Flush Magazine Issue #16

Page 1



Benoit Jammes Novikov Zaika Private White

Purple Ones to Watch Hello, are you Santa Claus

DS World, Paris Audi A3 E–Tron Jeep Grand Cherokee


Van Gogh Museum Coniston Hall, Skipton


A signed Fishboy graphic novel,

new album and ‘An Elephant’ artwork

16 Made in

34 Manchester

Private White

06 The Hotlist 08 Skate or Fry – Benoit Jammes Skate or Fry Benoit Jammes

20 The Watch is Dead, Long Live the Watch


22 Hello, are you Santa Claus? Ian Hughes / epredator 28 In Music – Ones to Watch 30 Interview – Purple

44 Meet Vincent DS, Paris


34 Made in Manchester Private White 44 Meet Vincent – Vincent & Theo @ The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam 58 Amrath Hotel, Amsterdam 60 The Golden Years Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age, The Hermitage, Amsterdam 64 DS, Paris


22 Hello, are you Santa Claus?

107 30 Purple

WIN A signed Fishboy graphic novel, new album and ‘An Elephant’ artwork

80 Zaika, Kensington



Hello! In order to keep at the cutting edge of digital publishing we’re taking a really short break after this edition to work on our new vision for Flush Magazine.

74 Coniston Hotel and Country Estate, Skipton, North Yorkshire 80 Zaika, Kensington, London 86 Hot Bonnie Toddy

Don’t panic! Flush won’t be away for long and in the meantime we’re going to publish all our usual features on our sister website www.flushthefashion.com

88 Novikov Restaurant & Bar Mayfair, London 92 Car Review: Audi A3 E-Tron

To find out about our new start just send an email to new@flushmagazine.co.uk and I’ll keep you posted.

94 Jeep Grand Cherokee

We really appreciate your support over the last three years and guarantee the new Flush Magazine is going to blow you away.

102 My Favourite Movie – Gia

See you soon! Thanks for stopping by!

98 Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab-S Tablet

107 Competition – Win a signed Fishboy graphic novel, new album and ‘An Elephant’ artwork

Pete Graham, EDITOR

CONTRIBUTORS Matthew Cooper Jamie Rodgers Vix Russell Ian Hughes Frank Turner Casey Bowers Manasi Kumar Tim Nixon

Cover photo: © Van Gogh Museum

THE HOTLIST The stuff of life

Blood Concept

Named after blood types O, A, B and AB, thankfully the Black series doesn’t actually contain real blood. The four individual fragrances from Blood Concept are ideally suited for after-dark activities with exotic essences to make the heart beat a little faster. For more info visit www.bloodconcept.com

Diamonds on the soles of your shoes Have a look at these Diamond shaped tumblers, made from strong borosilicate glass. The perfect accompaniment to the Johnnie Walker, Oliver Sweeney Whiskey Brogues (obviously). Set of two glasses £19.99 from www.drinkstuff.com Brogues £279.00 from www.oliversweeney.com


Lun Lantern

Wee Willie Winkie gets an upgrade with this lovely rechargeable lantern from hip Norwegian manufacturer, Unikia. The lamp provides mood lighting with a traditional glow, and is safe and long lasting for upstairs or downstairs (in your night-gown). £34.95 from www.unikia.com

Word Up

Blurb is the next generation selfpublishing platform for authors, photographers, businesses (and normal people too). It works alongside InDesign, or you can use the free tools BookSmart and Bookify to produce something truly beautiful. From a small photo book for the family, to a large run of your next hit novel, you can even connect it to the images in your Instagram or Facebook account to bring virtual to physical. www.blurb.co.uk

From Beer To Eternity

The only problem with Bah Humbug is that once Christmas is out of the way you can’t seem to buy it anywhere. Like a Xmas pudding in a glass, warm fruity and cheeky, if you’re local pub sells it on draft, shower the barman (or woman) with praise, jump for joy, and enjoy it while it lasts. www.wychwood.co.uk

Ny-Lon stocking filler

Beautifully designed and also really useful, these fab New York and London guidebook boxsets from Herb Lester include titles such as ‘Eating Queens: Around The World On The 7 Train’ and ‘A Manhattan Bar For All Reason’. With six books included for the price of five, what more information would you need? Boxsets £20. For more info visit www. herblester.com

Win Fishboy’s new 160 page graphic novel, a copy of their amazing new record ‘An Elephant’ on Vinyl and a signed elephant drawing by Fishboy himself.

SKATE OR FRY by Benoit Jammes


Don’t you know that lemons and bananas love Tony Hawk too? Kickflip and nosegrind between the pan and the olive oil. A new series by Benoit James called Skitchen: The Secret Sporting Life of our Friends The Fruits and Veggies on Wheels.




Who said that we don’t have to play with food? Eat better, skate faster! www.benoitjammes.com www.facebook.com/benoit.jammes.artworks

The Watch

Longer battery life, contactless payment technology and even cross-platform compatibility are some of the reasons why 2015 could become ‘The Year of the Wearables’.

According to research over £100million worth of smart watches, fitness trackers and other gadget wearables were expected to be sold over the Christmas period in the UK. Early next year, Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer plan to release their first ever smartwatch and along with Apple’s iWatch, things look set to get very interesting in the wrist area in 2015.

is Dead... [Long Live the Watch]

I’ve just spent a few days playing with the Samung Gear S smartwatch and after some initial hesitation and set-up stuttering’s (my fault), I persevered and eventually it won me over. You can change the look completely to suit your mood, character or clothing and it’s comfortable to wear all day too. Talking into your watch is a bit Star Trek at first, but the fitness tracker Apps and handy Twitter/Facebook/Email notifications mean you no longer have to spend all day staring at your phone. Now you can spend all day staring at your watch instead.

Samsung Gear S from £329.00 For more info visit www.samsung.com/uk

Hello, are you Santa Claus? By Ian Hughes / epredator

Ok, so I know not every culture has the notion of a jolly red suited reverse burglar, breaking into your home and leaving you gifts and it’s not always connected with quantum physics, but Christmas is a significant world event that has attributes and insights into human nature and science that are definitely worth exploring. Read on... It starts around October with the Christmas songs on the radio, building to the fever pitch panic buying on Christmas Eve. However, as we get older many people realise it’s better to give than to receive, and our focus is directed towards family, charity and general goodwill. If you’re aged seven and writing a Christmas list to Santa, those thoughts are usually not at the forefront of your mind. Coming downstairs on Christmas morning and ripping open all those gifts and maybe, just maybe, getting the absolute best present that you have yearned for drives your every waking moment. Everyone has experienced that feeling of surprise and elation of unwrapping just the right thing, not too mention the deflated feeling when the completely over the top

or hard to get hold of gift(e.g. a Ferrari) has not materialised? It made me wonder, is there someone, somewhere getting their dreams made into reality and do our seven years olds experience a Christmas version of the Schr√∂dinger’ Cat thought experiment?

So, What’s In The Box?

