Slice Of The City - Issue 9

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After the year we’ve all had it has at times felt as though things will never be the same again. And yet we can at last venture out, socialise with friends and family and enjoy some freedom to travel. But there are lasting changes. For some, it will take a little while to feel comfortable in a crowd. For others, opening up has been a long time coming and they’re ready to jump right in. For all, perhaps, we have become little more discerning over the last 15 months, a little more determined that any trip – to a restaurant, bar or a few days away – has to be really special. Welcome back.


Explore our range of Irish family-owned luxury and urban hotels superbly located in the centre of London, Dublin, Bristol Washington DC and Cork

GET IN TOUCH Bristol is the perfect jumping-off point for the rocky coves of Cornwall and all points South-West

GO SOUTH WEST! With a question mark still hanging over international travel, 2021 is fast becoming the year of the staycation. And, if you live in the UK, there is an epic beauty to be found right here - all it takes is a little exploring. Of course, every adventure needs a starting point. A secure place to find your feet and prepare for a longer trip, or a bolt hole to return to at the end of each day – or weekend away. If you’re holidaying in Pembrokeshire or touring the Cornish coast, make The Bristol hotel your jumping-off point. The historic city of Bristol has long been a gateway to the South-West. In centuries past, many seeking a new life in the new world passed


through its ports; today it’s a perfect first stop for holidaymakers en-route to the places beyond. If you’re a day tripper, out to see the sights in Cardiff or discover the mists of Dartmoor then Bristol is the perfect base - where you can hang up your walking boots and head downstairs to dine. If you’re planning the peaks of Snowdonia or a Kernow wave, Bristol is the ideal stopover while you pore over maps and hatch plans. And the city is yours too. Take a tour by boat or bike or, famously, by hot air balloon.’. Start the evening at the River Grille Restaurant or one of the craft beer pubs nearby, before heading out to a club or a gig in Bristol’s harbourside.

Website Instagram @thedoylecollection Facebook TheDoyleCollection ON THE COVER Tommy at The Kensington Hotel by Sophie Glover

Slice of the City is published on behalf of The Doyle Collection by Rivington Bye Ltd. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. All details correct at time of publication but may change.

MAKE A NIGHT OF IT Planning a holiday can be stressful - but the perfect getaway can be a simple thing - no itineraries, no multibookings, just one night of luxury. The new Make A Night Of It package at The Westbury promises just that. Dinner for two in New York-style eatery, Balfes, a luxuriously appointed suite, and, come morning, breakfast however you like it. All in the heart of Dublin’s creative quarter, with the city’s finest shops, theatres and museums just a stone’s throw away. Rates for two from just €390.

News & Views

EAT ME, DRINK ME The V&A is finally re-opening with its much-anticipated exhibition, Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, and for those planning to traverse the looking glass we’re offering a luxurious stay at The Kensington in any room or suite. With free entry to the exhibition and a selection of Eat Me, Drink Me, Take Me treats, this is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a change of headspace. Offer includes full English breakfast, two tickets to Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, Eat Me, Drink Me cocktails in The K Bar and, for those staying in a suite, a commemorative book. Available until 30 September

ARTISAN GIN COMES HOME In 2020, The Westbury launched its first artisan spirit with a limited-edition batch of just 300 bottles. Named for the hotel’s Art Deco cocktail bar, The Sidecar Gin derives its unique flavour from local hand-foraged botanicals in homage to a bygone era with a twist of Dublin character. Now you can enjoy this fine spirit and recreate the lavish atmosphere of the bar with The Sidecar Gin Experience At Home. Crystal cut gin glasses, an infusion kit of juniper berries, cinnamon and star anise, and four bottles of 1724 tonic chosen specifically to complement a 700ml bottle of The Sidecar Gin, price €145. HOME SUITE HOME The Marylebone suites are some of the most spectacular in London; several with stunning rooftop views. While these arrest on arrival, home comforts keep guests coming back. We’ve refurbished our suites and added a brand new Loft Suite, a private onebedroom apartment atop its own staircase, complete with galley kitchen, marble bathroom and sensational views. And, we’ve developed a new Long Stays Programme that offers preferential rates to those choosing to make their suite a home from home. Exclusive discounts are available to those staying over 10 days in any of our suites.

TERRACE IN BLOOM The River Club’s Meadow Terrace has burst into life, transformed by Fox Flowers into a riot of sustainable blooms. What better setting in which to enjoy a Ketel One Botanical cocktail, with its complimentary seed bomb to take home? The team has created a climate-conscious drinks menu, with donations made to the Ethiopian sustainable VITA Honey project with every order. Our Brunch, Bubbles and Blooms getaway includes fizz on arrival, an overnight stay, a terrace booking and brunch with cocktails the following morning. Prices start from €287 per night for two.


OPEN FOR BUSINESS It sometimes feels as though we’ll never get back to normal, but in Dublin we are finding salvation in some really rather fabulous shopping


s we step, blinking into the sunlight, the light breezes and the seemingly endless possibilities of a life post Pandemic unfold before us, it can feel as though every one of our senses has been starved of stimulation. There’s a curious spirit of flatness, giving 2020 and the start of 2021 an almost twodimensional feel, as if we’ve lived purely in black and white with no explosions of colour and flavour, no sights and sounds, no drama, and no sensations beyond the predictable and the mundane. Today, from the tranquil surface of the River Liffey snaking beneath bustling bridges to late-night crowds spilling out into Temple Bar, the polished glamour of Brown Thomas (high heels clip-clopping across marble floors and the rising and falling hum of chatter), to the scent of coffee beans hanging aromatic in the air around artisan roasters, 3fe, Dublin’s fair city is opening again for business, and offering much needed succour for all five senses.

OOOOOH, FASHION Whether over-nighting or enjoying their delicious afternoon tea, for any visitor to The Westbury, the first stop for shopping is just a few metres away - a Dublin landmark, the department store Brown Thomas, which first opened its doors on Grafton Street (though behind a different facade) in 1848. Today it follows the classic department store formula of acres of scent and cosmetics at the entrance, and floors of well-chosen prêt-à-porter and Dublin’s finest arm candy and footwear (beware the cobbles in heels). It’s a tried-and-tested formula, but right now it’s an unalloyed delight for beauty-starved eyes. For a more eclectic selection try nearby Powerscourt Centre - a luxurious mini-mall set in an historic townhouse where you can shop for fashion, interiors, bridal and jewellery at your leisure. In March 2020, the idea of walking around a bustling store or down a busy street, with alfresco diners spilling onto pavements, voices rising and falling, music pulsing from within, would simply have been part of the journey from a-b – undertaken as speedily as possible with no time taken to drink in sights and sounds. Today, even Dubliners are making like tourists – no longer natives hovering impatient behind dawdling incomers – but slowing to savour the variety, the changes of pace and space the city has to offer, and from clamour to calmer – in the atelier-like interiors of Dublin’s independent concept stores. Of these, Atrium is a must-visit – perched in the apex of the Powerscroft centre, Atrium selects pieces from designers from all over the world that share the same sustainability ethos and artisan aesthetic in a collection that spans vegan trainers, Bonne Maison knee-


