Bairbre Power: Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
Co-directors of the fifth annual Ballymaloe Litfest Darina Allen and her brother Rory O'Connell, pictured here with John Bowman (right), hosted a splendid, laughter-filled launch party packed with foodies, all salivating over the line-up for the three-day festival from May 19-21.
In a new move this year, there is a shift from 'literary' to 'literacy', with a spotlight on "the grammar of cooking".
The Litfest party was held at O'Connells in Donnybrook, Dublin (owned by Darina and Rory's brother Tom) and the pair certainly whetted our appetites with talk of incoming speakers like Claudia Roden, and Robin Gill from The Dairy in Clapham. I was quick to book myself into the Sunday talk by film producer Lord David Puttnam, on the subject of his life in West Cork and his many interests, including food sustainability - and I can't wait for a proper catch-up with Trish Deseine, who swapped Paris for life in West Cork.
The party was emceed by John Bowman, who joked with Rory about how jealous he was that he could pull off denims with velvet. Rory quickly clarified that his splendid double- breasted rust jacket was, in fact, corduroy. Dapper himself in a cream linen suit and very bold floral tie, John recalled how the Dáil used to have left-wing politicans wearing corduroy with patches. "Now they just wear pink shirts."
Guests included food stylist and writer Sharon Hearne Smith, above, and we were treated to a performance by The Lalala Choir.
Out and about elsewhere, stylist (below) Cathy O'Connor attended the party at House on Leeson Street to introduce Ahmed Elafifi, the founder of a new 'relaxation' drink called Tranquini.
At the Dylan Hotel, model (below) Thalia Heffernan and her dog, Lenny (centre with Lurcher friends Stitch and Rocco), had fun at a brunch hosted by Pettura veterinary products. Guests enjoyed dog sketching by illustrious illustrator Conor Merriman.
Leading American skincare brand Hey Honey recently hosted a much-buzzed-about breakfast at The Hive in Airfield Estate in Dundrum, Dublin. The brand's Colorado-based founder/CEO, Katerina Yoffe Larden, flew in specially to do a Q&A with TV3 presenter Ruth O'Neill, who is also an ambassador for the skincare range. Guests tucked into a honey-inspired breakfast, including honey-infused scones, granola pots and fresh honeycomb. There was a sense of industry too and guests were invited to show off their green-fingered skills with a flower-arranging workshop led by the talented Ruth Monahan of Appassionata Flowers, pictured here (right) with TV presenter Holly White. Naturally, Ruth used wild flowers and foliage, all beloved by honey bees.
New York-based fashion king Don O'Neill is paying a flying visit home this weekend for the VIP Style Awards, as a Best New Designer nominee. Wild horses won't stop him and his florist husband, Pascal, heading to Kerry at 7am today for family time in Ballyheigue; they fly home tomorrow.