Live At The Marquee 2016

Live at The Marquee is one of Cork’s proudest event, taking place every summer at the Docklands. It has attracted high profile acts in the last decade such; Elton John, Kayne West, Lady Gaga and Diana Ross.


Elton John (Source: Irish Examiner)

Live at the Marquee originated in 2005 when Cork was the European Capital of Culture. With it being such a success it was decided to continue as an annual event.

Peter Aiken, of Aiken Promotions, created the unique event choosing the Docklands and marquee style venue.  “The success of Live at the Marquee is proof that the city can sustain a permanent indoor events and concert venue” said Aiken.

little mix

Little Mix (

2016 is the event’s 12th year and the line up is set to be just as amazing as previous years. Taking a trip down memory lane, acts such as The Corrs, Simply Red and Nile Rodgers will be performing. International girl group Little Mix will take to the stage and we will see the return of loyal group The Coronas.


When us Corkonians see the ‘Big Blue Tent’, then we know its summer time. Live at the Marquee 2016 will take place June 7th-July 13th, and tickets are available


KC & Son & Sons

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 4.11.16 PMIf you are either born in, or have relocated to Cork in the last 58 years and you have yet to hear of KC and Sons chipper and take away, your entire world is about to change.

Priding themselves on not being ‘fast-food’ but ‘fast-casual’, they are renowned not only for their exceptional take on chipper classics, but their original and mouth watering pitta selection.

Located in the centre of Douglas Village, just outside Cork City, KC & Son & Sons opened their doors in 1958 and has been a local favourite ever since. Ken Crawford is the original K.C. Since then, it has remained within the family and as the name suggests, passed on from son to son.

Video Source: KC & Son & Sons

Most famous on the diverse menu could be the King Creole, or if you are a more of a red meat fan, the KC Special Burger is a fan favorite.

If I have set your mouth-watering craving into first gear or you are about to break your K.C

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Source: KC & Son & Sons

seal, don’t forget about you wait. It is almost expected that you will be standing outside in a queue behind other hungry Corkonians. They are so busy, they even host a ‘q-cam’ on their website.

Trust me, queue or not, it is worth waiting for to your turn to get your hands on the best treat in the city.

Darina Allen

In the year 1948, fans of all things food and cooking gained a new homebred hero.

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Although she is a Laois woman by birth, us kind Cork have claimed her as our own. Born in the small village of Cullohill, Darina moved to Dublin for education before settling into the Cork Country side. Darina took on the Allen name when she married Cork Man Tim Allen in 1970.

Several years later, Darina partnered with her brother, Rory O’Connell, to open the Ballymaloe cookery school in 1983. Located in Shanagarry. East Cork, on it’s own farm spreading across 100 acres of organic Cork land, the Ballymaloe school has been popularized for it’s excellent teaching facilities, and faultless food products.

Not only has Darina risen to the spotlight for her business, she is a successful author and television personality, presenting Simply Delicious for a total of nine series. Some of her popular book titles include, ‘Forgotten Skills of Cooking’, ‘Irish Traditional Cooking’, and ’30 Years at Ballymaloe’.

Awarded with some of the most prestigious culinary awards in this country, Allen carries:

  • 2005: IACP Cooking Teacher of the year
  • 2013: Cookbook of the year
  • 2001: Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year

Proud of her adopted Cork Community, Darina is actively involving, currently chairing the Midleton Farmers Market.

Her long list of professional memberships and awards show the true talent that she is. Lovin Cork is delighted that Darina has brought so much talent and passion to Cork. She is most definitely a Cork ‘wan now.

You can follow Darina’s blog here, or find her on Twitter.

Graham Norton

Making His Mark Across The Pond

From the red county to the red chair, Graham Norton has captured the hearts of people home and abroad.


Graham Norton (Source:

He appears on our TV screens every Friday night interviewing a merry go round of A-list celebrities, it’s sometimes easy to forget he has walked the same streets as us growing up. As he continues to grow from strength to strength, he’s truly deserving as one of our “Top Four Who Have Done More”.


