29th Aug

Digital Detox: How to Switch off on Holidays

Selous, Tanzania

Technology has transformed travel, this we know. We book holidays online. Our trips are inspired by photos and snippets shared via friends on Facebook or Instagram. We stay tuned with Skype, Whatsapp and a gazillion other communications apps. Our devices are portable. Wi-Fi is ubiquitous, making it easier than ever to work and connect on holidays. But here’s the thing. What if you don’t want to stay in touch? What if you want to enjoy a holiday without your phone…

28th Aug

Electric Picnic: Kevin Thornton’s Africa

ethiopia, electric picnic

As most of us know at this stage, Electric Picnic is about far more than music. The annual festival, set for Stradbally this weekend (August 29-31), boasts one of the most eclectic programmes going – with acts and performances including comedy, spoken word, the fantasy landscape of Body & Soul, a theatrical enclosure made of creative camper vans and, of course, food. Now in its fourth year, EP’s Theatre of Food is located in the Mindfield (Spoken Word) arena, and promises…

26th Aug

Inside Ballyfin: Ireland’s Most Expensive Hotel

Ballyfin, Gold Drawing Room

Driving up the long and winding avenue through Ballyfin Demesne, I felt like a traveller in the golden age of Irish country house hospitality. My wife and I were stealing 24 hours to ourselves. As the sun-splashed façade of this handsome, neoclassical house came into view, three staffmembers greeted us from the steps. They took our car keys, guided us inside. Beyond the sandstone, inside Ballyfin, our feet landed on a Roman mosaic dating from the first century AD. Hunter wellingtons…

25th Aug

The Average Restaurant Tip in Ireland is €5.97…

Platform, Bray

New research published by Amárach in conjunction with AA Hospitality Services reveals a great deal about Irish people’s propensity to tip in restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and taxis. In the two months leading up to the poll, which sampled 1,000 people throughout the country, the average tip awarded to restaurant waiting staff was €5.97. That was also the highest amount awarded to the service providers listed – followed by €4.14 to bar staff, €3.78 to hairdressers/beauticians, €2.99 to takeaway delivery staff and €2.95…

31st Jul

Five of Ireland’s Most Unusual Festivals…

medium-Puck-Fair-queenkissinggoat

By Genevieve Lyttle Throughout the Irish summer, we’re spoilt for choice with regards to music and food festivals. But what about something a little more offbeat? If you’re looking for unusual festivals to visit over the remainder of your summer, then look no further than the green fields of home. Puck Fair When? 10th – 13th August 2014 Where? Killorglin, Co. Kerry Details: puckfair.ie Claimed as Ireland’s oldest festival, Puck Fair (pictured above) is running some 400 years and to the outside…

29th Jul

Review: Cafe Rua, Castlebar

Cafe rua

Is it a café? Is it a deli? Is it a restaurant? In fact, this tasty little template for the production, sale and enjoyment of simple Irish food is all of the above. Or at least, a little bit of all of the above. Castlebar’s Café Rua has been open over a decade now. In that time, the torch has not only passed from Ann McMahon to her children, Aran and Colleen; it has seen a second branch (‘Rua’) open…