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Sunday 21 January 2018

Society: Glossy tastes and culinary treats

Rachel Kavanagh at The Glossybox for Nars launch at The Dean Hotel, Dublin.
Rachel Kavanagh at The Glossybox for Nars launch at The Dean Hotel, Dublin.
Sharon Bannerton and Cathal O Connell from City jet at Taste City Fusion which runs until Sunday
Anna Geary (left) and Mairead Ronan at the opening of the Odeon Charlestown cinema.
Director Conor Horgan and Panti at the Irish Premiere screening of Queen of Ireland at the Lighthouse, Dublin
Alison Daly and Erica Bracken celebrating the first birthday of at House Dublin.
Vogue Williams & Baz Ashmawy at the Just Eat National Takeaway Awards. Photo: Anthony Woods
Today FM's Louise Duffy
Meghann Mills O'Riordan and Stephanie Allin at the Wedding Forum
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

It was a week of celebratory breakfasts events and yes, avocado with eggs were on the menu! What is it about this culinary marriage that has taken off and fills out foodie instagram feeds and brunch selections so much?

Rachel Kavanagh, MD of Glossybox UK and Ireland, hosted a chic breakfast midweek at the Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street to announce some exciting news.

Rachel is the proud mum of 10-week-old Esme Rose, who is being spoiled rotten by her adoring big brother Rhys and her dad, businessman Shane McGill. The couple live in Fulham, which is full of Irish and her neighbours include the male supermodel David Gandy.

The Glossy box subscription concept is going from strength to strength, especially in Ireland where women clearly love to be surprised every month with a new selection of edited pieces, many of them exclusives. Their November box will be a partnership with iconic international beauty brand NARS. It took 18 months to plan and Rachel was particularly thrilled, she said, to be able to include Nars 'Audacious' mascara, which sold out instantly when it was launched for AW15. I was up with the lark on Thursday to breakfast at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud for the official launch of Taste City Fusion, Dublin's new city-wide food-and-drink festival which takes place this weekend with over 50 food experiences. Declan Maxwell, formerly of Chapter One, now manager at Luna welcomed guests as an Ambassador of Taste City Fusion, and invited us "to enjoy your dinner, I mean breakfast!"

"I've been doing dinners for so long, it just came out," laughed Martin, who has over a dozen food-tasting engagements this weekend. Tough work.

How Averil Bannerton stays so slim given that her job is constantly tasting new cuisines is beyond me. The Ballinasloe-native thought up the concept of a new Autumn food event after seeing the success of Taste of Dublin - which she's been running for 10 years.

I chatted with Cathal O'Connell, ceo of City Jet, sponsors of the event, which is expected to attract over 5,000 visitors to free and ticketed events. I met John Mulcahy from Fáilte Ireland, who's just back from Galway where there were no fewer than 40 Michelin stars at the Food On The Edge conference. Needless to say, the phones were whisked out and I watched as my neighbour, food stylist Johan van der Merwe, did a fine job of capturing his indulgent scrambled eggs with shaved Bottarga and Piquillo Pepper.

iSense a hit as Black Mass opens cinema

By Bairbre Power

Johnny Depp wasn't able to make to the opening of the Odeon Charlestown nine screen cinema with a screening of Black Mass. but there were plenty of faces enjoying champagne and canapés before heading up to the iSense cinema with popcorn.

I spotted Charlestown developer Mick Bailey and his wife, Therese, with some friends. Duncan Reynolds, md of Odeon UK and Ireland, was chatting to Finglas local girl, Mairead Ronan, who dropped by and Anna Geary.

Boyband Hometown told me they were just back from a big radio tour in England. Nadia Forde swapped reality TV tales with Jade Lynch from Big Brother. Nadia had come straight her IFTAs dress fitting - a fab Lya Solis affair - so there were no snacks for her.

Panti's high (heels) and lows on big screen

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Channelling the spirit of a disco-era diva, Miss Pandora Bliss - aka Panti herself - sashayed down the red carpet at the premiere of The Queen of Ireland in a glimmering gold lamé jumpsuit.

"It's show time," she said in that distinct USA-meets-Ballinrobe drawl.

Having spent five years documenting the high (heels) and lows of Panti's life, filmmaker Conor Horgan's feature documentary finally hit the silver screen this week. Between Pantigate, the rousing Noble Call on the Abbey Theatre stage, a ringing endorsement from Stephen Fry and this year's jubilant Marriage Referendum - it was an eventful shooting schedule to say the least.