Comedian and presenter, Graham Norton was born in Dublin and grew up in Bandon, Co. Cork in the 1960s. Like many a Corkonian, Norton studied at University College Cork (UCC), where he spent two years studying English and French. In 2013 he received an honorary doctorate from UCC.

The 53 year old’s career began in the early 90’s after moving to London to attend London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. He started stand up comedy

Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show (Source: Tumblr)

and in 1992 appeared in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival making the press for his performance as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Later making his broadcasting debut on BBC’s radio 4 Loose Ends, the seven times BAFTA winner now presents his self entitled show “The Graham Norton Show”. Other television credits include The BAFTAs and Eurovision Song Contest (BBC), to name a few.

Although he has been living in London since the 1990s, Norton still calls Cork home and regular spends time in his West Cork home in Bantry.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Norton said, “I had a place in the city and I was looking for a seaside place and my sister found this house. It is a paradise. I love it.” Despite being born in Dublin he has all the charisma and charm of a true Cork man.

We at Lovin Cork are flying the flag for the rebel county. Like any true Corkonian we boast the fact we are the biggest county in Ireland, we insist on being called the real capital and, of course, we claim Graham Norton as one our very own.

The Cork Film Festival

The Cork Film Festival, established in 1956, is one of the oldest festivals in Europe and is expected to run from November 4th – 13th 2016. As a flagship cultural event for the City, the Film Festival boasts a loyal and ever increasing audience of general public, film lovers and filmmakers.

Cork Film Festival

Cork Film Festival 2016 (

Since 2014, it has been accredited by the Academy Awards and is BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television) recognised; enhancing it’s reputation internationally. With that, the festival plays a rich selection of contemporary global cinema providing a platform that attracts emerging filmmakers. The festival has a reputation for giving new talent a platform for their work.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Cork Film Festival creative director, James Mullighan said, “We are firm believers in doing everything possible to nurture new talent and with the Talent Development Campus we will help and guide those making forays in a challenging industry.”


Triskel Arts Centre (Sourced:

The main festival venues include, the Cork Opera House, Triskel Christchurch and the Gate Cinema. Each location provides its own unique ambiance for movie goers with large seating capacity to cater for the numbers attending. All locations are easily accessible on foot around Cork City.


This year is hoping to build on the success of 2015; which screened over 239 films and had more than 21,000 admissions over the run.



The Modern Gent – Catering to Cork’s Modern Man

The Modern Gent is over 40 years old, and one of the last remaining traditional barbers in Cork. Located on Winthrop Street, the salon has been through a modern revamp, with the addition of male grooming services on the premises.



Jennifer Sweeney had worked at the barbers for over ten years, before she took over at the helm in 2014. She began to work in less traditional services, offering clientele hot towel shaves and some male waxing. She got a positive response, and decided to fill this gap in the market. The Modern Gent is the first salon of its kind in Cork. It is solely dedicated to male grooming and specialises in professional waxing and skincare treatments suited to men’s skin.

So, what’s on offer? Well after a quick trim off the back and sides, you can stick around and take a bit off the chest too! For all you brave Cork men out there, the salon offers a variety of waxing treatments as well as tinting and even manicures, all at competitive prices.


Source: Facebook

The pampering doesn’t stop there. The Modern Gent will even take care of your skin, with a selection of tailor-made facials. Treatments offered include skincare routines to suit all skin types, from dry to sensitive. There’s even a purifying treatment for your back.

In an interview with the Evening Echo, Jennifer was looking forward to broadening her services, and getting to work on the men of Cork. “Usually a client will be nervous, but afterwards they are so happy with the results that they can’t believe it’s taken them so long to get the treatment.” She finds the majority of her clientele at the salon simply want to look good for a special event. Jennifer finds the summer period that little bit busier for treatments, as clients want to feel confident when they’re relaxing on the beach during the holidays.

