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the westbury

If you're looking for designer desserts and sweet treats in a lavish location? Of course you are.

The Westbury is heralding the return of the National College of Art and Design-inspired Afternoon Tea, as long term supporters of arts, design fashion and culture.

Cakes and pastries which will be served at the luxurious Gallery restaurant have been created through the kaleidoscope of NCAD fashion students, and they look earth-shatteringly good.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Nestled between Dublin's creative quarter and elegant Grafton Street, the decadent Westbury hotel is the capital's premier luxury location and member of the Leading Hotels of the World.

Renowned for its commitment to supporting the arts, the Westbury is now celebrating five years of their partnership with the National College of Art and Design by launching their most fashionable Afternoon Tea to date.

These artistic cakes and treats will be available for a limited period, and guests of the serene Gallery can sample exquisitely designed desserts from rising stars in design,

Executive Pastry Chef at The Westbury, Ray Encarnacion, has skilfully made the presentation and was clearly inspired by the style and intricate detail of each fashion look.

Fashion design: Ciara Allen

The impressive orange outfit is infused with vibrant colour and was created by Ciara Allen. Ray was influenced to draw upon the bold colour choice by sculpting a sumptuous pistachio Bavaroise, hazelnut sable, and khalua fluid gel. 

Fashion design: Dora Oduro

Dora Oduro Newman's gorgeous dark design encompasses an oversize black dress with dupion silk embellishment and rivet studs, inspired by her multi-cultural experience.

As a result, Ray made a striking black and gold tartlet, with cherry gel, chocolate mousse and delish peach custard. We are shaking with the sugar cravings right about now.

Fashion designer: Gabrielle Malone

The all-white creation by Gabrielle Malone was inspired by fishermen's work attire and tools, and translates as a delicate Verrine made of white chocolate cremeux.

That gorgeous orange colour is passion fruit jelly, mixed with white chocolate and coconut-whipped ganache. Heaven help us.

Fashion design: Una King

Bivouac, Una King's poncho design, is based on the concept of temporary encampment. Ray created the stunning, elegant cake with delicious and light beer sponge, strawberry mousse, yoghurt cremeux and citrus Italian meringue.

The flavours…someone pick our jaws up off the floor please.

If you are what you eat, does that make us artists?

Designer: Elizabeth Omowumi

Last but not least, Elizabeth Omowumi’s voluminous hooded design is an oversized African print laser-cut jacket with knit cuffs, over a colourful African print-petaled shirt with knit collar.

Ray created a vibrant choux from blueberry compôte and lavender pastry cream to bring the style to edible life.

The pastry chef described how he crafted the unique array of desserts, explaining how rewarding the experience was:

"Meeting with the designers in their NCAD fashion studio and choosing from their amazing creations, deciding which would translate best as a dessert was an unusual but exciting opportunity for me.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"There’s always a fine balance to be struck between how the cakes and pastries resemble the designers work, and how this will be interpreted by our guests," Encarnacion added.

"Gaining an insight into the students’ inspiration behind the designs was crucial to the interpretation of the designs, and I hope the designers and guests alike are pleased with the end result”

Guests can enjoy the bespoke NCAD Inspired Afternoon Tea for just €55 per person, or €70 per person with Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut or Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé.

If you want the full shebang with Dom Pérignon Champagne, the Afternoon Tea will cost a total of €90…it's totally worth it in our humble opinion.

The NCAD Inspired Afternoon Tea is available from June 7 until mid-September, but book in advance on their website to ensure a spot. 

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Valentine's Day can put a LOT of pressure on our shoulders (or those of our boyfriends/husbands) when it comes to gifts.

Whether it's the classic present of roses, chocolates or more elaborate ideas like a hotel getaway; you're going to need some good offers because the holiday brings some expenses alongside it.

We've created a list of our top Valentine's Day gifts you can find at the moment, get them before they're gone.

1. Jo Malone London Valentine's Day Floral Box

What better treat to give than the iconic Jo Malone glamorous glass bottle, containing a scent inspired by "seven of the world's finest roses", with a hint of lemon and crushed violet leaves.

Positively dreamy, a little bit like everlasting love. The special floral box is available exclusively from February 7 until Valentine's Day, and we advise pre-ordering because these will absolutely fly out the door.

Buy: Appassionata Flowers
Price: €155

2. Absolut Vodka: A Drop of Love

Some of us need something stronger for Valentine's Day, and Absolut really is the perfect choice. They've created the Drop of Love bottle; an ink message fed from signs of hatred around the world and turned into a message of love. Pretty inspiring.

