1 Dublin Theatre Festival
As so many of us spent lockdown watching virtual theatre productions, it’s great that we can now participate in live performances. The Dublin Theatre festival is underway until October 17, and has an impressive roster of events and premieres. One of which is the premiere of Marina Carr’s iGirl directed by Caitríona McLaughlin, artistic director of The Abbey Theatre (from October 9 – 30). The play, a monologue, charts the procession female voices through time and includes a solo performance by Olwen Fouéré. No wonder tickets are selling like hotcakes at www.abbeytheatre.ie. For the full programme of events visit www.dublintheatrefestival.ie
2 “Shaken not stirred”, please
I shall miss Daniel Craig as James Bond and look forward to seeing No Time To Die – my money is on Idris Elba or James Norton taking over the titular role. To celebrate the film release (at cinemas this weekend) there’s a new immersive Smirnoff Martini experience popping up at Café En Seine, Dublin, from October 1 – 8. Guests will be treated to a full martini menu created by bartender Cal Byrne – recently voted Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2021, no less. Byrne will be mixing classic martinis as well as a few innovative twists including lemon drop and passionfruit iterations. Guests are also encouraged to explore “There’s a Spy in Everyone” campaign. This involves unlocking a secret code to reveal a host of prizes including tickets to see the film, Smirnoff martini kits and vouchers for the restaurant; www.cafeenseine.ie.
3 Participate in Spanish Food & Wine Week
Running this year from October 4 – 10 in restaurants, bars and shops around the country, Spanish Food & Wine week is a mix of informative and entertaining wine tastings and dinners. Three of the events include an exclusive wine tasting at Carton House with The Irish Times’ wine expert John Wilson in the stunning setting of The Duke’s Rest wine room. In Dublin, Erica Drum and Blanca Valencia are hosting an event in Honest 2 Goodness, Glasnevin, while in Galway, sommelier Fergus O’Halloran will host a journey through Spain at The Twelve Hotel. For those who want to celebrate the event from the comfort of their own home, The Nude Wine Co. will be hosting a virtual wine course “The Secrets of Spain” on Friday, October 8. For the full programme visit www.foodswinesfromspain.com/spanishwineweek.
4 Go Up A Hill for Jack & Jill
Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation is urging people across Ireland to climb a hill in solidarity with the 396 families it supports who have an uphill challenge in caring for their very sick child every single day. This is the seventh year of the nationwide challenge which aims to raise funds for Jack & Jill’s specialist home nursing care, respite support and end-of-life care for very sick children up to the age of six. Participating couldn’t be easier. Firstly, register your challenge online for just €18 – the cost of one hour of specialist home nursing care – and to receive an optional eco-friendly banner. Secondly, identify a location for your Up the Hill challenge – it can be in a local park, or a peak on a nearby mountain – whatever hill works for your fitness level and ability. Thirdly, recruit family members, friends and work colleagues to join you. Next, decide on a date during the month of October for the challenge and finally on the remember to take your eco-friendly banner and post a photo on social media @jackandjillcf ; www.jackandjill.ie .
5 Join A Walking Tour of Cork City’s Latest Street Art
Ardú Street Art project is brightening up Cork city’s streets from now until October 15 with four large scale murals by renowned artists Friz, Shane O’Malley, Conor Harrington and Asbestos. In tandem with this, Wandesford Quay Courtyard is organising artist-led tours on Saturday, October 2 at 3pm and 5pm, during which participants can learn about the artworks from the creators themselves. On Sunday, October 3 from 12 – 2pm and 4 – 6pm, two street art workshops will be led by the artists and Ardú co-founders, Shane O’Driscoll and Peter Martin. These workshops intend to give participants an insight into the processes and planning behind creating a large-scale mural, as well as looking at some spray painting techniques. It’s a chance to pick up some practical skills (all materials will be supplied). Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite. Remember too it’s Cork Jazz festival later in the month from October 22 – 25 with Mack Fleetwood and hip hop legend Yasiin Bey FKA Mos Def; www.GuinnessJazzfestival.com.
