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Dingle Welcomes Spring!

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Shake off the old darkness of Winter and welcome the light! It will soon be time to celebrate the official arrival of Summer with the rich and vibrant Feile Na Bealtaine 2018 in Dingle. Let’s take a look ahead to the much-anticipated festivities and banish those Winter blues once and for all!

Feile Na Bealtaine has evolved from a tentative one-day event in the nineties to a full-blown, five-day multi-disciplinary arts festival which takes place every May Bank Holiday weekend in Dingle.

Kicking off on Thursday 3rd May this year and running to Monday, 7th May, there is guaranteed to be events for all tastes and age groups. Street theatre, children’s events, music of all types, poetry recitals, art exhibitions, short films, long films, comedy acts, concerts, art exhibitions, storytelling and a poetry trail are just some of the exciting events we have to look forward to.

One of the highlights of Féile Na Bealtaine is the free Oíche Bealtaine event (pagan rave).  Attendees are given a deliberately vague location in the town at which to meet and are only taken to the secret ritual grounds once a crowd has gathered. This year, the meeting place will be outside the church on Green Street at 9pm on the Saturday.

We interviewed Billy Mag Fhiloinn, one of the men behind the mask…


  1. Tell us a bit about the Feile - what is it, how did it start, what is so special about it. 

Feile na Bealtaine began in Dingle 24 years ago, rather modestly, primarily as a poetry festival. It has grown spectacularly over the years and is now one of the premiere arts festivals in Munster, if not Ireland. Its strength lies in its sense of community and locality, and its very broad appeal. People come from all over the world, and all elements of the arts are prominent in the festival, and this variety is vital to its success.



2.How did you get involved in the festival? 

I have been attending for a long time, but for several years I ran an event with artists, archaeologists and designers. We used ancient technology to make cast bronze objects. I also had an expert traveller tinsmith who taught us how to make traditional sheet metal vessels. In recent years, I have shifted gears, and have introduced a folklore/music/performance event, which is in effect a large communal ritual involving fire, ceremony and costumes.

  1. The Pagan festival is part of the Feile - How did the Pagan tradition start in Dingle and how does the Pagan rave tie into the Feile festival? 

I was speaking to a friend on the committee, and we were remarking how the féile is named after one of the ancient pre-Christian festivals, but did not reflect this aspect of traditional culture, and how interesting it might be to introduce elements of that into the proceedings. Now it forms a fairly important part of the festival, and seems to draw a lot of performers, participants and spectators together in a great communal celebration.

  1. The costumes are crazy! Can you tell me about the meaning behind them?

Some are fun and frivolous, some are serious and scary, and others are something in between. I spend a lot of time making them, it has taken many years to bring them all together. I have about fifty now, and more on the way. I draw on many things for inspiration, nature, folklore, myths and legends, and aspects of film and pop culture. But all the time I try to make them organic, and a little disturbing to the senses. The material is the most important part, wood, leather, bone, shell, straw and so on. I hope that they come across as elemental, and resonate with people on some deep level of the subconscious. Familiar and strange at once.



  1. What’s the atmosphere like when you are performing? 

We try to cultivate a feeling of otherworldliness, like one has been transported out of ordinary time and place, and to somewhere else. If we are successful, people should feel like they have stepped out of time, and into the in-between place, where ritual transformation takes place.

  1. Last year pagan rave you burned the Wicker Man, what does this symbolise? 

It’s largely based on the 1970’s film, which has been very influential on the project, but it also refers back to an account by the ancient Greeks and Romans of Celts burning massive effigies containing victims sacrificed to their gods. We are not so bloodthirsty though, we just like the spectacle. Everyone seems to enjoy a good effigy burning too, and there’s something cathartic about the whole process.


  1. Describe the Pagan rave in 3 words...

Strange, Wild, Liberating

  1. How can a visitor to Dingle get involved in the festival? Is it spectator event or can they partake? 

It’s a bit of both. There’s a straw costume workshop on Friday the 4th in Currans, where people can make their own costumes for the next day’s event. We encourage people to dress appropriately, like otherworld beings from the deep past, and when the music is underway, it is important for us all, everyone present, to dance and shout and surrender to the communal joy.

  1. For you, describe Dingle in 3 words? 

It’s traditional, contemporary, and vibrant.


You can find out more information on the Feile here -

You can find out more about Billy here -

Don't forget to book your Dingle stays!

We're offering €100 off your May and September 2018 booking! 

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Riviera Ready with Annina!

Its nearly that time of the year, The French Riviera rolls out the red carpet once again and welcomes the industry’s hottest celebrities. The annual Cannes Film Festival is set it return May the 9th – May 18th, where show stopping dresses, red bottom shoes and glitzy jewels will take over the carpet.

