October 3-9 2011 Issue 1466 tntmagazine.com
£1000 TR AV EL TALK TOUR OF RUSSIA FOR 2
MOVE OVER BARCELONA We discover Vilanova, Spain’s new capital of cool
TIPS FOR AN OLYMPIC BODY Top athletes share their training secrets
SOZZLED IN SCOTLAND Indulge in a wee dram on a secret whisky trail
E K I B R E Y ON
ing London p ip r g d n e tr d e two-wheele th – s r u to olo to tandem From cycle p
ANGLO PACIFIC SHIPPING & TAX 30th Anniversary OVER 500,000 SATISFIED CUSTOMERS HAVE ALREADY TRUSTED THEIR POSSESSIONS TO ANGLO PACIFIC, LONDON’S LEADING SHIPPERS EXCESS BAGGAGE > Free supply of tea cartons and bubble > Free delivery/collection within M25 > By sea/air/road worldwide > Money Back Guarantee HOUSEHOLD REMOVALS > Free home survey, no obligation > Packed by skilled professionals > Shared or exclusive containers > Motor car/bike specialist shippers TAX REBATES > Average refund £963 secured last year > Online Tax Pack, only 10% commission MONEY TRANSFERS > Competitive exchange rates FINANCIAL PROTECTION > Bonded by the British Association of Removers > Bonded by the Association of Tax Agents > FIDI Accredited International Mover
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EDITOR’S LETTER Thanks to the Boris Bikes, it seems everyone is taking to pedal-powered transport in London. Honouring this is the Bike Film Festival in the capital this week – read all about it on P8, then flick to P10 for all things cycle shaped in the city. If last week’s warm weather has got you hankering for warmer climes, turn to P57 for 21 pages of travel news and reviews. And don’t forget to register for the TNT Sun & Snow Travel Show – tnttravelshow.com. See you there!
THIS WEEK LONDON DIARY
DRINK & EATS
LISTINGS CLUB & GIGS
FITNESS & BEAUTY
WORKING ABROAD HONG KONG 36
LIVING ... IN ANGEL
NEWS & SPORT
NEWS VIEW SPORT FEATURE
FEATURES CYCLE OF LIFE
Bike Film Festival and the cycling phenomenon taking over London
KING OF THE STAGE
What makes a West End show become a success or a flop? We ask the experts
TRAIN LIKE A PRO
THE CHILL FACTOR
As this year’s Cool Brands are released, we look at the turkeys that didn’t make it
TIPS & STUFF
48 HOURS IN... STOCKHOLM 72-73 CLASSIFIEDS
HOTSHOTS Cover: Getty. Photos: Johan Persson, TNT
Revive your exercise regime with some help from Olympic contenders
SECRET WHISKY TRAIL
Pull on your walking boots to discover hidden Scotland – and its wee drams
A SPANISH ESCAPADE
We explore the vineyards and beaches of Barcelona and Vilanova in Costa Dorada
EDITORIAL Editor Carol Driver Sub editor Jahn Vannisselroy Content editors: Acting Travel Laura Chubb Entertainment Alison Grinter News & sport Tom Sturrock Web Frankie Mullin Staff writer Clare Vooght Staff writer/editorial assistant Rebecca Kent
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Shhh... SECRET LONDON MEETNG OF STYLES THE STUDIOS ISLINGTON
This graffiti art festival has attracted the cream of the crop from the UK and Europe, who have packed their aerosol cans and are ready to create giant murals while admiring spectators look on. It’s set to be a sprawling block party event, with live art being made in one corner, while a cinema space occupies another. There will also be all-day beats and a bar and barbecue. After all, painting is thirsty work. FREE
October 8 3 Hornsey St, N7 8GR
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CIRCUS SPACE EXPERIENCE
SNOOTY FOX REAL LONDON STORYTELLING FESTIVAL ALE FESTIVAL
If you’ve always fancied yourself as a bit of a daredevil, this is your chance to hone your skills, working with the professionals to fly through the air on a trapeze or perfect your tightropewalking. What could go wrong? If you don’t have the chutzpah to go yourself, it could make a hair-raising present for a mate.
