Hot list: This weekend's top Irish events and buy-me-now products
Cook & chill
The Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine takes place next month and the stellar line-up of speakers includes celebrated chefs Alice Waters, Allegra McEvedy, Jack Monroe, Darina Allen and Mark Hix. Castlemartyr Resort, a short drive away, is offering a two-day Litfest package, including breakfast on both mornings and a five-course dinner.
From €260 per room per night, based on a minimum two night stay.
BOOK: castlemartyrresort.ie and quote LitFest when booking.
Culottes are so very on-trend and quite the brave sartorial choice. They're not for everybody - if you're on the petite side, they have the potential to make you look wider than you are taller. Also, if you really want to be of-the-moment, they should be worn with a crop top, which is not for all physiques. But if you do take the plunge, do it with bravado. It doesn't get more statement than hot pink culottes. Will you wear them beyond summer? Of course not, but you'll feel great in them right now. BUY: €69, folkster.com
Colour me charitable
If your house needs a spring revamp, find colour inspiration - as well as decor tips from interior designer Neville Knott - at events hosted by the DFS Style team this week. There will be drinks, canapés and a charity raffle with prizes including €1,000 worth of DFS furniture. The first event happens on Thursday at 7pm in DFS Carrickmines, Dublin, in association with the LauraLynn Children's Hospice, while on Friday at 7pm the Cork store hosts, in association with the Children's Leukaemia Ward at Cork Mercy Hospital Foundation.
BOOK: To reserve a free place for you and a friend, email your name, contact details and preferred venue to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This time of year tends to put one in a nesting frame of mind. Bring spring into your kitchen with the latest collection from Ulster Weavers. Any one of their pieces from their three core patterns - Dotty Sheep, Vintage Florals and Elephants - is incredibly cute, but we especially love the floral tea towel in a jar, which makes for a great gift for a house-proud friend. BUY: €12.95, kilkennyshop.com
Limerick poetry, arts and literary festival, Éigse Michel Harnett, running from Thursday to Saturday, sees some impressive names in attendance. The festival, which is in honour of the late poet Michael Hartnett, is being opened by author Joseph O'Connor. Also included on the line-up is award-winning novelist Kevin Barry, musicians Martin Hayes and David Power, actor Pat Kinevane and the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra.
This Thursday sees the inaugural Spring Awakening Open Culture Day, a one-day festival of free events in Dublin. There's lots to discover from the Authenticity Tour at 10.30am on Mountjoy Square West, to a tango evening in The Pillar Room at the Rotunda at 7pm. There are also gigs, Joycean walking tours and free entry into the Glasnevin Museum if you quote Spring Awakening. BOOK: culturedublinone.com
Limerick poetry, arts and literary festival, Eigse Michel Harnett, which run from Thursday to Saturday, sees some impressive names in attendance. The festival, which is in honour of the late poet Michael Hartnett, is being opened by author Joseph O'Connor, who describes him as one of his favourite poets of all time. Also included on the line-up is award-winning novelist Kevin Barry, musicians Martin Hayes and David Power, actor Pat Kinevane and the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra. A schools programme, walking tour of the town and an Open Mic competition are among the other highlights and a number of the events are free.
DETAILS: See www.eigsemichaelhartnett.ie for the full programme.
Check out the future stars of the Irish art world by taking a trip to Dublin's Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. Here, the 15 regional winners of the Sightsavers Junior Painter of the Year award are on display until Sunday, April 19. The winners were selected from over 5,000 young entrants from primary schools all around the country and the theme of the competition was 'I want you to see…' Overall winner was 9-year-old Katie O'Brien (pictured right), from Swords, Co Dublin who wowed judges with her painting 'I Want You To See Books Fly'.
Rich chowder is one of life's greatest culinary delights. You can have your fill of it on April 19 at the All Ireland Chowder Cook Off in Kinsale, which makes for a Sunday lunch with a difference. Some 32 chefs from each county are competing to be the 2015 All-Ireland Chowder Champion and it's going to be a hotly contested event. Attendees will get to sample all the chowders from the individual stalls before casting their vote for the outright winner. BOOK: Tickets are priced €10, and are available at the door or in advance from Finishing Services, 71 Main Street, Kinsale, Co Cork.
Discover a new you
Want to change your life? Or at least try and improve your health and wellbeing? The Unislim Health and Wellness Show, taking place next Saturday in Dublin's Croke Park, wants to help you on that journey. It's not just about health but also style, fun and encouragement, with Today FM's Mairead Farrell hosting. Speakers include Bressie, chef Clodagh McKenna and athlete Derval O' Rourke, while topics covered range from foods that benefit the body to how to take yourself in hand and get back into gear.
BOOK: Tickets cost €49 per person, which includes a healthy lunch cooked by Clodagh McKenna and a free goodie bag for all attendees. See unislim.com