From what to binge on Netflix to what to eat and where...here's how to spend April
There are a number of reasons to celebrate in April: the weather is warmer, the days are longer and there's chocolate eggs. April is also the first full month of spring when everything and everyone is full of optimism and cheer – even in lockdown. In actual fact, April is the best month of the year to be at home, what with spring cleaning, tax prep, post-winter garden cleanup, and all the other tasks you might have on your springtime to-do list.
What's more, with the arrival of some hugely anticipated Oscar-nominated films, the re-opening of Dublin Zoo and a high street x designer homeware collab - this April is going to be a month to remember.
So whatever this month has in store, we've rounded up everything new coming to a couch or city street near you. Be sure to save this post to your browser because there's going to come a day where you're wondering how you should spend your day, and we've got the answers.
Aimsir at Home
Moving as always with the seasons, the team at Aimsir have launched a new Aimsir at Home menu this month. The carefully created eight-course menu features some exciting new dishes such as a riff on the beloved Ballymakenny potato dish, this one featuring a chive emulsion and bone marrow. Other new additions include Regan’s Farm chicken livers with beetroot crisp, pickled apple gel and chickweed from the Aimsir gardens, a rare-breed pork loin with pickled heritage carrots, sea buckthorn and hollandaise finished with a two-year old miso and rhubarb, poached in its own juice and barrel-aged cherry balsamic, elderflower set custard, wild rose and lemon balm meringue. Anyone who has previously tried to get their hands on an Aimsir at Home box will know just fast they sell out but the good news is that Aimsir are increasing the quantities available each week. Aimsir at Home costs €210 for two people, which includes all food, Aimsir branded tweezers for plating, a special skill tool in each box, instruction cards and access to in-depth video content from Jordan Bailey and Majken Bech Bailey, and their talented team, as they talk you through the elements of each course and recommend drink pairings. The new Spring Aimsir at Home box is available to order online every Friday from 12pm with collection the following Friday and limited delivery on the following Saturday. See aimsirathome.ie for more information.
Having had their doors shut for over a year now, Electric Bar and Restaurant are raising money via a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to save their bar. But rather than just look for donations, Electric wants to give you something in return hence Electric Cocktails. The bar has a superb team of expert mixologists, Carl D’Alton and Traford Murphy who have put their own unique twist on classic favourites as well as coming up with new and creative beverages. Think a pornstar martini with a punch, a summery spin on the classic Tom Collins as well as a cocktail inspired by a PB&J sandwich. The cocktails can be shipped anywhere in Ireland and the UK and prices start at €25. The cocktails can be purchased through Electric's crowd-fundraising campaign which you can view by clicking here.
After months of sitting at home with nothing to do and nowhere to go, Dublin Zoo has given us something to be excited about. Following Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s announcement this week on Ireland’s roadmap out of lockdown, Dublin Zoo has confirmed that they will be reopening their gates and welcoming us in on April 26. However, this will be done at a reduced capacity and under strict health and safety protocols. Internal animal houses and playgrounds will be closed to the public until further notice too but guests will be able to enjoy Dubin Zoo's outdoor one-way walking route. The tickets are not currently on sale, but Dublin Zoo has announced that they will be available in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye on their social media for that.
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I’m Waiting for You: And Other Stories by Kim Bo-Young
Containing four stories, arranged in two pairs, South Korean author Kim Bo-young’s I’m Waiting for You is unlike anything you’ve read before. One set of stories centers on a time-traveling, spacefaring couple whose mission to return home in time for their wedding is waylaid by a series of unexpected events. The other focuses on a priest who questions his gods’ power after his child sets out on a rebellious new path. Illuminating and uplifting, I’m Waiting for You deserves a place on your nightstand this year. Out on April 6.
With warmer days and brighter evenings officially on the cards, the cocktail season is calling us. But rather than just mix together your favourite spirits and finish off with a splash of tonic, why not turn that refreshing concoction into a cake? This delicious mojito cake, made with lime, mint, white rum syrup and lime buttercream, is just the treat. It's the perfect cake for a special occasion, a lockdown birthday or just to celebrate that you made it to the end of the week! Try it yourself by following the recipe, here.