The action has been used by the company to show the ability to recycle hatred and create something better from it; for example some UNREAL vodka with natural ingredients and no added sugar.

The Swedish vodka brand love coming up with campaigns with artists, designers and aid organisations, and this Valentine's Day bottle is the best one yet.

Buy: www.urban-drinks.de
Price: €18.90

3. Jo Malone London Irresistible Pairs

Jo Malone have partnered up their most loved scents to curate the Jo Malone London Power Couples; layer the fragrant duos to create an irresistible pairing on your skin.

Trust us when we say…they smell AMAZING. The New Romantics feature peony and blush suede and wild bluebell for a softly sensual scent, The Sweethearts combine the English pear and freesia with nectarine blossom and honey for a golden pair.

Seaside Soulmates bring together zesty citrus nots with lime basil and mandarin and wood sage and sea salt for a dynamic duo. Lastly, Star-Crossed Lovers pair jasmine sambac and marigold with wood sage and sea salt for a heavenly experience.

We can't gush enough about these, what a beautiful Valentine's treat these would be.

Buy: Jo Malone London
Price: From €54

4. Weir & Sons Valentine's Day jewellery collection

This Fabergé Palais Tsarskoye Selo turquoise heart locket pendant is exclusive to Weir & Sons of Grafton Street, Ireland.

It's absolutely stunning, and would certainly attract attention if your lover chose it for around your neck. 

We'll be dropping hints left. right and centre for this one. Whoever picks it out for us would truly have our heart in a box.

Buy: Weirs & Sons, Grafton Street
Price: €8,875

 5. Limited Edition Red Caps & Keepsake Heart-Shaped Box from Jo Malone London

Limited edition red caps are only €5 each along with a free heart-shaped box when you make a purchase between February 1 and February 14, and you can even add a free embossed message, date or initials to the box as an added extra.

It's the first time that the veteran brand are offering a romantic take on Jo Malone London’s signature cream and black packaging; you can acquire the gorgeous heart-shaped box when you buy two or more products in select boutiques in Ireland.

We're heading straight to the shop, we can't let this offer go.

Buy: Jo Malone London
Price: €5

6. L'Occitane Romantic Rose collection

For Valentine's Day, it's only too important to smell and feel your best. We've found the ideal scent for the eve: ROSE. French powerhouse brand L'Occitane have gifted us with a set, that we all both need and deserve.

The gorgeous and elegant fragrance set includes: Rose Eau de Toilette, Rose Shower Gel, Rose Body Lotion and Rose Hand Cream. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE UK IRELAND (@loccitane_uk_ire) on

L'Occitane 'Romantic Rose' collection is priced at €69 from the L'Occitane website.

7. Bia Beauty facial oil

We are LUSTING after Bia Beauty at the moment; the emerging Irish brand use Mother Nature to deliver 100 percent natural, highly effective, ethically sourced and excellently-packaged products.

Owner Tracey Ryan is a herbal scientist based in Cork, so she has an abundance of fresh ingredients on her doorstep to use, which helped her to create their facial oil.

The nutritious skin product contains rose hip seed oil which is full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids. Wear it at night to repair and soothe the skin or during the day to boost hydration and plump the skin.

Give it as a gift this Valentine's Day for a woman who desires reduced scarring and increased cell rejuvenation. Gorgeous, Irish and cruelty free: Award-winning Bia Beauty products are definitely made with love. 

Buy: Bia Beauty
Price: €32.95

8. Solid Fragrance Combining Palette by Jo Malone London

A sleek, travel-ready palette is absolutely genius from Jo Malone; it effortlessly encases two solid perfumes for on-the-go scents.

Customers can fill their palette with their choice of two Jo Malone London scents from a selection of ten of the brand’s most-loved, to curate their own pair.

Choose from; Lime Basil & Mandarin, Basil & Neroli, Pomegranate Noir, English Pear & Freesia, Blackberry & Bay, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Peony & Blush Suede, Mimosa & Cardamom, Wood Sage & Sea Salt and Oud & Bergamot. 

The Palette and Refills are available now at Brown Thomas Dublin, get your hands on a pair ASAP before they sell out for Valentine's Day. The cologne's are basically unisex, so they can be bought for man or woman.

Buy: Jo Malone London
Price: Palette: €27
Perfume/Cologne: €16
Perfume/Cologne Intense: €18

9. The Clean Beauty Edit haircare essentials gift-set

Time to go clean and green in 2019; the Clean Beauty Edit are bringing cult, clean beauty brands to Ireland through their gorgeous online boutique.

