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CARA Magazine December 2014/January 2015

December 2014/January 2015

Dara Ó Briain Irish castle owners

Capital gain

Hello, DC!

Washington DC

Changing tides

Arigna Miners’ Way

Venice out of season

Play it cool


Toronto’s hippest haunts

Toronto Festive breaks Leeds Lincoln Nantes Special Olympics

The Life of Ó Briain






Mick Murray Head of AIB International Corporate Banking or +353 (1) 641 4248

Simon Scroope Head of AIB Corporate Banking or +353 (1) 641 4219

Ireland’s No.1 Bank for Inward Investment. AIB International Corporate Banking can help you build a powerful presence in Ireland. As the leading Inward Investment bank, we land more international business than any other, and we’ve helped some of the world’s most recognisable brands thrive. To see how our dedicated team can work with you, contact Simon or Mick.

Source: AIB has the largest market share of day to day banking relationships amongst foreign direct investment companies, Ipsos MRBI AIB Foreign Direct Investment Research, February 2014. Allied Irish Bank, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Contents DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015

92 Toronto style

Check in 04 ARRIVALS We welcome newbies to Dublin’s T2 07 CHECK IN What’s new, hot and happening this season 18 ON MY TRAVELS Around the world with sailor Justin Slattery 20 SMART TRAVELLER Ann Fletcher loves Brussels for business 22 MY TRAVEL NOTEBOOK Games developer Brian O’Donnell’s best breaks 24 SNOW BORED? Picks of the piste by Ruth Anna Coss 26 WEEKENDER Lucy White takes aim at Kinnitty Castle

80 Venetian gold


28 SHELF LIFE Bridget Hourican’s best reads, plus a chat with Colum Kenny

34 HEAD OVER HEART Clever comic Dara Ó Briain tickles Tony Clayton-Lea’s funnybone

30 HAVING A COOL YULE Where to take the kids, by Sheila Wayman

40 THE CASTLE KEEPERS Lucy White meets Irish castle owners

32 MUCKING IN Lauren Murphy on animal conservation holidays

52 BEYOND THE HILL Chelsea Fagan finds Washington DC surprisingly laidback 68 ON THE TRAIL The Arigna Miners’ Way rocks, says Pól Ó Conghaile

52 Capitol view


Sloping off

Regulars 114 48 HOURS IN LINCOLN Lucy White time hops in Lincoln

80 FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Neil Hegarty avoids the queues in Venice

117 AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO NANTES Mark Kelly’s Loire lovelies

92 URBAN BEAUTY Fran Power finds herself seduced by Toronto

120 SPOTLIGHT Tina Walsh uncovers Leeds’ best bits

104 6 BEST FESTIVE BREAKS Seasonal boltholes by Catherine Murphy

123 AER LINGUS INFLIGHT All new in-flight news and entertainment

112 THE CARAMEL CHALLENGE Ellen Lunney enjoys Cloughjordan’s bake-off

152 TRIP OF A LIFETIME Footballer Wayne O’Callaghan reflects on the Special Olympics

Contributors EDITORIAL Editor Frances Power Deputy Editor Lucy White Assistant Editor Niamh Wade Sub-editor Sheila Wayman Contributors Dave Robbins, Ruth Anna Coss, Bridget Hourican, Lisa Hughes

Simon Burch is an award-winning photographer based in Dublin, and although he has worked on many advertising campaigns, he still loves the challenge set by portraiture. For Photographing castle owners for Cara (see page 40) was a look into another world – “each castle has such a different history, some with nearly a thousand years’ occupancy by the same family. Growing up in a castle must be great fun for the kids, but with adulthood comes responsibility. All the owners I met are committed to the preservation of these castles, and their determination is impressive as times change.”

Editorial Director Laura George ART Art Director Clare Meredith Acting Art Director Fred Murray Creative Director Bill O’Sullivan

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman Ann Reihill Directors Patrick Dillon Malone, Laura George, Richard Power, Robert Power, Gina Traynor PRINTING Boylan Print Group ORIGINATION Typeform

Liam Murphy is an advertising, fashion and editorial photographer. After training in New York and Milan, Liam returned to Dublin in 2007 and has since shot commissions for leading advertising, design agencies and designers, as well as having his editorial work featured in numerous publications. This issue, he shot comedian Dara Ó Briain for Cara (see page 34). “He was exactly as you would imagine,” he says, “witty, intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable company. Having arrived to the shoot with a few fun ideas, it was a thrill to draw on Dara’s input in developing them.”

Cara magazine is published on behalf of Aer Lingus by Image Publications, Unit 3, Block 3 Harbour Square, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Ireland, +353 (0)1 280 8415; advertising sales, +353 (0)1 271 9625; fax +353 (0)1 280 8309;, email Company registration number 56663 © Image Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. Editorial material and opinions expressed in Cara magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of Aer Lingus or IMAGE Publications Ltd. Aer Lingus and IMAGE Publications Ltd do not accept responsibility for the advertising content. Please note that unsolicited manuscripts or submissions will not be returned. All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Production in whole or part is prohibited without prior permission from IMAGE Publications Ltd.

December 2014/January 2015

Cara magazine is a member of Magazines Ireland. IMAGE Publications Ltd is a member of the Press Council of Ireland and supports the Office of the Press Ombudsman. To contact the Press Ombudsman, visit or IMAGE Publications Ltd –



ADMINISTRATION Events & Communications Manager Elizabeth O’Connor, +353 (0)1 271 9653, Financial Controller Olga Gordeychuk Credit Controller Lisa Dickenson

Chelsea Fagan is a writer living in New York City whose love of good architecture and cut throat local politics started early. On visiting Washington DC as a child, she jokes, “When you grow up near DC – in my case, in a nearby sailing town in Maryland – your young academic life is in many ways defined by trips to the District. Dressed up in humiliating, coordinated day-glo T-shirts to identify yourselves to your overworked teacher, you filtered in large classes through the Smithsonians, the National Mall, the big monuments, and, depending on the season, the famous cherry blossoms.” Chelsea returns, all grown up, to write about the burgeoning Washington DC arts scene for Cara, see page 52.


ADVERTISING Commercial Director Clodagh Edwards +353 (0)1 271 9634, Advertising Director Noëlle O’Reilly +353 (0)1 271 9621, Advertising Executive Corinné Vaughan +353 (0)1 271 9622, Advertising Copy Contact Derek Skehan +353 (0)1 855 3855,

Capital gain

Hello, DC!

Changing tides Venice out of season

Play it cool

Toronto’s hippest haunts

The Life of Ó Briain






Comedian Dara Ó Briain photographed by Liam Murphy at the Odessa Club, 14 Dame Court, Dublin 2;

Welcome to our new issue! We are all take yours. Feel free to ay for this magazine aw ey. your onward journ e your We would also lov l feedback and trave r photos via Twitte . @CARAMagazine

WHO? From left, Katie Hamilton with Robyn and Kai Staunton FLYING IN FROM ... Auckland via San Francisco KATIE SAYS ... “I’m excited to be home after working as a physiotherapist in New Zealand for five years. I can’t wait to hang out with my adorable niece and nephew.”

WHO? Nuala and Leo Watkins FLYING IN FROM ... Bordeaux NUALA SAYS ... “I’m going home to see my family in Belfast for three weeks. Poor daddy had to stay in France to work.”

WHO? Sue and Damien Harte FLYING IN FROM ... London Gatwick DAMIEN SAYS ... “We’re over for Electric Picnic and staying with family in Portlaoise. We also plan to hike the Slieve Bloom Mountains.”


Returned émigrés heading to family re-unions and newcomers here to explore tourist hot spots – Cara magazine was at Dublin Airport’s T2 to meet them all.

WHO? From left, Emily Highland and Caroline Tierney FLYING IN FROM ... London Gatwick EMILY SAYS ... “We’re going to see Riverdance and pack in all the top tourist sites.”


WHO? Nicola Searle FLYING IN FROM ... Liverpool NICOLA SAYS ... “It’s my first time in the country but sadly I have to work. I’ll definitely sneak a trip to Dublin Castle though.”

WHO? Sean Kinsler FLYING IN FROM ... Chicago SEAN SAYS ... “I have eleven days to explore Ireland, with the Cliffs of Moher, the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery high on my list.”



WHO? Joy-Ann Skinner and Eamonn Sheehy FLYING IN FROM ... Barbados via London Heathrow JOY-ANN SAYS ... “We’re visiting family in Tralee for two weeks and will pop to Dingle for a weekend too.”

WHO? Tiago Teixeira FLYING IN FROM ... London Heathrow TIAGO SAYS ... “I’m back for work in Dublin, but I’m off on holiday in ten days to the Algarve.”

V i si t a stor e l ik e no othe r

Ireland’s home to the very best Irish and international brands.



Blarney Castle & Gardens Renowned for bestowing the gift of eloquence.See and feel Irelands heritage, built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains.

Take the time to enjoy our magical CASTLE GARDENS

Open all year round 5 miles from Cork Open Monday- Sunday 9-6 c



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Find out what’s on, where and when in December 2014/January 2015

A date at the ballet is always a pleasure but never more so than during the festive season at Vienna’s dreamy opera house, the Wiener Staatsoper. From December 19 to January 9 (selected dates), its resident ensemble Wiener Staatsballett will prance in the footlights – including principal dancers Nina Polakova and Olga Esina, pictured limbering up below – in the quintessential yuletide classic The Nutcracker. Also waiting in the wings is Ballett-Hommage, a triptych of Harald Lander’s Études (1948), William Forsythe’s The Second Detail (1991) and Natalia Horecna’s Contra Clockwise Witness (2013), December 11 to January 17 (selected dates).


Viennese whirl

Check in Compiled by Lucy White, Niamh Wade and Frances Power


4 Winter retreats





Where to hibernate in style …


Taj Boston, Massachusetts

We thought we’d heard everything in hospitality – until we heard about the Taj’s fireplace butlers and firewood menu. Yes, book one of 40 suites with fireplaces at this 1927 landmark hotel and be treated to a personal assistant to light and stoke the flames – perfect after an afternoon spent skating on Boston Common’s ice rink. Suites from $345 per night.

Canal House, Amsterdam

Chiaroscuro doesn’t get much more glamorous than at this 23-bed boutique bolthole, its black ash, dark leather and amethyst velvet making for a stylish cocoon. Its 17th century merchant’s house setting overlooking the impossibly pretty canal in artsy Jordaan (Rembrandt is buried in the nearby Westerkerk) is none too shabby either. Rooms from €195 per night.

Mount Falcon, Co Mayo

Crisp country walks should always be followed by a wallow in a Jacuzzi, steam room or sauna – and that’s exactly how you can spend your time at the Mount Falcon estate in Ballina. Moreover, there are marble fireplaces in each of the deluxe rooms and suites, while lodges have stone chimneys and underfloor heating. Deluxe rooms/suites from €120pp, lodges from €267.

Prestonfield House, Edinburgh

Lord of the manor much? Hidden amongst eight hectares of parkland – peacocks included, yet only minutes from town – is this five-star masterpiece. With 23 opulent rooms, it’s luxury at its finest, boasting silk-covered walls, art and antiques. Despite the rich historic décor, all rooms possess the necessary mod-cons, while whisky lovers and foodies won’t want to leave. Rooms from £295.




Warming belles

Quilty Qu pleasures



2 3 1 EMU slippers, €70 at Arnotts, Henry Street et Dublin 1 2 Cable pom-pom hat, €16 at 3 Sequin sweater, £17.99 at 4 V Fraas scarf, €50 at Arnotts 5 Iris & Edie Frost French robe, €52.50 at Debenhams, Henry Street, Dublin 1 6 Fairisle slippers, £14 at 7 Mila Suede Driving Gloves by Oliver Bonas, €35.09 at 8 Striped asymmetric cape, €325 at Karen Millen, Grafton Street, Dublin 2







The one-night Duvet Day package at Ballynahinch Castle ( in Connemara takes cosy nights in to a whole new level. Aimed at frazzled couples in need of some quality time (or, sleep), its lure of room service dinner and DVDs brought to your love nest with buttered popcorn and chocolates – not forgetting the bath oils, fluffy robes and slippers – is certainly tempting. Rooms from €150pp. Or, in total contrast, urbanistas should consider the brand, spanking new Dean Hotel ( on Dublin’s Harcourt Street, where mini-SMEG fridges, Grafton Barber toiletries, rainforest showers, Netflix and record players with assorted vinyl await in suites and Hi-Fi rooms, from €169. OFFERING GREAT DEALS AND MAKING IT SIMPLE TO CHOOSE YOUR PERFECT HOLIDAY! Holidays with Aer Lingus is the ultimate one-stop-travel-shop for Irish holidaymakers looking for quality accommodation, unfailing customer service and comfortable & reliable flights with Aer Lingus. Holidays with Aer Lingus allows you to build your own sun holiday for any duration & to any destination on the Aer Lingus network, packaging Aer Lingus flights with great value accommodation & airport transfers. Our range of hotels and apartments have been hand-picked for both their suitability for Irish holidaymakers and all-round quality. No matter what your budget & type of holiday you are looking for, we have something special for you.

surprised by our 5 star holidays ranging from great value “luxury for less” options, up to Grand Luxe hotels for those looking for something extra special. For the “Over 50’s” age bracket we have exclusive lowseason deals on 3 star & 4 star hotels in the Canary Islands, Spain & the Algarve, offering half-board meal deals with free wine. Our website is easy to use, however, if you’re looking for that added personal touch when booking your holiday, we have a team of professional Holiday Advisors on hand 7 days a week to offer expert & friendly advice and to help you find the perfect holiday for you. Our Holiday Advisors will book your holiday over the phone at no extra charge, simply call 01 637 1658 to speak with a member of the team.

If you’re looking for some summer fun with your little darlings, we have family holidays with discounts for children up to 18 years, great kids clubs and all-inclusive options for the budget conscious. If some grown-up pampering is more up your alley, you’ll be pleasantly

SECURE YOUR SUMMER HOLIDAY FOR ONLY €1 We are the only holiday provider offering you the opportunity to secure your European Sun holiday for the unbeatably low deposit of €1 per person. So, you can avail of the best Aer Lingus fares and early bird hotel discounts now, giving you plenty of time to save for that all-important break away this summer! For terms & conditions see



Book your next holiday on & SAVE €€€!


We are offering you an extra 5% off the accommodation on any sun holiday of your choice. Simply go to (or call us) to select your perfect holiday, then use the promo code CARA15 to reduce the overall cost of your holiday.

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• Promo Code: CARA15

Over the phone: Quote CARA15 to your sales representative before your booking is made

• Travel dates: 01 Jan to 31 Dec 2015 • Applies to: All European & Worldwide sun holidays • Promotion ends: 30 June 2015

Online: Enter CARA15 into the “promo code” box at the payment stage of booking and click “apply”

T&Cs of promotion: Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or promotion. Discount applies to accommodation only. Promo code must be used at time of booking; discounts cannot be applied retrospectively. Offer only applies to sun holiday destinations.

VISIT OR CALL 01 637 1658 Holidays with Aer Lingus ( is brought to you by ClickandGo is fully licensed & bonded by the Commission for Aviation Regulation T.A. 0700. is a member of the Irish Travel Agents Association.

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Ice scream

Heart-stopping performances Hankies at the ready: iconic tear-jerker Giselle will grace the stage of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on January 26-27. In a no-doubt-breathtaking production by the Moscow City Ballet, it tells the tale of a village girl who dies of a broken heart, but her spirit remains to save her former love, Albrecht, from dancing himself to death. Much less weepy is festive favourite The Nutcracker, performed by the same company (January 28-31), which brings to life Clara’s great, nocturnal escape to the Land of Sweets played out to a live orchestra.



Teams of young ice-hockey stars will get their skates on in Toronto and Montréal for the 39th IIHF World Junior Championships, December 26-31 ( Hats, gloves and cheering voices will also be required in Austria as the first combined Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, right, makes tracks in Kreischberg, a short-ish hop from Salzburg, January 15-25 (

a posh perusal of the tourist SWANKY SIGHTSEEING For Tour Cityscape Luxury Sightseeing hotspots, book onto a Dublin h actually want to hop off – eac by Dublin Coach. You may not Fi, Wifree , onboard storyteller snazzy bus is complete with an ments. multilingual audio and refresh FAMILY

Llamas and lights


Hamsters and rabbits may no longer cut it as pets after trying Llama Trekking at The Jungle, 45 minutes from Belfast ( Every Tuesday you can lead these furry, human-loving animals through the forest along custom-made trails, with the choice to include a picnic. For an outing with plenty of oohs and aahs, hit the London International Mime Festival (January 8-31; Creative puppetry, extreme dance and acrobatic performances are just a soupçon of the wordless acts to marvel at. Impressive artistic displays are also lighting up in France. Lyon, pictured, will glow brightly for Fête Des Lumières (December 5-8; fetesdeslumieres. with more than 70 creative light arrangements across the city to suit all ages. And, in the US, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago encourages art appreciation from a young age with its fun Family Days ( If your child is still buggy bound, the museum’s Stroller Tours (next one on Janary 7) let parents ogle the art while wheeling the little ones around.

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*off the recommended retail price © Kildare Village 2014 11/14


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4 Nature’s own

Our edit of the best earthy spa treatments …

Farnham Estate, Cavan

Indulge your body in Farnham spa’s two-hour Crann na Beatha (Tree of Life) treatment (120min/€135). Unwind with a full body exfoliation and massage before being enveloped in ÓGRA organic peat infused with wild lavender. Warmed basalt rocks are then applied, with drifting-off inevitable during the deep cleanse facial. Post showering, a warm lavender oil massage leaves skin sublime.

Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux The, er, mood-

enhancing effects of wine are well documented but did you know about the antiageing properties of grape polyphenols? Cue Caudalie’s Vinotherapie portfolio. Detox (retox?) at the brand’s picturesque Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte spa hotel where a half-day Vinotherapie Ritual (face treatment, grape barrel bath, and wrap/€210), and more, await.


Dawson Spa, Dublin The

skincare benefits of seaweed are long recognised, which is why Sligo kelp-fanciers VOYA are such a success story. And where better to have a VOYA Deluxe Facial Experience than at this urban spa (80min/€95)? Lie back and think of Strandhill while unctuous, nourishing pieces of seaweed are placed on the face. Also included are a back exfoliation, face mask, and a shoulder and scalp massage.

The Marker Hotel, Dublin If you like a hot stone massage, then you’ll love its sophisticated sister, Lava Shell Massage. The shells – beautiful polished Philippine clams filled with minerals and knot-meltingly hot – are used in the strokes and so are super-effective in reducing tension, easing aches, and inducing a state of blissful coma, all to the soundtrack of swishing tides (€80-€130/30-90 mins weekdays). A mini-break in itself.


Party season saviours ... 1


5 4 1 Honey and Beeswax Hand & Foot Butter, €15.50 at The Body Shop 2 Super 16 Serum by OSKIA, £80 at 3 Plantscription Youth-Renewing Face ce Oil by Origins, €38 from Aer Lingus inflight Boutique 4 Rejuvenate Organic Face Oil by Suti, £32 at 5 Muscle Soothe Body Oil by Yogandha, €29.95 at 6 Essential Travel Oils by Aromatherapy Associates, £33 at

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One-stop makeover 6

Flying into Dublin and left your make-up bag at home? No bother. Book an appointment with Brown Thomas personal beauty shopper Warren Dowdall in the all-new-and-improved Beauty Hall, where he can cherry-pick from 10,000 products by 50 international bands, including – exclusively – Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford and MAC.

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Trending “It’s been a good year, I won’t lie,” says Diarmaid Murtagh, the 32-year-old actor from Cavan. It sure has. One minute he was mixing up cocktails in a bar in Shoreditch – or “resting” as it’s known, after a stint as Leif in the popular TV series Vikings. The next he had landed the role of Captain Harpen in George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, a Second World War movie about looted art treasures. “My role pops up towards the end and I’m surrounded by George, Matt Damon, Bill Murray – that was a huge thing for me – and John Goodman.” It was the first of many “pinch me moments”. Then came a spell in Dracula Untold. A trip to Bucharest to shoot the TV mini-series Sons of Liberty (airing December 14 – 16 on the History Channel) in which he plays an Irishman in an American revolutionary tale. “That was my first Irish role in about five or six years,” he says. It was straight on to another TV mini-series, The Dovekeepers, an epic piece about the Siege of Masada in 70 AD, starring Sam Neill. So where – or when – next? He won’t be drawn. “But I’m definitely due a role where I’m in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt,” he laughs. In the meantime, for Christmas, he’s swapping the red carpet for the green grass of Cavan and, more particularly, his beloved Gaelic football team. “I played for the team for years and I was a cut-and-thrust kind of midfielder. Now I’m just a cheerleader on the sideline. But there’s M and F’s Bar in Kingscourt and another couple of strongholds for the team, so I’ll definitely be enjoying a few pints of Guinness when I arrive home.”


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Season’s eatings

Dublin’s Camden Kitchen ( is a comfort food hotspot. Its chef and proprietor Padraic Hayden selects his three favourite restaurants to warm the cockles.


In with the new Blackrock Canteen at the Market Chef owners James Sheridan and Soizic Humbert run this stylishly understated restaurant in the Co Dublin suburb where a €42 four-course fixed menu changes weekly. This is accomplished cooking with a well-thought-out wine list to match. Feast on Venison from Wild Irish Game in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow – a compelling delicacy in wintertime.

Boston Aquitaine Bistrot This modern French bistrot in Massachusetts has quite rightly become a firm favourite for hungry locals. Laidback and friendly service gives way to generous comforting French classics served up in a cosy yet chic bistro the French themselves might well envy. Feast on Braised short ribs with bone marrow croquettes and horseradish.

Segovia Mesón de Cándido Located in an ancient inn with roaring fires just beside a Roman aqueduct in Segovia, some 90 kilometres north of Madrid, the Cándido family have been perfecting wood-roasted cochinillo (suckling pig) since 1905, the results of which are triumphant. Feast on Mahogany crackling – as crisp and fine as a crème brulée – gives way to exquisite meat garnished with a roasting jus.

their best way to a GIY fan’s heart is STOCKING THRILLER If the k Eat self-published book Grow Coo stomach, dig out Michael Kelly’s ting a month-by-month, grow-i (€25) this Christmas, compris , han Ske al s from the likes of Don yourself food guide, and recipe Kenna. Darina Allen and Clodagh Mc TREND

The icebars cometh … There are cool bars and then there are cool bars. If sub-zero temperatures are your thing – aided by a shot of gullet-warming chilli vodka – ’tis the season to visit an ice bar. Closest to Ireland is ICEBAR LONDON (icebarlondon. com), where walls, tables, the bar and even glasses are made of ice (harvested from Sweden’s Jukkasjärvi). Room temperature is -5°C, and 40-minute slots cost from £13 including cocktail. The Ice KUBE, Paris (kubehotel-paris. com), left, is exactly twice as nippy, with interiors carved by former world champion ice sculptor Michel Amann. Sessions last 25 minutes, from €29 for four vodka cocktails. And an unlikely location in which to have the world’s largest ice bar is Orlando – ICEBAR (, whose rooms of various temperatures mean you can stay as long as you like, from $29.95 including two drinks.

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Dublin is sprouting new eateries and, while we’ve also noticed prices creeping up, there’s still value to be found. Tapping into the weekend brunch crowd is the Westbury Hotel’s Balfes (, where lunch specials cost €15 for a main and a rice pudding dessert. Also on Balfe Street is Beeftro (, following its success at Dundrum Shopping Centre. Lunches chime in at just under a tenner, while the two-course early bird menu costs €19.50. Dublin institution Fallon & Byrne ( has opened an outpost in the People’s Park, Dun Laoghaire, and in Dublin 4, the Dylan Hotel has introduced Tavern restaurant ( More splurge than thrifty, it’s worth a visit for chef Marc Bodie’s playful “Fairground for Two” dessert alone: candyfloss, toffee and apple doughnuts, marshmallows, vanilla cones and honeycomb chocolate, and also the “exploding chocolate sphere”, above.

Love is the oldest stor y of all. Never felt more strongly than at Christmas time. The dark days of winter promise a new beginning. Seal your stor y with a ring from Keanes.

