Benoit Jammes Mark Khaisman Vampire of Barcelona
Chor Bizarre Vini & Bal Workshop Coffee
No Disneyland Orlando Madrid Pas-De-Calais
Audi R8 V10 Plus Dacia Duster Vauxhall Cascada Honda Civic Tourer
COMPETITIONS WIN One of 3 Aeropress coffee makers WIN One of 3 We-Vibeâ€™s
12 16 Tropic of
Babylon by We are Handsome
06 The Hotlist Jamie Lenman Heart and Soul
08 Mark Khaisman – Stuck on you
16 Beach bums – Tropic of Babylon 26 Benoit Jammes 32 Vinnie and Bal – After the den 36 In music
66 48 HRS in Orlando
38 Jamie Lenman 43 Qbic – Budget chic hotel
Audi R8 V10 plus
48 East meets West London – Dorsett Shepherds Bush 50 WW1 – Touching the history in Northern France 62 5 things the guide books don’t tell you about Madrid
>>>> WIN One of 3 Aeropress
120 coffee makers
122 WIN One of 3 We-Vibe’s
32 Piers and the Revolution
Cover Benoit Jammes
Beautiful furniture and lighting NOBLE DESIGNS www.nobledesignslimited.com Tel: 01753 655443
66 48 HRS in Orlando
Phew, here at last. After some minor technical hitches I’m really pleased to introduce the latest edition of Flush Magazine. It’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes and I want to take this opportunity to thank all our writers for such diverse and brilliant contributions. We’re always on the look out for the unusual or original, so if you think you are interested in writing something for Flush Magazine (or our sister website Flush the Fashion), get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by...
72 Marylin’s maple syrup and sultana brownies 74 Old Bombat street food at Chor Bizarre 78 Mr Bean and Workshop Coffee Co 83 Product review – Sage Dual Boiler Espresso machine 88 The rise and rise of Bitcoin CAR REVIEWS 92 Audi R8 V10 Plus 96 Dacia Duster Laureate 100 Vauxhall Cascada 104 Honda Civic Tourer
Pete Graham, EDITOR
108 Secret Agent? On whose side? 117 Book Review The Vampire of Barcelona 120 WIN One of three Aeropress Coffee makers 122 WIN One of three We-Vibe II’s
CONTRIBUTORS Kate Turner Snigdha Nag Natalie Laurence Phil Blaney Phil Mottershead Steve Clarke Phil Mottershead
Ian Hughes Luke Lavelle Paul Martin Jamie Reynolds Frank Turner Rob McSorley
THE HOTLIST The stuff of life
Despite the exotic recipes, these one pots are made with 100% British ingredients. My favs are the Moroccan Chicken Tagine, Butternut, Lentil and Spinach Stew and a British Pulled Pork Stew with British Chorizo that is perfect for a quick lunch with no junk. £3.49 from Ocado www.soulfulfood.com
Over the radar
This North Face GORE-TEX Pro jacket comes with Recco reflectors; one of a 2 part avalanche search system used in over 600 resorts worldwide. In an emergency reflectors bounce a signal direct to rescue services to locate your whereabouts. Brilliant and good-looking. £420 www.thenorthface.eu
This 2013 Boschendal Jean Garde Unoaked Chardonnay from the Western Cape holds hints of green apple and is a superhero of a wine. Perfect with chicken on a Sunday or grasped tightly watching the rain. £8.79 from Sainsburys.
of 3 Aeropress WIN! One Coffee Makers
Born in San Francisco in 2009, each individual boom case is different and a perfect blend of vintage style an aural sex appeal. From $449.00 www.theboomcase.com
Designed by talented Finnish shoe designer, Julia Lundsten and made with the finest natural rubber, these lace-up boots walk by Nokian Footwear walk the line between fashion and wearability with impeccable good taste. $45.00 http://nokianjalkineet. fi/en
For the mouse who has everything.
Everyone knows Parmigiano Reggiano is the official queen of cheeses. Inspired by a culinary tour of Italy this Parmesan Cheese Lamp has all of the beauty, but none of the smell. From €200.00 www.parmesancheeselamp.com
One of 3 We-Vibe II’s
MARK KHAIS STUCK ON YOU Mark Khaisman is a Ukrainian visual artist. He creates his art by applying layers of translucent packing tape on clear Plexiglas panels. He sees tape as the most direct way of manipulating light.
KHAISMAN I started doing this work like a traditional stained glass artist, but with tape I found I could continue my conversation with light, in a more expedient manner. I might have never thought of this â€œmediumâ€? if not for my working in stained glass. Yet, tapes happened to be much more than just a replacement of the stained glass medium. It miraculously bonded together all my previous experiences.
It takes me about a week to make a new work usually. I use all kinds and colours of translucent packing tape, 3 to 6 rolls. One roll of tape is 55 yds, so one work might be from 100 to 300 yds â€œlongâ€?.
It requires concentration and patience. When things go right it’s enjoyable. While working I’m constantly balancing between order and chaos. Though I try not to lose control completely, I’m not aware of every move I am taking, so by the time the piece is done, I don’t exactly know how it has happened.
This ongoing series is based on candid celebrity parties pictures from mid-fifties Hollywood. “James and Ursula” depicts James Dean and Ursula Andress at a nightclub. When I run out of tape I’ll start thinking about something else.
For more info on Mark visit www.khaismanstudio.com
beach bums Tropic of Babylon by We are Handsome
Deep in the minds of those of us who dream, in the far reaching imaginations of angels and sinners alike, exists a place where freedom is a right, magnificence abounds and paradise is everywhere you turn.
Infamous for excessive luxury, where nothing is owned and heavenly riches are abundant and exquisite.
A place where beautiful beasts roam the land and sands. Where the seas, skies and tales are endless.
Known by one name and one name only, welcome to the Tropic of Babylon.
Model: Rebecca Szulc from Work: Agency, Photographer: Sebastian Kriete. www.wearehandsome.com
I am Benoit Jammes a 33 year old graphic designer, I live in Paris, France. This work on cassette tapes is entirely handmade, it so happened that I found a bunch of old cassettes at home; seeing them brought me back to the 80s, when I was a kid. In any case, I could not play them any more so resurrecting them sounded like a good idea.. it was sound, and then it became visual! Iâ€™m pretty sure they are happier now than in a shoebox :-)
Benoit www.benoitjammes.c om
Piers and the Vinni And Bal - After the Den
Husband and Wife teamVini and Bal Aujla are attempting to revolutionise the way we enjoy Indian food... Vini gave up a successful career in Investment Banking in order to pursue their shared dream and now, with a bit of help from an appearance on TV’s Dragons’ Den and a £50,000 investment from Piers Linney, their range of delicious, fresh and gunkfree sauces are heading for the big-time. They’re a million miles away from those glass bottled processed concoctions with 10 year shelf lives and an ingredients list longer than the Magna Carta. My favourite is the Shahi; just add some chicken, half a can of coconut milk, diced onion, mange-tout and away you go.
When did you first get the idea to create your own Curry Sauces? The inspiration for Vini & Bal’s came when we first realised how different the perception of Indian food was to the reality. I found it impossible to find anything resembling authentic, fresh Punjabi home cooking in restaurants or shops. We decided to create a range that would allow British households to experience real Indian cooking. The sauces have all been inspired by the traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation; the very same recipes we
Piers and the Revolution Vinni And Bal - After the Den
enjoyed growing up and now prepare for our children. We’re also extremely passionate about fresh ingredients. People are more health conscious, and no longer satisfied with the gloopy, bland, preservative-packed jars you’ll find in the supermarket. We keep our sauces chilled to keep their fresh and powerful flavour intact. Before now there wasn’t a fresh Indian sauce category. We wanted to make this style of fresh, authentic cooking accessible for everyone and now people are embracing it and enjoying our sauces in the process!
How has working with ‘Dragon’ Piers Linney helped the business? Piers has been fantastic, not only is he is super successful and hands-on with support but he provides us with valuable advice and insight. Dragons’ Den gave us brand exposure on a national and even International level, which is something we dreamed of when first creating the sauces. Piers also understand the value of good food and we’re happy to say that he enjoys Vini & Bal’s on a regular basis Fiery Mirchi is his favourite flavour!
What has it been like going from the relative comfort of Investment Banking into the scary world of running your own business? It hasn’t been easy leaving a secure job to going it alone, particularly given that
there is a lot of trial and error involved. I would certainly recommend the overall experience though! When my husband and I became a team, we instantly forged a good support network, and as a bonus, we are now able to work around our small children. Granted, this means we work longer hours but itâ€™s worth it. I also found that coming from a background of investment banking gave me more confidence to approach buyers, something which has proved crucial in the last year or so.
Which is the most popular sauce so far? Do you have plans to add further dishes to your range? So far, our Jeera sauces has proven most popular. Given the amazing reception weâ€™ve had we would love the opportunity to grow and develop our range even further.
When you get some time off, where is your favourite place to eat??
The best experience I have had in an Indian restaurant to date would be the Gaylord Restaurant in London. Completely traditional and authentic, a meal there never fails to disappoint! Vini and Balâ€™s sauces are stocked in over 300 Sainsburys superstores visit www.viniandbals.com for more info.
Aeroplane Flies High
Liverpool’s Aeroplane Flies High paint shades of early Weezer with bleeding loud guitars and a keen ear for a catchy hookline. Recent single ‘Growing’ on Snaketown Records shows a song-writing maturity that bodes well for the future and nods its cap to the best of Grunge past. http://aeroplaneflieshigh. bandcamp.com
A talented up and coming singer/songwriter, Ed popped up recently producing teenage wonder Bondax’s single ‘Giving It All’. His latest track, ‘On My Own’ (available to download for free), fizzes between an 80s Quiet Storm smooth groove and a new wave of Brit House jam. Def one to watch. www.edthomasartist.com
Promised Land Sound.
Busting forth from a plentiful Nashville garage scene, Promised Land Sound are as raw as they come and all the better for it. Rhythm section, Joey Scala (bass and vocals) and brother Evan Scala (drums) keep the country-rock groove driving strong enough for guitarist Sean Thompson to deviate along. Jack White is a big fan. Look out for debut record ‘Paradise of Bachelors’ coming soon. (Pic BY Angelina Castillo) http://promisedlandnashville.bandcamp.com
Ones to watch Fractal Mirror
The origins of Fractal Mirror can be traced back to mideighties Amsterdam and the band are a shining example of perseverance come good. Their new record released on Larry Fast’s (Synergy/Peter Gabriel) Third Contact label deifies categorisation, but as a whole they form a cohesive piece of work that is at times moody and intense at at others uplifting and inspiring. It’s progressive rock in every sense of the words. www.fractalmirror.net
Just signed to Fiction/ Universal ‘Meanwhile’ writes, produces and struts his funky stuff in a small town off the M3. Latest track ‘Luvletta’ is reminiscent of LoveSexy/ GlamSlam Prince. But the rest, well that remains to be seen… Megastardom awaits. https://soundcloud.com/ meanwhileost
CHAIN OF FLOWERS
My Favourite bands are ones that evoke a feeling that just takes you into another world. Cardiff’s, Chain Of Flowers have an aura that is difficult to pinpoint, but their ‘Arches Session’ is perfectly described as what a cross breed record label of Factory and Creation would’ve released in the mid-eighties. www.flowersinchains.com
Jamie Lenman Heart and Soul From of the ashes of a band called Reuben, the rekindled creative spirits of lead singer Jamie Lenman burn fiercer than ever in his new solo album, tour dates and illustrative works. interview by Steve Clarke PHOTOS BY BEN MORSE
SC: How soon in the development of the album (two discs with very different personalities) did you realise that the natural outcome was to have two sides? Actually the whole two sided album thing, double album with one album heavy, one soft, it was something that we talked about in Reuben, my old band. People used to remark about we would have songs that were heavy and soft in the same song. And some people would say that your records jump about a bit, it would nice to have an album that was more one vibe. I sort of sympathise with that. There are albums that you want a crock of bad, and there are albums where you just want to listen to some nice acoustic guitar. So if we took those two things and had two albums of narrow vibes as it were, but then SC: In that compulsion for music, Reuben finished before that could do you listen to music while happen. I was writing these new illustrating? songs without that idea in mind, but JL: No, actually while I’m illustrating then I put enough songs together for I tend not to listen to music. What I listen to is audio plays, and I listen to a record, I thought if I came back historical history books on tape, to try with what I had at that point it might and do some learning. Mostly music sound a bit too similar to what I’d done before, and crucially, for it to is in the car. That’s the best place that’s ended up listening to music for be a new thing I thought I’d pursue me. I make quite a few long journeys this idea of a double record, one heavy, one soft, I began finessing, in the car. Though I had Aftertaste maybe I’d take a melody out of one by Helmet on yesterday, and I was of the heavier songs, or take the enjoying that. crunch out of a soft song, finessed either way. SC: That’s quite interesting regarding the absorbing of the SC: Where did the musical story telling in the plays etc and influence come from for the the resulting story telling that is second (softer) part of the album? part of the songs on the album. JL: I do have a musical family, my JL: Absolutely yeah, I spend as much possible time as I can studying mothers line of the family are all artists and musicians, and my fathers history. So it’s bound to come out at side of the family are all doctors some point. and professionals, although my Steve Clarke: You were working as a successful illustrator after taking a break from your previous band Reuben. Did you feel like you were being drawn back into the music world as new songs formulated in your head whilst illustrating? Jamie Lenman: I always thought of music as more of a hobby, and that period where I divorced myself from it, proved to me that it’s more than a hobby. And I create music whether I want to or not. When you’re in a band, it comes straight out, through a guitar and into the band, and into the audience. When you’re not in a band it builds up, and everything got a bit stuck, and it was driving me crazy, so I had no option than to get some more musicians together and do the music. It had to happen.
