Deirdre McQuil­lan on the Drunch Bunch: women who dress up for catch- ups over Sun­day af­ter­noon cock­tails

Think din­ner- lunch with cock­tails, where the more stylish dress up rather than tank up for the oc­ca­sions, writes Deirdre McQuil­lan

The Irish Times Magazine - - INSIDE -

You’ve heard of Ladies who Lunch but Women who Drunch – a hy­brid of din­ner and lunch, but the other side of lunch and be­gin­ning around 2.30- 3pm – is what de­scribes these Dublin twen­tysome­things. Fash­ion- con­scious fe­males who dress up to the nines for a long, lazy Sun­day af­ter­noon get to­gether with like­minded friends.

“Sun­day morn­ings are for sleep­ing, but Sun­day af­ter­noons are for eat­ing and mis­be­hav­ing just a lit­tle.” That’s ac­cord­ing to the Marker Ho­tel, which in­tro­duced the Drunch to Dublin and to their brasserie in 2013 from Paris, hav­ing looked at dif­fer­ent trends in­ter­na­tion­ally in food cap­i­tals such as Lon­don, Paris and New York. “Brunch was gain­ing mo­men­tum in Dublin, so we thought peo­ple might like a late lunch too,” says chef Gareth Mullins who pin­pointed the trend. “It’s less for­mal and more about an­other op­por­tu­nity to dine out with friends or fam­ily.”

We re­cently fol­lowed a group of friends hav­ing drunch in the Marker, where the ta­bles were mostly oc­cu­pied by groups of young women catch­ing up and hav­ing fun. There were 90 booked in that day. Am­bi­ent mu­sic from a res­i­dent DJ played in the back­ground.

Like the oth­ers, the group was dressed to im­press and out to en­joy a re­lax­ing Sun­day af­ter­noon. The en­tic­ing list of drinks in­cluded Belli­nis, Mo­ji­tos, craft beers, bub­bles and a new take on the Bloody Mary, the Marker Mary, stirred for the cus­tomer at the ta­ble. Prices started at ¤ 5 for a pick- me- up smoothie or gin­ger ale and up to ¤ 19 for a coupe of Ayala cham­pagne.

( A cau­tion­ary note: with the em­pha­sis on cock­tails such as Bloody Marys and Mi­mosas at­tract­ing en­thu­si­as­tic fans, some have dubbed the trend “a cross be­tween drunk and lunch”, but even with pros­ec­cos and Mi­mosas of­fered on tap in other venues, the more stylish dress up rather than tank up for the oc­ca­sion.)

The group of five were Pearl Phe­lan, a pho­tog­ra­pher from Clon­dalkin, a grad­u­ate in au­dio vis­ual me­dia who worked for a pho­to­graphic agency in Syd­ney and briefly as a photo ed­i­tor at Grazia in Aus­tralia be­fore re­turn­ing home. She is set­ting up EtcEtc Stu­dios on Bag­got Street, spe­cial­is­ing in lifestyle pho­tog­ra­phy for brands and so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing ( pearlphe­lan. com). She’s wear­ing a bird- print blue cot­ton dress from Carousel with a white belt from an­other out­fit. Her shoes are vin­tage Church, socks are from Top­shop and the yel­low leather Glad­stone- style bag was a vin­tage num­ber she picked up in Syd­ney. Gemma O’Leary is a jew­eller f rom Mal­low, Co Cork, who trained with Mette O’Con­nor of Amoc jew­ellery in Grey­stones be­fore found­ing her own brand ( in­ner- is­land jew­ellery. ie). Her navy dress is from Len­non Court­ney, her sleeve­less coat from Fin­ery. The shoes are from Select Femme and the leather bag is by Ir­ish de­signer Ali­son Con­neely. The jew­ellery is Gemma’s own.

Mari Pad­u­ano is a stylist and art di­rec­tor from Naples ( mari­pad­u­ano. com) who has lived here for 10 years. Her printed “Cord of Kind­ness” pinafore dress was made by her mother, Carmel Marisca, a pro­fes­sional tai­lor – the fab­ric is a cush­ion ma­te­rial bought in Cork; her mother also made the jacket and feather em­bel­lish­ment. The sil­ver heart ear­rings are from Naples as are the lime patent stilet­tos. The sun­glasses are from Om Diva in Dublin.

Amanda Eus­tace is a fine arts grad­u­ate of DIT and a fash­ion de­signer from Dublin who trained with the Grafton Academy. Her feath­ery black silk dress is her own de­sign from her la­bel, Dolly Delin­quent ( www. dol­ly­delin­quent. com), which she founded six years ago. The la­bel is man­u­fac­tured in Drum­con­dra and stocked in Om Diva. San­dals are by Kurt Geiger.

Amelia Eclec­tique is a fash­ion and cul­ture jour­nal­ist and founder of La Femme Eclec­tique web­site who di­vides her time be­tween Ire­land and Italy. She is wear­ing a frothy blue tulle dress from Dolly De-

mo‘ rn‘ Sun­day ings are for sleep­ing, but Sun­day af­ter­noons are for eat­ing and mis­be­hav­ing just a lit­tle

lin­quent, blue velvet vin­tage top with se­quin em­bel­lish­ment ( a hand- me- down from a sis­ter) with tights from Calze­to­nia and pink suede shoes from Mi­ista in Lon­don. She comes equipped with two bags: one em­broi­dered and beaded from Om Diva, the other with black feather de­tail from Con­sign­ment in Ross­car­bery, west Cork.

So what did they drink? Mi­mosas ( fresh or­ange juice with cham­pagne), Long Is­land Ice, Ex­presso Mar­tini, Water­melon Bub­bles and Blue­berry Gin­ger cock­tails.

And what did they eat? Spicy scram­bled egg ( Amanda and Mari), crushed avo­cado and tor­tilla ( Amelia), pulled Ballinwillin wild boar ( Gemma) and tiger prawns ( Pearl)

The chat? Top­ics were dom­i­nated by work, in­clud­ing the of­ten- iso­lated stu­dio en­vi­ron­ment for free­lancers/ mak­ers, the con­tin­u­ing bal­anc­ing act of pro­mot­ing one’s in­de­pen­dent brand and main­tain­ing a dig­i­tal pres­ence. There was some brain­storm­ing too for projects. They left at 7.15pm.

A sweet fin­ish­ing touch to the day was a cock­tail spe­cially con­cocted for the group which they de­cided to call “The Diva” as a tribute to Ruth Ní Loin­sigh of Om Diva who first brought them all to­gether. With spe­cial thanks to Ailís Ca­ha­lan, Liam Ó hAn­nracháin and Shane Hamil­ton of the Marker Ho­tel. www. the­mark­er­hotel­dublin. com

En­joy­ing drunch on the rooftop at The Marker in Dublin were Mari Pad­u­ano, Pearl Phe­lan, Amelia O Ma­hony Brady, Amanda Eus­tace and Gemma O’Leary. PHO­TO­GRAPH: CYRIL BYRNE

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