Dublin’s fair city is opening again for business offering much needed succour for all five of the senses

Left and this page (clockwise from top left) The Garden flower and gift shop located in the hall of Powerscourt Townhouse Centre; The renowned afternoon tea at The Westbury; Dublin instituition, Brown Thomas, flowers from (and the team behind) The Crate; artisan chocolates from Cocoa Atelier; unique clothing and homeware from Scout. Overleaf (clockwise from top left) 3fe coffee roasters team; Bags from Stable of Ireland match the decor of a Westbury suite; Stylish Seven Wood brochures by design company Revert; Stable accessories for men; artisan bowls and baskets from Seven Wood


Seven Wood is a purveyor of design – supreme artistry brought to life in well-turned joinery, contemporary upholstery, statement pieces of furniture and the inspiration of a modernist luminaire. The art and the gifts are pretty good too. Pieces are not designed in house but are curated from some of the best artisans and crafters from all over the world. For those that desire something even more unique Seven Wood offers a bespoke service, too.


highs, cloud-like mohair knits, luxe incense, ethical streetwear, fairtrade jewellery and some very cool sunglasses. Close by, in Temple Bar, Scout stocks a mix of Irish and international brands showcasing utilitarian women’s wear, with oversized dresses, drill jackets, sheepskin slippers and waterproofs from iconic Swedish brand, Stutterheim that’ll keep you dry for ever and a day. Scout is a lifestyle store, so among the threads you’ll see some beautiful homewares, stationery, kids’ clothes and bean to bar chocolate. For the gentleman in quest of effortlessly cut smart casual cotton drill tailoring, the fine knits, sweats, tees and shirts to layer underneath and the wallets, bags and shoes essential to urban living – as well as Aesop groomers and shapers to finish, look no further than the exposed brick walls, wood floors and whitewashed exterior of Indigo & Cloth. They’ve a ground floor coffee bar, too – perfect for furthering everyone’s lifelong love affair with the single estate bean, rich roast and frothy milk in every variant.

A SENSE OF CRAFT If crafts are your jam, Ireland is the workshop of the world and you couldn’t have come to a better place. While a tour of the country will yield weavers, dyers, whittlers, throwers and blowers all to be found crafting away in their natural habitat – their produce is freely available from many the store in Dublin. Take Stable of Ireland, a tranquil haven steps away from The Westbury, scattered with exquisite pieces made by weavers of linen, tweed, wool, silk and cashmere, knitters of alpaca lace (yes, really) and of leather. Crafters featured in Stable of Ireland come from all over the country, united by their use of methods conceived in simpler times and the sheer quality of their work. Our favourite pieces have always been their textured wicker blankets, featherlight mohair throws, tweed caps and signature linen kimono robes.


After all that looking, trying and buying, you’ll be wanting to bury your face into a hand-tied bunch of gorgeously scented flowers, pausing momentarily before deeply breathing in the heady, woody scents of bloom and stem. At the other end of a leisurely walk taking in Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green you’ll find a self-styled ‘little shop with a big personality’, Gingko Flowers. Owner, Bronagh Harte might be a cactus lover but it’s the riot of colour, expert advice and wonderful window displays that will feed starved senses. If you’re sending flowers instead, we’d recommend two florists that are becoming quite the talking point. The Crate is Dublin-based but will deliver nationwide and while their aesthetic is restrained and pure, it only throws into relief the drama and abundance of their bountiful bouquets. We also adore Les Fleurs – a French artisan florist (clue’s in the name) that creates thoroughly modern bouquets for delivery or collection in the Dublin area – as well as crafting some of Ireland’s most exquisite wedding flowers.

THE CHOCOLATIER’S ART While the world is weaning itself off treats post pandemic, there’s one crutch we’re not casting away just yet and that’s the alchemical mood booster that is chocolate. In our opinion, it’s only the mass-produced, sugary stranger to cocoa stuff - distant cousin to the bean to bar – that piles on the pounds, and artisan chocolate can do nothing but good. With Ireland’s sole bean to bar chocolate factory, Hazel Mountain Chocolate source their beans from small farmers and independent co-operatives in Madagascar, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Cuba, before roasting and grinding them into a smooth, rich, intense chocolate that takes three weeks to make. Blended with toasted nuts, dried fruit, sea salt, coffee beans and even seaweed, these craft bars yield intense, perfectly balanced layers of flavour. Their seasonal truffles are absolutely heavenly, too. Self-taught in the fiendishly difficult art of hand-tempering chocolate on marble, Karen and Natalie Keane founded Bean and Goose in 2014 to make single origin chocolate bars by hand, flavouring them with the fruits of field and hedgerow growing near their base in Wexford, from lavender to borage, thyme to marigold. Beautifully wrapped in painterly papers and packaged in craft boxes, Bean and Goose bars are slow to create and should be savoured at your leisure. With their perfectly symmetrical, smooth and shiny square chocolate casings, hand-painted shells and the explosion of flavours within, Cocoa Atelier truffles are like poetry on the tastebuds. They may be created in a chocolate lab (what colour coats do they wear there, we wonder?) in Dublin but the flavours come from all over the world – from Japanese yuzu to creamy Irish butter, single origin cocoa from Papua New Guinea to Lebanese flavours of Pistachio and Rose petals.

DIRECTORY Brown Thomas @officialbrownthomas 3fe coffee roasters @3fecoffee Powerscourt Centre @powerscourtcentre Atrium @atriumdublin Scout @scoutdesignstore Indigo & Cloth @indigoandcloth Stable of Ireland @stableofireland Seven Wood @sevenwoodlifestyle Gingko Florists @ginkgoflorists Les Fleurs @artisan_florist The Crate @thecrateflowers Hazel Mountain Chocolate, @hazelmountainchocolate Bean and Goose @beanandgoose Cocoa Atelier @cocoaatelier


