Visit: Birr Castle Demesne, Co Offaly, where there’s 120 acres of parkland, and garden walks to explore. New this year, and suitable for all generations, is the 2km, hour-long “Solar Trail”, which explores the galaxy, and the 5km “Red Tree Trail” (comprising 65 trees of distinction) which can be enjoyed over multiple visits if needed. For younger visitors, the popular “Quest” – a family friendly trail – explores a variety of interesting sites within the demesne from the Great Telescope to the Icehouse. Also new this year is the opportunity for the Japanese spiritual practise of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, known for boosting immune systems. After walking and bathing, the café in the Courtyard is open for take-outs; www.birrcastle.com.
Light up: For World Ovarian Cancer Day on May 8. Did you know Ireland has one of the highest mortality rates in the world from ovarian cancer and this is mainly due to late diagnosis? Get involved in the #TEALights social media campaign to show solidarity with families and survivors. Many public buildings around Ireland will be illuminated in teal – the colour associated with the fight against ovarian cancer around the world. Also on Saturday at 11am, organisers will host a free webinar on “Ovarian cancer; PARP inhibitors and beyond” given by Dr Dearbhaile Collins. You can register for this free event on www.bit.ly/May8Parp.
Support: The National Gallery of Ireland, which will reopen on Monday, May 10, following 137 days of closure. Its “New Perspectives” exhibition opening on Tuesday, May 11, will allow the public to view many of new acquisitions to the national collection for the first time. Some highlights include Cityscape by American artist Alice Neel and City Rectangle by Ilya Bolotowsky. New Perspectives also features works that have been purchased by Friends and Patrons of the National Gallery of Ireland, including Her First Communion by John Lavery and Crayfish by Anne Yeats. Tickets for “New Perspectives” can be purchased online, starting from €5. Tickets can be booked by visiting www.nationalgallery.ie.
Pop on: A cocktail ring for an instant pick-me-up – good practice for an actual return to cocktail bars. Online high street stores are awash with faux gem knuckledusters that are molto Elizabeth Taylor. For the real thing and a genuine investment, browse Adam’s Fine Jewellery Sale online catalogue ahead of its sale on May 25. Pictured is the “Diorette” by Dior created by Victoire de Castellane. This piece was designed to “bloom” upon the wearer, mixing the natural with the fantastical, creating a miniature world separate from reality. www.adams.ie
Walk: For a panoramic view of Kilkenny, a climb on Brandon Hill is recommended for views and Insta memories. Afterwards try Muse Coffee + Food, a café located in the grounds of Kilkenny’s Butler Gallery – the new contemporary art gallery – which has just launched a family-friendly brunch menu. Muse’s pretty outdoor dining pods take in the serene courtyard garden and medieval surrounds. At weekends brunch will be served from 10am to 5pm. Afterwards, why not take a stroll down Butterslip Lane, with its Notting Hill vibes … www.musefood.ie
Treat: Sunnier days, brighter evenings and a nudge towards summer deserves fresh seafood and chilled wine! Perfect timing, therefore, for Roly’s Bistro Irish Seafood Festival which takes place until Sunday, May 8. Participating suppliers include: Donal O’Sullivan, Shellfish de la Mer, Castletownbere, and Glenmar Seafood, Union Hall, both from West Cork, in addition to Oliver & Rose Martin Kilteel and Wrights of Marino. As for the menu, it includes lots of Roly’s Bistro favourites such as its fresh Dublin Bay prawn bisque, prawn cocktail, crab claws with garlic, chilli and ginger butter for starters. Mains include grilled dover sole, a delicious seafood plater and, of course, the iconic Dublin bay prawns with garlic, chilli and ginger with coriander scented rice. Order online at www.rolysbistro.ie for collection or delivery within 6km.
Sculpt: The Hunt Museum, Limerick has just launched a competition to create a sculpture from a chestnut tree stump for its new Museum in a Garden. You’ll need some background information first. The Hunt Museum in a Garden is currently being landscaped as a new public space for Limerick, and includes spaces for a Sensory Garden with plenty of seating, a garden chess set, boules and ‘hills’ to roll down. Conceived as an extension to the museum, there are seven sculpture plinths in situ surrounded by planting that express the proposed sculpture’s origins. Three dimensional scanning and printing are being used to reproduce large scale replicas of artefacts within the museum, “hidden” in the collection cases. As for your sculpture ideas, ideally they will reflect objects in the museum and it could also be a climbable structure. The winning artist will receive up to €4,000 in prize money, with entries and pictures and drawings of your idea to be submitted by Friday, May 28. www.huntmuseum.com
Investigate: Ruibin on the Docks in Galway City Centre, which is temporarily popping back in the form of a Deli and Wine Shop. Since opening its doors in 2019, Ruibin has quickly joined other illustrious Galway “must eat” locations. Working with La Mission Wines and Wine Lab, the Ruibin Wine Shop has an extensive range of organic, natural and biodynamic wines that pair beautifully with lighter summer dining; www.ruibin.ie.
Plan ahead: For the numerous literature festivals coming up later in the month. The International Literature Festival Dublin, from May 20 – 30, has as its theme “Here & Now” and includes 120 authors and artists from 26 countries participating in an engaging menu of online talks, readings, performances, audio walks and podcasts. The programme perhaps reflects the renewed interest in reading during the last year and how much people love and need stories and the world of the imagination. Happy reading this weekend! www.ilfdublin.com
Main featured image: the new loungewear collection from Rixo; www.rixo.co.uk
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.