Saturday 17 March 2018


Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is a nice treat for mum
Afternoon tea is a nice treat for mum
Treat your mum to a posh cuppa in the plush surrounds of a hotel

IF you've forgotten Mother's Day, afternoon tea might be the ideal way to make up and spoil her in the fine surroundings of a plush hotel – but without the cost of fine dining.

Most venues around the country offer a three-tiered platter of exquisitely prepared finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, homemade pastries and cakes. Pricier menus feature wraps and melts and added extras include a glass of bubbly to make it an extra special occasion.

In Limerick several locations offer the ceremony of afternoon tea and its delights of sweet and savoury snacks, maybe turning the site of the 1691 Treaty into the city of treats.

Best: €30 for two at the Limerick Strand Hotel.

Avoid: €26.50 per person Adare Manor.

Saving: €23.00


Ringing around for a new car insurance policy almost takes the fun out of buying a new car – if that can be classed as enjoyment anymore.

Even for a bank manager living in Dublin 15, the difference in prices would be enough to take the thrill out of zipping around town in his Audi A4.

The 35-year-old is looking for fully comp for his 2004 registered 1.9 car, which is worth €7,000. The excess would be €300. The driver has a full clean licence, with no points or claims.

Best: €458 Allianz

Avoid: €847 Zurich

Saving: €389


Have a little something to put away for a rainy day, or a wee windfall you want to set aside in savings? Since the imposition of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (Dirt) on any money made on savings – which is deducted at source by banks and building societies – some question if it's even worth squirreling your cash away. For others it's the perfect way to stop yourself going on a spending spree and keeping it somewhere secure for the future. If you have €5,000 and can manage to put it away for 24 months – without touching it – what can you make?

Best: €207.50 EBS

Avoid: €45 RadoDirect

Savings: €162.50 (before Dirt)


For homeowners in Tipp, changing the insurance provider could save enough for a very long weekend away. How much for a couple in their mid-30s to insure a family home in Cappawhite worth €350,000? It has a standard alarm and no previous claims. Buildings cover of €270,000, 30 per cent contents cover and €300 excess.

Best: €200 Chrome Insurance

Avoid: €601.30 Axa

Saving: €401.30


Shooting friends or colleagues with balls of paint might be your idea of fun – and some corporate bosses think it's how you build a good team.

Paintballing is also one of the most popular activities for birthday, stag and some hen parties. Most venues cost and offer about the same.

In Co Wicklow, Skirmish Paintball in Blessington's Kippure Estate claims to be the country's premier venue with six purpose-built game areas.

About 30km away in Killruddery Estate in Bray, Delta Force boasts film-set quality game zones including Black Hawk Down and Chemical Alley.

Best: Delta Force (€50 for equipment and 600 paintballs)

Avoid: Skirmish Paintball (€55 for equipment and 600 paintballs)

Saving: €5

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