What better way to spend your weekend than holding court at this north London pub and working your way through a stack of boutique ciders and ales? There are DJs on Friday and Saturday nights and then stand-up comedians on Sunday to help you wind up an epic weekend with a few chuckles.
The festival runs until October 10 but the Story Jam on Wednesday night is well worth a look, with comedians and musicians taking it in turns to spin rib-tickling yarns. It’s like stand-up, but with less one-liners and more room for performers to move. Some may end happily ever after but there are likely to be some surprises.
Until December 3 Circus Space, Coronet St, N1 6HD circusspace.co.uk Old Street
October 6-9 The Snooty Fox, 75 Grosvenor Ave, N5 2NN beerintheevening. com Highbury & Islington
October 5 Leicester Square Theatre, WC2H 7BX londonstorytellingfestival. co.uk Leicester Square
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Snazzy restaurants throughout London Foodies will have plenty on their plates during the London Restaurant Festival but this graze-as-you go adventure through the capital’s best tapas joints is a stand-out. Bouncing between Dehesa, Salt Yard, Opera Tavern, Fernandez & Wells, Brinisia Soho, Iberica, PIX and Copita in central London, there promises to be plenty of chorizo and paella, washed down with more than a few glasses of rioja. £50
Oct 8-9 Various restaurants
BIG PICTURE POP-UP STUDIO
GORDON RAMSAY’S FOXTROT OSCAR
Here’s your chance to pretend you’re a star and get snapped by renowned fashion photographers Jill Adelstein and Clive Arrowsmith. You’ll be treated to a celebrity makeover, get a copy of your portrait and see your face beamed on to the National Theatre building as part of the You Are the Big Picture charity campaign.
During the London Restaurant Festival, you can head down to the sweary chef’s Chelsea bistro for a two-course stunner that will cost you only £20. Ramsay loves his classic British food, prepared simply but skillfully, and Foxtrot Oscar’s menu is no exception, boasting seared salmon with fennel and braised lamb with soft polenta. Bon appetite.
October 8-11 Theatre Square, South Bank, SE1 9PX aviva.com/media Waterloo/Embankment
Until 3-17 79 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HN gordonramsay.com Sloane Square
LONDONNEWS OLYMPIC PARK RUN OPEN FOR ENTRIES
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Police in Hackney after the riots in August
Runners in east London are being given the chance to be the first to cross the finish line at the Olympic Stadium. The National Lottery Olympic Park Run for 5000 people will take place on March 31, 2012. It will be the first public event in the £486m venue. Entries for the random ballot to pick the runners for the route, which cuts through the Olympic Park, have opened online at national-lottery.co.uk/run and will close on October 27. Camelot chief executive Dianne Thompson described the opportunity as the stuff “that dreams are made of”.
The Colour Thief: A Winter Extravaganza Celebrating The Change Of The Seasons What Southwark Council wanted to rename Guy Fawkes Night – before the plans were branded “ludicrous”
TFL CLOSES OLYMPIA WEEKDAY TUBES District line routes between Earl’s Court and Kensington Olympia are to be axed by Transport for London. Trains will stop running during the week from December, despite opposition. Event organisers at Olympia say the move will “seriously undermine” the exhibitions industry. But TfL says the plans will allow more passengers to travel on the Wimbledon and Ealing Broadway services.
