Hot list: What we want to see, do and buy this weekend
When you want to feel like a glamour puss, nothing rivals the sensation of pure silk against the skin. Its other benefits are alluring too - silk is naturally hypoallergenic, the perfect warm-weather fabric, and a lightweight packing option. We love the Ethical Silk Company's new summer range.
Made from 100pc mulberry silk, it includes robes, camisoles, slips, tops and palazzo pants, in four colours: ivory, grey, pink/grey and blue/grey. As well as being eco-friendly, the brand lives up to its name, with 10pc of all profits donated to charity: 5pc to Focus Ireland and 5pc to Jeevan Jyothi Aids Centre in Theni, India.
BUY: Prices start from €60; see theethicalsilkco.com
Wexford Literary Festival, which has now been running for four years, is kicking off this weekend in Enniscorthy. The programme of events include a crime writers' panel discussion with best-selling authors Alex Barclay and Michael O'Higgins and an evening with writer Sinéad Moriarty (pictured), as well as the announcement of the winner of the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award, with special guest Bibi Baskin.
Excellent music and even better craic are promised at the Skerries Traditional Music Weekend, Co Dublin, taking place May 19-21. It's a full three days of concerts, recitals, sessions and street music, with workshops covering a range of instruments including fiddle, uileann pipes, harp as well as set and sean nós dancing. This year's performers include the festival's openers Altan and The Kilfenora Ceili Band and John Carty on Saturday.
DETAILS: See skerriestraditionalmusic.com
Although Irish artist Margaret Clarke was highly regarded by her contemporaries, she is not as well-known as fellow painters of her time. A new National Gallery exhibition, Margaret Clarke: An Independent Spirit, re-evaluates her work and looks at the development of her style, as well as addressing the challenge she faced as an artist balancing family life.
DETAILS: Running until August 20; see nationalgallery.ie
Easy, breezy outdoor entertaining requires comfortable and stylish seating. And lo, the Mighty-B Quilted Beanbag Chair comes in a range of riotous colours, from berry to royal blue and lime, and it's made from a tough polyester, which feels soft and can be wiped clean. Built to last, its only potential downside is that once you sit down on it, you won't want to get up again, ever.
BUY: €199, available from Red Earth, Mullingar; redearthireland.com
The Bealtaine Living Earth Festival - a celebration of the great outdoors - takes place all over the southeast from today until next Sunday. There are myriad magical events to choose from, including sea foraging and the chance to create a giant mosaic on Annestown Beach in Co Waterford. Why not try a guided bat walk or take a dusk stroll through the gardens of Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, with broadcaster Eric Dempsey?
DETAILS: All events are free; see livingearth.ie
If you love the statement earring trend but shy away from shoulder grazers, Mignonne Gavigan's Mini Madeleine earrings make for the perfect entry-level pair. Handmade, with glass beading and bright sequins giving a 3D effect, these are a great summer colour pop, and just the right side of dramatic - you could even get away with wearing them in the office.
BUY: €165, available from loulerie.com
Hullaballoo at Ballymaloe
Some of the brightest names from the culinary and drinks world are appearing at Litfest in Ballymaloe, Shanagarry, Co Cork, this weekend. They include pioneering journalist Joanna Blythman, author of Swallow This: Serving Up the Food Industry's Darkest Secrets; Brian McGinn, director of the Netflix series Chef's Table, and celebrated cookbook writer Claudia Roden. Some events are sold out but most participants are also speaking at the symposium on responsibility at Ballymaloe's Grainstore over the weekend.
Short and sweet
The pretty town of Schull, Co Cork, is home to the Fastnet Film Festival, running from May 24-28 and featuring some of the best short films from all over the world. While established film-makers will be there, the festival's goal is also to promote new work, with 258 screenings and 125 films making it into the competition. One lucky film-maker will walk away with a cash prize of €5,000 and there are also workshops and Q&A sessions. The gala event on Saturday is a screening of the 1925 silent drama The Goose Woman accompanied by live music from Bafta award-winning composer Carl Davis.