To meet with Jennifer and the gang at The Modern Gent, you can make an appointment here.

Bia Beauty – Naturally Good Cosmetics

We all love a rags to riches story – right? Especially when it’s one of our own! The lovely Tracey Ryan is a herbal science grad based in Cork, and has spearheaded the successful Bia Beauty natural cosmetics brand.


Tracey Ryan (source:

Her organic range of cosmetics was born on her kitchen table in Cork, after a CIT college project went from assignment to obsession. As part of an innovation module, Tracey was tasked with creating and marketing a natural, unique product. after creating a natural food based moisturiser, Tracey found herself producing the cream long after the project had finished, due to popular demand. She was consequently awarded a scholarship, and her mentors at CIT assisted with developing a business plan that worked for her. The demand has thankfully continued, and Bia Beauty now supplies over one hundred stores across Ireland, with a view to exporting in the coming months.

Tracey’s business has gone from strength, with award recognition from Tatler Beauty Award in 2013, the Network Cork Business Woman of the Year in 2014 and Cork Innovates Bursary in 2014. Her products are sold online and the production remains in Cork, where she resides with her husband and her two boys.

Tracey’s products focus on good quality natural oils and their ability to enhance our skin’s own protective function, feeding the skin. Bia Beauty contain top class natural oils that quickly penetrate the skin so you’re not left feeling greasy.


Bia Beauty Facial Exfoliant and Cleanser (source:

Their Orange & Grapefruit Facial Exfoliant & Cleanser has a cult following and is reasonably priced at €16.95. It contains castor and thistle oil which rid the skin of impurities with natural jojoba grains, while simultaneously cleansing. These grains gently remove dead skin cells and brighten the complexion. The addition of orange and grapefruit essential oils create a fresh and invigorating scrub.

Due to the overwhelming success of Bia Beauty, Tracey has opened her doors to others, who are looking to invite more natural products into their skincare routine. So if your skin isn’t happy with you, maybe Tracey can help! She provides courses and demos in her native Cork, tailor-made to each to suit your particular skin type. The next Natural Skincare Course takes place on June 11th, in the city centre. So all you Corkonians out there, you’ve no excuse! Contact Tracey today, or book your place here.

Cillian Murphy

Homegrown Talent in Hollywood

Hailed as ‘Cork’s answer to Colin Farrell’, Cillian Murphy has done the rebel county proud and has taken Hollywood by storm.


With his dazzling blue eyes, he’s landed roles in Blockbusters such as Inception and Red Eye. From humble beginnings, Murphy was born in Douglas, Cork City.

He got his first taste of stage acting, while he was a member of UCC’s Dramat drama society. He performed in their amateur production of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, which coincidentally also starred comedian Des Bishop.

He landed the lead role in Disco Pigs, which was originally slated for a three week run in his native city. Due to the phenomenal success of the adaptation, the play ran for almost two years across Australia Canada and Europe. It was at this point in his career that he left University and pursued his newfound passion.

His first taste of international stardom came when he was cast as ‘Jim’, the hero of the piece in Danny Boyle’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece 28 Days Later. He soon caught the attention of acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, and was cast as the Scarecrow in 2005’s Batman Begins. Of the casting, Nolan remarked “He has the most extraordinary eyes, and I kept trying to invent excuses for him to take his glasses off in close-ups.”

He has lent his talents to many Irish productions too, starring in the top two grossing movies in Irish box office history; Intermission and The Wind That Shakes the Barley. His passionate portrayal in the latter garnered rave reviews, and was a very personal subject matter to Murphy. Shot in his beloved Cork, the movie depicted the fight for Irish Independence, and went on to win the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Murphy filming in Cork in 2005. Source:

Critical accolades came pouring in for Murphy, with a Golden Globe nomination and an IFTA win for his turn as lovelorn transgender Patrick/”Kitten” Braden in Breakfast on Pluto. He continued his winning streak with Nolan, and was cast in psychological thriller Inception in 2010. The movie was a blockbuster success, and grossed $160,000,000 worldwide. Since 2013, Murphy has played the lead in BBC’s Peaky Blinders, a series about a criminal gang in post-WW1 Birmingham. Peaky Blinders has attracted a huge audience and big-name actors like Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley fought to join the cast in season two. The critically acclaimed show has been given the green light for a third season, which is due to hit screens later this year.

