From what to binge on Netflix to what to eat and where...here's how to spend February
Congratulations are in order: you survived January!
January is a struggle at the best times but add in a third nationwide lockdown – and that was one intense month. At times, it felt like it would never end and while New Year's Eve feels like a distant memory now, we're ready to welcome February with open arms.
The second month of the year is always better than the first; warmer weather is looming, we're – dare we say it – noticing a bit of stretch in the evenings and there are only 28 days to get through. What's more, February 2021 looks to be a perfect month - on paper, that is. The month has, obviously, 28 days and the first of February is on a Monday. So this marks the start of a perfectly rectangular February, something that we only get on the calendar once every 200 years!
What's more, with the arrival of some hugely anticipated Netflix drops, Valentine's day meal kits and a sustainable denim collection courtesy of H&M - this February 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.
Valentine's Dinner for Two at Food by Sally Ann
Love is in the air, and as we approach our first Valentine's Day under a national lockdown, many couples may be wondering how on earth to set the mood and create a special occasion without the help of a three-course meal at a swanky restaurant or romantic weekend getaway for two. Cue Sally Ann Luykx. Catering expert and food extraordinaire, Sally Ann has recently launched Food by Sally Ann which specialises in at home meal kits meaning you can let the experts do all the hard work for you. The Valentine’s Dinner for Two (€45 per person) features a celebratory cocktail (white peach Bellini), a choice of two starters (Coquilles St Jacques, aka scallop gratin; or marinated heritage tomatoes, caramelised fennel, goat’s cheese curd and sourdough croute), a choice of two mains (Thornhill duck breast, duck croquette, celeriac purée, pickled beetroot, red wine and thyme jus; or pan roasted cod, cauliflower purée, pea and samphire, clam and chorizo sauce, French beans, toasted almonds and creamy champ), and a dessert of Valrhona chocolate mousse, peanut brittle, Seville orange sponge, and vanilla anglaise to share, along with petits fours. To order your Valentine’s Dinner for Two or peruse Food by Sally Ann’s menu options for an at-home feast, visit www.sallyann.ie.
Delicious, sustainable coffee at Kali Coffee
It’s no secret that Ireland has an abundance of great coffee shops. But a coffee shop with a conscience? Well, that’s a little harder to come by...until now. Kali Coffee Bar is the latest addition to the Irish coffee scene. Located in Salthill, Co. Galway, Kali Coffee Bar is keeping things local and sustainable by serving up steaming hot cups of Calendar Coffee. And on the sustainable note, there’s no extra charge for oat milk in your coffee. A little hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the Prom, Kali Coffee Bar is the ideal endpoint to an energetic walk by the sea. Bonus points that they’re dog-friendly too! Be sure to follow @kalicoffeebar on Instagram for owners, Laura and Enda’s, hilarious latte art offs.
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Monday Club Workouts
Finding the motivation to actually go to the gym and workout is a struggle at the best times. Throw in a nationwide pandemic, gym closures and grim weather – and well, the couch and that packet of biscuits just seem like the better option. Well, no more. Fitness guru and lifestyle blogger, Niamh Cullen has just launched her very own live workouts and on-demand glasses to make working out at home fun. Yes, really - fun. On a mission to prove how Mondays are the new Fridays, Cullen has set up the Monday Club which has workout classes for every need, depending on your mood, goals and/or energy levels. With 80's inspired aerobics classes, pilates and HIIT workouts, Monday Club is sure to lift your spirit, inspire and bring some much-needed fun to your days. You can enjoy our workouts from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace and on your own schedule, making it stress-free and easy to find an exercise routine that works for you. What's more, for the first week of February, there will be free complimentary classes available on mondayclub.ie so you can get a taste of what it's like before committing to a membership.
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With Arnotts Cooking Club
If last year thought us anything, it's that cooking is therapeutic and joyful. While now once again a necessity given further lockdown restrictions, cooking exciting and tasty meals from the comfort of our own kitchen is no mean feat. If you find yourself reaching for the takeout menu or buying ready meals at the supermarket several times a week, we've got just the thing! Arnotts has teamed up with Ireland's leading celebrity chefs and foodies to launch Arnotts Cooking Club, offering exclusive weekly demonstrations on the Arnotts Instagram page. The event kicks off on February 4th with international best-selling author and TV host, Donal Skehan. Whether a total beginner in the kitchen or just looking to hone new skills, Arnotts Cooking Club has something for everyone with a jam-packed programme of content curated by a star-studded cast including celebrity chef Rachel Allen, lifestyle and travel blogger Nadia el Ferdousi and Head Chef at Chapter One, Eric Matthews to name but a few. Members can share their creations with the Arnotts Cooking Club community on Instagram using the hashtag #ArnottsCookingClub to be in with a chance of winning in a series of weekly giveaways from the Arnotts Kitchenware department. Be sure to be following @arnottsdublin on Instagram so you never miss a show.