Sound Of Metal on Amazon Prime
The buzz surrounding the Amazon Original film, Sound Of Metal, has continued to escalate ahead of its Irish release this year. The two-hour film follows Ruben (Riz Ahmed), a drummer and recovering drug addict who lives his life on the road touring with the heavy metal band Blackgammon. But when Ruben begins to experience hearing loss, his future as a musician is put into jeopardy. The film has received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role. After delays due to the pandemic, Sound Of Metal was released on Amazon in the U.S. in November 2020. Meanwhile, Irish viewers still have a some time to wait before they can watch this soon-to-be award-winning film. But thankfully not too long as Sound Of Metal will be available to stream on Amazon Prime from April 12.
Fearless (Taylor's Version) by Taylor Swift
In November of last year, Taylor Swift made an unprecedented announcement: that she’d be re-recording her old music. In a social media post, she outlined her ongoing battle to regain control of her master recordings, revealing to fans that she had “recently begun re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling. I have plenty of surprises in store.” Swift’s re-recording of her first six albums is now well underway, with the first record to be released being announced as ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’. Out on April 9, Taylor’s re-recorded each and every song on the 2008 album, as well as six never released songs from that era (songs “from the vault”).
Snabba Cash on Netflix
Back in the heady pre-Covid days of 2010, Swedish director Daniel Espinosa found Hollywood success with his gritty international crime thriller, Snabba Cash (also known as Easy Money). The film spawned a trilogy, and now Netflix has taken things one step further, bringing us a slick new TV series set in the same world. The twist? It takes place 10 years after the events depicted in the movies. The series will begin on the streaming giant on April 7.
The Head Plan App
In December 2019, Denise Kenny Byrne launched The Head Plan: an inspiration and goal-setting guided journal. Since its launch, The Head Plan has created a thriving Instagram community of like-minded, wellness enthusiasts who have engaged with one another and the brand to discuss how best to implement healthy habits and get the most out of our days. But even with such a positive and uplifting page in existence, Instagram can be a negative space to log into. Determined to give her followers a comfortable and safe space, Denise Kenny Byrne has launched The Head Plan App: a hub of all things positive and enriching. The app's features include, but by no means be limited to, positive daily affirmations, guided meditations, journaling prompts, forums for discussion and workshops hosted by an array of qualified professionals. Best of all, the app is free to use. Since launching last week, the app has climbed to the top of the charts and is currently number one in the Irish app downloads. The Head Plan app is available as a free download on iOS and Android.
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As frustrating as it may be, staying at home is crucial. If you think you don’t have a huge role to play in how the coronavirus outbreak plays out, think again. You have the potential to make this pandemic so much worse. That’s because the coronavirus is both more contagious and more deadly than the common flu. One person can easily transmit it to other people without knowing it, and those people would then transmit it to even more people, creating a terrifying snowball effect. The good news is, just as you can easily transmit the virus to other people, you can easily avoid transmitting it — if you’re willing to stay home. That’s right: Simply by sitting on your couch, you can potentially save lives.
A Knotted Dress
As sunny days breakthrough to brighten all of our days, we can slowly start ditching the multiple layers we’ve been sporting so far this year. Now, it’s time to focus on the separates that’ll see you through every outing you’ll hopefully have this summer. This year, it's all about small details that have the power to change your entire wardrobe. Take, for instance, the knotted dress. We’re not talking about a cleverly tied belt, no – in fact, we mean the fabric of the dress or skirt being knotted to create a small detail that makes a big impact. Think a summery sarong style skirt or your favourite shirt dress with a twisted knot on the waist drawing the eye in at the front. Any dress or skirt style gets the seal of approval as long as it has the sleek, knotted detail somewhere on the design. We're particularly fond of this knotted slip skirt from Zara and rumour has it, it's set to be the cult-buy for the Summer.
ZARA SATIN SKIRT WITH KNOTTED DETAIL, €29.95, BUY
Anything from H&M Home X Diane Von Furstenberg
H&M Home’s hotly-anticipated collaboration with fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg launches next week on April 16 and the interiors world is buzzing with excitement. Since teasing us with news of the launch back in November – and giving us a sneak preview of a fabulous red glass statement vase – the collection has been kept firmly under wraps. Until now! We’ve finally been given a sneak preview of what we can expect from the collection. Everything from blankets to vases to candles and cushion covers will get the DVF treatment. Think zebra and leopard print, a kissable lip pattern and Diane’s abstract lettering, all bold prints the designer is famed for. The collections will be made up of 31 pieces including wool blankets, cushions covers, boxes, trays, candles, espresso cups, small plates, vases, pots, posters and even a robe. If previous H&M's collaborations are anything to go by, you'll want to be fast on April 16 when the collection lands in-store and online.
Main image by Sergi Dolcet Escrig