SUITE RE-AWAKENING Four walls never needed a makeover as much as in 2021, and in The Kensington suites wallpaper’s the star


sk anyone what they missed most over the last year of intermittent lockdowns, isolation from family and friends, with very limited possibilities for travel or any kind of change of scene and the last reply you’d expect would be “Oh, funny you should ask - beautiful wallpaper, of course.” Yet, after gazing at four walls tastefully painted in Elephant’s Breath or French Grey for the best part of a year, our eyes crave the luxury of landscape, everywhere. So, while everyone’s longing to travel, even when we’re done with the sights and sounds of one of the world’s most wonderful cities – with its fine architecture, lofty trees, green spaces, places to eat and drink, galleries, theatres, shops and clubs – and we need a rest, we want our eyes to continue to be enchanted, while our bodies and minds are cradled in comfort. These may not have been quite the lofty aims when renowned Dublin architect and long-term consultant on design strategy to The Doyle Collection, Denis Looby, first sat down with Chairman, Bernie Gallagher to discuss direction for the scheduled refurbishment of The Kensington Brompton Suite. Yet their instincts for creating spaces that would beguile all the senses set them off on a journey that would create precisely the mix of embellishment, beauty and comfort to enchant hungry eyes and weary bodies, alike. “Our vision for all The Doyle Collection hotels is to create a home away from home, in the spirit of a beautiful private residence, where guests feel really comfortable and relax and unwind as they would at home”, Denis told us from his Dublin office. “One of our trademarks is to design each hotel in a style that perfectly complements the building, its style of architecture and its location – we never want our hotels to lose their sense of place. So, since The Kensington hotel occupies several large town houses, it really does need to have that elevated sense of a home, though a grand one - and our design conceit for the suites was to take our inspiration from the Victorian era when these houses were built”. Having collaborated with the team on the refurbishment of the other suites at The Kensington, in a scheme featuring home




comforts in sumptuous materials and muted hues, backdrop to an eclectic mix of antique and contemporary furniture, Denis was keen to ensure The Brompton Suite was designed in synergy, but with its own identity. And so he looked back before facing forward. “For such a creative exercise, our starting point is a little mundane”, he said. “It’s well known in hotels that guests generally only use the suite bedroom and bathroom, without really enjoying the other spaces so, for us, the design scheme is only a success when the guest makes themselves really at home. But that’s just housekeeping. Bernie has great taste and personally oversees every refurbishment and when we brainstormed our theme for the new Brompton Suite we felt it needed a fresh approach”. The team’s inspiration wasn’t just in keeping with the vintage and style of the houses, but also with the area’s historic links with the decorative arts. Dating back to the early days of trading and adventuring in the 18th century, porcelain, lacquered furniture, textiles and spices from the ‘Orient’ were highly sought after. While popularity waned, a resurgent love for Chinoiserie décor in Victorian times was down to a German, a post-Opium entente, a new love for baroque and the early mass production of wallpaper. It wasn’t any old German – Prince Albert adored Chinoiserie and, as soon as relations between Britain and China thawed – they had chilled following The Opium Wars of 1839-42 - he brought many pieces out of storage and back into daily use. In the latter half of the 19th century, a trend for ornate, baroque interiors saw Chinoiserie becoming fashionable again. And, finally, with the 1839 invention of the first machine to print rolls of paper, wallpaper (previously bespoke, hand block printed and extremely expensive) became genuinely affordable and extremely popular, bringing Chinoiserie into middle class homes all over Britain. In the years since, wallpaper has gone in and out of style – but right now it’s absolutely having a renaissance. While the Orient-inspired paper we used in The Brompton Suite (Lotus Garden by Schumacher) and our Chinoiserie prints were inspired by the location and vintage of The Kensington hotel (close as it is to the decorative arts institution that is the V&A), they are absolutely bang on trend too. In challenging times fashions (in interiors and clothing) always become more dramatic as we seek refuge in beauty and fantasy. So, it comes as no surprise that the top trend in wallpaper globally has shifted from being soft, soothing understated walls in 2020 to high impact for 2021 and beyond. Particularly popular are all manner of texture and storytelling – from wallpapers moulded like painted bamboo to panoramas



and trompe l’oeil. Wallpaper printed with what are effectively landscape paintings covering entire walls are absolutely top of the trends, with Google searches for ‘mural wallpaper’ rising 300% in 2020. These, more than any other style, bring an alternative reality into your space and offer escapism within four walls. Texture, also, is huge. Partly spawned by Instagrammers and youtubers (and, no doubt, TikTok-ers when they finally leave home ;-)) feature walls come in oversized, hyper-realistic fur prints or textured like wood, bamboo, even marble (some verging on the stilton-esque). While texture prints may have risen in popularity partly in line with the explosion in digital backgrounds, customers aren’t buying them literally to act as backdrops, but because of the depth and character they bring. Trompe l’oeil, too, is super popular, while botanicals feature everything from modern chintzes to pimped palm trees and high contrast rainforest scenes – like a UV-lit Victorian glasshouse. Tapestry is another texture trend – again featuring botanicals. While nature takes all the top slots, geometric wallpapers are also a major story – to the extent where the armchair psychologist might opine we’re all desperately seeking order following a year of chaos. Though it might just add up to an appreciation of some very fine wallpaper.

SUITE DIRECTORY Though wallpapers emphatically set the baroque scene in every Kensington suite, the furniture, furnishings, art and lighting are very much the stars. Most of the art comes from the Gallagher family’s private collection – as does some of the furniture. The full interior scheme was created with London design studio, Timothy Mather (, a long-time Doyle Collection collaborator best known for his rather glamorous domestic interiors. Wallpapers and textiles came from US decorative arts titan, Thibaut ( and British brand, Schumacher ( Julian Chichester ( made us some beautiful custom pieces, while Chelsea-based Vaughan ( designed the lighting, both sharing a signature classic-with-a-twist style. Our friends, Northern Ireland-based Orior (, created the furniture.

SUITE DEALS While our luxurious, welcoming suites are all keenly priced, with business travel trends suggesting that actual trips will diminish but the time spent in one place will increase, we have seen a rise in the numbers of business travellers seeking longer term bookings. So, we are now offering discounts of up to 30% on longer-term bookings. To find out more, and to see our rooms and suites please go to:



With most socialising taking place out of doors for quite some time, people-watching has become one of the nation’s favourite sports…


hile we may now be careering towards a long hot summer, for many months those chilly afternoons and slightly shivery evenings spent outdoors clutching chilly glasses have defined a new form of socialising. As we all leaned longingly towards terrace heaters (as often tantalisingly just out of reach as they were scalp-tinglingly rather too close) every time the sun disappeared behind a low cloud, shoulder-robing an arctic puffer as soon as night fell, it was hard not to wish that hot cocktails were a proper thing.


watch an eternal parade of great looks, bad haircuts, ridiculous shoes, lovers’ tiffs and every kind of hand-holding – from those first thrilling days of young love to the iron grip of a harried parent keeping a jumping jack of a child under control, should never be under-estimated.

But these inconveniences, pre-Pandemic the kind that could render even a fun night a bit of a failure, we all discovered to be far outweighed by that wonderful feeling of being among people. Obviously seeing friends and family, though in limited numbers, makes such a difference, but we’d be fools to overlook the joys of sitting comfortably and watching the world go by.