Schrödinger’s Cat: The concept, which is now part of popular science, has a cat placed in a box with with a radioactive substance. That substance might have an atom decay and release energy into the box. If released that bit of energy in the box triggers a clicking Geiger counter. If that counter clicks it smashes a bottle of acid and poisons and melts the cat. It’s a rather elaborate mechanism! The box becomes a significant boundary for the experiment. We can’t know what has happened to the cat until we open the box and observe the result. The decaying radioactive isotope is at the boundary of scientific prediction. The release of energy is based on a change of state that may or may not happen. There is a mathematical probability or likelihood it will. Like flipping a coin or rolling a dice. We don’t know the answer until we see it. We don‚‘t know what is in our christmas wrapped gift box until we open it. (Yes I know, we can can rattle it, prod it etc, but they are all observations).

That’s A Bit Of Luck

We experience the world through our complex set of senses and process this in our ever-changing neural network brains. Our everyday experiences inform and indicate the likelihood of something occurring one way or another. From observation and experience it is possible to look at a large box, realise its very heavy and that you probably won’t be able to lift it. Maybe there is a Ferrari in it? The mechanics of the entire solar system let us predict that it will be morning, noon and night and where the planets will be in their solar orbit. At the edges of what we know we have to use either scientific methods to create and prove or disprove hypothesis, or use superstition and supposition to make sense of something. Probability tells us that something will happen, or not. It is a very pure piece of maths. You have a 1 in 6 chance of rolling a four on a six-sided die. If you really want a four though, it somehow feels more unlikely if you are a pessimist or more likely if you are an optimist. The maths doesn’t change, but the our concept of reality does. Quantum mechanics is the science of things at a level much smaller than atoms. It relies on the maths of probability and explores the problems of observation associated with those probabilities. This branch of science has something called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Theory. This suggests that combinations of

two physical variables of a particle cannot accurately be observed without affecting one another. You can‚‘t accurately get the position of something without altering its momentum and vice versa. I.E. to spot where something is precisely you have to stop it moving. If you stop it moving then how do you start it again once you have worked out where it is? Fans of Star Trek will recognise the fictional device in the teleportation system called the Heisenberg Compensator. When teleporting people they are broken down into their constituent particles and beamed as energy to a new place where they are then reassembled. If scanning the particle means it alters the position or momentum of that particle then it would not be possible to get a fully accurate reading and accurately recreate the person at the other end. The Heisenberg Compensator is a nod to quantum mechanics as it is said to allow for these errors and offset them. So you are recreated with absolute certainty the same way as when you left. Uncertainty is a cornerstone of

It is a triumph of science and the human willingness to explore. Once it had been established that Philea actually bounced a couple of times in coming down to land and was resting a little skewed on the surface of the comet it was time for the science team to talk to the press. At the press briefing there were some great scientific questions asked. However there were a few along the lines of “we need to know... what happens next?” I admired the restraint of the very tired team. One of them answered. We don’t know what is going to happen next, that’s why we are doing this. the universe and that is based on chance or probability. In teleportation you really don’t want uncertainty. Where all your particles are and their energy levels is a collection of probable outcomes, but you really need to roll that four or it could get messy!

A Need To Know basis

Dealing with the unknown or lack of certainty can be tricky for us humans. The recent, and very impressive landing of the Philae lander on the comet 67P highlighted some of those tensions. I sat glued to the video stream from the control centre as we watched Rosetta separate from Philae and then had the anxious wait before the touchdown. 300 million miles away, under complete autonomy, after a 10 year journey we all waited to see if it had been successful. There was no fancy TV production, narration, cut aways or adverts. Just images of a group of people biting their nails, crossing their fingers and waiting. When the touchdown signal came through the elation was amazing.

So we (the human race) could predict the trajectory, know precisely where the comet was going to be from a mathematical model. Work out how long to fire engines for, even pick a spot 300 million miles away to land on. However, there were a lot of other variables, failures, awkward bits. Orbit calculations are relatively routine, but landing on an unknown surface wasn’t. A 20 year project, in total, had to have a huge number of permutations of likely events all align in order to be successful. In this case it was. Despite the bounce Philae managed to perform all its experiments. It was in a slightly shorter

time frame than initially planned, but now some hypothesis can be proved, disproved or new ones formed about our current universe. We do need to know things, but sometimes we do just have to wait to unwrap out presents.

What About My Christmas Presents?

The good news is that everyone got what they wanted for Christmas (according to one set of theories). As a metaverse evangelist I tell people about virtual environments, show they can build and share ideas online. There is a branch of physics and philosophy theory called the multiverse, meta - universe or Manyworlds interpretation. It sounds like metaverse but is subtly different. The Many-worlds interpretation is one particular direction of thought on the multiverse concept, but it is almost self explanatory. The idea was proposed by US Physicist Hugh Everett (interestingly also the Father of Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett). The suggestion, in a very complex set of ideas, is that when something is on the brink of being true or false, like the cat in the box being alive of dead, the answer before we look in the box is - both are correct. So the answer after opening the box is also both. At the point the event needs to be resolved the universe divides. We

end up with one path of existence where the cat is alive and another diverged path where it is dead. Those now have no correlation or crossover. Both are correct. It suggests events like this occur, have occurred and will occur an infinite number of times with every quantum level piece of energy and means everything will happen, as much as everything will not happen. It means every decision you take will be played out in every combination somewhere by versions of you. There are even many

universes where versions of you aren’t even in existence. The TV show Sliders used this sort of concept. It allowed the hero to slide between alternate universes for different narrative situations. That is not proof this theory is true of course, but it does illustrate a way of looking and the concept. All this could mean that somewhere the seven year old you got the absolute perfect Christmas with everything you ever wanted coming true. The optimists amongst you will see a four being rolled on the die. For the pessimists, the fact that there are an infinite number of bad outcomes and sub-optimal christmas experiences happening could be a little worrying. To our rational brains this seems all rather farfetched. It hints of worlds we cannot know. It cannot easily be proved or disproved. One thing to consider; with an infinite set of worlds and possibilities

even the oddest of things will exist. So not only will you be somewhere getting your ultimate Christmas present, but you will also be a large jolly bearded man in a red suit able to deliver gifts to the entire world in one night. Travelling on a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, one with a glowing red nose. You will be sliding down chimneys, leaving those gifts, knowing that everyone everywhere in your reality will be having a wonderful peaceful and joyful Christmas. It’s good to be an optimist! Ian writes about the future on his website www.feedingedge.co.uk Further Reading Schrödinger’s Cat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat Rosetta / Philea http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/ Space_Science/Rosetta The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett http://www.scientificamerican.com/ article/hugh-everett-biography/

Fickle Friends

Daisy Victoria

Original female singer-songwriters from outside the traditional constraints of pop music have always found a spiritual home on these shores. From Kate Bush to Bjork, from Polly Harvey to Bat for Lashes, sisters can go their own way in the UK. Definitely a new name to look out for is Daisy Victoria, she’s been on tour supporting the likes of Martha Wainwright and Little Comets recently: powerful, spikey and overflowing with potential, listen to current EP, ’Nobody Dies’ and make up your own mind. For more info visit https://soundcloud.com/daisy-victoria

