Anyone who has been to a Hen Party in Kilkenny will know that Kilkenny is a place to be for fun, anyone who went to Kilkenny for a Stag Party is probably still there. Kilkenny Arts Festival is like a big party, loads of activities, loads of people and loads of fun.
We’re going to be at the Kinsale Arts Festival on July 13 and we’ll also be back in Derry for the Culture TECH festival in September, but we’re also heading to the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August for not one, not two but three very special Banter sessions over the course of a week. Kilkenny Hen Party Packages
The idea of doing some Bantering in the Marble City first came about at last year’s festival and, with huge thanks to festival director Rosemary Collier and her team, we’ve managed to put together a damn good programme, including one or two sessions which we’ve been hoping to do for ages, for the festival’s 40th anniversary.Stag Party
When it comes to the story of the Seattle grunge explosion, Mark Yarm’s fantastic oral history Everybody Loves Our Town is one of the definitive reads on that fabled city and such bands as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Mudhoney and more. The Guardian called it “a Herculean work of interviewing and editing which gives everyone a voice, from the biggest stars to the lowliest foot soldiers”. Mark joins us at Banter to talk about the book, the Seattle scene and the grunge legacy.Stag Party
Around the same time as Seattle was blowing up, Kilkenny was having its own moment in the sun thanks to a host of local bands, a brilliant dive venue called the New Park Inn and a host of other factors. Cormac Battle (Kerbdog, 2fm), Canice Kenealy (Engine Alley) and Malcolm Noonan (Jerusalem Taxis) rewind the city’s musical legacy.
The Neil Hannon Retrospective in 35 Minutes Stag Party
The story of Neil Hannon, The Divine Comedy, “My Lovely Horse” and the Duckworth Lewis Method in 35 minutes .Kilkenny Hen Party Packages
Banter On Music will also feature special guest performances during the course of the afternoon.Stag Party
It’s our favourite kind of Banter panel – one with a lot of questions. What is Irish style? Is there such a thing? How does it manifest itself in Irish fashion? Is Irish style bright orange in colour? Do Irish men know anything about style? What does Irish style look like in the future? Our panel for this walk down the catwalk: Angela Scanlon (TV presenter, fashion writer and stylist) and Sonya Lennon (RTE Off the Rails, Lennon Courtney).Stag Party
The Kilkenny Arts Festival turns 40 this year so it’s timely to look at the past, present and the future of the arts sector in Ireland. Colm Tóibín (novelist and playwright), Maureen Kennelly (arts producer, programmer, curator of the Mountains to Sea DLR Books Festival and former director of the Kilkenny Arts Festival and Cúirt International Festival of Literature), Donnacha Dennehy (composer and Crash Ensemble founder) and Willie White (Dublin Theatre Festival artistic director and chief executive) discuss what we’re learned over the last 40 years, the issues which the arts sector believe should be sorted out today and where things go from here.
It is the great cry of the political chattering classes: we need reform! Yet as various opinion polls have showed, the Irish electorate place the need for reform very far down on their list of priorities. Just how serious are we about reforming how our political system works – or doesn’t work? Is it merely a case of some politicians paying lip service to the idea to score points or is there an actual hunger for meaningful, pragmatic change? a conversation with some interested parties, including Harry McGee (Irish Times) and Sarah O’Neill (Dailwatch) about the real issues behind the clarion call for reform. Hen Party in Kilkenny
Tickets are now on sale for all three Banter sessions from the festival box-office. Admission is €13 and €11 or you can buy a special Banter bundle for all three Banters for €30. Stag Party
Of course, there’s a ton of other stuff besides Banter happening in Kilkenny over the course of the festival including some superb work from Bob & Roberta Smith, a performance from Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band, local boyo Jeremy Hickey AKA R.S.A.G, a discussion on the birth of the Irish trade union movement to mark the centenary of the 1913 Dublin lockout, the luminarium from Architects of Air and AC Grayling giving the Hubert Butler Lecture on how great literature can enrich all our lives.Hen Party in Kilkenny
Bray is a short distance from Dublin due to the efficiency of The Dart train service, and with new roads and parking costing only 30 cents per-hour it offers a cheap out of city location.