Jamie Lenman Heart and Soul father did play the violin. I tried to play his violin on the record, but I wasn’t quite good enough. A lot of the instruments (used on the album) I inherited from my mother’s uncle, my Great Uncle Arthur, his trumpet, his trombone and his banjulele, I played all them on the record, and they were very important to me. My mother used to write songs and she was a teenager back in the 60s, and I did consider covering one of those, and putting that on the record. I think that would have been cool, I might do that at some point. Family was one of the themes of the record. SC: There’s a strong autobiographical element in the lyrics, were any of the songs particularly difficult to write, but potentially cathartic to do? JL: None of them were difficult to write as I’ve always treated writing songs as like writing a diary, and I’ve got no problem with other people hearing that. It was helpful when I was recording them, when I was tracking the vocals, to be doing that with a close friend. It would have been a bit odd to go into a studio
and scream all this stuff in front of an engineer. Some of them were cathartic, ‘I Ain’t Your Boy’ on the soft side, I think that was the only real catharsis I’ve had from music, the rest of it is stuff I’d already dealt with in the process of writing, I already know that I feel these things. But ‘I Ain’t Your Boy’ I didn’t really realise that’s how I felt until I’d writing it down. In fact, the song ‘Muscle’ on the heavy side I didn’t realise that is how I’d been feeling, until the song was recorded actually, then I heard it back and I thought Jesus Fucking Christ, and I still think that when I hear it, yeah those two were cathartic. SC: There was a nice approach on the album where you’d leave live comments in tracks. JL: One of them is a little cheat actually. I worked with three other guys when I was writing it, but when I came to the record it, I played it all, apart from the drums. I played all the other instruments, but I wanted to have those fellows represented on the record. I did that because I’m a control freak, but their support was invaluable and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. I took a little clip from one of the rehearsals , as we used to record all the rehearsals, and I put that on a there to feel the presence of these other guys that were there, as I wanted them to be represented. (We’re briefly interrupted with screams of delight as Jamie receives the first two Insane Clown Posse albums from his wife, who’s in the process of buying him the entire back catalogue.) We did have fun (when making the album), but the other thing to
remember is, when we came to making the third Reuben album, we put up a daily video of what had happened in the studio. And of course when we’re all having fun, someone has the video out, and those daily videos just made it look like we were just laughing the whole time. But they only represent one minute of each day of a whole month doing this. And when you’re having an argument about the snare sound, or the bassist has walked out and quit the band, you don’t have the camera on. So even though those clips that I put into the are of the fun times, let me tell you there were tough times as well. It ran the whole gamut of human experience. SC: Have you any particular favourites for playing live? JL: Yes, I really like playing ‘All The Things You Hate About Me, I Hate Them Too’, as it’s so much fun to play on the guitar, and I do enjoy playing ‘I Ain’t Your Boy’ even though it does trigger a big emotional response for me every time I sing it those feelings, they all come straight back. But it’s sort of fun. Maybe it’s a bit like when you put your finger in the candle flame, it’s a bit of a shock, but then you pull it out. To go near those feelings and to have an intense experience for three minutes and then pull away from it, maybe that’s why it’s fun. As really sometimes, even when I play that song, even though I’ve played it numerous times now, the emotions are still fresh. It’s an alluring feeling, that I keeps going back, it’s weird. SC: As you have a job (illustrating) to support yourself, is this going to be the approach from now on, waiting for the next album to be born whenever it’s ready?
JL: I think that will end up being the way, purely as I don’t really like to plan too much. And I haven’t really thought to myself that I’ll crack on with the next record. I’m very busy with my illustration work, and my main focus for the year ahead apart form these festival appearances with the band, and after this tour we’re doing in April, I have say that is my main focus, but after that will be drawing these books (for Bloomsbury), so by the time this year is finished, yeah, I’ll probably start bubbling away, but who knows, it took five years last time. There’s no plans. Unless someone said, here’s a lot of money to concentrate, and if I had space, as it takes a lot of time as I have a full time job. It’ll take the same kind of time period. SC: Would you consider a Kickstarter type approach? JL: Yeah there’s nothing wrong with that. If I did do it, it would probably be just pay £10 and get the record, but I don’t like the pay £50 and we’ll send you some of our hair, pay £300 and you can kiss our shoes, I don’t like all that bullshit. I don’t agree with putting a monetary value on celebrity as it were, not to describe myself as celebrity, but what I mean by celebrity is the value that people attain by just being there, I don’t really believe in that. I SC: s there anything that you learned about yourself during the process of this album? JL: Yeah, I learned it’s not a good idea to record an album in your spare time, as it takes ages. No I didn’t learn a lot. Making records is fun. I learned that I missed making records. The actual process, the writing songs is fun, with the band is fun. But going into the studios has
Jamie Lenman Heart and Soul it’s own level of magic and I envy people that have their own sort of home set ups, which I’ve never been able to do. Putting a song together layer by layer, like building a brick wall, you put down the drums, you put down the bass, you put the guitars, and you put down the vocals, it’s so exciting. The only other analogy I could give you is sort of baking a cake. If you put all the ingredients in one by one, and you bake it, and it comes out this lovely things. It’s an exciting and fun thing to do. I remembered that I enjoyed all that. Do you art direct your videos? JL: Yeah, when we were doing it in Reuben, I did come up with most of the concepts, sometimes in concert with the other guys. And later I did end up directing the whole thing myself. And then when we came to do these new videos I wasn’t sure I could cope with the pressure, as it’s a lot to think about directing videos. So the first two I gave the director a free hand, then when I got back into it for the latest two that I’ve just
brought out, I did art direct them. But I have to say Ian from Whitestone Media and Darren from Southern Black are just incredible, and they probably could have done without me sticking my oar in. But hte end result was a team effort. Do you have anything special planned for the forthcoming gigs in April? JL: The horn section is the biggest weapon in my arsenal, I’m working as hard as I can to compromise between what people that came to the gigs in December (2013 The Garage, Islington) will want and the people who didn’t come will want. Trying to compromise between a whole new set of all new songs, and also keep those favourites in there, that people will expect. So I’m working on creating a creating a new set that includes some of the old favourites, but also some songs that you haven’t heard live before, there’s a couple of covers in there we’ll be playing this time, as I haven’t written that many songs that include a horn section. We’ll go down that sound of big band standards, and I’m fairly confident that people watching will sense a bit of Jive, a bit of Lindy Hop, and it’ll just be as fun as the crushing metal numbers. For Jamie’s multi-talented abilities and for info on the gigs in April, see www.jamielenman.com. The highly praised and intrepid album Jamie Lenman/Muscle Memory is out now.
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Right on Qbic!
After a successful launch in Amsterdam, Qbic Hotels has spread its wings across the water, landing on a new prime location in the ‘hip’ heart of London.
Just a stones throw from Brick Lane, Spitafields and Aldgate Tube station, Qbic London City is friendly, funky and perfect if you’re on a tight budget. Inside the newly converted office building they’ve managed to create a boutique-y vibe at a distinctly low price. Rooms are from only £69 per night and they also run a promotion every month where they let 100 rooms go for just £1. Check-in is by custom built computer terminals from which your card key is dispensed. Should, like me you have a natural aversion to technology there is a friendly staff member on hand to help. Guest rooms are compact; there
are no tea and coffee facilities or telephones (complimentary coffee machines are available in the hallways), but you do get a super-comfy, supersize bed, complete with a unique alarmingly big headboard photo or mural, free fast wi-fi and a nice flat screen TV. They’ve utilised the space by doing away with wardrobes and clutter, instead there is a couple of hooks to hang your stuff on. Similarly there’s no bath, but the raised bathroom cubicle is nicely minimal and the shower is excellent. There are fun arty touches all over the
place; guitars in the lift, mini people in the plant pots and buoyed by it’s fashionable surroundings there is a definite ‘buzz’ about Qbic. The ground floor ‘Kitchen’ area is a cross between a cool coffee bar and an Icelandic hipsters living room. Breakfast is a grab and go affair, but it’s included in the room price and you leave the Hotel with that rare warm feeling of having received brilliant value for money and no catches.
For more info visit www.qbichotels.com
East meets West London
...Meanwhile over in
good old Shepherds Bush, the Grade II listed ex-cinema and bingo hall, The Pavillion is being completely transformed into Dorsett Shepherds Bush, a brand new 7 storey, 317 room hotel.
Touted as a meeting point between British charm and Asian Hospitality this is Dorsett International’s first foray into the British hotel market and it will feature two restaurants (one with an established Chinese restaurateur), a bar and spa all located under an iconic glass roof. Their in-house design team, hugely successful in the Far East have set about combining chic, contemporary architecture into the existing historical façade and from these CAD’s it has the potential to be be something quite spectacular.
All 317 rooms will have free internet access and guests with suites will have other benefits too such as an executive lounge offering food throughout the day. Ideally located just minutes from Westfield Shopping Cente and less than half an hour from Heathrow it’s certain to become a popular hotel with International shoppers heading to London for some good old fashioned retail therapy. Dorsett Shepherds Bush is opening in May, for more info visit http://bit. ly/1myPk8k
Carrière Wellington – Arras
Touching the history One hundred reasons to visit Northern France in 2014 August 2014 marks the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of World War One. In four years, 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians would lose their lives as a direct result of the conflict. As a marker in the timeline, The Beatles album’Please, Please Me’ was released in 1964, almost exactly half way between then and now. Those who fought in the war may have all since passed away, but it really wasn’t that long ago. I’ve been interested in visiting Pas De Calais for a while now (also because of its significance with Van Gogh) and the impending anniversary gave me the extra impetus to take the ferry over to Northern France and visit just some of the locations connected with WW1...
Touching the history One hundred reasons to visit Northern France in 2014
I’d forgotten how easy and fun Dover to Calais is by ferry, I travelled onboard the new €180 million P&O ship, Spirit of Britain and for an extra £12 relaxed in the Club lounge with complimentary drinks, wi-fi and newspapers. It’s something I’d definitely recommend, so to is the onboard Brasserie, a throwback to the golden age of cross-channel travel.
From Calais, my first stop is Arras, an hours drive from the boat and the centre of Pas-de-Calais. Many of it’s buildings were destroyed in WW1, but thankfully the fine Baroque town squares (the Grande Place and the smaller Place des Héros) were painstakingly rebuilt again to their former glory. So too was the Gothic Town Hall, albeit in a slightly
less grandeur fashion. Visitors can take the lift to the top and the views across the square and city are spectacular. It was here in the Wellington Quarry, in a series of caves under the city that 25,000 Allied troops hid before launching an audacious attack on the German frontline on 9th April 1917. Workers (mainly New Zealanders) dug around the clock, into the clay in 18 hour shifts for two months prior to the attack. They built 20km of tunnels, an operating theatre, toilets and kitchens in preparation and named
different areas after their respective hometowns, among them Wellington and Auckland, and for the British soldiers, Glasgow Edinburgh and Crewe. The manoeuvre initially took the German forces by surprise and the troops made good headway, unfortunately many of the advances were lost again within days with Allied forces suffering huge numbers of casualties in the process.