To get this year’s fashion inside, we Interviewed Annina Kraft, a model and Cannes Boutique dress shop owner of Annika Dress

1.What is the inspiration behind Annika? 

Annika is a clothing boutique that offers fashionable, sexy and luxurious party and evening dresses without the hefty price tag most other fashion stores charge their clients. It offers the opportunity to buy a stunning dress without breaking the bank.

2. What kind of style epitomises Annika? 

 Our dresses are all glam with a hint of sexy...or a lot of sexy

3.Can you describe the kind of woman wears Annika? 

Our clientele are women from all ages and backgrounds, locals and tourists alike, who love to be on trend and enjoy dressing up.


4. Why did you choose the French Riviera to start Annika Dresses? 

I chose the French Riviera as I have been based here for the past 14 years and I saw a gap in the market for what we offer.


5. What is the atmosphere like while Cannes Film Festival is here?

The atmosphere is electric. Everything and everyone is just ready to be fab and party’s truly unique and a must on every bodies bucket list.

6. What trends can we expect to see on the Cannes red carpet this year? 

The past years the gowns were "barely there dresses" with ultra-high side splits and see through materials. I think this trend will continue.



7.What's your best celebrity moment at the Cannes film festival? 

A few years ago, I went to some high-profile parties during the Festival, that was before I was busy with the boutique. I got to party with some A list celebs till the early morning hours. Of course, I cannot mention their names...that would not be professional!

8.Do you have any advice for tourists hoping to spot some celebrities? 

Best celeb spotting points are the exclusive parties that are hosted during the festival such as Elton John’s amfar gala at Eden Rock, the Chopard party or the Vanity Fair party. That said, its pricey to get tickets to those events but not impossible. Everyone who has the necessary cash can go. And I have in the past years helped many of my tourist clients and local clients to get their hands on those rare and exclusive tickets. Apart from that, the red carpet is a great spotting place, or any of the hotel bars and lobbies, and the beach clubs.

9.Where are the best places to hang out during the Cannes film festival? 

The private parties are the best. But it’s also fab just to walk around and enjoy a coffee or a drink anywhere in the centre of Cannes especially alongside the Croisette. People watching is just amazing during this time of the year.

10. Which celebrity do you feel epitomises Annika style and you would love to dress? 

I think J.Lo represents our style well. Always classy yet always sexy but sophisticated.

11.Where is the best place you have spotted someone wearing an Annika dress? 

On the red carpet. I had a Russian model purchase a few of our dresses last year during her stay in Cannes and she posted the most glam Video of her walking down the red carpet in her ANNIKA dress while paparazzi went crazy to get a picture of her.


You can purchase Annina's beautiful red carpet ready dresses here -

Don't Forget to book your Cannes Film Festival accommodation with STAY YNA!

EMAIL [email protected]

CALL 02033977903 (UK)

Weaving the Way in Dingle!

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Some people might think it would be hard for one craft business to stand out in a place like Dingle which is so vibrantly awash with creative talent, but Fiadh Handwoven Products has a quality that sets it apart from the rest.

Fiadh Durham, the person behind the business, has an extraordinary eye for fabric and tone. Fiadh is a real advocate for carving a successful career out of a natural talent and this is very evident in the beauty of her crafts.


We caught up with Dingle’s local weaver…

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I think I'm really lucky that I live in such a beautiful part of the world. My inspiration for colour and pattern is just endless. All I have to do is go for a walk or a drive to a beach or up a hill. And it's not necessarily just landscape, there are indigenous colours and textures that are very diverse all year round. I use that all the time to influence my work and as the seasons change naturally so do my collections.




Why did you choose a Fawn for your logo?

There are a few interesting things about the logo and the label and why I decided to go with the fawn image.

First of all "Fiadh", my name, is the Irish word for "deer" so I wanted to incorporate that into the design somehow. I feel that the simplicity of the fawn image helps people to easily associate it with my woven products. The other interesting thing is that the Irish word for weaver is "Fiodóir" so it's almost like it was meant to be!



The loom looks difficult to operate, can you talk me through your crating process…

I love to demonstrate how set up my loom and how contrasting textures contribute to bringing out a pattern. Setting up the loom is time consuming, but I enjoy the mathematical element to the preparation. Everything has to be planned out really well beforehand to get the pattern right. Only when this stage is complete can the weaving begin.

I find the work process really satisfying. You start with just a colour combination or pattern that you're interested in and then you bring together the materials. You're starting with individual threads and making it into a finished piece. That alone is really satisfying but then someone wears it and loves it so that's doubling up again. That in itself is a huge driving force for me in the business.



Where did your creative flair come from?

