Limerick Style Experience – Operation Blogger
Before I begin telling you all about the amazing event that was the Limerick Style Experience, I think it’s only fair to give all those who were involved in the day a huge shout out. In this digital age of online shopping, Limerick City is fighting back and turning to alternative ways to highlight all that the City has to offer. This is a huge credit to Limerick County Council and all the Stores/Restaurant/Bar and Hotel who took part. It showed me and I hope you, that they believe in what they offer, otherwise who would want 20 opinionated bloggers descending on their establishments! Also a special thanks to the Irish Blogger Agency who worked with the committee to get all of us bloggers on board for the day…no mean achievement let me tell you!
Below was the timetable for the day and who were going to have 20 bloggers descend on to them!
Please note all links are in bold and highlighted in red for your convenience.
Stop 1 – The Savoy Hotel (Henry Street)
Our first pit stop was at the beautiful Savoy Hotel which is smack bang in the middle of the City, ideal when the plan for the day is a walking tour of Limerick’s finest businesses. I have attended a couple of events in the Savoy Hotel and I have to say for a 5-star hotel it has the grandeur yet a comforting, relaxing vibe that some 5 star hotels are missing. I have stayed and visited other 5 star hotels when we travelled quite a bit and I never really felt relaxed but The Savoy is different, it’s a credit to their staff who are always so obliging and treat every person as if they were royalty.
To start the day off right, we were treated to delicious pastries which were accompanied with coffee and prosecco – as you do! I am sure, I was not alone when I thought that was it but no, a full Irish winged its way over to my place setting, sure who could refuse? All the food was gorgeous and it sure set me up for the day.
Once this post convinces you to come to Limerick for your own personal style experience; You need to choose The Savoy as your warm embrace that is required after a day of shopping! A midweek stay next week is only €125 and a Saturday night stay this weekend is €152 now that is great value for a 5-star hotel and what an experience you will have!
You could avail of some Ayurveda treatments or maybe some dinner either formal (The Savoy Restaurant) or informal (The Library or The Hamptons) all washed down with a cocktail? All I can tell you if you decide to stay at The Savoy, especially for the Christmas period you will not be disappointed! I mean look how beautiful the Christmas Tree is in the lobby?
Stop 2 – O’Donnell’s Boutique (11 Catherine Street)
With sustenance and prosecco, we were ready to hit the first clothing store – O’Donnell’s Boutique on Catherine Street. My first impression of the store was how spacious it was and that the selection was a good mix of occasion wear and smart casual pieces. It also caters for all age ranges, making it the perfect store for some sisterly or Mother/ Daughter time. Also the accessories were to die for, they would make any outfit pop!
The highlight for me was they beautiful coats that were dispersed around the store. I learned from my big sister that no matter what is worn underneath a beautiful, well-made coat; that coat will take you anywhere while making you feel like a million dollars and O’Donnell’s Boutique had the most beautiful coats I have ever seen. This is not to take away for the wonderful array of clothing within the store, the coats are what drew me in, along with accessories. I knew this was the case when I came home and found all the photo’s I took were of coats and jackets!
O’Donnell’s Boutique have a strong online presence which is essential in this digital age specially to compete with larger high-street retail stores. The stock the best in fashion for local and international brands and this is clearly visible in store and on the website. My favourite pieces were from Free G and Mos Mosh, brands I had not heard off before today. This is one of the reasons I love going to events like this as you always learn of something new.
Even though they have the online site, you need to visit the brick and mortar store itself to truly appreciate the workmanship of the clothes on offer. Also it will be the experience you receive in the store that will bring you back repeatedly. This for me is what is missing in the larger stores, the fashion and styling experience which is what you will get in abundance here.
Below are just a few of the pieces that are now added to my wish list.
Stop 3 – Lily Boutique (Roches Street)
Next up was the O’Donnell’s sister store Lily Clothing. Elaine previously had stocked the brand in O’Donnell’s, however, she quickly learned that the demand was there for the brand. So of course she opened a second store to specifically stock this label and I can say it is the place to go if you are looking for something different, quirky and fashionable. It’s perfect for those of you who like bold prints, structured pieces and that like to make an individual statement.
I personally loved the selection available, I don’t like to stand out too much, however, I do love a beautiful print, am a sucker for shirts that are a bit different and all of this was satisfied. The prices are more than the high street, however, as Lily’s Boutique in Limerick are the only Irish Stockiest at present, you know you are safe in the knowledge that you are not going to meet another 20 people wearing the same piece.
Below are just a few of picks…..make sure you leave some for me!
Stop 4 – Ryans Jewellers (44 Roches Street)
Ryans Jewellers, is an institution within Limerick City and if you’re looking for that special diamond, then you must pay a visit. The store reminds me of the old style jewellers and in this ever evolving modern world, it is nice to come in somewhere and feel that bit of peace descend on you. Even though you have the old school feel, Ryans are also online, a requirement to compete in today’s market. For me however, like my clothing, I like to see the item and to get that specialist advice that you won’t get from your laptop or tablet!
I had so much fun trying on the most beautiful rings and this yellow diamond really caught my eye. If I was not already married, then this ring would be on the top of my list for my engagement ring!
Not only are they the diamond specialist, they cater for all jewellery needs and budgets.
My favourite pieces for the men are the GAA themed items such as charms, straps, and cuff links. They are such a fabulous idea if you are stuck for ideas and the men in your life are GAA supporters! They also have a beautiful kids range Lulu Ladybird for all your little princesses.