Unfortunately the Brighton five-piece are a little late for Summer but the changing of the seasons should take nothing away from their fine Dream-Pop craftsmanship. The vocals of Natassja Shine float over the crests of sparkly guitar riffs and a light splashing of synth that has a replay-ability factor that will send HypeMachine into cardiac arrest. Not long off the back of a tour with JAWS, and already picking up a large number of remixes that are steadily flooding Soundcloud. The Fickle Friends buzz could be in full swing by Summer 2015. https://soundcloud.com/ficklefriends

Ones to watch George Maple

The first thing of note is that George Maple is actually a female, just with a bloke’s name, like Lindsay Buckingham or Leslie Nielsen but in reverse. The London based Australian has done what so many do when they arrive in our capital which is to discover that atmospheric bass-driven nuance, few outside of the scene can recreate. Vacant Space is the sort of track that’s greatest qualities come from what is not on show, there’s no clutter, essentially just vocals and deep, deep percussion that is both sultry and beautiful. https://soundcloud.com/georgemaple


Theo Altieri

Set your alarm now, Swindon born Theo Altieri’s debut single ‘Get Along’ will be released by the magnificent Club Fandango on Jan 5th. Together with the other two in his 3-piece band he’s already played shows alongside Babyshambles and George Ezra. His tunes are raw indie rock n’ roll with a dash of pop sensibilities, and he’s just signed a major publishing deal with Warner Chappell. Citing The Jam, Arctic Monkeys and Mac DeMarco as influences, remember where you heard the name first. www.theoaltieri.com

Purple People Eaters Interview by Steve Clarke

Screaming and joyfully yelping from Texas, you may not of heard of the band called ‘Purple’, but you definitely want them at your party. Pick up their first album ‘409’ (their hometown area code), throw it on, and prepare to Rock & Smile. Flush spoke to singer/ drummer Hannah about where all the good vibes came from.

Do you guys come from musical backgrounds/families? Yes. My family is very musical. My dad plays guitar, bass and drums. My Mom can sing and is really good at writing lyrics. My parents used to write together and had a jam room in the back of the house. My little sister can sing, play the french horn, the guitar and the ukulele. Taylor’s dad loves music and listens to all kinds of crazy stuff. He’s the one who showed Taylor things like Minutemen and Kings of Leon. Who & what were your early music inspirations? For me, It was No Doubt, Spice Girls, Sade, Nirvana, Jeff Buckley, Incubus, Jimmy Hendrix… I could go on and on.. I think No Doubt, (early) Kings Of Leon and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were the inspirations in the sound of ‘Purple’.

Purple People Eaters Where did the name come from? We needed a name really fast before our first show, so we just called it Purple because that was my favourite colour. Then we kept it because it was just short and sweet and someone sent me the meaning of Purple. It was something like, “Purple is the colour of Spirituality. It urges us to find our power within, not the kind of power that needs to control or dominate others, but power rooted in connection to Spirit”. I can get behind that. There’s a fun-filled frenetic energy around ‘409’, was it a productive process in it’s creation? Are there many tracks that didn’t make the cut? Yeah I think we were productive and we traveled a lot to make the album. We wrote it at Rolie Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas. We recorded it at Sonic Ranch in El Paso and we recorded “Target”, “Leche Loco” and “13” at The Bubble in Austin. Five songs didn’t make the cut, but I’d like to release them one day.

That frenetic energy really comes alive in the gigs. how has the reception been to the shows? I feel like a lot of people are like, “whoa… they’re crazy.” when we first start playing and then they warm up to it through out the set. It just seems at first they aren’t really expecting it. Do you have any pre-gig rituals? Yes. I like to listen to music, stretch, jump around and drink. The dudes are usually just pretty chill though. How have you enjoyed the UK Tour and what are the plans when you get home? We’re going to make a music video for the song “DMT”, work on new tunes and do a few shows in Texas. Then we’re trying to do a USA tour in January and February. Then come back to the UK in March. I would like to start recording our second album soon also. And yes. I have loved the UK. It has been so much fun. How would you like to tour with? As far as touring, I’d love to go on the road with Ty Segall, Royal Blood and Foo Fighters. I’d also like to work with Devin the Dude and Erykah Badu. MAYBE ONE DAYYYYY. For more info visit http://purpletexasmusic.com

Made in Manchester Private White VC

Luxury British label Private White VC opens flagship store in London on Duke St, Mayfair www.privatewhitevc.com

Founded by Jack White, a military hero, with a commitment to producing quality garments hand-made from British-sourced materials. www.privatewhitevc.com

Made in Manchester Private White VC

Made in Manchester Private White VC

Made in Manchester Private White VC

Unlined Ventile Nato Green £575

Twin Track Tan Cotton Canvas £595

The new Mayfair store also debut’s a new women’s collection, for more info visit www.privatewhitevc.com

Beatle Jeans ÂŁ220

Harrington Ventile ÂŁ450

Made in Manchester Private White VC

Meet Vincent

Brotherly love: Vincent & Theo @ The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam


He sold just one painting during his lifetime, but as each year passes, Vincent Van Gogh’s flame grows ever brighter. More than 1.5 million people visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam last year, making it one of the most popular museums in the world.

Meet Vincent

A new glass entrance hall to allow visitors access from Museumplein will open next year and after a recent facelift, closed spaces have been opened up along with the addition of three large screens montaging his affect on popular culture, including Van Gogh as ‘Groundskeeper Willie’ from The Simpsons. The painter was a prolific letter writer and a real highlight of the exhibition is his letters to his Brother, Theo. Perhaps surprisingly these are mostly optimistic ponderings from someone whose relatively short life was tinged with so much sadness. There are so many incredible paintings at the Van Gogh Museum, here are my personal favourites...


Meet Vincent

The Potato Eaters (1885) Van Gogh was often inspired by other artists and Jozef Israëls painting, ‘A Peasant Family at the Table’ (see below) was definitely in his mind when he began the studies for what would become ‘The Potato Eaters’. Up close it’s possible to see the fantastic use of light in this twisted, almost macabre study of late nineteenth century poverty. Van Gogh did several versions, but once his Brother (an art dealer in Paris) saw the unfashionable subject matter it became a catalyst for Vincent moving to the French capital and re-thinking his whole approach to painting.


Meet Vincent

Bedroom in Arles (1888) Since 2006, the Museum have been forensically studying dozens of Van Gogh’s works. The findings suggest that over the years some of his paintings have altered significantly colour-wise. Perhaps the best example is ‘Bedroom in Arles’, a digital version close to the original shows the walls with much a darker, violet colour thought to be nearer to the original pigments. Interestingly this new insight changes the look of this study of his bedroom at 2, Place Lamartine, to nearer a night scene. I wondered if this changes the perceived mood of Vincent himself when it was painted?


Meet Vincent

Sunflowers (1889) One of seven similar paintings Vincent did of Sunflowers in 1888 and 1889 during a more optimistic period of his life with hopes of starting an artistic community with his friend Paul Gaugin as mentor. In 1987 a version was sold for $39.7 million, making it the most expensive painting in the worlds at the time. This version is conservatively valued at $200 million.

The Painter of Sunflowers (Le Peintre de Tournesols)1888 by Paul Gauguin


Meet Vincent

Cherry Blossom (1890) Painted as a present to his brother and sister-in-law after the birth of their son, Vincent’s nephew (also called Vincent). As such it holds a special place in the hearts of the Van Gogh family, and perhaps because of its Japanese Woodcut influences it’s also by far the most popular reproduction sold in the gift shop.