"All the stars aligned," director Horgan said. "It couldn't have worked out better."

However, editing the film proved to be a trickier process. "It was an embarrassment of riches. A lot of people we interviewed ended up on the cutting room floor," Horgan said.

"So I spent most of this week going around and apologising profusely to people."

Smithfield's Lighthouse Cinema was bristling with excitement as fans, drags queens and gay icons flooded the foyer. "It's like gay Christmas," fashion designer Brendan Courtney exclaimed.

"All hail Her Royal Highness Panti! I'm delighted for her."

Flame haired TV presenter Angela Scanlon sprinted about filming the latest episode of her RTE 2 series Close Encounters.

"I've been stalking Panti for my TV show for the past two weeks," she said.

"It's been marvellous and magical and, at times, a bit manic."

Father Ted actress Pauline McLynn and comedian Katherine Lynch discussed Lynch's upcoming Tivoli theatre show Don't Bring Me Flowers.

Drag trinity Regina George, Blathnaid McGee and Bunny O'Hare posed for the cameras. Panti had brought her extended family along for the ride.

"Most of Ballinrobe is here, my mum Fin and my dad Rory Snr," he said. "It's a family affair." Across town, and gay icon Tara Flynn was launching her latest book Giving Out Yards - all about our national ability to argue.

"If complaining is an art form, the Irish are Michelangelos," she said.

She was supported by actors Carrie Crowley and Steve Gunn.

Vogue pops out for a takeaway during move

By Kirsty Blake Knox

I can't really envision Vogue Williams tucking into a spice bag or a 3 in 1 - can you?

Be that as it may, the DJ and telly presenter was enlisted to present this year's Just Eat Takeaway Awards along with loveable broadcaster Baz Ashmawy.

Vogue is in the process of moving into her plush new pad. "There's still some art to hang but I'm almost there," she said.

There were a plethora of foodie events happening around town this week.

The celebrated its first birthday with a great big shindig in House with glasses of prosecco and Frankly Buble belting out a string of hits.

Founders Keith and Jules Mahon milled about as restaurateurs and mixologists mingled.

Siam Thai also celebrated 21 years in business and celebrated in style at their Dundrum Town Centre digs. Model Aisling Quinn, the daughter of Niall and Gillian, joined PR guru Avilia Lipsett and blogger Emma O'Farrell at the do.

Louise is in spin over countdown

By Kirsty Blake Knox

The bridal countdown is on for Today FM's Louise Duffy.

Duffy, who will tie the knot with GAA star Paul Galvin next year, was full of chat about her big day when I ran into her at the Alex and Ani Music Series in Dublin's Opium Garden this week.

"I've the venue, and the bridesmaids dresses sorted. So we're getting there slowly but surely. I'm going quite traditional actually," she said.

Duffy's other half Galvin is known for his style - think skinny jeans and Rasputin-inspired beard. But Louise says her fashion-forward fiancé had no influence on her choice of wedding gown.

"Of course he didn't help me pick the dress. That's against the rules!" she said. "I haven't told him what to wear and Paulie hasn't told me."

Louise was manning the decks at Alex and Ani's Music Series and kept the crowd bopping along.

Gavin James was the headlining act and broke several hearts while he sang 'Say Hello' and 'Coming Home'. The intimate gig attracted a stylish set, not surprising given Alex and Ani is a hit with Selena Gomez and Queen Bey.

Still big demand for Amy's lovely wedding dress

By Bairbre Power

I was always dying to meet Stephanie Allin, the Welsh bridal designer who everyone zoned in on after Amy Huberman walked down the aisle in her heart-stoppingly gorgeous Symphony dress.

"There isn't a week that I don't get at least two calls enquiring about the dress that Amy wore," said Stephanie, who I met when she was over for the Shelbourne Wedding Forum on Wednesday.

"The day after the wedding, a neighbour of ours on Chiltern Street called over with the Irish Independent and while I didn't recognise the name Brian O'Driscoll, my husband and family, who are sports mad, knew who Brian was," said Stephanie.

Speaking of designers, I laughed heartily when Paul Costelloe told me about his recent trip to Asia. "Instead of having dinner, I often go out painting in the evenings. I sit on a wall and paint and people have thrown money at me and they did in Bangkok," said Paul, who is in Dublin next Thursday for a Q&A in Arnotts menswear department from 6.30pm.

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