In 2008 a museum Carrière Wellington (Wellington Quarry) was opened on the site, enabling visitors to experience first-hand the underground caves and environment the soldiers lived in during the days leading up to the advance. A lift takes you underground and clever use of lighting, headsets and infa-red technology brings the stories to life in a vivid and deeply atmospheric setting. The cave walls remain untouched, some with sketches and poems from the soldiers on them. Visiting the museum gave me a new realisation, not just of war, but about the preparation for war, and how in WW1 surviving the cold, hunger, illness and long waiting periods before action was probably as challenging as meeting your enemy face to face on the battlefield.
Where to stay in Arras
The Hôtel de l’Univers à Arras is centrally located and they leave lovely macaroons next to the bed. www.univers.najeti.fr/hotel-arrasunivers.php
Where to eat in Arras
If you get hungry… visit La Cave Des Saveurs www.lacavedessaveurs.fr a cosy restaurant on the Grand Place with bare brick walls and a lovely atmosphere (the food is great too, although the lobsters are a bit small).
Touching the history One hundred reasons to visit Northern France in 2014
About 20 minutes from Arras is Vimy Ridge, the location of The Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the site of some of the fiercest battles of WW1. Built at a cost of approx $20 million (in todays money) it took eleven years to complete and was unveiled in 1936 by King Edward VIII. Positioned at the top of the ridge the Monument is dedicated to all Canadian soldiers killed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and those with no known grave. Amazingly the monument itself is made from a single piece of stone.
Touching the history One hundred reasons to visit Northern France in 2014
Vimy Ridge contd...
Close to the visitors centre is a section of preserved battlefield and trenches. The first thing that strikes you is how neat and tidy everything is kept. Manicured grass covers the vast bomb craters and pristine trenches that would have been at one time awash with mud, blood and smoke illuminated by explosions and deafening artillery thunder. The connections between France and Canada remain strong to this day and there is a tradition for Canadian students to come to France for up to 4 months and be interpretive guides at Vimy Ridge.
Touching the history One hundred reasons to visit Northern France in 2014
Phillipe Gorczynski, his personal museum and (left) Deborah
A Tank named Deborah
On the afternoon of the 81st anniversary of the Battle of Cambrai, Friday 20th November 1998, a type ‘D51’ British tank was uncovered on the outskirts of the village of Flesquières, close to Cambrai by Philippe Gorczynski, a WW1 author and historian. Gorczynski had been actively searching for the tank for years after being told of its existence by an old lady in the village. The uncovering of the tank, buried two and a half metres into the ground and severely battle damaged was only the beginning of a still on-going story.
At the moment it’s part of Philippe’s small private museum, and if you call in advance he’s more than happy to recount the tales of its discovery and fascinating history with an infectious enthusiasm. It’s discovery led him to identify the brave soldiers who took it into battle. There are still many unanswered questions about the tank and Phillipe’s dream is to build a visitors centre and exhibition in
the village (he also has A LOT of ww1 memorabilia). All being well the visitors centre is scheduled to open in 2015, in the meantime you can contact him via his website www. tank-cambrai.com.
There are more than 300 different battle and memorial sites across Northern France, from both sides of the war and each has a different story to tell. A new exhibition centre opening in July in Fromelles is likely to be one of the busiest during the anniversary. At 6pm on 19th July 1916 a disastorous attack by mainly Australian, but with some British troops on a German stronghold near Fromelles on the Western Front resulted in over 5,500 Australian
Right: Australian Memorial Park
troops and 1,500 British lives lost in the space of ten hours. As recently as 2009, a mass grave of 250 British and Australian soldiers was discovered behind what was originally German enemy lines. The soldiers, many of whom have now been identified via DNA records has since been moved 150metres to a cemetery adjacent to the new centre. Inside, visitors will be able to walk along a recreated no mans land with the German Bunkers on one side and the Australian-British trenches on the other, and it will be furnished with some of the 6,000 artefacts including weapons and everyday soldier including found within close range of the grave.
Don’t forget me, cobber.
Also very close to Fromelles is the Australian Memorial Park, featuring Peter Corlett’s ‘Cobbers’ sculpture. It shows Sergeant Simon Fraser carrying an injured soldier from No Man’s Land to safety and is testament not just to the bravery of Fraser, but a tribute to all the men who fought in such terrible conditions. I saw it on a wet day and the symbolism seemed even more powerful.
Touching your own history
The poet Wilfred Owen was killed just seven days before the end of the war. He is buried in a Communal Cemetery, Ors, France
Visiting some of the many battle sites, graveyards and memorials in this beautiful part of France was an amazing experience and in Pasde=Calais, the sheer weight of history still clings to the air. If, like so many British people you had descendants in the conflict, or even if you have no previous knowledge of the ‘Great War’ visiting this area can bring things vividly to life and is thoroughly recommended. I hope to go back and see more, plus there is Van Gogh to discover too.
Touching the history One hundred reasons to visit Northern France in 2014
If you have a relative that died in the Great War and you’re interested in tracking them down, you first port of call should be the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The website has an online database of the majority of all servicemen killed in battle from both World Wars and has information on the date they were lost and the precise location of their burial, invaluable if you’re planning a visit www.cwgc.org
P&O Ferries operates five ships on the Dover - Calais route, giving a choice of up to 23 departures in each direction daily. The crossing takes 90 minutes and fares are from £70 return for a car and passengers www.poferries.com Tel: 08716 646464 The Wellington museum in Arras is open daily Rue Delétoile 62000 Arras Tel: 03 21 51 26 95
An App for that
There is an excellent free App available for iOS and Android devices with videos and information on key WW1 battles and locations. It works with the GPS system on your phone or tablet and is woven into a fictional story of a young film maker who finds the diary of his Great-Grandfather, detailing life in the trenches. Moved by the powerful eyewitness account, he sets off to follow the trail. The App was financed with European funds as a part of the Interreg project ‘The Great War Remembered’. More information and links to download can be found here www.zevisit. com/application/war1418/ diaries1418.html
P&O’s new Spirit of Britain Brasserie
For more information on the sites in Northern France visit www.tourisme-nord.com
5 by Kate Turner
Things the guide books don’t tell you about Madrid.
The key sights in a city may not change from one year to the next, but what if you want to see more than cathedrals, castles and museums? After all, trends change, restaurants and bars come and go, and often traditional guidebooks are out of date before the ink’s even had time to dry. Madrid resident Kate Turner talks us through five of her must-see spots you won’t find in your average travel guide.
Look up With over 10,000 bars and restaurants scattered around the city, you’re bound to pass by a healthy number of watering holes as you stroll the streets of the Spanish capital. But if you set your sights at eye level, you’ll be missing some of Madrid’s best bars. The city has a sky-high subculture of rooftop bars with fancy cocktails, laid-back sounds and knock-out views. For the latter, take the lift to the azotea of the Círculo de Bellas Artes cultural centre on majestic Calle Alcalá. With a €3 entry charge, the CBA’s terrace is the only one you pay for the privilege of gracing, but the unparalleled panorama of Madrid’s skyline makes
it worthwhile. The almost 360 degree views take in the stunning structure of the Palacio de Cibeles (which also boasts its own terrace), the grandeur of Gran Vía, Madrid’s main street; and the museum hub of Paseo del Prado. You can choose whether to perch on a bar stool, lounge on a day bed and even tuck yourself in with a blanket and a hot chocolate during winter months. The azotea is also home to Tartan Roof, an outdoor restaurant serving up a seasonal menu of fusion food (breakfast and lunch only in winter). Details: Azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes, Calle Alcalá 42 (entrance on Marqués de la Casa Riera). Metro: Banco de España. Entry €3. Open daily from 10–2am. www.azoteadelcirculo.com Also try: The Roof, Me by Melia (Plaza Santa Ana); Terraza Cibeles, Palacio de Cibeles (Plaza Cibeles)
Trains and Trends
Apologies trainspotters, but visiting a railway museum probably isn’t high up on most tourists’ list of sights to see during a city break. If you’re in Madrid on the second weekend of the month though, put your preconceptions aside and head to the Museo de Ferrocarril just south of the city centre. If you like a vintage bargain, you’ll be glad you trusted me. Once a month, the Museo del Ferrocarril becomes one of the city’s hippest, most
atmospheric places to be. The Mercado de Motores trundles into town and takes over the space, filling it with indoor and outdoor stalls selling vintage clothing, accessories, furniture and assorted odds and ends, with jewellery and clothing by independent Spanish designers thrown into the mix. In the UK, ‘vintage’ can be a synonym for ‘overpriced old tat’; thankfully in Spain the concept of second-shopping is yet to go mainstream. The relatively low prices and variety of goods available should prove enough of a draw for most keen second-hand shoppers, but the quirky location, live bands, food stalls and friendly atmosphere make the Mercado de Motores a fun day out for the whole family. Forget the pushing and shoving of the Rastro, Madrid’s Sunday morning fleamarket, and head to the Museo del Ferrocarril instead. Details: Mercado de los Motores, Museo del Ferrocarril, Paseo de las Delicias 61. Metro: Delicias. The market is held
Things the guide books don’t tell you about Madrid.
on the second Saturday and Sunday of every month from 11am–10pm (8pm on Sunday). Free entry. Link: https://es-es.facebook. com/mercadodemotores Also try: Adelita Market, Espíritu23, Calle Espíritu Santo 23. Third weekend of every month.
Killing Time Continuing the theme of unlikely locations, let’s see if you can be persuaded to visit a former slaughterhouse. Back in 1911, work began on an enormous abattoir and cattle market in the Legazpi area south of Madrid’s centre. This was no ordinary slaughterhouse though: its courtyards and pavilions make it a strangely beautiful space which has now been sensitively restored and repurposed. Squeamish souls fear not, El Matadero was transformed into a cutting-edge arts centre at the turn of the 21st century, and now houses a cinema, exhibitions spanning art, design and contemporary culture, a performance space, a design centre and a café-bar. With both indoor and outdoor spaces, the vast expanse of the Matadero is well worth a wander even if you don’t take in an exhibition or a performance. Details: El Matadero, Plaza de Legazpi 8. Metro: Legazpi. Open
Tues–Fri 4–10pm and 11am–10pm Sat, Sun & holidays. Free entry. www.mataderomadrid.org/ Also try: Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Calle Conde Duque 11.
Bordering the Matadero complex is one of Madrid’s largest green spaces, the 10-km stretch of park that is Madrid Rio. It may never rival the Thames or the Seine, but the once-forgotten Río Manzanares has gained a valid identity of its own since the development of Madrid Rio in the late 2000s. The landscaped park riverside features fountains,
playgrounds, bridges, cafés and even ‘Madrid’s beach’, a sadly sand-free area bedecked with sun loungers come summertime. In terms of formal beauty Madrid Rio can’t compete with Retiro Park, but if you’re looking for a Sunday stroll you don’t have to share with half of the city, head here. The flat riverside area features cycle lanes, and is also understandably popular with joggers looking for views with their workout: the park takes in vistas of Madrid’s royal palace, Atlético de Madrid’s stadium and a number of historical bridges. Details: Madrid Rio. Metro: Easily accessed from Príncipe Pío, Puerta del Ángel, Pirámides and Legazpi. Link: www.esmadrid.com/madridrio/ html/madrid-rio-home-en.html Also try: Casa de Campo (Metro Lago); El Capricho (Metro Alameda de Osuna)
come’, Triball is a semi-scruffy corner of Madrid where relaxed brunch spots and fashionable restaurants nestle alongside old-man bars and corner shops. Kikekeller is the ideal place to soak up a bit of the area’s atmosphere while sipping on one of the many gins behind the bar, served to you by a be-skirted waiter. Just be careful not to break any of the items for sale after one too many: it might be a pricier drink than you bargained for. Details: Kikekeller, Calle Corredera de San Pablo Bajo 17. Metro: Callao or Tribunal. Open Thursday–Saturday evenings. Link: http://www.kikekeller.com/ Also try: Lolina Vintage Café, Calle del Espíritu Santo 69
Fancy a lamp with your G & T?
