Friday, January 28, 2011

Beacon of Hope

Beauty Beacons: 1. Sinead Moloney & Linda Hill; 2. Lisa Fitzpatrick; 3. Paloma Feijoo & Tara O Farrell. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

With this month seeming to drag on forever let’s praise be for the Beacon Hotel’s pamper packages. Those in need of a bit of TLC can avail of a range of different options to sooth the soul including beauty treatments followed by cocktails and dinner at the My Thai restaurant.

To celebrate the initiative there was the Beauty Beckons fashion show produced by Andrea Roche which showcased the latest styles from Camille, Coco and Anastasia Boutiques along with well known brands such as Karen Millen, Bastyan and Louis Copeland.

The lovely Lisa Fitzpatrick hosted the evening and among those who paid a visit to the hip Sandyford hangout were models Roz Purcell and Pippa O’Connor and Glenda Gilson of Xpose.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fine Wine

Wine lovers: 1. Anne Foley & Liz McDonald; 2. Maria Byrne; 3. Owen Byrnes & Deborah Doherty. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Patrick Materman, Chief Winemaker for Brancott Estate flew in from New Zealand to join over 60 wine enthusiasts in the Cliff Town House this week to celebrate the brand’s name change from Montana to Brancott Estate. On the night he treated guests to a wine tasting, guiding them through the finer points of Brancott Estate’s signature Sauvignon Blanc, as well as its punchy Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio. Guests included Lynda Cody of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, wine writer Liam Campbell and Aoife Cox of The Daily Spud blog.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Gooseberries

Gooseberries: 1. Barbara McCarthy & Paddy Cullivan; 2. Madeline Mulqueen; 3. Sami Long & Adam Elligott.

The Meteor Awards have been canceled this year, but all is not lost! Ireland’s most quirky awards ceremony, the highly sought after Gooseberries were back with a bang! Homage to the Hollywood Raspberry Awards, this glittering event celebrated the worst in Irish music and media in 2010 as voted for by the public.

And the winners are:

1. Worst Irish Act - Crystal Swing
2. Worst Irish Ad - Bertie Ahern in News of The World
3. Worst Irish Radio DJ - Neil Prendeville
4. Worst Irish TV Programe - Fade St
5. Worst Irish Single - "He Drinks Tequila" Crystal Swing
6. Worst Irish Album - "Planet Jedward"
7. Worst Irish TV Host - Ray Foley
8. Worst Irish Concert - Guns n Roses @ The O2
9. Worst Irish Publication - News of The World
10. Worst Irish Journalist - Bertie Ahern

Poor Crystal Swing! But it’s not all bad. This year, for the first time ever two very special ‘Gooseberry for being Great’ awards were presented. Comedian David MacSavage picked up his special award on the night while The Rubberbandits and received a special award for their trojan work last year.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Field

Field fans: 1. Daithi O Shea and Rita Talty; 2. Laura, Anne and Lainey Keane; 3. Moya Doherty and John McColgan. (Pix. James Horan / Collins)

“We’re paupers but isn’t it better to be a pauper and have a clean conscience about your debts?” How very apt.

This week saw the premiere of the latest version of John B Keane’s award-winning play, The Field. It is directed by Joe Dowling with Brian Dennehy performing the iconic role of ‘The Bull’ McCabe. The play is on at The Olympia Theatre where it premiered over 45 years ago and will run from January 13 through to 12 February. Among the guests were Karen Koster and John Maguire, Paul Brady, Darina Allen, Senator David Norris, Brenda Fricker, Colm Tobin and members of the Keane family.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Airs of Spring

Spring forward: 1. Karen Higgins & Sonya Lennon; 2. Mariette Doran & Sive O'Brien; 3. Katie Boynder & Carley Roberts-Gunn. (Pix. Leon Farrell/Photocall)

We may still be in the throws of wintery weather and the outlook remains so but Brown Thomas had a bright disposition this week as it showcased the future spring / summer collections for 2011. Of course there’s plenty of colour in store for fans of Stella McCartney, Balenciaga and the like but the big news is that there are over 50 new labels into the store.

