Contents PAGE 9
Heidi Klum: Still Turning Heads PAGE 10-11
Female Dominance: MTV Europe PAGE 13
Rap Kingpins Flop: No Win At Awards PAGE 14
Skrillex: Fame Not The Aim PAGE 15
Lana Del Rey: Rich Girl Blues PAGE 16
Design Your Future: Creative Courses PAGE 17
Digital Art: Easy PC PAGE 18-19
Building Culture: Sustainable Architecture PAGE 20-21
Brit Fashion: Dressed For Success PAGE 23
Photography: Electric Exposure PAGE 25
Janelle Monae: Kansas City Soul PAGE 26-27
Musical Selection: Best of 2012
Listings PAGE 28-30
Esting Out: Bites to Delight PAGE 33
Shopping Around: Boutique Picks PAGE 35
Art Galleries & Museums: Culture Fix Publisher: A N Rock Editor: Robin Fearon Director: H Rock Design: Kerry Kitchin Operations Manager: C Rock Contributors: John Welby (arts); Sally Watson-Jones (fashion, music); Matthew Milliken (film, food, design); Christian Da'costa (food, travel); Sebastian Da'costa (food, travel); Jodie Knight (music, shopping); Jonathan Jenner (music). Student Guide published by Templar Phoenix Ltd PO Box 16463, Birmingham B13 3NA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.2012guide.co.uk
All rights reserved. Printed in the UK. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part, without written permission of the publisher, is prohibited. Views expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or editor.
Heidi Still Turning Heads Supermodel Heidi Klum announced her availability for events gigs with an assured performance at the 2012 MTV Awards HEIDI KLUM made a big splash this winter by taking control of the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) as hostess in her hometown of Frankfurt. Prime brand publicity was maximised when Microsoft teamed up with the video channel to relay backstage antics via a Windows 8 enabled giant screen. New media, old money and top supermodels makes for a winning formula. Heidi looked effortless in a clinging red dress. Primetime for fashionistas and techno-geeks alike. MTV estimated the awards programme reach at nearly 700 million households worldwide and many more via its online digital content. Klum, no shrinking violet when it comes to reaching out, had previous form hosting Project Runway – a reality show based on fashion design that gave the 2012 winner $100,000 to start their own line with L’Oreal Paris. She announced her intention to host the EMA show by
Heidi looked effortless in a clinging red dress. Primetime for fashionistas and techno-geeks alike. saying she was honoured to be playing before her home crowd (Bergisch Gladbach where she was born is actually two hours outside of Frankfurt) and promising to “have a blast”. This past year was a tough one for Klum with the break up of her marriage to pop star Seal and then an affair with a bodyguard making national headlines. Still she has broad shoulders: the early years weren’t all wine and roses. Before Klum was snapped up by Victoria’s Secret there were few suitors for her modelling talents. “I never did fashion shows – not in Paris or Berlin or even in New York City. I tried but no one would book me. I was too curvy and too busty and a little too short. And I was a little too self-conscious about it.” A head-strong attitude and intelligence became her trademark. Fans of Heidi’s form can check out the book ‘Heidilicious’ by top photographer Rankin, featuring some of her best shots. After the EMAs, heads will once again turn her way. Whatever Klum decides to do next that much at least is guaranteed.
Ladies Walk Tall in 2012 Best Female category at the MTV Europe awards was the one to watch because women were leading the way this year.
Girls dominated the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) in Frankfurt and female artists led by the likes of Rihanna, Pink, Katy Perry and newcomer Taylor Swift have undoubtedly been the standout music acts in 2012. Of the five acts nominated in the EMA Best Female category, four were nominated for another award; Rihanna for a total of six, more than any other act in the competition. Between them the five female nominees were nominated 20 times across 10 of 15 possible categories, and not a man in sight could match it. Rihanna The Barbados-born Princess of China has well and truly established herself as a worldwide success in 2012. ‘We Found Love’ was the longest running number one single of 2011, and was still a staple of party playlists a year later. ‘Where Have You Been’ and ‘Diamonds’ are her most recent successes, and the collaboration with Coldplay on ‘Princess of China’ was a huge hit in the UK bringing her voice to an entirely new audience. Outside of music, Rihanna’s acting debut in box-office sinker Battleships widely met with negative reviews.
She was also blasted by the press and women’s rights groups for supposedly rekindling her relationship with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, convicted for assaulting her in 2009. Her highlight of 2012 was undoubtedly performing at the Paralympics closing ceremony to a television audience of one billion people across the world. Rihanna was nominated for Best Song, Best Pop, Best Video, Best Look, Biggest Fans and Best Worldwide Act, at the EMAs making her the most nominated act in the competition. Seventh studio album ‘Unapologetic’ is riding high, providing the icing on the cake of the best year in Rihanna’s musical career. Katy Perry Divorce, what divorce? Katy Perry has gone from strength to strength in 2012, being named Billboard’s ‘Woman of the Year’ and re-releasing a deluxe version of ‘Teenage Dream’, resulting in yet another number one single ‘Part of Me’. Follow up ‘Wide Awake’ has also sold well. As well as two huge singles, 2012 has been an enormous year for Perry outside of pop. Her divorce from Russell
3 Brand was finalised in July, and she released the film ‘Katy Perry: Part of Me’ in 3D, which met with positive critical reception. Turning down a $20 million opportunity to judge American Idol, Perry is reportedly dating John Mayer, the most irritatingly eligible man in music. Perry was also nominated for Best Pop, Best Video, and Biggest Fans. Taylor Swift Does anyone else miss the ringlets? Taylor Swift has gone through something of a reinvention this year, and her eventual success in taking the EMA Best Female title can largely be attributed to a move away from her country roots into a poppier sphere – with her lead single at any rate. ‘We are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ has been a worldwide hit, with a catchy chorus and simple hooks. Her fourth album ‘Red’ went straight to number one in both the USA and the UK, and Swift’s trademark lyricism has matured to talking candidly about her relationships and emotions. Nominated for Best Pop, Best Live Act, Best Look, and Best Worldwide
Stage as well as Best Female, Swift was the second most nominated act across the entire competition and eventually took home Best Live Act and Best Look to boot. Nicki Minaj This year has seen the release of Nicki Minaj’s second album ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up’. It gave the world ‘Starships’, which was a huge success in the UK, peaking at number two in the charts. The year also brought a slew of singles, including the carnival atmosphere of ‘Pound the Alarm’ and latest offering ‘The Boys’. Never one to shy away from controversy, Nicki Minaj is still so involved in her feud with Lil Kim, that half of the hip-hop industry has had a view on her at one stage or another. She also enjoys a similar friendship with fellow American Idol judge Mariah Carey. Minaj has really built upon the success of ‘Superbass’ in 2011 and is now widely regarded as one of the most influential female rappers of all time. On top of the nomination for Best Female, Minaj picked up the award
4 for Best Hip Hop… as well as a nomination for Best Look. Really EMAs? Really? Pink Pink was the undeniable veteran of the Best Female category for this year’s awards. She’s been making music in the public eye for 12 years now, and still has a fresh enough sound to be in the mix with the young ’uns. ‘The Truth about Love’ is Pink’s sixth studio album and contains the lead single ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’. The song did well critically and reached number three here in the UK. Back with ex-husband Carey Hart, Pink gave birth to a daughter last year, and will be beginning a world tour to support the album next February.
Macho Males Hit
Rocky Ground Dice were loaded against the precocious popster Justin Bieber triumphing in MTV Europe’s Best Male award, but he did it anyway. Time up for rap’s kingpins?