Both of my parents are musicians and my sister Sorcha is the instrumentalist in the well-known Dingle band Walking on Cars. I graduated from the National College of Art and Design with a degree in Textiles in 2007. After graduation I went on and worked at a weaving company in the town for five years before setting up my own business in 2013. Before I came across weaving I didn't really have a huge interest in it and she now want to show people how amazing the craft can be. 

I want to create products that are new, exciting, contemporary with a real focus on design.


When you’re not out getting inspired by Dingle’s beauty, where can we find you?

You can find me designing and creating my products in the shop/workshop in Dingle, with Oisín, my much-loved dog who is a hugely popular and playful character in the shop.

It is here that I enjoy engaging with my customers, showing them different ways to wear the products which include scarves, blankets and accessories and informing them about my crafts.

I'm privileged in that I love what I do. There are so many rewarding elements of the work. One is having my own business, so I decide what way I want things to go. It has its challenges as well obviously.



Fiadh's shop is located on lower Main Street, Dingle and her products can be ordered online via her website. 

Visit Fiadh's website and Social Media sites here:


Twitter: @fiadhwovendesign


Don't forget to book your Dingle stays!

We're offering €100 off your May and September 2018 booking! 

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A Festival with a DIFFerence…

Prices slashed for last remaining Easter dates! Don't miss out, Book now!


WIN 2 tickets to The World Premiere of The Keepers of The Flame!

For the 12th year, March 22nd to March 25th, Dingle welcomes creatives from across the globe to its can’t miss event – The Dingle Film Festival. A unique, unforgettable experience, that showcases Films, animations and short films over 4 days. With the festival being around the corner, we caught up with Maurice Galway, founder and festival director.

1.How and why did the film festival start in Dingle?

I have always loved film and I make film myself. Back in late 2005, following 5 years with a film festival I founded, I took a 6 month break with my wife and our then 3 young children. We travelled mostly through the South Pacific. During the course of those travels I took time to plan my next move. I knew I wanted to continue in a film festival capacity, so when I returned I set up Dingle IFF in the amazing town of Dingle - knowing that this is such an incredible destination to bring filmmakers to.

Maurice Galway - Founder and Festival Director

2.What makes Dingle Film festival unique?

We coined the phrase, the DIFFerence is Dingle and it truly is.  The location is unique; The Phoenix Cinema built in 1937, the 200 year old St. James Church and The Blasket Centre are such unique venues to exhibit film in. On top of that you’ve got award winning hotels, restaurants and bars amongst and all this against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean with the beautiful Conors Pass on one side and the Slea Head Peninsula on the other.  Hemmed in by beauty.


3.What does it take for a film to be shown at the Dingle film festival? 

Within such a quality environment, we cannot let ourselves down with poor programming or selection.  In dingle we pride ourselves in exhibiting quality film. I watch every film that is submitted. The process is rigorous and takes time, but the end result is a showcasing of exceptional films from around the world presented in intimate settings to our audiences. With features, I have built up a strong relationship with various distributors over the years, and this, together with visits to other festivals, is essential. The net result is a selection of quality films being presented with as many of the filmmakers attending as possible. This selection process is done with expertise drawn from our film friends in Ireland, the UK, France and USA.

4.What films are top of your list to see at this year’s film festival and why? 

Both our opening and closing films are really important films to me and have very strong local connections. The Camino Voyage is a film documenting the epic journey some local musicians and artists made on a Navoage (traditional boat) and Keepers of The Flame is a world premiere by local director Nuala O Connor.

We have Western and Sami Blood, which won The LUX Prize from The EU Parliament this year and with that you can see the films with both English and Irish subtitles, which is really cool and totally unique to us.

Other great Irish titles include; Michael Inside, (winner of The IFTA this year for Best Feature); Kissing Candice; The Silver Branch; and Song of Granite.


The Keepers of the Flame

5.You support young Irish film artists, what advice would you give to aspiring artists?

We do support emerging talent.  This year our Pow Wow event for them will have a Chinwag and a Banter with actors Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) and Paul McGann (Whitnail & I); director, Michael Uppendahl (Ray Donovon, Mad Men); and actress Paula Malcomson (Ray Donovon). With the French Embassy we have an opportunity for young filmmakers to work with VR 360. My advice is believe in yourself, your vision and keep working on it, never give up; it might sound cliché but it is about staying with it and believing in your own unique voice – keep looking up and aim high.

6.What’s your favourite film and why? 

Hardest question in the world, I love so much film. Recently I watched Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and I totally loved the film, I love how imaginative it was, like so much of his work. Sally Hawkins was wonderful in the film. I heard Del Toro speak at Annecy International Animation Festival and he is such a creative, right from his first film Cronos, I love his work. Growing up I loved Sergio Leone’s westerns, The Good The Bad and The Ugly and all the others.

7.Who and what films should we watch out for in 2018? 