Stop 5 (part 1) – Vision 2 Opticians (6 Henry Street)
As a glasses wearer I was excited to see what Vision 2 had on offer. I tend to scrimp on my glasses, yet I do not know why as unlike anything else in my wardrobe these are worn every single day. Personally I struggle with buying frames as the adult frames are too wide for my face and I always leave feeling like child wearing her mother’s glasses!
So as I browsed the frames that were on offer, I drifted over to the kid’s section and was delighted to see loads of fashionable frames. Generally, the kids glasses in other opticians look exactly like children’s but these didn’t. I have finally found glasses that don’t fit 2 fingers between the side of my face and the frame. I can safely say that for my next purchase I am going to Vision 2!
Enough about my epiphany and more about Vision 2! As most of you know I am activist for supporting Irish companies and brands and Vision 2 falls into this category. Again the battle against large high-street retail chains means that Vision 2 have had to find their unique selling point and this comes down to the service you receive. There are 6 highly trained staff and practically no turnover and this means that you are going to receive continuity in service that you will not receive anywhere else. For me this is an important aspect when purchases frames and more so contact lenses.
If you’re not a spectacle wearer don’t worry, they have the most amazing sunglasses on offer from Tom Ford, Guess and Rayban to name just a few.
Stop 5 (part 2) – Aroi (1 O’Connell Street)
Now you are wondering why I haven’t changed Stop numbers and that is because Aroi brought the food to us in Vision 2. This will give an idea of how spacious Vision 2 is!
Aroi is an Asian street food restaurant and they food is always so fresh, filling but not heavy. They do an amazing lunch deal which includes your main course and Gelato (chocolate is the best) for €10. The best part is that they use no MSG in their food.
Aroi is my only stop for lunch when I am in the city with my little man. I live for my visit to Aroi and I could not possibly go elsewhere. The next day after the event my sister and I with the kids went there for our lunch. It didn’t matter that I had it for my lunch less than 24 hours earlier. If this does not convince you to go and try it then I do not know what else to say! My recommendations would be the Crab Fried Rice, Pad Thai or the Chilli Prawns and Vegetables.
Stop 6 – Attic Bridal (8 Roches Street)
Feeling renewed and well fed, off we trotted (ahem strutted) up to Attic Bridal. Now I am already married so I can imagine the bloggers who are not were very excited to see what they have to look forward to. Me, I just love looking at beautiful dresses and you don’t get any more beautiful than wedding dresses!
That said the space the Attic Bridal have is just so elegant. The windows and the positioning of the room makes it ideal for future brides to try on what could be “the one” and if it was me I would have struggled with a decision as all the gowns were gorgeous! The light streams in from the window giving that magical feeling that every future bride should experience.
Orlaith Carrol the owner of Attic Bridal is an award-winning designer and has done her time working for big names within the fashion world such as Alexander McQueen and Derek Lam. So if you’re looking for the special touch for your dress then Orlaith is the person to go to. She will work with you in deciding what exactly you want and in addition to that the brands (Elbeth Gillis & Anna Georgina are just two and are exclusive to the Attic)Elbeth Gillis & Anna Georgina she supplies are customizable.
We had more than one blogger who stepped up to try out a few for themselves!
To sum up, If I was going to get married again I would be paying Orlaith a visit. Aside of her expertise and her own forth coming designs, this beautiful space is what has me sold.
Stop 7 – The Ivory Closet (18 Shannon Street)
If you have an event to go to and you don’t want to spend an arm and leg to then leave it in your wardrobe, then pay The Ivory Closet a visit. They have dressed many names since they opened including Pippa O’Connor and Celia Holman Lee and if its good enough for them 😉
You can come in here pick your dress, get it altered to fit you, pay a rental fee, go to your event knocking everyone dead and then return. Now I love simplicity and this idea is right up my alley! After visiting the store, I was delighted to see a great mix of sizes, styles, lengths and colours. The dresses would suit many different occasions from black tie, weddings, or an awards ceremony.
We then had the opportunity to browse the rails ourselves and we also had the beautiful Aoife modelling lots of different dresses for us to see.
I was even brave enough to try the most divine dress I have ever seen! I felt amazing in it so if I ever have an event I will be going back to rent it!
Stop 8 – Hook & Ladder (18 Shannon Street)
The Hook & Ladder has donned itself as the “Living Café” as its unique selling point is that they give their customers a unique experience by housing a Café, Cookery School, furniture, and home accessory store. Their artisan style food is a huge hit with the customers, as every time I walk past, they are always full to the brim.
For us they put together a lovely spread of sweet and savory nibbles, which went down a treat with my cappuccino. Their Whiskey Cake went down a storm with everyone, so that needs to go on top of your list if you pop in to visit.
The Hook & Ladder has a nice laid back vibe about it and would be perfect for a girly catchup or for a family treat. This was just what was needed after the madness that came before!
Stop 9 – Teds Bar and Venue (102 O’Connell Street)
Last but no means least we headed up to Teds Bar which has recently reopened its doors. We were greeted with fun and festive Candy Cane Cocktails and a Red Carpet! Heading to Teds was the perfect end to a truly amazing day!
The atmosphere and the layout was just perfect for chatting and relaxing with our gorgeous cocktails. This is a must stop for your Christmas night out.
A Round Up – Limerick Style Experience
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day, I learned a lot, I had some amazing food and drinks, I got to spend the day with some amazing friends that I have made along my blogging journey this year. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience then today.
I don’t have many opportunities to get all glammed up so I want to say a huge thank you to Sinead Nolan from The Salon and Liz from Sash Clothing (which is now also just opened in Limerick) for helping me prepare for the day.
Again a huge thank you to all the business, Irish Blogger Agency, and the Limerick County Council for coming together to put on a Style Experience that none of us will forget any time soon.