Archive for the ‘Free Stuff’ Category

Gourmet burger offer

Burgers are becoming all the rage lately, with numerous new gourmet burger eateries opening up in and around the city. Roll on the carpets for Gourmet Burger Co. in Ranelagh and Gourmet Burger Kitchen aka GBK (although this homepage still hasn’t update their information on their locations in Dublin – currently in Temple Bar, South Anne St, Liffey Valley and Swords Pavillion).

Of course, the concept of gourmet burger isn’t exactly new in Dublin. Bobo’s in Wexford St and Real Gourmet Burger in Dun Laoghaire have been the places to go for burger lovers who didn’t fancy chomping in the creations of McDonalds, Burger King or Eddie Rockets. So what ushers in this new age of burger admiration?

gourmetburger

Maybe it is seen as a hallmark of returning to simpler times, now that we’re not flocking to the fancy restaurants that serve creative dish using truffles foam and the likes. Yet, at the same time, after years of adventurous eats, to just abandon all things creative with food seems to be counter-intuitive, so why not inject some new life into good old comfort food that are the burgers?

Thus, I just gave myself a treat yesterday to one very delicious GBK’s Kiwiburger – an assembly of burger buns, beef patty, beetroot slices, pineapple rings, fried egg, lettuce and tomato slices (as per picture above by Graeme Robertson for The Guardian). Stacked sky-high, it came with a pricetag of nearly €12 but the satisfaction factor was also high. For me personally anyway ;-)

Now, the Gourmet Burger Co. in Ranelagh is running a promotional offer. Buy one and get another gourmet burger absolutely free. Just print out this PDF voucher which is valid until the end of April, and do take note of when you can and cannot use the voucher. I’ll be heading there with my friends early next week and already I am wondering how much will it cost me if I order a Kobe beef burger… Probably an arm and a leg. Will it be worth it? I’ll decide when I sit down in the restaurant and I’ll report back in due course.

Celebrating Handel 250

Handel

The first time when I heard about Handel Festival in Dublin, I was admittedly perplexed. Handel was German, wasn’t he? Indeed he was. What I didn’t know at that time was, he first performed his famous Messiah in Dublin, all the way back on 13th April 1742, at a music hall on Fishamble Street.

Aha, mystery solved.

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death, which took place exactly 17 years and a day to Messiah’s performance in Dublin. Therefore, Temple Bar Cultural Trust in partnership with Dublin City Council and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism is bringing forth Handel Festival between 13th and 19th April. That’s less than 2 weeks from now for you to acquire tickets to various ticketed events, some free, some not. And not all events are ticketed so you could still catch something without prior booking.

Check the festival programme here. If you can, do not miss “Messiah on the street“, which will be performed on Monday 13th April, at 1pm. Listen to the masterpiece that was composed in neck breaking time of 24 days. Rain or shine, the show will go on.

Additional Paddy’s Day stuff

Oh yes, it’s March, and with Mo’s previous blog entry, he has duly reminded everyone that Paddy’s Day is not too far away from now. Are you all set for the fun and festivity in town, of which there are tons of events organised that are free for all!

Simpsons

A couple of things to bring to your attention. There will be an exclusive Paddy’s Day “Simpsons Irish Adventure” that will be broadcasted on Sky 1 and Sky 1 HD (I would have thought they’d broadcast it on RTE or something, to be more inclusive – Sky is not Irish!) and if you’re one of the many people who will be in town for the parade, look out for special Simpsons’ float, because Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart) plus a couple other producers of the show will be there too.

For family or even groups of friends, you can kick off the weekend with a trip down to the Dublin Docklands, where The Spheres will be entertaining the crowd with 4 scheduled shows. The shows are ticketed but free, and you should book for the ticket now before they run out. Apply online, and you’ll be asked to confirm for tickets at some stage so you can print them out and bring with you to Grand Canal Dock. From what I gather, maximum tickets that one can apply per booking is for 6 adults, 4 children.

For more event information of St Patrick’s Festival, visit their website, and for all those who wonders where the fireworks will be this year, it’s going to be down south in Waterford.

Free Art Friday

Calling all artists – painters, illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, sculptors – contribute and share your arts with the people of Dublin!

A new movement has just been started in Dublin and the first Free Art Friday is due to take place on Friday 23rd January 2009. That’s next week folks! The idea behind it is for artists to leave their work of arts on the streets of Dublin which can be taken away by their admirers for free.

If you’re a budding artist, this could be a good way to advertise your work without involving large publicity costs and the likes. If you intend to participate, please note that you should inform the organiser by Monday 19th January 2009 so they know exactly what pieces are out there on Friday in the streets. If you’re an art lover, then this is a good way to get to know the city artists and discover what could be your next art find. It’s quite a win-win situation in my opinion.

The only drag that I can think of – the weather. Fingers crossed for a relatively dry day next week. We wouldn’t want beautiful artworks to be soaked by the rain, do we?

For more information, check out Free Art Movement weblog.

Snow Patrol at HMV Grafton St

The lads are in town to promote their latest album, and you can try to squeeze in some free performances next week on Friday at lunch time! It does mean a little queueing required in the morning to get some sort of wrist band. (Details below, as print screen-ed from HMV’s website)

Open House Dublin 2008

There are plenty of buildings in the city which may intrigued you, but normally closed to public that you can’t really take a closer look. This is why you should take advantage of Open House Dublin and explore the city’s architecture. It is currently running, from Thursday 16th October until Sunday 19th October. And oh, more importantly, they’re FREE!