Meet Vincent

Wheat Field with Crows (1890) Painted in a location close to where he committed suicide, contrary to popular belief and the obvious symbolism, ‘Wheat Field with Crows’ was not quite Vincent’s last painting. Even when the dark clouds closed in, his love affair with nature still remained strong.

For more info visit www.vangoghmuseum.nl

I travelled to Amsterdam with KLM from Norwich, one of 21 UK airports KLM fly from. For more info on flights visit klm.com

Where to stay

Amrath Hotel

For a touch of opulent luxury and unbridled nostalgia next time you are in Amsterdam stay at the gorgeous Amrath Hotel; it’s perfectly situated to explore the heart of the city and only 5 minutes from Central Station. The historic building was constructed as offices for the largest Amsterdam shipping companies way back in 1913 and transformed into a fivestar Hotel in 2007. It still retains many of its period features and is considered to be the first ever building built in the ‘Amsterdam School’ style of construction with decorative stained glass windows and doors, marble staircases, wrought iron elements and art deco touches throughout. There is also a great spa, sauna and swimming pool in the basement along with a highly regarded restaurant and bar on the ground floor.

My room (one of 165 and 25 suites) has a supremely comfy bed, double height ceiling, thick velvet curtains, plus free Wi-Fi and mini-bar. Amrath Hotel Prins Hendrikade 108, 1011 AK Amsterdam Tel +31 20 552 0000 For more info visit www.grandhotelamrath.net

The Golden Years ‘Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age’, a new exhibition at the Hermitage, Amsterdam.


Roughly speaking, ‘The Golden Age’ was a period of history that spanned the 17th Century when Holland (and Amsterdam in particular) was a bustling trade post and a place where pioneers in the world of medicine, law, science and art came together. With no Royal Family as such to get in the way, the United Netherlands was ruled by the bourgeoisie, and during this time newly-formed Guilds, Regent Groups and Societies began to lay down many of the foundations for what we now consider to be contemporary, civilised society. Naturally many of these organisations were keen to be painted for posterity and with the abundance of artists living in the city, the portraits represented excellent value for money too.

The ‘stars’ of the current exhibition are 30+ gigantic group portraits from the Golden Age, some of the rarely seen canvases have been borrowed from the Amsterdam Museum and the vast archives of the Rijksmusuem. Because of their sheer size, staging an exhibition of this type is no easy task and it has taken five years from conception to opening.


The Golden Years Civic Guards from the company of captain Jan Claesz Vlooswijck, by Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy

Banquet Of Members Of Amsterdams Crossbow Civic Guard by Cornelis Anthonisz

main room. While he may still be considered King in these parts, the paintings and stories of the Golden Age Exhibition acknowledge the The large space of the beautiful important part these societies and Hermitage Museum suits ‘The Golden groups played in the making of Age’ portraits perfectly and it’s Amsterdam. It’s also another reason location next to the Amstel River in the to visit one of the finest art-capitals centre of Amsterdam means you can of the modern era. jump off a boat and walk straight in. ‘Portrait Gallery of the Golden With the help of some modern-day Age’ runs from 29th November until technology you can also recreate the end of 2016. your very own Golden Age scene before you leave. For more info visit The shadow of Rembrant is never http://hermitage.nl far away and while the original is at the Rijksmusuem, a digital projection Hermitage Amsterdam of the (in)famous ‘Night Watch’ takes Amstel 51 pride of place in the centre of the open daily 10:00-17:00

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I dashed over the Channel to DS World, the shiny Parisian Headquarters of Citroën’s breakaway ‘DS’ brand and although the sun wasn’t shining, there was still plenty to get excited about among the macaroons and hot chocolate.


Officially the DS3 is no longer the ‘Citroën’ DS3, and the process of removing the Citroën badge from all cars in the DS range is already well underway. The reason? Well, apparently over 300,000 of the 500,00 people who’ve bought a brand new DS car were buying a Citroën for the very first time. Armed with this knowledge the car giant has made a calculated leap of faith and separated the DS brand completely to really focus on its core strengths; luxury, style and that certain French ‘Je ne sais quoi’.

In China there are already dedicated DS showrooms selling the DS3, 4 & 5 to a growing band of hip Chinese devotees and ‘DS’ are keen to highlight this ‘Superminis’ strong fashion credentials, hence the brand new DS3 Cabrio, funky new Xenon full LED 3D effect lights and a new range of colours and customisation options. It’s not all about the looks though, the brand new ‘Active City Break’ system installed in every car is an important safety advancement. The technology will detect potential collisions below 30kph and automatically activate the cars brakes to avoid them. There are two new engines, a 1.2 Puretech 110 S&S and a 1.1 THP 165 S&S 6 speed. Both delivering greater performance, improved fuel consumption and lower emissions. The bright yellow 1.1 cabrio DS3 I drove on a short route from DS World to Versaille certainly turned a few heads; punchy and energetic the car is fun to drive even when locking horns with the locals around the streets of central Paris. On the motorway the ride is

smooth and graceful and to boot the interior finish is comparable with cars a few rungs higher up the ladder. After a spot of lunch at the wonderful Maison Lenôtre (www.lenotre.com/en/maison-le-notre) and a short tour of the new scented gardens adjacent to Versailles Palace it was time to jump into a DS4 for the return leg back to DS World. The DS4 has also had a few tweaks, again with two improved engines, a Puretech 130 S&S on trend gutsy 3 cylinder, and a BlueHDi 120 (both 6 speeders). Other options include a blind spot monitoring system, two tone choices, three roof colours, cuddly toy (sorry, no cuddly toy, just checking you’re still paying attention) and a gorgeous interior that oozes Parisian flair and nappa leather on the dashboard that according to Citro.. er, I mean DS demands 15 hours of handcrafted stitching. Oh, and just in case you forget it’s French, an ashtray too.

Its also been bundled with some new techie features that are actually quite useful. ‘DS Connect Box’ features an ‘SOS’ button to get help quickly in an emergency, while the ‘Mapping Pack’ allows you to lend your car to someone else and set time and geographical limitations on it’s use. If they break the curfew or go AWOL the car will send you a text to let you know. Obviously thought up by someone with at least one teenage son. The skies open and the rain falls hard enough for me to certainly vouch for the cars excellent handling in the wet, even if the busy French traffic puts paid to any other meaningful attempts to put a foot down on another pedal. I’m a big fan of the DS range; the boffins have realised (young) people like their cars with personalities and a dash of panache. Both of these models are brimming with the stuff and with another 3 cars in the pipeline the niche DS is carving for itself can only get wider.

DS3 from £12,865 DS3 Cabrio from £15,325 DS4 from £17,855 For more info on the DS range visit http://www.citroen.co.uk/newcars-and-vans/ds-line

Coniston Hotel and Country Estate Skipton, North Yorkshire

The Bannisters are not a family to shirk a challenge. For the runner Roger Bannister, the challenge was a sporting one - to break the four-minute mile. Faced with a target which had long been the ‘holy grail’ of middle-distance runners, his single-minded determination, plus a good deal of talent, carried him to a moment of sporting glory in May 1954 - a mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.