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Wish you were here Cork-born Tom Whelton, left, snapped this shot during a trip to the Black Valley, Co Kerry, with the Cork Camera Group last winter and says: “The scenery was so captivating that I regularly abandoned my car to wander off with my camera. It is a most beautiful and unspoiled part of Ireland, and a place I will be returning to again as I am sure the valley will change completely from season to season.”

Have you a stunning photograph of your trip to an Aer Lingus destination to share? Send it to us at and we’ll publish our favourite shot in the February/March issue. The technicals Photographs must be a 300-dpi high resolution file and accompanied by a portrait of yourself and 100 words about the story behind the shot. The editor’s decision is final.


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On my travels

Is there anywhere that Irish sailor Justin Slattery hasn’t been? Nancy Rockett quizzes the roving pro-bowman. PHOTOGRAPH BY IAN ROMAN

Justin Slattery embarked on his fifth Volvo Ocean Race on October 4 as part of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team. The crew set sail from Alicante, to take in eleven ports in eleven countries, across 38,739 nautical miles, before being due to dock into Gothenburg’s port on June 27, 2015. The 39-year-old bowman has been racing full-time since 1995, broke a transatlantic record aged 23, and spends just six weeks a year at his family home in England. ife on the boat is … In fourhour shifts, so it can be pretty difficult to get back into a normal sleeping pattern back on dry land – I’ll often nod off mid-sentence and be wide-awake in the middle of the night. I’m exhausted, as I’ve been running on adrenaline for days. We eat freeze-dried food on-board so it seems like a luxury to eat real food or just to speak to new people. When I go on holiday … I’m almost subconsciously drawn to water. I love cities, and some of my favourite places include Sydney and Stockholm. I love that you can commute by water and not get stuck in traffic jams. I would love to sail … The Northwest Passage, the sea that runs through the Arctic Ocean, connecting the Pacific


to the North Atlantic Ocean. It intrigues me to go to a place that is inaccessible most of the year due to ice. When you’re cooped up for weeks on end … With the same bunch of guys, you do become a close-knit team, and good mates. This is what pulls you though the times when you’re feeling down or when the pressure gets to you. We put our lives in each others’ hands, so there’s a huge amount of trust. Nine sets of stinking feet aren’t so good though. My first memory of sailing was … Stepping on-board NCB Ireland, Ireland’s entry into the Whitbread Round the World Race, when I was 14. I remember being captivated by what these guys were about to do. I didn’t sail a boat until I was 17 years old, when I took a small wooden dinghy out in Wexford harbour.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I loved it. Seventeen is pretty ancient to get into the sport. Most professional sailors begin when they are about six. It shows it’s never too late. My toughest race to date was … The transatlantic leg of the 2005/2006 Volvo Ocean Race when I was with ABN AMRO 1. It was the best and worst experience of my life. We’d just won, which was my lifetime dream, but during that leg another competitor and friend, Hans Horrevoets, went overboard and drowned. He was a great guy and a great sailor. It was devastating. There is now an award in his memory and it was extremely poignant when his widow Petra and their two young daughters presented the trophy in Galway during the last race. When I’m at sea I miss … My family. In many ways it’s a selfish

3 best kayaking courses …


Feeling adventurous? Explore the historical wonders of Dubrovnik by sea-kayaking your way to paradise. Led by qualified staff, Adventure Dubrovnik, left, promises fantastic fun for all ages at wallet-friendly prices. Cameras at the ready – sensational sights guaranteed.

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Whether paddling gently along the River Lee, or seeking a marine adventure, Atlantic Sea Kayaking caters for all. Slip silently into the night, watch the moonlight glisten on the water and immerse yourself in the magic of Cork city with the Starlight Tour.

profession, which takes you away for long periods of time, but we’re extremely close. I miss least … Sweating the small stuff – life’s simple onboard. I’ve never had worse cabin fever than … While nearing the end of a 58-day non-stop Round the World Record attempt with American adventurer Steve Fossett on the giant catamaran Cheyenne in 2004. After about 50 days I would have done anything to get off that yacht. Thankfully we broke the record! I’ve never been more scared at sea than … When we unwittingly sailed between huge icebergs as big as the Aran Islands in pitch black in the Southern Ocean on my first round-the-world race. It felt like Russian roulette. If I could go anywhere tomorrow it would be … Back to my holiday home overlooking Clonakilty Bay in West Cork ...


What could be more romantic than an evening under the stars with San Francisco Kayak & Adventures? This starlit trip takes you along the Bay to McCovey Cove and Giant's World Series Championship AT&T Park, spotting wildlife on the way. Definitely one with honeymoon potential.

Twickenham Stadium 2nd May K.O. 17:00

TICKETS ON SALE For more information visit

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Smart Traveller|

Lisa Hughes gets tips on doing business in Brussels and samples Vienna’s finest lunch spots.




Managing director of Coady Partnership Architects, Anne Fletcher spends a lot of time in Belgium, where her company recently won four projects. It comes as no surprise then, that Anne’s favourite city is Brussels. “Brussels is great for business travel because … It’s very well served by flights from Ireland and the flight times facilitate an eight-hour working day with a same-day return. It has an excellent rail service, which covers all parts of the country. And it has an array of top-class hotels to cater for all the demands of the busy business traveller. Best business hotel … The Radisson Blu Royal (47 Rue du Fossé-auxLoups, +32 22 192 828; is known for its beautiful Art Deco façade as well as its glass dome roof. Not only are the rooms very modern, but this hotel is only five minutes from the Grand Place, and Wi-Fi is free. Business lunch … Place du Châtelain has a wonderful mix of restaurants along Rue du Page and Rue du Châtelain. The best evening midweek is Wednesday when the afternoon street market attracts the afterwork-drinks crowd. I recently brought a client to L'Atelier (28 Rue Franklin, +32 27 349 140;, which impressed

after your table before you start your meal. That way you will get excellent service throughout and even a drink on the house! Business travel tip … Keep a travel bag ready to go at all times. You may not be able to pack all your clothes in advance but keep a second set of toiletries, me, or try Maison shoes, accessories, chargers, Luxembourg (37 Rue du paper and pens ready for Luxembourg, +32 25 119 995; a last-minute trip. Also,, know the four key words a business lunch favourite that open doors for you in not far from the European that country’s language: Parliament. Hello, thank you, please Business drinks … The and goodbye. If you can terrace café at the 110-year old Hotel Metropole (31 Place say, “Sorry, I don’t speak French/German” in that de Brouckère, +32 22 172 300; language and sound like you is a great place to meet business clients. really mean it, it’s the icing on the cake. Tipping … When dining out, On your downtime … tip the waiter who is looking During winter there are plenty of things ”I can’t travel trav without … A laser pointer with to do, from film remote control for laptops/PCs (left, €49.99, festivals to jazz available at and Harvey marathons to markets. Norman Norman). They are essential for The Christmas prese presentations and come in a very Market at the Grand slic slick design now. They save a lot Place offers 240 of time jumping up and down to shopping chalets, as po point things out.” well as an ice-skating rink and funfair.”

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ENTLER One of Vienna’s best-loved restaurants, the sophisticated Entler is a little off the tourist trail so it feels like a well-kept secret, and showcases the finest Austrian food in a sleek, contemporary setting. It’s a hotspot so book ahead and note that no credit or debit cards are accepted. (2 Schlüsselgasse, +431 504 3585;


GLACIS BEISL Nestled in the old city walls, this cosy Museum Quarter bistro is the perfect blend of hip and historic. Glacis Beisl is a hit with locals and visitors, thanks to its menu of Austrian favourites – think filling goulash and blood sausage – and a garden made for relaxed al fresco dining. (4 Breite Gasse, +431 526 5660;


DIE KÜCHE WIEN Combining hearty Viennese fare with showmanship, chef Philipp Vogel whips up creative seasonal dishes at the five-star Palais Hansen Kempinski hotel (book the Chef’s Table). With a business lunch costing €22, it won’t hammer the expense account either. (24 Schottenring, +431 236 1000;

Liam Quirke

Managing Partner

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My travel notebook

Gaming industry ace BRIAN O’DONNELL has been part of the techie landscape for the past ten years. The extreme sports fan co-founded Irish games company SixMinute ( in 2012 with four friends. The group recently launched their first game for mobile devices, Pick A Pet. Michelle O’Brien catches up with the games developer. FAVOURITE PLACE FOR A WEEKEND BREAK? “I like

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Bungy Jump in New Zealand. I was so hyped up on adrenaline that, to my instructor’s surprise, I asked to go again immediately.”


“Bangkok’s lebua at State Tower (1055/111 Silom Road, Bangrak, +66 2 624 9999, Location for The Hangover II, and home to the highest open-air bar in the world.”

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nothing better than to head off to the west coast of Ireland for a few days surfing. And if there’s time, head to my folks in Sligo for a good feed … Otherwise Vilamoura, Portugal. My family have a lovely apartment just 20 minutes from Faro airport. It’s the perfect distance away for a quick break in the sun.”

MY IDEA OF TRAVEL HEAVEN IS ... “Fresh tracks heli-skiing somewhere in the Alps.”

BEST RESTAURANT? “The secret(ish) burger joint at New York’s Le Parker Meridien Hotel (119 West 56th Street, +1 212 708 7414, Once you find it (hint: it’s shrouded in thick velvet curtains), get the works, washed down with a milkshake.” 5

Brian’s carry-on essentials ... 1 More Is Than Isn’t by RJD2 (RJ’s Electrical Connections), €8.99 on iTunes 2 The Frena Beanie, approx $20 at 3 Pick A Pet by SixMinute, free at the App Store and Goggle Play 4 Noise Cancelling Headphones, €299.95, at 5 6 & 7 Daily Refresh Shampoo, €9.95; Healthy Face Wash, €13.45; Shave Creme €12.45; all by men-ü, and at

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Flynn Management & Contractors welcoming you home for Christmas.

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REMEMBER As the only European capital with US Preclearance, Dublin Airport makes your journey easier.

Easy Aer Lingus Flight Connections at Dublin Airport Moving through Dublin Airport has never been easier – staff at the Aer Lingus Flight Connections Desk are here to assist, be it with baggage, boarding passes, or ESTA queries and requirements, leaving you with more time to relax, shop, eat and drink before your onward journey. Follow the clear signage throughout the airport that will help you get to your connecting gate with ease. You can also go online with a clear conscience; Wi-Fi at the airport is free, meaning zero data roaming charges. Furthermore, there’s no need to get lost in translation – connecting companion DUB HUB is now available in five languages.

DUB HUB is a very simple mobile service that acts as your companion to get you from your arriving flight to your connecting flight.

6 EASY STEPS FOR CONNECTING AT DUBLIN AIRPORT 1. Listen to on-board announcements – as you taxi towards your gate on arrival, listen out for any information that the flight crew may have. They sometimes detail flight or gate changes.

3. Use Dublin Airport’s free Wi-Fi to access DUB HUB on your mobile device. No data roaming charges, downloads or login required. DUB HUB is in English, Français, Italiano, Español, Deutsch and Gaeilge.

2. Do you have your boarding card? If not, proceed to the Aer Lingus Flight Connections desk where staff are on hand to help you with any queries.

4. On the DUB HUB home page, enter your Aer Lingus flight number to get your gate number and the time you have before your flight starts to board.


Smartphone or tablet users can access the free DUB HUB easy connecting companion as soon as you arrive in Dublin Airport. It’s powered by Google, and will show you the quickest, easiest route to your connecting flight. Remember to use free Dublin Airport Wi-Fi to access DUB HUB

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DUB HUB makes ever everything easier, when you’re connecting thr through Dublin Airport. Simply go to: dubhub or scan this code.


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Shooting star

’Tis the season for country walks and roaring fires. Lucy White cosies up at Kinnitty Castle.

o Offaly’s Kinnitty many as himself. Result! But while Castle has endured I beat him on the shooting range, a turbulent history, my inner Katniss Everdeen failed to from being seized emerge during on-site archery ... by the English from Also on the 650-acre estate owner William O’Carroll in 1641 is Kinnitty Forest, a magnet for and set ablaze by Republicans in walkers, hikers and food foragers. 1922 to, in more modern times, Ask at the front desk for maps – going into receivership. As a hotel there’s the Kinnitty it wears its scars lightly though, the Castle Loop (an easy only hint of malevolence being the 5km) and the Glinsk trophy deer decorating the bloodCastle Loop red stairwell walls. Oh, and the (a moderate 8km), both dulcet tones of gunfire – clay-pigeon of which are primarily shooting is offered on-site. forest trails and where a I’d tried shooting clays a decade soundtrack is provided by earlier, in the sweltering scrubland the wind sighing through of Dubai’s Hajar Mountains. trees, the ssshhh of the I was terrible then, so didn’t feel River Camcor and the too confident nestling the heavy occasional pleasantry from shotgun into my feeble, city slicker a passing jogger. shoulder. “Don’t overthink it, Inside the castle, it also relax,” guided Liam Keenihen, who felt like we had the run of has been teaching the activity the place. Like Lord and Lady at Kinnitty for 20 years Muck – arms aching from (“back in the old days weaponry – we sank of Con O’Brien, into button-back GET FRESH I ended up cooking leather armchairs Kinnitty Castle’s Walkers’ breakfast for the in the Library Retreat Package costs castle’s vey first Bar and supped €145pp for two nights’ B&B, hotel guests – on hot port (me) a two-course dinner, maps imagine!” he and pints of and packed lunches. Kinnitty chuckles). My Guinness (him). Castle, Birr; 057 913 7318; beau and I had One person’s lack 25 clays each, of atmosphere and I hit a measly is another’s peace six – but still twice as and quiet and, for


What to pack ... 1 Orla Kiely Large Washbag, €39.95 at Kilkenny, Dublin 2 2 Barbour International Outwood Parka, €298 at 3 Date Night Bath Milk by Lucy Annabella Organics, €49 at 4 Ettinger Lifestyle Leather Bound Hip Flask, £110 at ettinger. 5 Dents Leather Gloves, €65 at Harvey Nichols, Dundrum 6 Pom Ribbed Beanie, £14 at 1 7 Clarks Mint Treat GTX Waterproof Boot, €196 at

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Top, Kinnitty Castle is bestknown as a wedding venue but it’s also a welcome retreat from city life. Above, the elegant – and generously proportioned – De La Paor Suite.





6 7

the first time in several months, I read all the Sunday supplements of my newspaper over the one weekend. Heaven. Also, Wi-Fi is only available in public areas, so going (slightly) off-grid proved to be a welcome inconvenience. Our three-course dinner was delicious, with locally-sourced wild mushrooms playing a starring role on the seasonally-changing menu. My pan-fried salmon was perfectly cooked – crispy skin and soft, supple flesh – while his steak was farm fresh. Feeling torpid after our nightcap back in the Library, we spurned the Dungeon Bar for our giant bed. This was our second time staying in the Butler Suite, a large, bright sky-blue room with tall ceilings – and a huge bathroom – that overlooks the front lawns. My close favourite though is a baronial room: the De La Paor Suite, with lower ceilings and shorter windows but a huge twin-four-poster bed (and still a ginormous bathroom). It’s a pity all days don’t start, or end, with a long soak in a deep, roll-top bath – so pack your favourite bath oil and enjoy. Soon enough it was as if my sore bicep had never felt a firearm in its lazy life.

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Shelf Life|

Bridget Hourican views a book on Irish landscapes, and chats with Colum Kenny about his new historical book.

Behind the lines

Author and DCU professor Colum Kenny.



US citizen Emily

Harbison and Leslie Conron Carola Westbrooks moved to Dublin (Collins Press, €19.99) The authors quote in 2008 and started offering Lady Gregory in the introduction: “Ireland guided tours. Her e-book, is a land of mists and mythic shadows, of Delightful Dublin, gives weird silences in the lonely hills, and fitful tips on where to stay, eat, skies of deepest gloom alternating with sleep, shop and daytrip. gorgeous sunsets.” It sets the tone for this book of photos – often taken at daybreak and sunset – of Ireland’s natural beauty and ancient heritage. The focus here is more on the rural and prehistoric than the urban and modern. The sections are on the Ancient World, the Natural World and the Cultivated World (gardens, demesnes); the images are timeless and – except for the one of Dublin’s Samuel Beckett Bridge – could have been taken at any time in the last few hundred years.

WHAT IS AN IRISH-AMERICAN ODYSSEY ABOUT? A family making the most of emigration. The O’Shaughnessys settled in Missouri, their children working in Chicago and New York in the arts, media, law and commerce. Their ups and downs were those of many Irish-Americans. WHAT PIQUED YOUR INTEREST IN THEM? First-generation James became the “best in the business” of advertising (said TIME magazine), and the first patron of the Irish Association of Advertising Agencies. He wept when Irish admen gave him a Claddagh ring – my grandfather was among the admen who welcomed him. MOST ICONIC IRISH-AMERICAN LANDMARK IN NEW YORK? The Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City is a great concept and a visual treat. … AND IN CHICAGO? Old St Pat’s Church is a gem – the city’s oldest public building was decorated in Gaelic Revival style by Thomas O’Shaughnessy. … AND IN IRELAND? The JFK Arboretum in Co Wexford, and the nearby Kennedy homestead and Dunbrody famine ship. FAVOURITE BOOK ABOUT THE IRISHAMERICAN EXPERIENCE? James T Farrell’s trilogy Studs Lonigan, about a tough-guy son of Irish-Americans. An Irish-American Odyssey: The Remarkable Rise of the O’Shaughnessy Brothers (University of Missouri Press, €40) is out now.

3 best urban reads ... Ra Rachael Weiss THE THING ABOUT PRAGUE ... HOW I GAVE IT ALL UP (Allen & Un Unwin, released January 1) Ag Aged 41, Rachael Weiss upped and left her job and upp cat in Sydney to move to Prague, city of her ancestors (she now lives in Dublin). Cue: insane bureaucracy, apartmenthunting, attending synagogue and, of course, cheap beer.

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Ga Kamiya COOL Gary GRAY CITY OF LOVE (Bloomsbury, £10) A (B Sa San Francisco Chronicle be bestseller, this takes as its inspiration Hokusai’s it 36 views of Mo Mount Fuji to give us an in-depth, quirky, historical and observational view of the Golden Gate city, from Tenderloin to Lands End; every neighbourhood and from all angles.

THE WORLD’S BEST CITIES, CELEBRATING 300 GREAT URBAN DESTINATIONS (National Ge Geographic, £25.15) To mark th the Century of the City, National Geog Geographic visits the usual suspects (Paris, Rome, New York) and the up-and-coming (Denver, Auckland, Abu Dhabi), letting you in on walks, secrets and shopping. Luscious pics.

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Having a cool yule

Sheila Wayman reveals Santa sightings, and other kid-friendly festivities this season. he white-bearded man in the red suit pops up in some of the most unexpected places around Ireland – castles, stately homes, farms and even a cave – in the run-up to Christmas. Rathwood Santa Train in Tullow, Co Carlow (until December 25;, Christmas at Causey Farm in Co Meath (until December 23;, Santa’s Workshop at Aillwee Cave, Co Clare (until December 22; and a Winter Wonderland in Westport House, Co Mayo (until December 24;, are best-known. Newbies this year include an Enchanted Kingdom at Slane Castle, Co Meath (until December 21;; a Forest Train in Co Wicklow’s Avondale estate (until December 24;, where every child gets a toy, and, at Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co Kilkenny, a woodland Elf Village (until December 23; The Claus couple also make their debut at Castle Oliver (December 6-21; in Co Limerick’s Ballyhoura Mountains. Green is the colour of Santa’s



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robes at Belvedere House in Co Westmeath (December 6-21;, because that’s what he wore in Victorian times. Once children step through the Narnia wardrobe (the CS Lewis novels are celebrated all-yearround), he will help them to pot a tree to take home, along with a wildflower seed shaker and candy. The same era is evoked at Airfield in the south Dublin suburb of Dundrum (until December 22; A gingerbread village, “starry night” installation in the walled garden and Santa’s workshop are among the attractions. All these are paying-in attractions but there is plenty of Christmas spirit at State-run, free admission properties. For instance the former Guinness home of Farmleigh (December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21; in Dublin’s Phoenix Park is adorned with festive decorations, children’s entertainment, carol singing and Santa’s “reindeer”, often found resting near the Papal Cross. The National Museum (Dublin, and Co Mayo; also has free, seasonal workshops, as does

Dublin’s National Gallery (December 27-29; Meanwhile, it’s panto season: The Gaiety presents Peter Pan (until January 11;; the Olympia hosts Aladdin (December 17 to January 4;, and the Tivoli has Cinderella (December 10 to January 11; Outside the capital is Sleeping Beauty at Cork Opera House (December 11 to January 17; and Aladdin at Belfast’s Grand Opera House (until January 18; Open-air exercise is a New Year priority and the State’s forest parks and trails are fine venues for walking, cycling, and winter picnics ( Or how about the annual Wellie Race in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny ( on HY T AR cC M January 1? Y J EN N

Above, elf esteem at Castlecomer Discovery Park. Below, Alan Hughes is flanked by the Ugly Sisters – aka Rory Cowan and Rob Murphy – in Cinderella at the Tivoli.

3 more festive family events …


Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London, to January 4 The UK’s largest ice-rink, circus shows, funfair rides, markets and Arctic-themed attractions are some of the seasonal offerings in one of London’s largest parks, left. Admission is free but tickets need to be bought for many of the activities.



How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Madison Square Garden, New York, December 5-28 A musical version of the much-loved Dr Seuss story. Tony winner Shuler Hensley takes on the role of the infamous green grump at the Midtown venue. Tickets priced between $40 and $160.


Wonderland and Funderland, RDS, Dublin, December 5 to January 11 It’s a onestop shop not only for ice-skating, continental market and other family entertainment, but also for Europe’s largest travelling theme park, Funderland, much of which is under cover – bar the giant Ferris wheel of course.

Natural Orange & Yellow Diamonds Mounted on a Four Row Platinum Band from Cullen & Co Fine Jewellers 7 Castle Market (Drury Street) Dublin 2

W: T: +353 1 670 5000


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The wild ones

Volunteering holidays may be less relaxing but are much more rewarding, reports Lauren Murphy.






Above, turtle conservation in Greece with the charity Archelon, and below, working with rescued chimps in Spain with Responsible Travel.



tailored for literally all interests, ages and experience, says Edwards – families, couples and solos alike. “A volunteer holiday allows you to escape the tourist resorts, fully experience local culture and immerse yourself in the country,” says Edwards. “Volunteering is also a great way to meet new and like-minded people from all over the world. A lot of trips also mix volunteering with other activities, like sightseeing and learning a new skill like scuba diving, or taking local language lessons.” Each organisation works differently but most will require you to cover your own travel expenses, and occasionally a fee. “It might not make sense to pay at first, but most organisations – especially wildlife sanctuaries – are run on a shoestring and don’t have any governmental funding,” Edwards explains. “They also have to pay for staff, training and upkeep of volunteer accommodation and food. It’s charity donations and the fees from volunteers that keep projects operational throughout the year.” Cork-born coastal engineer Mary Coleman volunteered with the Greek sea turtle charity Archelon ( in her twenties, and FU N

or many people, the word “holiday” conjures up images of lying on a sandy beach sipping cocktails. Yet over the last decade, more and more people are embracing the idea of making their escape from the rat race a little more meaningful. The phrase “responsible tourism” might seem like an oxymoron but the industry has grown exponentially as holidaymakers flock to various locations around the world to volunteer with wildlife conservation projects and animal sanctuaries. “Over the past few years we’ve seen a big increase in enquiries and bookings,” says Paul Edwards, founder of One World 365 (, a UK-based organisation that acts as a directory for meaningful global volunteer projects. “It seems that more and more people want to take a break from the normality of life, and help other people and animals.” One World 365 offers over a thousand trips in more than 100 different locations – from volunteering with bears in Canada, to whale and dolphin research off the coast of Italy. Similar organisations include and ProjectsAbroad (, meaning that there is something

3 do-good breaks …


Dolphins in Greece It’s always a popular holiday destination, but this trip is a little different. You’ll work on a dolphin conservation programme, spending time both tracking them in the Mediterranean Sea, left, then learning how to analyse and implement the data back at HQ. Food and accommodation is provided.