Despite his success, Murphy is decidedly private, avoiding the chat show circuit and often skipping the red carpet. He works without a publicist and routinely attends his movie premieres alone. He has expressed his distaste for Hollywood, refusing to uproot his family and relocate. Although he now resides in Dublin with his wife and two boys, he remains a proud Cork man, despite having left over twenty years ago. “I am definitely proud to be from Cork, when you come back and drive through the city you can really see how beautiful it is”.

Dee Forbes

Dee Forbes – Breaking glass ceilings off screen

Although usually based in London for work, Dee Forbes is returning to her native Ireland and of course Cork. She certainly is a Cork lady who’s done more!


Dee Forbes (Source:

Ms Forbes has long been making waves in the television and production industry in Europe, and RTÉ recently announced that not only is she the new Director General of Ireland’s national broadcaster, she is the first woman to ever hold the position – She is a deserving Lovin Cork’s ‘Top 4 who’ve done more’!

Hailing from Drimoleague and the eldest of three children, Forbes’ love of history and politics in school, stayed with her to third level, when she studied a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics in University College Dublin.

Her career in television began in London, where she emigrated to at the end of the 1980s, when Ireland was in the grips of recession. Until recently, she was the President and Managing Director of Discovery Networks, Northern Europe. In this position, she managed all commercial and channel activities for Discovery, which covers 27 TV brands and reaches 276 million households each month.

However, Forbes still considers Cork to be home and frequently returns to her home in Glandore for rest and relaxation.

Her new position in RTÉ came as a surprise to many for a couple of reasons. First, no woman has ever held the position and second, an insider of the broadcaster was speculated to be the successor.

She has publicly said before that she does not base her career on being a man or a woman but rather, bases the importance on working hard and having ambition in whatever you do.

On women and leadership, she believes that the most recent economic downturn has actually proved interesting and exciting for potential women in business. The digital age has enabled people to run inventive and ingenious businesses and ideas right from their kitchen table.

It is therefore clear to see that Dee Forbes is an advocate for women in business, as well as innovation and homegrown entrepreneurship.

Lovin Cork are very excited to see what Ms Forbes bring to RTÉ in the coming years and months.

You can follow Dee on Twitter here.

The English Market

Established in 1788 as the English Market – butchers, fishmongers, bakers and food connoisseurs alike have gathered in this food centre for many years.


Historical English Market (Source: English Market)

With prime real estate in the middle of Cork City, the English Market shows the best of the best in Cork food products. The quality is unfathomable, with favourites including O’Connell Seafood for immense selection to The Chicken Inn for their fresh poultry or even Tom Dorcan for his famous spiced beef.


Historical English Market (Source:


Fish for sale!

Visitors are variable and vast, seeing tourists wondering the corridors viewing the large fish heads on ice or staring curiously at the long strings of black pudding. Locals are calling in to pick up a special roast for their Sunday dinner or getting their fresh soda bread off their favourite baker’s shop.

The head of the Common Wealth and Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II has even popped in for a tour and a visit during her time in Cork.


Dried Flowers


(Source: English Market)

If you appreciate good food, and you haven’t given the English Market a go, I highly recommend you do. When you do visit –  if you feel a bit of a rumble in the stomach, head up stairs to the Farmgate Restaurant. They produce delicious meals made up from the quality product sold right beneath their door.

If you are already on the English Market bandwagon, I salute you. It is a great spot promoting local and regional Cork talent and a great place to call our own.

Video Credited to The English Market