6 Enjoy A New Seasonal Menu at Wilde at The Westbury
To celebrate this time of year, Wilde at The Westbury is serving up the perfect indulgent food pairing experience: geese and game. Running from October 5, “Geese & Game” will see delicate Irish game served alongside Irish “Wine Geese” with wines, selected by Philip Dunne group sommelier for The Doyle Collection, from Maison Róisín Curley in Burgundy to the more traditional winery Château Léoville Barton in Bordeaux, operating since 1826. Executive chef Sandeep Singh’s menu complements these exceptional wines. Dishes include a wild Irish venison carpaccio with parsnip and toasted pistachio nuts, €19; roast pheasant breast with crisp pancetta, Jerusalem artichoke and a confit leg Wellington, €32; and for dessert, a quince and almond crumble tart with clotted cream, €9.50; www.wilde.ie.
7 National Singing Week is from October 10 – 17
Have you missed singing with your group or choir during Covid-19? Or have you always nurtured a desire to sing and now decided it’s time to finally do it? If so, keep an eye out for National Singing Week, which is taking place from October 10 – 17. Hosted by Sing Ireland, the organisation has over 300 member groups. Research from the EU Culture Programme revealed that 229,000 people in Ireland are already involved in group singing. Members include children’s choirs, workplace choirs, youth choirs, hospital and care home choirs, choir clubs, university choirs, church and cathedral choirs, choral societies, and choirs for those in older age or active retirement. Whether it’s singing popular hits, classical, jazz, Gregorian chant, hip-hop, gospel, or folk – there is a group to suit everyone, regardless of age or ability! Dermot O’Callaghan, CEO of Sing Ireland, says, “Group singing is like a team sport – your contribution is as important as that of every other singer in the ensemble.” Why not give it a try: www.singireland.ie.
8 Take A Dip For Charity
The 2021 RISE Foundation Big Dip swim challenge takes place on Sunday, October 10. Senator Frances Black founded the RISE Foundation in 2009 to help those whose family members struggle with alcohol, drug or gambling problems. She explains, “The rise in popularity of sea swimming around our coasts was a feature of the Covid pandemic. Sadly, so too was an upsurge in addictive behaviours, as people tried to cope with lockdown, job loss and other challenges.” Black is encouraging people to take a dip or make a donation to the charity. The funds raised will be used to provide therapy for people dealing with the addictive behaviour of others. To participate visit www.therisefoundation.ie and to make a donation of €20 go to the iDonate site https://www.idonate.ie/event/3071_the-rise-foundation-big-dip-2021.html.
9 See “Dublin, Then & Now” exhibition
Arnotts has partnered with the (cult) Instagram photography account @Dublin_Archive1 to launch “Dublin, Then & Now”, an in-store exhibition which launches on October 6. Located at The Gallery on Second Level at Arnotts, the exhibition will present cityscapes, landscapes and portraits capturing Dublin in recent and rare old times. The roster of images on display include Twiggy’s visit to the store in 196, the papal visit to Ireland in 1979, the Millennium Clock being restored on the River Liffey in 1996 and the last granite slab being laid during the pedestrianisation of Grafton Street in 1971. In addition there is a range of tote bags, mugs and T-shirts to purchase as keepsakes of the exhibition; www.arnotts.ie.
10 Plan some forest bathing at Birr Castle
When planning trips for autumn walks make sure that Birr Castle Demesne, Co Offaly, is on your list. Its abundance of rare plants were collected by the Earls of Rosse on their travels around the world over the last 150 years. New this year and covering just over 5km is the magnificent Red Tree Trail which includes 65 “trees of distinction”. The Trail is included in the general admission ticket prices, and you can pick up a map at reception. For those with a little less time the X-trails Solar Trail, drawing on the historical heritage of Birr Castle Demesne, allows you to experience the size, distance and scale of our Solar System along the 2km route. This is a lovely way to do some forest bathing and is suitable for ages seven and above. www.birrcastle.com
11 The UN’s International Day of the Girl
The UN’s International Day of the Girl, on October 11, aims to raise awareness about the problems girls all over the world face because of their gender. There are lots of ways to get involved – from sponsoring a girl and her education via ActionAid (www.actionaid.org.uk), learning about teenage trailblazers (on unicef.org) to making a donation to Plan International (follow the hashtag #GirlsTakeover). To coincide with this, Søstrene Grene is launching two new tote bags along with a new colouring book. For each tote bag and colouring book sold, proceeds will be donated to Plan International’s important work; www.sostrenegrene.com.