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Wild horses in Florida The Wild Horse Rescue Center near Orlando was founded in 2000 and welcomes volunteers on week-long stretches (or longer, if you want). The very reasonable donation includes airport transfers, accommodation and meals, and you’ll do everything from mucking stalls to rehabilitating neglected Mustangs.

says it was one of the most enjoyable trips of her life. “I love wildlife, exploring new cultures and being outdoors, so it ticked a lot of boxes,” she says. “You get to meet people from all around the world, and if you’ve an interest in wildlife, you’re probably going to make life-long happy memories. I would 100 per cent do it again.” Make no mistake, however: volunteering holidays are not relaxing, says Edwards. “Usually, volunteers will be required to wake early and put in a lot of effort. On animal programmes you will need to do tasks like collecting food, cleaning and washing. It can be dirty and exhausting – but it’s worth it,” he explains.


Forests in Scotland Scottish conservation charity Trees for Life runs regular “conservation weeks” throughout the year, aimed at preserving the ancient Caledonian Forest. You’ll help plant trees, put up fences and document the forest’s native wildlife; full accommodation, food and transfers are included in the cost.

The natural choice

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comic hero

He’s the stand-up king who can calculate the square root of two. Half scientist and half comic, Dara Ó Briain is the thinking person’s funny man. He tells Tony Clayton-Lea how it all adds up. Photographs by Liam Murphy.


ara Ó Briain has several golden rules but the main one, it seems, is never to appear on a television show with a title containing the word “celebrity”. It is, he implies, something of a blood-curdling Faustian pact, a veritable spooky opening of Pandora’s Box. The kind of fame that brings too much hassle. Sitting in Odessa Club’s restaurant in central Dublin, part of the way through his lengthy sequence of shows at the city’s Vicar Street venue, Ó Briain is in great form. Tall, looking hale and hearty, and clad in blue from toe to tip, the Wicklowborn comedian (now living in London with his wife and two young children) is unusual in comedic terms in that he doesn’t need to stress how amusing he is. Conversational wit and comic asides come naturally to him, as does the telling of a good story. He is pondering the notion of relative fame and success, and has long since arrived at the conclusion that there are certain areas or slots in television that he should not engage with. 34 |


“I don’t do sincerity,” he says with a commendably straight face. “Sitting beside a teenager who is crying on X Factor isn’t for me. Handing out prizes in a game show – that isn’t for me, either. I know enough about myself to know that’s not where I belong. More often, I’m on BBC2, not BBC1, and there’s a reason for that. I don’t have that level of popularity. In that regard, I’m somewhere in or around bottom of mainstream, and in or around top of cult.” And he’s good with this level of public recognition? He nods. “In this particular job, the only pay-off for having a high profile is to play those massive arena gigs, and they wouldn’t suit my style of comedy, anyway. You’d be opening up your life to being slightly more famous – I’d find that level of fame a hassle.” From Bray, Co Wicklow, 42-year-old Ó Briain graduated from UCD in the mid-1990s with a degree in mathematics and mathematical physics. He says he studied such subjects because he knew – even then – exactly what he wanted to do with his life.

“Oh, yes, I absolutely wanted to be a scientist or a physicist. From about the age of 14, I wanted to know about the nature of the universe, particles, the shape of space. Was I a sci-fi fan? I was, but I was never into the fantasy element of the genre. I preferred the writings of classic sci-fi authors such as Frederik Pohl, Philip José Farmer and Arthur C Clarke. That lasted about two years and then I got into my pretentious literature phase – books like One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.” “And then,” announces Ó Briain with something of a comic flourish, “I decided I didn’t like magic realism. A very 17-year-old thing to do – you make these pronouncements, of course, having read one book. Ah, my literature phase – I remember it well ...” Admiration for the written word stuck, however. Forever and always a news junkie, and in the mid1990s a winner of the Irish Times national


debating championship (which is probably why he engages so much with the cut and thrust of Twitter, on which he has more than 1.8 million followers), his media career started while at college, when he co-founded and co-edited the University Observer. On leaving UCD, Ó Briain began working at RTÉ (Ireland’s national television station) on, firstly, the bilingual language children’s programme, Echo Island, and subsequently on the station’s topical news panel show, Don’t Feed the Gondolas. In tandem with these television shows, he embarked on a career as a standup comedian. “By that stage I’d undergone a bizarre transformation from being a proto nerd, desperate to discover the secrets of the universe, to realising that I had this primal desire to stand in front of people and make them laugh. Or was it just that I wanted to communicate with people? Anyway, around this time, a friend of mine started a performance arts club just outside the city centre and he asked me if I’d do about five minutes of standup. I did more and I liked how those gigs went; Dublin had loads of small comedy clubs, so I just decided to give it a go.” Giving it a go appears to be Ó Briain’s modus operandi, and over the past ten years, in particular, he has graduated from hard-working ingénue to established figure. If Ireland enabled his apprenticeship, then the UK has enlivened his trade, and it is with television shows such as Three Men in a Boat, Stargazing Live (with physicist Brian Cox), Mock the Week, Dara Ó Briain’s Science Club, and The Apprentice: You’re Fired! that he has gone, professionally, from strength to strength. There is a qualifier, however: Ó Briain remains a rare

commodity in mainstream comedy in that he simply isn’t prepared to cater for the lowest common denominator. He tours often (as well as far and wide) but balances a certain ubiquity with generous levels of quality. Not only this, but he refuses to be anything less than smart, accomplished, in control, and nothing but himself. He will continue “on the road” with his Crowd Tickler shows well into 2014 and the following year, when he will visit countries such as Norway, Russia and, quite likely, the US. Does touring ever get routine or mundane? He shrugs. “I agree that on some nights, when you’re not feeling too up for it, the thoughts of walking on stage aren’t great, but in the main I miss it when I’m not touring. I get fidgety. It’s not like I’m a cipher in that unless I have the love of the audience I don’t feel I exist, but there’s an element of feeling more secure in knowing that this is what you do, and you do it well enough for people to support and like it.”

The cerebral stand-up is currently on tour for the first time in three years.

“From about the age of 14, I wanted to know about the nature of the universe, particles, the shape of space.” 36 |


Are there cities where he particularly likes to perform? “Edinburgh has always been good to Irish comedians, so it’s certainly a very useful city to be in,” he replies, but he has no complaints about most. “The only places that can be tough would probably be gigs in towns outside major cities. The people are a little bit more affluent, middle-class, suburban, and a little less curious, perhaps. But they support the arts, especially if someone who’s off the telly piques their interest.” He has a theory about locations: if the town doesn’t have a local football team, there’s less likelihood for the audience to shout. “Towns that have football teams have crowds that are happy to represent or speak on behalf of the town.” Audience reaction also depends on what day of the week it is, he points out. “Every Sunday show I do, my opening line is ‘when you bought these tickets you didn’t check the gig was on a Sunday, did you? It’s 7pm, you’re on the sofa, tired, possibly recovering from a hangover, and you’re wondering, will we bother? ...” Is it something of a cliché that performers need to feed off an audience because it fulfils them in some way? “It is, yes. That said, my desire to be in front of an audience

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Briain power – explosive material on Dara Ó Briain’s Science Club.

to receive validation isn’t what drives me these days. I’m older now, and hopefully sufficiently fully rounded enough that it isn’t going to kill me if I don’t get that. But it’s a useful motivating force to write a better show, knowing that I have to put it in front of people. I also enjoy it, as well as it being a passion.” Does he think his love of science has influenced and informed his style of comedy? The response is emphatic. “Every show I do would have some fact or element of science in it. There’s always some nerdy routine in my shows!” There is even more science on the way for Ó Briain in the form of at least one new television show in 2015. It’s interesting that the subjects he studied at university have travelled so far with him, and how he has made such topics a career strength. There were no strategies or plans involved, he admits. “People knew from my various writings that I had an interest in the subject. Initially, I was asked if I’d be into doing a programme that made light and jolly of the topics, but I wasn’t really interested in doing that. I’m more into solid fact, and doing shows that are made for

people with a background in science but who don’t really want to hear the same background explained again. You also have to presume varying levels of interest, of course, which means you need to start at the bottom and build it up.” Ó Briain is at pains to point out that when it comes to science he’s more a talking head than a whirring brain. “Seriously,” he says in all seriousness, “if you watch these shows, don’t be under any illusions that I am the fountain of knowledge. Rather, I’m the guy standing beside the fountain of knowledge.” Inevitably, you notice the trends within your own work, says Ó Briain, glancing at his watch. “Some comedians go for the heart, but I think I go for the head.” He puts on his coat and a fetching blue hat, and walks towards the door to have his portrait taken, but not before sharing one last observation: “Some people with access to TV use it to run off with models. I use it to meet scientists.” Dara Ó Briain is touring Ireland and the UK throughout 2015. For dates and tickets, visit or

The Likes of Dara Ó Briain … MUSIC “I have no time, literally, for music – something had to go when the kids came along. I have a Spotify account but I don’t listen to anything specific. Randomly, I’m listening to Talking Heads, because I met David Byrne recently. Which reminds me, I must check out his book, How Music Works – I think I’d like that.” BOOKS “Right now, I’m reading What If? (Serious Scientific Answers To Absurd Hypothetical Questions) by Randall Munroe, a former NASA roboticist with a degree in physics, who is now

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a web cartoonist. He answers questions such as ‘If everyone on the planet stayed away from each other for a couple of weeks, wouldn’t the common cold be wiped out?’ He properly and very amusingly explains what happens. Fiction? I’m reading To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris. He’s an American author who was shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize.” MOVIES “Again, I just don’t have the hours. Kids ... I’ve seen Frozen, top, right, lots of times, though! I’m looking forward to taking a long-haul Aer Lingus


flight because I know there’ll be time to watch four movies, at least.” TELEVISION “I’m currently watching box sets of The West Wing and I’m really getting into that. As for new or recent stuff, I’m very much enjoying Veep, right, which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus; it’s very funny, very sharp. I’m also watching Parks and Recreation, which stars Amy Poehler. It’s another very funny and smart American series.”

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When a castle is your home, it can be tricky to balance family privacy with having an open house to pay the bills. Six custodians of living history tell Lucy White how they do it. Photographs by Simon Burch.


he biggest misconception about owning a big old beautiful building is that you are well-off, whereas in fact they are a financial vortex,” admits artist and farmer Eavaun Carmody, who bought Killenure Castle, Co Tipperary, in 2007. Downton Abbey has a lot to answer for then – that, and the myth of surplus service staff. Julian Gaisford-St Lawrence, owner of Howth Castle in Co Dublin, adds: “Highclere has become a character in what is essentially an upmarket soap opera, therefore it can charge a very decent location fee. If you’re a castle owner and you hear the words ‘second series’ then you cheer up ...” The interviewees over the following pages all live in privately owned castles, many open to the public by appointment only. Some are gentry, others blow-ins. Most have grounds open to the public 40 |


during the summer – a magnet for horticultural studies volunteers as well as tourists. A few host weddings. All, though, run family homes, each owner unanimously agreeing that being custodians of living history ameliorates the day-today travails of, say, a parched moat, a tricky buttress, or even paranormal activity. (Actually, while most of our featured forts are said to be haunted, only Leonie King, who owns Oranmore Castle on Galway Bay, has hard “evidence”: “Our archive room is haunted,” she says. “The bed clothes lift off in the middle of the night. Hence it is no longer a bedroom ...”) For the droves that visit Irish castles – nearly half of all European, and more than a quarter of American holidaymakers, according to Fáilte Ireland – it’s the parklands that provide the biggest draw and, in turn, the biggest returns to their owners. Add a tearoom here and a

working farm there, and it will no longer be a huge money-pit. The tension between commerce and running what is first and foremost a private space though doesn’t come much more pronounced than at Connemara’s Kylemore Abbey, which was built as a castle residence in the late1860s for a British MP. Home to a community of Benedictine nuns for nearly a century, it has had to juggle commercialism with spiritualism in order to survive. The abbey now has a marketing officer and a gift shop that sells the likes of Orla Kiely and Barbour products. “As a religious community it has to keep adjusting to the tourist business,” admits Kylemore’s abbess, Sister Maire Hickey. “I think we have succeeded. It can bring a difficulty, but one learns at the very beginning of life in a monastery to cultivate inner peace. Visitors and commerce aren’t obstacles to that.”

Julian GaisfordSt Lawrence “I got into a lot of trouble from my daughter for chatting to the man who plays Mr Big in Sex and the City for about half an hour without knowing who he was …” says Julian Gaisford-St Lawrence. Ah, the perils of renting out your pad to the film and TV industry. But then this is no ordinary pad: it’s Howth Castle, in Co Dublin, the seat of the St Lawrence family since the mid15th century. It may be one of the oldest family homes in Ireland but it’s no stranger to commerce, having ventured into the golf and hotel business in the mid-1970s with Deer Park ( “My father [Christopher] – who I allegedly took over the estate from 14 years ago, but is still all too active – opened what was the first public golf course in Ireland,” explains Julian. Meanwhile his sister Edwina runs a successful cookery school from the castle’s restored Georgian kitchen, which she co-founded with Julian’s late wife Christine in 2008. “There is a pressure to reinvent castles in a way that’s in keeping with the era in which you’re living,” he admits. The Castle is hosting Howth’s inaugural literary festival in June 2015 and, while the hotel closed its doors in 2014, the demesne remains a magnet for day-trippers, joggers and foragers, drawn to its scenic, free-to-the-public grounds. Oh, and the occasional “unknown” actor …


Eavaun Carmody It seems that artists are drawn to old castles like medieval kings to buxom wenches and sculptor Eavaun Carmody is no exception. Despite Killenure Castle’s Elizabethan digs resembling “the inside of a smoker’s lung, all stained yellow walls and a dark atmosphere …” when she and her husband Emmet viewed the Tipperary property in 2007, she had already “developed a penchant for resurrecting dormant, listed buildings.” Two years of major renovations later, the family finally moved in. Not content with “just” breathing new life into a Tudor ruin, the couple have since added a herd of Dexter cows to their portfolio; a breed of cattle reared to feed the poor in the mid-19th century – and which are now feeding well-heeled diners at Dylan McGrath’s Fade Street Social and Rustic Stone restaurants among others, under the umbrella of their own Killenure Dexter Gourmet brand. In many ways Eavaun has come full circle – her parents are Kerry farmers. She remains true to her artistic roots, though, curating OAK Show, an annual summer exhibition at the castle. “Old buildings really pull at my heart strings,” she says. “Building legislation and the emotional and financial drain render them difficult to digest for most people, and they commonly exist without love. Here, we’re hoping to create a legacy and sustainable employment for our area of Dundrum, and also keep parts of our national heritage alive.”

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Leonie King Print artist, lecturer and curator Leonie King of Oranmore Castle comes from a long line of castle owners – she is of Castle Leslie stock, though based in a Norman stronghold on Galway Bay rather than in Co Monaghan. “There’s the misconception that you live in grandeur,” she admits. “And there’s the task of keeping water out – the sea and the rain in winter!” For all of its seasonal sogginess, however, Leonie and her musician husband Alec Finn, of the trad band De Danann, are happily ensconced at the castle. She was bequeathed Oranmore by her mum, the writer Anita King, whose own mother Lady Leslie purchased the donjon in the 1940s. The tower, where cultural events are hosted, is the “open-to-thepublic’ bit”, explains Leonie. “It’s uninhabitable really, and more of a museum in winter. We stay put in our little wing.” The admission fee only goes so far, though, so the formidable Brennan brothers of RTÉ’s At Your Service fame visited a year ago. “The TV show was brilliant, not for the castle but for the rental property,” she says. “We subsequently put money and effort into The Monkey House, which has been a great success on Airbnb. Also, my daughter and knitwear designer, Heather Finn opened a pop-up shop at the castle for the summer. All great, and helps lead Oranmore towards some sort of commercialism.”

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Alexander Durdin Robertson Listed wallpapers, fine china, first edition books, rare antiques … None is conducive to the sticky, probing fingers of young children but when your home is literally your castle, you can’t be too precious. “If these buildings are to have a real future they must be kept as family homes, not preserved in aspic,” says Alexander Durdin Robertson, owner of Huntington Castle in Co Carlow with his artist wife Clare, left, and their three sons: Herbert, four, Edmonde two, and Alexander, five months. “We keep our children’s painting activities in their own playroom but, apart from that, the rooms are all used. That requires a lot of work but it means they are loved and looked after properly.” And he should know – Alexander was himself raised at Huntington, his Esmonde ancestors having lived at the Clonegal castle since the 17th century. The formal gardens were established in the 19th century and are now the estate’s main, and most consistent, money-spinner, even after weddings and self-catering options. Huntington has played host to celebrities, creative and dignitaries. Fondest memory? “Mick Jagger turning up at the door and being asked who he was by Great Aunt Olivia,” he recalls. “When he said he was ‘Mick Jagger, I’m a musician’ she replied, ‘Oh how wonderful – do you have a band?’”

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Rebecca Black Labours of love don’t come much more all-consuming – or incongruous – than Clonony Castle in Co Offaly for American equestrian ace Rebecca Black, a “ballerina who grew up on a Texas panhandle cattle ranch, riding before I could walk”. She bought the dilapidated Tudor towerhouse nearly ten years ago, but only moved into the property in 2013. At last the castle is “now very comfortable and warm,” she says. Rebecca’s lifelong work of restoring period homes and castles enables her to share her home without charging a visitor’s fee. And the castle has historic interest in droves: bequeathed to Anne Boleyn’s father as part of Henry VIII’s wooing bid, it’s where her cousins lived in exile after Anne was given the chop. It must be comforting to live somewhere that you and your husband “built” together. “Alas, he never slept in Clonony Castle,” she says of her novelist husband Campbell Armstrong who died in 2013. “He always stayed in the dower house nearby. He was not a handyman. Campbell never wanted the tower, and when I expressed a desire for it he said, ‘over my dead body’. I sold some horses and bought it with my own money and restored it alone. He now rests on the bookshelves among some of his favourite novels – he wrote over 30. He would love the irony …” To visit Clonony Castle, email

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Lord Oxmantown, Patrick Parsons “I have all the money in the world – I could buy anything, I could buy a place like this but it would never mean anything because it’s not actual ‘family’ as it is to you. You’re so lucky to have that, to feel all those attachments”. Lord Oxmantown, patriarch of Birr Castle, Co Offaly, is recalling the day when a “very, very wealthy old American lady” visited the estate and was moved by a pictureperfect moment when the sun streamed into the Gothic Saloon and shimmered on the river below. Birr Castle may be in his DNA – it has been the seat of the Parsons for nearly 400 years – but he doesn’t take it for granted. Growing up in Iran and Bangladesh thanks to his father working for the United Nations (Brendan Parsons, Seventh Earl of Rosse), Lord Oxmantown is firmly fixed at Birr these days with his Chinese fashion designer wife Anna, pictured, and their children Olivia, eight, and Bill, six. His two siblings, Michael and Alicia, also help run the estate of some 50 hectares of beautiful parkland, and a relaunched Science Centre. The latter is a nod to the Third Earl, an engineer and astronomer who built the world’s largest telescope from 1845-1917, which is on display at the demesne. “In the 1840s, Birr was very much a place of learning, and I think it’s very important to pass on that inspirational spirit to younger children.”

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ublin is well known for being one of the best places to spend Christmas and the New Year. It comes alive with festive spirit, smiling faces, spectacular street lights, carol singing, pantomimes, Santa’s Grottos and maybe even a bit of snow. This New Year’s Eve celebrations promise to be bigger and better than ever, and we’re right in the middle of everything. What better way to enjoy this festive fun than a visit O’Neill’s, one of Dublin’s most famous and historic pubs. Whether you’re a visitor, native Dubliner or coming home for Christmas, when you visit O’Neill’s you’ll receive a warm and friendly welcome. Drop in for a mince pie and mulled wine or a delicious traditional Roast Turkey and Baked Ham dinner with all the trimmings. We have some real crackers on the menu this year, in fact, Lonely Planet rate us as one of the Top 5 Places to find ´Real Irish food in Dublin´. Food is available throughout the day, starting at 8.00am with our ‘Really Good’ Irish Breakfast Menu, until late every evening. We also have Traditional Irish Music seven nights-a-week, a fully heated Roof-Top Beer Garden and Smoking Area, the largest selection of local Irish Craft Beers on tap in Ireland and a connoisseur Whiskey Bar. On top of that we offer free Wi-Fi to all our customers just to help you keep in touch!

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BEYOND THE HILL Washington DC has undergone a cultural renaissance hardly imaginable even 15 years ago, writes Chelsea Fagan. Entire neighbourhoods have been transformed into bohemian centres of art, food and entertainment. Photographs by Al Higgins.


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hen one thinks of Washington, DC, there are certain images that tend to come to mind, some of which date back to our school textbooks. Everyone knows that there are unparalleled museums, neighbourhoods full of stately Georgian architecture and harriedlooking political interns balancing several trays’ worth of Starbucks while yelling into a mobile phone. Everyone knows that politics dominates much of the city’s cultural landscape, and that there are more important buildings with white columns than there are nightclubs. But what many people don’t realise, particularly if they get their version of DC through House of Cards or The West Wing, is that the


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Below, our woman about town, writer, Chelsea Fagan. Bottom, under wraps – the landmark dome of the United States Capitol, seat of Congress.

District is one of the most richly artistic – and rapidly changing – cities in the country. The generally accepted (if not perfectly accurate) narrative of Washington’s art and cultural history tends to go like this: once a haven of jazz, speakeasies and excellent food – hence the nickname Chocolate City, and where the political stuff took place in its own little corner – DC slowly became overgrown with men named Chad who work for consulting firms and wear khakis to nightclubs. It lost, for lack of a better word, its flavour. And, with the growing political, socially conservative crowd, the culture of political-as-personal overtook the city, with pickup lines at th bars becoming defined by the ba politician they knew, or the po alma mater at which they studied alm

American history. And then, sometime around the beginning of this century, things started to get good again. Experimental restaurants opened, interesting bands started playing unannounced shows and fashion designers from the city started to make a mark on the world stage (for outfits that don’t consist of a blazer and a silk blouse). Washington has been going through a significant cultural renaissance over the last 15-or-so years. And in a city that is in many ways defined by the seriousness of the business that happens there, its transformation into an arts mecca has been like no other. If you’re looking for a more traditional art experience, there are the standards that have been around for years, such as The Phillips Collection (1600 21st Street, NW,

A watercolour painting by Róisín O’Shea © 2012


ohnnie Fox’s Pub situated in the heart of the Dublin Mountains has it all, a living museum of Irish History andTradition where unique pieces from old farm implements to Historical antiquities adorn every wall, nook & cranny. Serving an award winning a la carte menu from 12.30 until late, with live musicians playing traditional Irish music 7 nights a week, our special kind of Irish welcome is not to be missed.


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+1 202 387 2151; phillipscollection. org). The country’s first modern art museum, this Dupont Circle institution – housed in a stunning Victorian mansion – acts as a sort of retreat from the frantic, businessminded pace of the city. Classic works such as Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” are housed here, as well as an expansive collection of modern sculpture. For the more recent DC take on art, there are a few galleries that are always worth the detour. The Hillyer Art Space (9 Hillyer Court, NW, +1 202 338 0325;, a modern, often interactive gallery with comprehensive exhibits, uses the international culture of the city for something much greater than just your average embassy wine tasting. Programmed by the International Arts & Artists group, the gallery is focused on bringing in a constant

stream of work and creators from around the world, and exporting some of DC’s best. You’ll also want to make a trip to CONNORSMITH gallery (1358 Florida Avenue, NE, +1 202 588 8750;, an exquisitely designed space that, this year alone, has brought in such modern art masters as Maria Friberg. It’s a large, minimalist space that in many ways seems the polar opposite of the rich architectural style that defines classic Washington. You step into the gallery and immediatelyy feel transported, surrounded by experimental works – but be warned, the gallery is currently seeking a new home, so check their website before you visit. But, as anyone who has lived through a city’s cultural renaissance can attest to, the most profound

d MOVE IT ... When in the city, make sure to get aroun – le simp like a local. The DC Metro is one of the more one of and well kept – in the US. It’s also quite stunning; y all nearl the few examples of brutalist architecture that designers can agree was a success. 56 |


Above, prettyas-a-picture Georgetown, home to many of the city’s politicians and lobbyists. Below, tools of the trade, art, design and crafts are thriving in the city.