ON THE TUBE
Riots ‘bad as terror attack’
Survey reveals 63 per cent believe unrest will impact 2012 Games The damage to tourism caused by the London riots is similar to the impact of a terrorist attack, a survey has found. Some 63 per cent of people questioned said the August unrest will also affect the number of visitors heading to the capital for the 2012 Olympics. And 10 per cent considered the riots as serious as terrorism, although nearly a third of almost 5000 people quizzed by holidayextras.com believed the riots will soon be forgotten. Spokesman Seamus McCauley said: “There’s definitely a feeling that the August riots look bad for Britain. “However, we have a year in which to dispel any fears amongst potential visitors and boost confidence in the country as a tourist destination.” The findings come
at the same time the Court of Appeal has heard appeals for 10 people jailed for rioting and looting. Lawyers told judges custodial terms handed down were “manifestly excessive”. Two of the cases include Jordan Blackshow, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, both of Cheshire, who were each jailed for four years for inciting a riot on Facebook which never happened. The court is expected to decide this week whether the sentences for the 10 cases were too harsh this week. Ministry of Justice figures show that, among the more than 1700 people accused over the riots, burglary was the most common offence. It accounted for 44 per cent of charges, compared with violent disorder at 22 per cent.
THIS WEEK IN LONDON...
Closing early: Apple
THIS WEEKEND’S CLOSURES
CIRCLE: No service. DISTRICT: No service between Edgware Road and Wimbledon and between Tower Hill and Upney. Replacement buses will be in operation.
H’SMITH & CITY: No service between Royal Oak and Barking.
METROPOLITAN: No service between Baker Street and Aldgate.
WATERLOO & CITY: Closed on Sundays.
Apple is expected to launch its new iPhone 5 in its Covent Garden store next week. However, the top-secret event will be closed to the public, with just members of the press privy to the presentation, which will be streamed from the company’s California HQ. It’s been a major hush-hush operation as Apple didn’t want details of the launch, called ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’, leaked to the media. Apparently, staff have only been told the store will be closing early – at 3.30pm (usually 9pm) – on Tuesday. A memo said: “This is a really exciting event for our store and we are passionate about delivering an outstanding ... experience.” Expect iPhone geeks to be outside the store, waiting for a glimpse of the latest must-have technology.
Action-packed: the film festival will screen movies from around the globe
Pedal power As the Bicycle Film Festival rides into town, TNT explores the capital’s love of two wheels attached to a frame WORDS KATIE GRANT “Bikes rock!” cries Brendt Barbur, founding director of the Bicycle Film Festival. As I never leant how to ride one, I’m not best placed to know if this is true. However, given the boom in urban cycling in London, and how Barbur was inspired to launch the festival, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. His love affair with cycling began, ironically, after he was hit by a bus while riding in New York City. Determined to turn this negative experience into something positive, he was inspired to create an event to bring together velophiles from all walks of life to celebrate their shared passion. It’s a passion which for many Londoners is a way of life – bikes outnumber cars during peak hours on many busy commuter routes, and the ubiquitous Boris Bikes whizzing around are emblematic of our cycling revolution. Since last December we have collectively hired a whopping 7.27million bikes. Other businesses have responded to this boom, with cycling cafes such as the super-trendy Look Mum, No Hands! springing up across the city. A Cycle-In 8