Belgian cartoonist Hergé once said of people watching, “La rue est une musée pour tous!” (the street is a museum for everyone) and, while museums might not be everybody’s thing, the opportunity to

Though more commonly associated with warmer climates, lingering outside a café lining a sun-soaked stone piazza or plaza, people-watching isn’t just a slice of living la dolce vita, it’s an essential part of our non-verbal communication, receiving the

great and the good), and the legendary Old Marylebone Town Hall (destination for celebrity hitchings including Paul McCartney & Nancy Shevell, Antonio Banderas & Melanie Griffith and Liam Gallagher & missus nos 1 & 2), there’s always the possibility of a passing A-lister or two.

WHILE THE GIRLS WATCH THE BOYS WA “Marylebone Lane is hands down one of the best places for peoplewatching in London”

messages people give out to the wider world and scanning and decoding body language. All of which enables us to form judgements that are much deeper and more resonant than a rather binary sense that someone appeals or does not – the snap assessments we all make whether we like it or not.

DETECTIVE WORK It might seem like a cop-out when, in a detective novel the sleuth is just enjoying his morning coffee outside a café when something strikes him as unusual, proving to be a vital clue in solving the case – but it’s closer to reality than you might think. To the highly-trained eye, people actually give away almost as much with their body language as a baggage scanner might communicate about the suitcase within. So, a good detective will be pretty sure if someone is hiding something, telling a lie even when in conversation with another out of earshot - or feeling emotional and trying to disguise it. In fact, even a keen amateur people-watcher could expect to paint a pretty complete picture from the visual

still and take it all in. From obvious stuff around identity and self-esteem, to less immediate intelligence around, niceness, narcissism and whether a person is extrovert or not, it’s all there for the observer prepared to pay attention. You can go down a rabbit hole with all this, though, and our inclination is a little less flatfoot and a little more high heel when it comes to people-watching, we’re more than happy to embrace our hidden shallows and keep our decoding to the delights of a good coat or a fabulous hat (where did she get that?). So, if you, like us, are more Instagram than Investigator, you’ll enjoy enormously the people-watching to be had at 108 Brasserie on Marylebone Lane, or Dalloway Terrace at The Bloomsbury.

The Dalloway Terrace is a different story. Previously a very pleasing outdoor space for summer afternoon dining, it has been transformed by the Doyle Collection team into a Fitzrovia hotspot, a destination for influencers and eye-candy drawn by a programme of change and an understanding of the power of the visual – seasonally re-dressed in everything from a riot of blooms to a winter wonderland courtesy of London’s most sought-after florist, McQueens. Indeed, The Dalloway Terrace has become something of a destination for some of the Metropolis’ most anticipated events, with a sponsor for every season and a great deal of pose, aim and shoot to amplify the ambience. The Dalloway Terrace vision was to set the scene with an ever-changing backdrop and in so doing shift the armchair sport of people-watching up a notch, spanning the digital and analogue age. In Instagram, we have seen a revolution in the way people collectively engage with our universal desire to watch the boys and the girls and the people of every other flavour as they walk by. It’s a vision that has seen the number following @dallowayterrace on Instagram pass the 90,000 mark, the highest of any hotel restaurant in the UK. People-watching indeed.

Marylebone Lane is hands down one of the best places for people-watching in London. Between the normal daily traffic on a pedestrian thoroughfare linking two of London’s smartest neighbourhoods, Mayfair and Marylebone, spanning Bond Street, Selfridges and Marylebone High Street many is the passing fashionista. While proximity to the Chiltern Firehouse (always packed to the gunwales with the


DESIGN FOR LIVING Upon the opening of our new grand Penthouse Suite at The Dupont Circle, Ruth Gavin had a chat with renowned designer, Clodagh


here’s something wonderfully intuitive about Clodagh. The way she works feels organic, instinctive and harmonious, but of course it takes an absolute rigour to achieve her unique balance of luxury, sustainability and comfort. A rigour which has seen her work commissioned in over 30 countries and lauded throughout her career. In Clodagh’s world practicality and beauty make seamless bedfellows; respect for place, people and environment is palpable in every space she creates. Resident for the last 25 years in New York, Clodagh is CEO of her eponymous design company – a multi-disciplinary studio of designers and architects – her work sought-after in every sector. Clodagh routinely wins awards and in her spare time is renowned for her tireless philanthropic work, most notably with her own charity, The Thorn Tree Project. She has a passion for travel (over 100 countries and counting) and an absolute commitment to environmental issues. In the last 10 years, Clodagh has published three books sharing her philosophy of life-enhancing minimalism and wellness through design. She’s indemand as an inspirational speaker, she teaches and, in 2019, celebrated her first solo photographic exhibition. Entirely


unsurprising that Clodagh sees herself as a 24-hour person! Clodagh’s earliest days were spent in Cong, County Mayo, a village in the Irish countryside, distinguished by two factors – it is set on an isthmus and was the location for Oscar Wilde’s summer house, a property in which Clodagh spent her early childhood and found her first inspiration. “In Ireland, as a child, I grew up in the depths of the country and was fascinated by light, fragrance and shadows.” Though destined to work in the arts, it was misfortune, in the form of a serious riding accident at the age of 15 that changed everything. Lying immobile for a year, it was inevitable Clodagh would scour every bit of reading matter at her disposal, and most fortuitous that she chanced upon the headline ‘Why not be a dress designer’? It flicked a switch. Until that moment Clodagh had no idea one could make a living by design but as soon as she realised, her progress was unstoppable. Within two years she was back on her feet, had quit school, moved to Dublin, dropped her surname and set up a couture house, all in short order. Clodagh Fashions was an immediate success, exporting a spirit of modern glamour into the wardrobes of the great and the good. Looking to shift into space design, Clodagh stepped towards the Big Apple.

Despite Clodagh’s phenomenal success she wears her achievements lightly. Perhaps her lifelong passion for Feng Shui and its notions of freeing energy to flow unhindered have aided her ease with accepting and making the most of any opportunities that have come her way. Certainly, there is a serendipity in the way Clodagh came to work with The Doyle Collection. On a private visit to her childhood home, Clodagh was introduced to The Doyle Collection Chairman, Bernie Gallagher. They bonded over a shared love of that rare mix of warmth, comfort, luxury, authenticity and glamour that makes a hotel feel both extraordinary and just like home. Which brings us to Clodagh’s most recent creation, the Grand Penthouse Suite at The Dupont Circle. Topping such an iconic example of mid-century architecture, the suite needed to feel like a crowning glory. So, Clodagh and her team were tasked with the entire creation of the space. The suite is now complete and we were delighted to find a moment in Clodagh’s busy day to discuss the project. Q How did you approach the Penthouse? Each project is an entity in its own right and though we have our working ways, we approach every commission as a totally new process. Our first thought is to look outwards – and get a sense of place. For the Grand Penthouse we spent time wandering Washington and forming an impression. It’s clean, it’s a business city, it’s the diplomatic centre of the USA – in some ways the world, so we embraced all of that. There’s something glamorous about diplomacy, so we wanted to bring that into the space. Also, the hotel is a great example of mid-century architecture.