Olio E Osso, Ilia Beauty, Evolve Organic Beauty, Warpaint, Lily Lolo, Ere Perez and Sun Potion are the brands which Clean Beauty Edit are importing to Ireland,

All products are natural, cruelty-free, toxin-free and sustainably produced and packaged, and their haircare gift-set is GORGEOUS for Valentine's Day. The set includes luxury travel sizes of their Superfood Shine Shampoo, Superfood Shine Conditioner, and Nourishing Hair Elixir.

Their luscious shampoo is formulated with natural cleansers from sugar and coconut which gently cleanse scalp and hair without stripping natural oils. The Baobab proteins boost the shine and organic pomegranate extract rehydrates and protect the hair; what a stunning, thoughtful gift.

Buy: The Clean Beauty Edit
Price: €15

10. CraicPack Valentine's Day box for Irish Expats

CraicPack bring some chocolate Irish goodness to everyone at home and abroad. This year they're making a new Valentine's Day box with up to 50 sweets that Irish people living far away miss the most; such nostalgia.

Items included in the adorable box are 10 different types of Dairy Milk, 15 other Cadbury items, Butlers and Love Hearts. Oh, and they even add a box of tea to every pack, because what else would you pair with a chocolate bar? Nothing, that's what.

To help the local community, CraicPack donate up to €5 from every box sold to Focus Ireland to aid the on-going homeless crisis in Ireland. Hon the lads.

Buy: CraicPack
Price: CraicPack (13 sweets + tea): €45
Mighty CraicPack (25 sweets + tea and crisps): €66
The Craic is 90 (50 sweets + tea, crisps, Butlers and Oatfields): €99

11. Éminence Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masque, Apricot Body Oil and Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel.

Éminence organic skincare is a luxury spa brand that you NEED to hear about, especially for the romance of Valentine's Day. They plant a tree for every product sold; over 10 MILLION to date, and use wind and solar energy for production.

Their peanut inner packing is even made from cornstarch, so it can be composted and is water dissolvable; they really do care about the environment, and their skincare range reflects that.

Not only are they ethical, their newest Valentine's Day products are the perfect present to treat a loved one with.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Eminence Organics Skincare IRL (@eminenceorganicsirl) on

The Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masque fights the visible signs of ageing. Containing a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich cocoa, which is great for your skin, it's macadamia, almond and jojoba oils also provide deep hydration.

The luxurious Apricot Body Oil is blended with an assortment of essential oils, such as grape seed and jojoba, to create a luscious massage oil that leaves skin feeling irresistibly soft.

Last but not least, the Éminence Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel is an at-home peel that can easily be done before a romantic meal.

Buy: Éminence
 Price: Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masque: €58
Apricot Body Oil: €41
Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel: €95

12. The Westbury's indulgent romance experience

Valentine's Day always brings an onslaught of great hotel offers, but how can you choose the best one for the most practical price? The Westbury has been voted Ireland's number one hotel by Condé Nast Traveler Readers, and for a good reason.

Enjoy some lavish indulgence in the heart of Dublin by retreating to The Westbury's romance experience. This includes an overnight stay for couples with a romantic rose petal turndown, bottle of chilled champagne, strawberries and delicious chocolates, and a delicious full Irish breakfast in bed in the morning.

‘Romance at the Heart of the Dublin’ with The Westbury is available to book from €450 per room; a great offer considering the prestigious location. Treat yourselves to a trip, you deserve it.

Buy: The Wesbury
Price: From €450

13. Aldi's Valentine's Day alcohol offers: G-in Love

Aldi are offering us something MAJORLY special this Valentine's Day, whether you're waking up to champagne in bed, or heading on a dinner date with gin in mind.

They're giving us the exclusive Boyle’s Alchemy Colour Changing Gin, infused with petals of the Asian butterfly flower, which shifts colour from blue to pale pink with the addition of tonic. Yep, actual. real-life COLOUR-CHANGING GIN.

It’s all to do with the movements in pH, but we can guarantee that this is some magical science.

Buy: Aldi
Price: Boyle’s Alchemy Colour Changing Gin: €24.99

That's not all they've got up their sleeve; Aldi's DV8 Pink Gin Cream Liqueur is BY FAR the perfect gift. Made by the Irish producers of multi-award-winning Brennan’s Old House Gin, this gorgeous liquor will make anyone's day special.

Aldi have some unique sale offers especially for the most loving day of the year; Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut NV, the best-selling and award-winning wine from Philizot and Fils is reduced to only €19.99.

