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Le Cool Dublin Walking Experience

I did something this weekend that I’ve never done before….so now so, how many of ye can say that?

As you may or may not already know, Le Cool Dublin launched recently. An online magazine, which publishes itself into your email every Thursday full of all the events you can look forward to in Dublin, Le Cool Dublin is part of a wider European family of Le Cool websites. However, the Dublin site has decided to diversify a little bit and now, instead of just winging a newsletter to their subscribers once a week, Le Cool are bringing you to the streets, or the streets to you….ok you and the streets together.

After sponsoring them the meagre amount of €15 on Fundit.ie (it’s a recession ok……I had to save for flights to Oz), I was granted a free pass to their first walking tour yesterday. To be honest I hadn’t a clue what to expect and arrived along with little expectation.

Sites taken in along the walk included David Foran’s exhibition at Clyne Gallery; a trip to the Redress pop up shop in the Powerscourt Centre as part of Dublin Better Fashion Week, one of Dublin’s oldest barbers – The Waldorf on Westmoreland St where we got a great introduction to the barber tradition along with a sneak peek into their back room where there’s an array of old barber tools and hairdryers; Adair Lane (it runs parallel to Fleet St, Quay side) where there’s a really weird exhibition of placards to Irish pop culture icons like Gay Byrne and the showbands among many others; and a trip to “closing today” pop up restaurant Crack Bird on Crane Lane.

My favourite stop along the way was the Project Arts Centre where Eleanor from Dublin Dance Festival spoke to us about the festival and in particular about the piece of work currently being staged in the Project by Balbir Singh – Decreasing Infinity (video below but musicians are different). The piece is a meeting point between modern dance form and traditional Kathak dancing which originates in Northern India. The piece is also accompanied by a tabla player and a very cool human beat boxer. After Eleanor’s introduction, we were allowed to watch the performers rehearsing and they also gave a quick Q&A session after. Click here to find out more about booking yourself in to attend the show today or tomorrow.

In all the tour was really different, not touristy at all and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who loves discovering new things in Dublin, and instead of flicking through an events guide would like to get out on the street and get introduced to new venues and events. I’d even recommend it to tourists as the first thing for them to do when they land in Dublin if they don’t want to do the general run of the mill touristy stuff.

In all, a fun and cheap thing to do with your Saturday afternoon, click here for more info on “booking your boots in”: Le Cool Dublin Walking Tours.

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Filed under Dublin, Things That Impress Me, Uncategorized

Theatre and Food: Cheap as Chips

I’m back after over two weeks of holidays away from the dusty concrete of Dublin and already missing the lowing of cows and the feel of grass under my feet down the country. To make up for it, the silly season of theatre festivals is coming up. The Ulster Bank Theatre Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival launched their festival line-ups recently to great excitement and promotion. I personally found myself dishing out over €150 for tickets to only a handful of shows, picked out of a multitude which I would really love to see.

It is a pity that the Ulster Bank Theatre Festival in particular cannot offer cheaper tickets to shows, €25 per ticket is quite expensive. So, it did gladden my little theatre and food loving heart to spot this offer recently offered by the Project Arts Centre and Conrad Gallagher’s Salon des Saveurs. For €34, you get:

  • A 2 course meal at Salon des Saveurs (Food impressario Conrad Gallagher’s recent culinary venture on Aungier St.) For €45, you can get 3 courses
  • A complimentary bottle of wine
  • A chaffeure service to bring to you to the Project
  • Your ticket into the Colleen Bawn

This is quite an impressive offer by any standards and it’s good to see that Salon des Saveurs is offering this deal as an ongoing Pre-Theatre menu and chauffeur service. The menu’s pretty good too with some tasty looking salmon dishes, scallops, beef and quail and whatever anyone wants to say about Gallagher and his financial exploits, it doesn’t seem like he was ever the type to turn out sub standard food.

To their credit, the Project have been quite industrious with attracting a crowd in and regularly features pre theatre offers in conjunction with Milano’s, the restaurant franchise which seems to be popping up all over the country.

As a side comment, the Ulster Bank Theatre Festival have developed accommodation deals with a number of hotels across Dublin during their festival period, but I think it would be great to see something similar in terms of restaurants or gastro pubs for the audience members in Dublin or even a special offer on tickets – maybe mid week buy one ticket get a second half price but maybe they have a big enough audience and won’t need to worry about getting bums of seats. Either way I’m close to broke but still willing to dish out for the Colleen Bawn!

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Filed under Dublin, Theatre