1 Four nominations for hip hop’s most high profile alpha males were trumped by one teenager who found his fame on Youtube. Justin Bieber walked away with the Best Male award, perhaps signalling a switch in allegiance away from the tried and tested rap cliches of fat stacks and bouncin’ booty. We take a look at the runners and riders in what turned out to be a bit of a surprising race and result. Flo Rida Flo Rida rode out the summer with his third number one hit single ‘Whistle’. Despite being criticised for sexual euphemisms, critics accusing it of being ‘the least subtle song ever’, the track still sold 2.1 million copies. This catchy pop-rap crossover echoed throughout the summer months, keeping us whistling through BBQs, parties and holidays. Jay-Z Jay-Z was an obvious nominee for his contributions including rapping, songwriting and producing. After hitting the charts hard with material last year Jay-Z used 2012 to get up close and personal with his fans. Performing at various venues
through the year Jigga proved why he’s still the headline act. Currently, he has us waiting on the follow up album to ‘Blueprint 3’ and new material he has been working on with producer Jahlil Beats. All that and becoming hip-hop’s coolest dad, not a bad year. Kanye West Since his collaboration album with Jay-Z, ‘Watch the Throne’, Kanye West appeared to be back on track. He seems to have recovered after his mad stunt at the 2009 VMA awards, where he interrupted Taylor Swift’s speech and humiliated her on stage. Sensibly he took a step back from the music scene, paid his dues and came back fighting. Latest track, ‘Clique’, featuring Big Sean and of course Jay-Z killed it in the urban world, shooting straight into the top 10 in the UK Top 40 R&B Singles. Pitbull Following the well established trend is Pitbull, aka Mr Worldwide. This nominee impressed fans with his suave demeanour. Sporting suits and shades since 2009 he hit the jackpot with his first international hit ‘You Know You Want Me’. However, he changed the game in 2011 with
2 ‘Give Me Everything’, featuring, Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, selling more than eight million digital copies worldwide. This year, he’s been working hard, travelling far and wide on the ‘Planet Pit World Tour’. Justin Bieber Last and perhaps bafflingly was 18-year-old, pop teenage heart throb Justin Bieber. Lets just skim over those names again, er, what happened here? Either Bieber is doing something so right in the pop world that he’s left his rivals eating dust, or hysterical teenage girls are extremely influential to the MTV EMA awards panel. Let’s investigate. Being discovered at 13 makes the youngster an experienced artist. In which time he has raised an army of 20 million twitter followers, the self professed ‘Beliebers’. Also, in June he released his third album ‘Believe’ which promptly hit number one in the UK, USA and Canada. He has even made a noted attempt to break away from his ‘baby, baby, baby’ reputation by taking on more grown up material.
2 Kanye West
Fame no Game For Skrillex
Skrillex has enchanted and perplexed music fans with dubstep fashioned after the stadium rock canon, but does he need success? SONNY MOORE has had the best two years of his life. The artist-knownas Skrillex has critically bridged both sides of the Atlantic and brought fans from opposing musical genres together with consummate ease. Put it down to his former career as singer with emo-rock band From First To Last and his ability to marry a front man’s skills with DJ-ing and his populist brand of bombastic dubstep. At this year’s South By South West festival in Austin, Texas, he stormed the event with trademark bass drops, distortion squealing and spitting, inlaid with a melodic finery that highlights his rock rationale. It followed a UK arena tour that inspired riotous queues of hyped-up teenagers at each venue, in thrall to those grandiose productions and sing-a-long bass vox.
But not everyone loves Skrillex. Many dubstep purists refuse to acknowledge his music except as a vulgar twist on a genre that is wholly UK-owned in culture and sensibility: raw, ragged, dope addled, two fingers in the air and always, always, grimy. That squalid texture is not apparent in Skrillex’ productions. His tracks burst with naïve energy, they bounce and bubble with stadium appeal. “I’m just existing and making the music I want to make,” he explains. “To see all this stuff happen is a crazy fuckin’ thing. From First to Last got a big deal, but I left that band because it wasn’t the music I wanted to do. I was just making electronic music for fun after that. I hit a point in my life where I was cool with being broke and having a real cheap apartment.” Now he has a major deal, with Atlantic subsidiary Big Beat; he did more than 300 shows during 2011 and 2012. “I’ve played at festivals in Budapest, slept for an hour at the hotel then got up to fly to South Texas the next morning to sound-check at another festival. It can be really crazy. I seem to spend a minimum of eight hours a day in transit of some sort or another.” Serious miles on the clock and no let up in the schedule. There have been moments of agony, like when his laptop and hard drives, containing an unreleased album, were stolen. “You never bounce back from that, man,” he admits. “It wasn’t just my album it was four years’ worth of all my other work too. There’s not a night that passes when that doesn’t still sting. You move forward and you make new records but I’ve honestly never been more devastated.” He cares about the music. He even understands the mud slinging about his supposed hijacking of a ‘legitimate underground’ style. Fame and celebrity is not his underlying motive. “I don’t want be famous. I don’t want be a famous singer in the rock star sense. I’m not trying to do that. I feel strange walking outside my house and in local coffee shops and being recognised. It’s scary. I appreciate it, but sometimes it’s scary. But I’d still be making this music even if no one was listening.”
The music is a confection of orchestral strings, slow beats and guitars on reverb. Lana’s voice wraps around it all, a perfect chameleon soaking up the alcohol-hazed atmospherics.
Rich Girl Blues
Decadent pop and soulful malaise are Lana Del Rey's stock in trade: just don't question her authenticity. IT’S hard to know what people hate most about Lana Del Rey. Is it her weary beauty, possibly surgically enhanced? Maybe her sonorous voice with echoing tragedy writ large in seductive tones: dead-eyed and lost. Or perhaps the critical accusations that she was merely a millionaire’s daughter slumming it in New Jersey before retiring to the LA salons for a major label makeover. Elizabeth Grant’s reinvention as Lana Del Rey has all the hallmarks of classic fame propaganda and some don’t like it. Truth is a relative thing in the hands of an artist. David Bowie shunned David Jones and Elton John ditched Reginald Dwight: it’s a name game as old as entertainment. Despite
the scent of fakery there is no denying the impact of the album ‘Born To Die’ and single ‘Video Games’. Youtube don’t lie. Check out the album’s title track or ‘Blue Jeans’ or the ten-minute epic ‘Ride’ – they achieve millions of views. Aside from ‘Video Games’, which Lana initially put together herself from other people’s clips, the visuals perfectly fit the cinematic grandeur of a Del Rey production. A certain amount of ‘live fast die young, leave an exquisite corpse’, a dash of Hollywood scandal, bodies found in Beverley Hills swimming pools. Young punks meets plastic surgery meets biker girls sporting swallow tattoos on sun-bleached California highways.
The music is a confection of orchestral strings, slow beats and guitars on reverb. Lana’s voice wraps around it all, a perfect chameleon soaking up the alcohol-hazed atmospherics. Think Nancy Sinatra, but also Chris Isaak with the melodies of Roy Orbison and the yearning of Scott Walker. Truth becomes easier to tease out when Del Rey admits that she is no beautiful fuck up, her problems could easily have been someone else’s – a drink problem in her teenage years – but mostly they were ‘good’ problems: playing to get noticed at open mic sessions in Brooklyn bars, spending time in a New Jersey trailer park while she recorded her first album (under the name Lizzy Grant). Her father Rob Grant is reported to have made dotcom millions, creating an artistic headache for the debutante. Authenticity comes hard to anyone perceived to be privileged and the internet trolls fed ferociously on that news in the US. Lana’s looks were another bone of contention – did she or didn’t she plump up those lips? Besides, pretty rich girls singing about hard times or heartbreak don’t get due sympathy. “The Hollywood community has been so good to me and they didn’t have to be, but not New York,” she admits. “As a person who becomes really attached to places for their energy and their beauty, for me New York was a match. To lose it, it really felt like my life was over. It’s a totally different life experience when you have to learn to love the things that don’t love you back. It’s the last great life experience.” Sad, but perhaps we should not look for complexity where there is none. “It took me two hours to write,” she says of ‘Video Games’, to the backdrop of Monte Carlo and her acceptance of GQ’s ‘Woman of the Year’ award. She has a surplus of good will and marketing dollars. Fans and even casual listeners love her perfectly pitched melodies. Yet Lana’s doubts, maybe mercifully, linger. “I know people won’t be listening to my music next year, but I still will have lost those places I cared about so dearly.” Post-millennial angst rarely sounded so pretty.
