plenty of ice. Spiking of the lemonade is optional! SM.
VISIT AVOCA AT BLOOM
We will be lingering in Avoca’s Gold Medal-winning garden at Bloom in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The Looms & Blooms garden celebrates the 300-year anniversary of Avoca’s Wicklow Mill, Ireland’s oldest working weaving mill. The garden, designed by Kevin Dennis, nods to Avoca’s rich history but it has a modern feel. Inspired by plant life of Wicklow, it features lush green ferns, a tall acer Davidii, prunus Serrula trees with their stunning copper bark, and a clipped yew hedge. The Wynne sisters, founders of the Wicklow Mill, grew plants to produce dye for their wool products; in the Bloom garden, flowering perennials mimic the colours of the fabrics they produced. A water feature and copper pipes create a link to the watermill which powered the looms and the village of Avoca’s own copper mine, once the largest in Europe. A steel pergola creates a pattern of vertical and horizontal lines, reminiscent of a loom. You might not remember all the references but you will remember how it feels – tranquil and difficult to leave. Bloom runs until Bank Holiday Monday in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. SMcD.
HOLIDAY AT HOME
Holidays abroad tend to focus on where and when the next meal is, so to replicate that holiday feeling at home, I’d start with a trip to Scéal bakery at the Fumbally Stables to pick up bread and pastries for the weekend ahead. Walking back into town I’d stop off at St Patrick’s Cathedral park to have a coffee in the sun, with the company of a good book. I’d make sure to have a booking for Saturday lunch at a favourite local bistro like Uno Mas or Forest Avenue, before meeting up with friends for the evening at Drury Buildings or Loose Canon. Sunday morning would be for shopping – either at a local market like the Libertine Market Crawl in Dublin 8 or a browse around the shops in town. That afternoon I’d utilise a parent’s garden (the downfall of city living is not having our own outdoor space!) for a barbecue evening with family, before planning an exhibition visit at the RHA or National Gallery on Monday. Bank holiday bliss … SC.
UPGRADE YOUR SLEEP
Make one switch to help your sleep. Trade your usual sugar-high hot chocolate for fair trade Magic Earth Cacao, founded by Mandalei Kuhn (from €23.50, at www.magicearthcacao.com). You don’t have to buy in to the idea of a cacao ceremony, necessarily – just know that this tastes earthily delicious, and is known to be high in antioxidants. As well as being feted for its stress-relieving qualities, this high-quality cacao can really help to induce a good deep night’s sleep. SH.
DROP EVERYTHING AND READ
Take the time to relax and read this weekend with Orna Mulcahy’s June recommendations, as seen in The Gloss Magazine June Issue. The list of must-reads include The Lorrie Moore novel I am Homeless if This is Not my Home (Faber & Faber, €15.95), which is described as a ghost story set in the 19th and 21st centuries, and dwells variously on the living, the barely alive and the very much dead, or My Friend Anne Frank (Rider Books, €28.50) the heartfelt, crystal-clear memoir of the Holocaust survivor Hannah Pick-Gosler who died in late 2022 at the age of 93, and the latest novel from Skippy Dies author Paul Murray, The Bee Sting (Hamish Hamilton, €15.99). Take some inspiration and pop your feet up.
GET BUSY, BOTANICALLY SPEAKING
I will be visiting the brand new Arboretum garden and lifestyle store on Parnell Street, Dublin 1. Arboretum Urban Green spans an impressive 14,000 sq. ft, on the first floor of the well-known Chapters Bookstore, which re-opened last year. In addition to plants, garden accessories, furniture and a wellness and gifting department, the store also has a smart 60-seater café. Books downstairs, garden bits upstairs – the actual dream!
This is the third outlet for the family-owned and operated business, which was founded in 1977 by horticulturist Rachel Doyle in Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow. Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven was Ireland’s first destination garden centre and this was followed by the Arboretum Kilquade in Co Wicklow in 2015.
The Arboretum business is now led by Rachel’s two sons, Barry and Fergal Doyle and the urban store stocks a wide range of unusual indoor plants including specimen plants and trees, gardening tools, seeds, bulbs, treatments, garden furniture and a range of outdoor living accessories suitable for urban dwellers with a smaller outdoor space who still want their little gardens to flourish and maybe even provide fruit and veg. A team of 15 gardening experts are on hand, ready to impart knowledge, advice, and top tips for budding gardeners. www.arboretum.ie. SMcD
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
From gourmet pop-ups to gardening inspiration, grooving with some Strictly stars and visiting an historic castle… it’s all happening this weekend says Penny McCormick, who shares a list of the glossiest events taking place, see more through this link.