Thursday 22 February 2018

Hot list: This weekend's top Irish events and buy-me-now products

Chic cover up

Festival and holiday staple: Aine poncho range
Festival and holiday staple: Aine poncho range
Ale Walsh
Inchydoney Lodge and Spa
The Chocolate Factory
DJ Cyril Hahn
Jape, Richie Egan

A poncho is every clever woman's festival and holiday staple. Lightweight but warm, they're an outfit in themselves - throw one on over skinnies and a tee, and you're good to go.

We really like the Harlequin poncho from Irish knitwear company Áine, which is part of McConnell Woollen Mills, based in Co Clare. Made using natural fibres and dyes, the ice-cream colour screams 'summer' and it's the perfect addition to a laidback cool weekend wardrobe. Buy: €89.99;

Choc tactics

And now for some great news for chocoholics: contrary to what we've always been told, scoffing chocolate can be good for your skin. Esthechoc is the world first chocolate with anti-ageing properties, with one 7.5g bar containing the same amount of Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant, as 10kg of seaweed. Clinical trials of the chocolate found that eating it daily increases the levels of antioxidants in the skin, proving to work within three weeks. Buy: €39.95 per three-week pack at Thérapie,

Mexican wave

One of the world's most striking tall ships makes its way to Dublin Port on Wednesday. The 270ft tall Cuauhtémoc, owned by the Mexican Navy, is the last of four windjammers built in Bilbao in Spain and launched in 1982. It's here for five days and is open to the public to come and take a look on board, free of charge. Details: June 17-21, open from 10am daily at Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin

Clean cuisine

Clean eating enthusiasts have a new dining option in the form of Counter Culture in Dublin's Powerscourt Centre. Restaurateur Ronan Ryan and his wife, former Miss Ireland, Pamela Flood, are serving up healthy eating options that don't compromise on taste. Menu offerings include slow-roasted rotisserie chicken with sweet potato mash and greens, post-workout protein shakes, and an 80pc dark chocolate brownie for 'cheat' days. Details: Second Floor, Powerscourt Town Centre

Delicious days

Ireland's longest-running food festival, Listowel Food Fair, starts this Thursday. Now in its 21st year, the fair's appetite-whetting activities include the inaugural all-Ireland craft beer competition, an amateur recipe competition, as well as an All-Ireland food photography competition. There are food markets and demonstrations aplenty too, and the last day sees a focus on family events, with foraging in the local park followed by a party in the Square with free treats. Info:

Bags of style

Get ready for some extreme stoking of handbag lust. Chilean-born and Dublin-based accessories designer Ale Walsh's creations are all about craftsmanship, opulence and natural materials. Her Perla clutch, which comes in a variety of colours, is covered in hand-woven, buntal straw with a turquoise stone clasp, plated in 24ct gold and has a drop-in gold shoulder chain. Super stylish and big enough to carry all the essentials like your phone, lippy and credit card. Buy: €165;

Dad's the word

Next Sunday is Father's Day and it can be quite the challenge to come up with a gift that isn't one of the usual clichés. If you'd like to treat him to a getaway, check out two packages at Inchydoney Lodge and Spa in Clonakilty, Co Cork. The Adrenaline Junkie, from €190 per person, is for dads who like action and adventure and includes a sea-kayaking session; while Downtime Dude, from €230 per person, includes an Elemis Muscle Melt massage. Both have two nights' accommodation in a deluxe room. Book:

Next weekend

Grand designs

If you're interested in Irish interior design and contemporary furniture, visiting The Chocolate Factory Collection next weekend is a must. Taking place in the creative space that was formerly an old Williams & Woods Chocolate Factory on Dublin's King's Inn Street, it's a showcase of the in-house design community and includes an exhibition, pop-up shop, a chance to meet the designers, talks and drop-in design activities. And while you're there, a visit to the Blas Café, which has some of the best sandwiches in Dublin, is essential. Visit: Open Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June, 11am-4pm. Admission free.

Surf's Up

Surfing, some top tunes and general good times are in store at Sea Sessions, Ireland's biggest beach party in Bundoran, Co Donegal, from Friday to Sunday next weekend. Musical highlights include DJ Cyril Hahn, Dublin rapper Lethal Dialect, Keith Disconaut, La Galaxie, Jape (pictured) and Lee Scratch Perry. There is lots more planned, including surf competitions, beach Olympics and a Skate Rampo with pro-skaters - making this one of the best boutique festivals in the country. BOOK: Tickets are €99.50, including booking fee, for three days; and limited day tickets available from €45.50, from

Irish Independent

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