Bairbre Power... Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
Grand marshal of Dublin's St Patrick's Day parade, the Olympian sailing silver medallist Annalise Murphy - pictured here with her dad, Con - was in flying form when we lunched at the M&S rooftop restaurant, with its panoramic views overlooking Grafton Street.
From laser dinghy in Rio to laser-sharp knives at Ballymaloe Cookery School, I got to hear all about Annalise's culinary adventures with the Allens, as we escaped the Paddy's Day rain and lunched as guests of M&S marketing boss Carmel Breheny, pictured (above, right) with Linda Keating.
Pulling on her foodie hat, Annalise told me how, over the last two months, she has become skilled at "cutting onions extremely fast". The double Olympian is now a week short of completing the prestigious 12-week cooking course in the famous East Cork school. Doing the course was as much for a bit of personal downtime as it was for acquiring cooking skills, but one thing is for sure: Annalise told me, "I won't be opening an restaurant."
She has been coming home to Dublin at weekends and, according to her mum, Cathy McAleavey - who competed in sailing in the 1988 Seoul Olympics - it's Annalise's quiche Lorraine with a salad of caramelised walnuts and pears that has won everyone's heart.
Interiors genius Philippe Starck is a legend of modern design - he transformed our morning OJ rituals with his leggy, chrome orange juicer. I'm a big fan of his Louis Ghost chairs for Kartell and it's always great to be able to introduce a whiff of modern luxury into your life at an affordable price. While a night at the Delano South Beach in Miami or the Felix bar he designed at The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong may out of the question, Philippe's chic new fragrances are not.
The design guru was in Dublin on Monday to introduce his new fragrance collection, which is exclusive to Brown Thomas. Philippe travelled over with his wife and muse, Jasmine Abdellatif Starck, pictured above, for the exclusive launch of Starck Paris at the Grafton Street store. The range of three eaux de toilette (Peau de Soie is my favourite) was inspired by childhood memories of his mother's perfume shop in the 17th arrondissement.
Big Mother's Day congratulations for FleishmanHillard PR Astrid Brennan and her husband, James. She just given birth to twins named Florence and Freddie Flanagan.
The latest arrival on our burgeoning Afternoon Tea circuit comes from the InterContinental Dublin in Ballsbridge, which has introduced a 'G&Tea' - a deliciously soothing Tanqueray-infused Earl Grey tea with hints of pimento, peppercorn and lime peel. And kicking thin cucumber sandwiches into touch, they're offering a very modern slow-cooked pork belly finger sandwich with fig marmalade! I met (3) Darren Kennedy enjoying a pre-launch sneak peak of the unique G&Tea with the hotel's new GM, Nicky Logue. Darren told me how he bumped into Hugh Grant in the Huntsman store on London's Savile Row when he was getting ready to judge their tweed competition. Fans of Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman movie, starring Colin Firth, might recognise the famous tailoring house as the location for the hidden Secret Service HQ.