Designing The Future
Britain's universities have a wealth of creative courses to fire your imagination.
UCAS is a big deal: it manages all entries to higher education courses in the UK. Each year it processes more than two million applications for full-time undergraduate courses and helps students find the right place to study. But more than that it runs regular events for students. Design Your Future was one of 50 UK conventions held during 2012. As well as helping students to perfect their UCAS applications and personal portfolios it concentrated on creative subjects including art, photography, architecture and fashion among others, providing essential information for anyone interested in design and craft-related courses.
Innovation is driven by design and the UK happens to have the largest creative sector in the European Union. Creative British firms have led to the adoption of new technologies and techniques, which will be vital to economic recovery. For the UK to follow in the footsteps of the world's leading information economies, the US and China, it will require more creative graduates. We take a look at four themes of Design Your Future in a dedicated section. Renewable, innovative and sustainable architecture; the development of digital arts; Britain's competitive advantage in the world of fashion; the democratic power of digital photography.
Art Reveals its
Banksy said his holy grail was to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it. Is this the promise of digital art?
2 1 The world of art has often been accused of elitism, and seemingly always thrived on traditional and oldfashioned values; if it was any more conservative, you could probably dress it up in a business suit and call it David Cameron. So how has this most reserved of cultural concerns coped with the emergence of modern digital technology? Rather well it seems. Digital art dates at least as far back as the early sixties, when Desmond Paul Henry adapted the analogue computers used in World War II bomber planes to create the Henry Drawing Machine. The curvilinear graphics produced by his machine attracted the attention of L S Lowry (famous for his stylised depictions of the industrial north west of England) and subsequently led to the exhibition of Henry’s work at the London Reid Gallery in 1962. The abstract designs produced by Henry’s machine (similar to the crude graphics produced in Windows Media Player) may have been a world removed from the works of Constable or Rembrandt, but they nevertheless sparked the imagination of the media world-wide. Since those early and primitive beginnings, technology has improved in leaps and bounds. The invention of touch screens, and the development of software packages such as
1.David Hockney demonstrating his use of an iPad as a medium from which to produce colourful and emotive masterpieces. 2. An examples of Hockney’s work entitled Fresh Flowers. 3. An untitled piece of work by Desmond Paul Henry; one of Digital arts earliest practitioners.
Brushes, have all helped to make the creation of digital art a more tactile and arguably human affair. David Hockney’s recent collection, entitled “Fresh Flowers”, consists solely of works produced on iPad, and the artist admits he will often find himself wiping his fingers while he works on a piece, forgetting that he’s painting with pixels instead of more conventional materials. Of course, there are those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. After all, there is an awful lot
are dedicated to promoting the appreciation of art, and encourage interested parties to contact galleries and dealerships that represent artists directly... for a three per cent fee. On the other hand, if an artist is still determined to operate outside the remit of conventional market dynamics, sites such as deviantart. com represent an opportunity to not only discuss their and others work, but also a means to make a living by it. Although payments from deviantart are made through PayPal, and an
The invention of touch screens, and the development of software packages such as Brushes, have all helped to make the creation of digital art a more tactile and arguably human affair. of money to be made in the world of art, and not necessarily by the artists themselves. Estimates put the value of the international art market at somewhere in the region of £80 million for the financial year 2011-2012, and art dealers can expect to make anything between 25 and 50 per cent on the sale of a piece of work. It follows that, if art can be produced digitally, then surely it can be advertised and distributed digitally. And if that is the case, then where does the dealer or the gallery make their slice? Websites such as art.sys may offer a solution to at least part of that conundrum. They, and similar sites,
artist can expect to make only 20 per cent of any given transaction, this must be weighed against the number of visitors to such a site. To put it into perspective, the Tate Modern can expect to average an audience of five million per year, whereas deviantart recorded 36 million individual clicks during 2011. Finally, and quite surprisingly, more people visit an art gallery each year than attend a football match in the UK. As well as giving hope that we are not becoming culturally redundant, this surely proves there is an opportunity to expand the market, and digital can only further that cause.
Architecture: Sustainable, Renewable, Innovative
Buildings reflect our wider culture and the spirit of renewal is alive and well in our pick of the world's most innovative constructions.
1 TOFFEE FACTORY Perched on the edge of the Ouseburn River in Newcastle upon Tyne the Toffee Factory is one of the most interesting regeneration projects in the North East in recent years. The Ouseburn area itself has been going through a thorough redevelopment and is fast becoming a cultural hub for the city. As the name suggests the building was once a toffee factory, left derelict. Particular efforts have been put into energy conservation in creating a low carbon building with insulation inside and out and an external walkway. The distinctive old chimney has been left in place while the interior has been turned into office space for art and design-led businesses. FRICK CHEMISTRY LABORATORY American Ivory League university Princeton were looking to update their chemistry department and thought it necessary to join the growing trend for intriguing and sustainable building projects. The Frick Laboratory was the brainchild of British firm Hopkins Architects
4 and boasts four light-filled floors with a 75ft high atrium joining the two wings, one for labs and one for office space, with the aim of giving a spacious look to a type of building not normally known for it. The environmental features hit new standards by employing chilled beams, 216 photovoltaic panels producing solar energy, and rainwater and grey water recycling. Also incorporated are energy efficient
fluorescent lighting and high efficiency fume hoods with automatic sash closers. It is as bleeding edge as you would expect from the lofty Princeton science club. COOLED CONSERVATORIES at GARDENS BY THE BAY Winner of the coveted world building of the year award 2012, this 101 hectare tropical park situated in Singapore is a monument to design
and beauty. Cooled Conservatories consists of two biomes – the Flower Dome (1.2 hectare) and the Cloud Forest Dome (0.8 hectare). They display Mediterranean-type plants and flowers and a changing display field. Andrew Grant of Grant Associates, one of the design companies involved, is quoted as saying: “Our brief for Gardens by the Bay was to create the most amazing tropical gardens in the world, incorporating cutting edge environmental design and sustainable development principles.”
just to the south of the village of Thorpeness. It sits on the edge of a beach, which you can walk straight onto from the living room. It was designed using Nordic values to balance modernity with traditional warmth and comfort while taking references from the seaside huts that line the beaches nearby. WHITE CUBE A super cool art gallery created in a newly refurbished industrial space, the White Cube in Bermondsey is a large modern site. The whole space
KEVIN MCCLOUD’S MAN MADE HOME/ THE HOUSE THAT KEVIN BUILT (7) Kevin McCloud, of Grand Designs fame, has been working on another series for Channel 4 but instead of overseeing a couple blowing a fortune on an over the top vanity project he is building something of his own that is both self-designed and self-built. He is recycling, reusing and re-purposing to create a cabin in the woods that he hopes will inspire others to self-build also. He makes the point that the UK has only a small proportion of self-builds
3 is, as you would expect, effectively a white cube. All walls are flat white panes which have been shadowgapped and they stand tall from a smooth, perfectly polished floor that serves to exaggerate the feel and tone of the building. An even light floods through every part of the gallery giving a clean clinical feel to the exhibition spaces, the auditorium, the bookshop and the archive area.
