Wild horses cannot drag me from Ireland when I have lovely events to attend, particularly with the weather as divine as it has been, consistently, for weeks now. The sunshine was a boon for the Wexford Festival Opera performance in the garden at The Merrion, with our charming hosts Peter and Dorothy McCann treating us to a champagne reception before the recital.

It was a genius idea to take Wexford Festival Opera to a Dublin venue, in the run-up to the annual festival in October, so that more of us could enjoy it. The celebration of the music of Leonard Bernstein, Bernstein A La Carte, included pieces from West Side Story, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town and On the Waterfront, and the elegant garden of The Merrion, with its lush green planting and cool black pond, reverberated with music.

A fantastic buffet supper followed in the Fitzgerald Room and there was great chatter and buzz. The event coincided with the official opening of the City Assembly House as the home of the Irish Georgian Society, so there were several American Georgian Society members in town, with some attending the Opera in the Garden. Rarely have visitors seen Georgian Dublin looking so beautiful in the sunshine.

 

The Garden At The Merrion

 

Opera In The Garden At The Merrion

I was also honoured to attend a lunch in Trinity College hosted by Madame Christine Lagarde, former French finance minister and now in her second term as IMF chief who was in Dublin for a meeting with the Central Bank. She is uber-stylish of course, beautifully dressed and fiercely intelligent. She is also is very good fun. Her flawless English is due to the fact that her father was a Professor of English and the family spent many summers in the UK, in Oxford and Cambridge.

She did find time to record an interview with Ryan Tubridy which is now a podcast on RTE Radio Player, which explains her very interesting family background. Her father died when she was 16, and to this early loss she attributes much of her ambition and drive. While style is clearly not top of her agenda, she does have a consistently great look, with her sharp haircut, beautifully cut suits, many of them Chanel, long legs and flats or heels. She is unafraid of colour and looks terrific in white.

Christine Lagarde In Dublin

The Ireland Funds Annual Conference at Adare Manor in Limerick was another opportunity to see Ireland as its very best. Adare is a magical little village, possibly the prettiest in Ireland. The ancestral home of the the Earls of Dunraven, Adare Manor, on 800 acres, was recently reopened after a lengthy restoration and is breathtakingly beautiful. The late Lord Dunraven (Thady) was one of my favourite Irish men and I always enjoy seeing his gorgeous wife Geraldine.

Senator George Mitchell was honoured on the night and made a tremendous speech and Michael Flatley entertained us, showing his multi-musical talents, even playing the flute. Collins Studio, the practice of the late David Collins, designed the Carriage House on the grounds which house a lovely restaurant and bar, with a terrific terrace. Adare also has the first Creme de la Mer spa in Ireland. And as if that weren’t sufficient expression of their excellent good taste, the boutique carries the tailored womens’ shirt line we designed for Turnbull & Asser, beautifully packed and presented in a Louise Kennedy tote bag.

The Gardens At Adare Manor

 

The Louise Shirt, Louise Kennedy X Turnbull & Asser

 

The Louise Shirt, Louise Kennedy X Turnbull & Asser

Rarely have I enjoyed a summer as much as this one. I do hope the sun continues to shine, wherever you are ...