SPLURGE When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and when in DC, stay in a stately hotel such as The Jefferson, that makes even a casual weekend trip feel like you’re an ambassador visiting from some glamorous, faraway country. Fair warning, though: you may never leave the lobby, you’ll be too busy taking pictures. Room rate: $349$900. (1200 16th Street, NW, +1 202 448 2300; MID-RANGE For a sleek, modern hotel experience with bold decor, excellent service, and – perhaps most importantly – a super-central location, stay at the Dupont Circle Hotel. As its name suggests, it’s in the heart of the Dupont Circle neighbourhood, which leads out in all directions to everything worth seeing and doing in the city, providing an elegant base for the traveller. Room rate $180-$500. (1500 New Hampshire Ave, NW; +1 202 483 6000; BUDGET When it comes to accommodation, “budget” is often translated as “decorated like a dystopian government bureaucracy”. But with the Normandy Hotel, this couldn’t be further from the case. With charming, tasteful rooms, a convenient location and a free wine hour (!), it’s the perfect room at the perfect price. Room rate: $130$180. (2118 Wyoming Avenue, NW, +1 202 483 1350;

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Eat at ... SPLURGE If you’re looking to retreat to the breathtakingly picturesque suburb of Old Town Alexandria (about 10 kilometres south of downtown) for a Michelinworthy experience, featuring exquisite scenery, warm décor, and an inspired Irish chef, Cathal Armstrong, head to Restaurant Eve (110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA, +1 703 706 0450; Or, snag a seat amongst the privileged 18 patrons that chef José Andrés’ Minibar accommodates every night for a gastronomic tour of 14 elaborate, thoughtful, miniature courses. (855 East Street, NW, +1 202 393 0812; MID-RANGE A stone’s throw from the buzzy U Street neighbourhood, the classic French bistro Le Diplomate has been, in many ways, the it-restaurant in DC since opening last year. Attracting a clientele that includes Michelle Obama – and giving hallowed Washington standby Bistrot Du Coin a run for its money – be prepared to book well in advance for this classy eatery with a fantastic ambience. (1601 14th Street, NW, +1 202 332 3333; BUDGET Ben’s Chili Bowl is a classic, a DC institution, and as worthy of a detour as the White House or the Washington Monument. You haven’t really been here until you’ve stopped by at least once. (1213 U Street, NW, +1 202 667 0909;

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Clockwise from top left, DC classic, Ben’s Chili Bowl; Irish chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve; Georgetown goodie, Baked and Wired; U Street hub, Lincoln Theatre.

changes in culture aren’t limited to the big-name artists you can get onto your gallery walls. Entire neighbourhoods in Washington have been transformed into bohemian centres of art, food, and entertainment, perhaps none more so than the U Street and Shaw corner. It has gone from the overlooked little brother of the DC “going out” neighbourhoods, to being at the centre of all things new and exciting. Nearly every night of the week, this area is filled with people of varying backgrounds and professions – yes, even the stuffy Capitol Hill crowd. They’re all clamouring to go to intimate jazz bars, elegant rooftop restaurants and concerts with an underground German DJ. You can start the evening with drinks and bites at

The Brixton (901 U Street, NW, +1 202 560 5045;, where you are bound to catch some of the DC glitterati (and yes, in DC, the glitterati are often wearing top-siders footwear and J. Crew) on their impossibly attractive rooftop. Later, you can head just down the street to the 9:30 Club (815 V St NW, +1 202 265 0930; 930. com), which is the premier music venue for all things hip and danceable. But the U Street Music Hall (1115 U Street, NW, +1 202 588 1889;, feels undeniably fresher and more intimate, and is where all of the best acts you’re just starting to hear of are playing their sets in front of the perfectly-sized dance floor and bar. If you get hungry after the show, DC landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl (see sidebar) is just a minute’s walk

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Above, Fall away, and where you are guaranteed M Street NW;, colours along the to satisfy your greasy cravings next which mixes more traditional labels National Mall. to locals and tourists alike. with local designers’ work. The Of course, just because there store even maintains a blog, its staff are newly hot neighbourhoods that posting about their favourite things almost require a detour, that doesn’t going on in the season, and in the mean the more traditional DC city. sightseeing opportunities aren’t still And if you’re heading down to worth a trip. The difference now the White House for, say, a look at is that, in addition to the national the Christmas decorations, you’ll monuments, colonial houses, and want to be wearing something sprawling embassies, there worthy of the First Lady’s are also local artists whose impeccable taste in clothing. HOT SPOT work (and backstory in NUMARI (, a Looking to spot a famous the District) has nothing DC-based designer that to do with politics. A makes bespoke dresses politician? Try lunch at the Old shopping trip through for women in all of the Ebbitt Grill on 15th ( richly historic and classic cuts and colours It’s a classic DC power lunch spot – stately Georgetown, (think navy, houndstooth, the oldest dining saloon in the city for example, is now and cream), captures the – with beautiful, nearly unchanged incomplete without a quintessential Washington design and an excellent menu stop at hand-curated look. It’s updated Jackie (think steak, lobster, clothing boutiques such O but with a fundamental and martinis). as M Street’s Wink (3109 understanding that good fit is

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what made her clothing chic, not the cost. (If there were a defining element of style here, it would be impeccably cut, shift dresses or suit jackets, which convey taste without being flashy.) In many ways, the DC of today is one that would have hardly been imaginable even 15 years ago. Today, it is practically bursting with talent and creative energy, from unique and delicious restaurants such as Takoma Park’s authentically Dominican Manna (828 Evarts Street, NE; to projects such as 52 O Street Studios (52 O Street, NW;, a large, converted factory building where the city’s artists and designers such as Virginia Blanca Arrisueño now come to display their work and stay in residence. The U Street/Shaw area alone is a testament to how quickly a sleepy

Clockwise from top, 52 O Street goldsmith and jeweller Daniel Valencia; street artist Kelly Towles; Emily Doenlen, at Typecase Industry, who uses traditional letterpress techniques; artists Ariel Klein; and Lisa Marie Thalhammer.


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Not to be missed …


FOOD TRUCKS FOR LUNCH There are many exceptional restaurants for lunch here, but it’s important not to assume that “good food” always means, “sitting down in a restaurant and ordering it”. Stop by Franklin Square at 950 13th Street, NW (I Street NW) on any given weekday and see the almost comically comprehensive lines of food trucks circling the park. From Indian to Thai to southern barbecue, every cuisine is represented, at the perfect price point.

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CHRISTMAS AT THE BOTANIC GARDEN Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the US Botanic Garden, pictured here, isn’t still worth a detour. With themes that change every year, model replicas of some of DC’s most exquisite neighbourhoods, and a stunning lights display, a stroll through the Season’s Greetings exhibit at the garden brings the child out in anyone. (100 Maryland Avenue, SW, +1 202 225 8333;


CHRISTMAS AT THE WHITE HOUSE What would any winter trip to DC be without a stop at the White House for the incredible decorations? Wander around the gardens, take in the sights and feel like you’re living a little bit of history. (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, +1 202 456 1414;

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to how quickly a sleepy neighbourhood – and the city itself – can transform into something almost frenzied in its activity. Does this mean that the old DC of politics, government contracting, and unfortunate pleated khakis is over? No, of course not. That part of the city will always be here, and be one of its most defining features. But now the artists, the chefs, the designers, and the residents who seem insatiably hungry to consume it all, have tempered the seriousness of the political crowd. Every week there is a new restaurant or exhibit opening, and a neighbourhood that seems destined to be the next big thing. (Logan Circle is the new Dupont, but what will be the new Georgetown?) Ask any local what has changed in the city over the last five years, and every answer you get will be elaborate, contradictory and tinged with a not-small measure of pride. Because there will always be the people who drop “working on The Hill” into conversation, but now they must fight for the bartender’s attention with the gallery curator from down the road. And honestly, it’s probably better that way. Follow Chelsea @Chelsea_Fagan


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Above, food trucks at Franklin Square dish up some fine nosh. This picture, sunset hits Capitol Hill.

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IRELAND’S three major sporting bodies have joined forces with ConnectIreland in an effort to reverse the trend of emigration. The GAA (Gaelic Athletics Association), FAI (Football Association Ireland) and IRFU (Irish Rugby) have pooled their massive networks in a bid to help create employment opportunities in Ireland and anyone can get involved. le This year, almost 82,000 people left Irish soil in search of jobs abroad. In order to stem the tide of emigration, Ireland’s three major sporting organisations have pledged their support to ConnectIreland. The idea is simple – by using your connections, anyone can help to bring companies and jobs to Ireland. Most people know someone working abroad but may not know much about their jobs. Asking whether their company is expanding internationally could earn you a sizeable financial reward; up to €1,500 per job (maximum 100 jobs). ConnectIreland is a governmentbacked initiative which works hand in hand with IDA Ireland in order to drive investment into Ireland. Working in partnership with the GAA,

FAI and IRFU to help FA spread the message, sp ConnectIreland is Co privileged to have their pr ConnectIreland, like sport, is support. ConnectIr something that each and every person in Ireland can get involved in. If you hear of an international company considering overseas expansion, put them in touch with ConnectIreland. Simply by making that vital introduction, anybody can help bring jobs home. Sports clubs, particularly in rural areas, have been decimated by emigration. ConnectIreland is working hard to change this by introducing a Community Action Plan. The plan gives communities the chance to make a pitch for their areas, as well as earning a financial reward that can then be

Three’s a team – top, IRFU president Louis Magee with Joanna Murphy of ConnectIreland at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. Left, GAA president Liam Ó Néill. Above, FAI chief executive John Delaney.

put straight back into the community. pu “It’s all about empowering local communities,” explains lo ConnectIreland chief operating Co officer, Joanna Murphy. “So many offi communities have been devastated co by emigration and this is a chance for them to create opportunities at home the to help stop the exodus of family, friends and neighbours. “The Community Action Plan is a great opportunity for communities to make the best possible pitch for their area when expanding companies consider Ireland,” she adds. Communities interested in getting involved can simply sign up on the website or contact a member of the ConnectIreland team on +353 (1) 878 3347.

DO YOU KNOW A COMPANY THINKING OF EXPANDING? Ireland’s Investment Promotion Agency has partnered with over 1,150 companies who have established operations here. They have chosen Ireland for a variety of reasons:• Our economy is growing – Ireland is on target to reach 66 |

2.1% GDP growth this year, with an estimated increase to 2.7% in 2015. • Ireland has a young, well-educated and productive workforce. • The country has the youngest population in Europe. • The Government has


developed an ICT skills strategy that has resulted in a significant increase in graduates in the sector. • Deemed the best place in the world to do business by Forbes magazine, Ireland has a fantastic working relationship with countries

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On the trail Surprises come thick and fast on the Arigna Miners’ Way. Pól Ó Conghaile explores this long-distance walking route through Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo and finds a host of hidden adventures. Photographs by Anthony Woods.

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Fluffy, meringue-like clouds descend on Kilronan Mountain across Lough Allen.


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here’s still a bit of magic down those mines,” says Seamus us Lehany who, like many men in Arigna, is a former miner. This picturesque Co Roscommon village – dropped like a berry between Lough Allen and the Arigna Mountains – was a coalmining centre for 400 years. The industry ceased in 1990 but several of its employees continue to work as guides for the brilliant Arigna Mining Experience ( Seamus, with wispy eyebrows and startlingly blue eyes, is one. We’re sitting in a cheery café, a world away from the pneumatic drills that once pummelled beneath our feet. Seamus left school at 14 and was soon squeezing himself into seams as narrow as half a metre across. “The biggest danger was the roof falling down,” he says. “It was agin the grain every day.” Before him, there were other


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Top, former miner Michael Earley in a tight spot at the Arigna Mining Experience. Above, Pól Ó Conghaile soaks up the impressive scenery.

generations. In the 18th and ge 19th 19 centuries, miners made their th way to the mountain using a network of paths, us trails and rights of way tr braided through the surrounding countryside. And, aptly enough, that’s how I arrive at the Arigna Mining Experience – by following a section of the Arigna Miners’ Way. The Arigna Miners’ Way & Historical Trail, to give it the full title, is a necklace of walking routes rising and falling over the Curlew, Bricklieve and Arigna Mountains in counties Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon. Altogether, the trail stretches some 118 kilometres in length and, although less wellestablished than classics such as the Wicklow or Kerry Ways, the fact that you can dip in and out as the mood strikes makes it the perfect framework for a break in this beautifully off-radar region.

My trip began hours previously, hiking a section of the trail with Peter O’Rourke of the local Carron Walkers group. We set off from Greaghnafarna, crossing the Arigna River and stalling to soak up views over Lough Allen and Sliabh an Iarainn (the “Iron M ountain”). Peter spent almost 31 years working with the Irish Prison Service and he’s been walking since he retired. “I’ll go to anywhere, anytime,” he says, skipping along with the enthusiasm and curiosity of a kid on his first trail. “I just love getting out and recceing, finding loops, showing people the world.” Together we hop stiles, meander through mist-heavy grass, huff and puff up short bursts of rocky slope, and flit from topic to topic. That’s the beauty of a good walk – it’s never long before you and your companion hit a steady

Thetrailhastheperfectframeworkfora breakinthisbeautifullyoff-radarregion.


Stay at ... LORDLY A fifth star can’t be far off for elegant Kilronan Castle in Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon. Overlooking Lough Meelagh on the Arigna Miner’s Way, the rejuvenated castle mixes wood-panelled drawing and dining rooms with a spanking new spa and leisure centre, just over two hours from Dublin. Double room B&B from €99. (071 961 8000; MOD CONS Overlooking Lough Allen outside the pretty Co Leitrim town of Drumshanbo, the four-star Lough Allen Hotel & Spa, with spa treatments, leisure centre and bar and restaurant facilities, is a central and affordable base for activities in the area. (Hotel closed until March 13, 2015) Double room B&B from €119. (071 964 0101;

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HOMELY Lough Key House in Boyle, Co Roscommon, is a comfortable guesthouse a stone’s throw from Lough Key Forest Park. It combines 200-year-old character with modern creature comforts, a scattering of farm animals, sprawling breakfasts and creative little touches such as sweet jars in the rooms. Book a front bedroom (they have four-posters). B&B pps from €44.50. (071 966 121;

Eat at ... GASTRO You’ll have a hearty appetite after all the walking, and The Oarsman in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, is a top-notch place to slake it. Slow-cooked daubes of beef, pork baps and beer-battered fish are among the staples that have made Conor and Ronan Maher’s gastropub a hit. Great craft beer menu too. (Bridge Street, 071 962 1733; EXOTIC You don’t expect flavours of Malaysia in the Irish midlands, but that’s what makes Sham Hanifa’s The Cottage restaurant in Jamestown, Co Leitrim, so special. Set by a weir over the River Shannon, foodie highlights in this cosy little cottage include spiced vegetable rendang and a rack of lamb with turmeric gratin potatoes. (071 962 5933;

The former residence of the McDermott family on Lough Key’s Castle Island has seen better days – but is still beautiful. Top right, brothers Conor and Ronan Maher, who run The Oarsman gastropub in Carrick-on-Shannon.

BUDGET An unassuming pub and campsite set on a crossroads outside Leitrim, Beirne’s of Battlebridge combines homely grub, a champion pint of Guinness, traditional music and camping with a difference … including eco-pods, a shiny Airstream trailer and a shepherd’s hut. (071 965 0824; DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015

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“Men returned home with the “You don’t think all the men whites of their eyes shining out from were down there with sad faces, faces and clothes stained black with do you?” Lunch was “peace time” coal dust,” says one description. Michael says, eyes lighting up at the The tour itself is world-class – a memory of stories sparking in the 40-minute stroll not just through darkness. “If they’d had education, several atmospheric tunnels, but who knows what they could have through an emotive and been? I’ve never seen that precarious way of life. kind of camaraderie in IN At the entrance to another workplace GEAR the mountain is – building sites, When walking on longer a statue of the housing estates, or difficult trails, wear hiking Virgin Mary you name it. boots and bring raingear, fluids and a picture I’ve worked and snacks. Even on easy loops, of the Sacred them all.” it’s sensible to tell someone Heart. But it Slowly but where you’re going, when you wasn’t all doom surely, I am expect to be back – and and danger, as getting under bring your mobile another miner the skin of this phone. – Michael Earley – underrated region. testifies. Walking and driving pace, succumb to the hypnotic squelching of your steps and drill down past the pleasantries of small talk into longer, deeper conversations. And the Arigna Miners’ Way is a good walk. In fact, it’s as much a trek through history as a journey. As we clump through the mountain heather, Peter talks about the maps he studied – dog-eared documents from the 1830s that showed the original tracks and trails now stitched together into this touristfriendly route. We pass old sweat houses, stone walls, and fields of debris from the mining days – wooden beams, derricks (supports), slag piles and signs warning of abandoned shafts. We pause to examine a ridiculously hairy caterpillar. A woodcock springs from a tuft of grass, flying out over the cows and fields and hedgerows. Soon enough, the Arigna Mining Experience building, at the entrance to the old mines, comes into view. The area’s geology dates back some 350 million years – at one point, this corner of Roscommon was a conflux bigger than the Mississippi Delta. The mines employed up to 400 people at their peak during the Second World War, with displays of knee guards, battery packs, lamps and helmets attesting to the job’s physicality. 74 |


Top, Sham Hanifa, ace chef at The Cottage in Jamestown, Co Leitrim. Above, a boat cuts a swathe through the Shannon.

Lunch was “peace time“ Michael says, eyes lighting up at the memory of stories sparking in the darkness.


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Leitrim Design House, Carrick-onShannon Irish crafts crop up in the most peculiar places – this 19th-century courthouse being an example. Leitrim Design House represents more than 200 makers and artists in the region and, in 2014, was shortlisted by the Irish Times as one of the top ten shops in Ireland.

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Zipit Forest Adventures, Lough Key It’s not every day you get to cycle a BMX through a forest canopy. That’s just one of 88 activities on offer along 1.5km of aerial trails at Lough Key Forest Park. With obstacles ranging from Tarzan ropes to 900m of ziplines, it’s the perfect day out for your little monkeys (aged seven-plus).


King House, Boyle There’s more to Boyle than Moone Boy (the Sky TV series was created by local hero Chris O’Dowd). Take King House, an 18th-century Georgian mansion that served as a garrison for the Connaught Rangers. Today, it hosts a series of interactive exhibits – ranging from jail cells to chieftains cloaks.

Opposite, wind your way through Lough Key Forest on a Woodland Segway tour. Above, dawn breaks on Lough Allen, right, Pól gets to grips with SUP and, this picture, Peter O’Rourke of the Carron Walkers group, is addicted to the views.

around Lough Allen, Lough Arrow and Lough Key, a whole new Lake District seems to be offering itself up for discovery. There is a cairn-spotted complex of passage tombs at Carrowkeel. Near Dowra, an elusive pool of water is said to be the source of the River Shannon (the “Shannon Pot”). Surprises come thick and fast. Did you know that Carrick-onShannon has its own, souvenirsized take on the Taj Mahal? Hemmed in between two buildings on Bridge Street is a monument to love as tiny as it is unlikely. Costello Chapel dates from 1877, and was built by local merchant Edward Costello after the death of his wife, Mary. When he himself died, Edward was laid to rest beside her, and they remain there to this day – in crumbling coffins beneath glass panels in the floor. Leaving Carrick, I link up with the Miners’ Way again near Drumshanbo. For over a century, DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015

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coal was transported along the Lough Allen canal in barges, but today I take a spin on a more novel means of transport: SUP. StandUp Paddle Boarding is one of the fastest growing watersports on the planet, and Lee Guckian of Leitrim Surf ( is waiting at the lock to show me the ropes. “It’s like the Amazon along here,” Lee says, as we push off from a stone-arched bridge and begin paddling towards the lake. The trees lean in, the still water reflects like a mirror, and we have the canal to ourselves – apart from the odd kingfisher. Leitrim has one of the shortest coastlines in the country, but with inland rivers, canals and lakes like these, who needs the ocean? “The beauty of SUP is that it’s so easy,” Lee says. And he’s right. The odd wobble aside (and with no waves or wind to battle), I soon have the hang of balancing on what is basically a supersized surfboard. It’s like kayaking without the confinement of a canoe, and you can get right in close to the riverbank. It’s gloriously peaceful. I’m amazed at the adventures hiding away in Roscommon and Leitrim. Who knew? And walking is just the start of it – a Shannon Blueway recently launched. Lough Allen Adventure ( offers Wilderness Therapy courses along with kayaking and windsurfing. Visitors can also fish, cycle and 78 |




cruise. But my next adventure comes in Lough Key Forest Park ( outside Boyle, where I find myself powering along forest paths with Colm Berry of Woodland Segway ( ... “It’s just a different way of seeing the forest,” he says. “People think we’re lazy on Segways, but we’re not! It’s all about having a bit of fun.” Lough Key is a 350-hectare park set on the former King family estate at Rockingham. It was reborn in 2007, with a play kingdom, marina, campsite and walking trails among the old woodlands. A gorgeous section of the Miners’ Way passes through here, and that’s our route.

Top left, James Sturt saddles up for an aerial BMX trail, just one of 88 activities on offer at Zipit Forest Adventures.

ation on the CLICK IT For more inform; Miners’ Trail,check out: dis .com;; visitroscommon; sligoto

We operate the Segways by leaning forward and back on panels beneath our feet, jollying along at speeds of up to 20kmph – easy. Colm “had a lightbulb moment” after reading a travel feature on the devices, and today delights in seeing visitors go from wary to wonderstruck as they float through the forests. We stop for a break at an old folly straddling a canal and shrouded in early morning mist. The warping shape of the stones, together with the still water, ageing trees and pillowy green moss make for an enchanting scene. It’s not just Arigna’s mines that have magic. It’s the entire Miners’ Way. Follow Pól on @poloconghaile CARTRAWLER CARA WOULD LIKE TO THANK CARTRAWLER FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE. FOR THE BEST CAR RENTAL DEALS, VISIT AERLINGUSCARS.COM.



madding crowd At times misty and melancholy, Venice shows a different face off-season. Neil Hegarty goes in search of a quieter, lesser-known city. Photographs by Piotr Dybowski and David Sciora.

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Good as gold – priceless views of the Santa Maria della Salute on the Canal Grande.


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orgeous,” wrote the travel writer Jan Morris, “the loveliest city in the world.” A misty skyline of domes and campaniles, a backdrop of endless water – and my thought is how familiar this view is, as if I have seen it a hundred times. Venice is a city of the mind, a place alive in our imaginations before we ever go there – think of the gondoliers; the gleaming colours of Venetian glass; the luminosity of the Venetian painters; and the miracle of the city’s existence, afloat on its lagoon. Not to mention the movies: Katharine Hepburn cradling a coffee in Summertime; the chill of Don’t Look Now. Already, I feel as though I know the city by heart. Big mistake. We cross the Rialto bridge on this cool afternoon – and it takes maybe two seconds to get completely lost as the labyrinthine canals and alleys of Venice soon teach us a lesson in over-confidence. We are heading through San Polo and into Dorsoduro, two of the six sestiere, or districts of Venice, for the Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele: probably no more than a 20-minute march away as the crow – or the black cormorant of the Venetian lagoon – flies: but it seems to take us half the afternoon to get there. It’s a good lesson, for there is so much to see, smell, experience as one wanders through Venice – and in this case, the little food shops, hidden canals and squares with plane trees detain us again and again. We stop for warming cups of dense hot chocolate in VizioVirtù (Campo Campaniel; the name translates as Vice Virtue, and we can see why, as we sample the jewel-like chocolates. We learn to go with the Venetian flow, to forget timetables, to soak in the city. And after all, this has always been the idea: to explore Venice in the off-season, when the tourist numbers thin and the temperature cools; to sidestep a little the dazzling museums and galleries and experience the art of Venice in its


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natural environment of churches instead; to look for a quieter, lesserknown city. Because even such a tourist Mecca as this has another face – and the off-season is a good time to glimpse it. Venice draws its furs around itself in autumn and winter: it can be misty and melancholy; the bora or ferocious north wind can raise white-crested waves out on the lagoon; or a stiff southerly spark the acqua alta, when the waters back up and flood the city, and Venetians and tourists alike pull on their waders. But the beautiful hazy light of Venice is a constant draw, summer or winter:

Top, going with the flow – a labyrinth of canals winds through the city. Above, Renaissance man Neil Hegarty.

this city is enchanting in any season. The off-season is good for foodies too: a smart excuse to sample the specialities of the city – the golden polenta that is turned into sweet zaleti biscuits; the Christmas Veneziana bread, crunchy with almonds and sugar; the bisato eel, spit-roasted with bay leaves and served on Christmas Eve – and all washed down with that best of Venetian inventions, the nicely chilled Bellini.