Black ’47 directed by Lance Daly, is a film you are going to hear so much more about later this year. It is a film set during the famine here in Ireland and is already being talked about as one of the most important Irish films ever made. We have a screening of the film here at Dingle IFF.

Attending Dingle IFF is Barry Keoghan, an actor from Dublin, recently in Dunkirk and The Killing of A Sacred Deer and he is a real rising star.


Barry Keoghan


Black '47

8.Can the general public go to see films?

Absolutely! We programme with the general audience in mind. Simply book online or call into our box office in The Phoenix Cinema.

9.What is the atmosphere like during the film festival in Dingle town? 

The town is really buzzing with great fun each night in the festival clubs. You’ll see lots of young filmmakers and animators’ walking around the town with their festival passes on and with so many great celebrities having visited us over the years you never know who you might meet.  It’s an easy town to navigate and you repeatedly see people so it all becomes very comfortable, very familiar, very quickly.  Everyone becomes a part of the overall.

10.What would you recommend a first timer to the Dingle film festival to do during their visit? 

Well they absolutely have to go to see a film in the amazing Phoenix Cinema and another in St. James’ Church, these venues really are a unique place to experience film in.



St. James’ Church

11.Everyone loves Dingle, but what do you love about Dingle? 

I love the scenery and the beaches – I particularly like to swim on Bín Bán beach.  I love to hill walk in the surrounding mountains.  I love visiting Kilmalkedar Church, looking at the view over Clogher Head and then, of course, enjoying a pint in the far too many excellent pubs to mention!

You can find out more information about the Dingle Film Festival and book tickets here –

WIN 2 tickets to The World Premiere of The Keepers of The Flame!

To enter email DINGLE FILM to [email protected]

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Email [email protected]

Or call 02033977903

Carnival Countdown!


We are offering 20% off all remaining accommodation! 

Win 2 tickets to The Carnival de Nice!


As the carnival draws closer (this Saturday!), we interviewed Anastasia, an artist performing on the flower float and Kristen, a local designer who has imagined 3 of this year’s floats…


  1. What is the atmosphere like when you are performing?

Anastasia - It's like to live a fairy-tale, as the Nice flower carnival is a special event full of happiness and magic moments. Moreover, it is just so precious to see, child, adult, senior smiling. 


  1. What materials are used to make the floats? How long does it take to build a tank from beginning to end? How many people work on each tank?

Kristen - The tanks are built by maskers, designers do that imagine and draw, this drawing then serving for the masker for its realization. They use new materials such as polystyrene which allows you to make better finished personages and great cartoons. But they also still use the traditional method of paste board must combine tradition and Design Style for our carnival retained its identity. Generally, they begin construction towards October to finish ... just before the first cycle! The number of revellers to work on changes all the time depending on the stage of construction, these are teams of ten people. Before they there were almost only men, today there are also many women.


  1. Tell us about your costume? How long does it take to put on?!

Anastasia - Each costume is a handmade piece of art, designed accordingly to our personalities. Mine is full of colourful gloss and glitter and I am not able to let you know more than that as all the costumes will be revealed on February 17th! 

It doesn't take long to put the costume on, approximately 15 minutes, but each of 18 artists need to have their hair and the make-up done. So, we gather at 7 a.m. while the carnival starts at 2 30 p.m.!  

  1. You’ve been creating floats for Carnival of Nice since 2002, what makes the Nice Carnival special for you?

Kristen - Being in the region, I have always heard of the Carnival of Nice and child I went sometimes. Today to see my chariots scroll's magic, it's a kind of return to the world of childhood world that one should never leave if and responsible adult! Thanks to the carnival I also travelled extensively to present exhibitions of my drawings for Carnival or give lectures, conduct training courses in Japan, China, Italy, Colombia ... like drawing, carnival is an international language.



Credit - Nice Carnival

  1. What are your responsibilities in the flower parade?

Anastasia - I am one of 18 artists animating the carnival and performing on the flowered floats. During the parade, we share our festive mood with the spectators and launch flowers. Each float as well as each costume is inspired by this year’s Space theme!



6.All the floats you have created, which was your favourite? and why?

Kristen - My King in 2002, first because it 'was my first king, it was over 15 meters high was fully motorized, could asseoir on his throne which was behind him. It was an old king of the Franks, in 2002 we were Abandoner our historic monarchy (Franc) to go to the Euro. This tank represents the last fight Pardu ahead of the old king who rebelled against his disapriton and its replacement by a new monarchy. Symbolically we did end on 22 February 2002 Carnival Official Date money of changed, we like each whole year to the end of the carnival is burning the king (actually we burn a copy of the King). This old Frankish king went up in flames like our old. The Franks timing and symbol were perfect!


7.Describe the Nice Carnival for you in just 3 words?

Kristen - Crowd, laughing tradition.

