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Only four shopping weeks to go and here are some events to get you in the Christmas spirit…

Christmas at Dublin Castle: November 30th until December 22nd
Each Saturday and Sunday in December Dublin Castle invites you to enter the magical world of the Nutcracker. The upper courtyard is transformed into a traditional Christmas market and choirs every Saturday and Sunday will be performing under the tree from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Enjoy a tasty treat from our Christmas vendors, including mulled wine, hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies and traditional chimney cake. The craft fair will take place on December 15th from 10.00am inside the Bedford Hall.

Check out their Christmas programme by clicking the link below:

Christmas on the Square: December 1st
This Saturday, December 1st, the second annual Merrion Square pop up shop will be taking place in Number 45 Merrion Square. To kick start your Merrion Christmas there will be a one-day pop-up shop on December 1st with leading Irish designers and irish artisan food producers bringing their beautiful irish-made products to No. 45.

Check out their website for further details:

Christmas at Farmleigh: 7th – 22nd December
Experience the magic of Christmas at Farmleigh with Christmas markets and carol singing every Saturday and Sunday. They also have Christmas Concerts. The Velvettes is a unique vocal group based on the classic swing combos of the late 1940s and early 1950s. They model their vocal blend on the style of the Andrews Sisters. A typical Velvettes set list is packed with songs from Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Hoagy Carmichael- to name but a few. Tickets are allocated on a lottery basis. The closing date for ticket applications is at 10am on Wednesday December 4th. 2 tickets per winner, and only successful applicants will be notified.

Check out the Christmas Programme:,25285,en.html

The Docklands Christmas Markets: 12th – 23rd December
Everyone’s favourite Christmas Festival is back again for the 9th consecutive year, bringing Christmas cheer and magical festive treats to the heart of Dublin from the IFSC at Georges Dock. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever with a few surprises added to the regular line of events including an entertainment area taking place on the event platform in George’s Dock. The Victorian Carnival, the fantastic artisan food and craft market and of course Santa’s grotto will all be back to help make your festival experience a magical one.

Click on the link below for more information:

Dublin Port Winterfest at Point Village: 28th November to 23rd December
The Point Village will be transformed with the sights, sounds and aromas of a traditional Christmas market. You’ll find food stalls serving treats including Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Crepes, BBQ Bratwurst and Bockwurst, Hog Roast, Chinese Noodles, Chocolate Fountain and a Christmas Bakery. There is also an ice-rink, santa’s grotto and amusement rides.

Check out their website for more details:

12 Treats of Christmas Food Tour
French Foodie in Dublin brings you on her ’12 Treats of Christmas Food Tour’ this December.
Mulled wine, chocolates, mince pies and other Christmas treats will be sampled during this festive walking tour, a stop in a restaurant for lunch is also included. Join a small group of Christmas lovers to share some delicious food and good company. French Foodie will bring you around some of her favourite spots to indulge with 12 different treats.

To book click on the link below:



Farmleigh, an estate of 78 acres situated to the north-west of Dublin’s Phoenix Park, was purchased from the Guinness family by the Irish Government in 1999 for €29.2m. The house has been carefully refurbished by the Office of Public Works as the premier accommodation for visiting dignitaries and guests of the nation, for high level Government meetings, and for public enjoyment. Since 2001, they have operated a Summer programme that opens the house and gardens to the public.

Projects and events across a range of disciplines are included from literature to the visual arts, from music to food and gardening. There is music in the gardens on a Sunday, Farmleigh Food markets and Courtyard Movie Classics in August like Pulp Fiction and Alien and other events. You can enjoy Music in the Gardens in Farmleigh this Sunday 18th July, with The Dublin Concert Band.

Check out the full Summer Programme for 2010.


For the second year running Bord Bia is presenting SeptemberFest at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park. The event which is coordinated together with the OPW takes place over two days from 12th to 13th September. The event is open to consumers and entrance is free.

SeptemberFest showcases a selection of independent drinks producers from the island of Ireland including beer, whiskey, cider, mead and liqueurs. This year the event will also include cookery demonstrations, live entertainment and a host of food stalls will also be present with tasty snacks and dishes to accompany the selection of artisan drinks on offer. The OPW has organised a cultural programme to appeal to all with a variety of bands playing on both days and additional entertainment to include street entertainers and circus performers.

