Festival: Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival

The Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival is a great opportunity to discover the rich and diverse world of Irish brewing that exists beyond Guinness. With over 50 stands, 200 craft beers and ciders from across the country and an anticipated attendance of over 10,000 the festival looks set to be bigger and better than ever in 2015. Alongside a wide array of tipples to sample from all corners of Ireland there’ll be an exciting selection of artisan foods to line your stomach with and a lively musical line-up to keep the party swinging. The Irish Craft and Cider Festival is both a wonderful excuse to enjoy a good old Irish knees up on a grand scale and a chance to explore the very best of Irish brewing in 2015. What better way to spend a Summer day in Dublin?

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Food: The Big Grill

After a smash hit debut last summer The Big Grill returns to Dublin this August with an even meatier platter of gourmet grilling and all round merriment. This year’s BBQ bonanza brings a competitive dimension to proceedings with Ireland’s first ever American style low ‘n’ slow BBQ competition which will take centre stage alongside a peerless procession of pitmasters including John Relihan of Barbacoa, DJ BBQ from Channel 5’s ‘Rad’ and Tyson Ho of Brooklyn’s Arrogant Swine Beer Hall. The jam-packed programme is brimming with all manner of gastronomic goodness including appearance by Levi Roots, Garrett Bradshaw and Jim Carroll. Great music comes courtesy of DJ Yoda, urban brass outfit Stomptown Brassband and the Brazilian samba ensemble Morro 16 and there’ll be plenty of craft beer and cider to wash it all down with thanks to an extensive line up brewing companies including Kinnegar, Franciscan Well and Eight Degrees.

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Exhibition: Red Bull Air Race

Ascot will play host to more air-bound drama this summer with the return of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Perhaps better known for the sartorial splendour of its race meeting, Ascot is quickly developing an exciting side-line as the venue for the British leg of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Last year 50,000 people attended the Air Race and the event proved to be a huge success, picking up Event of The Year at the prestigious British Racecourse Association Annual Awards. Pitting the world’s finest pilots against each other, the Red Bull Air Race is an exhilarating test of speed, precision and daredevil skill. Saturday’s attendees will witness a full day of aerial action, commencing at 9.15AM with a calibration flight and reaching a thrilling finale at 5PM with the Challengers Cup, which will see the starting places for Sunday’s Masters event decided.

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Festival: London Craft Beer Festival

The second week of August looks set to test the mettle even the hardiest of beer drinkers. While West London sees the return of the Great British Beer Festival the East End welcomes its younger, dare we say slightly hipper, counterpart – the London Craft Beer Festival. Taking place in Bethnal Green’s Oval Space, the London Craft Beer Festival sets out to celebrate the very best of Britain’s independent brewing industry by hosting eighteen of the country’s finest brewers including The Kernel Brewery, Redemption, Camden Town Brewery, BrewDog and Redchurch Brewery, who’ll collectively present 60 superb beers for your delectation. Small glasses are the order of the day, giving you a chance to try as many different beers as possible – all covered by the entrance price. It’s a great chance to sample the finest tipples currently emerging from Britain’s rejuvenated brewing industry accompanied by an excellent live music line-up that includes DJ Yoda, Ghostpoet and Artful Dodger.

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Festival: Great British Beer Festival

The highlight of the beer enthusiast’s calendar is returning to London’s Olympia this summer and promises a bigger and better celebration of British booze than ever before. Just as the capital’s brewing craze shows now sign of slowing down, so too the Great British Beer Festival – the biggest festival of its kind in the UK – continues to go from strength to strength, reflecting the enormous breadth of the buoyant brewing industry with an amazing array of tipples from Britain and beyond. This year’s festival promises over 900 beers, ciders, perries and ales, so every imaginable shade of amber nectar is certain to be present. As ever there’ll be plenty of musical entertainment on hand to ensure a festive atmosphere, plus plentiful pub grub and traditional games. And for those who seek enlightenment GBBF is never short of opportunities for the discerning hop fancier to expand their knowledge – this year’s tutored tastings include Champion Beers of Britain with Roger Protz and London’s Best Beer, Pubs and Bars with Des de Moor.

