Hot list: This weekend's top Irish events and buy-me-now products
If you skipped Home Ec in school - or can still only make the five dishes you learned in class - you'll benefit from the expertise of Ruth Wassel.
She runs regular cookery demonstrations at her Dublin base, as well as private cooking lessons. The more advanced cook will enjoy her instruction evenings for the Thermomix - the food processor beloved of model and food blogger Roz Purcell who regularly works with Ruth. DETAILS: cookingwithruth.ie
Tucked up a laneway in Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin 3, Quack+Dirk is a go-to boutique for those in the know seeking out vintage and handmade finds. This season, it's all about the beautiful dresses from Paris and Spain, as well as brightly coloured leather satchels for a stylish colour pop that, at €39, won't drain your current account. Don't miss the immensely flattering dresses by Egerie, Paris, which work as well for the office as they do for weddings.
Talent laid bear
The Brown Bear restaurant at Two Mile House has scooped both best Kildare restaurant and Kildrae chef in the Irish Restaurant Awards and as a result can expect to be inundated with hungry diners. To celebrate the award, they've devised a special tasting menu, for €45. Dishes include seabass, pea and kohlrabi; duck breast, beetroot and kale and banana, peanut butter and chocolate. Book: thebrownbear.ie
Organic, natural, Irish oils? Yes please! The Yogandha range is all of that and its creator, Sinead Duffy, describes her products as 'wellness in a bottle'.
The range includes three perfume roller-balls, as well as nourishing body oils called Muscle Soothe, Detox and Relax. Five per cent of the profits go to Women International.
Buy: Rollerballs, €19.95, and body oils, €29.95 at yogandha.com
See the light
April and the Bear is the marvellously named Dublin-based shop of the coolest homewares imaginable. You'll find everything here from fabulous decanters, to quirky art, interesting jewellery, mugs less ordinary and statement furniture pieces. Especially lovely is the copper and wood pendant light, €160, which they suggest hanging near dark walls for a striking contrast. Buy: aprilandthebear.com
A new exhibition at the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art's Steambox Gallery, on Dublin's School Street, gives both pause for thought and a visual kick. 'Optic Preen' a collaboration between the National College of Art and Design and Irish whiskey company Teeling, is centred on the body, myth and fantasy. It features 14 pieces in a variety of mediums.
The Rare and Special Plant Fair taking place in Airfield, Dundrum, this Sunday is one of the highlights of the horticultural calendar. Established in 2001, it gives visitors the opportunity to source difficult-to-find plants. This year over 40 specialist nurseries will be on site giving expert advice on care and planting as well as having their rare breeds available to purchase. It's also the chance to enjoy Airfield, Dublin's only working farm open to the public.
Details: 10am-5pm tomorrow, See rareandspecialplantfair.ie
Dive in to the dock
Grand Canal Dock is generally a hive of activity and the Dublin Dockland's Summer Festival next week will see it become even more so. There will be lots of water activities for the public to try out including paddle boarding and barge rides, water golf off the jetty, or you can sponsor a duck in the Docklands Rubber Duck Race. On land, expect street performers, music, face painting, fun fair attractions and an excellent food market.
Where to begin with the great line-up of chefs and food and drink writers at the Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine? Some of the biggest culinary names in the world are speaking here, of both international and Irish renown including Alice Waters, Joanna Blythman, Mark Hix and Darina Allen to name but a few. Demonstrations, discussions, dinners and talks all combine to make this an unmissable weekend for foodies.
DETAILS: May 15-17; see litfest.ie