Left: Clodagh and early years as a fashion designer surrounded by models. Right: Projects on which Clodagh and her team have worked extend from Manhattan townhouses to spas and museums. All show her elegant signature style.


Q. So what’s the design story? We see ourselves more as creators of experiences than designers and our ideas define but never confine. When we stayed in the hotel we saw guests from all generations. But there was also a real feeling of purpose and an energy you would expect in the seat of Government. So, we brought that into the design. The look and feel is a contemporary twist on mid-century vintage, taking classic modern forms and adding influences from other times or places. Q. Tell us about the materials you used in the suite. Obviously, everything we choose has to fit our green criteria – we’ve always been environmentally conscious. I joke about it but I do consult what I call my ‘inner housewife’ – and check it’s easy to clean, as well as beautiful and luxurious. In this suite, the fireplace is defined with a beautiful slab of stone, the fluted dark wood-panelled doors were inspired by my father’s old roll-top desk and the bedhead is a fabulous wedge of walnut. The clean lines of the furniture are softened by luxurious textiles and buttersoft leathers – and every chair, bench and sofa is fully tested by the team – we do a lot of sitting down and standing up when we’re choosing seating. We’ve used orange highlights throughout – in the velvet cushions, high-shine copper and cupboard interiors – it warms up the natural palette. Q. Where did you find all those beautiful pieces? All over the place. We have textiles and artefacts from Africa. Much of the furniture was commissioned especially


for the suite, as was the mid-century style chandelier – it’s a nod to the glamour of travel. Speaking of which, the bathroom is pristine white marble, perfectly shiny, threaded with grey veins – very sexy. Q. You’ve long been interested in Feng Shui – but how does that translate into design? Honestly, it’s central. I firmly believe a harmonious space enhances wellness. A good space should always comfort and harmonise. In this we took the pillar and mirrored it from just above ground, so it feels like it’s floating. We worked on the layout – making sure walking through is effortless and flows. The lighting we designed to marry clarity with comfort, offering crisp task lighting on desks and warm, soft light in the bedroom. Though there are rules of Feng Shui, it’s just common sense to make everything flow. Plus, we’ve always worked to the old adage, “don’t make something unless it can be useful, and if it can be useful let it be beautiful”, and in the Penthouse we’ve created a space where guests can do anything from celebrate a family party on the huge deck by day and round the cosy fire by evening, to a business gathering making the big decisions that could affect a nation. See doylecollection/com/dupontcircle for more information on our Penthouse Level Suites

Right: The Penthouse Suite in The Dupont Circle is a study in midcentury vintage with a glamorous twist, acted out in dark timbers, luxe textiles and chalky paintwork.

‘Walking through the Penthouse Suite is effortless. Though there are rules of Feng Shui, it’s just common sense to make everything flow.’



A PERFECTLY SMALL AFFAIR While new rules for weddings have been challenging for so many, we’ve taken a moment to pause and look anew at the way we habitually tie the knot – and there are so many positives to keeping things compact…


t’s a paradox universally acknowledged that the more landmark the occasion, the more swiftly time flies by, with events anticipated for years seeming to leave curiously little impression. The final disc is spun, the last glass raised and the last goodbye said. As your wedding day draws to a close, although your morning hair and make-up session may feel a lifetime ago, the intervening hours will most likely have cantered by in something of a blur. While being a guest at a large wedding can be absolutely the most fun one can have, for brides and grooms it’s not unusual to need a glance at their photographs and their guests’ socials as an aide memoire, or how would they know what was done and said, who wore what, who met whom, and all the other gossip that has been doing the rounds since their big day?

couples small was simply not an option with the pared-back guest list proving controversial amongst extended family that may have been invited to a larger celebration being overlooked for the fun friends that better captured the couple’s zeitgeist.

INTIMATE There’s something rather fabulous, even a little decadent about absolute grandeur on an intimate scale. It feels really homely but at the same time a little old-world and entirely glamorous.

While for many couples it has been heartbreaking to have to postpone their big day until we can meet again in numbers – for many more secretly dreaming of a smaller celebration the new rules have been something of a blessing in disguise. From May 2021, as lockdown lifts, weddings for up to 30 guests are mercifully back on – and by decree on an entirely different scale to pre-Covid times.

for many the new rules have been something of a blessing in disguise

In fact, many a couple might suggest that the lion’s share of the fun has been had by their guests, with their day blending into a timetabled daze of marks to hit, speeches to make and half-learned first dances to nervously take. Historically – and in more normal times – urban weddings have tended to be a bit less OTT and are often more compact and bijoux than their country cousins, also, arguably, more effortless and chic, so we do have a stylish precedent for a smaller wedding. However, pre-Covid, for many

Yet there are so many upsides to a smaller wedding. It’s the opportunity to spend a relaxing day with your very favourite people with time to speak to each and every one of them at your leisure with all the stresses and strains somehow magicked away. There are other considerations too. Even for couples with considerable resources, a smaller wedding offers a great opportunity to think about how they’d really like to use them. For many more it’s a huge financial relief. With the average 2019 wedding setting British couples back £31,974 and costing €28,000 in Ireland, it’s refreshing to be able to rethink your big day from scratch. Take food and drink. Above a certain number, with a budget that’s not unlimited, there can be a tipping point at

From top: Dining under crystal at Foxhall, The Dupont Circle; the elegance of a fine London town house at The Kensington, and the bookish charm of the Seamus Heaney Library at The Bloomsbury. Left and overleaf: The Grafton Suite at The Westbury


Keeping things small creates so many possibilities and offers so much more choice – from being able to host in a space you love rather than one that ticks all the practical boxes to being really flexible in the shape of the day. FORMAL Little doesn’t have to mean low-key and, in fact, the luxury and glamour of a small celebration feels amped up and high octane in a thoroughly formal, grand environment.

which dining starts to feel like ‘catering’, losing a little of the finesse and the artistry of a really good restaurant. But with a party of up to 30 you can savour course after course of a wedding breakfast created in the best restaurant kitchens, you can enjoy bespoke cocktails made to order by award-winning mixologists, and you can serve as fine a wine list or champagne as you’d like. If you prefer, you can keep it quite simple on the day – with an afternoon tea or a delightful buffet – and save some budget for a spectacular party when restrictions allow.

