Hot list: This weekend's top Irish events and buy-me-now products
A great hat is the accessory that just keeps on giving in terms of occasion wear - it's a lifesaver on bad hair days and it livens up dresses that have had too many outings. We're now approaching hat season so if you're looking for a creation to turn heads, check out milliner Deb Fanning's collection.
The Dublin-based hat-maker's ready-to-wear range features some stunning pieces and she also works with clients to create bespoke hats. BUY: Burnt orange silk beaded sinamay headpiece, €95; debfanningmillinery.com
The write stuff
List-makers and journallers can capture their thoughts stylishly with the Dublin notebook collection. Entirely produced in the capital, they're a collaboration between designer Fergus O'Neill and the Irish Design Shop. Each linen cover is hand screen-printed with a pattern based on the railing designs of Dublin city and suburbs and bound by Duffy Bookbinders. You can choose from five patterns in five colours. BUY: €12.50, irishdesignshop.com
Brighten up summer dining tables with Jerpoint Glass' Zest collection. The pieces come in a range of fruity colours including blackberry, citrus and pomegranate and can used as bud vases, hors d'oeuvre pots or as small bowls. Every piece in the collection is handcrafted by artisan glass blowers and while a single piece will make a statement, you could also consider adding tealights to several for hazy summer evenings.
BUY: from €45 at jerpointglass.com
Another week, and yet another great festival in the West. This time it's the Galway Theatre Festival, running from May 1-9, with 25 shows taking place over nine days. The line-up includes John Rogers Theatre, The Sky Babies, Honest Arts and Guerilla Aerial. Highlights include a walking tour of Galway's theatre history, clown performance, late-night comedy improv, and a free performance spectacle at a secret location. BOOK: galwaytheatrefestival.com
For a staycation less ordinary, try any of the Irish Landmark Trust's 26 properties. From castles to lighthouses and lodges, these are as far from an anodyne hotel as you can imagine. If you book before May 10 to stay before the end of June you can avail of 15pc discount (excludes bank holiday weekends).
What was Pizza e Porchetta in Dublin's Grand Canal Quay has been transformed into Osteria Lucio. The duo behind the venture are Michelin-starred chef Ross Lewis (of Chapter One fame) and celebrated Italian chef Luciano Tona. Try the Big Lucio - the kitchen's selection of homemade pasta, meats from the grill, veg and pizza served family style - at €39 per person, for a minimum of two people. BOOK: osterialucio.com
Ah go on!
It's a celebration of all things Father Ted-related, kicking off this Friday in Kilfenora, Co. Clare. Over the three days there are visits to the Parochial House, Golden Cleric Awards as well as a Lovely Girls Contest (but of course…). As part of the Father Ted Festival there's a trip to Craggy Island and tea, cakes and craic are all on the agenda. Did we mention that the Hairy Babies will be performing songs in Vaughan's pub? BOOK: from €35, tedtours.com/festival
Relight our fires
Be still our beating hearts, as Take That returns to Dublin to play the 3Arena on May 8. Jason Orange will be sorely missed by fans but no doubt that the remaining trio - Mark, Howard and Gary - will do their best to make up for his absence. X Factor star Ella Henderson is the support but the main event is the boys, who are ageing like a fine wine and still coming up with cracking tunes.
BOOK: from €79.50, tickemaster.ie
The 2015 Irish Independent Laurels is currently underway at Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium, Cork and this year's Best Dressed Competition is on the final night of May 9. The three prizes, of vouchers for Wilton Shopping Centre are worth frocking out for as they range from €200 to €1,000! Our very own Fashion Editor, Bairbre Power, will be on hand to ensure the most stylish of ladies scoop the prizes. BOOK: Admission €10, telephone 1890 269 969 or email email@example.com