Cinema has also been pioneered as a modern take on the drive-in, whereby visitors ride to a film screening, hook up their bike to to a generator and power the performance by pedalling. This week, legions of enthusiasts from across Europe will flock to London to celebrate what Barbur calls “the world’s best invention”, when the Bicycle Film Festival returns to the capital for its eighth year. The event doesn’t just encourage cyclists to ride, but also highlights the cultural context surrounding the lifestyle. It successfully merges the many cycling communities of road cyclists, mountain bikers, BMXers and cyclo-crossers, to name but a few, with creative communities of filmmakers, fashion designers, musicians and artists. From its an initial one-off event in 2001, it has since evolved into an immensely popular, multi-faceted global festival, travelling to more than 25 cities, attracting some 300,000 attendees worldwide. Films are submitted from across the world – from independents to wellknown directors such as Spike Jonze. Their work is reviewed by a panel,
which selects the best bike-related films to be screened. This year London will be hosting the UK premiere of Racing Towards Red Hook, the story of three cyclists competing in one of New York City’s biggest underground events, the 2011 Red Hook Criterium, an unsanctioned competition in which participants race through a desolate post-industrial area of Brooklyn. Music, art and design play a crucial role in the festival, too. “There are so many passionate artists and musicians who are cyclists as well, and the BFF bridges these communities providing a platform for their work,” Barbur says. Despite all these high-profile collaborators and celebrity supporters, “the bicycle is true the star of the BFF”, Brendt insists. “Go out there every day and ride your bike!” he urges me. His excitement is contagious and I eagerly promise I will, before remembering that I can’t in fact ride a bike, and guiltily catch the bus home instead. 16 WAYS TO CELEBRATE CYCLES ›› Bicycle Film Festival London, 5-9 Oct. Prices vary Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS Barbican bicyclefilmfestival.com
S Y A D N SU COMING UP IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: ALL EARLY DJ SETS Tricks: from the film Bikelordz
FIRST STATE (this Sunday) TOM NOVY PHIL REYNOLDS NICK SENTIENCE TONY ROMERO KAISERDISCO DAVID JONES
Worldwide: the New York Bike Film Festival
DJS 3 -11pm STILL FREE ENTRY FOR UPDATES, LIKE US AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GIGALUM
Warren Kommers’ Wolfpack Crash Race
7-8 CAVENDISH PARADE LONDON SW4 9DW OPPOSITE CLAPHAM STH TUBE WWW.GIGALUM.COM 0208 772 0303
LONDON SCHOOL OF CYCLING HACKNEY
CRITICAL MASS LONDON ACROSS LONDON
A bike novice? Then this school will help to equip you with the skills they need to confidently navigate their way through the city’s busy streets. They offer courses for adults who are complete beginners, travel training for cyclists keen to learn to tackle the roads and bike maintenance.
A bit like a flashpoint, this group holds spontaneous which welcome anyone to participate. It isn’t just for cyclists either: wheelchairusers, skateboarders and rollerbladers are all encouraged to take part and reclaim the roads in these peaceful parades. The Mass meets at 6pm on the last Friday of every month on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge. FREE
Times vary 147 Amhurst Road, E8 2AW londonschoolofcycling.co.uk Hackney Downs Rail
CYCLE-IN CINEMA BETHNAL GREEN Cinema-goers hook up their two-wheeled beasts to a generator and proceed to pedal, powering the 4000 Lumen projector and 500W of audio equipment. Cycle on down with your friends, bring a blanket and an FM Radio to tune into Jim Hensen’s Eighties gothic fantasy, Labyrinth. FREE
Last Friday of the month. 6pm On the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge criticalmasslondon.org.uk
Saturday, October 9. 7.30pm 1A Goldsmiths Row, E2 8QA magnificentrevolution.org Bethnal Green
BICYCLE BALLET LONDON-WIDE This professional outdoor arts company combines cycling with dance, circus skills and physical theatre. Their mass participatory performances blur the boundaries of art, sport, environment and health, transforming familiar landscapes into exciting places of discovery.