5 THE DUNE HOUSE The Living Architecture group commission outstanding architectural practices to create world-class buildings in the UK. Their aim is not only to promote some amazing global architecture but to hire it out to the public so people can experience and enjoy it. The Dune House was created by Norwegian architects Jarmund/ Vigsnæs and is situated in Suffolk,
THE TRIANGLE A high-quality sustainable development located in Swindon, The Triangle is an interesting take on traditional terraced housing. Sustainability and community come top of the list on this project. The housing here is low cost with special chimney-like ventilation stacks, an emphasis on respect for cyclists and pedestrians and a commitment to sustainable lifestyles. The design is based on Swindon’s mid-Victorian railway cottages and uses a balance of public, communal and private space to bring the community together.
(around 10 per cent) compared to countries such as Germany and Austria which have a much higher proportion (around 70-80 per cent). Leading on from this he has gone on to help with a project dubbed The House That Kevin Built, which is a nod to a previous project from 2008 he was involved with. It focuses on the construction of a house in Brighton that is effectively made entirely of waste, and includes excess building materials from city construction sites and other area industries. The house will feature solar panels on the roof, whole-house ventilation and a heat recovery system and will become Europe’s first truly environmentally-friendly prefab house. 1
FRICK CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
COOLED CONSERVATORIES at GARDENS BY THE BAY
THE DUNE HOUSE
Dressed For Success In the competitive world of high fashion Britain stands head and shoulders above the crowd. If you want to get into the glamorous and highly competitive world of fashion design, the choice of courses on offer can be confusing. Fortunately the UK offers some of the best and most stylish places to study. Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Part of The University of Edinburgh, ECA has a long tradition of supporting art and design. It offers a popular course encouraging a student design identity that incorporates creativity, individuality and sustainability. The BA course involves an overseas trip to enhance visual work and fashion awareness, and at the end of the course, students will leave with a portfolio of design work they can go on to present to potential employers.
Up and coming designers: Holly Fulton and Graeme Black are two names to remember. Arts University College Bournemouth (AUCB) The AUCB specialises in arts and media, and has a well respected fashion degree course. It focuses on helping students gain great technical skills while developing their creative vision. As well as asking students to devise a professional portfolio, the course offers them a work placement within the fashion industry, so students get valuable first hand experience. Up and coming designers: Sophie Rice and Polly Walter both had impressive shows at Graduate Fashion Week. University of West England (UWE)
A former polytechnic, UWE has built up a great reputation since it gained university status in 1992. The emphasis on its BA in Fashion Design is on producing and presenting a contemporary collection of garments. As well as an end of year show, students have the opportunity to present their collection through film and photography. There are also options to study fashion textiles and communication. Up and coming designers: Elaine Yeoh and Edward Lord showed at Graduate Fashion Week to great acclaim. Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) The biggest centre for art and design outside of the capital, the BIAD has been rated excellent for itâ€™s courses and campus. Its fashion design degree has been created with the fashion industry in mind, and has links with many top brands, including Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. The course of-
Up and coming designers: There are some very successful former students: Nicola Morgan designs for Givenchy, Barry Morgan is a senior designer at Ralph Lauren Menswear and Louise Trotter is the fashion director at Joseph.
fers opportunities to take a broad approach to fashion design or to specialise in a specific area. It also has a state of the art CAD pattern cutting and design system. Up and coming designers: Andrea Watson and Joanna Davies set up the Ă‰poque fashion label following graduation. Northumbria University Located in Newcastle upon Tyne, another former Polytechnic, Northumbria University has a strong history of art and design, and the College of Art and Industrial Design forms a large part of the university. The BA in Fashion focuses on craftsmanship as well as conceptual thinking. Students have the opportunity to showcase their work at Graduate Fashion Week, which the university has exhibited at ever since itâ€™s launch in 1991. The course has great links with the industry and is dedicated to preparing students for the realities of working in fashion.
Kingston University Situated in Kingston-Upon-Thames, southwest London, this polytechnic was granted university status in 1992, but the school of art and design was first founded way back in the 1890s. The fashion BA course focuses on design projects combined with one-to-one tuition from practising designers. There is an annual design show, along with the opportunity to enter sponsored competitions with support from staff. The university also has excellent industry links including Armani and Burberry. Up and coming designers: Henrietta Jerramâ€™s knitwear collection flew off the shelves when it was stocked at Topshop. In 2009, two graduating students, Katherine Gibbs and Philippa Jenkins, were selected by Vogue Italia to show their portfolios at Milan Fashion Week. University for Creative Arts (UCA) Another great specialist university for art and design, it was formerly known as University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester. A bit of a mouthful. The university began using its current name in 2009. Former graduates include Karen Millen and Zandra Rhodes.
The BA in Fashion has an international reputation, and nurtures its students, promoting risk-taking and experimentation. They encourage students to undertake a work placement during their studies, and have great links with Vivienne Westwood and Ted Baker. Up and coming designers: Myrto Stamou won the top award at Graduate Fashion Week in 2009. Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design (CSM) Regarded as one of leading art institutes in the world, CSM is a mecca for creative people from all over the globe. Central Saint Martins as we now know it formed when the Central School of Art and Design and Saint Martins School of Art merged in 1989. Since then it has built up its reputation as an institution that trains some of the best artists and fashion designers around. The roll call of alumni is terrifying and includes Hussein Chalayan, John Galliano, Katharine Hamnett, Matthew Williamson, Paul Smith, Gareth Pugh, Zac Posen, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, to name just a few. Up and coming designers: Frankly, there are almost too many to choose from, such is the success of their graduates. Thomas Tait and Mary Katrantzou are just two former students already getting love from the fashion set.
Imaging the Digital World Photography has moved on from its formative days in film to become a truly democratic medium. Digital photography is an everexpanding art form creating new ways to use images, whether it be for design, work or just pure enjoyment. Digital cameras have rapidly overtaken film cameras in quality and consistency. Since the original 0.01 megapixel model, released back in 1975, a vast array of cameras have been developed for the market, from simple point and click models to underwater cameras and upmarket SLR’s. But a potentially huge game changer has been the introduction of camera apps on mobile devices. Market leaders in the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 boast eight megapixel resolution and Nokia have even pushed out the 808, which has an astonishing 41 megapixel camera. The ease of adding effects and filters straight from your phone has put digital photography in everyone’s hands creating millions more budding photographers across the globe. Academically the impact has been a rise in university numbers on photographic courses and an expansion in the variety available to new students. A range of diverse courses offer ways to combine photography skills with radio and TV, photo-journalism or fashion photography, and the more traditional route of fine art, portrait and landscape photography.
Basic courses offer an insight into the history of photography and teach technical elements such as lighting, exposure and composition while other UK universities have devised excellent specialist degrees. Courses The University of Wales, Newport has a specialist BA (Hons) in Documentary photography, emphasising photojournalism. The course asks students to work independently and photograph confidently around subjects that really interest them. They also offer a BA (Hons) in Photography for Fashion and Advertising: an interesting and unique course that “considers a broad spectrum of commercial and applied photography and in particular issues concerning commercial representation and the future for imaging within this context”. www.newport.ac.uk Nottingham Trent University has a BA (Hons) in Photography/Photography in Europe. An award winning course that allows students to specialise in art practice, documentary, fashion and European photography. www.ntu.ac.uk
The University of Westminster has a number of specialist degrees including BSc (Hons) Clinical Photography. The course is the only full-time degree in clinical photography in the UK. It “combines the study of photography, digital imaging, science, anatomy and physiology, biology, and clinical practice.” Offering work-based learning through placements it promises an original and technically challenging approach to photography. www.westminster.ac.uk A number of other courses are available throughout the UK and aspiring lensmen should check out well-respected courses at Manchester Metropolitan University, The Universities of Cumbria, Brighton, Bedfordshire and The London College of Communication. With a wide range of photography courses available and new ones being created to evolve alongside changing careers and novel technologies, it is a fun and interesting time to be an aspiring photographer. Things will continue to change at a rapid rate and university courses will lead the way in teaching the next generation of gifted photographers to set their sights higher.