Anastasia - Magic. Happiness. Blossom. 


Don’t forget to book with STAY YNA! 20% off all remaining accommodation!  Going fast!

And enter our CARNVIAL COMPETITION! Win 2 tickets to The Carnival de Nice!


Email KING OF SPACE to [email protected]

Winner will be announced will be announced 15/02/18

Terms and conditions apply. GOOD LUCK!

Made in…Dingle!

Dick Mack’s Brewhouse

We are offering 30% off our Dingle homes this February!
Win 2 tickets to Dick Mack's Brewery!

"What a great addition to an already legendary town. The IPA is to die for. Cool fit out, great tunes, and enthusiastic brewers." A quote from one of the many five star reviews the newly opened Dick Mack's Brewhouse has received since it's launch in September 2017.

Welcome to our latest Made in Dingle blog. This time we are featuring the newly launched Dick Mack's Brewhouse which has opened up behind the legendary Dick Mack's pub on Green Street. The Stay YNA Dingle team were treated to an amazing tour of the brewery as part of our Christmas night out and we were highly impressed by the history, ambition and values of this new start-up - and that was before we even got to taste any beer! 

I can't recommend the brewery tour highly enough. On arrival we received a warm welcome and the passion and excitement surrounding this new enterprise was instantly infectious. We were shown around by Finn MacDonnell, who is of the fourth generation of the MacDonnell family that has run Dick Macks pub in Dingle since 1855. Finn's telling of the Brewhouse story from it's inception all the way through to the thrill of their first brew was honest and captivating and demonstrated the true determination and clarity of vision it took to stick to their gut instincts, stay true to their goals and do things right at every step of the way. 


The idea to start a micro brewery in the old cattle shed building behind the pub first took root in Finn's mind a couple of years ago. With the recent addition of an outdoor seating area and artisan food trucks in the Dick Mack's courtyard he felt that the small craft beer operation would be a good addition to the overall Dick Mack's experience for locals and visitors alike. Over a drink at the bar with his friends Aussie Barrett and Seamus Lynch the idea came out in discussion and the two friends absolutely loved it. The dream had been born.
Dick Mack's Brewhouse is currently producing three distinctive beers - Amber Ale, Session IPA and Coffee Stout. All three are receiving excellent reviews so far - with good reason. Everyone in our tour group was given half a pint of each of the beers in the Taproom. The coffee stout is sensational. It has just the right balance of flavour with none of the bitterness you might expect. It is the result of a finely tuned collaboration with the extremely popular Bean In Dingle coffee shop next door. 
I had a few questions for Finn:
1) With the rising popularity of craft beer in Ireland and new breweries setting up around the country, what to you hope will set Dick Mack's Brewery apart from the rest?
We already have the Dick Mack's brand name and a channel to market through the pub. The brewhouse has an interesting history from it's uses over the years as a cowhouse and milking parlour, a storage loft for sheep's wool and the site where Tom Mack bottled the pub's beer in the early 1900's. We have invested in the best equipment in order to keep the process airtight, eliminate any contamination and keep the quality of the product consistently high. The water we use comes from our own well which we know is very pure from our regular testing and we use the highest quality hops and grain.
2) What are your plans for the future of the brewery?
Our focus is on quality not quantity. We are always going to be a micro brewery and therefore there is no pressure to grow too big and risk losing our unique identity. Our original plan was to just produce enough beer to supply our own pub. We hadn't anticipated the level of interest we have received from the other pubs in Dingle and we are delighted to have such support from them. We are working towards supplying these Dingle pubs but we do not intend to expand our market outside of Dingle. Supporting local business is important to us and if we can help create employment in our town we will be very proud of that. We hope that our brewery tours will help bring more visitors and create spin-off benefits for the community.  
We will soon be introducing our "Rotational tap" in Dick Mack's bar which we aim to stock with a new beer every month for customers to try. This exciting project will allow us to get creative and experiment with new types of beer and different flavours and see what we can come up with. Some may work and some may not and we are looking forward to receiving customer feedback on our efforts!

Where can we get more information?

On our Facebook page Dick Mack’s Brewhouse, Twitter @dickmacksbrewhouse and website www.dickmackspub/brewhouse. We will soon be adding new links and a map showing which pubs and restaurants have our beer in stock to the website!


Don’t forget to book with STAY YNA! 30% off your stay in February 2018!

And enter our DICK MACK'S BREWERY COMPETITION! Win 2 tickets for a tour of Dick Mack's Brewery!


Email DICK MACK'S to [email protected]

Winner will be announced will be announced 16/02/18

Terms and conditions apply. GOOD LUCK!

The King of Carnivals

We are offering 20% off all remaining accommodation!
Win 2 tickets to The Carnival de Nice!

Finally, the longest month EVER is over! Bye January, see you next year! Welcome fun February!

