Home & Away – GALWAY

Eyre Square, Galway

With St Patrick’s day just round the corner what better way to celebrate it then to book a weekend away to the Emerald Isle and today’s Home & Away, is a guide to the beautiful and ancient city of Galway. Galway offers a unique Irish experience, being an amazing coastal city and where olde world Ireland fuses with a modern, cosmopolitan but welcoming vibe. If you’re looking for something a little different to Dublin or Cork I strongly recommend this unique city where stunning coastal scenery is never far away.

Top 5 things –

5) Head to the Spanish Arch for pub, after pub, after pub, from traditional to contemporary, you’ll find at least one to like here.

4) Walk to the beach at Salthill, but generally walk it’s a brilliant city to walk round. Be Brave while in Salthill join the locals and take a dip in the Atlantic

3) Impress your better half and take them for a cream tea at the Meyrick Hotel (hotelmeyrick.ie)

2) While in Galway head to the Arran Islands and visit the spiritual home of Father Ted.

1) Eat Fish & Chips in McDonaghs (22 Quay Street, Galway City, www.mcdonaghs.net)

imageEat – The Huntsman (huntsmaninn.com) a little out from the centre of Galway but well worth it. Walk to it and build up your appetite for this great example of old meeting new and working brilliantly.

Sleep – The G (theghotel.ie) or Sleepzone (sleepzone.ie). Depending on your budget we’ve given you two options, either the Philip Traecy designed 5* hotel or one of the best hostels in the world, officially.

Drink – Tig Cóilí, Mainguard Street, Home of Traditional Irish Music 7 nights a week. Great atmosphere and music.

Ask a Local – Tommy Connolly

“Galway’s brilliant for a pub crawl, don’t get stuck in one pub, there are few bad pubs in the city so have a drink or two and move on, your never more then two doors away from a pub”.


California Dreamin – California Collection by Banana Republic

imageAhhhhh the weather is improving, please don’t let me be speaking too soon and what a different it makes, people smiling, laughing, why even bus drivers are being friendlier !!!! For Spring 14 BananaRepublic have taken inspiration from the Golden State of American, California. Inspired by the brand’s heritage and the pioneering spirit of its San Francisco roots, the campaign celebrates authenticity with style and the California state of mind.

imageThe California Collection reflects an effortless blend of laid back comfort and easy chic that includes iconic pieces to the brand, such as chinos, trenches and utility jackets that have been reinterpreted into relevant and modern sportswear.

imageTo accompany this collection, the brand have unveiled a new look campaign – a heartfelt nod to the modern day adventurer who appreciates the journey, not just the destination. The campaign champions true relationships, true style and true emotions, under the heading, “TRUE OUTFITTERS”, illustrating life’s precious lil moments shared between ones soul mate and loved ones, ahhhhh. Real-life couples and families were cast in the campaign, including New York based partners and interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, Argentinian model and chic hotelier Nicolas Malleville and his family, Nashville natives and longtime sweethearts Cory Bond and Bekah Jenkins, and up and coming European models Sara Blomqvist and Jeremy Young.

“Banana Republic represents an approach to style, living and a state of mind that continues to define the modern wardrobe,” says Banana Republic global chief marketing officer, Catherine Sadler.


Oh Brother where art thou – 6 of the best Monk Shoes by Marcus Burns

What a weird name for a shoe your probably thinking? Double monk strap. Well yes there is reason behind the strange name and it dates back centuries from when monks in Europe wanted more protective footwear than the honest Jesus sandals they normally wore gave them, the monkshoe was hard wearing and long lasting, making it a perfect choice as a work shoe. For centuries now the shoe has grown and declined in the style ranks but 2014 has certainly seen the double monk become an essential in every dapper chaps wardrobe the perfect meeting point between both smart- casual dress codes and everyday work wear. Here are six of the best double monks you can get hands (well feet) on.