12 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 of 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.
13 Drogheda Classical Music Autumn Series
Celebrating great music and artists, the Drogheda Classical Music autumn season shines a light on core works within the chamber music repertoire including a selection to mark 100 years since the death of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The season of concerts begins on Thursday, October 21 in St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda and features works by Berlioz, Schumann, Richard Strauss and Schubert’s Auf dem Strom performed by Irish mezzo Gemma Ní Bhriain with pianist Cahal Masterson and cellist Yseult Cooper Stockdale. The series continues in November and December. Tickets are €20 and can be booked at Droichead Arts Centre; www.droichead.com. For further information on the series visit www.droghedaclassicalmusic.com.
14 Food on the Edge at Airfield Estate, Dundrum
For anyone who cares about food, make sure you book a ticket for Food on the Edge, which takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Airfield Estate, Dublin on October 18 and 19. Confirmed speakers include Garima Aurora, the first Indian woman to win a Michelin star, André Chaing, Alice Zaslavsky and Mark Best star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. “The theme of this year’s symposium is ‘Social Gastronomy’”, says founder and chef JP McMahon. “Social Gastronomy is a term that encapsulates caring for food in a more holistic and total manner. Social Gastronomy aims to create a more equitable food culture, and a more inclusive society using food as an essential tool to build a better ecology and safer environment for all of humanity to thrive. I believe that Social Gastronomy uses food as a vehicle for change and development, and that is at the core of Food On The Edge and everyone that speaks and takes part”. In addition to main stage speakers, there is also an onsite artisan village. Virtual tickets are €95, while in-person tickets are from €350 for two days and from €195 for one day; www.foodontheedge.ie.
15 Celebrate Kilkenny Day
Didn’t you realise there was a “Kilkenny Day”, officially Monday October 11? This will consist of a packed programme of events that will run across the city and county. It’s also a reminder of the cultural experiences on offer in the city. Must dos include a tour of the magnificent 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, a visit to St Canice’s Cathedral to climb to the top of its round tower, or a meander through the formal and informal gardens at Woodstock, which date back to Victorian times. Why not book an overnight stay: Hotel Kilkenny is currently offering an overnight package for two people sharing from €113, which includes deluxe accommodation, breakfast and dinner https://adventureescapes.ie/kilkenny/
16 Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Goethe-Institut is marking its 60th anniversary in Ireland with an interesting programme of cultural activities. Having opened its doors on Dublin’s Merrion Square in October 1961, more than 50,000 language students have passed through the premises and it has hosted more than 5,000 events and projects, including exhibitions and concerts, film screenings and readings, artistic performances, artists’ residencies and more. During the same period, the institute’s library holdings have grown year on year: between its global online library service (Onleihe) and its library on Merrion Square, almost 30,000 titles can currently be accessed by anyone, free of charge. The anniversary programme, which begins on October 7 until the end of the month, will feature a mix of in-person and online activities, and will include musical performances; film screenings; panel discussions; free online language taster classes; a visual arts programme, including a series of exhibitions; and more; www.goethe.de.
