Saturday, February 21, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE MARCH 2015 ISSUE OF VOGUE AUSTRALIA FEATURING MARGOT ROBBIE



Back when I was working in Melbourne, it was an office rule never to touch my issue of Vogue Australia. Each month the magazine got sent directly to a few select people in the office and being a major fan of the magazine - my name was on one of them. The Australian version of the magazine is, in my opinion the best of them all. It’s a superb magazine with a huge amount of content produced locally for a local audience. This month the magazine has placed Australia's biggest rising star Margot Robbie on the cover. I'm not the biggest fan of Margot to be honest but the issue itself is absolutely fantastic, filled with tonnes of fantastic features and interviews with the likes of Anthony Cuthbertson from Sass & Bide to Julie de Libran of Sonia Rykiel. Now that I am living in Ireland, that issue, once reserved for me now goes elsewhere and a twelve month subscription has ensured that this little treasure keeps on arriving each month. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS VISITS BROWN THOMAS FOR BREAKFAST AT THE THIRD FLOOR RESTAURANT


The one thing that I really feel that Ireland has over Australia in the retail space is Brown Thomas. Its consistently named as one of the best department stores in the world and sure why wouldn't it be when you walk in and see the amazing transformation it went through whilst I was away. Australia doesn't really do the luxury department store too well. Yes they do department stores, but none that are as focused or presented as well as Brown Thomas is.



I used to visit the restaurant in Brown Thomas quite a bit before I moved to Melbourne and it was always incredibly delicious. The burger, the Cesar salad; everything was done to perfection. So when I heard that the third floor restaurant had gone through somewhat of a face lift last year, I knew I had to check it out once I was back on Irish soil.




With a menu inspired by the two-Michelin-star restaurateur Patrick Guilbaud, a few of us decided to check the place out for breakfast one day after Christmas. Having grown accustomed to eating out a lot for breakfast in Melbourne, I've had the opportunity to visit some of the most incredible cafes and restaurants, where imagination and creativity is key in helping to differentiate one spot from the competition. 

The breakfast menu at The Restaurant, though extensive tries too hard to cover off every possible angle. There are American style pancakes with crispy bacon, blueberries and maple syrup, an oak smoked salmon omelette with dill & Crème Fraîche, Serrano ham with melon and scones with clotted cream and jam. On occasions when reading a breakfast menu like this, I feel in Ireland that brunch and eating out for breakfast is such a foreign concept that to appease each and every customer, restaurants feel they need to be ready to offer customers absolutely everything that falls into the breakfast category. 


Going back to those American style pancakes with crispy bacon, blueberries and maple syrup, I decided to order them. I was still coming down from my Christmas sugar fix and I thought, at that very moment that a stack of fluffy American style pancakes was exactly what I needed. What arrived was anything but American style pancakes. Thicker than a crepe but thin enough to fold into quarters, these pancakes were dense, doughy and devoid of any flavour. The crispy bacon was, well not crispy and the fat content hadn't been rendered down leaving it soft and a little pale for my liking. The dish came with maple syrup and blueberries, four of them to be exact and three raspberries just for good measure. It was a little bit of a DIY breakfast, what with each of the components sitting separately on the rather odd shaped plate. Are you getting that I wasn't too happy with this dish? 



Kevin ordered the toasted granola with berry compote and natural yogurt, while Eimear ordered the oak smoked salmon omelette. Both looked rather delicious, with the toasted granola standing out as the best dish of the day. We followed up our meal with a round of coffees. Coming in all shapes and sizes, I ordered an extra hot latte to get my through the cold. It was good. A lot better than some of the "premier" coffee spots in Dublin at the moment and I loved the little shortbread star that sat on the side.


Whilst I had expected a little more from The Restaurant, I'm a firm believer in giving all places a second chance. Perhaps I didn't order the right dish for me or maybe it was just an off day but the overall experience at The Restaurant left me thinking that if I want something a little different or out of the ordinary, The Restaurant is probably not the place to go and that's okay. Not everywhere has the people watching power of The Restaurant. 

