My Weekend: My chill out place is Pilmore Beach... a little piece of heaven

Ellen Martin of Fab Fillies and Wedding Belles says she loves a family roast on a Sunday and to be entertained
My Weekend: My chill out place is Pilmore Beach... a little piece of heaven

Ellen Martin, who runs a bridal accessories studio in Castlemartyr and also a hat hire business and ladies clothing range on fabfillies.com

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

I am one of two children to Roddy and Olive, who both live in our home place in Ballincollig and have been married for 48 years — that’s some going in my opinion.

I have one brother, Anthony, who works in the airport and he loves his job. I have only one niece, Sophie, and I adore her.

I have a 16-year-old son, Callum, who is in transition year and I’m grateful that he isn’t in a pressurised year as I feel it’s extremely hard for teenagers with the pandemic.

I wear a couple of hats when it comes to work and business.

I have a bridal accessories studio in Castlemartyr called Wedding Belles and an online store www.weddingbelles.ie.

I also have a hat hire business (both of these have been hit badly with the pandemic) and I also have another online store, which always sold ladies accessories. During the first lockdown I branched out into ladies clothing, which honestly wasn’t on the agenda, but I saw a gap for comfy clothing and went for it. That website is www.fabfillies.com.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Friday night for me is a very chilled evening. I will prepare a really nice dinner with a weekend feel, like a curry or steak, and catch up on some Netflix as I don’t really go near the TV during the week.

Lie ins or up with the lark —which is it for you?

If I have work or something on I get up early, or when Callum is in school I am up at 7am. But I am a morning person for sure, the minute I wake up I’m in a good mood.

Ellen Martin with her dog Leo
Ellen Martin with her dog Leo

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Work always creeps in at the weekend. When the shop is open, I would be at work on a Saturday as a lot of brides like to visit on a Saturday. Now though it’s online orders and, yes, they do trickle in at the weekend so there is a little work.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break and who would you bring with you?

I would head to London as I adore the buzz, the shops and the shows, and I would stay in a city centre hotel, which would make getting around easy.

I would bring my partner Donal (even though I don’t think London would be his first choice).

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

For me, my chill-out place is Pilmore Beach outside Youghal.

It is five minutes from where I live and I can never get over the tranquility and beauty when I am over there. It’s a little piece of heaven.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

If we were in regular times, I most certainly would be catching up with friends at the weekend — a meal out or a coffee — but for now it’s just phone calls to them and I spend the whole weekend with Donal and my son Callum.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I suppose millinery is a hobby of mine, tipping away with a few hats, adding to them or changing their look. I really love everything to do with hats and I would follow a lot of the fashion and style at the races from around the world like Australia.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the former do you have a signature dish?

I love to be entertained. It’s the feeling of being off duty and when you are at home every day thinking ‘What will I cook for the dinner today’ to get a surprise somewhere else is the job!

We have so many places to eat out in Cork, where are your go-to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Coffee for me is Sage in Youghal. I love it. The coffee is gorgeous, the brown bread to die for and all dishes in there are 10 out of 10.

For lunch I love Luigi Malones in the city. They have a great selection for lunch and we love to go there to meet my Mum when we can.

Dinner for me is Eco restaurant in Douglas, I have been going there for about 25 years and I’d say I will be going there until the day I die. I never tire of it.

The curry is out of this world and the banoffi is incredible.

Sunday night comes around too fast. How do you normally spend it?

I love a roast in my house on a Sunday, so Sunday nights are spent in a food coma by the fire, with either a movie or Netflix — it’s very chilled out.

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