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Don’t break the bank … Venice is expensive – but it’s possible to navigate the city without straining your pockets too much. INVEST IN A TRAVEL CARD These begin at (an admittedly steep) €20 for a day; click on for details of various packages. Once sorted, you can hop on/off the vaporetti (water buses) to your heart’s content. Some routes skirt the edges of Venice; or try line No 1, which zips up and down the Grand Canal. VISIT THE LIDO This long spit of sand protects Venice from the power of the Adriatic: it’s busy with holidaymakers in the summer months – but quietly atmospheric for the rest of the year. Take a vaporetto No

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1 or 2; and hire a bike from Biciclette Gardin (; €3 per hour) to explore the Lido at your leisure. ST MARK’S BASILICA Amazingly, it’s free to visit – but so too is nearby San Zaccaria, its sister church, on its pretty eponymous square: and it’s much quieter too. Half-Gothic and halfRenaissance in style, it dates from the 1400s and is home to Bellini’s Madonna and Four Saints and a frescoed vault. SAN GIORGIO MAGGIORE To get to this campanile, catch the vaporetto No 2. Guided tours and peeks at the attached Fondazione Cini all cost – you’re not getting away that easy

– but you can explore Palladio’s cool, grave church at no cost; and the views of Venice are superb. FIND GREEN SPACE If you’re visiting en famille, try heading to the Giardini Pubblici, on the eastern tip of the city – laid out by order of Napoleon, and a treasure in a city short of open green space.

Boating holiday – gondolas under wraps at St Mark’s Square.


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We eventually reach Ca Campo dell’Angelo Ra Raffaele: and here is the ep eponymous church with its it Guardi-painted organ doors. do This is something of a literary pilgrimage for me, having just read Salley Vickers’ bestselling novel Miss Garnet’s Angel, which is set in and around this quiet square. “For years I held the image of this

Eat at … SPLURGE Il Ridotto in Castello offers five-course tasting menus for €70, which in Venetian terms is quite the bargain; so too is the €28 set lunch. Come here for sky-high quality in a pleasant location close to Piazza San Marco; reservations are essential. (Campi Santi Filippo e Giacomo. +39 041 520 8280; MID-PRICE After a long day buying Venetian glass, you’ve earned a meal at Murano’s Acquastanca. The dining room – a former bakery – is cool and comfortable: and fish and desserts (not together …) are the big things here; or just have a glass of local wine at the bar. Lunch and dinner from €40; do book ahead. (Fondamenta Manin 48, Murano. +39 041 319 5125; acquastanca. it). La Bitta, small and nicely off the beaten track in Dorsoduro, is another good choice. It’s a fish-free zone; try the pork roasted with plums. (Calle Lunga San Barnaba. +39 041 523 0531) BUDGET Alla Basilica is something of a must-visit if you’re on a budget – or even if you’re not. A big canteen of a place at the side of the Doge’s Palace, it offers a hefty two-course lunch for a mere €14; wine, coffee and sweets are extra. (Calle degli Albanesi. +39 041 522 0524; Impronta offers a tasty bite: it’s open into the early hours (dinner around €40); and also serves up strong coffee and paninis all day. (Calle Crosera. +39 041 275 0386;

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Clockwise from left, wine o’clock at Al Prosecco on Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio; crowd pleaser Constantin Popovshi serves it up at Caffé Quadri; a glass of spritz (prosecco mixed with Select) in Al Volto Enoteca; rush hour on the canal.

strange and enchanting church and its lovely paintings at the back of my mind,” Salley told me – and the result was one of the many bestselling books that Venice has generated over the years. Nearby is the church of San Sebastiano (Campo San Sebastiano;, with its paintings by Veronese; nearby too the Scuola Grande di San Rocco (Campo San Rocco; with its dizzying display of 60 paintings by Tintoretto. Dusk is settling as, giddy with all that art, we turn in at intimate and welcoming Al Prosecco (Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio; on its handsome square. This little enoteca turns out to be a great place for a glass of wine (or a still Prosecco, a speciality of Venice) and a chance to sample a few cicchetti – the keenlypriced small snacks and platters of cheeses and fish offered in many Venetian bars.

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Clockwise from this picture, siesta time; opulent good looks at Caffé Quadri; always a big welcome from Roberto Senigallia, of the Belmond Hotel Cipriani; the famous dome of St Mark’s Basilica.

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Clockwise from left, slow travel on the Grand Canal; lagoon views from the terrace at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani; mask magic.

The next morning, we take a vaporetto to Murano, home of Venetian glass. In summer this island, with its own network of canals and bridges, is the ultimate tourist hotspot – but in the offseason it’s quieter and charming: and today, several contemporary studios stand out among the tangle of glass shops. In stylish Elle Elle (Fondamenta Manin 52;, we buy a modern vase, gleaming with green and jet; then we wander across the canal, and drop in on Davide Penso (Fondamenta Riva Longa 48;, at work in his atelier. We watch the glass glow above his flame – and emerge as fresh and contemporary jewellery, in a rainbow of colours. “I try not

to dwell on technique too much,” Davide says. “Far better simply to focus on beauty.” Later, we return to Venice – and set about out getting lost again in the tangled lanes of Cannaregio and Castello. We buy salted almonds and graze as we wander north along the Strada Nuova and into the quiet streets of the former Jewish Ghetto – along here, try Al Timon (Fondamenta degli Ormesini) for canalside cicchetti and wines – before turning south again and pausing at the church of Santa Maria Assunta (Fondamenta Nuove), with its works

Stay at ... SPLURGE Hotel Excelsior is the grand old lady of the Lido with manicured gardens, pool, beach – and a touch of sparkle that comes from a long tradition of movie-star guests. B&B from €320. (Lungomare Marconi 41, +39 041 526 0201; The Hotel Splendid is, well, splendid, and just a few minutes from San Marco and the Rialto, with canal views, a rooftop bar, glass-roofed courtyard and 165 handsome rooms. B&B from €320. (San Marco Mercerie 760, +39 041 520 0755; Beloved of George Clooney, with views across the lagoon to St Mark’s Square, an Olympic-sized pool and oh oh-so-sumptuous rooms, nowhere whis whispers Venice more discreetly (and lavishly) than the Belmond Ho Cipriani, above. Rooms Hotel fr €720; closed until March 18. from (G (Giudecca 10, +39 01 852 678 451; be MID-PRICE Try the four-star MI Ho Saturnia, near St Mark’s Square. Hotel Lo Location, location, location obviously – but this is an excellent hotel too, with bags of character, friendly staff, and a rooftop terrace with superb views. B&B from €246. (Via XXII Marzo, +39 041 520 8377; BUDGET Some of the 13 rooms at the Palazzo Abadessa in Canareggio come with frescoed ceilings, others boast super antique furniture. Chipper service and low-key comfort. Note: there are quite a few stairs and no lift. B&B from €125. (Calle Priuli. +39 041 241 3784; DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015

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by Tintoretto, green-and-white marble walls and intensely blue lapis lazuli tabernacle. And then ... time to break the no-museums rule, for we find ourselves outside the gorgeous palazzo housing Querini Stampalia (Santa Maria Formosa;, a fabulous collection of art and furniture; its water gardens and café offer a serene oasis in the centre of the city. I’ve been curious – of course – about the effects HAVE A of the acqua alta on life BALL in Venice. “No big Venice explodes into colour deal”, they tell me – for the Carnival (January 31 to but later, in Quadri Maria della Salute, the February 17;, (Piazza San Marco Baroque dome of which when mask and cloak (or tabarro) are 121; – lowis the Venice’s greatest de rigueur. Pose at St Mark’s Square, lying, atmospheric landmark; and then turn splurge on tickets for the Gran Ballo and one of Venice’s and walk the Zattere, the della Cavalchina at the Opera, most famous sun-soaked promenade gasp at the Angel’s Flight restaurants – I hear along the western side of from the Bell Tower. from the owners a wry Venice. Eventually we follow Splendiferous. story of antique furniture a side canal back towards the being bundled upstairs as Grand Canal, and into the buzzy the tide advances, of machines neighbourhood around Campo that suck the floodwater out of the San Barnaba where galleries and Top, Ivanka Ivanova works her restaurant in advance of opening. design shops – try Danghyra (Calle masked magic at Max and Raffaele Alajmo shrug. del Cappeler; for Ca’macana. “This is the price we must pay,” beautiful ceramics – rub shoulders they say, “for working in the world’s with bars and cafés. most beautiful square.” Later, as we Later, we call into Ca’macana sit channelling Katharine Hepburn (Calle de le Botteghe; camacana. outside Florian’s (Piazza San com) and Nancy Mbengue shows us Marco;, we agree a swirl of Carnival masks hanging it’s a price worth paying ... not that on the walls – a nod to a history of I’d be willing to help move decadence and luxury in the last the furniture. days of the Venetian Republic. Not On our final day in Venice, many Venetian mask shops come we wander from the graceful complete with endorsements from Accademia Bridge to Santa Stanley Kubrick, who deployed 90 |




the shop’s creativity in Eyes Wide Shut. Not many run workshops, either, on how to make such masks: a wonderful opportunity to keep the children – and adults, come to that – occupied. “One needs to be creative,” as Nancy remarks, “in a different way.” We emerge back onto the Grand Canal as the sun sets. A full moon floats above the domes of San Marco; and a little fleet of gondolas slips by, the gondoliers singing as they row. Impossibly romantic and picturesque: and it takes a glimpse of a line of laundry strung between buildings to remind us that Venice is no stage set. Instead, it’s a living, breathing city – that just happens to be the loveliest in the world. Follow Neil @nphegarty AER LINGUS FLIES FROM DUBLIN TO VENICE TWICE WEEKLY FROM FEBRUARY 17.

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Counter culture – Chantecler on Queen Street West is just one of the many local restaurants serving up foodie heaven.

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urban beauty

Declared the world’s second coolest neighbourhood by Vogue, Queen West in Toronto is abuzz with creativity – and great one-of-a-kind stores. Frances Power takes a stroll down one hip street. Photographs by Mark Duggan.


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Hotel-cum-art hub, a first) and the New York Times erhaps more the Gladstone, declares it “like no other”. It’s a than anywhere marks one end of stretch downtown roughly two else in the the official Art and kilometres long that runs along world, Toronto Design district of Queen Street West (QSW) from is the poster Toronto’s Queen Gladstone Avenue to Bathurst Street city for ethnic Street West. in the east. integration. “What makes Queen West Koreatown, Little Italy, Chinatown, so great is that it’s a main artery Little Greece, Little Portugal, through a vibrant series of name a country and there’s a mixed-use neighbourhoods,” says ’hood in the city where you can Dick Snyder, editor of CityBites eat its local delicacies and stock (, a guide to Toronto’s up on their equivalent of Tayto food and drink spots. “There are and Barry’s Tea. But there’s one shops, homes, condos, hotels, neighbourhood where the manufacturing, etc, all along defining characteristic is its length. You’ve got points not ethnic origin but an CHEAP THRILL of interest like Ossington ice-cool hipness, and All things print are revered Avenue with its own it has been making at the Monkey’s Paw (1229 hipster vibe; Spadina with headlines of late. Dundas Street West, +1 416 531 2123; its Chinatown retro; and Vogue has declared bookstore. even University which it the second coolest Insert $2 in the Biblio-Mat acts as the eastern border neighbourhood in the vending machine and it’ll of the funky portion of world (Shimokitazawa randomly dispense you an Queen West.” Of course, in Tokyo bagged old book. The perfect


bibliophile gamble.

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gentrification has set in. Rents are rising, and artists are migrating to more down-at-heel stretches along Parkdale and Roncesvalles, and north along Ossington and Dundas. Even so, QSW is packed with enough indie boutiques, galleries, and design collectives to wow the most discerning coolhunter. Anchoring all this creativity are two hotel-cum-art hubs: Jeff Stober’s ten-year-old Drake Hotel which has long been the coolest place in town to sip a Caesar and, a few blocks west, the Gladstone Hotel, where owner Christina Zeidler is a performance artist whose love of all things cultural – and communitybased – permeates the place. The hallways are mini galleries featuring local and international work, there are quiz nights, pop-up markets, life-drawing classes. There’s even an MD of artistic projects, Britt WelterNolan, who curates a staggering

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Clockwise from left – taco-rific at the Grand Electric; all things Portuguese from Citizenry; shoe designer Jeff Brodawka with one of his creations; the must-have QSW accessory.

60 or so exhibitions a year. “Hotel, gallery, community space – it’s a negotiation,” she says. “If you want to know what Torontonians are up to, if you want to partake in the alchemy of Queen Street, come here.” That alchemy translates into some retail magic. And while you won’t find the big international stores at QSW (they’re in Yorkville where Chanel, Prada and Tiffany & Co rub shoulders on the Mink Mile like so many glitzy ladies over a tray of hors d’oeuvres), you will find one-off contemporary labels, locally designed fashion, indie boutiques and vintage designer treasures. If you want to give your credit card a work-out and find a collectible piece, pay a visit to Citizenry (982 QSW, +1 647 458 6672) run by Portuguese owner Paula Seiça and her partner Basilio Fernando Ferreira, a hybrid store that offers Portuguese designer labels, a good brew and events, all under one roof. “I wanted to bring my favourite Portuguese designers to Toronto,” she explains. Ask for a 96 |


Nutella latte and browse their carefully curated range of sculptural clothing, traditional shawls and handmade jewellery, all to the tune of fado music. At Gaspard (913 QSW, +1 416 546 7480;, not only do owners Jennifer Halchuk and Richard Lyle stock their own label Mercy but they globetrot fo for the best pieces, curating interesting classics – conceptual coats, dresses and accessories you’d be hard pushed to find together anywhere else on the planet. French owner Isabelle Fish is as elegant as her store, Rue Pigalle (927 QSW, +1 647 352 8115; and on first-name terms with all the designers she stocks, many of whom accessorise the haute couture shows in Paris. You’ll find unusual European designers here such as Adeline Cacheux’s silver chain necklaces and Maison Vaincourt “Babeth” bags, and softest silk and cashmere scarves by denovembre. There is plenty for clued-in

Left, vintage maven Mahro Anfield, of Mama Loves You. Above, old-time diner Lakeview Restaurant on Dundas Street West.

male shoppers to love too – as you’d expect from a city that has just launched an annual fashion week devoted to men (August 2015 TBC; Look out for Torontonian labels, Christopher Bates, Sons of Odin and HD Homme – UK owner Niko Downie of Elevator (1273 QSW, +1 416 535 9671; opened in spring 2013 to offer “finishing touches” to men and women that translate into edgy belts, boots, bags and a little bling with international and Canadian designs including Vancouver’s Pyrrha talisman jewellery, and alpaca and cotton scarves by Montreal label String Theory. At Lost and Found (44 Ossington Avenue, +1 647 348 2810;, co-owners Justin Veiga and Jonathan Elias offer

a caffeine hit alongside a range of denim and mellow workwear you won’t find anywhere else in town, while there are plenty of design labels such as Comme des Garçons, Ransom, Phillip Lim in the gallerylike interior of Nomad (819 QSW, +1 416 202 8777; Further along, in Parkdale, The Future of Frances Watson (1390 QSW, +1 416 531 8892; sells great menswear (and women’s) including Montreal’s Naked and Famous line of classic button-down shirts, Toronto labels 18 Waits and United Denim, and their own line of super-wearable garb. For those in search of something bespoke, hatter Sheri Wildhagen and her husband at Wildhagen (upstairs at 575 QSW, +1 416 830 8589; have been

Wikipedia of WALK ON THE WILD SIDE Take a tour with the art columnist walking guides, Betty Ann Jordan of Art Insite. An ests, she has the and foodie who tailors the route to suit your inter more on inside track on all the best spots ( For tours, things to do and accommodation, visit seeto

Stay at … ARTSY The Gladstone Hotel is a cultural hive on QSW and, with 37 eccentric artist-designed rooms, gallery spaces on each floor, pop-ups, quizzes, burlesque acts and clusters of artists, actors and creatives brainstorming over flat whites in the café, as well as a beltbusting breakfast, this is a fun place to tune into Toronto’s hipster scene. Rooms from $189. (1214 QSW, +1 416 531 4635; HIP Like the Gladstone, Jeff Stober’s Drake Hotel with just 19 rooms is as much a venue for community arts as a place to stay. All sorts of events go on here – from Music Mondays downstairs in the basement space, to headspinning cocktails and movies up on its rooftop patio. Stop by for dinner to see Toronto’s cool crowd at play. Rooms from $189. (1150 QSW, +1 416 531 5042; SMART Located just three blocks from the vast Eaton Centre shopping mall at the east end of Queen Street, The Grand Hotel & Suites has all the bells and whistles you’d expect of a four-star, including a top class spa, two-storey pool, good business facilities, free Wi-Fi and splendiferous views from its rooftop Jacuzzi. Its suites with selfcatering facilities are a good option for long stays. Rooms from $219 B&B. (225 Jarvis Street, +1 416 863 9000; DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015

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crafting their functional but cool hats (about $100-200 each) at their QSW HQ for eight or nine years now. Pop in for a fitting – choosing trimmings from Mokuba downstairs – and have it shipped home, or buy off the shelf. At Brodawka & Friends (1114 QSW, +1 416 893 0173; shoe designer Jeff Brodawka stocks his own range of foot-dazzlers for women – Chelsea boots, 1950s-style lace-ups, gold open-toe slingbacks – and men, alongside bags and accessories that will rock any party.

Laidback style – Gaspard owners and globetrotters Jennifer Halchuk and Richard Lyle.

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Gravity Pope (1010 QSW, +1 647 748 5155; is a vast, gilded, two-storey emporium stocking every label from Marni to Orla Kiely’s Clarks range – while Chloe Raincock’s Heel Boy (773 QSW, +1 416 362 4335; heelboy. com) sells everything from Keds ($40) to Steve Madden dicker boots. A little further east at Durumi & Chocolate Shoes (416 QSW, +1 647 727 2591), there are cute flats to dress up with pretty handmade shoe clips, or style with vintageinspired Durumi clothes.

QSW and its side streets are vintage heaven. Stylist, writer and events organiser Odessa Paloma Parker is the founder of the city’s annual vintage crawl (October 2015 dates TBC;, which centres on QSW, Parkdale and Dundas. “I love Cabaret Vintage [672 QSW, +1 416 504 7126;] for really retro pieces especially from the 1950s and 1960s,” she says. “I’ve been shopping there since high school and the atmosphere is just lovely.” Other great spots for pre-loved gear are



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Left, Sud Forno, for Italian breads and killer gelato. Below, a virtuous and delicious almond goodie at Feast and, bottom, street smarts at Electric Mud BBQ. Right, Aoife Walsh, an Irishwoman abroad.

3 Toronto to dos …


You’re guaranteed a laid-back weekend brunch to the tune of bluegrass music at the Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Avenue, +1 416 850 4579; aka the best venue in town. You can’t go wrong with any of the acts, but catch honey-voiced crooner Rachel Rei there on February 26.


Get your skates on – perfect your figure eight at Nathan Phillips Square (100 QSW), or look on with admiration from rinkside with hot chocolate and cookies (rentals $10 for 2 hours;


Reach for the skies (literally) at the city’s high and mighty landmark building, the CN Tower where you can enjoy bird’s eye views by EdgeWalking, belted and buckled, along the roof of the restaurant. Heck, you can even get married out there. (

Eat at ... ARRIBA! When you see the tats and hipster beards at the Grand Electric (1330 QSW, +1 416 627 3459; on the Parkdale side of the strip, you know this place is one hot tamale – order home-cooked tacos with Baja fish or roast piggy, some tuna ceviche, a shot of tequila and the city hum soon fades away. Tasty and kind to wallets. ECCENTRIC Eating at chef Nathan Isberg’s The Atlantic (1597 Dundas Street West, +1 416 219 3819; is an exercise in trust – he cooks what he likes (and that may include crickets) and you give what you feel it was worth – as he says, “it’s like busking, I perform and people pay what they want”. If you’re hungry but short on the readies, take a seat at the bar and he’ll fix you a $3 curry. EDGY Chantecler (1320 QSW, +1 416 628 3586; – inventive cooking from chef Jonathan Poon with a pared-back, Asian-inspired menu that includes signature lettuce wraps (stuffed with pork shoulder, braised beef, rice), perfectly spicy popcorn shrimp, beef tartare (peanut, wasabi and shrimp chips), and weekend tasting menus that book out months in advance. Or mix it up at his newly opened and ironically named Bar Fancy (1070 QSW, +1 416 546 1416) where no-fuss drinks accompany bar snacks such as

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jumbo wings with Sichuan peppercorns that will blow the taste buds. HEALTHY Be virtuous at Feast (881 QSW, +1 647 350 1881; where none of the top eight allergens dare appear. Even coffee has been replaced by roasted cocoa bean, but you can still treat yourself to a delicious doughnut. For a power lunch, Fresh on Crawford (894 QSW; serves fast food that’s buzzing with goodness. At Feelgoodguru (917 QSW, +1 647 748 5800;, staff positively glow with health. One for a quick lunch of plant-powered wraps, juices, coffee served with homemade organic sprouted almond milk or eden soy milk. Yes, that healthy.

mother-and-daughter store Mama Loves You (541 QSW, +1 416 603 4747: mamalovesyouvintage. com) where Starsky cardis sit alongside Afghan coats and 1960s and 1970s funk. I Miss You Vintage (63 Ossington Avenue, +1 416 916 7021) stocks bearably priced designer vintage from names such as Marc Jacobs, Marni and Chanel, while Magwood (886 QSW, +1 416 818 3975, adds bridal vintage to the mix. At 69 Vintage (921 QSW, +1 416 516 0669; Kealan Sullivan stocks vintage jeans, leathers, bags, furs and evening showstoppers from the 1930s to the 1990s, and will update pieces to give them a contemporary cut if desired. At Garb (1046 QSW, +1 416 588 2121;, a new consignment shop where men’s and women’s labels are discounted by up to 75 per cent, spotted recently were Kate Spade backpacks, an Oscar de la Renta party dress for $595, Prada sport boots, $225 as well as dress shirts from Paul Smith and Hugo Boss. But it’s not just about the fashion here. There’s a shock of high-voltage creativity running through the cafés and restaurants with many of the owners in the kitchen. Every ethnic flavour is on offer with Mexican on-trend, Italian dining a perennial and gelato, well, just unmissable. At Union Restaurant (72 Ossington Avenue, +1 416 850 0093; Teo Paul blends a Parisian brasserie menu with locavore leanings; meat is sourced from their own craft butchers Côte de Boeuf (130 Ossington Avenue, +1 416 532 2333; nearby where a deli offers readyto-go gourmet pies and pickles. For cheap and cheerful, head to Pizzeria Libretto (221 Ossington Avenue, +1 416 532 8000; for fine thincrust pizzas, or brewpub Bellwoods Brewery (124 Ossington Avenue;, which sits in a former garage with a patio out front for hipster-spotting, and cooks up some tasty chow. Back on QSW, there’s the DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015

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much-loved Italian eaterie Terroni (720 QSW, +1 416 504 0320; and its nearby bakery, Sud Forno (716 QSW, +1 416 504 7667;, where sourdough, pizza slices, sandwiches and dolci can be scoffed at the communal table upstairs. Slide into a booth for a shuckful of oysters at the 1950s style Swan (892 QSW, +1 416 532 0452;, or refuel with a sharing plate from chef Danai Hongwanishkul at the bustling County General (936 QSW, +1 416 531 4447; When it comes to the sweet stuff, there’s much to gawp at in the installation-like displays at modern French bakery Nadège (780 QSW, +1 416 368 2009; nadege-patisserie. com) where pastry chef Nadège Nourian tempts with rows of sweet and savoury pastries, sandwiches and macarons (ask for the G&T marshmallows). But for a quick sugar hit, visit Bang Bang Icecream and Bakery (93 Ossington Avenue; +1 212 416 1743), where scandalously delicious ice cream sandwiches (lemon meringue a-tang, anyone?) have locals queuing down the street. As you would expect from a district colonised by artists, QSW is home to many a gallery, design collective and some absolutely stonking street art. Though the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art ( is due to be re-homed in spring, a stroll into Craft Ontario (990 QSW, +1 416 925 4222; will show you some of the best of Canadian crafts. Owner Jamie Angell of Angell Gallery (12 Ossington Avenue, +1 416 530 0444; pioneers young artists such as local Kim Dorland, while the Stephen Bulger Gallery (1026 QSW, +1 416 504 0575; shows photography with a historical focus and runs free Saturday screenings at the 55-seat cinema. And finally, something to feed 102 |




the soul. Last year, the old Shaw Street Public School was repurposed as Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw Street, +1 416 530 2787;, a nonprofit organisation that’s been on the go for more than 27 years. At Youngplace, artists get a space to prop their easel and show their work to the community. Natasha Mytnowych, who runs the project, explains, “We help to build vibrant and inclusive communities by rooting artists, creative people and cultural organisations in neighbourhoods.” One year in, the place is a-buzz. It’s a re-innoculation with the germ of creativity that first made this corner of the city hum ten years ago. Hip hooray – Caroline Christie and her canine buddy.