At first glance, Kikekeller is a trendy design shop peddling expensive lighting solutions, coatstands masquerading as greyhounds and all manner of unnecessary objets d’art. But if you walk through the small store, you’ll reach a dimly-lit bar decked out in industrial-chic furnishings – most of which are for sale. A curious combination of shop and bar, Kikekeller is a quirky-cool haunt in Madrid’s trendiest district, Triball. The last corner of hip Malasaña to ‘up and
On a budget? Stay at one of Madrid’s two One Shot Hotels (Calle Prado 23 and Paseo de Recoletos 4). Both are central, modern and comfortable. http://oneshothotels.com/en/madrid
A bit more to spend? Try one of the stylish Room Mate Hotels around the city centre. Alicia is in a prime location on Plaza Santa Ana and Oscar boasts a rooftop bar with pool. http://www.room-matehotels.com/ Kate Turner lives in Madrid. She writes about Europe for Rough Guides and also blogs at: http:// talesofabritabroad.blogspot.com.es
Ok, so here’s the scene... you’ve just had a lovely time at Disneyland in Orlando, but there’s a problem at the airport and you can’t go home for two days. You have a choice; sit watching the departure boards or make the most of the extra time. It’s true Orlando has much to thank Walt Disney for, but there are plenty of other do in this sprawling metropolis without seeing Mickey and Minnie in the process. First off... leave the airport and head South West along Highway 417 for about 20 mins to...
So, technically our attempts at avoiding Disney are off to a bad start, the small town of Celebration was an idea dreamed up by the Walt Disney corporation in the early nineties to recreate a pre-1940’s type residential area and it’s now home to just over 7,000 residents. Despite its proximity to the Park it’s slow-paced and easygoing and feels a world away from bustling downtown Orlando. Celebration is small town America from a Utopian dream perspective, the streets are spotlessly clean, there are lovely little boutique shops,
an ice cream parlour and some excellent restaurants (Thai Thani on Market St is recommended). Elevator music emanates from plants on the sidewalk and its quaintness is almost too perfect. It’s a bit like being in the Jim Carey movie, The Truman Show; slightly bizarre, but I loved it. I can imagine staying too long here could lead to a loss of connection with the ‘real’ world, in the Autumn they shoot leaf shaped confetti onto the streets and in the winter soap suds are released to replicate snow. Apparently behind the immaculate white picket fences and perfectly
trimmed lawns Celebration is a hotbed for swingers, but we only visited for a couple of days, so I can’t vouch for that.
Where to stay
You can’t stay in Celebration without staying at the Bohemian Celebration Hotel (no, I mean literally, it’s the only Hotel), so thankfully it’s a very good one. The Bohemian Hotel is part of the prestigious Kessler Collection and there is also a sister Hotel (confusingly called the Grand Bohemian, don’t ask how I know) in downtown Orlando. The Hotel’s boutique style
is a throwback to classic Floridian elegance; inspired by nature and re-imagined from an 1888 historic Hotel with natural linen furnishings and hand-made bark tables. It also has a great connection with the arts via its owner Richard Kessler, in addition to the lobby and public spaces the Grand Bohemian Gallery features some superb art from local and international renowned artists. Watching the turtles on the huge lake while having Breakfast on the patio is one of life’s great indulgences. Oh, and in addition to some mean cocktails, the lobby bar serves one of the best Bloody Mary’s around too. Rates vary and special discount packages with dinner included are available visit www.celebrationhotel.com
Ready Steady Glow
If you like golf, Orlando is your man. There are courses designed by golfing legends Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer, while the 36 hole Champions Gate course devised by Greg Norman replicates the challenge of British Lynx courses, and is one of the best around. 18 holes from approx £50, for more info visit www.championsgategolf.com At the other end of the scale Glow In The Dark Golf on International Drive is slightly more informal, but certainly no less fun. If you visit make sure you wear bright or white clothing to fully realise your ‘glow in the dark effectiveness levels’ . This is 18 holes of crazy golf in the dark and the rules are flexible, use your club like a snooker cue, or play backwards or
without touching the floor. If you have kids with you, they will love it. If you’re a grown-up kid, double bubble! For more info visit www.puttingedge.com
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when we arrived at the Amway centre for the Orlando Magic game against the Brooklyn Nets. For someone like me used to a cup of bovril and the half time scores at an English football match, the heady mix of entertainment and sport at a US Basketball game is a wide-eyed universe away. The difference from what I can see between American and British Sport is that in the US the cheerleaders, promotional giveaways and time-out entertainment seem to take precedent over the sporting activity taking place on the field of play. Which is a bit weird, as in this case basketball is a really exciting game. You’ll find yourself watching the ‘crowd-cam’ on the huge TV’s in the middle of the stadium not realising the game has quietly started again without you. As a spectacle it’s
spectacular and if you just go with the flow, you’ll be whipped into a wide eyed frenzy, grinning like an idiot, but not really sure why. It’s like what happens to kids when they drink too much lemonade.
Am not too sure if there are many restaurants in the UK outside London that have regular drag queen shows on a Saturday night. Hamburger Marys does and is ideally located just down the road from the Amway centre. It gets very popular with the Bachelorette crowd at weekends, but it’s still friendly enough to take your
kids in for Burger and Fries before the Basketball. Oh, and the food isn’t just a token addition to the entertainment, it deserves top billing; the burger are AWESOME. Happy Hours starts daily from 2.00pm-5.00pm and again at 10 til closing. That’s what you call a happy hour. For more info visit www. hamburgermarys.com/orlando
The Final Frontier
Did Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin (and the other guy) land on the moon in 1969? I think so, but if they didn’t NASA went to an awful lot of bother to pretend they did. The Kennedy Space Centre is about 45 mins drive (and three toll booths) from Orlando and for anyone with even a fleeting interest in the world, the universe and beyond, an essential place to spend some time. This was the development site for pretty much all NASA’s historic achievements, including the Apollo moon missions and Space shuttle launches. It’s an interesting period for US space exploration at the moment, since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 NASA has been in a transitional phase, looking to the future, but facing the tough financial realities of the recession resulting in their ‘Constellation’ space programme effectively shelved by Obama. For now the focus is on developing new longer range space
a hands-on experience of life as an astronaut and an insight into the world of space_. I saw a stunning IMAX 3D film about the Hubble Telescope, and most of the exhibits are really vehicles and space stations and the interesting. The new Angry Birds Space words ‘Mission to Mars’ are on the lips Encounter though, designed for kids of those people with the big biros. is all hype and no trousers (and I love The Space centre is one of those Angry Birds) . places where time just slips away, part While you are here visit the of the entrance fee includes a two Astronaut Hall of Fame, a few miles and half hour bus tour to restricted down the road. There are cool areas of the complex including the simulator training rides to Mars for the preserved control cente from where kids and and opportunities to meet the first mission to the moon was real Astronauts too. coordinated. It’s weird to think there is www.kennedyspacecenter.com more computing power in my phone than they had for the entire mission. We flew to the US with United Luckily though they never had to find Airlines. For their latest deals a taxi rank in Norfolk at 3am. and prices visit www.united.com There is a real-life space shuttle We used www.FloridaCarHire.com (Atlantis), Rockets, space suits and for Car Hire huge amounts of memorabilia For more info on Orlando from previous missions and many www.visitflorida.com educational activities that give you
NEXT TIME IN FLUSH: THE ROAD TRIP – KEY WEST TO SAVANNAH
Marilyn’s Maple Syrup “There’s something eternally comforting about warm homemade brownies fresh from the oven and a cup of herbal tea” Marilyn Glenville
Ingredients l 1.5 oz Green and Black’s cocoa or carob powder l 4oz butter l 8oz maple syrup l 2 eggs l 4 oz wholemeal spelt flour l Half a teaspoon of baking powder l 4oz sultanas Method 1. Blend the cocoa, melted butter and syrup together. 2. Add in the other ingredients (except the sultanas) until just blended. 3. Add in the sultanas and just stir together with a spoon. 4. Spoon into a greased 8in x 8in x 2in baking tin. 5. Bake at 180°C (gas mark 4) for about 30-35 mins. Enjoy! Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health for more recipes and info visit www.marilynglenville.com
and Sultana Brownies
Old Bombay Street Food at
Chor Bizarre by Snigdha Nag
The Chor Bazaar of Bombay is the ‘thieves’ market, a place fors econdhand goods, curios and bits and bobs. You need to know this to understand the name behind this restaurant of 15 years standing in London’s Mayfair. It’s a play on words which gives you a real feel for what this place is doing. The decor is eclectic, like it really was put together from trips to the Bazaar, giving the place a down to earth and rustic charm you wouldn’t expect in such a well heeled area. I came to sample the Old Bombay Street Food menu, one of the many special menus the restaurant provides showcasing the real versatility and regional variations found in Indian food. Rival restaurant Dishoom has been bringing the informal fun of Indian street and snack food to a London audience for a few years now, meaning Chor Bizarre’s special menu whilst still innovative, is something for which London’s many curry-philes might have some frame of reference.
Bhel puri is an Indian institution. It’s not something which can easily be described to the uninitiated in a way which does it justice. Basically, it’s a crunchy, spicy and tangy snack food treat, mainly made of ‘moori’ puffed rice (think a cross between a sugar puff and rice crispie, but neutral flavoured and a little more dense and spongy). It may sound bland, but it’s the other ingredients which create the magic – sev (fried noodles of lentil flour), finely chopped red onions and the chutneys. Date and tamarind chutney gives tang, green chilli chutney a serious kick. The Chor Bizarre Bhel is respectfully
and authentically created. The flavours combine and contrast exactly as a Bhel puri should. A crunchy puri (fried flat bread) on the top completes the Bombay street food theme. The presentation in a banana leaf makes this look like a pretty and colourful dish. My only criticism was that the puffed rice had been too thoroughly mixed with the chutneys, so was a little soggy. The puffed rice needs to retain a little dryness and crunch so that you have a combination of textures as well as flavour. This could be fixed by either less mixing before serving. Customers can be instructed to mix the ingredients more thoroughly when they are served.
Sev Batata Puri
Those thin fried lentil noodles called ‘sev’ make another appearance in
this dish. They are a staple in Indian snack foods. Small crunchy puris, like the one which topped the Bombay Bhel, were covered with chick peas, potato, yoghurt, green chilli chutney and date and tamarind chutney. A generous amount of sev was then sprinkled over the puris. These were cute small treats, just big enough to be eaten in a mouthful. The flavours were delightful. There is a Hindi word ‘chatpat’, which describes a sour, sweet and spicy flavour which is quintessentially Indian and has to be tried to be believed. This was it!
Paneer bread pakora
This was described on the menu as ‘Indian Cottage Cheese and Bread Pakora Served With Fresh Mint Chutney’, which whilst accurate, isn’t representative of the character of the dish. If you didn’t see the dish itself, you would be unlikely to order it from the description. Paneer is homemade Indian cheese, which
Old Bombay Street Food at
Chor Bizarre here has been mixed with breadcrumbs and spices. It is then encased in thin filo style pastry which is fried. It’s a bit like a spicy and delicately cheesy samosa, with the mint chutney bringing all the flavours together.
Anda Paratha Roll
This was a dish like a double layered wrap – one layer of the wrapping was a soft buttery paratha (Indian flatbread cooked in melted butter on a skillet) and the second was of egg. The stuffing was cubed, marinated cooked chicken. It is satisfying and flavoursome. Just the sort of thing you’d love to be able to grab as your lunchtime treat at work. Of course, if you live in Bombay or Delhi, that’s exactly what you’d do. No need to resort to soggy and cardboardy sandwiches, unlike us London folk!
Batata Wada Pao
The batata wada pao had a similar sweet bun to the Pao Bhaji (‘pao’ is a word taken from the Portuguese word for bread, initially by the people of Goa, but now used in much of north India for leavened bread). Pao Bhaji The pao is filled with a fried potato The word ‘bhaji’ usually means and chickpea dumpling, tinted with anything fried. Hence onion bhaji turmeric and dressed with a special is simply fried onion. So you’d be chilli, garlic sauce and peanut forgiven for thinking that Pao Bhaji chutney. Before you eat, you need would be some form of battered to spread the chutneys around the and fried food. It is, in fact, a potato whole of the dumpling (the ‘wada’), heavy stir fried curry flavoured mash, then press down over the whole full of heat and spice. Just the thing thing from the top to ensure the to spread over a slightly sweet bread dumpling is evenly flattened so you bun and tuck into. Like all great Indian get a little bit of bread, chutney and vegetarian food, the intense spicing dumpling in each bite. This dish was and chilli kick means that even quietly filling with its bread and potato confirmed carnivores don’t miss the combination, so I would recommend meat. it as one for sharing.
and swollen basil seeds, I found this to be fresh tasting and fragrant. After the heat of some of the dishes we had enjoyed previously, it was wonderful to have something cold, sweet and soothing to cool the palate with.