Discover this land, Discover this land, like never before. like never before.
no object Kansas-born star Janelle tells us why neo-soul stylings and the avant-garde are only part of her charm.
JANELLE Monae is not in Kansas anymore. Since her album was picked up by P Diddy’s Bad Boy imprint and her collaboration with indie pop geeks Fun hit the top of the Billboard 100 chart, the Kansas City-born neosoul sensation has been in a place she could barely have dreamed of as a starry-eyed 17-year-old. Nine years ago she was struggling with the uncertainty of self-distribution of her debut LP, carving out a niche as a quirky performer with phenomenal dancefloor moves and a wayward identity. Not anymore. Turned 26 and sporting a now-trademark tux and perfectly coiffeured hair you can see her in the video for ‘Tightrope’, a collaboration with Outkast’s Big Boi, frugging, bopping and cutting up the astro-turf with a troop of be-suited pals. She has attitude and style. So much that audio wizards Sonos picked up
options on Janelle and asked her to front ads for their wireless audio system. Almost daily she can be seen jazzing it up with her buddies on your telly. Bills and dues duly paid. Profile stratospheric. So who is Janelle Morae? Professed Lauryn Hill lover. “Those are songs that elevate you and make you think about where you are as a person, and where you’d like to be.” Musical connoisseur of many tastes, wildly experimental to funky pop. “I have a pretty eclectic taste and palette. And, I think in the albums I’ve put out this far, I hope people are aware of that. I have an appreciation for all types of music.” Innovator and escapee, using her wit and talent to study first musical theatre and then plant herself at the centre of Atlanta’s funk scene. “Not having a lot of resources at my disposal, I needed to use my imagi-
nation,” she says. “I needed to show my cousins that there is hope.” Her Wondaland Arts Society collective includes screenwriters, performance artists and illustrators, and includes hip poet Saul Williams. Citing influences as diverse as Alfred Hitchcock, science fiction writer Philip K Dick and German expressionist film Metropolis, Monae has ramped up expectation. “When you’re transitioning to a different stage in your life, there definitely is a fine line you have to walk,” she muses. “I love ideas over politics and fame. At the same time, as a black woman in today’s music industry, it’s important that people understand that we’re not all monolithic. It’s time that we just break past this notion that if you’re an African American female you have to stick to one genre.”
Album Reviews: John Talabot – Fin
Spanish producer Talabot has created a nether-worldly effort in 'Fin' that loops around tribal beginnings, ethereal pop, faltering disco and punch-drunk house to such effect that you feel lust at first, love at the second spin. 'Depak Ine' dredges sounds up from the primordial swamp and hints at night terrors with its plucked string effects. 'So Will Be Now' wears its gospel-blues influences against a stark finger-click before building to deep house near-perfection. The album veers and swerves, speeding up and slowing down to keep you off-balance, but the effect is strangely comforting. 'Destiny' featuring Pional quilts luxurious soul yearning with chiming wondrous house dynamics, before suddenly inexplicably stopping before you've had your fill. Choice: 'Destiny'
Robert Hood – Motor Nighttime World Volume Three
Hood’s latest instalment of ‘Nighttime World’ is quite simply peerless. Where the first volume on Austria’s Cheap Recordings was an electronic jazz and soul classic (barely nodding to the dancefloor), the second a flawed masterpiece, this is Hood’s reinvention of hometown Detroit. The Motor City may be overgrown and derelict, but this album paves the future. Kraftwerk in mode, it threads together motorik bass, 303-lines and Hood’s trademark multi-layered percussives. It smacks of superiority. ‘Better Life’ a serpentine electronic odyssey, ‘The Wheel’ steals wholesale from ‘Musique Non Stop’ and brings it basic. ‘Slow Motion Katrina’ his reflection on the wreck of Detroit industry and community. ‘Black Technician’ is Hood in his element and never bettered, hypnotic at first then plaintiff and profound. Pure and unadultered listening pleasure. Choice: ‘Black Technician’
Tame Impala – Lonerism
From the first time you heard ‘Elephant’ swinging its distorted bass trunk and blues into town, you knew there was method to Kevin Parker’s polymath psychedelia. Album opener ‘Apocalypse Dreams’ just trips floating into reverb and lollipop harmonising before breaking into multiple layers of crashing ride cymbals and buoyant synthesized harpsichord and brass melodies borne on clouds, at once optimistic and redolent of the sixties LSD meltdown. ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ is apposite: an instant hit, retro and woozy, melting away on an echo-delayed note. Dense and immediately rewarding pop music. Choice: ‘Elephant’
Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
Ex-Screaming Trees, Gutter Twins, muse of Soulsavers, Lanegan has earned his right to self-indulgence. Some thought this album a step too far. It lacks authenticity they said. Well, the man has every right to kick it plastic when the results are this good. ‘Blues Funeral’ is grinding meat blues and four beat rock that smothers like bourbon bbq sauce, sweet and unctuous. Lanegan’s plangent growl never sounded better than on ‘St Louis Elegy’ or ‘Deep Black Vanishing Train’. ‘Gray Goes Black’ dances like a gothed-up teenager, picked reverb and haunted bass over a simplistic kick snare. Fuck it, just enjoy. Choice: ‘Harborview Hospital’
Kendrick Lamaar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
Hailed as West Coast hip hop salvation, this album is ambitious, overblown, musically astute and commercial. Kendrick throws in the 12-minute ‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst’ alongside the summery ‘The Recipe’, a paean to smoking sex and weed. ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’ sums it up, taut and moody, nauseous swingbeat rhyme about grain alcohol, heat and lust, fading lives. Then Martin Luther King’s dream ploughed under hot leather, Kendrick praying his dick ‘get big as the Eiffel Tower so I can fuck the world for 72 hours’. Damn he got bitches. Choice: ‘The Recipe’
Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Band leader Jason Pierce may not give the crowd much to go off live, but you could hardly accuse him of skimping in the studio. This, the seventh album, is a country-rock offering of sublime songs that calls in all the chips artistically (Lou Reed, Gram Parsons) and yet stuns with its lyrical naivety. World weary and strangely light it is frustrating and rewarding in equal measure. ‘Hey Jane’ kicks off proceedings with incredible style, jaunty and ruined, the backing singers lift it to another plain. Bookending the album is ‘So Long You Pretty Thing’, cellos bowing, piano lilting before crashing on to the repeat refrain and sailing into oblivion. In between Pierce picks out some of the themes that have studded his career over the past 20 years, breakdown, heartache, pain and salvation. Gotta love that. Choice: ‘So Long You Pretty Thing’
Purity Ring – Shrines
How many times has label 4AD brought us the goods on independently produced electro-pop music that simply soars above the pap offered by its supposedly adroit industry cousins? Many, many is the answer. Purity Ring’s ‘Shrines’ glistens crystalline, pulsing and keening out its cries of love, pitching up and down. ‘Amenamy’ wears hip hop glitches like jewelled trophies dressed by Megan James’ alpine-clear vocals, so warm and still like sun on icicles. Falling but never flailing, the production is narcotic. ‘Grandloves’ like the mid-eight of 10CC’s ‘I’m Not in Love’, punctured and dreamy. Choice: ‘Obedear’
Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
R&B is almost like the forgotten genre: it forgot quality, depth, relevance and talent. Then this year along came Frank Ocean with ‘Orange Channel’ and Miguel with this gem. Stunningly adept beat construction sustained across an album that is cocooned by Miguel’s effortless vocals, whether hitting the perfect falsetto high or bass murmuring whispered low in the mix. ‘Where’s The Fun in Forever’ he asks, calling on the spirit of Marvin Gaye, ‘Candles in the Sun’ building up its ghetto gospel then dispersing, just asking if there is a god. ‘Adorn’ wraps you in the same cloth as Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’, simple finery. Choice: ‘Adorn’