V&A POWER OF MAKING EXHIBITION SOUTH KENSINGTON
STREET ART LONDON BIKE TOUR EAST LONDON The vibrant artwork sprayed on the dull grey walls of east London brings the city to life. Street Art London knows where all the best pieces are to be found. On their bike tours, they introduce cyclists to the scene, taking in the handiwork of more than 40 artists. Street art in this area is beautifully dynamic and alters daily as pieces are scrubbed away by the council or replaced by fresh designs. It’s an everychanging canvas which has to be seen – before it disappears. £15
Sundays 10am. 3-4 hours Tour starts outside exit two of Old Street Underground Station streetartlondon.co.uk
Performances vary Across London
TOTALLY TANDEMS BICYCLE HIRE CHISWICK Just you and a mate, riding together, experiencing the great outdoors – what better way to explore London? Totally Tandem offers routes or you can sign up for the London to Brighton trip – popular with stag and hen parties. £60+
Hire for a day, weekend or week totally-tandems.co.uk
This exhibition features a selection of magnificent cycling creations. Highlights include a handbuilt low-rider encrusted with more than 110,000 Swarovski crystals, and a Splinter Bike, the result of a £1 bet, which has “no bolts or screws, just wood and glues”, and took 1,000 hours to design and construct. The museum is also running a Bespoke Bicycles Saddle Upholstery workshop on 15 October. FREE
Until Jan 2, 2012 Cromwell Rd, London, SW7 2R vam.ac.uk South Kensington
LOOK MUM, NO HANDS! CYCLING CAFÉ ISLINGTON This venue caters for the culinary, caffeine and mechanical needs of velophiles and thirsty locals alike. As well as coffee and cakes, it serves beer as well – the house offering is named “Slag”. In addition to the onsite workshop run by four mechanics, it regularly shows cycle racing and films on huge projector screen, and host art exhibitions. The Bike Film Festival will be holding its wrap party here on Sunday, Oct 9. FREE
Open Mon-Sun 49 Old Street, EC1V 9HX lookmumnohands.com Barbican
BICYCOLOGY LOCATIONS VARY Members of this non-hierarchical, non-profit organisation use their passion for cycling to promote sustainability through a combination of education, entertainment and creative direct action, implementing imaginative methods to encourage environmental responsibility. Learn how to transform old spokes into flowers, wornout chains into bracelets, and tetra-paks into wallets at one of their workshops, or go along to a meeting to find out how you can contribute to the cycling community.
THE CYCLING ARTIST EXHIBITION BLACKHEATH
Meetings TBC bicycology.org.uk
Tina Mammoser combines her passions for biking and art in her abstract seascape pieces. The self-styled “cycling artist” has been documenting her ongoing journey along the British coastline, producing paintings capturing the ever-changing colours of the sea and sky, highlighting how the landscapes are continually shifting. FREE
HARDCOURT BIKE POLO ASSOCIATION ACROSS LONDON Who needs horses when you’ve got two wheels? London has the world’s largest bike polo community with more than 200 players – from teenagers to pensioners. The LHBPA is working towards achieving sporting status for the bike polo – and the first ladies-majority tournament, “Hell’s Belles”, kicks off this autumn. If you don’t have a bike or mallet there are plenty of players willing to lend you theirs. £5+
Until Oct 28 Blackheath Gallery, 34a Tranquil Vale, SE3 0AX tina-m.com Blackheath Rail
Various times/locations lhbpa.org
ROLLAPALUZA ROLLER RACING LONDON-WIDE
W HOTEL WOW BIKE RENTAL LEICESTER SQUARE Inspired by the distinctive Boris Bike design, cult artist Benedict Radcliffe has collaborated with celebrity designers and artists including Paloma Faith and Alice Temperley to produce customised bikes for hire for residents. At the end of October, they’ll be auctioned off for the Elton John Aids Foundation.
London’s first bicycle tour company was established in 1992 and was so popular it expanded to boast a bike hire company and repairs shop, too. The team are friendly, fun and relaxed and know London inside out making their tours, which take in the city’s greatest sights, fascinating and endlessly entertaining.
Roller-racing, a popular activity in the 1950s, was on the brink of extinction until the sport was revived by London’s couriers. Rollapaluza puts on hi-octane nights where participants battle it out on custom-built rollers connected to dials with split-second digital timing, reaching speeds in excess of 50mph. Thanks to the thumping music, bellowing MCs and cheering crowds, the atmosphere is always electric at these unique adrenaline-filled, beerfuelled nights. As part of this month’s Bike Film Festival, Rollapaluza will be hosting a fixed freestyle competition at the Barbican. Be warned: it’s not for the faint-hearted (or unfit).
