Weekend Loves

Ruth O’Connor’s guide to bright ideas and beautiful things
Weekend Loves

The Montenotte’s Panorama Terrace offers a new perspective

The newly redesigned Panorama Terrace at The Montenotte is bound to be one of Cork’s most popular new spots with its fantastic views over the city and beautiful decor designed by Jane Gilloway. The heated outdoor space has been transformed into a tropical oasis in which to enjoy a cocktail and the hotel’s new all-day snacks and drinks menu. 

Recently awarded Best Boutique Hotel at the Irish Hotel Awards, visitors to The Montenotte can also enjoy a wander through the sunken Victorian Gardens which have recently been restored. On the Panorama Terrace choose from dishes such as the charcuterie board, truffle skin-on fries or an Irish cheese plate. See www.themontenottehotel.com for more details or call the reservations team on 021 453 0050. 

Take outdoor grilling to the next level with Traeger 

If there’s one thing Americans know how to do right it’s outdoor grilling and the Salt Lake City company Traeger has over 30 years’ experience in perfecting the barbecue. Traeger creates incredible wood-fired grills that take your summer soirées from backyard to big grill in status. 

Traeger’s wood-fired grills are top of the range when it comes to infusing your food with that characteristic wood-fired taste we all associate with eating outdoors but new technology also means you can grill, bake, roast and smoke your food to perfection every time with features such as their WiFIRE® technology which allows you to control your grill via an app on your phone. One of our favourites is the wifi enabled Traeger Pro D2 575 which is the best-selling wood pellet grill in the world for good reason. Available online and in store at The Orchard, Dublin Road, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, this Rolls Royce of outdoor grills costs €995. See www.theorchard.ie for more information. 

Butlers and baking - a match made in kitchen heaven

Lockdown is over and we still haven't reached peak baking. Covid-19 reminded us of the comfort we can find in the kitchen. Great timing then for Butlers to launch a new collection of 100g bars at Tesco with the added bonus of recyclable packaging. The new line is available in four varieties: Extra Dark; Dark Orange & Almond; 70% Dark Salted Caramel and a 40% Milk Chocolate Bar for a creamy taste experience. To celebrate the launch of the new chocolate bars, Butlers have also released easy recipes to suit all levels of baking expertise. Our recommendation? The 'brookies' - a mix of cookies and brownies. They taste as good as they sound. www.butlerschocolates.com

The award for best costume goes to… the Hunt Museum

After 16 weeks of closure Limerick’s Hunt Museum is ready to welcome visitors to their fascinating exhibition of iconic film costumes ‘Best Costume Goes To…’. A joint curation with the Irish Costume Archive Project, the exhibition tells the story of the relationship between actor, costume and character, as well as the story of the Irish film industry. Some 35 iconic costumes from films and TV such as My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, Breakfast on Pluto, Tudors and Braveheart are on display as well as costumes from the Lenny Abrahamson film Room. Admission: €7.50 per adult, €12.50 combo ticket (with museum) and kids go free. The exhibition runs until 14th November.  www.huntmuseum.com

Learn from the best with chef and author JP McMahon

Renowned chef, author, instructor and co-owner of Michelin-star restaurant Aniar in Galway is now sharing his expertise with culinary enthusiasts worldwide via his private online cookery classes for individuals or groups of up to four. In a three hour lesson you can learn how to create five or six dishes with one of Ireland’s most skilled and creative chefs and author of acclaimed tome The Irish Cookbook. While the Michelin-star Aniar remains closed this year due to the dearth of international tourists, McMahon’s popular Boutique Cookery School will reopen in September. In the meantime, eager cooks of all levels can book a private class with this master chef from €225 for one person or €560 for a group of four. To book a private class and for more information visit www.aniarrestaurant.ie

Indulge your inquisitive side at the Festival of Curiosity

Each year, The Festival of Curiosity brings an exceptional line up of events and workshops for both children and adults to venues across the city of Dublin. This year, for obvious reasons, the festival is going online with a brilliant virtual programme between the 16th and 19th of July. Celebrating science, arts, design and technology kids can explore everything from The Incredible Tale of Robot Boy with Theatre Rites to Dr. Niamh Shaw’s Daily Space Missions. Adults meanwhile can tickle their taste buds with live Kombucha and Cooking without Heat events or Journey into the World of Animation with Oscar nominated director and writer Jim Capobianco. You can even join me online for two special webinar events as I explore Our City as a Playground and Technology and Sustainability in Fashion. See https://festivalofcuriosity.ie for all the details. 

Make washing palm oil free 

Seeking a palm oil free alternative to regular soap, a recent discovery in my local supermarket was the Palm Free Irish Soaps range of bar soaps as well as laundry soap bars (perfect for handwashing items), deodorant and pet shampoo bars. These great smelling, zero waste alternatives to products which often feature synthetic chemicals and bulky packaging can be found at giftedfromireland.com where you’ll also find a terrific choice of other Irish-made gifts, homewares and fashion items. 

The dress code

If you’ve decided to abandon the lockdown dress code of loungewear and leggings then why not opt for something more celebratory such as this cheerful yellow printed dress with three-quarter-length sleeves and pleated detailing. This dress is an easy, breezy summertime option - simply throw on with block heeled sandals for lunch or with trainers for running around town and you’re good to go. How nice to be able to say that again! Dress. €39.95. www.iclothing.com

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