Drexciya – Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller Volume One & Two
Two albums, with a third released late in the year, compiled lovingly by label-masters Clone to showcase the aquanautic electro emperors Drexciya. Highlights are too numerous to mention. Semi-mythic underwater worlds are built up and crash down on the duo’s simplistic bass and drum stylings. ‘Wavejumper’ like a battle march, propelled by metronomic beats and stark sinister vocals. ‘Aquarazorda’ a prime current of menacing bass and chopping synths. There was little or no precedent to what Drexciya offered, marrying jazzy chops, proto-rave and funky ass electro, peerless in execution. Choice: ‘Hydro Theory’
Death Grips – The Money Store
Production team Zach Hill and Andy Morin provide the juddering rhythmic beats to Stefan Burnett’s experimental hip hop flow on this frankly epic LP. Opener ‘Get Got’ is a statement of intent and proof that experimental does not mean losing all sense of melody or groove, segueing into loopy lurching ‘The Fever’. Static, broken samples and soaring guitar/synth lines marry beautifully with a shear physicality that will leave you exhausted after playback of just the first half. Man up. Choice: ‘I’ve Seen Footage’
LISTINGS... Eating Out Bites to Delight: Britains Best Eateries FILL up at any one of our pick of the UK’s best eateries, whether you want a taste of the orient or plain old fashioned British pub grub, there’s a restaurant, bar or pub serving up fine dining experiences. Top London Eateries Bull & Last Modern gastropub dishing up countrystyled fare on the busy Highgate Road. Roast Cornish cod loin, sumptuous lamb rump with caramelised artichokes and girolles mushrooms, rib sticking mains that perfectly complement artful starters. Finish off with an incredible range of homemade ice creams or the distinguished cheese board. www.thebullandlast.co.uk 168 Highgate Road, London NW5 1QS Tube: Kentish Town, Gospel Oak
Momo Moroccan glamour at Momo served with Maghrebi music in the beautifully ornate dining space. Enticing menu offering a range of traditional tagines and couscous alongside incredible fish and meat grills – honey roast quail, saddle of lamb, merguez sausage. www.momoresto.com 25 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BH Tube: Piccadilly Circus Hawksmoor Seven Dials Premier site for those in search of the perfect cocktail and steak, this former fruit warehouse has some bountiful British fare. Not the cheapest but has a rep as the best steakhouse in town bar none. Grills that will leave your head spinning. www.thehawksmoor.com 11 Langley Street, London WC2H 9JG Tube: Covent Garden
Mosob A taste of Eritrea offering cuisine from Ethiopia, Sudan and Arabia. Tuck into your injera bread without cutlery, soaking up a delicious range of marinaded meats, okra stew and beef, and a huge range of spiced vegetarian specialities. www.mosob.co.uk 339 Harrow Road, London W9 3RB Tube: Westbourne Park Medlar French fancy that is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Does anyone do this better than our gallic cousins? Your questions will be answered at this incredible Kings Road restaurant.
Www .medlarrestaurant.co.uk 438 Kings Road, London SW10 0LJ Tube: Fulham Broadway Pitt Cue Co. Hip BBQ venue in Newburgh Street just off Carnaby – go early and queue as there are only 30 seats available and no reservations system – best ribs anywhere in London. Enough said. www.pittcue.co.uk/welcome.html 1 Newburgh Street, London W1F 7RB Tube: Oxford Circus Gelupo Artisan ice-cream – offshoot from Bocca Di Luppo restaurant making amazing gelato and sorbetto – sublime flavours and constantly changing menu. Boasts the most exuberant taste of Italy this side of the Alps. www.gelupo.com 7 Archer Street, London W1D 7AU Tube: Piccadilly Circus Info: 0207 287 5555
Roka Contemporary Japanese cuisine – one to spoil yourself with as it’s quite pricey. Central Robata grill where chefs prepare food in front of you. Located in Charlotte Street near Russell Square, and another in Canary Wharf (if you must). www.rokarestaurant.com 37 Charlotte Street, London W1T 1RR Tube: Goodge Street Info: 0207 580 6464 La Fromagerie Cheesey heaven – a cheese shop with walk in cheese room and tables so that you can eat what you choose. Relaxed, you have to share space but it’s worth it.
Sophisticated choice of wine or beer. www.lafromagerie.co.uk 2-6 Moxon Street, Marylebone, W1U 4EW 30 Highbury Park, London N5 2AA Vinoteca Wine store with restaurant – cant fault the food in this place – clever, seasonal and always really well executed – book to avoid disappointment. Incredible seafood with a list of more than 300 wines. www.vinoteca.co.uk/marylebone 15 Seymour Place, London W1H 5BD Tube: Marble Arch Info: 0207 724 7288 Caribbean Scene Nutritious, healthy and of course delicious range of dishes from the Caribbean islands. Three fantastic outlets in London; Royale in the Docklands, offering the ultimate ‘Carib-chic cuisine experience’, plus a family eatery and a ‘grab and go’ outlet in Stratford.
www.caribbeanscene.co.uk 17 Western Gateway, London E16 1AQ Tube: Royal Victoria (DLR) Info: 0207 511 2023 Piazza WC2 A brilliantly unassuming Italian restaurant by Leicester square tube. Specialises in a fantastic range of Italian dishes including chargrilled meats, pizzas, succulent fish dishes and amazing fresh pasta. Incredible mussel dish with a sublime sauce – one of the best dishes we have ever tasted. www.piazza-restaurant.co.uk Tube: Leicester Square 0207 379 6867
Around the UK: Birmingham Las Iguanas A contemporary approach to traditional, hearty Mexican cuisine, retaining powerful flavours and colourful dishes while offering a more refined
watercress and grilled mushrooms. www.jamieoliver.com/italian/birmingham
menu and cosy ambience. Hard to find fault. www.pinocchiositalianrestaurant.co.uk
Shabab Situated in Birmingham’s famous Balti Triangle Shabab’s is brilliant, offering amazing food and great, courteous service. Fabulous mixed grill starter of tikka chicken, lamb and fish cooked to perfection. Main course dishes are served in traditional Indian copper pots. www.shababs.co.uk
Akbars Brilliantly priced, high quality South Asian food is what you get every time. Lives up to its claim ‘King of Curry!’ Tasty chicken, keema, lamb and prawn baltis; seafood, vegetable and meat starters as well as vegetarian options akbars.co.uk/birmingham
The Hotel Latour’s. Aalto Restaurant. One of the best, on every level. Food of the highest quality and the service matches. Modern-classic English dishes – beef rib-eye steak, confit belly of lamb, plus a fantastic array of exquisite starters and desserts. hotel-latour.co.uk/restaurant/ The White Swan Warm and hearty atmosphere with a vast range of dishes to choose from. Cuisine includes classic British, Italian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. Extensive drinks menu. One to watch out for. www.thewhiteswanpub.com Piccolino Piccolino doesn’t disappoint. Service here (and at sister restaurant Bank) is of the highest standard. Sublime fish (delivered fresh, every day). Part of the Individual Restaurant Company, a mark of quality. www.individualrestaurants.com/piccolino/
approach. The Taco sharing tray, ‘The Enchilada’, gambas (prawn soup) and calamari starter are the best of many highlights. www.iguanas.co.uk Haweli A hidden gem located within a small shopping parade on Hagley Road. Homely, family-run Indian restaurant with dishes that thoroughly exceed the expectations of this unassuming eatery. Service is brilliant. Highlights include king prawn curry, succulent lamb chops, and a fantastic okra curry. www.thehaweli.co.uk Jamie’s Italian The Naked Chef continues his famous ethic of simple rustic dishes packed with flavour in his first high-street venture, Jamie’s Italian. Waiters thoroughly explain and suggest various dishes. Try salami or crispy squid with a hearty Angus sirloin steak, dressed in peppery
Bank Gracious waiting staff at Bank create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, sometimes hard to find in a quality fine-dining establishment. Fantastic fixed and a la carte menus with sublime pasta and risottos dishes. Incredible cocktails too. www.individualrestaurants.com/bank/ Chennai Dosa High quality south Indian food, quality service and brilliant value for money. Indian Dosas are pancake-like dishes served with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options such as potatoes and fried onions, mutton or chicken. www.chennaidosa.com Cielo Deemed ‘the finest Italian restaurant in Birmingham’, it lives up to its reputation. Recommended dishes include the Barnsley Lamb chop, smoked salmon starter and seared black pearl scallops. Pricing is incredible at £15.95 for three courses. www.cielobirmingham.com Pinocchio Italian cuisine in a relaxed and friendly setting. If you’ve never had veal, this is definitely the place to try it. Well-priced