Malcolm & Marie on Netflix
While the rest of us were at home attempting sourdough starters and bingeing Tiger King in cosy loungewear, Emmy-winning actress Zendaya produced a movie with Sam Levinson (the writer and director who gave us Euphoria). Filmed entirely in lockdown, this achingly romantic drama sees filmmaker (John David Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) head home together after attending his first film premiere. As he awaits what he assumes will be an imminent critical and financial success, though, the evening suddenly takes a turn as revelations about their relationships come to the surface, pushing the couple to their limits and putting their love to the absolute test. With the film sparkling all sorts of Oscar buzz—with whispers of a forthcoming nomination for powerhouse Zendaya—it's one to add to your weekend to-do list. Available to stream on Netflix from February 4.
The Apology Line podcast
Looking for something completely different to listen to? The Apology Line offers exactly that. For 14 years, people could call a number in Manhattan and anonymously apologise for doing something. This new podcast from Wondery tells the story of the line, and the man at the other end who became consumed by his own creation, “Mr. Apology”. As thousands of callers flooded the line, confessing to everything from shoplifting to infidelity to drug dealing and murder, Mr. Apology realised he couldn’t just listen: he had to do something, even if it meant risking everything. Marissa Bridge, who actually knew Mr. Apology better than anyone (they were married!), hosts this six-episode series about empathy, deception and obsession.
Dating No Filter on Sky One & Now TV
Daisy May Cooper has helped many of us laugh our way through lockdown. Whether you’ve recently revisited her Bafta-winning comedy series This Country or just been following her hilarious videos on Instagram, you’ll know what we mean when we call her a bit of a hero. Her new reality show, Dating No Filter, will see pairs of singletons sent on first dates, with intertwined quick-witted commentary from comedians including Cooper, Joel Dommett, Josh Widdicombe, Tom Allen, Suzi Ruffell, Susan Wokoma, Tom Lucy, Rosie Jones, Judi Love, Chunkz and Yung Filly. The singletons will be treated to a range of activities to try to break the ice, from axe throwing and ballroom dancing to pole dancing and a visit to a goat farm. And the comedians will pair up to watch and weigh in on the dates, giving unfiltered observations on every awkward interaction and heartwarming moment as they root for love to conquer all. It sounds like the exact kind of low-risk, comic relief that let’s face it, we could all do with right now. And we don’t have long to wait. Dating No Filter is coming to Sky One and TV streaming service Now TV from February 25.
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.
Denim again thanks to Lee X H&M
Denim is the cornerstone of many peoples’ wardrobe. From dresses to jumpsuits to jackets and of course, jeans, it’s the timeless trend we’ve depended on throughout the ages. Just take the 1990s for example. Yet with such reliance on denim comes dire environmental impact. According to one heavily cited report, it takes 7,000 litres of water to produce just one pair of jeans. But here to take the eco-guilt out of fashion's most-loved fabric, H&M have partnered with renowned American jeans brand, Lee, on a sustainable denim collection. Launching just last week, the collection consists of multiple jeans shapes, from skinny and straight-leg to wide-leg and mom, as well as slouchy denim jackets, shirts, dungarees and a denim corset top that’s perfect for layering over T-shirts. Not stopping there, there’s accessories too, in the shape of hats, bags and belts, as well as T-shirts, sweatshirts and a smaller menswear range. While a pair of Lee jeans would usually set you back around €90, this high street collaboration allows them to reach a whole different market with much lower price points around the €35-40 mark. As for those sustainability credentials, every piece is made from recycled and/or organic cotton, and the denim is made ‘without the use of environmentally harmful chemicals in an energy-saving, water-efficient manufacturing process.’ Where polyester is used, that’s also made from recycled materials, including the sewing thread. Shop the collection, here.
An Electric Toothbrush
We all know it’s vital to tooth and gum health to brush morning and night, floss every day, and schedule regular dentist visits. But how you clean your teeth is just as important as how often. While electric toothbrushes are by no means anything new, there's a new wave of smart toothbrushes that make that twice-daily job a little bit easier. But with a rise in popularity, there's a whole world of electronic toothbrushes out there that makes shopping for your teeth overwhelming. Cue Spotlight Oral Care. The Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush is a game-changer for oral health. It uses professionally designed sonic technology which allows the gentle feel of a manual toothbrush while achieving a deep clean effect. Now launched for a limited time only, the Rose Gold Sonic Toothbrush comes complete with a 2-minute timer and allows for a deeper clean with 3-speed settings with various amplitude ranges to suit every individual need. With a long-lasting battery and a protective travel case, the Sonic Toothbrush gently and effectively removes plaque and discolouration. Buy it here.
Main image by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash
READ MORE: Here's What To Watch On Netflix This Month