300 Years of Smithwick’s

The following is a guest post by Christian Hughes. Christian is a social media advocate and enthusiast and runs the popular digital marketing blog, Digitology. He can also be found on Twitter: @christianhughes Culch has written about Guinness of late with Arthur’s Day just gone but what many people don’t realise is that Guinness isn’t Ireland’s oldest pint, and St. James’s Gate isn’t Ireland’s oldest brewery! 2010 marks the 300 year birthday for the Smithwick’s St. Francis Abbey Brewery in Kilkenny. To celebrate the milestone, the brewery has thrown open it’s doors and is inviting the public to tour the brewery. Always striving to keep you guys informed and not needing a second invite to view a brewery, Anthony and I were delighted to recently attend a private tour to get the full story.

Get down here! Galway Arts Festival 12-25 July 2010

Summer heralds Galway at its most attractive: the city’s waterways achieve colours of an almost impossible intensity for the short duration of the warmest season. White swans swarm the Claddagh and Spanish Arch, blue dragonflies dance over the canals whose banks heave with explosions of flowers, and the daylight plays that golden trick that attracts painters and photographers west. Of course, there’s the Beijing-rivalling number of bikes that listlessly cake the canal beds, and the bobbing keg caught in the weir’s wake, but surely they only serve to remind the visitor of the playful high jinks that these heady days imbue in the imbiber. Thus is set the backdrop against which the Galway Arts Festival takes place, kicking off this year on the 12 July and running until the 25th. The full programme is available online here, and bookings can be made here. A few of the theatre highlights include: … There’s more

Competition Closed: Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, Midnight Poe and The Happy Prince at Dalkey Book Festival

**Competition Closed – Winners will be contacted** Summertime and the living is easy…local towns and villages are coming up trumps with the usual round of summer festivals and this year there’s a brand spanking new one to add to the calendar. Hold onto your hats, I’m about to sing the praises of one of them like the inky-fingered book geek that I am. The first Dalkey Book Festival kicks off on Friday June 18th and runs until Sunday 20th and their programme of events is worth getting excited about. If you’re the bookworm kind, it has all of the expected elements of a book fest with talks from Marita Conlon-McKenna (she of Under the Hawthorne Tree) on writing for children, John Connolly and Declan Hughes on 10 Crime Novels to Read Before You Die, Conor McPherson on Writing for the Stage and of course Dalkey’s most famous writer in residence … There’s more

Looking for something different this bank holiday weekend?

Then why not head along to the inaugural Greystones Americana & Roots Weekend which takes place over this coming June bank holiday weekend. The first of its kind in Co Wicklow, the festival will feature lots of fine live music, family activities and master-classes, oh and the sun may well shine! And better still all music events are a recession busting FREE of cover charge! The festival will feature bluegrass, roots and alt country acts from both sides of the Atlantic. You can be sure they’ll be bashing out all kinds of Americana goodness. It’s an all day event Saturday and Sunday, buskers are welcome and there will be an abundance of sessions. There’ll be a good old timey atmosphere, banjos, washboards and a full pig on a spit barbecue for that down home authenticity! For the kids there’ll be bouncy castles, face painting, hot dogs and a rodeo bull! Artists … There’s more

Rugby Seven’s comes to Kinsale this Bank Holiday weekend

Do you like rugby? Are you free this weekend? Can you get to Cork? If you’ve answered yes to the questions above then you’re in for a treat, as this May Bank Holiday weekend the rebel county plays host to Ireland’s foremost rugby sevens competition, the 2010 Heineken Kinsale Seven’s.

Farewell to north inner city Dublin – Part 3: The Coffee shops

For part 3 of my (long) farewell to the north inner city, I’m focusing on the coffee shops. And trying to avoid the franchise ones. In Cahoots is found a couple of doors away from the wonderful Chapters book store on Parnell street. It opens until around 8 o’clock most days, and has a friendly atmosphere. The good bits: Dirt cheap. Friendly staff. Fast service. Close to Henry street, the Ilac centre and  Chapters book store. Killer deserts, to do some extra damage to all your problem areas. The bad bits: Sometimes gets noisy if you’re trying to read a book. Coffee isn’t great, it can taste a little scorched.