RELAXED There’s an effortless insouciance about a setting that’s spacious, flooded with natural light, beautifully designed and impeccably finished yet understated without any displays of ostentation.

With rooms too, there is so much more choice. It’s not just a question of having to take a space that can accommodate everybody – you can choose whether you prefer a sleek modern background or something more elaborate or ornate – and the way you want to do up your dining – from the more conventional set up to the drama of a single long table with the wedding party mixed in with your guests. You could entertain with live music - a string quartet, a cabaret singer or band to serenade you while you eat, or kickstart the dancing. If your guests don’t know each other well, why not mix up the seating and place people based on a roll of the dice. You can play games, sing karaoke, hire a quizmaster or even bring in dancers and acrobats. From top: Featuring a mahogany bar, dramatic mural and eponymous mirrors, The Mirror Room at The River Lee. The lofty William Jessop Suite at The Bristol has floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of space. The Grafton Suite at The Westbury is chic, elegant and unfailingly glamorous.


Whatever you choose, at The Doyle Collection we are well-versed in hosting weddings and celebrations of all kinds, with a contact book of the finest suppliers and some beautiful spaces, from dramatic and opulent, under swags and chandeliers to art deco glamour, chic modernism to bloom-festooned terraces…

From top: The Courtyard at The Marylebone - an unpretentious, outside-in setting is perfect for a summer wedding. What better place to celebrate than beside The Lookout at The River Lee. Or, for chic urban weddings, where better than The Palm Room at The Marylebone?



Events & Happenings Step out of your hotel and into our pick of this month’s most captivating events

The Bloomsbury A POETIC MASTERPIECE When your cast includes the majestic Michael Sheen, Karl Johnson and Siân Phillips, when the words are Dylan Thomas’ lyrical masterpiece and the location is the Southbank’s recently re-opened National Theatre, well, you know you’re in for an absolute treat. Under Milk Wood National Theatre 16 June – 24 July SHAKESPEARE TO THE MAX With its fairy monarchs, star-crossed lovers, comedic mechanicals and masters of misrule, this modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy – featuring rebellious teens, oppressive regimes, colourful pinatas and the Hackney colliery band - will re-open Shakespeare’s Globe theatre with quite the bang. A Midsummer Night’s Dream Shakespeare’s Globe 20 May – 30 October TIME TO REFLECT Thought-provoking permanent collections and proximity to The Bloomsbury means the British Museum is always worth a visit and this ‘rich tapestry of artistic expression from artists born in or connected to countries from Iran to Morocco’ featuring over 100 works exploring gender, identity, history, politics and poetic traditions, is a must-see. Reflections, contemporary art of the Middle East and North Africa The British Museum 17 May – 15 August


BEAUTY AND THE BRUTALIST What better setting for a celebration of the ‘Art Brut’ of French post-war modern artist, Jean Bubuffet than the brutalist architecture of The Barbican? It’s the first major showing of his work in the UK for over 50 years, so immerse yourself in the gritty, fantastical drama. Jean Dubuffet Brutal Beauty Art Gallery, The Barbican 17 May – 22 August Top The Secret World of Plants Kew Gardens, to 19 September. Left Alice at the V&A. Top right Nero-The Man behind the Myth, British Museum, to 24 October. Right: We The Curious, Bristol.

The Kensington CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER We can’t wait to see this theatrical show charting the origins, adaptations and reinventions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, from original manuscript to the global phenomenon it is today. Guests at The Kensington can book our special package with tickets included (see NEWS). Alice: Curiouser & Curiouser The Sainsbury Gallery V&A Museum Opens 22 May DESIGN FOR LIFE A reinvention of the listed modernist Commonwealth Institute, John Pawson’s Design Museum is a soaring architectural masterpiece beside Holland Park. If that weren’t enough, the Charlotte Perriand (design giant of the 20th century) exhibition traces the life and celebrates the work of a free-spirited woman overshadowed by her male counterparts. Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life The Design Museum 19 June – 5 September

MAKE AN EXHIBITION Exhibition Road was built for the Great Exhibition of 1851, runs from South Kensington to Hyde Park and is the location for London’s world-

renowned Museums and research Universities. Take a wander above ground or via the Victorian subway – the busiest foot tunnel in the UK, and especially handy when it’s

raining – and take in the Science or National History Museums at your leisure. The Science Museum The Natural History Museum Exhibition Road

The Marylebone STAR-CROSSED LOVERS For many Londoners, childhood memories include an evening wrapped in blankets, sipping hot chocolate at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Located in the park’s inner circle, the theatre was founded in 1932 and, while the experience is a delight, it’s the wonderful performances that live longest in the memory – Romeo & Juliet is our pick of the summer. Romeo & Juliet Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre 17 June – 24 July EMIN & MUNCH Tracey Emin’s voice demands to be heard and this visceral, personal exhibition showcases the poignant beauty of her confessional pieces alongside the masterworks of one of her

IT’S A PAVILION Every year Hyde Park’s Serpentine Gallery commissions a semi-permanent structure designed as a social space with café, events and exhibits – set in the heart of Kensington Gardens (the West End of Hyde Park) a short walk by the Serpentine boating lake. The annual commission is competed for by the best in global architecture and in 2021 the Pavilion was created by Johannesburg-based Counterspace. GO! SEE! Serpentine Pavilion Kensington Gardens 11 June – 17 October


very favourite artists, Edvard Munch. It’s one of this summer’s hottest exhibition tickets and booking is essential. Tracey Emin/Edvard Munch, The Loneliness of the Soul Royal Academy 18 May – 1 August

THE SHIP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s iconic ocean liner was the world’s first of its vast size, and the first to be built of

from the 1990s. Vanguard Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement M’shed, Princes Wharf 26 June – 31 October

(and grand) Victorian palm houses with the riot of colour you’d expect within, an herbarium, a very nice café and a shop. Less commonly, Dublin’s Botanical Gardens

iron. Other firsts included the most powerful steam engine previously used at sea and dismissal of paddle wheels in favour of a screw propellor to power the beast. Visit! SS Great Britain Moored in Bristol Harbour Open all year round Until 1 March 2020

Croke Park

are free to enter. National Botanical Gardens Dublin Glasnevin, Dublin 9 Open every day except Christmas

ESCAPE TO PARADISE Kenyan-born artist, Michael Armitage creates colourful, dreamlike works drawing from Titian, Goya, Manet and Gaughin but addressing contemporary themes of politics, history, sexuality and civil unrest via largescale paintings on traditional Ugandan Lubugo bark cloth. The exhibition also includes 31 works by six contemporary East African artists. Paradise Edit Royal Academy 22 May – 19 September

