Above K-Club and its links, and an Irish stud on the farm.
This business-savvy way of eating, drinking and thinking
not only carries over to l’Officina, the Dunne & Crescenzi outpost
at Kildare Village (perhaps one of the world’s most couples-friendly
outlet malls, designed with refreshing sophistication and refinement),
but also the classically elegant K-Club Resort. K-Club has been
on the map for years, thanks to Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses
and its close proximity to the century-old Irish National Stud and
Japanese Gardens—a must for thoroughbred horse racing aficionados
and avid gardeners alike.
With that in mind, it is no surprise that beyond its
dignified links, the resort is outfitted with everything a savvy
traveller would want in his or her quintessentially Irish holiday.
There are several drawing rooms in the main building, with museum-calibre
art on display. The cinematic bar, meanwhile, is perfect for after-hours
gatherings after an engagement party, wedding or long day on the
links. Food offerings are flawless, whether they are enjoyed in
the acclaimed River Room anchored by executive chef Finbar Higgins,
or Thai restaurant Kwam Suk, originally opened by Prince Albert
of Monaco, K-Club owner Dr Michael Smurfit and restaurateur Ashique
Hossain. The K Spa is another highlight, especially now that the
practitioners have switched from continental European products to
such home-grown treatment and skin-care potions by Voya Spa, made
with Irish seaweed and other beneficial and locally sourced elements.
Above Newbridge Silvers Museum of Style Icons has displays
dedicated to Edith Head and Audrey Hepburn.
There are several other attractions minutes from the
K-Club sure to keep the conversation going. La Serre, another one
of County Kildare’s world-class restaurants, is a focal point at
Lyons Village. The open, airy space in this restaurant serves as
an achingly romantic dinner destination, while its pub is convivial
place to enjoy a pint of Guinness, beautifully crafted cocktails
or pours of the finest Irish whisky. While Newbridge
Silver is a handy place to pick up unusual and practical corporate
gifts, its adjoining and free-of-charge Museum of Style Icons brings
a surprising but tasteful hit of Hollywood to an area better known
for stables and golf. Its eclectic display includes some of the
most celebrated outfits worn by Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn,
Barbra Streisand’s famed touring gowns, rare royal items from the
wardrobes of Princess Diana and Princess Grace, and even kitsch
and props from American television shows The Brady Bunch
Grafton Street in Dublin’s CBD
is still regarded as the epicentre of Irish chic, while Nassau Street
is the place to go if you want more homespun Irish fashion and accessories
(the Sweater Shop offers
the real deal figuratively and literally on Irish Aran sweaters).
Serious treasures can be found at Ruby
Ruby, a much-buzzed about consignment boutique in adjoining
Royal Hibernian Way co-owned by Laura Barnes, an enterprising American
woman who originally came to teach during the Celtic tiger years.
That said, Kildare Village (30 minutes from Dublin and about 20
minutes from the K-Club) cannot be missed among travellers looking
to bring more Irish, British and European chic into their existing
wardrobes not necessarily available in the US,
New Zealand or Australia.
Highlights for women are many. Handbag collectors will
want to check out Radley,
Furla and Anya Hindmarch,
a global phenomenon with famous collectors that include Scarlett
Johansson, Sienna Miller, Angelina Jolie and Claudia Schiffer. L.
K. Bennett, reportedly a favourite high street go-to spot for
the Duchess of Cambridge, is one-stop-shopping for tailored dresses,
suits, shoes and accessories. UK-based
Monsoon, especially in the
upscale outlet setting, gives H&M
a run for its money with its affordable boho-chic items.
In terms of home-grown Irish fashion, there is Louise
Kennedy’s couture on the ultra-high end, and Fran
and Jane on the more moderately priced and wearable end. While
Thomas Pink’s existence
was inspired by an 18th-century London tailor who designed the iconic
hunting coat worn by masters of Foxhounds, the modern expression
of bespoke shirting was set up in 1984 by three Irish brothers.
Above, from top L. K. Bennett shoes and baga brand
reportedly favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge. Hackett hat and
gloves. Louise Kennedy cashmere scarf. Savoy Taylors Guild shoes.
While there will be plenty of bargains to keep us happy
and stylish, even the most anti-shopping guy will be pleased with
what Kildare Village has to offer, running the gamut from bespoke-tailored
suits and shirts to statement-making golf apparel to some subtly
edgy weekend wear for the boys. Savoy
Taylors Guild is worth a protracted visit for its impeccably
tailored menswear. Though Moss Bros., its parent company, made its
name as a second-hand clothing purveyor, it blended time-tested
tailoring traditions with vintage-inspired fashion trends
to forge made-to-measure suiting and ready-to-wear appealing to
customers ranging from politicians to advertising executives. Hackett’s,
whose fans include members of the Royal Family and top European
athletes, features a selection of custom tailoring, formalwear,
business clothing, and casual jackets, rugby shirts and trousers
inspired by British sartorial heritage. Shirts from France’s Café
Coton can also add a distinctive dash of flair to one’s existing
Though there are Ted Baker and All Saints boutiques
around the world, a visit to the Kildare Village branches may not
only yield some excellent prices, but also individual garments for
men and women possibly not available outside the UK.
If you happen to be more in a country holiday mode and are dressing
more for the links, the stables or a leisurely walk through nearby
Kildare Town, Kildare Village also addresses this with Germany’s
Golfino (focused on stylish
golf clothing and accessories, www.golfino.com),
Reiss (Beyoncé is said to be a fan) and preppy pieces from
In his career, famed Dubliner Bono ultimately found
what he was looking for. By the same token, Dublin, the K-Club and
Kildare Village will have plenty of what you are looking for, as
well as some fantastic surprises and discoveries you never knew
you wanted—until you find them, on the links, the fields, the plates
and, yes, the shelves and the racks.
For more information, visit www.visitdublin.com,
1 | 2
County Kildare Failte
Top left Hackett jumper. Top right and above Shopping
chic at Kildare Village.
Kildare Village (30 minutes from Dublin and about 20 minutes
from the K-Club) cannot be missed among travellers looking to bring
more Irish, British and European chic into their existing wardrobes
not necessarily available in the US, New Zealand or Australia
Fran and Jane dress
Suit from Savoy Taylors Guild