Kinsale is an astonishingly beautiful part of Cork, and it's always well worth a visit. The 2012 Kinsale Arts Festival will run from July 7th to 15th, with the "Vice & Virtue" of Irish society as the theme for this year's event. It sounds like a pretty apt theme for a country that has always been comfortable with its own unique brand of Catholicism. Events will cover music, art, literature, drama, poetry, film and of course... food!
Kinsale is well-regarded as a food destination, so it's only natural that any arts festival would have a gastronomic slant. Food is both a guilty pleasure and a necessity, fitting the "Vice & Virtue" theme very neatly. Here are some of the main events on offer...
- The Dramatic Dinner at Crackpots Restaurant invites you to explore your performance skills in a series of interactive mini plays, which will take you back to the era of silent movies. A piano plays, while movies from another era will provide a suitable backdrop. As each course is served, a savour of virtue is followed by delicious decadence, and it's up to you to decide which taste suits you best. Release your inner drama queen as each table has a script to follow. 9pm July 11th. Tickets €47
- For the Cleudo sleuths, Murder at Ballinacurra House will be your chance to shine. Prove your mettle and enter into detective mode, while enjoying your meal in the company of some zany characters as high jinks unfold. A summer evening, a family gathering and fine dining in a luxury manor home... what could possibly go wrong? Someone in the party has other ideas! July 8th - 10th. Tickets €49 including dinner.
- This Meal Will Change Your Life Charlotte Jarive and Zelda Di Blasi want to make you happier, while also serving you delicious dinner. Collaborating to create events drawing upon psychological research and food art, they need your help to answer some important and fundamental questions about our happiness. Come along, let them feed you and hopefully make you happy. 8pm July 6th, 7th & 8th at Long Quay House. Tickets €42 including dinner.
- Famous fish chef Martin Shannahan from Fishy Fishy Cafe will host food workshops designed to take the fear out of fish. Overcome your fears and leave with a tasty picnic snack as Martin and Madeleine Murray (Pure Sushi) lead a workshop that will soon have you rolling up with ease. Join them at Fishy Fishy restaurant on Friday, July 13th between 11.00 - 13.00. Four half-hour sessions are on offer, with spaces limited, so pre-booking is essential. The cost - a mere €5!
- Jelly Town features a series of events and children's workshops which explore what food and architecture have in common. Led by A2Architects and PAC Studio, an up-lit wobbly jello model of Kinsale will be constructed over the weekend. Ultimately, it will be populated by a delicious population of gummi bears, pastilles, snakes and gums. Visit Jelly Town on Saturday July 7th or Sunday July 8th. No booking required, just visit the Temperance Hall between 11.00 - 14.00
- The Afternoon Tea Sessions at the KAF Pop-Up Playhouse presents three special events looking at how we live, thrive and survive. Featuring tea and cake from the lovely Lemon Leaf Cafe, it's bound to be a winner, so join in the age-old Irish tradition of solving problems over a cup of tea. Roisin Ingle will lead Tea & Sympathy (3pm July 8th), Zelda di Blasi holds Tea & Pyschology (4pm July 13th) while Sarah Bakewell wraps up with Tea & Philosophy (4pm July 14th). Tickets €15
Tickets are available form the festival website www.kinsaleartsfestival.com or by calling +353 (0)21 470 0877