These beauties from Oliver Sweeney




Blue Suede shoes are not just fro Elvis, get all shook up, with these by Katie Eary X Grenson exclusively for MRPORTER.com



A  classic in every way, well what more would you expect from Paul Smith


Dr Martens have well and truly shaken off any misconceptions of not being stylish, design lead footwear with this example of a Monk shoe



All British brands so far, and we shouldn’t be surprised with Britain being the home of well made, great footwear and again another Great British brand, this time Ted Baker



And to finish off this splendid array of Monk shoes we have no less then TOPMAN. Go in peace and spend

Far more civilised then some Rusholme Ruffians – Ruffians Grooming range

imageThe notion of there being an evident growth in the idea of the Modern Gentleman – who is at liberty to care about how he looks after himself, is certainly no big discovery. You would, literally have had to been sharing a cave with Nick Brody and Osama Bin Laden not to have noticed the re-birth and Big Bang in male grooming, particularly over the last five years. In simple terms, you no longer have to be a Geography teacher, wizard or member of ZZ Top to have a beard. I mean dear God even, Superheroes, news readers & members of the royal family are sporting extensive facial hair.

To match this masculine trend we’ve equally seen an explosion in more boutique, artisan grooming ranges for a more discerning customer. One in question is Ruffiansa brand whose first barber shop launched in Edinburgh in 2012, and it has won the Best Independent, Best Newcomer and Best Designed Salon at the British Hairdressing Business Awards. It also won Best New Salon at the prestigious Creative Head Awards. Ruffians pride themselves on their outstanding customer experience, innovative design and of course blooming decent haircut and shave, and in a move William Wallis, himself would be proud of,  is open now at 27 Maiden Lane in Covent Garden, London.

On top of this Scottish invasion, the brand are passionate about their grooming range and how they are made in small batches rather than mass-produced. They are formulated by Ruffians and based on the real feedback they get through their barber shops.  Founder of Ruffians, Andrew Cannon, started with a blank piece of paper and created a range geared specifically for men’s hair and skin type. They stay clear of all the nastiness like sulphates, colourants, parabens, animal testing and have a very natural and effective range.

Key products within the range include the Rough Matt Clay, this promises to thickens, texturizes and increases fullness of hair. Natural clays kaolin and illite add fine particles that help thicken the hair appearance and prevent build-up of excess oils. The Sandalwood Shave gel which uses Positive ionic molecules bind to the negatively charged hair shaft and lift it, allowing the razor to glide right to the base of stubble, reducing hair dragging or snagging and sandalwood oil lubricates the skin and is a natural antiseptic contains healing properties.  Lastly, the signature Ruffians fragrances, in hand-crafted hip-flask bottles and luxury whisky-style cases. Firstly, RUFFIANS ONE, which is a deep, classic masculine scent, suitable for everyday wear and formal occasions And RUFFIANS TWO, is a contemporary, fresh and sporty fragrance, perfect for a signature scent and promises a distinct night-time confidence.


Get on your horse and ride off into the sunset – 6 of the best Western Shirts

image“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by.” – The late and great Mr John Wayne. Now there never was a greater cowboy of the silver screen then the inimitable big John Wayne whether it was  Fort Apache, El Dorado, Rio Grande or True Grit you didn’t mess with this man and if your were stupid enough to do so, you could expect one thing, Trouble.

The look of the traditional Cowboy whether it be the Marlboro Man, the classic American dream manifested in a check shirt and denim jeans all summed up in Marion Mitchell Morrison, otherwise known as John Wayne, this look is a timeless masculine theme. Epitomising this great trend has to be the Western shirt or Cowboy shirt, which so easily looks great with a pair of jeans or cords as it does giving a less formal edge to the humble suit.

As always we are here to advise you on 6 of the very best that are currently available to you, well right now.



A great example of a classic plaid Western shirt but there is nothing Traditional about this brand, no siree, ohh it True Religion by the way.



Yipee ka yeah ! This be one of the routenest, tootenets finest cowboy shirts around this then parts and is available from French Connection.



There is no disputing the fact that Renzo Rosso, his new Creative Director, Nicola Formichetti and those there guys over at Diesel are Masters are producing Classics with a Modern twist.



Like a good single breasted black suit, every man should have a decent Chambray shirt at his disposal And they don’t come much better then this example by Polo Ralph Lauren.


Now this great lil shirt also comes in a gold colour way but I thought if you are going to invest in a shirt of this nature, you probably want to tone things down somewhat. It’s a brilliantly literal interpretation of the Cowboy shirt and is from no other then TOPMAN.


To finish this post we’ve gone for a more versatile shirt this time by G-Star so whether your home on the range or just plain home, this ticks many of the boxes with this trend.