We've compiled a list of the most interesting events and products to take part in or buy this week...
Show your stripes
Summer dressing doesn’t necessarily have to be all about straw bags and espadrilles. Swedish brand Arket, which is owned by the same company as COS and H&M, has lots for anyone who favours a more minimalist aesthetic (including a pair of elasticated-waist linen shorts that have been donned by multiple influencers on Instagram).
Its flattering range of swimwear also has many fans. This relaxed-fit jersey dress, made from 100pc organic cotton, is a future wardrobe classic and its square neck and V-back details elevate it beyond your standard striped number.
BUY: €59; see arket.com
Journalling has found lots of new devotees during lockdown, and there’s certainly something therapeutic about writing down your thoughts, or even your recipes, in a beautiful notebook. Fourth-generation family-owned business Duffy Bookbinders has a free delivery deal in which a parcel of two A6 and two A5 hand-bound notebooks is delivered to your doorstep. The notebooks come in a mix of colours, contain blank, unruled 160g ivory paper, and bear a foiled image of Dublin’s Five Lamps pub — which is just yards from the bindery — on the cover. For gift deliveries, a personalised message can also be included.
BUY: €49; see duffybookbinders.com
Chocolatiers and bakers Hazel Mountain Chocolate, located in the Burren, found the café side of their business hard hit by the pandemic. In response, they have launched a pre-made cake mix based on their moreish bakes, which are made using non-wheat flours. These gluten-free mixes, including carrot, lemon and brownie cakes, are available from Hazel Mountain Chocolate’s website and in all Avoca stores.
DETAILS: €7.99; see hazelmountainchocolate.com
Seanchaí and folklorist Eddie Lenihan (above) has been telling his marvellous stories for 35 years, and is sharing Irish wisdom and tales from the past on his Tell Me a Story podcast. Recorded in his home in Co Clare, the next episode (number eight in the series) is available on Wednesday.
DETAILS: See shows.acast.com/tell-me-a-story-with-eddie-lenihan
Opera at home
See the weekend in on a high note with the Irish National Opera’s Friday Opera Sessions. Hosted by the INO’s artistic director, Fergus Sheil, and available on its YouTube channel and Facebook page, the sessions feature the voices of talented singers including Celine Byrne (above) and Claudia Boyle. They run every Friday at 5pm until June 26.
DETAILS: See facebook.com/irishnationalopera
Dublin Dance Festival (DDF) is inviting dance lovers and newbies alike to enjoy several “days of movement” in a world of restriction with the DDF Digital Capsule (running until June 7). A new event is launched every day to watch or reflect on, allowing viewers to experience dance in different ways.
DETAILS: See dublindancefestival.ie
THE GREEN BUY
If you’re not on board with environmentally friendly shampoo bars yet... what’s not to love? Irish company Soap Out Loud’s solid, handmade CocoNUT bar has no plastic packaging, is soap-free, pH-balanced and, depending on your hair length, will last 35-50 washes. It contains tea tree oil, which soothes the scalp; lemon and lime oil, which promotes shine, and rhassoul clay, which combats oiliness. BUY: €9; see reuzi.ie
In full Bloom
Bloom At Home, a series of online events, replaces the annual festival this year. President Michael D Higgins will deliver his opening address and there are also cooking demos with Donal Skehan and Neven Maguire. A panel of award-winning show designers share what it takes to build a garden from 11am. The public can also share their gardens, patios, and plants on social media using #BloomwithRTE. DETAILS: See facebook.com/BordBiaBloom/
A new weekly initiative taking place every Saturday at 3pm encourages people to check in with their neighbours. Tea-At-3 is a physically distant activity and can happen on your doorstep, in different gardens or via video call where you can raise a cuppa, support the community and ensure that no one feels alone.
DETAILS: See streetfeast.ie/neighbourhood-network/
Idris Elba’s beauty brand
The actor has trademarked his name to launch a range of products but we’re not sure about buying mascara or lippie from DCI John Luther.
Social double-bubble conundrums
The fear of giving offence to another couple by neglecting to meet them is ever present.
Elon Musk’s baby-name saga
It’s now been changed to Roman numerals — but we still don’t know how to pronounce it.
‘Queer Eye’ Season 5
Dropping on Netflix on Friday and theoretically good news but also makes us realise how we have never wanted a makeover more for ourselves.
Robbie Williams’ TV aspirations
Already has five shows in the works for once lockdown ends. Prepare for a Williams screen overdose.
Wine cooler handbags
Lidl’s middle aisle bag has a side nozzle as well as a 1.5l hidden compartment which we will of course be filling with orange juice for our 5km walks.
Icelandic star Daði Freyr’s new ditty about being stuck at home is just as catchy as his Eurovision entry and has another killer dance routine.
Current favourite word in the fashion lexicon. Translates as loose dresses, oversized t-shirts and all things forgiving.
Summer drive-in shows
Gavin James playing Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny in July is what future gig-going looks like.
Lost Stock fashion boxes
Filled with half-priced clothes destined for landfill from the likes of Gap and TopShop, buying one — or several — supports Bangladeshi garment workers. loststock.co/