Here in VIP, we’re all about taking the time out for *you*. So many of us spend our days running around working, minding kids or ticking off errands that there comes a point where a much-deserved treat is in order. And when best to indulge than over the Easter break! Here are some self-care suggestions…
We love Afternoon Tea, but it has to be done well. And in The Westin it is done very, very well. We paid a visit to sample the new Dublin-themed menu in the beautiful Atrium Lounge and every moment was exquisite, from the setting to the food. Cosied up by a roaring fire, we sipped on perfectly-made strawberry gin cocktails before the main event arrived.
A mouthwatering mix of perfect-bite sandwiches, buttery scones and sweet treats (we’re still thinking of the burnt orange and dark chocolate slice), with a huge selection of teas to choose from, this is a dreamy date idea or way to catch up with your mum/sister/friends. westinhoteldublin.com
There are a whole range of hotel packages on offer for Easter, and we’ve picked out the best of the best. Firstly, if you really want to splash out, The Shelbourne has a special package from 10th April – 21st April for €499 per night with breakfast, a bespoke Shelbourne Easter Egg and a bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne (theshelbourne.com). Eh, heaven?
Easter at InterContinental Dublin (ihg.com) is also packed with luxury; as well as one night’s accommodation plus breakfast for up to two adults and two children, there’s champagne in the room on arrival, luxury homemade chocolate Easter eggs for the children and a family pass to Airfield Estate during your stay, from €480 per night.
And the g Hotel & Spa in Galway (theghotel.ie) is running the Something Sweet Retreat; two nights in a luxury guestroom with cooked-to-order breakfast each morning and a delicious 3-course dinner in Restaurant gigi’s, created by new Head Chef Dominique Majecki and his team – as well as luxury Easter eggs in your room on arrival. From €478 for two nights for 2 people.
Get the good stuff. You know you deserve it! There are so many beautiful Irish-made chocolate brands out there, so there’s a double happy hit hit: the fact you’re supporting homegrown business and the endorphin hit from their yummy products! First up is Galway-based Grà Chocolates, who have exquisite Easter Eggs; they’re basically works of art. Our top pick is the Nuts About You (€45), a giant 35% milk chocolate shell filled with candied hazelnuts and hazelnut gianduja.
We also love Wexford company Bean and Goose, who produce utterly beautiful chocolate products. Their Dark Chocolate Hare (€19.50) would be a stunning gift to a loved one…or from you, to you! Other Irish businesses worth checking out are Wilde Irish Chocolates, Lír Chocolates and Hazel Mountain Chocolate.
We love recreating the serenity of a spa at home. And some new launches have been helping us to do just that, especially with the extra free time over the long Easter weekend! Set the scene with a few drops of Aromatherapy oils into your diffuser; Irish brand Kotanical has brought out brand new scents including ‘Spirit’ (€20), a relaxing mix of Lavender, Peppermint, Sage, Sandalwood and Francincense.
Seoulista Beauty has added tools to its Advanced Clinic Formulation range to help recreate the clinic experience at home, such as its Brush up! Skincare Duo (€30) to apply any surplus serum from a sheet mask pack, which is more hygienic, helps with absorption of the product and for you to apply on target areas and…just feels really good. Have a bath afterwards, using gorgeous new products from The Beauty of Sensitive Skin by Camille Knowles, our favourite being the Special Blend Bath Salts, a mix of Pink Himalayan blush, Dead Sea and Epsom salts and natural, moisturising oils.
Finish up with The Body Shop’s gorgeous new Wellness Collection, particularly the Sleep Balmy Body Cream, €39, and Sleep Calming Pillow Mist, €27.50, both infused with lavender from the Haute-Provence, produced without fertilisers or irrigation, and vetiver from Madagascar, introduced to help diversify local production.
Shop, shop, shop
We took a drive to Kildare Village yesterday as we were lucky enough to visit Limerick designer Aoife McNamara’s pop-up shop, which houses her beautiful new collection ‘Enchanted By Nature, In a Disenchanted World.’ Every piece is so beautiful, and sustainable – her clothes are made with materials like Irish tweeds, sourced from a local woollen mill John Hanly’s, and biodegradable Irish linens.
Pictured here is her stunning campaign, shot on Valentia Island, County Kerry, with pieces modelled by Amber Shreshta, a Kerry native and junior doctor. There’s a lot of feel-good factor going on with this brand, and if you’re looking for a special outfit for the Big Family Easter Dinner™️, this is where you’ll find it.