Follow Fran @francespower


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FESTIVE BREAKS Catherine Murphy picks out seasonal hot spots.

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Best for eco bliss

Start 2015 in absolute tranquillity at the eco-luxe Whitepod resort in the Valais region of Switzerland. Situated opposite the resort of Villars, an hour and a half from Geneva, Whitepod has ski slopes exclusively for guests’ use. Guests sleep at an altitude of 1,400 metres in sphereshaped pods, each one furnished with antiques, fully-equipped bathrooms and stunning views of the Dents du Midi range. Dinner, drinks, Wi-Fi and saunas are enjoyed in the Pod House, the resort base. Pods are heated by woodburning stoves and reached via an easy 20-minute snowshoe hike. The reward is ecologically-friendly alpine luxury and peaceful bliss. Price to pay … Whitepod is a small resort with just 15 domes and gets booked up quickly. Rates from CHF 490 (€408) for a standard pod, CHF 530 (€441) for a family pod and CHF 590 (€491) for a deluxe pod. (+41 24 471 3838; Festive must-do … Try your hand at Canicross, where you snowshoe along mountain trails attached to a sledge dog via a harness and line. Pulled along by canine power, you lead your dog using vocal instructions and gestures. CHF 90 (€75) per person.


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Best for family As the host of the 2014 Irish Open, five-star Fota Island Resort and Spa in Co Cork prides itself on its golf course and academy but over Christmas and New Year you might be more inclined to combine relaxation and exercise at the resort’s spa, which has a fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and hydrotherapy suite. Then indulge in a festive foodie treat with meals in the Fota restaurant and Amber Lounge. Price to pay … A one-night family B&B package (two adults, one child) costs €195. A family room for two adults and two children costs €255. Two nights in a self-catering lodge costs €415. Festive must-do … Fota Island’s woodland surroundings will take on a magical atmosphere this Christmas with Imagine, a Christmas experience with Santa visits for the children. Imagine runs until December 23. Admission is €20 for children, €12.50 for adults. (021 488 3700;

Best for privacy An hour east of Agadir, La Gazelle d’Or in Taroudant, Morocco, is a timeless hideaway for the privacyseeking jet set, loved-up couples and world-famous politicians – Jacques Chirac was a faithful visitor. Situated in sublime bougainvillea gardens, between the snow-covered Atlas Mountains and sea, this five-star hotel offers colonial-style hunting lodge surroundings and understated luxury. Accommodation is simple, with Moroccan-styled cottages scattered throughout the gardens and private terraces from which to enjoy the scent of orange groves. As befits a ho that has been crowned hotel be Moroccan cookery school best in the world and hosted chefs su as Yotam Ottolenghi, such La Gazelle d’Or will host a la lavish New Year’s Eve dinner, in including food from its own or organic farm. Price to pay … Rates for New Year’s Eve are €770 per room per night. (+44 20 7097 8786; Festive must-do … Indulge in some New Year’s shopping

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in nearby Taroudant, a charming walled town that’s been nicknamed “Little Marrakech”. A medieval Berber market town, it has souks to rival the medina of Marrakech. Shop for Moroccan rugs and locally produced argan oil.





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Best for sparkle

Simon Woodroffe and Gerard Greene’s flagship Yotel in New York’s Time Square is a great base if you want to join in the annual “Ball Drop” – it boasts the city’s largest outdoor hotel terrace, pictured here. Woodroffe and Greene’s Yotels take the concept of airline travel to small but luxurious “cabins”, with floor-to-ceiling windows, automated check-in and check-out, and “crew members” instead of staff. There are also dual-aspect cabins and VIP two-bedroom suites with private terraces and outdoor tubs. Price to pay … From $309 per cabin per night. (+1 646 449 7700; Festive must-do … Party on in Yotel’s 102sqm VIP suite, which has a rotating bed, a dining table that converts to a billiards table and great views of the Empire State Building from its terrace hot tub. Sleeps four but can accommodate gatherings of up to 20 people.

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Best for shopping Situated close to the sparkling Christmas windows at Harrods and Harvey Nichols in London, The Kensington has a dedicated Christmas concierge to assist guests with everything from buying gifts to organising festive days out. Part of The Doyle Collection, the sumptuous townhouse hotel’s “Discover London at Christmas” package includes mulled wine or hot chocolate on arrival, a festive treat at turn-down and late check-out. Price to pay … The package costs £235 (€300) for two and runs to January 4, subject to availability. (+44 207 589 6300; Festive must-do … Ice skating at the nearby Natural History Museum, one of London’s most enchanting rink locations. Adults, £12.65; kids, £8.80, until January 4, 2015. (


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Best for elegance

We can’t think of a more elegant, traditional way to spend Christmass in Dublin than at The Shelbourne. And, this year, the St Stephen’s Green Christmas market (until December 23) will add an extra festive splash. On Christmas Eve, a stocking will be left outside each child’s room in the hotel while Santa will visit the Lord Mayor’s Lounge on Christmas morning. There are gifts for grown-ups too and a lavish fivecourse Christmas lunch or dinner. Price to pay … Packages cost €295 per person for a Christmas Eve stay with Christmas Day lunch or dinner oto €390 per person sharing for a twom) night stay. (01 663 4500; Festive must-do … St Stephen’s n Day (December 26) at Leopardstown racecourse in south Dublin is one of the busiest days in Ireland’s horse racing calendar. Luncheon costs €139 per person and includes a mulled wine reception, three-course lunch and afternoon tea. General admission from €24. (


Celebrate NYE, right, at Dublin’s College Green, where headliners Kodaline will be joined by James Vincent McMorrow and Walking on Cars.


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The caramel challenge Ellen Lunney fears she won’t cut it in the kitchen … but help is at hand. ’m just minutes off the train from Dublin, but I already have a glass of wine in my hand and feel like I’ve known my host, Sarah Baker, owner of Cloughjordan House and XMAS Cookery School in Co Tipperary, for years. GOODIE It turns out we went to the same Sign up for a class with school, so we’re reminiscing and trading the Cloughjordan twist stories about an influential Home – expect an ingredientEconomics teacher we both had. Some focused, farm-to-fork menu. tales from those school kitchens are Course and B&B, €165; legendary: Sarah has heard too the one December 12, 0505 42492, about the student who threw an entire pan of spaghetti at the wall (to test whether it was done, of course) and I’m happy to report that it wasn’t me. It’s an interesting starting point for a trip that is to be Above, Cloughjordan all about food: eating food, discussing food and learning House, where a about food. It’s also a good introduction to the easygoing warm welcome and good-humoured approach at Cloughjordan House, is on the menu; where proprietors Sarah and Peter Baker and their below left, the best of local teenage children provide a warm and very distinctively produce and, right, Irish form of good old-fashioned hospitality – think Ellen’s triumphant roaring peat fires; quirky, wrought-iron bathtub seating Apple Upsideon the lawn for weddings; and a well-stocked “honesty Down Cake. bar” in the guests’ living room. After a good night’s sleep, all the cookery class students head down to the dining room for breakfast. We ready ourselves for the morning’s action – and size the other students up – over homemade Bircher muesli, eggs from the farm, and fresh


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bread from Riot Rye artisan bakery, which is located in the adjacent EcoVillage. After a quick walk around the farm, where we see the Bakers’ herd of rare-breed Zwartbles sheep, a cowshed full of onions being carefully stored for the long winter months and a clutch of hens, we follow Peter over to the cookery school, a wheelbarrow of fresh produce from the allotments in front of him; the family’s dogs behind us. The cookery school is in the residence’s bright and breezily restored coach house, and while the dozen or so students get to know one another a little better over filter coffee and homemade lemon drizzle cake, Sarah and her assistant hand out aprons and recipe booklets. I notice the word “caramel” in a recipe for Apple Upside-Down Cake, and begin to feel the fear. It’s the one thing I haven’t managed to make since my Home Ec days: every attempt since has ended up in the bin in a black, sticky, molten mess, alongside yet another “dodgy” sugar thermometer. I suddenly don’t feel all that confident. In a desperate bid to stop my caramel burning to a tar in front of everyone, including my boyfriend (who I’ve been boasting to all morning about my cooking skills), I brazenly add several tablespoons more water to the sugar than the recipe suggests. It doesn’t burn, but it begins to crystallise rapidly instead, which is almost as bad a fate for caramel – and a would-be foodie’s pride – as burning. Sarah senses something’s up and is immediately at my side, helping me to swirl the sugar into a caramel consistency rather than stirring it, tilting the pan from left to right, away from the heat. It works a treat – the caramel is suddenly, magically, golden brown, evenly coloured and smelling rich and festive alongside the apples – which are from the Bakers’ garden, of course. After our morning of cooking, we all sit down together to enjoy the three-course meal that we’ve prepared. We’re all abuzz with the tips we’ve picked up, and, although my caramel was definitely the best, I notice I’m not the only student beaming with pride when the cakes are cut.

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48 hours in



Lucy White returns to the historic, cobbled streets of her British hometown Lincoln, whose ye olde buildings, eateries and real ale pubs still impress.

Eat at … Lincolnshire sausage, Poacher cheese, plum bread, stuffed chine (salted pork filled with herbs, primarily parsley) and haslet (pork meatloaf, pronounced “hace-lit”) are traditional fare, but there’s plenty more besides … TAPAS Olivares is a little slice of the Balearics between Lincoln Castle and Cathedral – and I mean little: it seats only 24. Intimate and atmospheric, it’s a muy bien backdrop to simple Spanish classics done well by a husband-andwife team from Mallorca. Book ahead to bag a table. (3 Castle Hill, +44 7466 522 890)

Don’t miss ... LANDMARK Victorian cleverclogs John Ruskin described Lincoln Cathedral as “out and out the most precious piece of architecture” in Britain. It’s still spectacular. Constructed between 1185-1311, it was the world’s tallest building for nearly 250 years, until 1549. Play “Spot the Lincoln Imp”, a benevolent sprite turned to stone after running amok, admire the beautiful ten-sided Chapter House, and immerse yourself in glorious acoustics during Evensong. (Minster Yard, +44 1522 561 600; HISTORIC Adjacent to the Cathedral is Lincoln Castle, where, from April 1, 2015, the results of a £22 million restoration will be revealed. The revamp coincides with the 800-year anniversary of Magna Carta – a pivotal charter issued by King John removing constitutional monarchy: Lincoln Castle has one of four surviving copies on display. Within the castle walls are a

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Heritage Skills Centre and a Victorian prison. Al fresco film screenings and gigs in summer. (Castle Hill, +44 1522 782 040; ARTISTIC Admire paintings by JMW Turner and LS Lowry, as well as contemporary and decorative arts at The Collection, a county museum and art gallery. There’s archaeology aplenty, a jammers children’s programme and a splendid Stokes café. (Danes Terrace, +44 1522 550 965;

QUAINT The Cathedral Quarter has many a tearoom, of which Bunty’s is one of the best – queues out the door are not uncommon. Vintage china, bygone tunes and fine loose leaf teas are a huge draw, but Bunty’s biggest USP is its massive homemade cakes, scones and savouries. (18 Steep Hill, +44 1522 537 909) Top left, The Strait boasts independent boutiques and bars. Above, nibble on Lincolnshire sausage and cheeses at Castle Square Farmers Market. Top right, Bunty’s Tea Room is a magnet for the sweet of tooth.

CONTINENTAL Run by Kate O’Meara, who’s grandfather is from Templemore in Co Tipperary, The Cheese Society is a splendid retail store on The Strait, where you can buy wedding cheese cakes – actual stacked cheeses. Just around the corner is its licensed daytime café offering prix fixe menus and even gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offerings. (1 St Martin’s Lane, +44 1522 511 003;

Shop at … Lincoln High Street has the usual suspects – H&M, New Look, Primark – but Steep Hill (exactly what it says on the tin, so brace yourself) and Bailgate are where the indie boutiques reign supreme. VINTAGE An eBay success story, Tasty Vintage began online before expanding to bricks-andmortar premises in 2007. Its owner Harriet is a member of the Vintage Fashion Guild and has done a great job cherry-picking ladies’ and gents’ clothing and accessories from the 1920s-1970s, including bridalwear and textiles. (9 Steep Hill, +44 1522 510 524;

DESIGN Be sure to leave room in your suitcase: Forty Four, left, sells super-cool stationery and homewares, lambswool cushions by Donna Wilson, melamine cups by Danish brand RICE and much, much more. (44 Steep Hill, +44 1522 527 516; CRAFTY Rock Paper Scissors boasts handcrafted accessories and homewares sourced from Britain and Ireland. It hosts craft workshops, and is also home to The Jammy Tarts of Lincoln, a contemporary, sassy spin on the Women’s Institute. (18 Guildhall Street, +44 1522 244 363;

Clockwise from top, Forty Four stocks supercool homewares; classic boozercum-restaurant, The Wig & Mitre; bygone treasures at Tasty Vintage; the Old Palace beside side Lincoln Linc Cathedral. Cathed

Drink at … Lincoln excels at dad pubs, thanks to the region’s historic love of real ale.

Sleep at ... BOUTIQUE Housed in a former Parish Hall, The Rest is now a plush ten-room B&B around halfway-up the glorious cobbles of Steep Hill. Its licensed Coffee House spills neatly on to a front terrace (open to the public at weekends), Wi-Fi is free, and there are also two garden suites. Doubles from £89. (55a Steep Hill, +44 1522 247 888; HISTORIC The Old Palace, above, property dates back to 1720, it being the former residence of Lincoln bishops until 1948. It was respectfully gussied up as a hotel between 2007 and 2009, the adjacent

church converted into beautiful guest rooms. And temperance be damned: there’s a fine Gin and Tonic Afternoon Tea. Doubles from £86. (Minster Yard, +44 1522 580 000; SELF CATERING The Castle Hotel’s Castle Cottage is a deceptively spacious heritage property in the Cathedral Quarter with two double bedrooms, two reception rooms, a bathroom and fitted kitchen. Likewise, the Coach House luxury apartment is a home from home – but more swish. £230 for up to four persons. (Westgate, +44 1522 538 801;

SNUG It’s mostly standing room only at The Strugglers Inn, whose name is said to derive from a former landlord that double-jobbed as a hangman. (83 Westgate, +44 1522 535 023) QUIRKY The Tamara de Lempickastyle mural in The Jolly Brewer is somewhat incongruous but then this is a quirky boozer, lavished by Campaign for Real Ale gongs. (26 Broadgate, +44 1522 528 583; GASTROPUB The Wig and Mitre is, pleasingly, a music-free zone, but high on craic. Nurse a craft beer and locally sourced snacks. (30 Steep Hill, +44 1522 535 190; AER LINGUS FROM FEBRUARY 5, 2015, AER LINGUS FLIES FROM DUBLIN TO EAST MIDLANDS DAILY.


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The ÎLE DE NANTES district has undergone massive reconstruction in the last ten years. The old boatyards and slipways are still there but there are also playgrounds, picnic areas and gardens and the “Machines of the Isle” – an urban jungle with an enormous merry-go-round and a wooden walking elephant, below, inspired by Jules Verne’s novels. (

LIBRAIRIE DURANCE is a Nantais landmark bookstore that doesn’t do skimmed latte or lemongrass-infused fairy cakes but does sell books of all kinds. It has a very good English section featuring many of the classics and, if you ask Jean-Michel very nicely, he may order any other books you need. (4 Allée d’Orléans; +33 240 486 879;



Irish restaurateur Mark Kelly knows where to hang out in this reconstructed French city. PHOTOGRAPH BY BENOIT CABANE

Still on the Île de Nantes, music venue LA FABRIQUE is run by arts programmers Trempolino and Stereolux. The former organises workshops and music classes for young aspiring musicians – my son has just started bass lessons there. It has two halls, very good sound and an inflatable orange bar that closes like a clam. (62 Boulevard de la Prairie au Duc; Trempolino: +33 240 466 633; Stereolux +33 251 806 080)

Catherine of OKKO LINE says her designers “tickle your eyes”. This high quality, urban chic boutique has been dressing Nantes since 1987. Located in a side alley, it’s a surprising little gem. (2 Rue Haute Casserie; +33 240 080 757)


HÔTEL LA PÉROUSE is an über design boutique hotel in the centre of Nantes. Legend has it that the explorer La Pérouse lost out by just one day to Captain Cook in the race for Australia. French-speaking Australians: Ooh la la, mate! Rooms from €79. (Cours des 50 Otages, 3 Allée Duquesne, +33 240 897 500;

For a fantastic Sunday morning workout, the ping-pong ong tables in the garden of SQUARE DE L’ÎLE are a must. For the first set, try and get the Loire end with the wind at your back! (Square de l’île Mabon, Quai François Mitterrand)


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Starting after the Motte Rouge bridge, the ERDRE RIVER meanders out towards the Jonelière. This is a very pleasant stroll, combining some of the oldest houses in Nantes, the boat clubs and bird life. You can also cycle along here and cross over on the water ferry to the university campus.

A witness to the history of Nantes and of Brittany, the CASTLE OF THE DUKES OF BRITTANY is an exceptional heritage site right in the city centre. (4 Place Marc Elder;

With all the new reconstruction going on, the MEMORIAL TO THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY is a poignant reminder of the horrors of the slave trade and a record of the slave ships which left from Nantes and other French ports. Each ship has its own plaque embedded on the walkway above. Mémorial (Quai de la Fosse;

The Nantais love to skate. RIDE ALL was one of the first specialised ialised skate shops, and has its own instore ore half pipe for tryouts. It is owned ned by the Guilloux brothers who also have two shops on the coast for kites, surfs and bikes. (4 Rue Guépin, n, +33 251 864 040;


I co-own this café so of course I have to mention it ... Now in its tenth year, BECKETT’S does lunch Monday to Saturday. Think carrot tagine, spiced beef, ginger cheesecake, organic Argentine Malbec, a dash of Josh Ritter and you’re almost there! Reservations essential. (3 Rue Guépin; +33 240 487 646)

More about Mark

Mark moved to Nantes in 1999 with his wife at a time when it seemed that everyone was going to Ireland. Mark’s family has a hotel in Dunmore East, Co Waterford, so he was always alw inclined towards the food trade. In 2005, he set up Beckett’s canteen with a friend, friend with the idea of serving an alternative take on French food – a kind of old school world cuisine. He now has three children, his wife teaches and translates and, according to his mother, they are “living the French dream” — which even Beckett would not find so absurd.

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The LU TOWER has incredible views over the city. A former biscuit factory, it’s now the Lieu Unique cultural centre encompassing a bar, restaurant, concert hall, crèche, hammam, book shop and some rather tasty deck chairs looking onto the canal St Felix. (2 Quai Ferdinand Fabre; +33 240 121 434)


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TOP TABLES Leeds is bursting with new eateries, and Kada Bendaha’s Café Moor ( in Kirkgate Market is one of the nicest. With its intricate carving, marquetry and wall tapestries, this North African food stall is a real find. House specialities include falafel and chicken shawarma wraps and baba ganoush, a puréed aubergine dish. See and be seen at the city’s latest fine dining venue, The Man behind the Curtain (, above, on Vicar Lane. Owner chef Michael O’Hare used to work in Copenhagen at Noma (aka the World’s Best Restaurant) and serves a twelve-course tasting menu in airy, minimalist surroundings. If Indian food is your thing, try Tharavadu on Mill Hill ( for home-cooked Keralan cuisine.

CENTRAL Quebecs This former 19thcentury Liberal club on Quebec Street, two minutes from the railway station, is pure, old-fashioned luxury. The beautiful stainedglass windows that winds their way up three floors add to the feeling of grandeur, as does the gleaming oak panelling and L’Occitane goodies in the bathroom. Doubles from £70.


3 highlights ...

GAZE AT … Part of the Henry Moore Foundation that was set up by the sculptor himself in 1971, the Henry Moore Institute on The Headrow is a world-renowned research venue in Leeds’ arts hub. As well as showcasing works by one of Yorkshire’s most famous sons, it hosts exhibitions of classical and contemporary sculpture, workshops and lectures.

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GRAZE AT … Is it a club, a restaurant or an arts venue? Actually, it’s all three. The Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen on Cross Belgrave Street draws a hip young crowd who come here to munch on New York-style pizza slices and imbibe cask ales while listening to the latest and greatest bands. There’s a fantastic rooftop garden too.


SHOP AT … It’s excess all areas in the Victoria Quarter, where some of the city’s loveliest Victorian shopping arcades are housed under an impressive stained-glass ceiling. Liz Earle, Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith, among many others, vie to make a dent in your wallet. Soften the blow with a glass of bubbly or three at Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Café.

CHIC The New Ellington Located in the financial district, among rows of elegant Georgian buildings, this city centre hotel on York Place has 34 smartly deckedout rooms, jazz-inspired black-and-white photography (hence the “Ellington”) and a gin bar, above, serving more than 150 varieties. Digby’s restaurant, just downstairs, means you don’t have to go far to sober up. Doubles from £90.

SERVICED The Chambers Part of a growing trend for do-it-yourself accommodation, these luxury serviced apartments on Park Place are perfectly located. Not only are these stylishly furnished studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments but there’s a gym and honesty bar and, if you forget to bring your book, an on-site library. Studios from £119 including breakfast pack.

TOTAL BUILDING SOLUTION Sammon Group is a world class Construction Company with Headquarters in Kilcock, Ireland and operations in Abu Dhabi and London. Sammon specialise in delivering ambitious and innovative construction projects in the commercial, education, retail and healthcare sectors.

Shamrock House Sammon Group is proud to have worked closely with both the DAA and Aer Lingus to deliver new corporate headquarters for Aer Lingus at Dublin Airport.

AIB LAB Dundrum Shopping Centre Sammon Group successfully delivered a retail banking facility for AIB in the heart of Dundrum Shopping Centre incorporating bespoke specialist joinery elements.

City North Hotel Sammon Group successfully delivered the design, build and fit out of a 128 bed hotel on the M1 Dublin to Belfast Motorway.

Our policy is to work in collaboration with our clients, the design teams and our supply chain – this approach is central to our delivery of high quality projects. We work with a wide range of clients, often on repeat projects, including the Dublin Airport Authority (daa), Allied Irish Banks (AIB), Department of Education and Skills (DOES), Office of Public Works (OPW) and Aer Lingus. The Sammon team prides itself on forming strong relationships not only with our clients but also with the architectural and engineering communities, to ensure successful delivery of complex and specialised construction solutions. These relationships have helped us to establish the Sammon Group as a leading Design & Build contractor both nationally and internationally.

“Our vision is to create lasting partnerships with our clients in the delivery of high quality construction and fit-out projects” Miceál Sammon, CEO

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Flying with Aer Lingus

Inflight Sit back, relax and let Aer Lingus look after your inflight comfort and entertainment. Enjoy delicious food, the latest movies, a wide range of shopping and news from Aer Lingus.

124 Welcome aboard 125 Your comfort and safety 128 Aer Lingus News 140 Flight Connections 144 Our Route Networks 148 Connecting to Wi-Fi Inflight Entertainment 130 Movies to North America 131 Movies from North America 132 Our Classic Movie Selection 135 Television On Demand 138 Radio On Demand 139 Music On Demand


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Welcome aboard Flying with Aer Lingus means you will experience excellent customer service, comfort and, of course, safety. There’s plenty for you to enjoy on board and, on the following pages, you will discover how we’ll be taking care of you. After all, we’re here to help you make the most of your flight. If you have any special requests, be sure to let us know.