The Restaurant 
Brown Thomas
Grafton Street
Dublin 2
Website: The Restaurant at Brown Thomas

Saturday, January 17, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE NEW ISSUE OF GQ AUSTRALIA FEATURING COVER STAR CHRIS HEMSWORTH

GQ Australia is without doubt one of the best editions of the internally renowned title. They do a cracking job of it down under and this months issue looks superb. Chris Hemsworth, who is most likely the biggest Australian actor of the last five years is covering the issue and just in time for the April launch of the Marvel Comics movie, The Avengers; Age of Ultron. Unfortunately the title isn't on sale in Ireland but I see a subscription happening in the near future. For more information on GQ Australia, check out their Facebook page here and their website here


WINTOUR&GUINNESS ON THE NEW ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN FROM TIFFANY & CO. FOCUSING ON THE IDEA OF 'MODERN LOVE'



I've never really put too much thought into the whole idea of gay marriage. Yes I want to one day be spiritually and legally connected to someone but the idea of the "gay wedding" is one that doesn't really sit well with me. Anyone that's seen the second instalment of the Sex & The City movies knows the wedding between Standford and Anthony and unfortunately that's the image most people have in their head when the words gay wedding are uttered and not the sophisticated affair that the likes of Jeremiah Brent & Nate Berkus had. So imagine my surprise when Tiffany & Co. recently unveiled their latest advertising campaign featuring their first gay couple and it being well, really good. 



While this is a great step for the Tiffany's brand, I can't help but focus on the even more remarkable part of it: the fact that the two men involved are apparently not male models, but just a normal, real-life couple from New York. Yes, that's right readers. In a city of over 8 million people, the brand managed to find what is undoubtedly the city's most attractive gay couple – and that’s worth applauding all on its own. The campaign also features two parents getting married, in continuance with the "modern love" theme, as well as a variety of pretty-young-things who all look very much in love. Good work Tiffany & Co. 

WINTOUR&GUINNESS ON RETURNING HOME TO IRELAND & HITTING THE BROWN HOUND BAKERY IN DROGHEDA.


When I arrived home from Australia first it was a big shock, culturally speaking. Most of my mornings in Melbourne were spent getting up at the crack of dawn (let's say six o clock), getting myself ready for another day in the office and running out the door around seven. I hopped on the 109 tram from Port Melbourne to the Paris end of Collins Street and I rushed into my favourite cafe, Postal Hall; for a large extra hot latte and a side of their amazing sourdough toast. It was a ritual that I loved more than anything and with a stack of new magazines in my satchel everyday, I was in complete heaven.

Moving from Australia to Ireland, I knew things were going to be different. The Irish tend to neglect early mornings for an extra hour or two of sleep and I knew there wasn't going to be the huge selection of breakfast/coffee spots that Melbourne is so well known for. What I really hadn't thought about or anticipated really was just how late everything opens, even in Dublin.

Throughout the Christmas period, I was living with my parents in Drogheda. A small town of approx. thirty thousand people, spread along the River Boyne. My mornings were spent pacing the house waiting for the sun to come up and more importantly the opening time of my local cafe, the Brown Hound Bakery. The bakery was established by Jeni Glasgow and Reuvan Diaz, both of whom opened the exceptionally good Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill just down the road, a place where I spent some time working just before I moved to Australia.

The bakery first opened during my time in Melbourne and since the summer of twenty eleven, the residents of Drogheda have been able to boast about having one of Ireland's best cafes on their doorstep. Busy mornings see people waiting in their cars eager to grab a large coffee, a special blend created with Greenbean Coffee Roasters especially for the cafe and its hard not to walk by the large selection of baked goods and not pick something up for your mid morning snack (that's if you can resist not biting into it straight away).

During the Christmas period, I gave myself free reign to eat whatever I wanted (something that doesn't seem to have stopped despite the new years resolution) and I would find myself walking into the Brown Hound, magazines tucked under my arm asking for a hot latte and one (or two, or three) of their amazing slices, cakes, cookies or pies. The inspiration for the baked goods came from Jeni & Reuvan's time in New York and with the help of NYC based baker Craig Thompson they have created an extensive selection of products. I usually order the monkey bread, a cross between a biscuit (or scone to us Irish) and an apple pie, its perfection on a plate. They produce some exceptional slices such as the maple pecan, the raspberry shortcake and the Scout bar. Made up of caramel, pistachio nuts, coconut and on a shortbread base, I've been known to devour quite a few in the one sitting.


