These sweet little home luxuries will lift your spirits this weekend
Being a patron of Electronic Sheep knitwear feels a badge of honour, of joining the cool set. Established in 1998 by childhood friends and NCAD alumni, Brenda Aherne and Helen Delany, the label’s illustrative and typographic style is genuinely unique, presenting characters and pop culture elements with all the artistry and verve of a cult graphic novel.
Their scarves and sweaters have been spotted on celebrities including Saoirse Ronan, Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson, Aisling Bea and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore over the years; Aherne and Delany are hot on collaborations too, regularly working with, and raising money for, social initiatives and charities.
Electronic Sheep is much more than style over substance too: we’re talking high quality wool – some scarves with a smidgen of polyester, for a bit of stretch – to keep you cosy this season and beyond, perfect for throwing over your loungewear when you’re schlepping around at home or on your daily walk. Cheery, Irish-designed knitwear to last a lifetime that’ll keep you toasty while looking cool – what’s not to love? Scarves from €49 (sale price).
The change in season can cause our skin to freak out. From bracing autumnal walks to putting the heating on at home, the visage in particular takes a battering in autumn/winter, so extra nourishing skincare is key.
Superfood Cleansing Balm by the Irish natural brand Nunaïa is exactly that, lifting even the most stubborn makeup, such as waterproof mascara, without a fight, emulsifying on contact with warm water, warm hands and a face cloth. The small company works directly with farmers in Peru, who use sustainable, certified organic farming practices and 100 per cent natural ingredients that include sacha inchi and maracuja, aka passion fruit, that are rich in vitamin A, C and E, antioxidants, and nutritious fatty acids.
Never mind if you’re still rarely wearing makeup these days: this cleanser will remove the day’s impurities and pollutants like a charm. And don’t let the not-inconsiderable price tag of €59 (100ml) put you off: as a little goes a very, very long way, which means it will literally last for several months, even up to a year. It also smells like a spa, for added feel-good factor.
For many of us this year, pyjamas have become like a second skin. While working remotely, for many of us, slouchy nightwear has crossed over into daywear, our office wardrobe gathering dust but for the occasional Zoom meeting (though often still wearing our PJ pants down below, right?). Weekends, though, our for our Sunday Best, and Irish company Moon and Mellow have some of the loveliest sets.
They’re 100 per cent organic cotton, which means fully breathable – no sweaty rayon or viscose here – and are softly tailored for a relaxed and comfortable fit. Fans of the dark side will love this navy animal print, while those with a penchant for paler shades will be more inclined to the blush pieces. Long sets €190.
It’s time to dust off your sequins, lash on your deepest fake tan and brush up on your bogo pogo: Strictly Come Dancing 2020 is nigh!
Defying all the social-distancing odds, BBC One’s primetime dance competition returns to our screens this weekend, with 12 celebrities (of varying calibre) competing to win the glitterball trophy in the December final: this year’s names include comedian Bill Bailey, actor Caroline Quentin and boxer Nicola Adams, who, in a Strictly UK first, has a same-sex pro partner, Katya Jones.
This year’s format is, naturally, very different to its predecessors: three judges are seated at their own individual podiums (Bruno Tonioli is stuck in LA); group dances were pre-recorded over the summer, the rigorously tested professional dancers having group-isolated in a hotel; dancing couples are in a support bubble and the studio audience is all but a handful of previous years. Still, if last weekend’s kitsch as Christmas launch show is anything to go by, the class of 2020 is guaranteed to bring much-needed sparkle into our weekends. Series 18 of Strictly Come Dancing starts on BBC One this Saturday at 7.25pm.
Those living within 5km of Howth will be spoiled for choice by Mámo’s Hatch Menu this weekend. The bijou restaurant opened a year ago and has become a firm neighbourhood favourite thanks to its discerning husband-and-wife owners Jess D’Arcy and chef Killian Durkin and their raft of North County Dublin supplier. In lieu of not being able to open its doors during lockdown(s), Mámo offers an exquisite Hatch Menu every Thursday to Sunday, with dishes strictly preordered by phone and collected at allocated time slots.
This weekend’s seasonal mains include McNally’s crown prince pumpkin, white onion, pied de mouton, Howth truffle (€16), Wild Atlantic cod, sobrasada, coca beans & cockles (€20), and a Beef Wellington for two served with rosemary and garlic potatoes & bearnaise (€67), with red wine pairings at €18-20. Dither between snacks, starters and sides – Howth nettle and thyme arancini, preserved lemon; Lambay Island crab salad, pickled fennel, coriander, toasted macadamia; chargrilled broccoli, smoked yogurt and almonds – while leaving room for a knockout dessert.
In other heartening news: Mamó is launching a new grocery shop, Margadh – also on Harbour Road – next Wednesday, where it’ll purvey fine food and wine, the latter of which in particular should be enlightening, what with D’Arcy’s expert knowledge of lesser-spotted vin.
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