Roger’s cousin, Michael, is obviously powered by the same DNA. An entrepreneur rather than an athlete, his life’s defining challenge has been to succeed in the face of economic changes which transformed the world he grew up in. Michael comes from a family of Lancashire textile mill owners. But just when he was reaching the age to take up his place at the helm of the business, the textile industry was going into

severe decline. But, like Roger, Michael kept driving forward. Realising early that the retail economy would grow to fill the void left by manufacturing, he positioned himself in the vanguard of the growth of mill shops, opening a giant clothing and household goods store in the old east Lancashire mill town of Colne. Boundary Mill has been doing a roaring trade ever since, and there are now four


more branches around the country where the success story has been repeated. Michael’s next challenge was Coniston Hall. He and his wife Ethne bought the estate - which lies just off the A65 between Skipton and Settle on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales, in 1969.The hall itself was uninhabitable. The previous owner had been reduced to living in the kitchen as the rest of the

building crumbled around him - so the Bannisters set about building a grand new hall to be their home. But the real attraction of the estate was the land - 1,400 acres of rolling green hills, woodland and moors, centred on the hall sitting beside a pretty lake. This idyllic setting is what first impresses the visitor to The Coniston Hotel. From the road the hotel looks quite unassuming. It started life as a

40-room ‘Travelodge-style’ hotel in 1998, when the Bannisters decided to build on the success of their teashop and farmshop, which had opened at the site 10 years earlier. But when you arrive at the entrance to the hotel, there is no clue to the beauty which lies to the rear. Its charms are all hidden. The Coniston has moved quite a few rungs up the ladder since 1998. It now boasts 71 rooms, and has an air of informal luxury rather than simple roadside place to stay. There are three types of room: classic, superior and luxury. Ours was luxury - a beautifully furnished room with balcony and lake view, and plenty of space for us, with our twoyear-old daughter, to immediately spread out and settle in to our twonight stay.

Huntsmans Lodge

The jewel in the crown of the extended hotel is Huntsman’s Lodge - an eating place and bar overlooking the lake. The Coniston’s other, more formal restaurant, Macleod’s, is a good enough dining room (it’s where breakfast is served) but it can’t compete with Huntsman’s Lodge’s spacious elegance, relaxed atmosphere and glorious views

from the floor-to-ceiling windows - so that’s where we had our evening meals. For a flavour of the menu, think modern British restaurant food - less pretentious than a gastro pub, but with first-class cooking. My juicy rump steak was a foretaste of the real Yorkshire welcome we received over the whole weekend. Huntsman’s Lodge boasts a large open fire in the middle of the room, and although it was unlit as we were here in August, we could imagine how lovely it must be in the winter months. Apart from conferences and weddings - for which there are first-class function rooms and facilities - one of the main reasons to visit The Coniston Hotel is to enjoy one or more of the activities on offer.

Land Rover Experience

The official Land Rover Experience promises off-road driving thrills under expert tuition. This is where the estate

attached to the Coniston comes into its own. How many hotels can boast their own landscape of steep slopes, sheer drops, deep gullies and rutted tracks. It’s a chance to put your driving skills to the test, and find out what these 4x4 vehicles are really designed for.

Clay Pigeon Shooting

The shooting ground offers an experience of a similar ‘country estate’ kind. A large, Canadianstyle log cabin - built from imported North American cedar and insulated with lambswool - is the base for the shooting. It’s an impressive building, erected in 2008 to replace a much more basic shed, and it is worth a visit just to sample the atmosphere, with its stone fireplace, gun room, cafe and shop. The instructor for my introduction to clay-pigeon shooting was expert

coach Nigel Wild, who gave me a thorough explanation of the technique of using a 12-bore shotgun before we headed outside to put his advice into practice. The covered shooting stations mean that this activity continues whatever the weather. Nigel’s clear, step-by-step instructions on how to hold the gun, lift it, stand correctly, take aim, and fire gave me such a sense of confidence that my first shot was perfect, and after seeing the clay disc explode in the air, he told me: “You nailed it!” and I got to keep the cartridge as a memento. My subsequent shots were not quite so accurate, but every time I missed, Nigel’s analysis of where I had gone wrong, and what I needed to do to put it right, was so good that, more often than not, I hit the next disc. I had quite a sense of elation by the time my hour-and-ahalf session ended - a feeling that I had learned a little of the art of shooting from a true mentor.


Next on the agenda was a hawk walk with falconer Mark Priestly. We met the magnificent birds of prey in the falconry centre and then

learned how to feed them. The sight of an owl flying to my glove to snatch morsels of raw meat had my daughter entranced. Mark is a walking encyclopaedia on birds of prey, and his love for the creatures is infectious. The other activities on the estate are archery, fishing and target golf (all of them open non-guests). As my other half pointed out, they are all what you might call masculine activities - a point I put to estate director Louise Bolton as she gave me a tour of the site. “That’s a comment we hear quite a lot,” she said. “We now have plans for a spa with eight treatment rooms, a 16-metre pool and a gym. Building work will be starting soon” Louise is obviously totally

immersed in her role leading the estate, and she is proud of the fact that the site provides jobs for many people of the area.”Twenty of the staff are housed here on the estate We are like a family, and that is a feeling that comes from the owners, Michael and Ethne Bannister.” The Coniston Hotel and Country Estate, Coniston Cold, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 4EA. Two nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast in August costs £267 per person. www.theconistonhotel.com 01756 748080 You can follow Tim Nixon on Twitter @timothynixon

ZAIKA Kensington, London

With Vineet Bhatia as head chef, Zaika was one of the very first Indian restaurants in the UK to be awarded a much-coveted Michelin star. Then in 2012 it was bought by the Tamarind Collection, merged with ‘Tamarind’ and the location in Kensington High Street was turned into an upmarket Italian eaterie. Now after a two year hiatus Zaika’s back, serving the finest of North Indian, Awadhi Cuisine.


converted ex-bank in one of the nicest parts of London. Serving up to 120 covers, there is a plush bar space where snacks such as Gosht Kurkure (pulled lamb rolls) are served and an additional seating area for 20 people with views over to Kensington Palace hen we pop along a few opposite. weeks after opening, the I’m not a big drinker, but there is a restaurant is positively good choice of wines and cocktails bustling; warm and inviting, the (non-alcoholic too). For those with a colonial portraits and thick potted sense of theatre, try the ‘The Bonfire’, fauna arranged throughout the dining Bombay Gin, lychee juice, lychee room compliment the high ceilings liquor, red chillies, flamed and served and wood panelling beautifully. There on the rocks, it has a sweet smooth can’t be many places as inviting beginning followed by a dark, spicy to eat on a cold and wet Tuesday kick from the chilli. A warm glow is night in London than this tastefully guaranteed, just don’t forget to blow


