Hot list: What we want to see, do and buy this weekend
If you haven't got the memo yet, checks are one of this year's big fashion stories. The fabulous thing about them this season is the sheer variety of check on the high street, from Prince of Wales to plaid and houndstooth.
Benetton's autumn/winter offerings are strong this year, and we really love this look of double check combined with a winter white knit and toughened up with brogues. It serves as an all-purpose outfit that works as well for weekend brunching as it does for the office.
BUY: Long houndstooth coat €219, white turtle neck wool jumper €59.95, jacquard trousers, €39.95 brogues €59.95. ie.benetton.com
A new exhibition celebrating fashion design from Japan and Ireland has just opened at Farmleigh Gallery. 'Hi! Fashion' marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan, and features garments from designers spanning six decades, including a dress from Sybil Connolly - who dressed Jackie Kennedy - Lainey Keogh and Issey Miyake.
DETAILS: Running until April 28 2018; farmleigh.ie/gallery/
Stories and songs
Dingle comes alive to the sound of music this weekend at the eir Other Voices festival. All gigs are free, although pre-registration on the festival website is required for some. If you don't get to a gig, there's lots more going on, including food stalls throughout the town organised by the Dingle Cookery School and 10pc off for shoppers at a range of stores. DETAILS: othervoices.ie
The second Esmara collection by Heidi Klum for Lidl, called #LETSCELEBRATE, lands in all 153 stores in the country this Monday. The emphasis is on purse-pleasing prices and wearable trends - and she's got Christmas parties firmly in her sights. Starting from €6.99 for a cami top, pieces include sequin dresses and skirts, and a halterneck jumpsuit, all in sizes 10-18. For everyday wear, we love this coat with detachable collar.
BUY: €29.99, Lidl nationwide
This is your last week to catch David Seeger's 80th birthday celebratory exhibition at Uillinn, West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen. The pioneering ceramic artists moved to West Cork in 1990. His work has been influenced by his Irish surroundings, and he's known for his exciting imagery and rich colours. Catch this before it goes.
DETAILS: westcorkartscentre.com and babyforest.co/davidseeger
If you're in the market for a beautiful and affordable home fragrance, homegrown lifestyle company Purcell & Woodcock ticks both those boxes. The brand, founded by mother of four Gina Cassidy, is designed in Ireland and includes scents such as Basil Mandarin, Fresh Cotton and Lavender and Patchouli. For a warming winter scent, try Cinnamon and White Ginger, which has notes of vanilla while also being spicy and festive. The diffuser will fragrance your home for up to 18 weeks.
BUY: €30; purcellandwoodcock.com
Party season is upon us, but if you're not the type who starts planning Christmas in July don't panic - there's still time to arrange a festive get-together. The Morgan hotel in Dublin can accommodate parties from 10 to 200 people, with prices starting from €19.95pp. The experience includes a selection of tapas and live music - featuring a bongo player, violinist and saxophonist - followed by a DJ playing until late.
Book: Call (01) 643 7012 or email email@example.com
Next Thursday sees the opening of Carlow Culinary Food and Drink Festival, a three-day showcase of everything food and drink related in the county. Taking place in VISUAL, the contemporary art space in Carlow Town, it features nightly food stalls, giveaways and food demos from celebrity chefs Catherine Fulvio, Kevin Dundon and Neven Maguire (above). All visitors will receive a free bag of recipes and Co. Carlow products. Early booking is advisable as last year the tickets sold out.
DETAILS: December 7-9. Tickets €14, See visualcarlow.ie
Some enchanted evening
The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens in Tramore, Co. Waterford is a haven of tranquillity that reflects the life of writer Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, who grew up in Ireland in the 1850s and is best known for his books about Japan. This winter it is being transformed into the Enchanted Garden Winter Light Festival, with the garden illuminated by twinkling lights and colourful beams, a Waterfall of Light at the grotto, and an incredible laser display projected onto Tramore House. A visual treat for all the family.
DETAILS: Runs December 8-31. Adults €5; children €2. Visit lafcadiohearngardens.com