Bairbre Power... Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
It's only taken me 11 years to finally take up Neven Maguire's kind invitation to join him for dinner at his MacNean House & Restaurant, which his mum founded in Blacklion, Co Cavan. It has now become such a destination that it's booked out for weekend accommodation until 2019
The occasion was the book launch for Neven Maguire's Perfect Irish Christmas, his 15th tome, and we toasted it in great style. Guests including RTÉ's Mary Kennedy (left in main photo) and Marian Finucane - on whose weekend radio show Neven is a frequent expert contributor - travelled to Cavan for the party.
We dined on local Thornhill duck and oh how the seared sea scallops and caramelised pork cheek with textures of pumpkin tantilised our palates. Out next came a ginger beer sorbet before Finnebrogue venison followed by Pat Clarke's exceptionally tasty strawberries. I loved all the personal touches, like Neven bringing out all his kitchen staff to introduce them to his guests and, upstairs, he'd left a personalised copy of his book in my room. There are some who probably wished I had availed of a stool at his cookery class next morning but, sadly, Dublin beckoned. Still, I have his book for Christmas kitchen duties.
Our own Darren Kennedy pulled on a great Burton monochrome coat to attend the Baileys Treatyard event. Just back from Vegas, our style writer found himself on stage with Elton John singing Saturday at Elton's gig at Caesars Palace. "It was a totally surreal experience," said a beaming Darren.
I caught up with Sophie Kenny and her artist beau, David Uda, at an exclusive Culinaire and Arts evening at The Restaurant by Johnnie Cooke at Brown Thomas, Dublin. The event celebrated good food, Hennessy and six new iconic supermodel faces by David, whose artist name is Duda. His canvas of Lily Cole was quite something.
Congrats to the Avoca team including marketing whiz Maoliosa Connell, who, with creative director Ros Walshe in hilarious fortune teller rig-out, hosted a 'Get Festivy' party to celebrate the start of Christmas at their Suffolk Street store in Dublin. Celebrations continued last weekend when Avoca Dunboyne won best lifestyle store at the Retail Excellence awards in Killarney, Co Kerry.
Sallyanne Clarke from l'Ecrivain looked every inch the former model as she posed with her dapper hubbie, Michelin-star chef Derry Clarke, at the launch of the 2018 edition of Ireland's Blue Book in Castle Leslie Estate, Co Monaghan. I was delighted to see the five-star Glenlo Abbey, Galway, join the illustrious collection. I love it for its chic Pullman restaurant and because it's dog-friendly too.
If you thought the Kate Middleton fashion crush was diminishing, it's not! Interest in the Goat label at Arnotts peaked again after the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing their 'Eloise' dress at a charity event. Goat used to be a fave label of Victoria Beckham... before she started her own!
Picture: Kieran Harnett
Picture: Marc O'Sullivan
Picture: Kieran Harnett
Picture: Brian Mcevoy
Picture: James Connolly