the flame out. Influenced by Mughal and Nawabi culinary traditions, the menu is concise, but still big enough to give me a few ordering dilemmas. For a starter, our server recommends the ‘Peshawari Champen’ Lamb chops marinated with raw papaya, paprika, fennel and star anise. The lamb is marinated for 24hours and is so tender it melts on the tongue. My partner chooses the ‘Prawn Dakshini’ Tiger prawns in a gram flour batter with ginger, paprika and curry leaves. The paprika fuses with the ginger and the prawns are seared for just long enough for the flavour of the sea to cut through, amazing. We order a number of dishes to follow, I’m tempted by the ‘Oven baked stone bass on a bed of onion and homemade Awadhi spices’, but instead opt for the ‘Gosht Dum Biryani’, Goat biryani served with Burani Raita. The dish is cooked traditionally in a pot and covered with dough, as I split the top, wonderful aromas of Saffron are released. Goat is often tricky to get right, but this


dish is wonderful. My partner has the lobster tail with turmeric, garlic and raw mango served with a spiced tomato sauce, it’s succulent, mouthwatering and balanced by careful use of spices. Something I’ve not seen before and definitely worth trying is their excellent thin but light, Truffle naan bread, the stuffed Fig and Mint naan is delicious too. We try smaller portions of Chicken Tikka Massala, Aloo Gobi and Tadka Dal, all are sophistically cooked and wonderfully presented. With belts sufficiently loosened it seems foolish to come this far and not be tempted by the dessert menu. Nimbo Tart is a tasty ‘key-lime pie type tart’ served with white chocolate ice cream; light

and zingy. Meanwhile the ‘Chocolate Bounty Bar’ is a coconut bounty bar with nougat, apricot and popcorn; not an actual bounty bar, but a very thick chocolate torte blended with coconut. At this point moving from the seat suddenly seems very much like hard work so before we head into the night, we share a pot of fruit tea. Not the most decadent finish, but the perfect one to a fantastic evening. The word ‘balanced’ appears in my notes more than once and the careful fusion between the hot spices and delicate flavours is perhaps key to the Zaika experience.The kitchen team headed by executive chef, Sanjay Gour and head chef, Dayashankar Sharma deserve big credit for moving the traditional Awadhi dishes on at just the right amount of speed without going all new-age on us. The staff are also particularly good, attentive and helpful without being overbearing or

omnipresent either. One of the best Indian meals I have ever had, the new look Zaika offers sophisticated dining done with panache, energy and creativity in the most elegant of surroundings. It’s not the cheapest restaurant in the world, but it’s somewhere to take a special person, on a special night in your life. Let’s hope it sticks around.

Zaika No1 Kensington High Street London W8 5NP 020 7795 6533 www.zaikaofkensington.com

Hot Bonnie Created by those clever people at the Bonnie Gull Seafood Cafe in Clerkenwell, this festive cocktail is guaranteed to warm the cockles of the coldest of hearts. Make at home, or try the original on the cosy heated patio accompanied by some fantastic seafood, or some in-season game, such as venison haunch with yellow chanterelles and a port and chocolate sauce.


Ingredients Louis Royer vsop cognac, l Orange liqueur, l Bergamot syrup, l Lemon juice, l Knob of lightly salted butter, l

Serve hot with cinnamon and star anise.

About Bonnie Gull

Fish lovers Alex Hunter and Danny Clancy began their culinary dream with a pop up diner in an old Hackney Pie N’ Mash shop and now have two restaurants in London, the Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack in Foley St, W1 and the Bonnie Gull Seafood Cafe, 55-57 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4QL. For more info visit www.bonniegullseafoodcafe.com

Novikov Resta Mayfair, London by Manasi Kumar


ovikov is the eponymous expansion of Arkady Novikov’s 50-strong Moscow restaurant empire into London and onto the streets of Mayfair. And why forge an empire with a restaurant focussing single-mindedly on just one cuisine, when you can exercise bold Russian authority and get two for the price of one. Novikov caters to two flavours, an Asian restaurant located on the ground level and there’s also an Italian restaurant tucked away a level below, between the glittering bar and the Asian restaurant. An open kitchen on one side of the Asian restaurant has the best view of the floor, with fresh fish and seafood glistening on ice and crates of fresh fruit and vegetables stacked up high with a large team of busy chefs

inside going about their business, sauteéing, chopping and plating up. The seafood display is not merely decorative though, if neither Asian or Italian cuisine strike your fancy, then there’s the additional option to choose from the fresh display made up to either your own choice of taste or to the chef’s recommendation. But the menu itself is extensive and far from even thinking about the extensive seafood display, we’re entirely bewildered. The charming staff are on hand to help and with some guidance from us on our preferences, we’re soon settled in with drinks and some spicy hot edamame and interestingly, raw vegetables and some sauces.Once the waiter lets me know that they have fresh young coconut in, I’m

aurant & Bar

instantly sold, it’s reminiscent of being on holiday and I’m transported back to Asia. The sashimi to start is somewhat of a signature course at Novikov, chef Jeff Tyler having trained in the art of tuna in Tokyo. The staff recommend the Hamachi carpaccio with truffle, a literally melt-in-your mouth sashimi, which though very tasty, is a tad overpowered by the truffle, leaving none of the delicate fishy taste behind. Totally different in flavour and texture were the Wagyu beef tacos, arguably my favourite course of the evening. These were rich, spicy and given how messy it is to eat tacos, finger lickin’ good. Given that our seats neighbour the magnificent fruits of the sea display, it’s perhaps inevitable that we’re

inclined towards seafood for our mains – we’re informed that mains here are sharing portions between two, we opt for the signature Black Cod and Malaysian softshell crab, all washed down with a side of baby bok choi and some steamed rice. The signature black cod is as fabulous as it looks, it’s melt in the mouth flavours retain the original firm texture of the meaty cod and it needs but the smallest helping of rice to make for heavenly mouthfuls and it’s hardly surprising that this is the course that we find ourselves diving into for additional helpings. I’m at a loss to understand what makes the Malaysian softshell crab to be from that region as none of the flavours indicate it to be so – but the real beauty of this dish is the hay-like

substance that comes with it and not for a million years would I have recognised it to be fried egg, either in texture or even taste. It adds a layer of complexity to the dish not found in the slightly bland crab, well-cooked but lacking in any flavour punch. The bok choi lets the side down though, swimming in a pool of cornstarched liquid with a few slices of chilli for garnish, my local Chinese takeaway could have given this dish a run for its money (and won). Desserts pick up the pace somewhat, what they lack on the dessert menu is something light but we’re talked into two of the signature items anyway, rich and calorific though they sound – a green tea brulee with a side of guava sorbet and a banana crumble served

with salted caramel ice cream. Forget the lighter desserts, these are heavenly. We spend much of our time double dipping into each other’s desserts, comparing flavours and bites and ice creams. The green tea is not overpowering in my brulee, which I appreciate as I’m not a fan of the matcha trend taking over the nation. The guava sorbet is light and sweet and conveys the flavour of a sweet guava perfectly. The banana crumble is far richer and is that sort of wintry pudding that it’s all too easy to sink into, in front of a roaring fire. The salted caramel ice cream isn’t even required, such is the greatness of the crumble itself. The service is attentive, perhaps a tad excessive with no fewer than 3 members of staff enquiring after our

every need, but there’s no question that they are knowledgeable about the food and very invested in ensuring their guests have a good time. And you can’t really ask for anything less. Suitably sated, we leave the buzzy bubble of Novikov, with its flashy decor, even more glamorous staff and out past the bouncers standing guard to something far more prosaic, a walk to the nearest tube station. 50A Berkeley Street Mayfair, London W1J 8HA Tel 0207399 4330 www.novikovrestaurant.co.uk You can follow Manasi on Twitter @inher30s or visit her website www.inher30s.com


Audi A3 e-tron by Frank Turner

Audi has just added its own breeze to a collective wind of change that is gathering in the car industry.It is blowing in, accompanied by a whole host of acronyms and initials, falling like hi-tech autumn leaves in the motorists’ general direction. So, do you know your OLEV from your PHEV?