This is a pudding my mother used to make; a rice pudding made in oodles of milk, thick, creamy and highly indulgent. It perhaps isn’t suited to a non-Indian palate; Him Indoors found it far too sweet and thick textured. I loved it, as it brought back many memories of family gatherings in my childhood. Phirni is not an everyday pudding, it is only made for special occasions as the saffron, nuts and sheer amount of milk used to make it would be expensive for an Indian household. This is one for the real lovers of Indian food to try as it was super authentic.
This minced lamb dish was for me pleasant, but not something I was going to be wholly enthusiastic about given my aversion to egg. I found that the amount of egg amongst the minced lamb wasn’t so great that my enjoyment was spoiled. My dining and real life partner, Him Indoors, found this dish to be delicious, which I mention in the interests of fairness. Eggs aren’t to my taste, and it is only my personal preferences which meant I didn’t love this dish completely.
Falooda is a dessert made with Indian ice cream, kulfi. The overall effect is like an ice cream milkshake. Like many Indian desserts, it is extremely sweet. Featuring nuts, cooked vermicelli noodles, rose syrup
I am somewhat ashamed that it has taken me this long to discover Chor Bizarre. I’ve long bemoaned the lack of decent quality Indian restaurants serving real Indian food which hasn’t been made from a jar of sauce. But I have discovered it now, and it will be a place I will return to. I will even bring family members with me, some of whom are very discerning about their Indian food. This place serves authentic Indian food in inviting surroundings. A great place to spend time, indulge and enjoy yourself. Chor Bazaar 16 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4HW 020 7629 9802 www.chorbizarre.com Read more from Snigdha on her website ‘ÄòSnigs Kitchen’ http://snigskitchen.blogspot.co.uk
Mister Bean With two branches of his Workshop Coffee Co in London already under his belt and doing well (one at the back of Selfridges and another in St Christopher’s Place), he’s just opened a new state-of-the-art store at Amazon’s shiny brand new HQ in Holborn. At the core of his ideals lies a desire to source and serve the very best coffee on the planet, in the most sustainable and pleasurable way possible. Flush Magazine caught up with James over a double Espresso and asked him to spill the beans on success. How did Workshop Coffee come about? As early as 2009, I set about opening an East London destination, dedicated to sourcing, roasting and serving truly great coffee, showcasing it alongside restaurant-quality food, wine and customer service; a first for London. To get there, I brought in Tim Williams (ex. Intelligentsia Los Angeles) as Director of Operations, and together we’ve built a team and an offering committed to great coffee, simple yet delicious food and warm, genuine customer service. In April 2011, we opened the doors of its Clerkenwell cafe, and just months later our Marylebone coffeebar. Wholesale coffee supply to other independent cafes soon followed and in 2013 we launched our online ‘Dispensary’. In the time since opening, Workshop Coffee Co. has won a few awards, and served a lot of satisfied guests.
You’ve become really popular over a relatively short space of time, how did you do it? We’re very clear about why we choose to exist and what we are good at; sourcing, roasting and extracting the cleanest and most delicious coffee we can find. The clarity and focus behind this statement transcends all the way through the company. Our philosophy is that perfection is never achieved, hence we’re always working harder to do better and provide better coffee. We work hard to procure the best beans we can, trial and improvement with our roast profiling in the manner of a ‘workshop’ and the tweaking of brewing recipes to enable the best possible extraction. I guess people appreciate the efforts we make.
Mister Bean A big part of your business is selling freshly ground coffee, do beans have ‘good years’ in the same way as wine? Are there certain growing areas that are ‘hot’ at the moment? There is an interesting parallel with wine to the extent that the fundamentals such as rainfall, temperature or the spread of disease can effect growing conditions in a similar way. Our approach is not so much linked to what growing areas are ‘hot’ but more to absolute focus on one specific area and a genuine and specific commitment to developing on-going relationships with producers. If you invest time and effort then you have a much better chance of getting great coffee!
Traceability with regards to things like organic meat is becoming more and more popular, do you think your British customers appreciate your commitment to the growers and each part of the process before they get to taste the coffee? The key is that coffee still has to taste great and delicious however much detail you want to illustrate about your procurement. At Workshop, we want our coffee to taste fantastic and we make sure all our information about how we source it is available to our customers without being forceful about it.
Can you recommend a really good coffee? A coffee that I would recommend that represents our approach is our Yukro Espresso and the great work that Tim Williams, our Director of Operations, has done with the farmer Olke Bire in Ethiopia. The Details: Region: Jimma Country: Ethiopia Process: Washed Variety: Native Heirlooom Producer: 433 Yukro Co-operative Members Altitude: 1,900 - 2,100m Harvest: November 2012 - February 2013 Arrival: September, 2013 We have three packs of delicious Workshop Coffee to give away see our Aeropress competition at the back of this edition. For more info on Workshop Coffee visit www.workshopcoffee.com
Sage Dual Boiler Espresso Machine by Phil Blaney Usually when reviewing something you analyse the pros and cons of whatever it is and then summarise at the end but I am going to flip things around and put my stake in the ground here and now. The Dual Boiler Coffee Machine from the Sage by Heston Blumenthal range is SUPERB. It is rare to find something that has been so well made, with such attention to detail at such a reasonable price.
So, if you had been wondering if this was the machine for you; if it was capable of making a top notch espresso then wonder no more and place your order right now. If you want to know more, to dig a bit deeper and find what makes this such a great bit of kit then read on….
What’s In The Box?
The machine itself, resplendent in its brushed metal finish giving it a sleek and slinky look that makes it a welcome addition to any kitchen. In terms of dimensions it is pretty much a 40cm square box and fits nicely on the worktop without overpowering, nestling under the units without a fuss. The top of the unit is heated and provides space to store coffee cups to ensure they are warmed before use. You also get single and dual wall filters in both single and double shot size along with a 480ml stainless steel jug, cleaning disc and tablets, cleaning tools, water filter and the excitingly named ‘Razor’. This is designed for use after you have delivered your dose of coffee and before you tamp to ensure you have the perfect amount. I tried it but wasn’t impressed and opted instead for a more traditional approach of weighing my dose and using a finger to level off. What did impress me though was the tamper that comes with the machine, it is good quality and has a
nice weight to it making it very useful indeed. I only discovered after a few weeks of use that there is a hole with a magnet to the left of the machine to store away the tamper between shots, a nice touch. Upgrading to a new tamper will give you better results though, something for your next birthday list ;-)
How Is That Espresso?
To put it bluntly, bloody good. Through some initial trial and error you can achieve a very respectable espresso in a short space of time, rewarding you with a shot that would be worthy of your average high street coffee shop. Everything about this machine is geared to making it as easy as possible for you to get results. The Dual Boiler means that you have a dedicated brew boiler delivering water of a consistent temperature. The water is then delivered at the correct pressure via the Over Pressure Valve, something normally only seen on commercial units. It starts with a low-pressure infusion which gradually increases the pressure of the water being delivered to gently expand the grinds for an even extraction. You don’t need to worry about any of that, just press the button, watch the pressure gauge and let the machine do all the work. All you need to do is make sure you use nice fresh beans, grind them for espresso, then dose and tamp consistently.
The controls are easy and you have three options; manual, single or double shot. I found I preferred the control of the manual option and that combined with the built-in shot timer on the easy to read, back-lit display means you can easily hone your skills until you are nailing the shots time after time. The controls give you access to a number of setup options allowing you to adjust the temperatures, shot durations and to initiate cleaning cycles. You can also set the machine to come on ten minutes before you get up, allowing it time to warm-up so it is all set when you stumble down in the morning for that all important first coffee of the day. You don’t need to worry about turning the machine off during the day either, the powersave feature ensures it doesn’t hit your energy bills and it is back upto working temp before you have ground your beans when you press a button on the machine. The stainless steel portafilter is impressive in its own right, weighty and solid with a 58mm basket making it another component that is pretty much of commercial standard. The supplied baskets fit snugly and locking the filter into the grouphead is a simple task. Should you need hot water to stretch your espresso into an americano there is an on-demand hot water feature built into the machine. A rotary control on the left of the unit is nicely placed
and easy to use, with the steady flow of hot water coming out between the grouphead and steam wand.
Milk With Your Coffee?
The dual boiler element of this machine doesn’t just help with pulling a decent shot, it also gives you steam on demand straight after you have your espresso from the dedicated boiler. The steam wand itself is as sturdy and functional as everything else on the machine with a handy insulated ring for operating the wand without burning your hands. There is enough room to get the milk jug into position and the three holes on the tip of the wand ensure an even distribution of steam through the milk. A lever on the right of the machine makes it easy to start/stop the flow of steam while concentrating on the task at hand, no fiddly knobs to turn. I found it much easier to obtain the textured milk than on previous machines and though my latte art skills leave much to be desired I was getting the velvety smoothness of milk needed for that perfect Flat White.
Tricky To Maintain Though Right?
No, in fact it couldn’t be easier. There is a removable water tank at the rear of the machine but just as you are thinking that is going to be a pain you realise that there is a panel on the top at the front that you can push to open,
allowing the tank to be filled without moving a thing. The back-lit tank gauge allows you to see when you are full and any extra water will flow into the generous drip tray that once removed reveals a nifty little drawer for keeping all the bits and pieces that come with the machine. There is also a dial that drops down a wheel so that should you need to move the unit for cleaning there is no dragging needed, it simply wheels out easy as you like. There is a descale access port on the front of the unit that allows the two tanks to be drained and a special insert is included to fit the portafilter so that a descale tablet can be inserted to ensure your unit is kept in top notch condition. The surfaces wipe clean easily and there are no annoying ridges on the steam wand that allow milk to lurk in.
Is it really that good?
Yes, it really is. Though you might think that £1,200 is a lot of money for an espresso machine you are getting a product that a lot of thought has gone into to make life as easy as possible for the home user to produce quality coffee. You will be able to amaze your friends by making them drinks that rival your local coffee shop without needing years of training or by spending multiple thousands of pounds on a machine.
If you are spending this much money then I have some tips to ensure that you get the most out of this machine:
Get a decent grinder. There is a very good Smart Grinder from Sage that is part of the same range for £200 that looks great sat next to the Dual Boiler and takes all the hassle out of grinding. It is designed to work with the portafilter and the adjustable controls are a dream to use, simply select espresso grind and off you go.
Use decent coffee beans. I don’t mean the ‘posh’ ones that you see in Tesco or Waitrose that have probably been sat on the shelves for months since they were roasted. A lot of independent coffee shops will sell you beans or you can get them online from one of the myriad of fantastic
roasters that have appeared in the UK over recent years. Ue Coffee, Square Mile or Monsoon Estates are just three examples. By using freshly roasted beans and grinding them to use will improve your coffee MASSIVELY, you wouldnâ€™t be doing this machine justice by skimping on your raw product.
Think about your water. This is often overlooked and as many areas in the UK have hard water you can end up spoiling your coffee with the water you are using. Either filter your water before filling the machine or you can go one step further and buy bottled water, while it sounds a bit over the top and expensive the 5L bottles of Ashbeck Mineral Water from Tesco at just ÂŁ1.10 is widely regarded as the best option and for the money you will save in descaling is worth it.
The Sage Dual Boiler is available from the following locations Bella Barista: http://bit.ly/LUeNZD John Lewis: http://bit.ly/1bM5eDe Sage Appliances: http://bit.ly/ NBWzOx
About Phil Phil is all about the music but with a particular fondness for anything loud, shouty or with songs longer than 10 minutes. When not writing reviews he can be found in Oxford playing bass guitar, reading anything he can get his hands on or walking his little dog Poppy. He can also be found on Twitter @peejaybe or blogging at www.peejayblog.com
Coining it In! The rise and rise of Bitcoin by Phil Mottershead...
Bitcoin. Many people have heard the word. But significantly few actually understand what it is or what it does. That was me in August last year, when I decided to look into this new â€˜geekâ€™ currency.
Virtual Currency I discovered that the best way to think about bitcoin is as digital cash. It’s not physical. But like when you delete an mp3 from your collection, if you delete a bitcoin wallet from your PC/phone, you delete the cash itself. No return. Just like in real life. You lose your wallet, and the cash is gone for good. So there you have lesson number one. Be careful where you store them!
