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3 Things to Do This Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Happy New Year, or 新年快乐 as they’d say in downtown Hangzhou, or indeed certain parts of Capel Street. Today marks the first day of the Chinese New Year, and heralds the beginning of the year of the Rooster. With a steadily growing Chinese population in Ireland, particularly in Dublin, and calls for the creation of a Chinatown area around the Moore Street/Parnell Street area (I, for one, say yay to that idea), the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival is getting bigger and bigger. So with that in mind, here are my 3 suggestions to celebrate the year of the Rooster:

1. LEARN HOW TO COOK CHINESE FOOD
If you have the time and the moola, definitely go to this unique Chinese Cooking Course! Taking place in the Cooks Academy Cookery School on South William Street on January 29th, this is a special full-day cookery with Kwanghi Chan (he of Soder + Ko brilliance), and award-winning American-Chinese food writer Mei Chin. At the course, attendees will learn to prepare four delicious traditional dishes. The course runs from 10am – 4pm and costs €140. More details on the course can be found here.


Spring Fair Festival Dublin

2. EMBRACE CHINESE CULTURE AT THE SPRING FESTIVAL FAIR
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Fair will be celebrated at the CHQ Building at Custom House Quay on Sunday, February 5th. There will be loads of colourful dragons, fashion shows, martial arts displays, and you can even have a stab at a spot of Chinese Calligraphy. It’s a great opportunity to see the Chinese culture in all its glory. And did I mention there’ll be food? Yes indeedy, food and drink stalls galore! Find more info here.

3. TREAT YOURSELF TO SOME CHINESE JEWELLERY
No, I don’t mean hit up your nearest Dealz shop for some brass tat! No Siree Bob! I recently came across this brilliant Irish designer, Aine Breen, at the Irish Design & Craft show. While living in China, our Aine decided to learn Chinese calligraphy, because apparently Chinese telly isn’t all that great. Anyhoo, on her return to Ireland, she created a beautiful collection of fine jewellery engraved with the Chinese symbols for love, happiness, and luck. And who doesn’t need a bit of that! You can check out Liwu Jewellery on her website.

happiness-collection-necklace-earrings2
Images shown courtesy of https://www.dublinchinesenewyear.com/ and http://www.liwujewellery.com/

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Mammy’s Day | Top 3 Picks in Dublin

Afternoon Tea at the Shelbourne

So next Sunday, March 6th is the celebration of Mammies. In other words, it’s payback time! It’s always a toughie trying to think of something different to, and better than, last year’s pressie triumph, and let’s be honest here, you’re playing for the highly coveted Best Present from an Offspring Award! Stakes are high, and you’re in it to win it! So here are some recommendations of where in Dublin to take the Best Mammy in the World this year:

SHELBOURNE HOTEL, ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN, DUBLIN 2
For Mammies over a certain age, there’s no hotel in Ireland that holds such a perception of unattainable luxury and old-style glamour as the Shelbourne Hotel. Situated on Stephen’s Green, the iconic hotel has hosted guests such as Michelle Obama, Charlie Chaplin, Princess Grace, and the Kennedys. The Boston ones, not the ones from West Cabra! So to take her for afternoon tea to the spot which has housed so many stars and luminaries would be the ultimate treat, and not just on Mother’s Day. Served in its Lord Mayor’s Lounge, to the accompaniment of a live classical pianist, the hotel offers a Chocolate version, in addition to the Classic Afternoon Tea . Chocolate Afternoon tea costs €45.00 per person or Classic Afternoon Tea with a glass of champagne, €57.00. If you can’t get a table, you could always go to their No. 27 Bar & Lounge for Jazz brunch, and soak up all the atmosphere the Shelbourne has to offer.

Tel: 01 6634500
Website: www.shelbournedining.ie

Afternoon-Tea-gallery2

THE SEAFOOD BAR, DAWSON STREET, DUBLIN 2
Only open since November, this spot is truly decadent with its extravagantly decorated restaurant filled with luxurious chandeliers, mirrors, and theatrical velvet curtains. Owned by Wrights of Howth, the delicious menu demonstrates their pedigree in seafood, with dishes ranging from fish & chips (you know who’ll be ordering that) to a full lobster, if you’re pushing the boat out. For those in the family who don’t like seafood, there’s also meat and chicken dishes available. And for mother’s day, they are giving mammies a goody bag filled with luxury gifts!

Tel: 01 5312260
Websites: http://www.theseafoodbar.ie/

The Seafood Bar, Dawson Stret
FALLON & BYRNE, THE PEOPLE’S PARK, DUN LAOGHAIRE
Housed in the former Tea Rooms in the People’s Park, this beautifully restored Victorian building is the perfect backdrop for a delicious lunch, or early dinner (it closes at 8pm on Sundays). What makes this place particularly special is its location in the heart of Dun Laoghaire. Make a day out of it. Walk along the pier, stop at Teddy’s and have a nostalgic 99, or stroll along the coast to Sandycove. The best gift you can give is your time, and experiences will always be remembered and cherished, much more than any tangible object. Time together. That’s what it’s all about. Happy Mother’s Day!

Tel: 01 230 3300
Website: http://www.fallonandbyrne.com

Fallon & Byrne, Dun Laoghaire

Photos above courtesy of Shelbourne Hotel, The Seafood Bar & Fallon & Byrne