Browsing articles tagged with "Monkstown Archives - I Love Saturday"
Aug 22, 2013

Cafe du Journal – Monkstown Hub

I love doing things you’re not supposed to do. Like going to the beach in the lashing rain. Whiterock on a dark, mysterious day. Sorrento Terrace on the skyline. All those ancient steps, it seemed as if I was dipping down into the sea. After our wet and wild interlude, me, the folks and my favourite uncle were in need of nourishment. Next stop was Monkstown. A town that ebbs and flows much like the water.

There are plenty of good things in Monkstown right now and Cafe du Journal is one of them. A real neighbourhood hub, the place was buzzing. Mums and babies, happy families, groups of friends and loving couples. I had to smile as a pair of retired gents next door shared a pink marshmallow topped cupcake. How sweet. We were presented with an a la carte lunch menu and a specials menu.

Luckily Cafe du Journal allowed for salady folk like me and Mama and meat ‘n’ two veg types like my uncle. Everyone’s invited to the party! I started with a milky latte, while the others supped tea. Lunch followed with super service from a waitress my Ma recognised as an old school chum of the Bruv’s. She brought a goat’s cheese salad with roasted beetroot, carmelised walnuts and mixed leaves for me.

Uncle enjoyed a trad plaice and chips, Pops had a goat’s cheese and smoked salmon salad and Mama munched mozzarella, tomato and pesto on ciabatta bread, all from the specials menu. Brown bread, fresh from the oven, was hearty as it sounds. Cafe du Journal was such a nice place to be in with it’s book lined walls and homely vibe. We were totally relaxed by the time we left.

Cafe du Journal, 17a Monkstown Crescent, Monkstown, Co. Dublin /

Jan 20, 2012

Hats Off to Kate Betts!

Having met the lovely Kate Betts and tried on some of her gorgeous hats last summer, I was delighted to bump into her again. A walk through the leafy SoCoDu hamlet of Monkstown saw me stumble upon Kate’s beautiful creations. Lulu French Vintage Boutique was the location – I’d been pressing my nose against window for a while, so finally inside I was like a kid in a candy shop!

The pretty salon is run by Veronique Piales, who sources her vintage treasures in Paris. It’s a very special place, with rows of couture pieces and handmade originals punctuated by silk scarves, chic handbags and delicious shoes. Kate’s hats are dotted around and it’s so much fun to match her hats to the lovely clothes. You could leave with a whole new look!

Kate’s a girl after my own heart – we chatted about the colours we could contrast, the way we can wear our hair and the joy of hats. Of which Kate is course an expert. She got into the millinery business after winning a hat making competition. Noting the great personal style of the judge, Kate took her prize as a sign and started producing her own head wear.

Creating one off pieces and bespoke orders, Kate has the hand for wonderful confections that are as well built as they are whimsical. When I bought her black and pink pillbox hat I knew it a unique piece as well as a hat for life. I also invested in one of her bows, pink with a small veil, it’s perfect for dressing up an outfit.

Kate’s background is in print making, having studied fine art, but she told me that her hat making is an outlet for her love of textiles. She is inspired by her materials – felt, silk, straw – and by the wearable styles of the 1930’s and 40’s. When everyday head wear, like a saucy little beret, were in vogue Kate smiled.

Originally from Newcastle in the North of England, Kate arrived in Dublin almost fifteen years ago and liked it so much she stayed. She told me that the attraction is being in a city where you can easily do anything – dancing, shopping, cycling. All while wearing a hat we agree! Whether it’s a quirky find or a for chic occasion Kate Betts is your lady. / Lulu French Vintage, 93 Monkstown Road, Co. Dublin