Shoptalk: Cork

The city takes its culinary credentials seriously, but it’s also home to fashion and homeware gems

 

Wedding and Holy Communion seasons are upon us.

It will be all white on the big day in Cork, where The Moderne (1800 855 835, themoderne.com), a 100-year-old business that was once housed in a landmark building at 89/90 Patrick Street that still carries its name, has divided its fashion, dance and bridal offers into smaller boutiques.

The bridal shop moved to 13/14 French Church Street about 18 months ago. It is from here they dress about 100 Communicants per season in sugar white confections by Poinsettia, Sweetie Pie, Emmerling and Dublin-based Irish label Fashion Layer, whose tulle skirted princess-length style with diamanté detailing at the waist looks far more than its €79.99 price tag. Each girl is treated like a princess and gets to stand on a raised black velvet podium to test each guna’s twirlability.

Above the ground floor are two floors dedicated to bridal, where the confectionary theme continues as bridal consultant Mary O’Dowling proclaims the return of the meringue, the large-skirted style beloved for its fantasy factor, as the biggest trend in the sector. Access to these levels is by appointment only and includes a second floor dedicated to brides sized 16 and plus.

In a city that takes its foodie credentials very seriously, Brennan & Co (021-427 8283, cookshop.ie), at 7 Oliver Plunkett Street, is a cook shop institution that first opened its doors in 1827. Fans include Rachel Allen, the Brennan brothers, party planner Peter Kelly, aka Franc, and Twink, who loves its extensive cake baking and decorating offer. Raw food devotees prefer the vegetable spiral slicer, €29. It also makes children eat carrots as if they were crisps, whispers shop assistant Mary Morrissey conspiratorially.

Samui (021-427 8080 samuifashions.com), is an upscale fashion boutique at 17 Drawbridge Street that was shortlisted in our 100 Best Shops 2014 competition and sells covetable labels including T by Alexander Wang, Adidas by Stella McCarthy, 3.1 Philip Lim, Paula Ka, Peter Pilotto and P.A.R.O.U.S.H.

Modernist homewares shop Mustard (087-901 8915), newly opened at 14 Academy Street, is run by Alan Elliott and features a mix of knickknacks, reproduction items such as phrenology heads, €38.50, and very giftable primary coloured wire baskets, from €12.90 to €18.

Don’t leave Cork without bringing home some edible souvenirs. Pick up ravioli, seasonal specials include wild mushroom or roasted butternut squash and sage, €17.90 per kg, at Iago (021-427 7047) at 9, Prince’s Street. For a sugar rush, head to newly opened Sultan (087-218 0622), 22 MacCurtain Street, a sister establishment, stocking confectionary, coffee and teas, to the restaurant of the same name on Penrose Wharf (021-241 4272) and next door to where the original Hadji Bey Turkish Delight premises was once located.

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