This year as part of its excellent Spring into Heritage programme Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council has once again opened to the public, on certain days, some of the historic buildings they own/manage. By a country mile the smallest of these, at 6M by 3.6M approximately, is The Oratory on Dun Laoghaire’s Convent Road.
Category Archives: Interiors
Towards the end of February I went on a short trip to Paris. A very short trip. Just, in fact, for the day. It’s perfectly doable from Dublin as the flight time is just over one hour thirty; plus there is an early flight which leaves Dublin at around seven am and one that takes off from Charles De Gaulle airport after nine pm, so even taking into account the loss of an hour, this allows for a goodly amount of time in Paris without it costing an unruly amount of cash (ie: the cost of an overnight stay).
If you are visiting London and have even a passing interest in art you might like to hop on a bus, leap onto a skateboard or jump on a magic carpet and whizz on down to picture sellers Abbott and Holder. You will find Abbott and Holder in a charming four storey period townhouse in Bloomsbury a stone’s throw away from the British Museum.
I have a tea towel obsession. Yes, you read that correctly I did say a tea towel obsession. However, obsession may be a tad strong – let’s just say I have a thing about tea towels. I am not fascinated with the use of these small rectangular pieces of cloth, as I abhor drying dishes and I would sooner do without most of the other labour-saving devices in my kitchen ahead of that splendid washer and dryer-upper that is the modern-day dishwashing machine.
Vase d’Avril: The vase is a series of glass test tubes which slot into connected zinc covered steel holders. It comes in two sizes small and large, mine’s the small one and what you see in the picture is just a portion of it, as the whole thing is more than double that length with twenty-one glass cylinders. You can use it whole, in pieces, or even just one tube. Empty it’s not especially pretty but it’s totally transformed by adding a few flowers and bits of greenery. It cheers up a corner of a room, without the need to indulge in bank-balance-busting-buying of bunches of flowers. The Vase d’Avril is by Tsé & Tsé Associées, a small French design company.
Update 12th November 2011: I was in Paris earlier this week and noticed that there are now three sizes of Vase d’Avril: small, medium and large.
Paris Tokyo Cushions: I knew when I saw these cushions, a few years ago, in the Conran Shop in London that they were just right for my sitting room, which has duck egg coloured walls and a black floor on which I have place a bright red sofa. Perhaps the décor is somewhat eclectic but it works (well at least for me). I had seen other variants of the cushion, with pictures of dogs, Picasso paintings and Russian dolls, so I didn’t automatically assume they were French but when I looked at the label today I discovered that are indeed made in France by a textile company called Iosis. Looking at them closely reminds me I need to revisit the City of Light soon.
Goat’s Cheese: I am, in the main, dairy phobic, taking my coffee with soya milk, forgoing regular tea with milk for herbal varieties and eschewing cheeses made from cow’s milk. I miss eating the huge variety of cheeses made from cow’s milk (I confess I occasionally indulge) so I thank the food deities for goat’s cheese. It’s a very versatile ingredient and a staple I usually have in my fridge, I find it useful for adding depth and flavour to a variety of dishes, tonight’s mushroom and goat’s cheese omelette being a case in point. By a neat but entirely accidental coincidence the goat’s cheese in the picture is also from France.
One of the book clubs that I am a member of has as the current book choice James Joyce’s Ulysses. Deep breath. Neill Smith says on the BBC’s website “the book has fascinated scholars and baffled readers for decades with its dense prose, obscure puns and allusions to the characters and events of Homer’s epic Greek poem The Odyssey.” Deeper breath.
Walk for a couple of hundred yards in central Dublin and you will inevitability pass a couple of cafés. The quality and the price of the cup of coffee on offer will be variable. In almost all cases you will have to linger as you wait patiently for your turn for service and hope that there will be a table free by the time your reach the head of the queue.
Formality is a small but very perfectly formed garden shop. Owned and run by Patrick and Karl it’s in Glasthule a South Dublin suburb. Karl is less often seen in the shop as he is Formality’s garden design guru and is frequently out and about on appointments.