Frontlines

Sat, Jan 28, 2012, 00:00

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Weekend escape to the West

Award-winning Gregan’s Castle in Co Clare is offering readers of The Irish Timesa special rate of €280pp for a two-night BB break with one six-course dinner and an eco-walk on the Burren, followed by afternoon tea.

The offer runs from February 10th until April 1st, subject to availability.

Tel: 065-7077005

A seat for bums and feet

Woodbofin is a furniture company on Inis Boffin run by islander Caimin Coyne, who learned his trade building boats with his father. He went on to train as an aircraft mechanic but discovered he preferred to work with wood. He makes contemporarised versions of súgán chairs, as well as milking stools and other foot stools, all painted in part in soft, summery pastels. Prices start at €89. See woodbofin.iefor stockists.

Alanna Gallagher

Cards to make hearts go a flutter

Phibsboro-based All Joy Design specialises in laser-cut cards and placemats. Their Love cards are sharp not sentimental. They’re available at the Designist (01-475 8534) shop on South Great George’s Street.

Alanna Gallagher

Upside down and inside out

I’m hanging upside down in a fitness studio in Dublin, feeling the blood rushing to my head and congratulating myself on getting into the “monkey” position. That’s the thing about anti-gravity yoga. Once you start trusting that the silky ropes of the hammock will bear your weight, you very quickly start making out like a wannabe member of Cirque de Soleil.

This style of yoga – purists question whether the fusion technique should be called that at all – was created by acclaimed gymnast Christopher Harrison in New York six years ago and incorporates a cardio workout, flexibility poses, pilates and suspension training. It works the entire body and the challenges are mental aswell as physical.

“I can’t do that,” I whine to my instructor Grace from Labfitness at least three times during the first class. I was doing all of the moves I “couldn’t” do by the end of the second class.

The anti-gravity name isn’t just about inverted poses. The philosophy is as much about anti-seriousness. It turns out that it’s almost impossible to feel glum when you are swinging upside down.

A five-week course costs between €80 to €100 and each class is between 75 to 90 minutes long. For information on classes around the country, visit antigravityyoga.ie

Róisín Ingle

County colours

Show your true colours with an Irish Bobble, bedecked in your county’s GAA strip. Breaking ball fans will love the Macnas-esque GAA doll that, with a little imagination, can become your very own bobbing headed Gooch or Brogan brother. They go on sale at Elvery’s stores on Wednesday and also online at elverys.ieand Irishbobbles.com. Price €15 each.

Bridgestone on your phone

2012 is the 21st year of the Bridgestone Guides and to mark it, authors John and Sally McKenna have launched both of their guides as iPhone apps. Each app – 100 Best Restaurants and 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland – carries all the reviews the guides are famous for as well as putting the power of your smart phone behind each entry. Price €6.99. Android versions of the apps will be released soon. See bridgestoneguides.com

Fashion finds

If you’re tired of shopping the back of your own wardrobe, then try someone else’s. Today, some of Ireland’s leading stylists and fashion bloggers will be clearing out their closets including Chloe Arnold, Cathy O’Connor, Cici Cavanagh, and Xposé presenter Lisa Cannon. Their Closet Clear Out kicks off at 12pm and runs until 6pm at Andrew’s Lane Theatre, just off Trinity Street, Dublin 2.

Then cross the river for a hit of nostalgia at the Ha’Penny Flea Market. There’s vintage dresses and suits, trinkets, old vinyl, photographs, art and bric a brac. It happens at of one of Dublin’s hippest music venues, The Grand Social on Lower Liffey Street. Eats are provided by The Winding Stair next door and there’s a full bar and gourmet coffee on offer if you just want to sit and watch the fun. Local DJs will also be on hand to entertain you while you shop. This weekend, Manchester tailor Gillian Long whose Cock Of The Walk outfit offers bespoke suiting, will be there for fittings ( cockofthewalkbespoke.co.uk).

Doors open at 11am. See thegrandsocial.ie