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Aberdeen Glasgow


Newcastle Leeds Bradford

Belfast Knock Shannon Kerry



Isle of Man


East Midlands Amsterdam Birmingham London (Heathrow) London (Southend) Cardiff Bristol London Brussels (Gatwick)


Paris Rennes Nantes

What cities do Aer Lingus fly to and connect to? See page 144 for full route maps

In touch with Aer Lingus If you are availing of Wi-Fi on your flight today, why not let us know what you’re up to on board and where you are going. Share your photos if you’d like, because we would love to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Take a photo and post it to our facebook page. Let us know how you’re enjoying your flight.

Chat to us on Twitter where you’ll also find the latest flight information.

View our videos of milestone events, festivals, sponsorships and campaigns.

Passengers with wheelchair requirements If you require a wheelchair to help you reach or depart from the plane, then we’re here to help you. Your comfort and safety are our priority, so please let us know at least 48 hours in advance and we en co ng us yo will look after you. When contacting you will need your booking reference number. A SS IS TA N CE


.com nce@aerlingus specialassista 365 011 Ireland (0818) on–Fri M 09:00–17:00 t & Sun 10:00–16:00 Sa nk Holidays 10:00–16:00 Ba 20 21 UK (0871) 718 886 8333 1 Europe +353 42 2 22 USA (516) 62

Your comfort and safety When you fly with us, you want to know that we’re looking after your comfort and safety at all times. We are. It is our number one priority and our crew are trained to ensure you reach your destination as relaxed as you need to be. In return, we ask for your attention when it comes to safety announcements and knowing when, and how, to turn on your mobile, smartphone or portable device.


Is your mobile phone and/or other portable electronic device in 'flight mode'?

Is your seatback fully upright?

Is your armrest down?

Is your tabletop stowed?

Have you stored your bags in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you?

You can use portable electronic equipment on flights but some devices can interfere with aircraft equipment, creating potential safety risks. Knowing how to set up your device for flight use and when to switch it on and off are therefore very important. Please note that certain devices may not be used.

To use your mobile phone and all other portable electronic devices during taxi, take-off or landing, they must be switched to ‘flight mode’ or the ‘flight safe’ setting.

Devices permitted at any time

Devices permitted in flight only*

Devices prohibited at all times

Devices powered by micro battery cells and/or by solar cells; hearing aids (including digital devices); pagers (receivers only); heart pacemakers.

Laptops, portable CD-players, Mini-disk players, GPS handheld receivers, electric shavers and electronic toys. For the comfort of other passengers, audio devices should be used with a headset. If using laptops inflight please select flight safe mode before takeoff.

Devices transmitting radio frequency intentionally such as walkie-talkies, remote controlled toys; wireless computer equipment (eg mouse, keyboard); PC printers, DVD/CD writers and Mini-disk Recorders in the recording mode; digital camcorders when using CD write facility; portable stereo sets; pocket radios (AM/ FM); TV receivers; telemetric equipment; peripheral devices for handheld computer games (eg supplementary power packs connected by cable); wireless LAN (WLAN).**

If you wish to use your phone during your flight, please make sure you select flight safe mode before your phone is powered off.

*Not permitted during taxi/take-off/ initial climb/approach/landing.

Please note, if your device does not have a flight safe mode it may not be used on your flight. After landing and only when crew have advised that it is safe to do so, you are permitted to use your mobile phone, provided it is within easy reach. You must remain seated with your seatbelt fastened and follow the instructions of the cabin crew.


Mode Airplane

On A330 aircraft, to avail of our Wi-Fi and Mobile Network, devices must be switched off flight mode once advised that it is safe to do so by crew.

**Laptops with built-in WLAN (eg Centrino) may be used during flight, provided the WLAN option is turned off and subject to the restrictions associated with the use of laptops detailed above.


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Your comfort and safety


A safe flight for everyone It is worth repeating that your safety – and that of everyone on board – is our number one priority therefore we ask that you:

Please pay attention to instructions given to you by the cabin crew.

Do not consume any alcohol brought onto the aircraft by you or another passenger (including Duty Free alcohol purchased from Boutique). It is illegal to do so.

Do not interrupt cabin crew while they carry out their duties and do not interfere with aircraft equipment.

We also want to make it clear that Aer Lingus may refuse to allow a passenger on board if it is thought that too much alcohol has been consumed. Similarly, behaviour or language towards other passengers or crew members that is deemed to be threatening or abusive will not be tolerated.

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For your Safety

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Here are a few tips to make your journey more comfortable and to reduce jet lag.

Please pay attention to the cabin crew while they demonstrate the use of safety equipment before take off, and we strongly recommend that you read the safety instruction card in the seat pocket in front of you.

On longer flights particularly, try to change your sitting position regularly and avoid crossing your legs. Take a walk in the cabin once the seat belt sign is off as this will get your circulation going and refresh your legs.

EAR CARE Cabin pressure changes can be painful particularly if you have a cold, sinusitis or existing ear problems. If you experience these problems during the flight, have a chat to our cabin crew.

ON Airplane Mode


ON Airplane Mode

ON Airplane

ON Airplane



In line with Irish Government regulations, Aer Lingus has a no smoking and no electronic cigarettes policy on board. These are not permitted in any part of the cabin.

Keep yourself hydrated throughout the flight by drinking plenty of water.

EYE CARE If you are a regular contact lens wearer, it is a good idea to bring your glasses with you in case your eyes feel dryer than usual.

TIME ZONES Help beat jet lag by setting your watch to your destination’s time when you arrive on board. This will help you adjust to the new time zone more quickly.

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Aer Lingus News

Aer Lingus Chief Revenue Officer Mike Rutter and cabin crew members, Claire Sutton and Catherine McDonnell, at the launch of the airline’s new Business Class experience.

Pictured at the launch of the new Washington route on St Stephen’s Green, Dublin were Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus Chief Executive Officer, Kevin O’Malley, US Ambassador to Ireland, with Aer Lingus cabin crew members, Jillian McDonald and Anna Moore.

Washington, here we come! Aer Lingus has announced details of its Summer 2015 schedule including the introduction of its ninth direct transatlantic service, with a new four times weekly summer service from Dublin to Washington-Dulles from 1st May 2015.

A Class Service Aer Lingus is delighted to announce its new Business Class experience. The service will be available on direct flights from Dublin to San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando from March 2015, and Washington from May 2015. Key to the enhanced service is the new vantage seat, manufactured by Thompson Aero of Portadown, County Armagh, transforms to a full lie-flat 6’ 6” (2 metre) bed. Aer Lingus has selected top class Irish suppliers to provide the best of modern Ireland. Speaking at the official launch of the new Business Class service at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin, Aer Lingus Chief Executive Christoph Mueller said, “Our long haul business has grown at record pace over the past two years. We continually strive to improve our customers’ Aer Lingus experience, offering greater convenience and product enhancements. We have increased the number of destinations to which we fly. We have introduced high speed Wi-Fi on our services to the US. We clear US customs in Ireland. Now we are delighted to upgrade our entire Business Class experience, offering our customers an excellent environment in which to work, relax, dine and sleep. We want to thank all of our Business Class customers for their continued support for our service.” In addition a new business lounge will open in Spring 2015 at John F Kennedy Airport and a new pre-dine service will be available at John F Kennedy and Boston airports. A new arrivals lounge at Dublin Airport, with a dedicated area to shower and steam clothes, will ensure customers are refreshed and ready for their day. For more information, visit

In a further boost to its growing long haul business, Aer Lingus is also increasing capacity on its other transatlantic routes for summer 2015, including: • A daily flight from Dublin to San Francisco, up from five weekly currently. • The introduction of a third daily flight from Dublin to New York from June through to August, departing at the early time of 7.50am and returning from New York at 12 noon daily. • An increase in frequency on the Dublin to Orlando route from three to four flights per week, from 1st May 2015. • A 20% increase in capacity on the Shannon to Boston route for twelve weeks in the peak summer period, June through August. On its short-haul network Aer Lingus will introduce a new three times weekly service from Dublin to Nantes which will operate from May through to September, as well as a new weekly service for summer to Agadir. Many popular family sun destinations will benefit with increased frequencies including Palma, Fuerteventura, Izmir and Bourgas, to name but some. Aer Lingus Regional will also launch a service from Dublin to East Midlands starting 5th February 2015.

Armchair Shopping Ae Lingus has added exciting Aer new products to its extensive on board shopping range, Boutique. The on board retail experience brings a wider range of luxury shopping to customers on all Aer Lingus flights, at prices up to 60 percent less than on the high street. Aer Lingus sourced the new items to ensure that there

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was something for everyone, with over one hundred gifts to choose from including Voya skincare products, scarves by Irish designer Susannagh Grogan and jewellery by Irish designer Chupi. In addition, a special Christmas Gift Guide will be available from 12th November to 31st December with lots of great gift ideas for all

the family. For ladies, highlights from the collection include the Ciaté Advent Calendar featuring a different nail polish for every day in December, a stunning silver and Melbye watch by Skagen and the Aer Lingus airport set for kids. Check out the new issue of Boutique in the seat pocket in front of you. Happy shopping!

Aer Lingus Firsts Inaugural flights, a pair of unusual passengers and helping Goal to help others; it all happened in December and January over the decades.

1940 Dublin Airport was officially opened on 19th January 1940 and became the base for Aer Lingus. Until then, Aer Lingus had operated from the military airfield at Baldonnel while the airport was being constructed. On the evening before it opened, the two Aer Lingus Lockheed 14 aircraft were ferried from Baldonnel to Dublin Airport to be in place for the commencement of services from the new facility the next morning.

1947 Aer Lingus’ first scheduled service to Rome began on Wednesday 3rd December 1947, and was flown by Lockheed Constellations weekly. Today Aer Lingus flies daily between Dublin and Rome.

1960 December 1960 saw the introduction of jet aircraft into service by Aer Lingus using Boeing 720 EI-ALA Padraig, which had been delivered the previous month. The official inaugural Dublin-Shannon-New York service was flown on 6th December. There were 89 passengers on board, including the mayors of Dublin, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Cork, Leeds, Bristol and Limerick, plus the Provost of Edinburgh and the Chairman of the Ennis Urban Council. The presence of dignitaries from the UK underlined the Aer Lingus marketing philosophy of developing transatlantic feeder traffic from these points via Dublin and thus avoiding the need to backtrack and connect through an increasingly congested London Airport. The introduction of the Boeing 720 into service saw the end of the propeller Super Constellation era for Aer Lingus.

Flying Relief supplies to earthquake victims in Haiti, 2010.

2007 Aer Lingus’ first female pilot, Grainne Cronin 1978 pictured with her father Captain Felim Cronin.

1962 Aer Lingus introduced an apprenticeship scheme for aircraft mechanics in January 1962 under an arrangement with the Vocational Education Authorities in Dublin. Today Aer Lingus continues to offer apprenticeship opportunities for aircraft engineers.

1967 A new scheduled destination was added in January 1967 in the form of Munich, becoming the airline’s third destination in Germany. The service was operated weekly on Sundays by BAC-111s and routed DublinBrussels-Munich, with the inaugural flight on 8th January. Aer Lingus currently operates twelve services a week on the Dublin-Munich route.

Aer Lingus opened its first base outside the Republic of Ireland on 10th December 2007 with the launch of services from Belfast International Airport.

2010 On 22nd January 2010 Aer Lingus operated a special flight from Dublin to La Romana in the Dominican Republic with 25 tonnes of relief supplies for the earthquake victims in Haiti organised by the charity Goal. The flight was operated by Airbus A330-302 EI-EAV and was crewed and loaded by Aer Lingus volunteers. Most of the cargo was loaded in the aircrafts’ holds, but extra boxes were seat-loaded in the cabin, and in addition, 15 Goal workers travelled on the flight.

1976 A pair of dolphins made an interesting cargo for a Liverpool-Dublin Boeing 737 freighter service in December 1976. The pair were destined for a Christmas show at the RDS in Ballsbridge. They were carried in hammocks rigged up on a special pallet-mounted frame and their skins had to be protected with cream as well as being regularly sprayed with water. It was believed to have been the first time dolphins were flown across the Irish Sea.

1978 Aer Lingus’ first female pilot, Grainne Cronin, graduated as a co-pilot on the Boeing 737-200 in January 1978 following her initial training at Oxford. She gained her command on the Aer Lingus Commuter Shorts 360 in 1988, and later transferred back to the main airline as a Captain on the Boeing 737. She retired as Captain on the Airbus A330 fleet on 27th May 2010.

2011 Terminal 2 (T2) at Dublin Airport was officially opened on 19th November 2010, and over the subsequent weeks it began operating trial flights at T2, gradually building up the number of operations over the next seven weeks. The airline officially moved all of its Dublin-Heathrow services to Terminal 2 with effect from 11th January 2011.


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Movies Flights to North America Aer Lingus presents a variety of recently released movies for your enjoyment on board your flight to North America. Welcome to the international multiplex cinema in the sky! Action

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes


Comedy Magic In The Moonlight 97 mins


Chinese conjuror Wei Ling Soo is the most celebrated magician of his age, but few know that he is the stage persona of Stanley Crawford, a grouchy, arrogant Englishman. He presents himself as a businessman named Stanley Taplinger in order to debunk the alluring clairvoyant Sophie Baker. Directed by Woody Allen and stars Colin Firth, Emma Stone. EFG I S



80 mins The apes find themselves at a critical point. Stars Gary Oldman, Keri Russell. E FGS



Life Of Crime

89 mins A woman transforms into a merciless warrior. Stars Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi.

98 mins Two common criminals meet their match. Stars Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def, Isla Fisher.





Qu‘est-ce qu‘on a fait au Bon Dieu?


97 mins A couple struggle with their daughter’s choices. Stars Christian Clavier. With English subtitles. F


Sex Tape


Angels Sing

87 mins Michael Walker rediscovers his Christmas Spirit. Stars Harry Connick Jr, Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, Tim McCanlies.



Kids G



Parental Guidance

PG13 Parental Guidance

Not suitable for children under 13.




I Origins


Love Is Strange


Garfield Gets Real




165 mins See the world through the eyes of a twelve year-old boy. Stars Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke.

106 mins A molecular biologist makes an alarming discovery. Stars Michael Pitt, Steven Yeun, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey.

94 mins A married couple struggle with their housing situation. Stars John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei.

75 mins Garfield grows bored of life as a comic strip star. Stars Frank Welker, Rajia Baroudi, Gregg Berger.

94 mins Tarzan and Jane Porter face a mercenary army. Stars Kellan Lutz, Spencer Locke, Jaime Ray Newman.






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94 mins A couple discover that their sex tape has gone missing. Stars Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry.


Restricted Not suitable for children under 18. Available in English French German Italian Spanish

Movies Flights from North America Aer Lingus presents a variety of recently released movies for your enjoyment on board your flight from North America. Welcome to the international multiplex cinema in the sky! Action

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Sci-Fi Guardians of the Galaxy 121 mins





101 mins A group of warriors challenge an evil kingpin. Stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner. EFG I S

Let’s Be Cops


Brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits. Stars Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper.


104 mins Two pals dressed up as cops get caught up in a real crime. Stars Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Rob Riggle. E

The Grand Seduction


Wish I Was Here


God’s Pocket

113 mins A fishing village takes drastic action in order to survive. Stars Taylor Kitsch, Brendan Gleeson, Liane Balaban.

106 mins Aidan Bloom is forced to re-evaluate his entire life. Stars Zach Braff, Joey King, Pierce Gagnon.

88 mins Mickey finds himself in a life-and-death situation. Stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Richard Jenkins.







Jersey Boys


134 mins Four unlikely men form an iconic 1960s rock group. Stars John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda. EFG I S






Parental Guidance

PG13 Parental Guidance

Not suitable for children under 13.


If I Stay


107 mins Mia Hall is faced with a life-or-death decision. Stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley. E


When the PG Game Stands Tall

A Most Wanted Man

115 mins The journey of legendary football coach, Bob Ladouceur. Stars Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Chiklis.

122 mins A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg. Stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams.

105 mins Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cage. Stars Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler.

100 mins A lego worker joins a quest to stop an evil tyrant. Stars Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie.






How To Train Your Dragon 2


The Lego Movie



Restricted Not suitable for children under 18. Available in English French German Italian Spanish


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We also provide a selection of classic movies available on flights to and from North America. Timeless favourites such as Into the West and The Great Gatsby are available as well as a selection of Irish short films and features.

Our Classic Movie Selection

Classics (Flights from North America)

Classics (Flights to North America)

A Clockwork Orange




Bad Santa


Butch Cassidy



100 mins. Stars Robert Redford, Paul Newman.

137 mins Stars Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt.





97 mins Stars Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin.

Sweet PG13 November

119 mins Stars Keanu Reeves.

99 mins Stars Clooney, Natascha McElhone.





The R French Connection

The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness

Three G Coins In The Fountain


136 mins Stars Malcolm McDowell.

162 mins Stars Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver.

91 mins Stars Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac.



Home Alone

Into The West


103 mins Stars Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci.

104 mins Stars Gene Hackman.

158 mins Stars Ingrid Bergman.





102 mins Stars Clifton Webb.

157 mins Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr.



137 mins Stars Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn.


113 mins Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling.



Prometheus R

The Great Gatsby

124 mins Stars Noomi Rapace, Logan MarshallGreen. EFG I S


92 mins Stars Geena Davis, Michael Keaton.


109 mins Stars Barry Ward, Simone Kirby. E

93 mins Stars Brendan Gleeson. E


One Ocean: No Limits


Ordinary Decent Criminal

52 mins Stars Adam Burke.

93 mins Stars Kevin Spacey.




The Writing In The Sky

54 mins Stars Dermot Healy. E


What Are You Made Of?



76 mins. Stars Danny Elfman.






Parental Guidance

11 mins Stars Dylan Ward.





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143 mins Stars Leonardo DiCaprio.


Restricted Not suitable for children under 18. Available in English French German Italian Spanish

Mr & Mrs Smith


Not suitable for children under 13.

Living The Tradition


120 mins Stars Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie.

The Nightmare Before Christmas


172 mins Stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry.

144 mins Stars Orlando Bloom, Eva Green.

PG13 Parental Guidance


Cloud Atlas


Kingdom Of Heaven

Irish Shorts and Features

Jimmy’s Hall



Gangster Squad


105 mins Daniel Radcliffe, Teresa Palmer.




December Boys





The R Assassination Of Jesse James 160mins Stars Brad Pitt. EFG I S

Come join us on our journey

Our world class multi-disciplinary teams work on the engineering design of exciting projects both in Ireland and worldwide. We continue to grow our team. We are recruiting graduates and experienced staff across a broad range of disciplines. If you would like to work for Ireland’s leading consulting engineering firm please contact us.

Terminal 2, Dublin Airport © Ian Bruce Photography

We shape a better world |

Dublin Office: +353 1 450 8881 Belfast Office: +44 28 9077 0999

Contract People are one of Ireland’s leading outsourcing & field marketing agencies.

Television On Demand On Demand TV allows you to select and view your favourite TV shows. Aer Lingus is home to some of the most anticipated new shows on TV in this extensive choice of award-winning Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Lifestyle, Business, Sports and Kids programmes. Business

Bloomberg‘s High Flyers

This month, Bloomberg’s Game Changers spotlights the career of Ralph Lauren – his meteoric rise, his personal and professional set-backs, as well as his successes as an ambassador for America. Bloomberg’s High Flyers, meanwhile, profiles Chatri Sityodtong – the self-made millionaire who swapped a career in top-class finance for world-class fighting. Also on board are Enterprise, Eye To Eye, Euronews’ Business Planet and Real Economy – all of which cast a cold eye over the world of business.



Shameless Idealists

Having grown up around smaller reptiles, such as lizards, Nicole Viloteau has dedicated her life to documenting and photographing reptiles in their natural environments. See her in action in the The Snake Lady. Also on board is Books Into Film, which explores Western-themed novels that became Academy Award-Winning films, such as Open Range, Dances With Wolves, The Missing and Legends of The Fall, but to name a few. Comet of the Century, Marine Mammals, Festive Ways, Inside The American Mob, Cities Of The Underworld, Shameless Idealists, Megafactories and Extreme Travellers are also available to watch.


Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley first hit our screens in April, 2014 and it has made quite the splash. Although, with five Emmy nominations and writer Mike Judge (King Of The Hill, Beavis and Butt-Head) behind the comedy, it really is no wonder. Catch three episodes from the first season on board. Those with a more anarchic sense of humour might appreciate two new episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, New Girl, The Big Bang Theory and Girls. Also available is the quintessentially Irish Father Ted Christmas special to celebrate the festive season!

News & Events In addition to our extensive selection of TV shows, Aer Lingus brings you exclusive weekly news updates, as well as updates from the world of sport.

Aer Lingus offers engaging choices with boxsets of Game Of Thrones, House of Cards and Mad Men on offer, as well as multiple episodes from the brand new season of Witches of East End and a return to fan favourite, Boardwalk Empire.



Enjoy the Big Apple as John Fitzpatrick, CEO of Fitzpatrick Hotels North America, invites us to explore his quintessentially Irish hotel and his version of New York in the TV short, Fitzpatrick Hotels New York. For more on Irish culture, food and music, tune into Imeall, Ceol ar an Imeall, Tracks and Trails, Kevin Dundon: Modern Irish Food and Living The Wildlife. In this month‘s episode of Young Hollywood: Evolution Of, we delve into the lives of The Hunger Games cast members – from early beginnings to their rise to fame. Also available are Pawn Stars, David Rocco‘s Dolce Vita and Jamie Cooks Christmas.


Kids One Second in F1 Racing

Soccer fans shouldn‘t miss Premier League, which provides an exclusive, behind-thescenes look at Premier League teams – Aston Villa in this particular episode.

Austin and Ally

Kids will surely enjoy Roobarb & Custard, a lighthearted comedy about Roobarb, a loveable wacky dog and Custard, a sarcastic pink cat. Fans of Roobarb & Custard may also enjoy Sofia the First, a Disney series about a young princess, charming animated series Pip Ahoy! or a festive episode of Fluffy Gardens. Teens may prefer Austin and Ally, a sitcom about a young internet celebrity.

Also on board are One Second in F1 Racing, which examines the technology and innovation that goes into each second on the track. World Of Tennis and HSBC Golfing World are some of the other available titles.


| 135

Television On Demand Drama Boxsets


Game of Thrones The Chicago Sun-Times’ Andrew Romano once called Game of Thrones ’the most pleasurable television show’ there’s ever been – and also ’the hardest to convince... friends and family to watch.’ Now that Season 4 has been and gone, this is no longer the case. The stigma against fantasy has finally lifted, in the face of the series’ gripping storytelling. Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon the likes of which hasn’t been seen since, say, the publication of

Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers; a serial narrative masterwork that has viewers salivating for the next instalment. Dubbed ‘The Sopranos in Middle Earth’ by series showrunner David Benioff, Game of Thrones is a sprawling multi-narrative saga, based on George RR Martin’s book series ’A Song of Fire and Ice’. The books, first published in the mid-nineties, made Martin’s name. They’re full of realistic violence and debauchery, and Martin’s penchant for

killing off beloved characters is notorious; his plots are extremely unconventional for a genre in which convention is sacrosanct. The TV series has surpassed The Sopranos as HBO’s most popular series ever; the number of Emmys the show has earned recently hit double figures.

A fantasy drama series that is set in the mythical land of Westeros.

The fourth season, based on books 3, 4 and 5 of the series, is set to be the series’ most exciting yet. The royal wedding approaches, but several forces conspire to upset the proceedings.

House Of Cards Since its debut on Netflix in 2013, House of Cards has become one of the brightest stars in the glittering constellation of top-quality modern TV. Based on a BBC miniseries from the early nineties, the series is Macbeth, or Richard III, transposed to Capitol Hill; a classic high drama of Machiavellian political intrigue. House of Cards tells the story of Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and

House Majority Whip who, after being passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, decides to exact his revenge on those who betrayed him with the help of his equally cunning wife Claire (played by Robin Wright). The series also stars Kate Mara and Nathan Darrow in supporting roles. The show’s first season received nine Emmy nominations, with shouts for Spacey, Wright, and director David Fincher. Wright also won the Golden Globe for

Best Actress, making the show the first online-only series to boast a major acting award for one of its cast. Now we’re in Season 2, and the really compelling character has proven to be Claire Underwood. Behind every great man is a great woman, goes the old sexist saw. In House of Cards, behind the smart, conniving Frank stands Claire, still smarter and more cunning, pursuing her own mysterious agenda.