Bristol WE THE CURIOUS With a Bristol Harbourside venue like an indoor festival, We the Curious is a handson exhibition space and planetarium on a mission to remove boundaries between science, art, people and ideas. That may sound lofty, but the experience is very much handson, with exhibits you can touch and no question off limits. We The Curious One Millennium Square 10am – 5pm (check times) OUTLIER Outlier marries the powerful poetics of Malaika Kegode and the soaring music of Bristol band Jakabol in a coming-ofage tale of isolation, friendship, decadence and hedonism in a rural Devon setting. Outlier Bristol Old Vic 12-26 June


AT THE VANGUARD There’s something in the water in Bristol, legendarily home to global phenomenon, Banksy as well as the legendary Aardman studios. Whatever the secret sauce, Bristol’s contribution is being celebrated in an exhibition of street art featuring some seminal works

HOME OF HURLING With the hotel attached to the legendary Croke Park Stadium, home of the GAA, Ireland’s largest sporting organisation and protector and promoter of Gaelic games (primarily hurling and Gaelic football) – why would you stay without taking in a tour of the stadium – and, ideally, a match? Croke Park Stadium Croke Park, Dublin 3 KEEP IT BOTANICAL Like all good Botanical Gardens, Dublin’s boast beautifulplantings, several obligatory

THE NAME’S JOYCE Ireland’s most famous son, James Joyce, is commemorated in a cultural centre close by Croke Park. Set in a very fine Georgian House, visitors learn all about the artist, his influences and the impact of his work, as well as discovering the

Above The Dance by Paula Rego, Exhibition, Tate Britain, 7 July - 24 October

man himself in a recreation of his Parisian living quarters. James Joyce Cultural Centre 35 Great George’s Street

The Westbury

craft of whiskey cocktail making. Naturally, there’s a shop too. Jameson Distillery Tour Bow Street, Dublin Check tour times

50-YEARS OF PERFORMING ARTS A culture centre in the nation’s capital named after its most famous son naturally raises expectations. As home to the

The River Lee

IN THE BEGINNING Christ’s Church Cathedral, originally a Viking church and Dublin’s oldest building, received its first visitors over a thousand years ago in 1031. Its bells rang over the medieval buildings of the city and continue to mark high days and holidays, and the 12-century crypt, Medieval nave and gift shop are open to visitors all year round. Christ’s Church Cathedral Christchurch Place, Dublin Open every day GRAND CYCLING Canals always offer a fascinating view of a city – snaking through urban, industrial and rustic in a seamless way, and Dublin’s Grand Canal Way is no exception. Grab a Dublin bike from Grand Canal Dock and enjoy the period houses of Portobello, the Docklands and the Locks & The Barge Pub. Dublin Bikes Grand Canal Dock, Any sunny day WHISKEY GALORE There’s nothing like a distillery tour to occupy a pleasing afternoon. Jameson is the whiskey synonymous with Ireland and its distillery, in the heart of Smithfield, offers a fascinating mix of tour, tasting, blending and mastering the

Above Lullaby for the City (in the time of a Pandemic) by John O’Brien for Cork Midsummer Festival, 14-27 June

happenings, while it’s home, known locally as Smithsonian Castle will be open to visitors. The Smithsonian 600 Maryland Avenue Check opening hours

EDUCATING CORK Nano Nagle Place, located in the heart of Cork City is a space that honours Nano Nagle’s vision of empowerment for a contemporary world through education, community inclusion, and spiritual involvement. The Place features a museum, heritage rooms, gardens, the Good Day Deli, a design store and a book shop. Nano Nagle Place Cork City May – December

The Dupont Circle IT’S A CENTURY One hundred years of modern art might sound like an oxymoron, but legendary Washington art collector Duncan Phillips’ eponymous gallery was founded in 1921, making him an early adopter of the notion that modern art might be worth exhibiting. And it’s thinking that’s built a collection of nearly 5000 pieces spanning Picassos, Rothkos and Van Goghs. The Phillips Collection 1600 21st Street, NW Year round, Wednesday -Saturday

National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, and with a mandate to protect and celebrate both classic and contemporary arts, The Kennedy Center is marking 50 years of impeccable performance in 2021. The Kennedy Center 2700 F St NW, Washington 175 YEARS OF SMITHSONIAN The world’s largest museum, education and research complex, the Smithsonian oversees all 17 museums in DC and there are plans to commemorate the grand institution’s anniversary throughout the city – with events, exhibits and

A SENSE OF BELONGING The Lewis Glucksman Gallery is always worth visiting, but with its latest celebration of Irish Contemporary Art, the curators have invited 16 artists to create pieces around ‘residency, placemaking, identity and nationhood’ – shining a light on the joys and challenges of belonging in modern Ireland. Lewis Gluckman Gallery University College, Cork May - December MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL Featuring the work of over 160 artists, Cork’s annual, multi-disciplinary Midsummer Festival features emerging and established artists sharing performances, artworks, music and short films - accompanied, of course, by food and drink. Public participation is de-rigueur and there are digital streamings, too. Cork Midsummer Festival 14-21 June For programme details check


How Tommy the greyhound conquered London “

I’ve never understood why humans have holidays. Where’s the fun in leaving home when you don’t have to? Sure, I go and visit Ella – she walks me when my humans are too busy – and gives me treats. But I don’t get it.

a very large town house – much grander than ours – and, well, I like this place already. I’m petted by a man at the door and a lady carrying a tray, and a young guy who takes the human’s cases actually gives me a treat.

Anyway, when I see the suitcases coming out I scuttle away to hide. But where’s Ella? The suitcases are packed and ready. Even the taxi has arrived.

We follow him up to a beautiful room – the carpet is so soft I’m thinking it might be a bed, then I see an actual bed in the middle. He shows us the bathroom and a big doggy bed for me. He must be joking. I’m going to sleep on the fluffy carpet and, if my humans look away for long enough, I’m on their bed.

To my surprise we all get in and drive off. I see Nala, next door’s puffball cat (AKA my NEMESIS) sitting on a car. What with snarling and straining to get to Nala, who is being pretty rude - then drifting into a lovely daydream as we pass the park - I am surprised to pull up at the station.

“I’m petted by a man at the door and a lady carrying a tray, and a young guy who takes the human’s cases actually gives me a treat.” 28

H’mmm. I loathe trains. You can’t poke your nose out of an open window like you can in the car, you can’t sit on the seats (even when they’re empty) and you’re always getting in people’s way. On the plus side, you can usually find a crisp or tasty snack on the floor, so that’s something. We take another taxi to

‘C’mon Tommy!’ Humans pour water into my bowl. ‘Food please, now!’, I say. ‘Shh shh, no barking’, they reply. For a while they make coffee and gaze at the treetops. I bark at a squirrel and they remember I need a walk. We head to the park – I’m expecting a little bit of grass, lots of ‘No Dogs Allowed’ signs, and a concrete square with hoops and nets. But, OH MY DAYS, there are horses trotting along a sandy road, trees a-plenty, ponds, ducks, a lake-y thing, sculptures, follies and miles of grass to run, sniff and chase squirrels across. The local dogs seem

quite snooty – especially a very annoying poodle who looks down her nose at me and trots off every time I try and say hello.

for a walk and finish with a drink outside an art pavilion in the park. The humans are very keen to get back for tea.