Daily 1a Gabriel’s Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, SE1 9PP londonbicycle.com Southwark
Thurs, Oct 6. 7pm-11pm Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS rollapaluza.com Barbican
Photos: Peter DiAntoni, Warren Kommers, Street Art London Bike Tours, ©Michael Thompson, Ben Stansall
LONDON BICYCLE TOUR COMPANY ACROSS LONDON £16.95
Until Oct 29 10 Wardour Street, W1D 6DQ wlondon.co.uk Piccadilly Circus
QUARTERRE FURNITURE FOR BIKES ISLINGTON Dynamic new studio, Quarterre has just launched its debut collection of Furniture For Bikes as part of the 2011 London Design Festival. Driven by a passion for cycling, the designers have united cycling culture with interior design, using technical expertise to craft a range of sculptural stand. Bikes can now be seamlessly integrated stylishly into a home environment. £VARY
Order online 6 St John’s Place, EC1M 4NP quarterre.com Farringdon
KATHRYN HOYLE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SH! SEX STORE What baffles me about London is the difference between east and west London. When we opened our Portobello store, we quickly realised that the stock needed to be “toned” down a little to that of our Hoxton shop (less dildos, more massage oil). How can a mere six miles make such a difference? London’s best-kept secret is Damien Voodoo at Devine Canvas – a bespoke tattooing and piercing place in King’s Cross – is a tattoo artist extraordinaire When I want to chill out I go to Virginia Williams in South Woodford for facials. “Chill out” is putting it mildly; I have been known to snore! The most interesting person I’ve met is Tutu, a performance artist and cancer battler. She’s an inspiring women whose work is about female self esteem and acceptance of one’s body, as well as her journey with breast cancer. She’ll be performing at our Portobello store on October 7. My favourite place for a drink is anywhere that serves a good Espresso Martini – I’m addicted. Balans in Old Compton Street does a mean one. When you’re hungover in London steam out the leftover alcohol toxins at York Hall Turkish Baths in Bethnal Green. Take a couple of hours to drift from Hamman to aroma rooms to sauna and then finish it off with a cold plunge. I guarantee any hangover will be beaten into submission. What gets me up in the morning? The sun. It’s a bugger in summer when I find myself sometimes springing out of bed at 4.30am! My perfect weekend would be sun-filled, hanging out at the Ladies Pond, on the east side of Hampstead Heath on Saturday. I prefer Sunday afternoon for clubbing – Sunday Happy Day or Secret Sundays, but they’re monthly. If I need a weekly dance-fix, it would be Jazzie B’s SubSoul at The Social, in Little Portland Street every Saturday. The last naughty thing I did was use my Whizzer (a nifty thing which allows a woman to pee standing up) in a men’s urinal. Or is that just practical? Five words that sum up London ... Inspiring, infuriating, insane, irrepressible, ineluctable. sh-womenstore.com 12
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A west London favourite
BAR THE SCENE It’s sterotypically west London – in a good way. Tucked away on a quiet, tree-lined corner, The Westbourne is an institution in these parts, its spacious terrace, which is perfect for people-watching, brimming on sunny weekends – hopefully there are a few more before the grip of winter tightens – and its cosy but stylish bar equally inviting for big groups and one-on-one visitors. THE GRUB It’s one of the area’s superior gastropubs – and there’s a fair bit of competition – but the food is top-notch. The menu changes depending on supply but the oysters are reliably delicious. The mains are traditional British fare, with pheasant, chicken and steak mixed in with grilled catch of the day. BEHIND THE BAR Good selection of beers, priced between £4-£5 for a pint. All the standards are there, rounded out with some more upmarket favourites. Wine selection is exceptional, with a dozen of each colour to choose from, all priced between £14-£27. BILL PLEASE You can do two courses and a couple of beers for less than £30, which is pretty reasonable given the quality of the food. VERDICT The Westbourne relies heavily on its locals and return trade – it’s the kind of pub that the area’s discerning crowd come back to again and again because it’s casual and low-key, while offering a touch of sophistication that shines through in its service, clientele and menu. TOM STURROCK
101 Westbourne Park Villas, W2 5ED
3 OF THE BEST ARGENTINE EATS
The all-Hispanic staff at this Hackney venue serve up tasty authentic dishes such as meat empanadas (pasties) and some very juicy steaks. Also try the puddings, such as Don Pedro (ice-cream with nuts and whisky).