What is bitcoin and where did it come from? It was the idea of an individual or group that goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. They/he/she has long since disappeared from the face of the internet. But they/he/she has left one hell of a legacy! To put it simply, bitcoin are mined by geeks with powerful computers, who set aside their PC’s to process transactions for us lowly transactors. If you buy something with bitcoin, you send from your wallet (by way of a public wallet address/QR code) to theirs (with a small miner fee). This transaction gets sent out to the bitcoin network. As a node on the network receives it, it then confirms it. After so many confirmations are received it’s non reverseable. The transaction goes into what’s called a block, and the block then gets mined and goes into the blockchain.
Are you still with me? Good... The miner then recieves the fees for that block. The blockchain is publicly viewable and is like a ledger of every transaction in bitcoins history. The anonymity of bitcoin comes in the wallet creation part. Anyone can create a wallet, without giving up any kind of personal information. They can then fill it with coins and spend in complete anonymity. How you get those coins is the least anonymous part. With many of the exchanges trying to be completely legal in their own country, most of them require you to send lots of identifying documents to them. This can be a very long-winded process, but probably yealds the best prices. Another way is to use a local eBay type site to buy them. This way you can use cash or do it through a bank transfer with a real person. Although this requires some due diligence. Like eBay, you wouldn’t want to buy from someone that has zero trades to their name. Go for a reputable seller. Another new way of getting bitcoins is through a bitcoin ATM. Several of these have popped up in various places around the world. They present an easy way for the masses to purchase. Insert bank card or cash, authorise the transaction and the ATM prints out a paper wallet loaded with coins! You can then use the qr code on the wallet to spend to your heart’s content!
Manic Miner Another way to get some would be to take the route of becoming a miner, although I highly advise against this route because with so many specialised companies doing it now mining has become a big players game. You need specialist hardware that costs thousands and there is never a guarantee you will see a return. However, saying that, this also is the most anonymous way to get coins.
So how does one mine a coin?! I have already covered transactions going into blocks on the blockchain. Each block also comes with a mathematical problem to solve. The first miner to solve this(ridiculously hard) problem, gets the reward for that block. The reward currently stands at 25 bitcoins plus transaction fees, but for one miner to find a block, even with good hardware may take an age! So miners these days join pools. They combine their power and solve more blocks between them and share the reward. This means you get paid something rather than nothing until you find a block. The reward (25 bitcoins) is the networks way of introducing new currency. Just like a government prints new money when they need it. New bitcoin are created by mining, but thereâ€™s no governing body
doing the printing here. The network regulates production itself. By making blocks so difficult that one is found every ten minutes. If a lot of new miners start mining, the difficulty goes up to accommodate them still solving a block every ten minutes. There will only ever be a maximum of 21 million bitcoins. This is where bitcoin starts to differ from real cash. With real cash, when the government prints more, it devalues the rest of it. It is inflationary. With bitcoin being limited to 21 million it is only deflationary. As more people use it each one becomes more valuable. If someone loses/deletes a wallet with some in, it makes the rest of them worth more. This alone is what compells some people to invest. Also, bitcoin is infinitely divisable. I could send you 0.0000001 bitcoin if I wanted to. This also makes it easy to invest in because you can buy a whole coin, or just the fraction that you can afford.
Who wants to be a millionaire? I must admit, I went into this without doing enough research. I started mining first. And slowly realised I wasnâ€™t earning much with my measely PC. So then I invested in some hardware. I got it relatively quickly and started mining straight away and because of that, I was lucky enough to break even on my expenses. Note, I have not yet
Coining it In! made any money with my bitcoin mining, just broke even. The most I can say of my bitcoin mining escapades is that I learned about the process behind it. It was fun! So having realised my error in going the mining route, I still believed in the currency that can circumvent governments and banks, I still believed in its deflationary value, and I knew that if I had simply bought some when I discovered it I could have made quite a bit more! I researched where I could buy some. And the first place I found was www. localbitcoins.com.
BUY-BUY I found someone I thought would be a reputable seller and initiated the buy. It involved the buyer sending his coins to an escrow service provided by the site and me transferring the funds from my bank to his. Upon receipt of my funds he then released the coins.
One thing is for certain though, Bitcoin is still a (relatively) new thing. Only a tiny percentage of currency transacted is bitcoin. So if you want to get on the boat, and you believe in its longevity.. Now is still the time. Sure I’ve seen the value of my coins go down in the short term. But today.. I am up. And I believe in the longer term it will do fine. But take heed buyers, be diligent. Don’t use PayPal to buy them. Most sellers know that paypal doesn’t provide protection on digital goods. And ultimately you as a buyer can reverse a paypal transaction. Always set up your own wallet and keep your coins secure. Encrypt your wallet with a strong password. Make backups of that wallet, in case the worst happens and you delete it by accident.
And remember folks, this is a new thing. Although very unlikely, there’s always the chance that bitcoin could fail. It could be outlawed or So now I have my coins. I bought heavily regulated, and it could in when one bitcoin cost £500 and ultimately be worth nothing. This today, I see a little gain. I haven’t yet is a risky investment compared to purchased anything with them, but something like gold or silver. Only to show the reach, there’s a pub just invest what you can afford to lose. down the road, that will accept them That way if it crashes it is not the end for a pint. And it’s in little ol’ Norwich! of your world. If it doesn’t crash you might get a holiday like I’m aiming When I first discovered bitcoin its for! value was only £80. So you can imagine my dismay at not investing Be cautious... But have fun!! earlier. I’m in now though, and holding until it makes enough to take If this article has intrigued you check out bitcoin.org my family on holiday.
Audi R8 V10 plus
IIf Justin Bieber had picked out an Audi R8 from luxury car hire dealer, Lou La Vie instead of a Lamborghini Gallardo LP Spyder on that January night in Miami, things might have turned out differently for the troubled pop star.
(0-62 is a mightily impressive 3.5 seconds), it also happens to be one of the most drive-able ‘supercars’ on the market. So if Justin had chosen the R8 he might have given it a proper drive, either down the coast to Key West or North to Savannah. Les headlinegrabbing perhaps, but certainly a more rewarding and exciting driving experience.
You see, although the R8 (V10 Plus) does have a Lamborghini 5.2 litre, V10 four-valve, engine with direct injection that produces a whopping 550 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, and The Need for Speed is more than capable of winning a midnight South Beach drag race Of course, the R8 is fast, the top speed is limited to 188mph or if you prefer, 197mph unlimited. Legal restrictions and common sense will mean you won’t get close to that figure very often (especially in the UK), but where
the car really excels is in its ease of handling and incredible acceleration. It corners magnificently and the ceramic brakes behave impeccably when called into action. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system ensures the equal distribution of power and at those crucial (legal-
ish) top end speeds giving you the confidence to have some fun behind the wheel, without ending up in a ditch... or worse. The shiny new S tronic double-clutch gearbox is also truly wonderful, open the revs and the engine roar from just behind your head is one of controlled madness, to really appreciate, find a long tunnel and wind the windows down and try not to grin from ear to ear.
Next to the ‘regular’ R8 the V10plus is 150lbs lighter, mainly down to the use of carbon fibre on the side blades, front splitter, rear diffuser and spoiler. The fuel tank is smaller and the standard electric seats give way to good old fashioned manual ones. It’s wide, but at regular speeds it drives just as well as an ‘ordinary’ car, in fact, even though the ride is a tad firmer than the normal R8, the suspension is easily soft enough to use as an everyday runabout. The driving position is low, so if your joints are starting to creak you might want to opt for something more practical, however the sight of a an R8 sat on your driveway is an ideal way to make you feel young again.
Looks wise, the original Audi Le Mans quattro inspired design has been subject to only small tweaks here and there since its birth in 2007, but when a car is as exorcist-style head-turning as this, the emphasis is on careful refinement. The new LED lights are über cool, giving it a slightly moodier look.
Audi R8 Coupé 5.2 FSI quattro S tronic (550 PS) Top speed: 197mph Acceleration: 0-62mph in 3.5 sec Fuel consumption: urban / extra urban / combined in mpg 14.2 / 32.8 / 21.9 Emissions: 299g/km CO2 Engine: 90° V10 petrol direct injection Max power output in PS at RPM: 550 / 8000 Price from £127,000 For more info visit www.audi.co.uk
and reverse parking camera, interestingly there is no digital radio though.
No car is perfect. The boot space (at the front) is minimal to say the least, so if you do pop down the shops, some fresh coffee and a French stick will have to suffice. The interior finish is simple and elegant and while the car I tested had an exceptionally good Bang & Olufsen stereo system
As you would imagine the big engine uses plenty of fuel and the MPG figures of 14.2 (urban) / 32.8 (extra-urban) and 21.9 (combined), speak for themselves. The CO2 emmissions are also high and you may want to plant a few (hundred) trees in your back garden to offset the considerable 299g/km CO2 £127,000 might seem a lot, but next to some of its all-wheel drive competitors (the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder comes in at around £150,000 with extras, the Veyron A LOT more) it’s money extremely well spent. It’s always going to get you noticed, but I get the feeling the R8 appeals to those people who don’t feel the need to impress, but conversely still want an impressive vehicle. The R8 is a mild mannered super-car for everyday superheroes. As for Justin Bieber? I can forgive his choice of car, we all grow up eventually.
Dacia Duster THERE’S a lot to be said for keeping it simple. Remove the extraneous stuff, take away the gadgetry and bling. Bin the high-tech fripperies for a more holistic approach.
If that’s your philosophy of life, the Dacia Duster could be just the motor for you. The Renault-owned Romanian marque’s budget family SUV has caused quite a stir in motoring circles, winning many a plaudit. So, with the car clocking up a year of UK sales, totalling an impressive 7,830 units, it was time for Flush Magazine to mark this milestone by slipping behind the wheel for a week-long appraisal. The Duster has been around in Europe for some time - unveiled in 2009 - preceded by the first models under Renault ownership, the Logan, launched in 2004 and making the headlines as Europe’s first 5,000euro car including taxes (on home turf in Romania), and the supermini Sandero.
Not surprisingly, the left-hand driveonly car was in demand in other mainland European countries and Renault expanded Dacia’s reach to the likes of France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Right-hand drive models came on stream in 2012 and the UK line-up now comprises the Sandero, Sandero Stepway crossover and the Logan MCV estate car as well as the Indian-built Duster, which comes in three trim levels, with a choice of two engines - a 1.6-litre petrol and 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel - and a range of accessories. This five-door, five-seater car has rugged good looks, flared wheel arches and raised ride height giving a muscular appearance. It looks every inch the SUV, with the accent towards practicality rather than airs
Laureate Review by Frank Turner
and graces. The interior is comfortable and spacious, but cost-savings are obvious in the hard plastic dashboard and door-capping surfaces. Seats are supportive and well-padded, passing the test of a 300-mile round trip with flying colours. Load capacity is more than useful, at 475 litres with the back seats in place, increasing to 1,636 litres with those seats folded down. Core features include safety technology such as ABS and emergency brake assist, front side
airbags and passenger airbag with deactivation switch, traction control and ESC stability control. Then thereâ€™s the likes of double-optic headlights with chrome surrounds, anti-intruder auto door-locking system, passenger vanity mirror in the sun visor, remote central locking, boot light and gear shift indicator. Our top-of-the-range Laureate model showed plenty of nice touches, including 16in alloys, front fog lights, a satin chrome finish for door handles, longitudinal roof bars and front and rear scuff plates, heated and electrically-adjustable
music games cars life art culture food gadgets travel
Dacia Duster Laureate door mirrors, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear stick, front reading lights, a glovebox light, air conditioning, electric windows all round, speed limiter, Bluetooth connectivity and steering columnmounted fingertip controls for radio/ CD/MP3 player. The driving experience is positive, with plenty of power from the 109bhp diesel engine - a Renault group mainstay - and an easychanging six speed gearbox. There’s confident handling, with reassuringly predictable cornering characteristics and plenty of stopping power.
especially the comfortable ride... welcome antidote to the hard-going medicine meted out by the set-up of many cars today. On-the-road prices for the range start at £9,495 for a 105bhp, 1.6-litre petrol-engined model with two-wheel drive (for those who don’t require the extra drivetrain), with a four-wheeldrive version starting at £11,495.