There are some tours available (I was browsing the site quickly) and unfortunately some are already booked out. Most locations though, are open without reservation required, but operates on a first come first serve basis.

Let’s hope the weather holds up for the weekend so everyone can go out and enjoy this unique opportunity to take a glimpse on historical buildings such as Georgian townhouse/houses, Liberty Hall (which I think there’s plan for demolition soon – are they still debating it?), Leinster House (you have to prebook for this), Mansion House, Custom House (Visitor Centre) and Royal Irish Academy.

Ranelagh Arts Festival 2008

Well, the weather remains somewhat gloomy (but dry) in the city, with the odd sunny days at weekends. Not entirely a bad thing if this trend continues, although I wouldn’t be looking forward to a beautiful Saturday followed by a drenching Sunday (cf weekend 13-14 Sept).

Nonetheless, after the fun that was last night of Dublin Culture Night, there’s more activities for arts lover coming up in a few days, namely Ranelagh Arts Festival 2008. The festival runs from Tuesday 23 September to Sunday 28 September.

The festival is in its 4th reincarnation, with various events to be held in and around Ranelagh (of course), where some would be free, some free but ticketed (so order those you want now!) and some are plainly ticketed. You can either order them online or at the box office, which is the front snug of Smyth’s Pub on Ranelagh Road.

There will be song and dance, comedy nights, photography competition, open air movies, poetry reading, family fun day, children’s pirate parade, free food tasting and many many more. [Check the full programme in PDF]

I think this is a brilliant initiative to bring the people who lives in and around Ranelagh village together, while promoting this urban village to everyone else. I’ve marked out a couple of jazz events and comedy nights to check out, and perhaps will brave the crowd on Sunday for some free food at Ranelagh Gardens. ;-)

Dublin Culture Night 2008

Today is the day! Or maybe I should say… Tonight is the evening!

The Temple Bar Cultural Trust is bring the Dublin Culture Night for the third year running, and it’s all starting at 5pm. Think culture and you’ll get galleries, museums, theatres and the likes, and for this special day, they’re opening till late (well, very late for most of these places actually) – give or take 11pm/midnight – and there will be no entre fees charged.

The comprehensive list of events can be found on the Culture Night website, and there are some awesome and unusual line ups too, including Filipino Tribal Dance (Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, 6.45pm), Yodel (Old City, Temple Bar, 6pm & 8pm), 2D and 3D building illumination (3 different locations) and for anyone wanting to go and visit Leinster House, have a look at this press release and ring in to see if they have any places/tickets still available.

Lots and lots of dance and music all over the city, which will add to the liveliness that’s ever the hallmark of Dublin on any good old weekend. That’s the spirit we should all maintain, and I hope you have a fantastic evening, enjoying all the free goodies on offer! :D

Ponytail tix last call

I still have one double pass for the Ponytail gig on Wednesday to give away. I also have some passes for Immanu El on Saturday. Read about the gigs here and to win the tickets just send me an email at dublinthom@gmail.com

You can also read a recent interview with Ponytail by State Magazine (now free State Magazine) here.

ponytail

Pint and a Picture Show (with some shameless self-promotion thrown in for good measure)

The irrepressibly enthusiastic Howard Linnane restarts his Pint and a Picture series of free weekly film screenings in Russell’s of Ranelagh this Monday the 1st. September, with a program that includes two films by yrs truly. The screenings and Q & A’s are a lot of fun – if you make it there, please say hello.

Mon 1st 7pm programme: you’ll like Mondays now
We’re back to Monday nights at the weekly free ‘picture show’ screenings at our usual venue in Ranelagh this week, but we start at an earlier time this Monday. The programme for Monday 1st September kicks off at 7pm with the usual Irish Short Films Slot starting the show but at 7.30pm we show ‘Yellow Gate Women’ (dir Margaretta D’Arcy (2006); running time 60 mins), a documentary about the Greenham Common Women’s protest that began in the early 1980s against the siting of Cruise missiles at an airbase in England and went on for years. The film was screened at Galway Film Fleadh last year (and again this year, I believe) and it was shown a while back at the Portobello Film Festival in London and has been shown elsewhere.

The screening of the documentary will be followed by a Q&A with the director about the making of the film and about the Greenham protest at which she was present in its earliest days (which I’m old enough to remember and about which I have recently been reading a book written by former protestors – hence my interest in putting the film on, as soon as I read of it). I’m hoping it will develop into a full-blown discussion about Greenham, feminism, writing plays, filmmaking (esp documentaries), working for peace … and whatever else occurs to the audience on the night.

Following the Q&A and any ensuing discussion we’ll be screening ‘Happiness’ (dir Conor Horgan (2005); running time 27 mins), which involves a wide variety of people all around Ireland expressing their idea of happiness to camera. I expect this film to start screening at 9.30pm, if not earlier. We screened Conor’s award-winning first short ‘The Last Time’ on 26th May and again more recently. His latest film ‘About Beauty’, a documentary about Irish artist Dorothy Cross, is being broadcast on RTE1 later on the very same night that our ‘picture show’ is showing ‘Happiness’ ie this Monday 1st (at 10.30pm or thereabouts) and will be screened at the IFI during the forthcoming ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ Documentary Film Festival 2008 in late September. (Conor has kindly agreed to our showing ‘About Beauty’ after that festival screening and will be doing a Q&A about it with us then.) The rest of our programme for this Monday night will be detailed later.

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