Hennessey’s Bar Great dishes ranging from, homemade burgers, delicious soups and grilled meats to tortilla wraps, buffalo wings and salads, Excellent bar service – create your own bespoke menu. Casual dining at its best. www.hennesseysbar.com SoBar Vibrant spot bursting with character and a sophisticated atmosphere. Offers a menu of delicious gourmet burgers and pizzas, an expansive cocktail list and an eclectic musical mix. Perfect place to chill out, day or night. www.sobar.co.uk La Scala Located in Sutton Coldfield, its intimate atmosphere and fine décor certainly impresses visually; and taste-wise it delivers. Prides itself on using the freshest and finest ingredients, accompanied by a selection of fine Italian wines. www.lascalasutton.co.uk Cafe Soya Exciting restaurant at the heart of Birmingham’s Chinatown, offering an intriguingly tasty Chinese-Vietnamese cuisine. An impressive philosophy of ‘happiness starts with healthy eating’ twinned with a welcoming family atmosphere and delicious food. www.cafesoya.co.uk Zizzi Zizzi, the Gondola group’s finest offering, showcases fantastic Italian cuisine. An expansive menu of pizza and pasta dishes, a tasty selection of meat and fish courses and immense calzones – folded and stuffed pizza. www.zizzi.co.uk Nando’s We visited two of the best newly refurbished restuarants in both Lothian Road, Edinburgh and Broad Street, Birmingham. By now almost everyone knows (or can at least appreciate) the greatness and unique take on food that Nando’s provides. World famous flame-grilled Peri-Peri Chicken is served in burgers, pittas, wraps, salads or just classically on a simple plate with great sides. Rules the roost. www.nandos.co.uk Left: Gelupo, Right:Bull & Last
Ming Moon Pan-Asian buffet in the heart of Birmingham’s Chinatown district. Dishes from Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Thailand. Impressive Teppanyaki counter where skilled chefs cook your selected ingredients to perfection in front of you before placing them on a beautifully decorated plate. www.mingmoon.co.uk Blue Mango Situated on Broad Street in Birmingham and serving up high quality Indian dishes with a twist. The ambience inside is refined, welcoming and suited to a family night out. Spacious and comfortable booths, excellent bar and appetiser service. www.bluemangobirmingham.co.uk Ask Great food and gracious staff. All of the dishes we tried were fantastic but the pastas in particular were excellent. We strongly recommend giving Ask a visit for its superb take on Italian – now with new menus and decor www.askitalian.co.uk Amazon Brazil Exciting Brazilian cuisine offered using a fantastic buffet system where you can flip your ‘indicator’ to green to have a constant flow of perfectly grilled meats (chicken, beef, pork and lamb) brought to your table – switch it to red when you are full to the brim. Carnivores unite. www.amazonbrazilrestaurants.com Pizza Express One of the most popular places in the UK to go for pizza, and don’t they do it well. A marvellous range of dishes to choose from; great pastas, fresh salads and they now serve a variety of ‘Leggera Pizzas’ which have only 500 calories each – as well as mini desserts – for the calorie conscious. www.pizzaexpress.com Carluccio’s Extensive Italian menu that includes the breakfast, ‘small Italian plates’ and a gluten-free range. You can even order their picnic hampers online. ‘Noisy about food’ they say, passionate about authenticity. This place is a must visit. www.carluccios.com Shimla Pinks One of Birmingham’s most renowned Indian restaurants, marries traditional and modern Indian food in spectacular fashion. Intimate atmosphere and perfect service dedicated to providing you the best in Indian cuisine. Classic and modern dishes including thalis and north Indian tandoori sizzling specialities. www.shimlapinks.com I Love Crust For well prepared and delicious food for those who need fast service with a
smile. Look no further. Downstairs you could sample the full coffee shop and deli experience on offer. Upstairs the traditional wood fired pizza oven serves up a great variety of full flavoured pizzas that are hard to beat! We also love the Steak Burgers, Hot Wings and phenomenal creamy Milk Shakes! You could also now try their convenient delivery service. Very satisfying! www.ilovecrust.com
Al Faisal’s Indian-Kashmiri Restaurant & Piatto Italian Restaurant Situated in the famed Balti Triangle. Family-run business, each dish served with its own individual sauce. Rare for an Indian eatery. Most dishes also include their own specially prepared accompaniment. Chicken Boti, meat samosa or vegetarian dishes like Chana Chaat and Aloo Tikka. Utterly delicious. www.alfaisal.co.uk
Jimmy Spices Taking inspiration from world food Jimmy Spices is a culinary voyage around the globe. An extensive selection of cuisines from the Americas, Europe, India, and the Far and Middle East. An open-plan buffet with a free and easy atmosphere that makes it perfect for almost any occasion. www.jimmyspices.co.uk
The Fighting Cocks Homely and relaxing pub surroundings offering four cask marque real ales, 17 speciality beers, lagers and ciders. Reminiscent of an upmarket Chelsea bistro style pub. Handmade burgers and hearty ox-cheek pie. Ample dessert list: Black Forest trifle, apple and rhubarb crumble or salted caramel tart. Truly a special option for all. www.thefightingcocksmoseley.co.uk
Bella Venezia Showing off an incredible and authentic Italian cuisine, including dishes such as the highly recommended avocado and prawns, vitello pizzaiola (a sublime veal dish) and their immensely tasty selection of pizzas. Has a refined yet rustic atmosphere and attentive staff. 0121 444 6699 Hennessey’s Bar Comfortable bar with meals from light bites to quality cooked meals. Great pub grub, steak and ale pie with mash or a tasty traditional Sunday roast. One of the best pubs in Birmingham for drinks and a full dining experience. www.hennesseysbar.com La Banca, 1896 Pershore Road, Birmingham. Easily one of the best Italian restaurants in Birmingham. Well priced food for such a high standard. Frito Misto seafood platter followed by Stinco di Agnello Brasato slow braised lamb shank cooked in red wine, balsamic and cranberry sauce. Try it and please spread the word. www.labanca.co.uk Beefeater Bar and Grill, 176-184 Hagley Road, Birmingham. Chargrilled food, fresh and cooked to perfection. Juicy steaks, grills and starters including spicy chicken wings or crumbed Portobello mushrooms. Highest standards at an affordable price. www.beefeatergrill.co.uk Gallery Bar and Restaurant Selfridges’ Gallery Bar and Restaurant is the perfect spot for something special at an affordable price. Seasonal menu including fish cakes, homemade soups, well rested succulent steaks, freshly made salads, sweet baked figs on homemade brioche and slow cooked blade of beef. Dining at the highest standard. www.selfridges.com/en/StaticPage/ BirminghamRestaurantGuide/
North East Handmade Burger Company (Metro Centre, Gateshead) Handmade has almost singlehandedly helped to change the image of burger eating into one with more healthy and natural connotations. Styles and flavours come from places such as Mexico, Morocco, the Caribbean and even Japan. Well-priced menu and fantastic service. Ethically sourced Scottish beef patties with delicious accompaniments. www.handmadeburger.co.uk Rodizio Rico Simple yet effective, the formula for this Brazilian restaurant is a winner. Choose a starter from freshly prepared salads and street foods. Waiters serve up mains table to table slicing marinated grilled meats from skewers right onto your plate. Rump cap steak, chicken oyster thigh and hearts: delicious and highly recommended. www.rodiziorico.com Thai Edge Excellent regional cuisines. Richer milder flavours from the north and spicy dishes from the south. Try stir fried beef with chilli and basil main and our favourite dessert Kaow Neow Ma Muang, made with mango, coconut flavoured sticky rice, coconut cream and mango ice cream. Will not disappoint. www.thaiedge.co.uk The Oriental Bar and Restaurant Dishes from Malaysia, Thailand and China. Beef rendang, Tom Yam soup, Thai green curry and Nasi Goreng. Incredible starters salt and chilli soft shell crab, whole deep fried crab and steamed scallops. Generous portions, excellent service. www.theoriental.uk.com
RUN ONE LAP ON A BIGGER TRACK.