The 4x4 bit comes courtesy of a Nissan-derived three-mode system, easily selectable by a dashboard knob and giving two-wheel drive, auto (to respond to the prevailing road conditions), and a lockable four-wheel-drive for the rough stuff.
TECH SPEC Make/model: Dacia Duster Laureate dCi 110 4x4 Technical: 1,461cc, 109bhp fourcylinder turbo-charged diesel engine and six-speed manual gearbox Performance: 0-62mph, 12.5 seconds; top speed, 104mph Fuel: 53mpg (combined) Emissions: 137g/km Price: £15,990 OTR, inc metallic paint at £495.
The Duster grew on me as the week’s loan progressed,
For more info visit http://www.dacia.co.uk/
Vauxhall REVIEW By Frank Turner
As Iâ€™m writing, the wind is howling past the west wing of Turner Towers, and the rain is battering on the window panes. But out there, resting rather handsomely on the drive, is a car that carries the promise of sunnier days ahead.
Cascada We’re talking about the Vauxhall Cascada, a four-seat, fabricroof convertible. It’s a model that combines tasty lines with the delights of top-down motoring, and just looking at the car on this wintry day makes me think of donning my shades for al fresco jaunts when the TV weatherman smiles upon us. The car is certainly a looker, winning lots of admiring traffic lights glances from other drivers with its broad stance and elegant lines. Sculpted with a purposeful power bulge, the bonnet tops a deep front grille, and the gently rising waistline is highlighted by a chrome strip which marks the boundary between body and rooftop. As for that roof (there’s a choice of three colours to coordinate with ten body colours), with it’s seamless profile and aerodynamic lines, it cuts a fine figure. With the top down - a simple, one switch, 17second operation - the Cascada has a perfectly clean profile with no roof-top cover or visible rollover protection disturbing the car’s silhouette behind the steeply raked A-pillar (the windscreen bit). The cabin mixes the well-equipped functionality of an Insignia’s interior with some lovely hand-crafted touches, particularly luxurious leather upholstery and an instrument cluster wrapped in soft-touch material with stitching detail.
The car comes generously equipped, and standard features include daytime running lights and LED rear lights, 18in alloy wheels, CD/ MP3 player, DMB digital radio, USB connection with iPod control, aux-in socket, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, rainsensitive wipers, automatic lighting control with tunnel detection and digital high beam assist. The Cascada excels in the comfort stakes, with the likes of ambient lighting in the doors, dual zone electronic climate control, seats upholstered in perforated leather, with electronic front seatbelt presenters, and ergonomic sports front seats with extendable cushions and height, tilt and fourway electrical lumbar adjustment. Those front seats are heated, as is the three-spoke perforated leathercovered, flat-bottomed steering wheel, which was lovely to grip. On the practicality front (yes, even a convertible can have its practical side) there are front seat-back storage pockets, and FlexFold rear seats with remote electrical release and 50/50 split-folding seat back. Boot space suffers as it accommodates the top when folded down, but this comes with the territory when buying a convertible. The load carrying figures are up to 350 litres with the roof up, and 280
Vauxhall Cascada litres with it down. High-tech safety features include electronic stability programmeplus, active rollover protection system and active-safety front seat head restraints. Neat options on Flush Magazine’s road test car, an Elite 1.4i 16v VVT Turbo, included a posh satnav, a perimeter protection pack consisting of advanced park assist, side blind-spot alert and electrically foldable door mirrors, and FlexRide adaptive chassis control system with Continuous Damping Control. The multi-layer fabric hood keeps the cabin cosy and the driving experience is a wholly pleasurable one, with fine ride and handling, smooth, positive changes from the six-speed manual gearbox and a willing four-cylinder petrol engine. I thoroughly enjoyed my week in the Cascada ... it’s a ray of sunshine, whatever the weather. TECH SPEC Make/model: Vauxhall Cascada Elite 1.4i 16v VVT Turbo Technical: 1364cc, four-cylinder, turbo-charged, 140bhp petrol engine with six speed manual gearbox. Performance: 0-60mph, 10.2 seconds; top speed, 124mph Fuel: 44.8 mpg (combined). Emissions: 148 g/km Price: £26,095 OTR inc options
Honda Civic Review by Frank Turner
IT is the model that refused to die. The popularity of the multi purpose vehicle (MPV), or people carrier, was supposed to dig the grave of the estate car.
Pundits expounded the theory, ten or more years ago, that the familyfriendly versatility of the new wave of MPVs would end the reign of the estate, which had long been the go-to vehicle for those looking for extra load- or people-carrying capacity (with a third row of seats). How wrong they were. Can you think of a major manufacturer that doesnâ€™t offer estates in its range? And consider how estate cars have changed, with the designations Tourer, Touring, Sportswagon etc giving a clear indication of their transformation, from pretty humble beasts of burden to really rather
handsome, often sporty-looking motors. Latest among this breed of classy estate cars is the Honda Civic Tourer, and Flush Magazine was there for the UK launch in Northamptonshire. The car, which arrives in dealerships this month, is available with a choice of two engines, a 1.8-litre petrol and a thoroughly economical 1.6-litre diesel. There are four trim levels, with even the base S model offering a generous specification, including Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB connectivity and 16in
Honda Civic Tourer alloys, while the SE Plus (the next level up) includes rear parking sensors and 17in alloys. The SR gets you goodies including heated front seats, posh sat nav and privacy glass, while drivers of the top-spec EX can enjoy such features as headIight washers, smart entry and start (no fumbling for keys with hands full of shopping) and interior blue ambient lighting.
of just 99g/km for the diesel version, making the car free of road tax.
The car is certainly a looker, cutting a dash with its dynamic, elegant lines. It has a style echoing that of the Civic hatchback, sharing the ‘face’ of the updated 2014 model, but has its own distinct identity.
The figures speak for themselves. With the rear seats up there’s 624 litres of volume up to the load cover - accommodating three large suitcases, or two golf bags and trolleys, with the cover pulled over. Drop the seats and there’s 1668 litres of capacity up to the roof lining. Figures for the hatchback version are 477 litres and 1378 litres respectively.
Those lines have an economical purpose, too, as their aerodynamic qualities help produce CO2 emissions
Cutting a dash style-wise might risk compromising load-carrying qualities, but Honda’s designers and engineers have pulled off the trick of combining eye-appeal with lots of spacious practicality.
Most impressive is the ease of use. Honda’s ‘magic seats’ fold down in one slick movement, and the floor is completely flat. Combined with a wide-opening tailgate and low rear sill, which matches the level of the floor, lugging your flat-pack furniture (if you must) or other bulky items is a cinch. There’s also a large (117 litres) underfloor compartment for extra carrying capacity. A first for the Tourer is an adaptive rear damper system, allowing ride to be automatically varied through comfort, normal and dynamic modes depending on driving conditions.
Honda’s engineering prowess is legendary, and the car has the marque’s built-to-last quality about it. Cabin trim is high quality, with softtouch plastics and tasteful highlights, and test cars had leather upholstery with contrast stitching, enhancing the comfortable, supportive seats.
The driving experience is thoroughly satisfying. Our day’s route included country lanes, A roads and motorway stretches, the Tourer feeling at ease in all conditions. My only niggle was The launch day gave the opportunity the digital speedometer - a personal to drive both petrol and diesel versions dislike - but I was getting used to it by of the car, the latter capable of the end of a day’s motoring. 74mpg (combined) says Honda. Certainly, it’s a smooth unit with plenty Far from being on its deathbed, the of power, despite it’s fuel-sipping estate lives on - and in the Honda set-up. The larger-capacity petrol Civic Tourer it’s in splendid, stylish engine delivers 45mpg (combined) health. and feels as though it just edges the diesel in the get-up-and-go-stakes. Prices start at £20,765 on the road. Both are well-mated to the six-speed For more info visit manual gearbox. www.honda.co.uk
Secret On Whose side? by Ian Hughes/Epredator
James Bond has always been a fantastic near-science fiction reference for the use of technology in surveillance. Tracking the bad guys, showing early radio transmitters that detect direction and position, communications technology and wearable computing all feature heavily in the movies. In ‘Live and Let Die’ and ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, tobacco chewing southern state Sheriff J.W. Pepper was famous for saying those profound words “Secret Agent? On whose side?” Recent revelations about the levels
of potential surveillance by large government funded organisations have caused quite a stir but it’s almost impossible to say what is right and what is wrong. Do we have the right to counter measures to such technology, beyond any legal protection we have?
Turn on the taps Many films and TV shows feature the tense scenes where a phone call is traced to a particular place in the world. Inevitably there is a time limit between the call coming in, the
wave of a hand to a technician to “run a trace on this call” and the person calling hanging up just before the trace could be located. The time limit to find the caller is arbitrary these days and digital phone exchanges, and mobile cells know what is where almost instantly. We now also have the same principle for people trying to trace a computer connected to a network on the internet. With billions of devices able to connect anywhere over anything you would think it would appear to be tricky to actually find someone. Not so. For two devices to connect they need to know each another’s ‘address’. If the data can get back and forth then so can a trace. You can even try this yourself. Using the simple computer line command ‘traceroute’ or its variants will show you all the hops that a message takes over the internet to get to a url or a device. As a military invention, the internet is designed to set up connections across multiple routes and route around failure after an attack. There are lots of ways to block such traces and hide locations. If you run a speed test on your home broadband you will often find it says you are somewhere else in the country at the main hub you are connected to. Addresses can be masked and spoofed too. Servers can block incoming requests for traces and pings. The main aim of that is to
When someone reads your digital data on the way past, there is no tell tale click on a telephone receiver to warn you of a tap.
not give away too much information to a potential hacker. If hackers know your machine location, and what its running they have more opportunity to apply tools and techniques to get into them (or even just turn up at the actual physical machine). I think in general we accept that the wiretap of a criminals phone line, authorised by a suitable warrant makes sense. In the movies it certainly helps provide tension. The battle to convince the judge or the Captain that the surveillance is needed, and then the physical act of clamping wires onto phone lines or sneaking in and placing bugs and transmitters in locations all adds to the excitement. How many times have you seen a film hero turn on a tap to allow the flowing water to muffle any conversation? A low tech counter measure anyone could use. These days digital signals from wireless devices broadcast everything into the ether. Broadband information travels through routers and hubs around the world. When someone reads your digital data on the way past, there is no tell tale click on a telephone receiver to warn you of a tap. Potentially any agency or
organisation with enough influence can pretty much access anything as it passes by. We do of course have a potential defence against that. Enter ‘Encrpytion’.
Encryption is the key Data is just a series of 1’s and 0’s that is not information until it is interpreted. We’re used to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TSL(Transport Layer) encryption, the little padlock that appears on your browser when you are engaging in a credit card transaction online. Cryptography is what originally kickstarted the computer revolution when the mathematicians and engineer code breakers at Bletchley Park in World War II attempted to break into the encrypted messages being sent by the German army. It caused Tommy Flowers and Alan Turin et al. to build a number crunching programmable computer (Colossus) to rattle through thousands of permutations of codes to find holes in them to allow decoding. Our SSL/TSL encoding and the way keys are constructed keeps getting bigger and stronger, using more combinations to make things secret and avoid the counter attack of faster and faster computers able to rip through the encryption algorithm. For most people they will not have the computer power to apply any encryption techniques. Some of them with current technology would take longer than the universe has existed to run the computations to crack a code. The obvious route for anyone trying to get
Cryptography is what originally kick-started the computer revolution
at data is via some sort of backdoor. One way is to have the equivalent of a skeleton key for the algorithm, to secretly mandate that in the standard definition, and enforce that across all the providers of services. The other is to just get at the information either end of the transaction before and after is it encrypted and decrypted. Direct unfettered access to services databases. After all, if you are looking over someoneâ€™s shoulder you can read what they read after all.
In the early 90â€™s, with concerns that anyone could be the target of surveillance and access to their personal information would be compromised, the computing community created PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). This is a coded algorithm that meant anyone could encrypt, and then decrypt information, sharing access keys with who ever they chose. It was a personal level of encryption and included applying that to the information on hard drives, or wherever it was stored. It almost instantly caused concern to some Governments. Oppressive regimes around the world saw that people were using it for free communication. However, being invented in the US, for the US Government it constituted a weaponised technology that was illegal to export. PGP used 128 bits or individual digits to form the key. That offers 2^128 of possible keys which is about 340000000000000000000000 000000000000000 combinations. At the time the US defined any encryption that was over 40 bits, i.e. 2^40 which is about 1000000000000 combinations of key, was illegal to export software outside the US. The smaller the key the easier it is for a super computer to whizz through all the combinations and hack the encryption. As you can see 40 bits is not much more than a telephone number. The inventor Zimmerman used an inventive approach to bypass the definition of software and remove the
electronic nature of it all by putting the source code in a hardback book and distributing it that way. The book was not software, and books were not part of the law. This counter measure to the restriction also led to a people putting the core algorithm on t-shirts. It must have been of great annoyance to the powers that aimed to control encryption through law that the law itself was worded in a way that had not considered such old fashioned devices.