Now I know what you’re thinking, what’s February got to offer?  Well I have the remedy to cure those blues… It involves awash of colours, big heads, fireworks, countless amounts of flowers and an unforgettable atmosphere, I could go on but I know you’re already sold.


It’s The Carnival de Nice! An annual festival taking place 17th of February – 3rd of March on the French Rivera that brings in a million visitors from across the globe!

The Nice Carnival is 6 carnival parades, by day or by night, made up of 17 floats and more than 1000 dancers and musicians from all over the world to make you live this authentic and magical event!

Each year the carnival holds a theme and this year it’s the King of Space! Past themes have been, King of Music, King of Energy and King of Gastronomy.

To celebrate this epic event we held a series of interviews with The creatives who make it all happen!



Photo credit - Nice Carnaval

Meet Chad Crowe, an illustrator, cartoonist and designer of floats for The Carnival de Nice. Since 2005 Chad has designed over 20 floats!

  1. The theme for this year’s Carnival is King of Space. How do you start your creative journey when given a subject? How long does it take to form an idea and design a float? 

A good, and difficult, question to answer, as the process tends to vary, depending if I’m struck by an inspiring idea or have to go dig one up. It usually starts with cramming your mind with input about the particular theme: researching all the individuals, discoveries, events, etc. that are connected. The second step is to actively brainstorm all the possible ideas you might have from the research you’ve done, and see what connections you can make, how it might relate to modern life or contemporary politics, etc. and not be too self-editing. Then, take a break and let it sit for a week or so, as your mind tends to start filtering out the ideas and symbols that seem to matter (without stress of an immediate deadline). Then it’s time for the actual drawing and creation, and during the process you might find new props, perspectives or humorous elements to add as your pencil is actually working on the page. Then, you mail them out and have to forget all about them for a few months until you learn if any have been chosen - but of course you can’t forget them because you really want them to be turned into amazing floats and have yet another justifiable excuse to return to Nice


Regarding the contest, there is usually about a month in which to work on the ideas for submission. The first two I usually spend researching/contemplating, and the last two weeks drawing. For the creation of the floats, I think they manage to do them within 3-5 months. Impressive given the amount of floats, size and incredible detail. The Carnavaliers are amazing craftsmen.

  1. We are loving the Rocket Brexit float designed by you Chad. It really reflects how many of us feel in the UK at the moment! Do you feel the carnival floats can be more than just a bit of fun and can really be a great platform to put some interesting views out there? 

 So glad you enjoy the Brexit rocket! I think the carnival floats are a really wonderful vehicle for expressing opinion, and releasing some tension, on the political and social issues we are all faced with. In the middle ages it was an accepted steam valve for the lower classes to express their anger and frustrations with the King and monarchy for a short period of time- and identities hidden behind masks and costumes (and of course also fitting with the Catholic tradition of Lent). Even though things have changed a great deal since the middle ages, this tradition is still mocking the powers and policies that affect us in an increasingly globalized world - whether those structures are Trump, Brexit and the EU, or the fast food industry, climate change or human rights. And it’s all done in a spirit of humour. Of course, the floats could just be non-political, for light-hearted entertainment too, which is a worthy goal in itself. France, and many democracies, show a strong toleration, and support, for satire, intellectual freedom and individual expression. The carnival is another way of showing they culturally uphold these values - and they also want to have a good time.


Photo credit - Nice Carnaval

  1. 1873 was when Carnival de Nice started, if you could choose one theme to go back and design, which one would it be and why? 

What a great opportunity that would be! I can’t seem to find a list of all the carnival themes since 1873, so have no idea. I would have enjoyed working with the artist G.A. Mossa, as his drawings and creations were outstanding. And designing a float that might have been seen by Queen Victoria would have been incredible (possibly a giant caricature of her secret lover, John Brown, dressed up in Highland gear and playing the bagpipes?). I’ve noticed that the theme “The King of Madness” tends to be cursed, but that theme would be perfect for contemporary times.

  1. You’ve been designing floats for the Carnival de Nice since 2005, what makes The Nice carnival special to you? 

It’s hard to put into words, and perhaps more of a feeling. Although I can’t speak French, in art history classes my favourite artists tended to be French: Honore Daumier, Tolouse Lautrec, Gustav Dore - they put their traditional artistic skills in the service of drawing the real life in the streets, and to the comic and the absurd. Nice seems to represent this devotion to the arts, by the numerous artists naturally drawn to the area for the climate, but also for the freedom and lightheartedness - it is dedicated to the arts, but also to playfulness, humour and the good things in life - not taking itself too seriously. And it’s located in a jaw-dropping landscape, surrounded by a beautiful bay and filled with amazing architecture, history, cafes, restaurants and markets - I wonder how it’s possible for anyone to not enjoy this city. For the good luck to have been included in the contest and have a connection to such a unique place that celebrates art, satire and the good life is a dream come true.