Another element of the Brown Hound, which makes it an absolute pleasure to visit; is the decor. Jeni and Reuvan, have travelled the world, its foodie capitals and have infused the Brown Hound with little bits of their travels here and there. You're not just popping into the Brown Hound for just a coffee, your popping in for everything; the decor, the ambiance, the friendly service, the delicious cakes and that feeling of pure indulgence that each and every one of us should experience a little bit more often. 

Brown Hound Bakery
Bryantown Centre
Drogheda
Co. Louth
Website: www.glasgow-diaz.com

Saturday, January 10, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS ON ARRIVING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS & WHAT TO EXPECT OF W&G IN 2015


I'm currently in Ballymakenny in County Louth, looking out the window at the rolling hills basking in the winter sun. Dark green, with a thin layer of glistening ice on top, its a strange feeling being back in Ireland after two years away. Its been a few days since we landed at Dublin Airport and with the madness of Christmas and St. Stephens Days over its now time to start to think about the new year and what I want to achieve. Wintour&Guinness has been going now for several years and I always love hearing feedback from people about the imagery and the content posted. It made me think that maybe there is a way of keeping what was a very Melbourne based blog alive in Ireland and with that I am happy to say that Wintour&Guinness will be continuing this year, focusing on my new life in Ireland and all the amazing stuff that I will be coming across day to day.



Initially the blog was a way of keeping in contact with friends and family in Ireland whilst I lived abroad, but now that I am back in Ireland the blog has done a complete one eighty and now its going to be a great way to keep in contact with the little family that I built in Australia. Living in Melbourne opened my eyes to how great food, coffee and fashion could be and I want to breathe a little bit of that into the Irish blogging scene. 

So what to expect in 2015? Well Wintour&Guinness will be the perfect place to come for news on all the best cafes, bars, restaurants and all the usual stuff you would have seen on Wintour&Guinness over the last four years. There is a huge food revolution happening in Ireland at the moment, especially in Dublin and I intend on checking out what this beautiful country has to offer in terms of food, coffee, fashion and culture. 

So what am I waiting for, lets get started. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS ON SAYING GOODBYE TO MELBOURNE AND THE MAD MEN INSPIRED AGENCY CHRISTMAS PARTY


You may have picked up from my last post that very soon the setting for Wintour&Guinness will be changing. Its something that I had been keeping to myself for some weeks now and rather than make a big song and dance of it, I thought best to continue my exploration and showcasing of Melbourne and all the wonderful things that make this city so incredible. 

To be completely honest with you all, the last four years in Melbourne have been some of the most challenging, exhilarating and rewarding years of my life. I feel that I have learned more about myself in the last four years living in this wonderful city than I ever did for the previous twenty-four and I leave this beautiful place with alot of great memories, some amazing friends and this city taking up a huge piece of my heart.

That said, last week saw the end of my time at the media communications agency I worked at. I had been there for three years and my last day just happened to fall on the agencies Christmas party which was perfect timing since it took alot of the focus off my leaving and put alot of focus on all the people in fancy dress. The theme for this year was Mad Men, which originally didn't sit well for me as  the weather for this time of the year can reach the late thirties and sitting outside in a suit can be a little uncomfortable to say the least. But in the end it was a great theme and I enjoyed the whole dressing up part of the day.


We started the afternoon off with a few nice words from a few of the agency wishing me well on my impending travels, offering the most beautiful gift (a Louis Vuitton card holder) and a beautifully catered lunch in the office comprising of various roast meats, poached salmon, a selection of salads and freshly baked breads. This was followed by a selection of desserts such as chocolate mouse with toasted marshmallow, strawberry shortcake and lemon mouse. Oh, and about two dozen bottles of Moet & Chandon. It is Christmas after all. 

Jumping onto a coach, we all made our way to Brunswick Bowls Club for the afternoon before jumping back on said coach and making our way to The Everleigh on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. I had been meaning to visit this place for a long long time and luckily I was able to scratch this one off the list before I left. Gin gimlets and Negroni were offered by servers upon arrival and as we sat down for a rest after the bowls large cheese platters were dropped off.

Later in the evening, the awards for best dressed were announced and I was thrilled to be part of the top three guys. I was wearing a lovely pair of black skinny chinos, a classic white shirt, a dickie bow tie, a killer blazer from Marcs Clothing and a pair of glasses to complete the look. Unfortunately I didn't win the contest but nonetheless it was still a beautiful evening.

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