What about the ECE Standard? I’ll leave you to look them up.They are all to do with hybrid vehicles, those motors that run on a mix of traditional fuel and electricity to make driving cleaner, greener and more efficient. Audi’s first step on this particular path draws on knowledge gained in motor racing, the company having twice conquered Le Mans with a hybrid car.On the road, Audi is offering an A3 Sportback with a 1.4-litre petrol engine and a 75 KW electric motor, weighing 34 kilograms. Dubbed the A3 e-tron, it is available to order, with first deliveries in January, and Flush Magazine was there for the launch in the North East. The company says that electric power makes 176mpg and Co2 emissions of 37g/km possible, the latter figure making the car road tax-free. This five-door hybrid is no slouch, with a combined 240bhp of system power, moving the car from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 137mph. All this might sound a bit high-techy and complicated, but the reality is simple, with the driver able to

choose from four settings at the push of a button. There is EV mode, which gives priority to electric drive, hybrid auto mode which engages the electric motor wherever possible (good for long journeys), hybrid hold mode which preserves the battery charge for later use (like city driving) and hybrid charge mode which uses the petrol

smoothly via an automatic gearbox. The technology means there is no compromise in daily use and the e-tron feels like an ‘ordinary car’, even though the name might sound rather Flash Gordon-ish. engine to charge the battery.There is also a plug-in capability to allow charging from home or street powerpoints, with charging times of four hours for the former and two hours for the latter. On the road, the car feels silky, imperceptibly switching from electric to petrol propulsion as circumstances dictate and laying down its power

The only difference you may spot from a regular A3 are some subtle exterior detailing tweaks. It’s a wind of change ... but a stylish and sophisticated one. Price: £29,950 OTR (inc £5,000 government subsidy). For more info visit www.audi.co.uk


A RUGBY coach once told me that there is a golden rule when picking players ... that a good big ’un beats a good little ’un any day of the week. Well, if that holds true for motors, then I reckon our coach would lap up the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee. Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) abound, and most of them are a compromise when it comes to tackling the rough stuff. Indeed, many customers select two-wheel-drive versions, for what they judge to be most important qualities are a semi-elevated seating position and the ‘SUV look’ coupled with car-like driving qualities. Extra grip? No thanks. The Grand Cherokee ticks these boxes and a whole lot more besides, offering great space for driver, passengers and luggage, imposing style and true off-road ability. I didn’t have the opportunity to stray from the highway in the Bolton News Weekend test car, a 3.0 CRD V6

Grand okee

Overland, but I do know what the model can do when the going gets tough as I drove one on a 4x4 route in Tuscany. The gutsy motor just shrugged off mud, rocks and crevasse-like ruts. And you can do all that in real comfort, as the GC has the kind of kit you would expect to find in a plush limo.Here’s just a taste of what’s on offer: adjustable powerfolding multi-function door mirrors, door courtesy lamps, dual-panel panoramic sunroof with power shade, smart-beam headlamps, powered tailgate, leather upholstery (including dashboard top and other panels), eight-way

electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats, heated front and second row seats, rain-sensitive wipers, cruise control, automatic dual zone climate control, rear reversing camera, posh sat-nav and adjustable air suspension. There are bags of safety equipment, too, and our car had other safetyminded extras fitted, including blind spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection, something I believe all cars should have. The on-the-road experience is confidence-inspiring, with the ‘command’ driving position giving great visibility. And the large car belies its size

pace of a back. A good big’un? You bet. And my opinion seems to be shared by an increasing number of motorists, for latest new car registration figures show the Grand Cherokee performed exceptionally well with an increase of 88 per cent over September 2013, according to figures supplied by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was the best September for the 4x4 manufacturer in the UK since when it comes to handling, 2007, as the brand registered 762 proving far more nimble than I had sales, the 13th consecutive increase expected. My only niggle was a comparing year-on-year, and up slightly lively ride at low speed over 134 per cent compared with the broken Tarmac, probably due to the same period in 2013. 20in wheels. eep UK boss Damien Dally said: There’s plenty of go on tap, the “The sales figures are fantastic news, three-litre V6 diesel engine lays not only for Grand Cherokee, but down its power seamlessly via the for the Jeep brand as a whole. “We eight-speed automatic gearbox, are delighted that more and more delivering 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds people are now turning to Jeep for and a top speed of 126mph. It is a their new car, and are doing it just peerless motorway cruiser, soaking as the brand really starts to ramp up up the miles with ease. This big its activities in the UK again. motor has presence and character ... the build and swagger of a front- Grand Cherokee price: £45,695 OTR row forward with the power and (£48, 765 inc options)


Samsung G 10.5 Inch Tablet - 16GB We locked tablet newbie, Jamie Rodgers in a darkened room with just a Pot Noodle and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S for company... Look, I’ll be honest with you, I never used to see the appeal of tablets; I always thought of them as smartphones on steroids and have never considered getting one myself. I was happy using my laptop. Annoyingly, though, that’s started to show more blue screens than an Avatar/Smurfs crossover movie recently, so when the Samsung Galaxy Tab S arrived I set myself a little challenge: go without my laptop for a week, use nothing but the tablet, and see how I feel at the end. Aesthetically, the Tab S has a nice and simple, clean look to it; it’s minimalistic and light to handle, I tested the larger 10.5 inch version, but there is also a smaller, sister Tab S with an 8.4 inch screen available. The tablet runs the Android, v4.4.2 (KitKat) operating system and in addition to the Play Store there is also a number of decent Apps available in Samsung’s dedicated Galaxy App store (check out the cool old school Pac-Man). The Tab gives you tutorials at every major stage when first using it, so even for those people who couldn’t set the video, emailing, watching

catch-up-TV, tweeting and playing Candy Crush should hold no major problems. I’ve used touchscreen tech briefly before and after poking around the Tab S more times than a Facebook obsessed teenager I had things set up just to my liking. The display is really crisp, especially evident when watching videos or using Skype, the colours are vibrant

alaxy Tab S by Jamie Rodgers

movies direct from the Play Store to the tablet, to the TV. I will admit, that while using the tablet instead of my laptop, it felt odd typing on a touch screen. I missed the feedback you get from using a ‘real’ keyboard. This was most apparent when using apps such as Evernote. I did notice on a few occasions when the Tab S seemed to struggle to load a couple of web pages that a laptop would have no trouble with.That might have been to do with the lack of optimisation of the site for tablets rather than the Galaxy Tab S, but still worth bearing in mind. My recommendation is, if possible use the mobile version of the website.

and smooth, and even the audio is top notch. I was expecting a very tinny sound from the speakers, but I was very impressed with the playback quality. If you have a SmartTV, connecting the Galaxy Tab is also really easy allowing you to stream