  1. What is your favourite float you have ever created? And why? 

 This is a difficult one - they all feel like children.  Perhaps the float of Gerard Depardieu as Gargantua sitting on a pile of gold coins as Putin feeds him from a silver spoon. Mr. Depardieu actually happened to show up at the carnival that year, and had no idea that there was a float of him parading around - an absolute shock for him and me! He was a great sport about it, and visited the carnival warehouse to autograph the spoon the next day. I also like the King of Greek Loans, and the giant cyclops begging for Euros from a German banker.



  1. What happens to the floats at the end of each carnival? We have visions of them being stored away like the Ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark! Or are they preserved? 

 Great vision! Perhaps thousands of years from now they will discover the giant lost ark of carnival floats? I have no idea what happens to them. Would love to get one for our house or backyard one day!

  1. Describe the atmosphere of the Nice Carnival for you in 3 words? 

Festive. Artistic. Playfully Rebellious.


Don’t forget to book with STAY YNA! 20% off all remaining accommodation!  Going fast!

And enter our CARNVIAL COMPETITION! Win 2 tickets to The Carnival de Nice!


Email KING OF SPACE to [email protected]

Winner will be announced will be announced 15/02/18

Terms and conditions apply. GOOD LUCK!


Ryanair have recently launched a brand new direct flight from Berlin to Kerry airport. It’s the first new flight route for Kerry airport in 7 years! This is great news for the Dingle Peninsula as it opens up a very straightforward easy way for German visitors to come and explore our majestic setting on the renowned Wild Atlantic Way.



Culture, creativity, entertainment, leisure and fabulous food is how Lonely Planet describes Berlin – but as contrasting as rural Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula may first seem, the same words can apply.

The local people are known for their warm hospitality and wicked sense of humour. They know how to have fun and this is evident in the lively, traditional pubs, the thriving traditional music sessions and passion for holding festivals (any excuse for a party!).

Dick Macks!

Dick Macks!

Berlin has beer and we have "the black stuff", creamy pints of Guinness, which adds to the merriment! The amazing coastal scenery and unspoiled ancient landscapes from lakes to mountains are unique to the Dingle Peninsula and it’s one off the most stunning sections of the famous Wild Atlantic Way. Thrilling outdoor activities include sea kayaking, hiking, golf, fishing trips, boat trips, whale and dolphin eco-tours, stand up paddle boarding and surfing. There is also a thriving arts and crafts culture with many designers and artists being inspired by the landscape and history of the area. The artisan food scene is huge with food festivals, great eateries and local distillery tours to be indulged in!



The Dingle Peninsula is situated in the captivating Southwestern corner of Ireland and juts out 50 miles into the great Atlantic Ocean. With direct flights from Frankfurt to Kerry airport and this newly-launched route with two flights a week from Berlin to Kerry airport, visitors can now travel to the Dingle Peninsula easier than ever before. Tourists can now find themselves in the heart of the Dingle Peninsula in less than 1 hour by car or taxi from Kerry airport. 

Many people don't realize that they can fly to and from Kerry airport and tend to fly to Dublin, Cork or Shannon and they don’t know what they're missing! Flying to or from Kerry is a delight. It’s a small, friendly airport with no long queues, no large arrival halls, no long walks to gates or parking nightmares - passengers are in and out in minutes with none of the stress we associate with larger multi-terminal airports.

At Stay YNA we’ve already welcomed guests from Berlin taking advantage of the new flight and our stunning homes and hospitality and we’re looking to welcome more!

Visit for more information or contact Lauren or Laura at [email protected].


Roses are red, violets are blue, how will you celebrate valentines? Maybe a romantic trip for two!

The struggle is real… What do you get your better half for Valentines day? How many roses say “I Love You”. One? Twelve? Or is it twenty? And then you find yourself googling what colour rose means what… damn it cupid! St Valentines Day is a hard time for all of us. However have no fear… enter hopeless romantic Lauren! I’ve got you covered to impress your beau this V day. 

Nice has so much to offer to make your getaway super romantic and you can fly to Nice from London from as little as £24.68, Great start!  

Here are a few of my favourite ideas…


Le Lieu, La Cave du Fromager

Located in the heart of Nice, The Old Town the restaurant La Cave du Fromager is the ideal spot if you are looking for something more intimate. A beautiful cellar with exposed brick and stone, separated into several rooms. Cheese is their passion but there is also plenty to choose from! It’s a yes from me! 