Among them Project D, the fashion brand established by Danii Minogue; her style cred increases year on year. Victoria Beckham has always had style credibility but her talent as a ‘designer’ will be cemented with her latest collection which closed the show. Her long black evening gown (of which there are only two in stock) was admired by all the fashionable girls in attendance, who included Off the Rails presenter Sonya Lennon, Daisy Regan of top concierge Quintessentially Ireland, Roxanne Parker and Sive O’Brien of IMAGE magazine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Every good deed...

Good stuff: 1. Neasa White and Chris Maher; 2. Jodi Doran; 3. Rebecca Hoey. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

A positive start to the new year with the Vodafone Ireland Foundation, the charitable arm of Vodafone, announcing the deserving winners of its first ever World of Difference 3 month paid placement programme. The programme provides 30 people with the chance to ‘donate’ themselves to charitable causes and take up a placement with an Irish charity of their choice, funded by the mobile organisation’s foundation.

Each candidate will represent leading Irish charities across important issues such as aid and development, children and youth and education and training, among others - both in Ireland and abroad. Each of the winners has a specific project to undertake, chosen due to the tangible and lasting impact they will have on their chosen cause.

Applications for the scheme flooded in from around the country since last October. They were asked to outline the role they could undertake with their nominated charity and to specifically address how they could make a demonstrable difference within the 3 month period. A panel of judges including Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Frances Black and Darren Byrne were tasked with choosing the winners.

Friday, January 07, 2011

On the Edge

Rock chic: 1. Corina Gaffey and Aoife Woodlock; 2. Anna Cosgrave; 3. Celina Murphy and Claire Byrne. (Pix. Leon Farrell)

To the revamped Andrew’s Lane Theatre where TG4 hosting a little shindig to welcome the return to our TV screens of the alternative music series Ceol Ar An Imeall (Music On The Edge).

Up-and-coming Dublin blues rock trio The Minutes performed at the event which was attended by the series presenter, journalist and DJ Una Mullally, as well as Cormac de Barra, presenter of the TG4 arts & culture series Imeall (also made by Red Shoe Productions) and a number of the bands being featured in the series such as Fight Like Apes, CODES, Cast of Cheers and Cap Pas Cap.

The new series features interviews and music from some of the hottest international alternative music acts including Plan B, The Temper Trap and Vampire Weekend. Tune in Wednesday, January 12 at 11.15pm (repeated Fridays at 6.25pm).

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Cook up a storm

Gastronomes: 1. Roberto Vispo & Rachel Garvey; 2. Alannah Conlon & Rob Kearney; 3. Sarah Clarkin & Jan Leyden. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

A host of food enthusiasts turned out to eat, drink and be merry for the unveiling of the new state-of-the-art Cooks Academy on South William Street recently. Guests tasted the culinary delicacies by the academy chefs complimented by wines from Brancott Estate, a renowned match for food and creators of the Original Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which is celebrating its change of name from Montana wines.

Featuring three top-of-the-range teaching kitchens and capacity to cater for up to seventy-two people for hands-on cookery lessons, the cookery school can also take eighty people for demonstration cookery lessons, and up to one hundred people for corporate cooking events. In addition to the teaching kitchens the school features a dedicated tasting room for its new wine education business, the Dublin Wine Academy.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy New Year

Having a Ball: 1. Norman Pratt & Avril Collins; 2. Catriona Hanly & Helen O'Dwyer; 3. Paul Ryan.

Those who are old enough to know better flee the city centre for New Year’s Eve celebrations. Why deal with crowded pubs and clubs and the inevitable long wait for a taxi home when you can ring in the New Year in the comfort of your own home? Or even better, someone else’s home.

Designer Catriona Hanly had the right idea when she gathered a together a group of her nearest and dearest friends for an intimate NYE soiree at Kilronan Castle. Back from Paris, where she’s been working on her first fashion collection (she’s already done interiors and jewellery), Catriona was the belle of the ball as she welcomed guests on the evening. Dinner, fireworks and dancing proved to be a winning formula for an unforgettable night.

Happy New Year!