Christmas market returns to Custom House Quay

If you’re looking for a festive day out for the whole family then look no further as Custom House Quay has been converted into a magical Aprés Village.

The Aprés Village and Lodge which is conveniently located opposite the George’s Dock Luas stop, consists of market stalls in the form of charming, wooden huts. They’re selling everything from pick ‘n’ mix sweets, handmade crafts to Christmas decor.

apres
Source: Alison Egan
IMG_3291
Source: Alison Egan

Let’s not forget the numerous food trucks and snack stalls available. Visitors can expect a wide variety of mouthwatering cuisine, such as gourmet burgers and sausages cooked over a charcoal grill, luxury doughnuts from Aungier Danger, delicious, freshly made churros and a unique take on twisty fries, otherwise known as ‘chip on a stick’.

 

IMG_3271
Source: Alison Egan

 

IMG_3296
Source: Alison Egan

As I walked into the Village last Sunday, I couldn’t ignore the festive smell of mulled wine which permeated the air. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate is also available from a quirky little coffee cart called ‘Barista Bike’. Even though entry into the village is free, you shouldn’t forget to bring your wallet, as a lot of these ‘luxury’ items come with high end price tags, as I ended up paying €3 for a small cup of hot chocolate, €5 for three ropes of liquorice and €3 for a doughnut.

 

IMG_3307
Source: Alison Egan

There is also a few family friendly activities to keep the kids busy, such as Santa’s Grotto, a carousel and a Ferris wheel. There’s a giant inflatable snow globe which is perfect for photo opportunities and a VR ski experience, to see what it’s like on the slopes.

The ICHH (Inner City Helping Homeless) were there in a hut offering gift wrapping services in aid of their charity. So if wrapping presents is the last thing you want to think about, then head on down to the Aprés Village to get all your gift wrapping needs attended to, as well as giving to a good cause.

IMG_3279
Source: Alison Egan

The event runs from 12pm to 7pm each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday up until the 18th of December, when it opens every day until the 23rd of December.

After 5:30pm, the Lodge opens up on the dock and becomes the perfect office Christmas party venue. The Aprés lodge includes three bars, a ski lift photo booth with lots of retro ski costumes, Aprés ski bands and DJs and snow machines to make the lodge look magical.

If you’re looking for a festive day out with the family or a unique night out on the town, The Aprés Village and Lodge is a pop up event not to be missed this December.

By Alison Egan

Paper Bear trying to crack Irish Christmas card market

A Dublin based greeting card company has come up with a novel approach to producing Christmas cards.

PaperBear.ie, is a pop up card company that makes greeting cards for all occasions including Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, get well cards and even cards depicting famous Irish landmarks … all ideal for sending to loved ones living abroad.

With the busy Christmas period upon us, PaperBear are producing new designs, including Comet the reindeer, Christmas Molly Malone figures and Dublin bridge scenes.

The cards retail between €3.99 and €6.99 and there are also multipack sets available for €11-€20.

20161018_161006
Source: paperbear.ie

 

Set up in 2013, this is PaperBear’s fourth year in business. The company was set up by Katie and Aaron Dowling.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the business, Aaron Dowling said the idea came following a trip to Spain, where they saw a pop up card shop and seeing potential in the idea, they decided to put their business skills together and set up the company.

“The process begins with drawing out a sketch for a card idea. Once we work on the design more and finalise it, we create a 3D sketch. We use Corel Draw do add layers to the picture to bring it to life. Then we cut the layers out and create the objects that will pop out of the card.

“We are aware of the global implications of using our resources like paper but since March 2017, we have worked with One Tree Planted. We plant a tree every day in places like the Amazon and Kenya … so that we can give back.

20161006_145431
Source: paperbear.ie

“We have a stall set up at the Dun Laoghaire Christmas markets this year which we are proud to be a part of.”

The opening days and times for the markets can be found on the Paperbear.ie website under their events calendar.

By Nicole McNelis

Average Irish household to spend over €2,600 this Christmas

Retail Ireland’s Christmas Monitor 2017 predicts an increase in total sales of over €100 million, with sales over the Christmas season to increase to €4.5 billion from €4.4 billion last year. 

 

Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: “Now that the uncertain political environment of recent days has passed, retailers are looking forward to the approaching Christmas period with renewed optimism. Rising disposable incomes, more people at work, and falling prices will raise consumer spirits and enable greater spending over the busy Christmas period.” 

 

With many people choosing to shop online and to buy from non-Irish websites to avoid the busy shopping centres and get better deals, the challenge for Irish retailers is to ensure that this increased spending is felt locally and Irish retailers benefit from this spending. 

 

Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: “The growing migration by Irish consumers online over recent months is creating a challenge for Irish retailers. Local traders have to date been unable to stem the flow of close to 75% of online consumer spending that currently leaves these shores.” 

 

This increase in consumer spending is a result of an average rise in gross disposable income which was up 5.4 percent in the first half of 2017, an increase of over four percent from last year. Because of this increase, many Irish people are finding that they have more money to spend on clothes, food and drink, presents, decorations and anything else they need for Christmas.

 

For presents, the Retail Ireland Monitor 2017 predicts that the focus for gifts will be primarily on personalisation, fragrance, champagne, and chocolates. For men, it will be focused on shoes, and for women, the main presents will be luxury accessories and fragrance. 

 

Electronics are always in high demand, especially around Christmas time. Televisions, tablets, phones and video game systems are usually on the majority of children’s Santa lists. Retail Ireland predicts that from Black Friday right up to Christmas Day there will be a big emphasis on these products, with many retailers using discounts and promotions to drive sales.

 

By Aimee Walsh