Friday 23 March 2018

The Edge: Ronan and Storm in Special K moment

Tender moments: Ronan Keating and Storm Uechritz had a romantic sojourn in the K Club
Tender moments: Ronan Keating and Storm Uechritz had a romantic sojourn in the K Club
TV dish of the day: Yvonne Connolly
Monaco wedding for Gary Lavin, son of Jackie Lavin
Des Hanafin
Celebrity diner: Vogue Williams was in Nick Munier's restaurant, Avenue. Photo: Anthony Woods.
Glamtastic bash: Holly Carpenter was at the eir launch
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

It is clearly the in-place for newly-weds to spend romantic weekends. I'm talking about Michael Smurfit's five-star establishment, The K Club in County Kildare.

As if dual honeymoons on safari at Richard Branson's bling lodge in South Africa and then on a private resort island in the Seychelles weren't enough, Ronan Keating and Storm Uechtritz, aka the new Mrs Keating, were in the K Club last weekend - enjoying another romantic and suitably stylish sojourn.

I can't tell you precisely whether Storm was spotted in the hotel's fine swimming pool wearing a sparkly bikini with 'Mrs Keating' written across it.

But I can inform you without fear of contradiction that the loved-up duo were spotted being suitably tender-hearted in the hotel's new Media Puzzle Lounge. Doubtless Ronan spared a thought for his relationship with the Irish media, which is indeed puzzling.

Ronan and Storm picked the right moment to stay there, as the K Club have just spent €20m on a new expansion and refurbishment, as well as tennis courts, a conference centre and a fourth restaurant, K Thai.

I can exclusively reveal, however, that the K Club is about to announce that it has just bought the pub in the local village, The Straffan Inn.

So - all together now - the K Club now has a K Pub.

Someone stop me before I get giddy.

But seriously, the hotel is also soon to announce a big golf tournament with Rory McIlroy and Dubai Duty Free. How do I know all this? Because I can hear the grass grow - be it in Kildare or further afield.

Or as The K Club might prefer, to quote Ronan Keating, I say it best when I say nothing at all.

Yvonne alights at Connolly station

It's better looking she's getting, isn't it? Yvonne Connolly - for that is the new, or perhaps restored, name of the former Yvonne Keating - looked serenely beautiful at the Peter O'Brien fashion show in Arnotts on Tuesday night in Dublin. Attending with her daughter Missy, Yvonne told me Peter's designs "transcend the normal. They are fresh, beautiful and timeless." But enough about yourself, Yvonne. The blonde added that she is currently busy "cooking a lot on TV3 lately - namely The 7 O'Clock Show and Ireland AM."

I asked her was she the new Nigella or the new Yvonne."The new Yvonne," came the reply from the former Mrs Keating (whom I met a few weeks ago at the Electric Picnic festival in county Laois with her bearded beau, John Conroy) at the O'Brien fashion show, which was also attended by, among others, Sonia Reynolds, Aoibheann McCaul and Sharon Smurfit.

Another fashion stalwart, Fiona Foy Holland, is hosting the 6th annual Fashion Exposure, Autumn/Winter 2015, this Friday at the Stephen's Green Hibernian Club, in association with Ashling Kilduff of The Design Centre, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. The charity event, which will be MC-ed by RTE's Nuala Carey, normally attracts the great and the good of the Irish fashion industry. This Friday should be no exception.

"We are very proud of this show," Fiona Foy Holland told me. "Not only have we raised over €100,000 for worthy causes but the event has gone from strength to strength.

"It has showcased emerging talent along with established names in Irish fashion. Now we have designerswho are being recognised internationally and we are very proud of being part of that. This year we are focusing on the autumn winter collection, which is very exciting."

So now we know.

Swish Cote d'Azur wedding for Jackie Lavin's son

One of Jackie Lavin's best apprentices - son Gary - graduated last week in Monaco when he married his girlfriend-of-four-years, Rachael Gillmor-Murphy. 

Gazza and Rachael - who got engaged on New Year's Eve at the Cape St Francis Resort in Cape Town in South Africa - threw a wedding party to rival any wedding party, and not just because it was in The French Riviera.

Suitably glamorous guests who flew in from all over the world (ok, mainly Ireland, but I have an obligation to talk these things up) included Mark Kershaw, Brian O'Driscoll, Victor Costelloe, Malcolm O'Kelly and wife, model (or is that model wife?) Naomi Cullen, new mum Rachel Kavanagh and husband Shane McGill, Dave Murphy and his girlfriend, model Laura Scanlan.