The backdrop of Farmleigh House is second to none and the regular Food Market will also be taking place on the grounds over the weekend.. In addition to the exciting SeptemberFest programme Farmleigh is hosting Music in the Gardens with St. Eugenes Brass Band from 2-4pm on Sunday 13th.

For the food and drinks enthusiasts there will be a series of talks taking place during SeptemberFest illustrating the importance of beers and whiskey in Irish history and detailing how they have developed over the years. Other talks will examine the perfect food pairings to match with drinks and give you tips on how best to enjoy them.

Confirmed drinks participants:
Carlow Brewing Company
Porterhouse Brewing Company
Galway Hooker Brewing Company
Beoir Corca Dhuibhne
Cooley Distillery
Double L Cider
Franciscan Well Brewery
White Gypsy brewing company/Messrs Maguire
Hilden Brewery
Whitewater brewery
Bunratty Mead & Liqueur Co.
Coole Swan

Food traders at SeptemberFest will be serving up a range of delights including gourmet burgers, artisan hotdogs, delicious crepes, tasty pies, hearty organic soups and more besides……

General Information:
Admission: Free!
Time: 11:30am – 6:30pm each day
Last admittance 5.45pm
Location: Farmleigh House, the Phoenix Park, Dublin
Getting there: Dublin Bus: No. 37 bus from Hawkins St. to Castleknock gate. Enter park and take pathway to the right. (Farmleigh is 10 mins walk)
Phoenix Park shuttle: Departs Park Gate St. on the hour, every hour, 10am-6pm. Last return bus leaves Farmleigh at 6.15pm

For More Information:

The ballroom at Farmleigh is the place to be for an evening of music you will remember long after the summer has departed. Now in their fifth year, Farmleigh’s annual OPW Salon Series have become a byword for musical excellence set in dramatic surroundings with a perfect music ambience and a fine natural acoustic. Curated by Improvised Music Company, these concerts bring Ireland and the world’s leading musicians into the very heart of Farmleigh, evoking a vibrant musical history that sits alongside the estate’s proud literary and artistic heritage.

Farmleigh, an estate of 78 acres situated to the north-west of Dublin’s Phoenix Park, was purchased from the Guinness family by the Irish Government in 1999 for €29.2m. The house has been carefully refurbished by the Office of Public Works as the premier accommodation for visiting dignitaries and guests of the nation, for high level Government meetings, and for public enjoyment.

Four, free, mid-week concerts will take place in Farmleigh’s ballroom over July and August and will feature unique and distinct talents drawn from across the musical spectrum:
Julie Feeney will be gracing the ballroom with her artful chamber pop on Tuesday 21st July.
Jazz pianist John Taylor brings an evening of solo piano elegance on Wednesday 29th July.
Duo Hayes & Cahill bring traditional Irish music to Farmleigh on Tuesday 4th August.
The final concert on Tuesday 11th August is a night of cultural crossover as Francesco Turrisi’s Tarab, a group which draws inspiration from Turkish, Mediterranean and Irish music, meets The Xi an Si, an intriguing trio of Chinese women embracing Irish airs performed on beautiful Asian instruments.

Tickets for each of these intimate salon concerts are free and chosen via an online ticket lottery. For further information on ticketing and the salon music programme visit

farmleighI won tickets to last nights performance by Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, the third in the set of the salon series. Last night, the beautiful ballroom of Farmleigh was awash with jigs and reels and slow airs. An absolutely beautiful setting with crystal chandeliers, gold chairs, high ceilings and Georgian archs. It is like what I picture the ballroom in Jane Austen’s books would look like. Following a drink in the conservatory and a walk in the lush gardens, we took our seats just after 8 o’clock for the performance.

Martin-hayes-dennis-cahill_ireland-usaMartin Hayes, hailing from Co. Clare, is regarded as one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music with his unique sound and his mastery of his chosen instrument – the violin. Dennis Cahill is a master guitarist, a native of Chicago born to parents from the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill met in Chicago in the 1980s and have played as a duo ever since. They played long, sometimes thirty-minute, multi-tune sets in their concerts, starting from the simplest of melodies, building in intensity, but never abandoning musicality and ideas.

They truly took us on a journey and showed off their musical prowess playing one tune into the next. The ballroom of Farmleigh was transformed into a trad session for the night. The pair head off to Martin Hayes hometown for the Feakle International Traditional Music Festival and then onto Bantry, Co. Cork for the Masters of Tradition Festival.

For more information on Hayes and Cahill, go to their website







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