Hot list: What we want to see, do and buy this weekend
There are so many good things happening on the High Street scene including Mango's chic winter collection - as fronted by Kate M and Cara D - and next year's H&M Conscious Exclusive collection, which is a collaboration with the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Right now, Next is ticking an awful lot of wardrobe boxes, with a collection including everything from oversized knits to sequin ombre dresses and plaid, fur-collared coats. It's where you're as likely to pick up a party frock as you are some work wear, making it the proverbial one-stop shop.
BUY: Chevron jacket, €107; roll-neck sweater, €46; camel skirt, €57, from stores nationwide and ie.nextdirect.com/en/
Scent of Africa
Roads, the lifestyle brand created by Ryanair heiress Danielle Ryan, has launched its new range of artisan scents, the Africa collection. The four fragrances use African ingredients combined with influences of literature, art and dance. Afropolis, for example, celebrates the rise of Africa's multi-cultural cities and features packaging designed by an African artist.
BUY: €98, available in Brown Thomas and online at roads.co
It's a universal truth that when you get your hair done, you will want to go and show off the results. With the Christmas on Crow Street package, your post-pampering outing is factored in. Start with a glass of Prosecco on arrival in the Crow Street Collective salon, followed by a signature up-do or blow dry and make-up or Shellac. Then, move next door to Nick Munier's Avenue restaurant for a house cocktail and a four-course meal. Who knows where you might end up after that?
BOOK: €149, available on Sundays only and limited to groups of five or more. Tel: (01) 764-5730
Now it's December and the festive period has properly kicked off, nobody can judge you sartorially. For the next month, you're allowed to live in your reindeer onesie and wear Christmas tree earrings into the office. Even if you prefer to keep your attire a little more restrained, a modicum of festive glitz is called for. This rose gold and silver star pendant on leather strands whispers rather than shouts 'party-ready'.
BUY: €54 (in a set with matching earrings), coronasilver.ie
One of the weightiest exhibitions of Irish artists in recent years is launching at Glór Ennis on Monday. 30 Years, Artists, Places marks three decades since local authorities started providing for the arts. Clare was the first county to appoint an arts officer in 1985. The exhibition - which begins a two-year countrywide tour - features works by Robert Ballagh and Alice Maher as well as emerging talents.
Seafood lovers are in for a treat at Roly's Café in Ballsbridge, Dublin, which has just been relaunched with a new evening menu. The Shellfish corner, where two courses cost €21.95, is a more casual dining experience than the traditional bistro and tempting offerings include Castletownbere crab claws, Dublin Bay prawns and Wexford mussels. New also is Rotisserie@Roly's, where the chicken, with a homemade herb stuffing is the dream comfort food for chilly December evenings.
A thoughtful and beautiful gift for nature-loving family and friends abroad - or, indeed, at home - this Christmas is Kilkee Studio's wildflower calendar. It features 12 Irish botanicals painted in season to match the month by Skibbereen based artist Sonia Caldwell, and there's also information on each flower, with their English, Irish and Latin names.
DETAILS: €14 at kilcoestudios.com and selected stockists countrywide
It's not really Christmas unless at least one viewing of the classic festive flick The Snowman is involved. On December 18, a magical experience awaits at the National Concert Hall with a showing of the film, and the score played live by an orchestra. Singer Eimear Quinn is the special guest and actor Simon Delaney narrates the uplifting story of a boy called James and his friendship with the flying snowman.
BOOK: Tickets are €22; child's ticket €17 and family ticket €73. See nch.ie
Into the west
If you fancy abdicating Christmas dinner duty, the five-star Glenlo Abbey in Galway has a tempting package. You'll arrive on Christmas Eve and stroll around the estate, or practise your swing with golf pro Gary Madden, followed by a mulled wine reception and a selection of festive movies. On Christmas Day enjoy breakfast, and later a glass of Bollinger before a five-course lunch. The resident pianist will be playing in the lounges from 3-5pm. There's a special visit from Santa with a personalised gift and, afterwards, a light fork supper.
BOOK: Two-night package from €565pps. See glenloabbeyhotel.ie