Danielle Laydevant (who wore a long orange gown - orange is the new orange, evidently) was also in attendance.

As well as Agent Orange Danielle, other Irish beauties included models Karina Graham and Kate Sheridan. Of course, the presence of Irish Models in the Côte d'Azur is practically de rigueur. Many of the wedding group, I was told, enjoyed a weekend of celebrations which included boat trips along the Cote d'Azur.

The beautiful bride Rachael - who once auditioned back in the day for Louis Walsh and Kian Egan's girlband Wonderland - might like to know that her former manager, Louis was at Crosby Stills & Nash on Wednesday night in Dublin's Vicar Street. He described it thus to petite moi (as they refer to me in the French Riviera) as "Really amazing, What a night."

Bon mots, I imagine, that could also be used to describe the Lavin/Gillmor-Murphy wedding.

Dashing Des celebrates 85th with bash

It's a long way to Tipperary. But it's almost as long a way to the year birthday boy Des Hanafin was born. The legendary former Fianna Fail senator, and all-round colourful character of Irish life - political and otherwise - celebrated his 85th year last Wednesday with a birthday beano at 8pm  in the hotel he used to own in his "wild young days", the Anner Hotel in newly trendy Thurles (the very town in which dashing Des was born.)

He was accompanied on the night by his wife Mona, his daughter, former Education Minister Mary Hanafin, and son and former Senator John Hanafin and two grandchildren. There was a birthday cake too. But, I was told, no actual singing of Happy Birthday to the great man.

My Deep Throat in county Tipperary told me that Des's quote on the night was not uncharacteristic of the verbal flamboyance dashing Des was known far and wide for: "I take great comfort from the fact that I know I'll never die young!"

Your diarist hopes ageless Des doesn't have to die at all.

Other guests at the bling bash included the Anner hotel's illustrious owners, PJ Maher - something of a local legend himself - and his two brothers, Michael and Seamus. The brothers put on a special celebration menu for the birthday boyo: starters of chilli & lime prawns with mango and coriander salsa followed by seared breast of duck with butternut squash.

Guggi draws a crowd in Avenue

Nick Munier's restaurant in Temple Bar seems to be right up certain Irish celebrities' alley. Or at least avenue.

Artist Guggi was in last Thursday with another artistic pal, Reggie Manuel, for dinner. It is hungry work being artistic, don't you know?

Guggi even drew Nick a drawing on one of the menus - in some cultures that's called vandalism - which Nick is going to get framed and hang in the in-vogue restaurant.

Actually, very in-Vogue because Vogue Williams was in Avenue two weekends ago.

Almost as in-vogue as Vogue Williams is JP McManus' delightful daughter-in-law, Anne-Marie.

The beauty, make-up- free and looking stunning in a black skirt and jacket, was spotted on Francis Street on Tuesday with what my spy tells me was presumably her interior designer, sourcing antiques - again presumably for her stunning palatial home, once owned by Bernard McNamara, on the ultra-exclusive Ailesbury Road in Dublin.

My Antiques Deep Throat - I have all sorts on the pay-roll - told me that Anne-Marie went into a few different stores on Dublin's renowned 'antiques quarter' .

Anne-Marie was also seen apparently putting in orders for some doubtlessly stunning pieces.

Eirs apparent at Royal Kilmainham party

There was obviously something in the Eir. No, seriously. Last Wednesday night, 700 fab folks pitched up at Royal Hospital Kilmainham to mark the official launch of eir - formerly eircom, sillies. And naturally atmosphere at the party was off the hook, dude.

Everyone from Roz Purcell to Holly Carpenter and Rosanna Davison and Michelle McGrath to my favourite ginge, former Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh, added to the glam at the already glamtastic eir hooley. Let me give you a little cultural lesson: the Irish Models are never off their phones.

Alison Comyn from UTV Ireland also came, wearing a red shirt and black pencil skirt. I had my many spies cunningly deployed among the eirs apparent. So I can happily reveal the following pieces of information, essential to you, dear reader, enjoying your weekend. Gordon D'Arcy was talking about Albert, the new dog he owns with his beautiful wife, retired model Aoife Cogan. Supermodel cum superfoodie Rosanna Davison was flying out to take part in Oktoberfest at 7am the following morning.

That other supermodel cum superfoodie, Roz Purcell, will be heading down to the Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois, to do live cooking demonstrations.

Models who not only eat, but cook? What an age we live in.

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