A political drama series that delves into the dark underworld of politics.

Mad Men Madison Avenue, 1960: where today’s advertising-saturated culture was born. Mad Men tells the story of the fictional Sterling Cooper ad agency. With the benefit of hindsight, the series works a kind of magic; its storyline is structured to bring about a slow deflating of the rakish ad man’s mystique, all the while making the debauched antics of said ad men gripping to witness. At the centre of Mad Men is Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the agency’s alpha male. He’s a true pro, and a

136 |

ladykiller with a penchant for expensive whiskey and cigars. He also becomes, in a feat of superlative character development, the series’ moral centre. As the story progresses, we start to catch glimpses of the thick deposits of existential dread that are piled up at the bottom of Draper’s soul.

another lost soul, his old-guard superior Roger Sterling (John Slattery). Even bit parts are perfectly rendered, like the company’s Freud-obsessed head of research – appositely described by critic Mark Greif as ’a cross between Hannah Arendt and the Wicked Witch of the West.’

Hamm regularly chews the painstakingly recreated scenery as he carouses his way from crisis to depressive crisis. Then there’s the supporting cast – his wife Betty (January Jones),

In Season 6, the rising counterculture movement makes an impression on the office. Keep an eye on Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), as he finally starts to gain the viewers’ sympathy.


A drama series about one of New York‘s most prestigious ad agencies in the 1960s.


Make it your business to visit Pacino’s, Dublin’s premier Restaurant, Bar and Venue

Voted Best Italian Restaurant by Hot Press Magazine two years in a row and resident chef Luca Mazza voted the Best Italian Chef in Ireland for the last two years by Italian Food Critic Paolo Tullio you will not get better cuisine in the country. Using the best of Irish and Italian produce Pacino’s is a prominent member of “Good Food Ireland”, an association that features the best in Irish food producers and providers. Pacino’s now provides entertainment on both Friday and Saturday nights, through it’s Pacino’s At Night Calendar including the best resident radio DJ’s and International Acts playing in the Cellar Venue weekly. W


PH +35316775651

18 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2

DUBLIN’S FINEST CAFÉ BAR ALL DAY DINING SUNDAY BRUNCH & JAZZ PREMIUM BEERS & SPIRITS OPEN TIL LATE WEDNESDAY TO SATURDAY On Dawson Street in the heart of Georgian Dublin, close to the National Museum, National Art Gallery, Trinity College & St. Stephen’s Green, Café en Seine is Dublin’s most stylish bar serving excellent lunchtime & evening food in stunning surrounds. Its opulent decor, soaring interior & vibrant atmosphere make Café en Seine the perfect place to enjoy a slow pint, Irish coffee, tasty food or a lazy Sunday brunch over some chilled-out jazz. Serving food from noon to 9pm Monday to Saturday. Sunday Brunch from 12 - 5pm, Jazz from 2 - 4pm. Open 7 days from noon, until 2.30am Wednesday - Saturday.

39-40 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel +353 1 677 4567

Radio On Demand


Fitzpatrick Hotels

On Demand Radio allows you to select and view your favourite radio shows.



Niall Carroll’s Classical Daytime Niall Carroll brings listeners on a journey through some classical favourites. Relax and enjoy live performances in the lyric Coffee Concert. KIDS

Contemporary easy listening from both sides of the Atlantic brought to you compliments of The Fitzpatrick Hotel Group USA.


Musicals & Movies

Indie Hits

Ceol na nGael

Irish Pulse

Movies & Musicals is the only national radio programme of its kind. Presenter Aedín Gormley‘s knowledge and warm style captivates listeners young and old.

Listen out for your favourite indie tracks and artists including Arctic Monkeys, Pixies and Jack White, to name but a few!

Join Seán Ó hÉanaigh of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, as he brings you traditional Irish and folk music.

Irish Pulse brings you some of the most famous Irish songs in recent history. Listen out for U2, Thin Lizzy and many more!

Rick O‘Shea in the afternoon



Happy Days

Irish Poetry Corner

Chart Hits

Late Date

Join Emma O’Driscoll in this special edition of Happy Days on RTÉjr Radio with songs about flying, exercising during the flight and some fun games that you can play on your journey!

Brian Munn selects and reads verses from renowned Irish Poets: WB Yeats, Oliver Goldsmith and Oscar Wilde amongst others.

Tune in as Chart Hits lifts the lid on the most upto-the-minute pop hits from both sides of the Atlantic!

Fiachna Ó Braonáin presents an eclectic mix of Irish and international tunes on Late Date on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday and Sunday nights between midnight and 2am.



Top Ten

Weekend on One

Weekday evenings you’ll catch ‘The Big Ride Home’ with Dara Quilty on Dublin’s 98FM from 4pm. Dara’s on board right now to count down the top ten songs of the year!

The Weekend on One with Cathal Murray airs every Saturday and Sunday morning between 6–8am on RTÉ Radio 1. It features an eclectic mix of music from all genres.

138 |


Nova Irish Classic Rock For 60 minutes, Marty Miller is here with some of the greatest rock bands around. Sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!

Join Rick O‘Shea from 2pm on weekday afternoons on RTÉ‘s 2FM for music, blather, infotainment, online nonsense and pointless research.


Documentary on One

Best of Moncrieff

The award-winning RTÉ Radio 1 Doc on One brings you ‘Keeping The Door Open‘ along with a shorter documentary, ‘Banna Polar Bears‘, from the Curious Ear series.

Moncrieff is a lively mix of funny, engaging and irreverent issues. Tune in every weekday 1.30–4.30pm on Newstalk 106–108FM.

Music On Demand Browse through our selection of music and create your own playlist from a collection of over 1,000 albums. Why not begin with some of our crew’s favourites below! A L L T I M E FAVO U R I T E S


Amy Winehouse Back to Black Fatboy Slim You‘ve Come a Long Way Baby Moby Play Oasis (What‘s The Story) Morning Glory? E L EC T R O

Depeche Mode

Aphex Twin Syro Basement Jaxx Scars Depeche Mode Sounds Of The Universe Jungle Jungle Sohn Tremors


Andrea Bocelli

Alfie Boe Alfie Andrea Bocelli Opera Anthony Kearns With A Song In My Heart Katherine Jenkins Ultimate Collection Profokiev Romeo & Juliet


Karen O

Banks Goddess Karen O Crush Songs Lykke Li I Never Learn Morrissey World Peace Is None Of Your Business Royal Blood Royal Blood IRISH

The Riptide Movement

Amoric Means To Sedate Hozier Hozier Keith Cullen With Eyes Open Sinéad O’Connor I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss The Riptide Movement Getting Through POP

Jessie Ware

Ariana Grande My Everything Jessie Ware Tough Love Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence Sam Smith In The Lonely Hour Vance Joy Dream Your Life Away



Alexandre Tharaud

Dierks Bentley

Alexandre Tharaud Scarlatti André Rieu Music Of The Night Benjamin Grosvenor Dances Rachel Podger Guardian Angel Rafal Blechacz Chopin: Polonaises



Hypnotic Brass Ensemble


Bill Laurance Flint Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band Landmarks Ginger Baker Why? Joe Jackson The Duke Hypnotic Brass Ensemble Fly: The Customs Prelude RNB

Paloma Faith

Electric Wire Hustle Love Can Prevail FKA Twigs LP1 Jennifer Hudson JHUD Kelis Food Paloma Faith A Perfect Contradiction

Dierks Bentley Riser Brantley Gilbert Just As I Am Nashville Cast The Music Of Nashville: OST, Vol 2 Ray Price Beauty Is... The Final Sessions

Eluveitie Origins Judas Priest Redeemer of Souls Megadeth Th1rteen Motörhead The Wörld Is Yours Rammstein Made In Germany Slayer South Of Heaven ROCK

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz Strut Pixies Indie Cindy The Black Keys Turn Blue Slash World On Fire U2 Songs of Innocence


| 139

Flight Connections at Dublin Airport DUBLIN




Where are you flying to?

Are your bags checked through to your final destination? YES

Follow signs for Flight Connections


Follow the signs for ‘Baggage Reclaim’. After clearing passport control, your baggage belt will be displayed on the screens. Collect your bags, exit through Customs and proceed to Aer Lingus Check-in Terminal 2.

All other destinations

USA Departing gates 401 – 426, allow 15 minutes to walk to gate

Departing gates 401 – 426, allow 15 minutes to walk to gate Departing gates 101 – 335, allow 20 minutes

Have all your required forms filled out.

Follow signs for US Preclearance Aer Lingus Flight Connections Desk Our staff are on hand for any queries you might have. Here you can; - Collect your onwards boarding pass - Check your next boarding gate and flight status

Passport Control and Security Screening

Hand Baggage search

Duty free purchases containing liquids over 100ml must be in a sealed and tamper-proof bag with the receipt inside.

Follow signs for Flight Connections

Gate Information Screens

Our Gold Circle Members and Business Class guests are welcome to visit the Lounge. You can work, eat, drink or even grab a shower between flights.

Enjoy refreshments in one of the restaurants or cafés. If you are travelling Business Class, ther there is our Gold Circle Lounge.


140 |



IRISH COUNTRY COTTAGES & FISHING on the Beautiful Blackwater River Comfortable newly refurbished Self Catering Cottages with Free Wifi, in Beautiful surroundings. Salmon and Trout fishing on 3.5 miles double bank in season. Stabling and hire of Horses available. Lovely private riverside and woodland estate walks. Fortwilliam Rose Collection & Gardens. Sea Fishing, Kayaking, Tennis Court. Convenient for mountains, coast and heritage town of Lismore. Character Pubs and Restaurants Historic Houses and Gardens Racing, Golf courses, Music & Theatre nearby. Dogs welcome. Perfect Winter Break.

Contact Philippa (00 353) 86 467 0857

Cork Airport 1 hrs drive • Rosslare 2 hrs drive • Dublin 2.5 hrs drive

Luxury living with Dublin’s finest views

Seascape is Dublin’s latest landmark development in luxurious modern apartment living. Located in prestigious Clontarf, these elegant and stylish new apartments and penthouses are the ultimate in coastal living only minutes from Dublin City Centre.

+353 1 667 1888


PSRA Licence: 002183

Flight Connections at T2 Heathrow Airport K EY

















C H EC K I N B31

B49 B48 B47A



B33 A16 A17










B43 B42










A21B A23 A24

A26 A25




Flight Connections at T5 JFK Kennedy Airport ARRIVIN G PA S S E N G E RS




17 18







10 9









19 20









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If you have any queries about your connecting flight please ask us. We will do everything we can to get you to where you need to be.

The d hotel Drogheda

Saint Patrick's Cathedral Dublin

A stunning contemporary hotel overlooking the River Boyne in the heart of the Boyne Valley.

The d hotel is only 25 minutes from Dublin Airport and the ideal base to explore the World Heritage Site of Newgrange, the Battle of the Boyne, Monasterboice, Mellifont Abbey, Millmount & Much More...

104 Bedrooms, Wm Cairnes & Son Gastropub estd. 1825, De Lacy’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, Free WiFi & Car Parking. The d hotel, Scotch Hall, Marsh Road, Drogheda T: +353 41 9877700 E:

Open Daily for Visitors or call +353 1 4539472 for details

“...Each Gown Depicts a Romantic Femininity...” An exciting new Luxury Bridal Boutique open in Limerick. /robellebridal @robellebridal +353(0)61 339624 Salmon Weir, Annacotty Co. Limerick


Café Grafton Street

Bewley’s Café Grafton Street has been stirring the hearts of a nation for generations. Boasting a rich cultural and architectural heritage, it is also home to the magnificant stained glass windows by renowned artist Harry Clarke.

78/79 Grafton Street, Dublin 2 Phone: 01 672 7720 Email:

Come and enjoy our award winning hand-roasted coffee and delicious freshly baked desserts in a beautiful surrounding.

Our European and North American Route Network Aer Lingus fly direct to and from over 100 destinations across Ireland, the UK, Continental Europe, Canada and the US. Our vast network and partners will also connect you to dozens of other cities in North America. Visit for more information. Edmonton Saskatoon


Regina Winnipeg

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Orlando Tampa West Palm Beach Fort Lauderdale Fort Myers Miami

Aer Lingus European and North American Network Aer Lingus Regional routes (Operated by Stobart Air) Aer Lingus Regional and mainline routes Aer Lingus partner destinations (JetBlue, United Airlines, Air Canada)

With US Customs and Border Protection Pre-Clearance at Dublin and Shannon airports, you will save time and avoid queues in the US. Arrive in the US before you depart Ireland. 144 |


San Juan Aguadilla Ponce

We are the best choice for connecting Europe to North America. You can travel from Dublin direct to five US destinations, or to Canada, and benefit from up to 70 onward connections with our partner airlines.


Connect with ease from any of our European destinations to our Northern American network via Dublin or Shannon.

Aberdeen Glasgow

Edinburgh Copenhagen Newcastle Leeds Bradford

Belfast Knock


Shannon Kerry


Isle of Man


Manchester East Midlands


Birmingham London (Heathrow) Cardiff


London (Southend) London Brussels (Gatwick)




Dusseldorf Prague

Frankfurt Jersey


Stuttgart Vienna





Nantes Geneva

Venice Milan Verona (Malpensa) Milan (Linate) Pula Marseille Nice Bologna

Lyon Bordeaux


Santiago de Compostela




Dubrovnik Rome



Madrid Corfu


Lisbon Alicante


Athens Catania

Malaga Faro


Tenerife Gran Canaria

Lanzarote Fuerteventura

Try our new online route map You can view our destinations and book your flight directly from our route map. Perfect for viewing from your ipad, it is built using Google maps so no need to install any software, just browse and book!


Our Middle East and Australasia Route Network You can now book flights between Dublin and Abu Dhabi, and have full access to flights across the network beyond Abu Dhabi, to points including Australia, Asia-Pacific, the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. Visit for more information.


Bahrain Abu Dhabi Muscat

Kuala Lumpur Singapore

Aer Lingus routes from Dublin (Operated by our codeshare partner Etihad Airways) Aer Lingus routes via Abu Dhabi (Operated by our codeshare partner Etihad Airways)

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Perth Sydney


FIVE STAR HOSPITALITY IN NATURAL SPLENDOUR Overlooking the picturesque Sheen Falls, just outside the Heritage Town of Kenmare, this 5 star, Relais & Chateaux hotel also features a unique collection of cottages and villas which are perfect for larger gatherings. Situated between the world famous Ring of Kerry and the lesser known, but equally spectacular Ring of Beara, Sheen Falls Lodge offers the best of Irish hospitality in an unsurpassed location. Condé Nast Traveller, Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World 2014: #1 Ireland. Condé Nast, Gold List 2014: Ireland Hotels & Resorts #1. Condé Nast, Top Resorts in Europe: Readers Choice Award 2014 #1.


Glenageary, Co Dublin, Ireland. Tel: +353 (1) 285 3133


sh e Iri Fre iskey Wh tings Tas yday! r Eve

Pre-theatre Dinner: Our pre-theatre menu is available from Tuesday to Saturday starting at 5.30pm to allow guests to reach one of the nearby theatres for 7.30pm.

• Lunch: Lunch is served Tuesday to Friday from 12.30pm-2pm. • Chapter One Restaurant, 18/19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. 01 873 22 66

27-28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 +353 (0) 1 675 9744







Chef’s Table: It is truly a piece of culinary theatre to dine at the Chef ’s table. Guests can enjoy engaging with the kitchen at full service or retreating into their own private dining experience.

Ireland’s Whiskey Experts!



SAINT STEPHENS GREEN INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING Like us on Facebook @ Celtic-Whiskey-ShopWines-On-The-Green

Follow us on Twitter @Celticwhiskey or @Winesonthegreen

Enjoy Wi-Fi and Mobile on board your transatlantic flight today* Wi-Fi on board On our A330 aircraft you can stay in touch with everything that matters, even when you’re in the air. Here’s how to connect your Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Switch on Once the safety belt sign has been switched off, turn on your device and connect to the Telekom HotSpot Network. SSID: Aer_Lingus_WiFi

Mobile Network on board With our on board mobile network, AeroMobile, you can use your phone for text, email and internet browsing, just like you always do**. Stay connected even as you cross the Atlantic.

Connect Launch or refresh the browser to connect to the Aer Lingus portal. You can browse for free along with some of our partners’ sites.

Purchase Internet Access Click the 'Buy Internet Access' button and choose a tariff that offers either one hour of browsing or a 24 hour pass.

Payment Select your payment method which is processed via a secure connection. Credit card, roaming or Deutsche Telekom accounts are accepted.

Username and Password

Switch on your mobile when it is safe to do so and ensure it is in silent or vibrate mode.

Aeromobile Wait for the AeroMobile network signal to appear. If your device does not connect automatically, manually select the AeroMobile network through network settings.

Welcome SMS Once connected you will receive a welcome SMS from AeroMobile. You may also receive a pricing message from your mobile operator. Standard roaming rates apply.

Enter a username and password. You need to remember these if you wish to change device.



** Voice calls are disabled and are not permitted during flight. Remember to manage your settings to avoid automatic data download and roaming charges.

You can now browse, email and surf the internet… enjoy!

One hour pass €10.95 | $14.95 24 hour pass €19.95 | $24.95 148 |

Switch on


You can now use your phone for SMS, MMS, email and browsing the internet.

Standard roaming rates apply from your mobile phone operator *A330 aircraft only.

Personalised Gifts From Our Bogs, Forests & Quarries

Bog Wood Plaques

Engraved Hurley on Marble Base

Slate Plaques, Clocks with Images, Family Crests...

Cloghan Castle


First Class!

Book Today - Travel Tomorrow Cliffs of Moher

• Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty • Waterford & Kilkenny • Cork & Blarney Castle • The Giant's Causeway • The Ring of Kerry • The Aran Islands • Connemara & Galway Bay • The Wicklow Mountains



loghan Castle is an exclusive, self catering venue ideal for that Fairytale Wedding or Party, the self catering option gives the unique opportunity to tailor your day to have it your way! Banquet Hall can seat up to 120 guests with 7 double bedrooms uniquely decorated giving an authentic castle experience in a luxurious way with central heating throughout. Ceremony and Drinks reception can be held on the battlements, in the courtyard, in our landscaped gardens or in our cosy Drawing Room with an Open Fire.

Intl Tel: + 353 91 870102 Email: Proprietor: Micheal H Burke, Chanelle Group Contact us for our Special Offers:

also available from LONDON

Car Free - Care Free TEL:DUBLIN + 353-1-856 0045 e-mail:

Blarney Castle and Gardens

American Restaurant & Bar

A FREE APPETISER for one with a main course purchased on production of your boarding pass Terms and conditions apply

5 Pubs 5 Food & Drink Vouchers Spectacular Connemara Scenery Unique Atmosphere of an Irish Pub Ph: +353(0)87 2238 764

Beidh Fáilte Romhat!

BLANCHARDSTOWN CENTRE Dublin 15. Tel: 01 822 5990 ST STEPHENS GREEN Dublin 2. Tel: 01 478 1233 TEMPLE BAR Fleet St, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 672 8975 DUNDRUM TOWN CENTRE Tel: 01 298 7299 SWORDS Airside, Swords, Co Dublin Tel: 01 840 8525 BELFAST Level 2, Victoria Square, Tel: 028 9024 9050

Managing parking for businesses and consumers.

It’s convenient cashless parking by:



Michelin Bib Gourmand

From Houston, TX to Heuston Dublin ™ is available in 300+ locations across Ireland, the UK & USA. Visit

with over 135 cafes around the world, there’s always something happening at the hard rock. 12 Fleet Street • Temple Bar • Dublin 2 • Tel: 671 7777 •


Most people these days have more than one device and charging them can be a nightmare, especially when you’re travelling. Enter: the ingenious USB Hub Power Adaptor, which allows you to connect and charge up to four USB devices at one time. And even better, the four included interchangeable plugs mean you can do so anywhere in the world.You’ll find it on page 75.


Travel Exclusive €25!



boutique COLLIE DOG

Travelling companions don’t come much cuter... Made from the fifinest nest quality materials, this little guy is fifibre-filled bre-filled and fifinished nished in super-soft faux fur. Find him on page 76.

Start your New Year in style with one (or all?) of these awesome buys...

Want to get fitter, healthier and happier? You need the Fitbug Orb, a discreet button-sized device that tracks your daily activity. It then sends all the data wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet, where you can analyse it on the Fitbug app. Gifts don’t come much smarter. For more info, turn to page 71.



Save €5


Orla Kiely is, without doubt, one of Ireland’s best designers. Incorporate a little classic Kiely into your wardrobe in the form of this gorgeous multi-stem print wallet in one of her signature styles. It’s also the perfect present for the stylish woman in your life. It’s on page 57.

Star buy

On-board P rice €8!



€55 RRP €79 Save €24



Sandalwood & Amber is the heart-warming fragrance from Brooke & Shoals, which comes in this stylish travel-sized diffuser. Combining soft powdery notes of vanilla and patchouli, with comforting sandalwood, this will make the ultimate housewarming or host gift. Check it out on page 58.



Save €4

Check out the new issue of Boutique. Better brands, bigger savings, this is luxury shopping at discounted prices.



One for the team

Competing at the Special Olympics was a dream come true for 21-year-old Cork-born footballer Wayne O’Callaghan.

o represent your country on the international stage is definitely one of the biggest honours in life. Not many people get to do it. So when I was chosen to captain the Special Olympics seven-a-side football team at the 2014 European Games in Belgium in September it meant the absolute world to me, and I knew how lucky I was to be doing it. Sport is one of the most important things in my life. As well as being an athlete with the Special Olympics, I am also studying coaching in Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa in Cork. One day I hope to have a career in this area. I’ve been playing football with Ballincollig Gunners Special Olympics Football Club in Cork for four years. We’re a fairly successful side but playing other teams at European level was always going to be a big step-up. I was determined to do my very best at the European Games and also that my team-mates enjoyed the experience. We had several training sessions as part of Team Ireland in the build-up to the Games, which took


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place in Antwerp. By the time they came around I was really excited and couldn’t wait to get to Belgium. Nothing could have prepared me for the excitement and the atmosphere that greeted the team when we arrived at Dublin Airport for our departure. There were so many supporters there to wish us well with flags and posters, and lots of media came to interview us too. Aer Lingus was Team Ireland’s sponsor for the 2014 European Games and they flew the whole squad to Belgium. Aer Lingus staff made us feel really welcome at the airport. Our captain for the flight even came down to meet us in the departure hall and posed for some photos. Myself and the 45 other athletes left Ireland on a real high. For the first few days we stayed with host families in the city of Geel. We went on day trips and learned all about the history of the area. I was blown away by how welcoming everyone was, and enjoyed learning all about a different country and culture. The 2014 European Games officially got under way on

Above, Team Ireland gather at Dublin Airport before their departure to the Special Olympics. Top right, it’s all in the teamwork – captain Wayne kisses gold.

September 13 at a fantastic opening ceremony in Brussels, that was broadcast on Belgian television. Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium welcomed all of the 2,000 athletes due to compete at the Games, as well as the 1,000 coaches who had travelled from across 58 countries to Belgium. The next day the competition began and we had one victory against Israel and lost against Serbia. Our team played very well – as did Team Ireland overall – but so did the others, so I knew it was going to be very competitive. There were lots of personal bests as well as medals, which was great. After a great run of results the football team made it to the final, scheduled to take place on the last day of competition. Once again we were facing Israel. Even though we had already beaten Israel in the qualifiers, I was so nervous going into the game. I will never forget leading the team out in front of all our supporters. The Irish Ambassador to Belgium, Eamonn Mac Aodha, was there to cheer us on and we also got to meet World Cup winner Christian Karembeu. We won the match 4-0. It was an absolutely amazing feeling to know that we were taking home a gold medal and all the hard work and training had paid off. Our coaches did a fantastic job and really helped us to achieve our dreams. In recognition of our conduct on the pitch the team was also awarded the Fair Play Award. All in all, my trip to Belgium with Special Olympics Ireland was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I’d like to thank Aer Lingus for helping to make it a reality.

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W: E: T: +353 1 902 3603

Profile for Image Publications

Cara December 2014 / January 2015  

Cara December 2014 / January 2015