17 Update your tablescape
Nothing brightens up a dark evening than a pretty supper table and hostess pro Tara O’Connor of The Designed Table has launched a new range of tablecloths, runners and napkins in autumnal oranges, yellows, reds and greens. There are new prints, including an orange take on The Designed Table’s bestselling dahlia pattern, a bamboo print, and an autumn floral, featuring rich yellows, cyan, pinks and orange flowers. New table accessories include a set of three palm tree candlesticks and new napkin rings including coral red beaded options, elegant silver rings with brass edging, and a fun wooden pumpkin napkin ring. A new grass placemat with black edging will be launched mid-October just in time for Halloween. thedesignedtable.com
18 Buy a new cookery book
Running out of menu inspiration? Two new cookery books provide menus for healthy suppers and hearty feasts. Home is a collaboration between Aldi and the IRFU with all profits going towards Barnardos. Home, €11.99, features 72 family-friendly recipes developed by IRFU high performance chef Maurice McGeehan and enjoyed by Irish rugby players while on duty; www.aldi.ie. Everyday Cook by Donal Skehan, is published by Holder & Stoughton on October 7 and is Skehan’s tenth cookery book. I’ve had a preview and earmarked several speedy menu ideas (Roast Cherry Tomato Pici and Showstopper Butterscotch puddings being two). The beauty of both of these cookbooks is they allow you to pull together meals that are nourishing, vibrant and delicious, even when you’re on a deadline and pulled in all directions.
19 Book a Staycation
“Fall for The Merchant” package is a luxurious way to enjoy Belfast and indulge in a little self-care at the same time. The hotel is conveniently located in Belfast’s historic Cathedral Quarter, so guests can spend the day exploring the city, or unwinding in the hotel’s roof-top sauna, steam room and hot tub, all of which have panoramic views of the city. On checking into one of the Victorian or Art Deco-designed rooms, guests will find a complimentary bottle of Valdo Prosecco. Evening dining is at the discretion of guests, however a reservation at one of The Merchant’s three restaurant venues – The Great Room Restaurant, Berts Jazz Bar or The Cloth Ear, can be made during check-in. Breakfast is served in the newly-refurbished Great Room Restaurant, and there’s a leisurely checkout at 12:30pm. Prices start from €115 per-person-sharing; www.themerchanthotel.com.
20 Enjoy some Chamber music
Chamber Choir Ireland’s performance of Andrea Gabrieli’s music for Oedipus Rex was originally composed for the 1585 Italian revival of Sophocles’ ancient Greek tragedy and masterpiece. Artistic director Paul Hillier leads the Chamber Choir Ireland in this choral spectacle which takes place on Sunday, October 10 at 3pm in All Hallows Chapel, Drumcondra. Taking on the role of the Greek chorus, the singers of Chamber Choir Ireland tell the tale of Oedipus, King of Thebes, doomed to fulfil the prophecy of the oracle that he would one day kill his own father and marry his mother. Tickets are €20; €15 (concession); students €5; www.eventbrite.ie.
21 Factor in some spa time
The “Day in Dublin” experience at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin allows guests to be tourists in the capital and also enjoy its (relatively) new medi-spa Velvære (pronounced vel-va-ray), for the signature “A Day in Dublin” treatment. This bespoke Codage Paris facial is designed to meet the needs of skin subject to the changing climate of Dublin. With vitamin B5, detoxifying silk tree and gently exfoliating fine rice particles, the facial will erase traces of fatigue revealing a brighter complexion. The “Day in Dublin” experience is priced from €240 per person sharing for an overnight stay with breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, plus complimentary parking and of course, the one-hour facial; www.radissonblu.ie/royalhotel-dublin.
22 Check out the new furniture capsule at Penneys
With texture at the forefront of design for 2021, rattan, wicker and woven furniture is no longer considered dull or dated. Its versatility means it can look stunning when used in various shapes and forms. Tackle the trend with a “less is more” approach, choosing a neat and stylish piece rather than matching sets. Penneys have a pocket friendly capsule collection of 18 furniture items including a rattan chair, sideboard, and shelving unit which can be found in selected Penneys stores around Ireland.
23 Buy a new perfume
“From the onset I had in mind a forest walk in autumn,” says perfumer Fanny Bal of Autumn Vibes the scent she created for Replica. “In particular, those moments when you feel the dried leaves crackle under your feet. Tree trunks are covered with moss, damp notes of undergrowth float in the air. All you can see is red, brown and yellow leaves, slowly falling to the ground.” It sounds gorgeous; cedarwood is blended with a moss accord, evoking the soaked leaves and moss of an autumn day in a forest. Fir balsam and labdanum call to mind the sweetness of tree sap. Spicy notes of pink pepper mingle with green notes of coriander and cardamom, as well as warm notes of nutmeg. Maison Margiela Autumn Vibes, is from €56 and is available at www.brownthomas.com and www.arnotts.ie.