 Mas Provençal

If you’re looking for a restaurant that’s a bit quirky but also breath takingly picturesque then look no further. Mas Provençal, located in the Village of Eze, is a magical setting, surrounded by fresh flowers, vegetables and exotic trees, even grapes hanging from the ceiling! If you are a wine lover Mas Provençal quality of aged wine is second to none. Their risotto and lamb are world famous and you can find lots of fantastic reviews about them! 

Although if I were you I would spend the afternoon in this beautiful medieval village, you can get the 82 or 112 bus from the Port in Nice. Eze is located on a hilltop about 1,400 feet above sea level (so wear suitable shoes as the streets are very steep and cobbled!), surrounded by astonishing views!It will be an unforgettable experience!





 Picnic at the Chateau (castle) of Nice

Okay, so it’s a little bit of a trek but TOTALLY worth that view. 

My personal favourite, grab some nibbles from the Cours Saleya food market in the morning and a bottle of prosecco and have a stroll up the Chateau. The walk up is beautiful as you get a 360 view of Nice and it is not disappointing when you reach the top! Don’t forget to take a blanket to snuggle up in.




 Private perfume creation at Galimaid perfumery -

A perfect day trip, just jump on the train to Grasse (takes about an hour) and meet a renowned perfumer! You can book a private session to create your own scent and leave with 100ml of your personal perfume. You can even get the opportunity to discover you ‘Nose’ and discover behind the scenes.





A Lovey – Dovey stay at our Juliette apartment -

If you are looking to bend the knee, STAY YNA’s Juliette apartment is known for its engagements. Over the last 10 years we have had no less than fifteen proposals and the same number of acceptances! Located in the Old Town it’s next to lively Place Rossetti with cafés and street singers and the magnificent glittering domed cathedral. It’s also a stones throw away from the Cours Saleya market, where you can buy some fresh flowers and all the ingredients for your romantic dinner. 

Sip champagne on the balcony and soak up the ambience, the perfect setting for a day to remember.



If we can help you make your Valentines day special please contact Lauren on [email protected] , we are happy to help! 

Most Instagrammable…Dingle!

Dick Mack's Pub and Brewhouse

The words "Where's Dick Macks? Opposite the Church. Where's the Church? Opposite Dick Macks" are stenciled on the pub gates and it generally sums up the quaint, quirky, iconic character of the pub. Dick Mack's has been operating as a pub and leather shop on Green Street since 1899. Steeped in history, stepping into Dick Macks is like going back in time and it remains to this day as traditional as you can get. Still making leather belts and serving great Guinness, in recent years Dick Macks has also gained an amazing reputation as a whiskey pub and was voted Overall Irish Whiskey Bar of the year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

In 2017 Dick Macks opened their very own brewhouse onsite. The brewhouse building has a fascinating history and has survived many uses through several generations of the Mac Donnell family. A tour of the brewery is the perfect way to spend an afternoon and what better way to sample the latest beers than in the old taproom itself.


Dunquin Pier

A charming little feat of architectural madness, the access road to Dunquin pier is perhaps the steepest, narrowest and bendiest track in the whole of Co. Kerry. Built into the dramatic, rocky cliffs at the most westerly tip of Ireland's coast, the stunning views out to the vast Atlantic and the Blasket islands are breathtaking. Just don't get too distracted by them as you negotiate the challenging terrain on foot. 

The pier is the departure point for the ferry to The Great Blasket island during the summer months. A word of warning though, do not attempt to drive down this road as you will get very, very stuck - as embarrassingly discovered by unsuspecting tourists on more than one occasion in recent years!



Clogher beach

This rugged, spectacular beach is the best place on the Dingle Peninsula to storm watch during the wild winter season. As you drive down the narrow road towards the beach it feels as if you are about to roll straight down into the rough, angry seas as you approach the "Dangerous cliffs and Strong Current signs". It is with a sense of relief and an adrenaline rush that the left turn into the safety of the small carpark above the beach comes into view. From here you can park up and face the full force of the uninterrupted Wild Atlantic Waves as they churn up seas of white foam and unnervingly huge waves and high sea sprays. 



Mount Brandon

Stay away from that mountain! There is still a small number of locals on the Dingle Peninsula who remember giving cups of tea to survivors of World War 2 plane wrecks and recall farmers falling to their tragic deaths tending to sheep on steep ridges. These folk consider climbing Mount Brandon for pleasure and exercise a crazy thing to want to do. Religion and pilgrimage, maybe, but just for fun, no.

Thankfully, there are now many, many visitors and locals who seek to satisfy their sense of adventure, who relish a challenge and who are inspired by the sensational views that reaching the summit of Mount Brandon provides. At 952m high, Mt Brandon is one of the country's highest mountains and requires a reasonable level of fitness and experience including proper hiking boots, equipment and clothing. Climbers should allow 4hrs to complete the challenge and bring sufficient food and water. The rewarding views and sense of achievement are totally worth the effort.


By Yasmin