The 8 mega-pixel camera is decent enough for genral snapping, Instagram and tweeting, but for anything in low light or high speed, I’d still recommend a decent digital camera. Overall, the Galaxy has convinced me that tablets deserve a place in anyone’s tech collection and the Galaxy S is a jack of all trades, appealing to a whole range of people. I can also see how useful it

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Inch Tablet - 16GB

would be as a business tool, offering many of the functions of a laptop, without the bulkiness, or the inherent faff-ing about most computers deliver. Yes, I have been won over... and I’ll be getting myself my own tablet (as soon as I can get out of this room). Tech Specs Display: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors / 2560 x 1600 pixels, Memory: Internal 16/32 GB, 3 GB RAM Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 7900

mAh battery Talk time: Up to 11 h (multimedia) (2G) / Up to 48 h (3G) CPU: Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 (S800) Camera: Primary 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flashVideo : 1080p@30fps Secondary: 2.1 MP Price: 10:5 inch version from around £399.00 For more info visit www.samsung.co.uk You can follow Jamie’s adventures on Twitter here @SatchelKing

My Favourite movie by Vix Russell

Gia (1999)

There are very few people who wouldn’t cringe when asked that infamous question, “What’s your favourite film?”. At first glance the question seems harmless and is merely being asked out of politeness and as a means of avoiding awkward silences, but our brains fail to see that. Suddenly, you’re sat rocking in the corner, sweating profusely, repeating the question countless times and not only attempting to figure out which film you could consider to be you ‘favourite’, but also constructing a supporting argument in case your judgement is questioned by the other party. Similarly, the idea that there is one ‘thing’ (technical term) that ticks more boxes than anything else, at any given time, is rather ludicrous. After considering all the factors, such as: emotional state, financial position, employment state and general level of contentment with my life, I have come to the conclusion that my lucky winner is... “Gia”.

The Plot

Before I delve into the in’s and out’s as to why I appreciate this particular film, I suppose it may well be worthwhile to give you an insight into what it is actually about. “Gia” is a biographical film, produced by HBO, about the woman that is considered

to be the first supermodel and also one of the first famous women to have died from AIDS, Gia Marie Carangi. The film looks at Gia’s rapid transformation from an edgy and rebellious teen from Philadelphia, to a global fashion icon, then to a drug addict and subsequently, to her death.

addiction (Heroin and Cocaine), alcoholism, etc. and recently footage – that was supposedly taken by her former dealer in 1999 – has emerged showing AJ having a chat on the phone, whilst under the influence of drugs, looking emaciated, raw and run down. Although the other cast members’ performances are alright, I believe it is fair to say that their contribution is rather irrelevant in the great scheme of things and one would only really watch the film to see Jolie’s depiction of Gia and to better understand the events that unfolded in her career and life.

Supporting Argument


Angelina Jolie was cast to play the role of Carangi, although HBO had to fight to get her on board as she declined the opportunity numerous times, due to the impact she was worried that it could have on her own personal life. As we are all aware, Jolie has struggled with drug

Jolie’s performance is nothing short of outstanding, it’s her personal experiences and their similar characteristics that enable this biopic to accurately convey Carangi’s life. It certainly isn’t a film for the fainthearted – there is excessive nudity, swearing and scenes of drug use and the scenes are graphic. ‘Track marks’ make regular appearances in the later scenes and there are shots in which needles are placed into bloody volcanoes that stand boldly on the surface of Jolie’s hands. Not only will some of the scenes have you wincing, they will tug on your heart-strings; Moments such as Gia’s mother (Mercedes Ruehl) telling her run-down, emotionally unstable and horrifically lonely daughter that she can’t take a break and come home “after what happened last time” is gut-wrenching to watch. Similarly, when Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell) provides Gia with the ultimatum “it’s me or the drugs” and (unsurprisingly) Gia takes the wrap of Heroin, you just want to climb into the

Not only will some of the scenes have you wincing, they will tug on your heart-strings


momentarily vacant and hesitantly responds with a ‘yes’. Having seen the real clip from that exact interview, I can say that Director Michael Cristofer absolutely nailed that moment. In fact, I would be willing to bet that it will stay with you long after the end credits roll. Despite all the doom and gloom, Gia’s brashness and eccentric personality are conveyed wonderfully; a couple of my favourite moments are when Jolie is standing butt-naked in the middle of the hallway as Linda is leaving, the lift doors open and a bemused gentleman’s eyes pop open and he just about manages to compose himself enough to calmly ask “going down?”! Another personal favourite is that notorious encounter with ‘The Fence’! After all, it was indeed that photo shoot with top Fashion Photographer, Chris Von Wangenheim, that arguably took her career to new heights at such warp-speed. I also enjoy this scene as it shows a glimpse into the seedy side of the fashion industry that many conveniently gloss over.

Wrapping it up

screen and hold her. Another couple of haunting scenes within the film are during the television interview when Gia has just ‘sniffed’ in the bathroom and then proceeds to tell the interviewer that she is ‘clean’; then when asked if she is ‘happy with her success?’ she becomes

Gia is raw, painful, funny and informative and it shows that fame doesn’t make you happy. It’s impossible not to feel empathy and love for Gia as, at heart, she is just a child that suffers from abandonment issues as a result of her mother leaving and failing to keep in contact with her. The way in which the film tackles her personal and drug issues is not in the slightest bit ‘cheesy’ and so I give them kudos for that. If you want to watch a film that will ultimately have you crying, but will have you captivated for the entire 2 hours and 5 minutes, look no further. Follow Vix on Twitter @Vix_Russell

Your audience awaits...

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Fishboy’s new 160 page graphic novel, a copy of their amazing new record ‘An Elephant’ on Vinyl and a signed elephant drawing by Fishboy himself.

Fishboy is (are) back!! The Texan power-pop indie rock guitar outfit founded by Eric Michener (AKA) Fishboy have just released the brilliant and amazing, ‘An Elephant’ an album and wordless graphic novel about the ghost of Topsy, the elephant who was publicly electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1903, and her attempts to avenge her death and pass into the afterlife. Yes, you did just read that last sentence...

Art and comic books have always been a big part of Fishboy’s life and many of the bands previous releases have included comics to expand the story behind just the lyrics. It’s a fantastic record and we’ve been lucky enough to secure two copies of the album (on vinyl) and the accompanying 160 page read-along comic along with two original

Did you know Eric got his Fishboy name when he went on a school field trip to the Dallas World Aquarium, grabbed a fish from the water and swallowed it? elephant pictures drawn and signed personally by Eric himself especially for the video of ‘I’m a Ghost’. It’s impossible to put a monetary value on this prize, such is its total absolute uniquenes, and, er one-of-akind-ness!!




Fishboy’s new 160 page graphic novel, a copy of their amazing new record ‘An Elephant’ on Vinyl and a signed elephant drawing by Fishboy himself.

To enter the competiton visit www.flushthefashion.com/win/fishboy Full terms and conditions on the site, or just email fishboy@flushthefashion.com with your details to enter. We don’t do spam.

For more info on Fishboy’s new record visit www.an-elephant.com

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