24 Ireland’s Biggest 90’s Disco
Put on your party shoes, fluff out your rara skirt, polish your Doc Martens and find that Blur T-shirt that has been lurking in the back of your wardrobe! Ireland’s Biggest 90’s Disco is bringing the party to Dublin’s 3Arena on October 23. The Biggest 90’s disco is an immersive music experience featuring fancy dress, flash mobs, lots of confetti, fireworks and many more special effects and surprises (Just what we all need after 18 months in our trackie bottoms!) The Biggest Disco line-up has over 17 acts, including Gala, 2 Unlimited, Alice Deejay, DJ ATB, Robin S, Vengaboys, Whigfield, and Atomic Kitten. During each interval between the bands, the Biggest Disco DJ will be spinning tracks from the 1990s and keeping the rhythm alive for the entire night. Prices starting from €50 for seated tickets, including booking fees; www.ticketmaster.ie.
25 Attend a theatre premiere
The world premiere of Glue, a tense psychological Dublin thriller by Robbie O’Connor is taking place during Dublin Theatre Festival from October 18 – 23. As for the plot – “Dean receives an invitation out of the blue to visit an old friend in hospital, someone he hasn’t seen in years, since they were kids and drifted apart. What could be the harm in that?” Plenty I’m sure; www.dublintheatrefestival.ie.
26 Enjoy this new design emporium
Nordic Elements Interior Design Studio & Gallery, founded by Helle Moyna, has just opened in Blackrock village, Co Dublin. The new light-filled and spacious 200sqm premises – formerly Adam’s Auction Rooms – is a hybrid of retail, design studio and lifestyle gallery showcasing Scandinavian and European brands. Exclusive to Nordic Elements is MAZÓ (www.mazo-design.com) from which there will be special opening offers along with a select number of brand partners. In addition to an interior design service (clients can visit by appointment), there will be a carefully curated selection of lighting, interior accessories and design books. Worth remembering when it comes to sourcing Christmas presents (the store also offers a gift wrapping service too!); www.nordicelements.com.
27 Enjoy Wexford Opera Festival
The 70th Wexford Festival Opera will run from October 19 – 31. One of the many special performances is that of internationally renowned American soprano Angela Meade. In 2010, she made her European debut in the title role of Mercadante’s Virginia with Wexford Festival Opera and has become one of today’s outstanding vocalists, excelling in the most demanding of heroines of the 19th century bel canto repertoire, as well as in the operas of Verdi and Mozart. She will be performing on October 27 at the National Opera House and a limited number of tickets to attend in person are now available from wexfordopera.com.
28 Halloween decorations
Officially a thing, some of the prettiest Halloween decorations I’ve seen are by Katie Larmour, who creates luxury items from salvage, deadstock and vintage Irish Linens. “I created a range of novelty hanging decorations in January 2019 and have been adding new designs to it ever since. The growing collection has something for just about every season and occasion,” says says. Larmour’s autumn collection includes delicate spiderwebs, pumpkins, leaves and more: katielarmour.com.
29 Trick or Treat?
I’m all in for a payday treat – look no further than Laura Chambers’ new AW21 collection full of glamour, luxury and optimism. This new range has a focus on relaxed knitwear and silk velvet trousers in a spectrum of jewel colours that will lift your spirits and inject a touch of 1970s disco glamour into your wardrobe. Emerald green, aqua marine, gold topaz, teal and hot pink are some of the cashmere colours available with complimentary colour silk velvet trousers. The trousers are available in two styles, a wide legged trouser and a cropped track pant. Both styles can be dressed up for a night on the town or down for an evening of home; www.laura-chambers.com.
Main feature image: River Island AW21; www.riverisland.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.