A message in a message in a message
The inventor of the peer to peer file sharing system Bitorrent, Bram Cohen is using another technique called Steganography in his latest invention. The principle of this is to hide information in plain sight by adding the how many “secret” information to people do an existing message. you need to gain You have to know a an insight into in message is hidden order to protect? in another message The current or picture/audio file answer would etc before even trying to apply the appear to be key to unlock it. He everyone and is also applying a everything? recursive process where a message is hidden in a message which is hidden in message. The idea being if you have to give a key away under pressure there is no indication that there are even more message. It seems a valid countermeasure that I am sure will cause concern for
those that have the need to see the information. We are back to considering who is good and who is bad, who has the right to see things and who doesn’t. A moral minefield that is by no means a black and white decision. These are examples of, to use a famous internet quote, “all control is damage control”. Everything has a countermeasure. It is clear though that good guys and bad guys now have access to considerable compute power. Governments are supposed to be there to protect their people. However how many people do you need to gain an insight into in order to protect? The current answer would appear to be everyone and everything?
Meet the Meta Data
If you were a government body tasked with knowing what was going on would you go to the effort of sneaking around putting bugs in places, tailing people in cars, or would you instead grab their electronic conversations, their emails, websites, instant messages, voice, GPS coordinates etc and look at those in detail? How would you know who to look at first? The current responses to recent revelations seem to be not about the details but about the suitably generic description of Meta Data. Meta data is a fantastically amorphous description for a level of detail that is significantly less that the whole. We tech-geeks tend to inject these sort of terms onto the world. If we translate this back to books, as with the PGP story previously, a book
has a lot of detail in it. Before you get to that detail you have some meta data. A title, author and possibly an abstract. In addition the book can be classified in a genre, Fiction, NonFiction and within those in Science, Horror, Crime etc. You could take a glance at any bookshelf in a house (itself a collection of visual meta data) and see books in alphabetical order, or randomly mixed up. Another quick glance could tell you the majority type of book, is this a bookshelf of a philosopher, a scientist, a photographer? It is all meta data. Pieces of unrelated data that become information and insight when you combine them in context. However meta data can go deeper. If you open a book you see an index, chapter titles etc. That to is meta data, but you have accessed the book, opened it, engaged with it. You could even skim read a few chapters to form your own mental abstract of the contents. Again that is meta data. To hear that in order to undertake surveillance just meta data is collected and saved, on everyone, everywhere appear to be the use of doublespeak to cover all eventualities. It is interesting that many politicians are enraged at being
targets of such surveillance and data gathering and yet the general public are considered fair game and told “if you are doing nothing wrong you have nothing to fear”. I wonder if the various country leaders who have discovered they have had they data harvested, or meta data collected are told that particular line? I suspect not. Of course “wrong” and “fear” are like meta data, re-definable. Your fears may not be justified, equally the definition of wrong may change to encompass what you do or have done. Either way we know all agencies and organisations that can collect data and extract information from you, will. We willingly give much of this to social media companies in return for free service to communicate and share with the world. They in turn can be hacked, either through illegal means or through political pressure and social engineering.
Follow those pixels
In environments like ‘Second Life’ it is very easy to create new objects in the world in a shared space. Those objects might be a coloured box or a complex shaped device. People are logged in, gathered in a place or
space. logged into places like Second Life They are there live, together, and World of Warcraft. It led the talking texting and more importantly science fiction write Charles Stross moving and positioning themselves to comment on his blog post (http:// via their avatar. You can ask a group bit.ly/1bxq8Eg) that he now couldn’t of people if they are with you over write a new future science fiction third voice, and then some may answer in part to Halting State as it was already text “yes”, or others may simply move happening for real “Sometimes I wish to stand with you, silently. I’d stuck with the spaceships and The data that is flowing, even bug-eyed monsters. Realism in fiction if interpreted and hacked it’s is over-rated.” he said. so abstract and has so many combinations that unless you are Thinking inside actually there at the time, or the the box entire thing is recorded as a video In many ways it seems fair game rather than just the data, you will not that transmission and mass storage be able to follow the conversation of data in the cloud will be an context or its outcomes. accessible resource for agencies and During a particular period of time hackers. Applying some degree of in Second Life I was asked if I could personal security makes sense. Using pop over “secretly” to look at some counter-measures, and the simplest activity that may have caused some one; just not sharing things that need embarrassment or bad press. to be secure. I pointed out that I couldn’t just Encrypting, but knowing that turn up with my login/avatar and be anyone with enough will, will crack unrecognised. the code is also a personal choice. However to create a new account and turn up would be an undercover You will notice I am a libertarian, with a keen interest in emerging operation and that would, be technology and it’s dishonest. So it was with a benefits. I do not take chuckle, (though it is is a stance that this all actual quite serious) must happen, nor that I saw reports Applying some a luddite view that security degree of to avoid the agencies personal security technology. were actually makes sense. Using Stopping those taking these that seek to environments counter-measures, harm and steal as valid places and the simplest is important, to spy on one; just not but not at the individuals. sharing things expense of all Reports that need to be other rights. A indicate that secure. sneaking fear of there were indeed being implicated secret agents
incorrectly based on flawed intelligence or misunderstood interpretation by an all controlling state is an Orwellian future that we do need to steer clear of. The book 1984 shows us what can happen in the extreme. Reports, are of a return to the old principle of breaking into somewhere and placing a bug. In this case though it is installing hardware and software into devices we use as they are being shipped to us. Or even more likely just building the backdoor surveillance in the fabric of the technology in the first place. It does not bode well as we approach a future with an Internet of Things, billions of small devices helping us, but also providing data and information to others in secret. Opening the box up and putting something unseen, undetectable inside is not very sporting at all! Equally any backdoor has the
potential to be hacked itself and used for the exact opposite reason it was placed there. The internet, as I mentioned before, routes around failure. If it is attacked in one place messages take another route. If the machines and endpoints though are hacked that becomes irrelevant. We already have GPS location to a very accurate level in most mobile devices. Initially GPS for commercial devices was deliberately scrambled to be more inaccurate than the military versions, but it has become Further reading part of many of Bletchley Park our lives now. GPS http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk tells us exactly where we are in Second Life the world, but also http://secondlife.com can tell others. A little Bram Cohen extrapolation http://bramcohen.com to augmented Great Bond Movies humans, where http://bit.ly/NsG6vS we make a closer connection between technology and our bodies. What is going to happen to those devices if commercial interests seek Digital Rights Management of our eyeballs and governments capture all our conversations and we become walking CCTV? Will we end up looking over our very own shoulders and at the same time sending what we know and experience to people who want the information? Foil hats at the ready folks! Ian Hughes is on twitter @epredator The future can be found on his website www.feedingedge.co.uk
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The Vampire of Barcelona written by Marc Pastor
By Natalie Laurence
It’s 1912, Barcelona… A creeping fog hangs over the city’s back, crawling through the dark streets into the network of blood-stained alleyways leading to the slums. Here, in the heart of the red light district there is a terror, and a rumour that a vampire is loose on the streets. Worse, the rumour is true. The vampire, a woman, has travelled from the bewitching countryside of Cataluna to find work; in a city still smarting from the Morocco military campaign. Enriqueta Marti kidnaps children, selling them into corruption or drinking their blood in search of immortality. In the book ‘Barcelona Shadows’, author and Barcelona CSI detective, Marc Pastor weaves a real life female ‘serial killer’ case he was working on seamlessly with the story of the vampire, basing much of Enriqueta’s characteristics on this other female psychopath. Meanwhile, Moisés Corvo, a likeable but flawed Sherlock Holmes figure searches the dark streets and beyond, on the hunt for this Spanish ‘Jack the Ripper ‘.
The Vampire of Barcelona written by Marc Pastor
Vampire of Barcelona has became a Spanish best-seller and I caught up with Marc to talk murder, mystery and manuscripts.
You are a CSI detective in Barcelona, how were you led into a life of studying crime?
I wanted to be a journalist, a writer, when I was a child. But I ended up studying criminology in Barcelona which I really enjoyed. At the university I met cops on the course and they all said I should become a cop so I entered the police force in 1998 and then in 2004 joined the CSI, which I had always wanted.
How did you discover the story of the vampire of Barcelona?
I first heard of Enriqueta in 2004 on a creepy radio show about murders and mysteries of Spain. They mentioned the ‘Vampire of Barcelona’ that was around in the early 20th century. I didn’t know she existed, so I began researching her for my own curiosity and discovered this great historic story. A lot of material about her had disappeared as it was 100 years ago but I did have some old newspapers and I worked in fiction with the facts. I had never written crime before, but I began writing Barcelona Shadows as a dark, crime fiction book.
What was Barcelona like in the early 1900’s?
Barcelona had the same character as Enriqueta: a shiny face but a dark, dark side. It was a modern European city, known for trading and was very multicultural; it had the biggest casinos but then there was the dark,
poor, sick side. The city, like Enriqueta, had two faces. There was a sickness and poverty in the city but on the surface it was modern and successful.
Enriqueta came to Barcelona to work as a prostitute; how did you get into her mind?
I found it so hard to get into this female serial killer’s mind. It is very weird for a female to murder in this way. I couldn’t imagine how a woman could do this and I was trying to explain to myself how she worked. It is not known how many victims she had, Jack the Ripper had five but Enriqueta’s number is unknown. She was arrested in 1912 and it is thought she was killing for at least 12 years.
Enriqueta drains the blood of children as the life blood of the city was being drained by a sick politic. She believed that eating children’s flesh gave her immortality, was this a kind of superstition?
We suppose she did but she didn’t come to trial, she died. She had cancer and was bleeding a lot. We think that she thought by drinking the blood of children this would cure her, as she was losing her health. It was a superstition, but that’s how she became known as a vampire, you drink blood and people think vampire.
How was Enriqueta caught?
She was caught because she made a mistake, as always happens. She kidnapped a girl who had a name. Before she kidnapped invisible children, boy and girls from prostitutes or beggars but then she kidnapped a girl of a
so cold, very cold. I expected someone who would admit what they had done or be proud, like the movies, but instead I found someone who didn’t want to talk, who was silent. Her look was like a beast, she looked dangerous, the look in her eyes was dangerous. It was fascinating though because I had never met someone like that.
Female psychopaths are unusual, especially those that murder women, not men. Why do you think female psychopaths as oppose to male particularly disturb people? People trust in women, they don’t think they will be murdered by a woman, it is an abuse of trust. Women with children do not want to be helped by a man, but they would be by a woman as it is seen as safe. You have bogeymen but not women. A female serial killer takes people’s trust away, and they are violent. These serial killers are violent and very aggressive like a man.
known man. A neighbour saw the girl in the window of Enriqueta’s house and called the police, it was not like a CSI episode, not dramatic like that.
At the time of writing the novel you were working on the case of Remedios Sanchez a female serial killer terrorising Barcelona, can you tell me a bit about this?
In 2006 there was a case I was working on, of a another female murdering women, abusing women’s trust, killing innocent people. I was on that investigation for two months, chasing her. It was during the summer and we only had a blurred picture of her, it was very frustrating. She was so similar to Enriqueta in many ways, they were the same character but 100 years apart. But she made a mistake, they all make mistakes. She stole a credit card from one of her victims and used it in a casino, we were alerted and searched the casino for any suspect woman, and caught her. She was
At the beginning of the novel, great detectives from literature are discussed. Are you a fan of crime novels and are there any in particular that inspired you? I am a great fan of Sherlock Holmes, my inspector thinks he is wrong but I love the stories.
The novel reeks of death, in every chapter, in every corner, death waits. But death is also an omniscient narrator. Death introduces us to many of the characters and guides us through the story. The voice of death is loud, grim and oddly amusing at times. By Natalie Laurence @NJLaurence natalielaurence. wordpress.com Barcelona Shadows is published by Pushkin Press www.pushkinpress.com
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