Shannon Coates, Timex Multisport Team
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©2011 Timex Group USA, Inc. TIMEX, TRIATHLON, RUN TRAINER and HOW FAR WILL YOU TAKE IT? are trademarks of Timex Group B.V. and its subsidiaries. IRONMAN and M-DOT are registered trademarks of World Triathlon Corporation. Used here by permission. Photo by Tim Tadder.
Boutiques, markets and shopping centres aplenty. The UK has much to please the dedicated consumer whether you are bashing the plastic or just browsing. Pictured: Camden Market
Unpackaged Founded by Catherine Conway in 2006, the concept is simple – organic products where you bring the containers to fill up. Incredible range of stock from delicious organic oils and vinegars to household products and reusable containers. Deli is a winner. Cafe and bar serve up cooked local seasonal dishes. www.beunpackaged.com Tube: Hackney Central Junky Styling Self taught designers Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager founded this superb fashion outlet based on recycling second-hand clothes back in 1997. Has a ‘wardrobe surgery’ service where customers can bring in their own clothes to be transformed. Totally stylish and funky garments. www.junkystyling.co.uk Tube: Hoxton, Shoreditch High Street 0207 247 1883 Portobello Market London’s most famous outdoor market, well known for its vintage fashion and antiques. If that sounds like your cup of tea, take a step back in time and lose yourself in the past. The market is open every Saturday and some stalls are open throughout the week. www.portobellomarket.org Tube: Notting Hill Gate
Camden Market One of London’s top tourist attractions, trading goods from all over the world. Notorious for its kooky ways, Camden Market is the place to go for crazy coloured hair dye, quirky accessories or tshirts guaranteed to make your friends embarrassed to be seen with you. www.camden-market.org Tube: Camden Town, Chalk Farm Road Liberty Styling itself as one of the last great emporiums for innovative and eclectic design, this home furnishings and fashion store has been at the heart of London’s shopping experience. Combines heritage with avant-garde, a large dash of eccentricity and stunning women’s and men’s clothing, beauty products and accessories www.liberty.co.uk Tube: Oxford Circus 0207 734 1234 Covent Garden Drop your bags, stand and appreciate breathtaking acts. You won’t be alone. An array of singers, jugglers and acrobats never fail to attract a crowd. Once you’ve torn yourself away from the display, slip down a side road or two to browse everything from midpriced chains to high-end designer shops, or go antique hunting. Open all week from 10am until 6pm. www.coventgardenlondonuk.com
Oxford Street One of the few places you can expect to find both Primark and Selfridges. So whether you want to bag yourself a bargain, or buy a pair of shoes that ‘are an investment really’, you can find what you’re looking for in one of the 500 shops on this famous strip. www.oxfordstreet.co.uk Tube: Oxford Circus, Bond Street, Marble Arch Run and Become Assuage your inner fitness fanatic at this comprehensive running emporium. All the latest shoes, clothing and accessories to take you from jogging for the bus to committed marathon specialist. Offers an excellent personal service with gait analysis and staff that have put in the miles. www.runandbecome.com Tube: St James’s Park 0207 222 1314 The Bullring Located in the heart of Birmingham, just over an hour on the train from London. A versatile shopping centre that answers to your every whim with its variety of clothing brands, jewellery designers, techno gear and everything mainstream. All wrapped up in the finery of its modern architecture. www.bullring.co.uk Train: Birmingham New Street 0121 632 1526
KISS BLAND GOODBYE
LISTINGS... Visual Arts
Art Galleries and Museums
London hosts a world-class collection of art works. Sculpture, photography, painting, digital art and fine architecture are showcased in venues around our cultural capital.
National Portrait Gallery Sculpture, drawing, photography and painting of famous historical figures. Until February the NPG hosts the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, featuring the best in photographic portraits. Our love affair with Marilyn Monroe is also highlighted in a major exhibition of photography from British snappers. www.npg.org.uk St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE Tube: Leicester Square, Charring Cross Info: 0207 306 0055
National Gallery Displaying more than 2,000 western European paintings from the middle ages to the 20th century, including Leonardo da Vinci, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Turner and Rembrandt. Until January ‘Seduced By Art’ looks at photography past and present alongside a retrospective of Brit painter Richard Hamilton’s later works. www.nationalgallery.co.uk Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN Tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square Info: 0207 747 2885
Somerset House Houses the world famous Courtauld Collection, ranging from Gothic and
medieval art through Baroque and impressionist painters to the present day. ‘Valentino: Master of Couture’ is a showcase of exquisite designs worn by icons such as Sophia Loren, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jackie Kennedy Onassis, offering a peek into the secret world of Italian couture. Until March 2013. www.somersethouse.org.uk Strand, London WC2R 1LA Tube: Temple Info: 0207 845 4600
Royal Academy The RA hosts three towering figures of English landscape painting and one Japanese contemporary artist until February 2013. Constable, Turner and Gainsborough’s work offers a lesson in the sublime and often tempestuous art of landscape oil painting. Mariko Mori’s sculptures are here for her first major exhibition in London for 14 years, entitled ‘Rebirth’. www.royalacademy.org.uk Burlington House, London W1J 0BD Tube: Piccadilly Circus, Green Park Info: 0207 300 8000
Tate Britain and Tate Modern Two galleries, two distinct characters. Modern has an iconoclastic factory feel, while Britain is classical and sedate. Britain holds masterpieces by Hogarth, Bacon, Whistler, Millais and Turner. Modern has Picasso, Rothko, Dali, Matisse and Cezanne. The Turner Prize returns to the Tate Modern this year (until January 2013), plus a major exhibition on painting and performance featuring Pollock and David Hockney. www.tate.org.uk Britain: Millbank, London SW1P 4RG Tube: Pimlico, Vauxhall
Modern: Bankside, London SE1 9TG Tube: Southwark, Blackfriars Info: 0207 887 8888
Hayward Gallery The only gallery in the world designed in the Brutalist style of architecture. Not easy on the eye, but a reputation to envy. Video installations from the intriguing George Eksts, entitled ‘Incredible Utility’ until February 2013. www.hayward.org.uk Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XZ Tube: Waterloo, Embankment Info: 0207 960 4242
Saatchi Gallery Contemporary art curated by one of London’s most famous collectors. As well as the physical site there is an excellent online gallery and art store. Until May 2013 the gallery features an expansive collection of work from Soviet-era Russia. ‘Breaking the Ice’ features Moscow Art 1960-1980s until February. www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk King’s Road, London SW3 4RY Tube: Sloane Square V&A Probably London’s best permanent exhibition of sculpture, design pieces, ancient, classical and modern art. ‘Light from the Middle East’ features new photography from the region until April 2013, or appreciate the glamour of Hollywood costumes until January. www.vam.ac.uk Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL Tube: South Kensington Info: 0207 942 2000