Friday, 17 August 2007

Venu Brasserie by Guilbaud

Headed over to VENU on Anne's Lane (off South Anne Street, Dublin) a few days ago - it's of the Patrick Guilbaud stable, by his son Charles.

The service was good - our waiter was helpful and discrete - atmoshpere was easy-going. A main-course of duck (with baby potato, red-onion, jus) arrived as a generous portion (2 legs) cooked to perfection with crispy skin keeping the very tender meat moist ..sadly the pasta with tarragon and mushroom; the rizotto; and a vegetarian curry with roasted-vegetables (they arrived steamed) were all disappointing. (Maybe it's a kitchens that simply lacks imagination with vegetarian meals.) Cocktails were refreshing but neither they nor the Irish coffee possessed the required measures of alcohol.

The space itself is comfortable enough - crucial since VENU is deep in a basement therefore lacking any external views and relying on artificial light. With no windows more skill should have gone into the selection of artworks - but sadly this is a collection lacking any sense of cohesion or imagination. (Charles could definitely benefit from a word with Gina O'Kelly at the SOLOMON gallery). While the prints are inoffensive the same cannot be said for a muddy collection of paintings in the central area (..and faux-greek casts (plastic) on the entrance stairwell?). A couple of Orla de Brí sculptures are thrown-in for good measure but overall the choice of artworks is unsettling.

We just popped in for a quick bite so had no great expectations but we left agreeing there are much better places in this price-range. Though it got rave reviews when it opened our group agreed there would be no stampede back.

6* / 10*

Friday, 10 August 2007

Déan Nós Bris Nós Festival of World Cultures

With a reputation for housing one of the best atmospheres over the Festival of World Cultures weekend (Fri 24 - Sun 26 Aug 2007), the Festival Club, this year taking place in Déan Nós Bris Nós, features international artists joining Irish artists for some unforgettable impromptu sessions. For two nights - Sat 25th and Sun 26th - the Déan Nós Bris Nós tent will be transformed into a global emporium of superior live and vinyl sounds, bringing you the ultimate Festival of World Cultures club experience.

The return of Déan Nós Bris Nós this year includes Gaelic hip hop/rap, Blindfold Sean Nós Peep Show, an outdoor marquee, bar and food tent along with power trad performances from Ireland and around the globe; an extraordinary celebration of performance, that promises to be a festival highlight!

Two innovative nights of the best in traditional and not so traditional music, song, poetry and dance brought to you by promoters Ronan O'Muirgheasa and Deirdre Learmont.

Booking info here

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Ballymun has shown how regeneration can be done - or has it?

Complementing our work in the Arts, Heritage and Entertainment, SEXTON+ collaborate with a range of community groups whose contribution at grass-roots equally benefits society. Most recently we where invited to represent community groups operating in Ballymun.

So is the regeneration picture rosy? SEXTON+ were commissioned by BCON (Ballymun Community Organisations Network) to brand and produce the report 'Building for Change - a community facilities strategy for Ballymun' publishing the research of SMITH EVERETT & ASSOC. & TSA CONSULTANTS. BRIAN HARVEY, Social Researcher and Chairman of BCON launched the document.

According to the Programme for Government the Regeneration of 'Ballymun has shown how it can be done'. However this report raises some doubts over that assertion. The Consultants conclude that, in Ballymun, 'tokenism has led to an erosion of social capital' (the capacity of communities to build self-organisation, skills, leadership, solidarity and 'trust') ...though, ironically, the NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL FORUM highlighted the importance of Social Capital and Government encouraged it with a campaign entitled Active Citizenship.

The report is a mature and considered document which focuses energy on constructive solutions going forward.
Grab a transcript of Brian Harvey's speech and the Report from BCON: (01-883-2158)