During my short break in Bray I stayed in The Wilton Hotel and dined in the Martello Hotel, and so this offered a unique opportunity to produce two reviews of two of Bray’s premium hospitality locations.
For my lunch I ordered the rib of beef with vegetables and gravy, the beef was succulent as it was cooked to perfection, the gravy was nicely flavoured with a hint of freshly grown herbs, the mash, baby potatoes and vegetable selection were cooked to perfection and bursting with cottage garden flavour.
The dessert was a homemade delight, apple-crumble with a triangulation of freshly served creams and custard. Service was prompt, clearance was prompt, and payment was simple. The Martello Hotel Bray is above all else, a TEAM effort.
The Martello Hotel situated in a stunning location giving breathtaking views across the Irish Sea and the imposing Bray Head. The Martello Hotel offers an unmatched combination of accommodation, dining, drink, music and late night entertainment in a lively, vibrant, modern setting on the seafront at Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland just 30 minutes from Dublin City Centre.
The Martello Hotel Bray provides 25 en-suite recently renovated hotel bedrooms and 19 self-catering apartments, ideal for those on any budget!
The Martello Hotel is renowned for the fun-loving buzzy atmosphere and style of the hugely popular ‘Martello Bar’ which incorporates a continental style outdoor area. On the first floor the The Tower Bistro offers a casual, great value dining experience seven days a week.
For those who want to continue the revelry into the early hours ‘Koo’ night club is the perfect spot in Bray, Wicklow.
Just a 5 minute walk from the local railway station, The Martello Hotel is convenient to the attractions of Dublin city, a short 30-minute ride away on the DART.
The receptionist was pleasant and professional and the pre-booked reservation was quickly checked and room key issued. The reception area is bright and welcoming with an open bar area offering luxury and comfort.
The lift contained a thoughtful daily weather report that appeared to be update on typed paper on a daily basis, this personal touch if often missing from many modern hotels.
The corridors presented clean and secure, with nicely placed décor.
The room wild airy and spacious, it was let down by poor housekeeping. There was some rubbish on the floor and around the beds and dust was clearly visible on top of the luggage shelf, mirrors, TV and so forth.
There were also a number of small maintenance issues, such as the back of the bathroom door was poorly maintained, there was a space between the side of the bath and the floor, these are small issues that can be addressed with small effort, although experience would suggest that if these type of issues are not addressed, things tend to get worse (broken windows theory).
The one other annoying issue was the large out dated TV on the dresser, while the TV was functional; it took up one-third of the dresser top space. Flat screen TVs are now low cost and there is no excuse for not having flat screen TVs in all modern hotel bedrooms.
The Wilton Hotel Bray formerly the Ramada Woodland Court Hotel in Bray remains under the same ownership and management and continues to be committed to providing excellent service and value to all guests. The Wilton Hotel Bray offers quality hotel accommodation in Bray. It is one of the most popular hotels and one of the finest small luxury hotels in Bray and renowned of Wicklow Hotels. If you are searching for accommodation in Bray, meeting rooms in Bray or conference venue in Bray look no further.
Wilton is ideally suited for walking in Wicklow, golfing in Wicklow, family breaks in Bray and touring the county of Wicklow. Just 20km south of Dublin you can also enjoy the delights of Dublin city centre.
The Wilton Hotel Bray is renowned as one of the top Bray hotels, with quality hotel accommodation in the county of Wicklow, excellent facilities and a fantastic location just off the N11 and 2km from Bray Seafront. 87 guest rooms in this Bray Hotel provide comfortable and luxurious accommodation in Wicklow and a range of accommodation types are available, including double and Twin rooms as well as Executive King Rooms and large spacious family rooms.
You can choose from a range of great packages, Dinner Bed and Breakfast as well as great Bed and Breakfast rates in Bray and a selection of packages and hotel special offers for Bray. The hotel’s genuinely warm welcome will greet you on arrival and the friendly staff will ensure that you have a relaxing break at the Wilton Hotel Bray.
The Wilton has ample free car parking and free wi-fi throughout the hotel, however, my experience was that the wi-fi was very on-off.