Not joyful abandonment, just looking abandoned.

(Cross-posted from Caricatures Ireland) I think this is very sad. Than you for visiting Macnas. We are currently taking time out to re-imagine and update our website and we will be back in the not too distant future! Please call again. I really hope that’s true, but when a company pulls all its contact details from its landing page it doesn’t bode well in my opinion.

Farewell to north inner city Dublin – Part 2: The Restaurants

For part 2 of my farewell to the north inner city, I’m going to focus on the restaurants (Part 3 will be the coffee shops). As with part one, I’ll only be focusing on on places I actually visited, so you won’t see a review of Chapter One here, as I’m not a multi millionaire (OK, the prices aren’t that bad, but the waiting list for a table is longer than a Tolkien novel).

The Wax Museum Plus is now open in Dublin. Photos and thoughts from a walk around.

Here’s a picture for you. What sort of memories, if any, does it provoke for you? Photo via dkimages.com What about this one? When I was growing up and only getting to Dublin once a year (the sister or meself in the All Ireland Dancing Finals in the Mansion House) there was no greater treat than the National Wax Museum over on Granby Row, Dublin 1. God, I loved the place. As poor as the models were, as dark and dingy and made of plastecine and sticklebricks that it seemed to be and as often as I went there, there was no rival to it, simply because of how bad it was. Bad though in a very entertaining way. The tunnels frightened the bejaysus out of me. I was sorry to hear that it was closing down in 2005 (though at that stage I hadn’t been to it for years) … There’s more

Dining in Dublin? There’s no better time than Dine in Dublin week.

Dublin can be an expensive place to go out for a meal. Trust me on this. Due to work commitments I eat out a lot. Therefore I’m delighted to see that the Dine in Dublin week is coming back. From Monday next, October 12 to the 18, there’ll be 50 city centre restaurants taking part in the initiative offering people special rates of €25 or €30 per person for their three course dinner menus after 7pm. Yum! The list of restaurants reads like any foodie’s dream. A lot in there are on my “would love to if I could afford it list” including Alex at The Conrad, Balzac, Bang Cafe, Café Novo, Chatham Brasserie, Ely CHQ, Ely Wine Bar, Fallon & Byrne, FXB, Gallaghers Boxty House, Hugos, Jaipur, Koh, Monty’s of Kathmandu and Tiger Becs. For the first time too there’ll be a 10% discount off the lowest quoted accommodation … There’s more

Lads, are we seriously going to Scotland?

The founding Culch.ie Fathers, Rick & Darren and some of us Culchieites hauled off to the Highlands of Scotland last weekend to see the lovely Dave Gorman perform on a decommissioned train carriage by Loch Ness. We had planned on a long rambling post detailing our every movement over the weekend, but we are terribly lazy and at the end of the day a puncture picture says a thousand words. More photos of the trip can be found on Flickr. Read more about Dave’s journey here.  

National Campaign for the Arts launched

Yesterday 23 September saw the launch of the National Campaign for the Arts at The Ark Cultural Centre for Children. There were faces from all walks of Irelands cultural scene there to show their support for the cause, to talk to anyone who would listen about how the cuts proposed by the McCarthy Report and the possible cuts in the next Budget would affect them as artists, their work, the work of future artists and current struggling artists. Here is what some of the attendees had to say about National Campaign for the Arts:

There’s SO MUCH happening in Dublin for Culture Night 2009

Are you ready for Friday night in Dublin? Are you ready for some culture? This is the fourth Culture Night and it is, to many, one of the most eagerly anticipated cultural nights of the year. With more cultural events crammed into one evening than any one person could possibly do, it’s certainly going to be a busy night for the families, friends and tourists about to take part. This year, organisers Temple Bar Cultural Trust have expanded Culture Night into Tralee, Sligo, Letterkenny, Mayo, Wexford and Roscommon, while Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford are again taking part. Will’s posts on Cork are here and here. So in Dublin over 120 organisations will be opening their doors until late. There is so so much happening that I’ll direct you over to their website or to download the programme if you haven’t already, but I wanted to tell you some of … There’s more