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Darby O’Gill inspired restaurant

A new upmarket restaurant and bar, recently opened at London’s exclusive Embassy Gardens on the South Bank, is inspired by the classic Disney film Darby O’Gill and the Little People (reviewed in Books Ireland, Sept./Oct. 2015). Darby’s is owned by TV chef Robin Gill, whose father headed the Dublin showband Earl Gill and the Hoedowners. Mr Gill, a Masterchef judge on the Irish version of the show, is not only naming the restaurant after his father, who was nicknamed ‘Darby’, but is paying tribute to Darby O’Gill and the Little People. The film was based on books by Irishwoman, Herminie Templeton Kavanagh. It tells the story of Darby (Belfast actor Albert Sharpe) and his battle of wits with King Brian of the leprechauns (Dublin actor Jimmy O’Dea), and it is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The restaurant is part of a development where apartments can fetch up to £5m and is home to the world’s first sky pool—an outdoor swimming pool suspended ten storeys high that bridges two apartment blocks. Robin Gill and wife Sarah say their restaurant ‘harks back to the sophistication, elegance and style of the 1950s and ’60s’. It will be decorated with items used in the making of the film, including King Brian’s original costume, and other memorabilia reflecting the Ireland created by Walt Disney.

Tony Canavan