Snap happy

If professional quality is your aim but technology gives you the fear, you'll be happy with the traditional but fashionable Fujifilm FinePix Z1 Zoom. Small and sleek, it will fit in your pocket or handbag and will give you the professional touch you desire, even if you are a self-confessed amateur snapper! Pick it up for 429.99 at The Street at Dublin Airport and from all good electrical retailers.

Style counsel

Every woman needs a designer label. Men may come and go but haute couture will never let you down. A good evening dress, say, will last many more seasons than the average bloke and can be brought out for all the big occasions. (Can you really say the same for your boyfriend? ) Okay, the price may APPEAR prohibitive, but think of it as an investment. A one-off piece of specially designed couture will last seasons. You know it's worth it! We love this stunning coco lace chiffon cocktail bustier dress from Jen Kelly's latest collection. Jen Kelly, (01) 874 5983.

Here's the science bit

Ever in search of the most effective ways of keeping us young, beauticians have turned to the findings of space-age scientists and come up with Ice Source, which uses a high-speed cooling effect to cause the lipids in your skin to retract. Believe it?

Check it out in Brown Thomas for the reasonable cost of 185.

Cooling agent

Forget warm beer. The only drink to serve on summer evenings is the Mojito, darling. And the only way to serve it is in this fabulous silver cocktail set from Newbridge homeware. Don't know how to make it? Juice half a lime into a tall glass. Cut the remaining lime into quarters and add them to the glass. Stir and blend 10 mint leaves with the lime and three teaspoons of sugar, crushing the leaves to extract flavour. Add 1/2 a cup of crushed ice, 1 1/2 ounces of rum, two ounces of club soda and stir well to blend. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig.

Motion slickness

Artist Helen Steele has been labelled one of Ireland's most exciting contemporary artists, and her collection, Art in Motion, is set to prove a popular new addition to the Forge Gallery, Collon, Co Louth, where the exhibition runs throughout July and August. The work is a visual impression of Helen's unconscious thoughts: hence the title of the impressive and evocative collection.

Worth the walk

Cow's Lane market in Dublin's Temple Bar may seem off the beaten track, but it's worth the extra five minutes it takes to get there from Grafton Street on a Saturday. Sick of seeing your contemporaries in the same t-shirt as you?

Check out the new and aspiring designers and stylists here and fear no more. You are always likely to find something quirky or innovative. We particularly love the collections of Catherine Stevens (left) and her full summer skirts. She'll also make oneoff commissions, giving you plenty of inspiration for those myriad of summer weddings ahead.

Cook's book

Alan Kinsella's tasting menus have worked culinary magic at Lock's restaurant on Dublin's Grand Canal, bringing the much-travelled chef to the attention of Ireland's most influential gourmands. Now Kinsella is set to expand his avid fanbase with a new book of recipes. 'A Tasting of Alan Kinsella' at Lock's Restaurant features his original recipes for 12 tasting menus and is a surefire way to spice up those parties in the sun. 30 at Lock's and all good bookshops.


While Cork Capital of Culture has received its fair share of criticism for the shortcomings of its programme, no-one can deny it's scored a winner with world-renowned photographer Sebastiao Salgado, currently exhibiting for the first time in Ireland at 21 Lavitt's Quay and the Triskel Arts Centre. Known for his socially conscious work looking at the human impact of world political events, his exhibition Exodus features photographs of people displaced by conflict.