In case you hadn't heard, the most exciting recent event on the fashion horizon was the opening of & Other Stories on Dublin's Grafton Street, at the former abode of A/Wear and HMV.
If you're trying to not spend money, enter here at your peril because the brand, which is part of the H&M and COS family, has far too many tempting offerings for the weak-willed. From directional knitwear to party dresses, great bags to pared back jewellery and an extensive beauty line, the capital's newest store has everything we love and cherish about Scandi chic. DETAILS: 26-27 Grafton Street, Dublin 2; stories.com/ie
Art and soul
Wonderfully dense, fantastical and vibrant, Irish artist Michael Beirne's exhibition, Sahasrara, at Dublin's Molesworth Gallery, leaves a lasting impact. Beirne is known for his subversive qualities and in this display, the natural world is staging a riot where dismembered bodies are covered in lace and animals are crowned with moons. This is contemporary art at its most interesting.
DETAILS: Running until December 31, 16 Molesworth Street, Dublin. See molesworthgallery.com
Go for a spin
You can be your own DJ with Ballynahinch Castle's vinyl package which includes bed and breakfast, room service dinner and a turntable in your room with your choice of records from the library at the Galway hotel. There's also an additional treat in the form of a drink, ideally matched to your music choice - we're thinking a whiskey to enjoy with some Sinatra.
BOOK: Available from €165 per person, see ballynahinch-castle.com
Bag it up
There's something slightly mocking about the term 'man bag', suggesting that they're an unnecessary indulgence. But while, arguably, men's storage needs are lesser than the average woman's, they still require a stylish receptacle for 'stuff', on those occasions where a briefcase or a backpack won't cut it. Next's waxed holdallis the perfect choice for the man about town or stylsh gym-goer, and is perfect for weekends away.
BUY: €65, available at ie.nextdirect.com
This coming Friday sees Dublin get into full-on party mode with its three-day, citywide festival, NYF Dublin. From the gorgeous 3D light projections from Luminosity to the free New Year's Day concert with the Dublin Gospel Choir and the Garda Band, it's a fully packed schedule. One unmissable event is 'Ré and Tunes in the Church' on December 30 in St Patrick's Cathedral with a line-up including Liam Ó Maonlaí and Brendan Begley.
DETAILS: See nyfdublin.com for the full line-up
At this time of year you need to be ready for surprise visitors or an impromptu celebration at the drop of a hat. The simplest way to be perma party prepared is to dress up your winter knits with some striking jewellery. Sculptural earrings are outfit game-changers and work as well with slouchy casuals as they do with evening attire. We are crushing on this gold avant-garde Quaintrelle pair from Inner Island.
BUY: €149, available at innerisland.ie
Here's a treat to book now and savour next year. The famous Prêt-à-Portea from London's The Berkeley Hotel is coming to the Merrion Hotel's Drawing Rooms for one week only from January 28 to February 5. This is an afternoon tea for the style-conscious with couture cakes inspired by fashion designers such as Simone Rocha, Manolo Blahnik and Dolce & Gabbana. The Berkeley's Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat and his team will also be in situ for the week and there are two sittings daily at 1.30pm and 4.30pm at available at €45 per person.
Not finalised your NYE plans yet and still missing Downton Abbey? The Eccles Hotel, Glangarrif in West Cork has just the event for you. It's holding a Downton-themed New Year's Eve Ball. Proceedings begin with a jazz cocktail reception, followed by a six-course meal with wine from 8pm. Later, there's live jazz and swing from Cork band, the Darktown Strutters and there will be prizes for the best dressed on the night, whether that's upstairs or downstairs in style.
BOOK: Tickets from €65 per person with the 'Grantham Getaway to Glengarriff' break including bed, breakfast and ball tickets from €125 per person. See eccleshotel.com
Take a bow
If you'd like to mark the first day of 2017 with something a little different, a wonderful historic spectacle takes place at Hook Lighthouse, Wexford on New Year's Day with the Dunbrody Archers and Cllr Michael Whelan taking part in an arrow ceremony. The tradition dates back to 1687 when the Mayor and the corporation of New Ross Town Council declared their authority over the Tower and the waters by going to the point of the Hook and shooting an arrow into the sea. Now, some 330 years later, the event is being re-enacted at 3.30pm.
DETAILS: See facebook.com/hooklighthouse
Driving home for Christmas
Revealed to be the happiest time of the year in a recent survey (but not if you've the song playing on repeat in the car we hasten to add).
Emergency party kits
It is wise to always carry a pair of gel soles, some indigestion tablets and a statement lipstick with you for the remainder of the festive season.
Christmas shopping instead of gymming
Carrying all those bags surely has to do wonders for the biceps…
Teaming a sweatshirt with an embellished skirt is currently the perfect fashion formula. Look to Jennifer Lawrence as your reference point.
The 'to do list/diary organisation' system that really helps you get stuff done, and your new favourite thing in 2017.
Ubiquitous celeb winter holiday beach pics
The last thing you want to see as you grab a fistful of Celebrations. Go away now please.
The problem with those on-trend jumpers with oversized sleeves is finding a cover-up that fits over them.
The festive time delay
Add a good 20 minutes to everything from using an ATM to walking short city-centre distances.
Santa visit fails
It's nobody's fault but large bearded men with gruff voices can be frightening at any age, never mind for smallies.
Making NYE plans
This can get so stressful that it almost makes you want to stay home and watch Jools Holland.