Hot list: What we want to see, do and buy this weekend
For all the fanfare about French girl chic, it's actually Spain that gets the popular vote. Brands like Mango, Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear consistently deliver affordable fashion fixes, but you don't have to limit yourself to these retailers.
Uterqüe, available online, is the grown-up, more sophisticated sister of Zara - they're both owned by the same parent company. It's slightly more expensive, but you're paying for understated elegance. And can you really put a price on reducing the risk of rocking up to an event in the same Zara frock as three other people?
BUY: Printed poplin dress, €110; uterque.com/ie
See the works of composers like Mozart and Bach performed by Irish and international artists in historic and unusual venues, including the Botanical Gardens, Killruddery House (pictured) and even the Airbnb International Hub in Dublin's Docklands. The Great Music in Irish Houses Festival runs from June 13-18, and the final day offers a free performance by pianist Dearbhla Collins in the Hugh Lane Gallery. BOOK: greatmusicinirishhouses.com
Discourse, debate and discussion are promised at the Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas, taking place this weekend in Co Carlow. It's a very impressive line-up with writers Maggie O'Farrell, Joanna Trollope and Roddy Doyle appearing tomorrow, as well as actor Dominic West (pictured). A day ticket costs €50 and tickets to individual talks range from €12.50-€25.
The calming effects of colouring-in for grown-ups are well documented but if you prefer architecture to abstract, Colour Dublin is for you. The new book, by brother and sister Gregory and Audrey Bracken, includes 44 line drawings of Dublin's most interesting buildings. Accompanying text explains each building's design style and a brief history, so the book can be both educational and relaxing.
BUY: €9.99, available from bookstores
Drogheda takes to the high seas with its annual Irish Maritime Festival in the port today and tomorrow. Visitors can explore seven tall ships, listen to live music, cheer on the 250 swimmers in the 2.7km Boyne Swim and see sword fights in the Norman Village. Food is a big element, with local produce showcased at 'A Taste of Ireland's Ancient East'.
ON THE CUFF
Unless you count novelty Santa-hat earrings at Christmas, jewellery isn't seasonal. However, summer really is the time when dramatic bracelets and cuffs come into their own - all the better for showing off your tanned, toned arms. We love this bracelet from Dublin designer Deirdre O'Donnell's River collection, for its structural qualities prettified with ribbon ties.
BUY: €220, available at The Collective, 24 Drury Street, Dublin 2; see deirdreodonnell.ie
You know it's summer when Taste of Dublin sets up camp in the Iveagh Gardens. The four-day foodie fest, which starts on Thursday, includes celebrity chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli and Patrick Powell of London hotspot Chiltern Firehouse. Ireland is represented by a roll call of top chefs including Kevin Dundon, Aoife Noonan and Sunil Ghai (all pictured). The theme is 'Flavours of the World', and it's advisable to go there hungry.
BOOK: Tickets from €17.50; tasteofdublin.ie
Dublin's Bull Island beach will be transformed into a riot of colour on Sunday, June 18, when the Dublin Kite Festival lifts off. All are welcome at this free event, which takes place from 11am-5pm. You don't even have to know anything about kites to take part, as experts will be on hand to show you how it's done. There's also live music, kitemaking workshops, games, buggy and land-kiting demos, an introduction to power kites and a kite flying competition.
DETAILS: See dublinkitefestival.ie for the schedule and information on how to build your own simple diamond-shape kite using paper
Seeing Spike Island used as a stage is just one of the highlights of Cork's Midsummer Festival - the multi-disciplinary arts festival that begins next Friday. Running for 10 days, it will see more than 50 events take place across the city. As well as anti-war play Far Away, by Corcadorca Theatre Company at the aforementioned prison, the line-up includes Ireland's largest-ever maypole dance with dance troupe ProdiJIG (pictured) and Like Mother, Like Daughter, where real-life mothers and their darling girls will act out stories from their own lives.
Enjoy your Pac-Man and Donkey Kong fix alongside your tacos in the newly opened Token in Dublin's Smithfield
According to relationship experts, this is the best way to defuse a massive row
Get a sun-soaked glimpse into the lives of the super-rich with Sky Atlantic's new miniseries starring Julia Styles starting Thursday
The tea dress revival
Because a) you probably already own one and b) they're a summer event wardrobe saviour
Having a moment - inflatable mermaid tails and pizza slices are particularly popular
Holiday reading guilt
When the goal was to read something highbrow but you slip and buy a fluffy novel instead
The moth epidemic
Goodbye, beloved but badly stored cashmere jumper
Party food pacing
It can go from 'feeling peckish' to 'pure sausagemeat is now coursing through my veins' in a nanosecond
Lace shorts for men
A horrifying style abomination from LA brand Hologram City. There's a matching top too
'Bikini body' diets
Kaftan body diets are so much more fun