Synge from the same hymnal

If you're one of those types who prefers not to check in your brain at the airport, but to use the long summer days to engage in some serious reading, then it might be worth checking out this new celebration of JM Synge. Edited by Colm Toibin, the contributors' list reads like a who's who of Irish literature, from Sebastian Barry to Vincent Woods via Anne Enright and Joseph O'Connor.

Stampede to La Stampa

We'll be salivating for more than one reason this month when one of the tastiest chefs in the world comes to Ireland to take up residence at La Stampa. Yes, ladies, that moment you've been waiting for ever since the second series of Hell's Kitchen has finally arrived, as the delectable Jean-Christophe Novelli comes to Novelli at La Stampa. Oh, and we're excited about the food too. To join the stampede for reservations, call 01-6774444.

Forty foot fetishists

Bathers, a new exhibition at the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, explores the theme of naked bathers in Dublin Bay, with works from Irish artists MJ Whelan and Gary Coyle, UK-based Justine Pearsall, and Norwegian AK Dolven, from a video installation to photos documenting a daily swim at Sandycove.

Fair Shea

Showing our support for Live 8's all very well, goes a common mantra these days, but what can we do on a practical level to help combat poverty in Africa?

Well here's a charming thought: you can now be helpful as well as beautiful with L'Occitane's Fair Trade Shea Butter from Burkina Faso. All-female cooperatives harvest and process the fruit of the shea tree using traditional methods and L'Occitane provides them with a regular, fairly negotiated income. Products, available from L'Occitane nationwide, include Extra Gentle Soap and Ultra Moisturising Cream.

Rock hard ice cream

Don't you just love it when being environmentally aware coincides with eating ice cream? Ben and Jerry's, the socially conscious ice cream maker, has just launched a new flavour which they've named Fossil Fuel to remind us all of the company's ongoing commitment to helping prevent climate change (they recently launched a Climate Change College).

Containing crunchy chocolate cookie fragments, fudge dinosaurs and deep swirls of primordial fudge, it's available from XtraVision and supermarkets nationwide.