Back at the hotel I dine from my dog bowl and snuggle into my doggy bed before the humans head down to eat. I mean I’m super comfy and all, but as soon as they’ve gone, obviously, I jump onto their bed. OOOF. It is unimaginably luxurious like lying on a cloud.

I can see why. It’s all served on a big fairground wheel, with shelves of sandwiches and pastries, plus I can see Big Ben crafted in what looks like biscuit, The Gherkin in white chocolate, a red wobbly phone box which the humans say is rhubarb jelly, and the top of The Shard in what looks like tempered chocolate. Wow! My guess is the tea is all about London landmarks.

So relaxing is the bed, that the next thing I know they’re back – and catch me red-handed. I try the comedy option raising my front paws and rolling over in surrender. I even say ‘It’s a fair cop’. But they just tell me off for barking again. Morning arrives with a quick stroll along lovely wide pavements – and investigations of the roots of some rather fine and very large trees. My humans both get back into bed and somebody brings breakfast to them there. The smells are divine. I dribble a bit. ‘M’mmm, Clonakilty black pudding - my favourite’, I say, hopefully. ‘Shh, shh. No barking, Tom…’ Today is very busy – we walk miles, window gaze, we meet some friends – we shop, we go

“I jump onto their bed. OOOF. It is unimaginably luxurious like lying on a cloud.”

I can’t have the I don’t like

chocolate, I know – and it anyway, but some of the other things smell so good. I sit ever so politely just waiting and waiting with just the occasional whimper, hoping and praying for just a little tiny tasty bite then, just when I’d almost given up hope, there it was. A perfect, good-sized chunk of tender steak pie, with golden pastry, straight off the fork. Yum! I snarf it and it melts in my mouth. ‘M’mm - deeeelicious’, I say. ‘Tommy!, no barking’ say the humans... I sink my nose into the rug and silently savour the flavour.

WELCOME WITH A WOOF We now welcome dogs at both The Kensington and The Marylebone. Tommy stayed at The Kensington. Mitzi chose The Marylebone. She insists she met Tommy in Hyde Park and found him uncouth, vocal, and a little too eager to please - and chose neither to join him for a subsequent afternoon, nor to review her stay, which included a delightful walk in Regent’s Park, a great deal of attention when perched on a chair outside 108 Restaurant, and a rather stylish poodle clip (she chose the cupcake cut) at Mr & Mrs Small (www., dog groomers of New Cavendish Street.




ROAD TRIP TO BLARNEY AND KINSALE When you’re on holiday with family, you need a plan. Our sure-fire cure for inertia? A road trip from Cork. 8.00 RIVER LEE ROOM SERVICE Pre-empt moans and groans by ordering room service. We’re yet to discover the malaise that cannot be alleviated by breakfast in bed. 9.30 READY, STEADY, GO Rustle your family downstairs and head for the car. Don’t forget the sun cream (you never know!) – and car snacks. 10.00 ALL BLARNEY Traffic permitting, 20 minutes will take you to Blarney Castle. It’s worth doing the full tour and rising to the ramparts before lying back and kissing the stone. 11.30 DRIVE TIME Turn around and take the N71 to Kinsale. Forty minutes should see you there. 12.15 KINSALE MUSEUM Have a wander around town and visit The Kinsale Museum set in a Courthouse built back in 1600 – with an idiosyncratic collection spanning the Spanish Armada to the Lusitania, by way of the boots of Patrick Cotter O’Brien, AKA the Kinsale Giant. 1.30 LUNCH STOP In Kinsale, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to food of any sort, and there are cafes aplenty. Gourmets love Saint Francis Provisions on Short Quay (all ham hock terrine and seaweed sourdough), less fancy palates prefer Main Street’s Lemon Leaf Café while, if you’re dining out, try the iconic Bullman pub by Charles Fort for a pint of the black stuff and the freshest oysters imaginable. 3.00 CHARLES FORT The storied 17th-Century fortress on Kinsale harbour is star-shaped like Michelangelo’s bastion fortresses of Firenze from over a century earlier. Go! Ramble the ramparts. Take in epic views. 4.30 LOOP THE LOOP A short drive takes you to the Old Head of Kinsale. The 3.7-mile loop might be too long but do explore the ancient Celtic ruins and famous lighthouse. 7.00 DINNER ON THE RIVER Head home for a leisurely dinner on the River Club Terrace and a very good night’s sleep.


LIVE LIKE A LOCAL Far more densely represented per capita than in any other city in Ireland, Cork’s destination antique shops and showrooms are scattered throughout the city and span finds of all kinds - from precious one-offs to acres of vintage tea dresses and piles of bric-a-brac. For serious antiques, start in the Victorian Quarter where many of the city’s premier emporia are to be found, but as you walk, keep your eyes peeled there are treasures everywhere… TICK-TOCK For those who prefer passing time to be audibly, even reverently marked, rather than flying by unacknowledged, entirely inaudible on the OLED screen of your smartphone or Apple watch, we cannot recommend Stokes Clocks highly enough. Extraordinarily skilled repairers and restorers of clocks (indoor and out), watches (for pocket and wrist), as well as, curiously, bells, Stokes Clocks are also purveyors and purchasers of all manner of time pieces – as well as being a fascinating place to browse. UP, UP AND AWAY If beautifully restored period furniture and exquisite upcycling is more your thing, look no further than Salvagem. Located further down MacCurtain street towards Merchant’s Quay the gems salvaged, repaired, smoothed,

highly polished and re-baized (is that even a thing?) have included antique chairs, tables, ceramics, lighting, art and the aforementioned billiards table. REACH THE PINNACLE Pinnacle Antiques buy and sell an eclectic selection of finds of all sorts – from highly-polished school benches and desks, vintage crystal glasses and decanters, silverware, ceramics, even rattan and woven seating. pinnacleantiquesllc/?hl=en GOING, GOING, GONE… Across the River Lee it’s a short walk to Cook Street, and a Cork City institution, the ‘Longest Established Family Firm of Auctioneers in Cork’, Woodwards. While you may not wish to go home with a 6-bed rural fixerupper in need of a new roof, the showroom also features many more portable items - from silverware to furniture, crystal to art. And there’s nothing quite like the theatre of a live auction.