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Theatre: Hamlet

To say that Benedict Cumberbatch’s highly anticipated portrayal of Hamlet is set to be one of this year’s theatrical highlights seems like stating the obvious. Having seized the world’s attention with his mesmeric take on Sherlock in the acclaimed BBC update of Conan Doyle’s famous detective adventures, Cumberbatch has barely been out of the limelight in recent years, claiming numerous awards for his stage and screen work and effortlessly assuming a position among the country’s leading thespians. Now, at the height of his powers, Cumerbatch is set to take on Shakespeare’s most challenging – and iconic – role in Lyndsey Turner’s new production of Hamlet at the Barbican. Unsurprisingly the entire run is sold out but 30 £10 day seats will be made available per day from 10.30 AM so there’s still a chance to grab one of the year’s hottest tickets if you can make it to the Barbican early enough.

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Exhibition: The Gin Library at the Charles Dickens Museum

This August the Charles Dickens Museum will present a unique and very special night of Victoriana. You’ll be granted an opportunity to sample a selection of rare gins, try your hand at book binding and enjoy a live acoustic guitar performance by Facio, all in the atmospheric surrounds of Dickens’ former house in Bloomsbury. Experts from The London Gin Club will be present to discuss the finer points of gin tasting while you sample a hand picked library of fine gins that are certain to shed new light on the spirit’s nuanced characteristics. There’ll be plenty of time continue your education in the gin bar, which boasts an entire library of artisan gins along with carefully selected garnishes and tonics. And if all that gin hasn’t taken its toll a book binding workshop will be running throughout the evening, offering expert insight into Japanese stab binding and a chance to make your very own hand stitched notebook – a fine memento of what promises to be a delightful evening.

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Theatre: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s satirical masterpiece is considered by many to be his finest work and there’s no denying that his sparkling wit and observational acuity were rarely sharper than in this, his final play. And where better to revisit Wilde’s crowning achievement than his hometown? Fittingly the recently renovated Smock Alley Theatre is both steeped in history – it’s the city’s oldest theatre – and an exciting emblem of Dublin’s progressive and vibrant cultural landscape, in many ways it is the perfect venue for an evening of sharp Wildean comedy. The Importance of Being Earnest may be 120-years-old but it feels as fresh and relevant today as it did in 1895. An undoubted highlight of Dublin’s theatrical calendar this summer, The Importance of Being Earnest promises an irresistible night of wit, farce and romance in one of the city’s best-loved venues. You can book tickets here Written by Oscar Wilde Directed by Kate Canning Lighting and Set Design: Marcus Costello Costume Design: Olga Criado Monleon Cast: Charlie Hughes, Katie McCann, Clodagh Mooney Duggan, James Murphy, Aislinn O’Byrne, Valerie O’Leary, Kevin Shackleton

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Theatre: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s satirical masterpiece is considered by many to be his finest work and there’s no denying that his sparkling wit and observational acuity were rarely sharper than in this, his final play. And where better to revisit Wilde’s crowning achievement than his hometown? Fittingly the recently renovated Smock Alley Theatre is both steeped in history – it’s the city’s oldest theatre – and an exciting emblem of Dublin’s progressive and vibrant cultural landscape, in many ways it is the perfect venue for an evening of sharp Wildean comedy. The Importance of Being Earnst may be 120-years-old but it feels as fresh and relevant today as it did in 1895. An undoubted highlight of Dublin’s theatrical calendar this summer, The Importance of Being Earnest promises an irresistible night of wit, farce and romance in one of the city’s best-loved venues. Written by Oscar Wilde Directed by Kate Canning Lighting and Set Design: Marcus Costello Costume Design: Olga Criado Monleon Cast: Charlie Hughes, Katie McCann, Clodagh Mooney Duggan, James Murphy, Aislinn O’Byrne, Valerie O’Leary, Kevin Shackleton

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