Giotti Spumante Rosé, Sparkling Rosé Blosson, Beaujolais Rosé 2018, Fairtrade Moscato Rosé 2018 have each had their prices cut so that love can blossom with a bit of alcohol to help. Even if it's self-love…

Buy: Aldi
Price: DV8 Pink Gin Cream Liqueur: €14.99
Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut NV*: €19.99
Giotti Spumante Rosé: €11.99
Sparkling Rosé Blosson: €4.49
Beaujolais Rosé 2018: €7.99
Fairtrade Moscato Rosé 2018: €5.99

14. CND nails Valentine's range

CND are changing the GAME when it comes to nails. For Valentine's Day, why not treat yourself or your significant other to some gorgeous new shades from the iconic brand.

Their new range has stunning pinks, dark berry, ravishing reds and blush tones; show off your romantic side.

Mambo Beat, Rose Bud, Hot Pop Pink, Tinted Love, Wildfire and Dark Lava are ideal for a hot date, or pretty much anything the night has in store. There's a colour for every kind of date.

All of these romantic shades are available in both CND SHELLAC and CND VINYLUX, for longer-lasting looks.

Buy: CND 
Price: €11.95 (Shellac and Vinylux)

15. 'Hex Your Ex' Galentines book from ASOS

We couldn't forget to include a present for that gal-pal of yours who really needs a humorous Valentine's pick-me-up.

The Hex Your Ex book contains over 100 spells,potions and rituals for getting some petty revenge on that douchebag ex of theirs.

Treat yourself or your BFF, it looks pure gas.

Buy: ASOS
Price: €12.43

16. PrettyLittleThing Valentines body in red striped lace

This jaw-dropping body from PLT is the perfect treat to yourself or your girlfriend this Valentine's Day.

The red lace and plunge neck will have you feeling sexier than ever, why not give yourself the romantic day you deserve? Spicy AF.

Buy: ASOS
Price: €27.65

There you have it, our top picks for Valentine's Day gifts this year.

Between perfume, flower arrangements, lavish hotel getaways, skincare and lingerie; it's set to be a GREAT day.

We'd appreciate if someone who adores us can buy us each and every one of these, pretty please?

Let the love rain down this year, if you're single or taken. Like this adorable teddy bear here: 

sing it snuggle i love you GIF by Snuggle Serenades

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Ah Valentines Day – the one day of the year that smoochy PDAs are perfectly acceptable for the coupled-up, and singletons have free reign of the bars and clubs to celebrate their selective solitude in style. 

However, if you're loved-up and looking for the ideal romantic bonanza to treat your bae to on the big day, then look no further. 

One of Dublin's boujiest hotels, The Westbury, is boasting a romantic Valentine's package that is all things rom-com worthy. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Westbury (@westburydublin) on

The Westbury’s indulgent romance experience is the ideal retreat in the heart of the city, a stones throw from St Stephens Green (perfect for an after dinner romantic stroll?).

Their Romance at the Heart of Dublin package, is a luxury overnight stay at The Westbury where couples will be welcomed with a romantic rose petal turndown, bottle of chilled champagne, strawberries and delicious chocolates to indulge with. *swoon* 

The following morning guests will enjoy a delicious full Irish Breakfast in bed – complete with potato cake and pudding, we checked. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Westbury (@westburydublin) on

The hotel is perfectly located by a stunning florists, Appassionata, where you can grab a fresh bouquet for your lover. 

It's also just around the corner from The National Gallery if you're romantic an art fan, or take to Grafton Street if your true love is more fond of retail therapy than critiquing post-modernism.  

The experience with The Westbury is available to book from €450 per room.

Bookings can be made through the hotel on 01 6463333/ westbury_reservations@doylecollection.com

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It's been a beautiful week in Dublin weather-wise, so if you're looking for an outdoor but oh-so-elegant experience in the city, this new bar could be for you.

Wilde at the Westbury is open for business, and after having a look through their menu and Instagram, we'll be booking ourselves in every weekend for the rest of the summer.

The beautiful deco style dining space and outdoor terrace give the restaurant an edge, while the abundant greenery is the perfect backdrop for a foodie blogger-esque Instagram shot.

 

A post shared by Wilde (@wildedublin) on

Overlooking Grafton Street, the terraces 1930’s vintage glamour gives Wilde a unique edge. 

Serving everything from classic G&Ts, Aperol Spritz and Prosecco, to 24 different wine options, we can see brunch here going very well indeed. 

 

A post shared by Wilde (@wildedublin) on

The new hotspot is open for summer dining and drinks seven days a week, from 7am to late, so everything from brunch to dinner to drinks is covered. 

See you there, G&T in hand. 

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