Every year I am bowled over by the sudden brash and commercial kick-start to Christmas. But consumer culture being what it is, us Irish are already emptying our suitcases in anticipation of how much cut-price swag we can pack in on a weekend trip to New York in December. Ditch the suitcase and immerse yourself in life’s real pleasures: food, drink and culture.
The Haven in Paris company offers apartment holidaying in the city of romance, but it also has this trendy and quirky blog covering all things achingly hip – from organic food markets to contemporary art to where to find the best cocktails in the city. Le Fumoir is the place to be seen with a dry martini in hand apparently.
Here’s a cocktail joint you must visit when in Paris – Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Hotel – the only problem is that a Manhattan will cost you €26, but who needs money for duty-free booze when you can soak up an atmosphere like this?
Ethical clothing? Retro electronic sounds? The secret world of frozen yoghurt enthusiasts? There are so many things hidden beneath the surface that make the beating heart of any city and London is no different in this respect.
If you have been to London many times before, then I suggest you read this blog and return with fresh eyes.
While you’re at it, check out the award-winning london-underground.blogspot.com: news and humour from the London Underground.
We have one of these here in Dublin and it’s not just hilarious but a great insight into the natives’ minds! The idea behind the blog is that people send in snippets of conversations they have overheard on the bus, subway, street; in public places.
It makes you realise that the best conversation aren’t always blogged intentionally. Besides it will prepare you for the salt of the earth New Yorkers you meet on your travels!
We can’t cover culture if we leave Ireland out completely.. Some of us may not be travelling overseas this Christmas and we need our fill of popular culture – what else can you take about over the watercooler/printer/in the lift?
Culch.ie is a community blog filled with Irish-centric columns and reviews covering everything from music gigs to live blogging, ‘The Apprentice’ and a lovely post on pub culture in north inner city Dublin. Where have all the snugs gone?
By Marie Boran
Photo: The HiP Paris blog site.