Head to your nearest Gaucho (locations all over London) for delicious seafood dishes – baby scallops with mango and roasted pepper plus squid with aubergine caviar – and probably the best steak you’ll have ever tasted.
An Argentinian grill in Bermondsey serving up both classics and twists on the traditional. Go for the Iberico pork shoulder with criolla sauce or the grilled Portobello mushroom if you’re feeling veggie.
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Comfort food in Clapham
MOTHER SHUCKER Do you get competitive over just about anything? Then try oyster shucking (opening the shell with a knife) on October 5 at Greek Street’s Patara. The fastest to shuck a whole box wins dinner at the restaurant and a box of oysters to take home (to shuck some more). Champagne starts to flow at 6pm before the shucking starts at 6.30pm. But don’t drink too much if you want to keep your fingers. pataralondon.com
LONDON COCKTAIL WEEK Kicking off this Friday until October 16 is the fantastically boozy London Cocktail Week. More than 100 bars will be laying on tours, masterclasses and special events. The best include a Dickensian pharmacy-themed night on October 13 at Callooh Callay, Shoreditch, and a cocktail-based afternoon tea at Clerkenwell’s Zetter Townhouse on October 10. Each bar will also be offering its own bespoke drink that’ll be £4 for anyone with a Cocktail Week wristband (£10). londoncocktailweek.com
Photos: Thinkstock, Tuscany Corner, The Plough Bar & Kitchen
TUSCAN DELIGHTS Pretend you picked up some nifty culinary skills from an Italian mama on your last trip, with some scrumptious new offerings from Tuscany Corner. Our favourite is the hare ragu, £6.60, served with spaghetti and parmesan, or wow your guests by adding the olive and black truffle spread, £7.90, to a meat dish. Pick up these ready-made (and totally blaggable) cooking skills at Terracafe in Victoria or online.
PLOUGH BAR & KITCHEN PUB NOSH THE SCENE This relaxed Clapham gastropub, inspired by New York, is all exposed brickwork, clean lines and aluminium pipes, mixed with a wooden bar and tables, old lampshades, potted herbs and retro upholstery. It’s a young, busy new venue, already becoming a favourite of the usual Clapham crowd, intent on lining their stomachs for the night ahead. Staff are friendly and helpful and our food is served soon after we finally decide what to order from the generous menu. THE GRUB Most of the Anglo-American menu is focused on small plates. We are brought a spread of large proportions, including a crisp and clean Waldorf salad, black pudding scotch eggs with soft yolk middles and textured, carnivorous outsides. The West Country slow-roasted pulled pork sliders are satisfying in a homely, hog roast kind of way, and the bubble-and-squeak cake topped with a poached hen’s egg – despite being washed down by a glass of white wine – is like childhood comfort food. The white truffle chips are delish, but a little light on the truffle oil, making them taste just like chunky potato wedges (definitely not bad, but not what I was expecting). When it’s time to see the dessert menu, there isn’t one. At the moment, there is only one sweet option a day, so it’s rhubarb tart or nothing. But not being particularly fussy when it comes to sugary things, we give it a go – its sharpness deliciously offset by a creamy custard topping. Then all is forgiven.
A restricted list of mostly decent wines alongside an impressive choice of handpicked spirits from all around the world. BILL PLEASE Starters from £4.50; mains from £9; dessert £6; wine from £15.80. VERDICT It’s a great place to chow down on some hearty and indulgent comfort food on a Friday night, after a long week at work and before a big night out. But to keep punters coming back for food, they need to appease the sweet-toothed by sorting out a proper dessert menu. CLAIRE VOOGHT BEHIND THE BAR
tuscanycorner.eu 89 St John’s Hill, SW11 1SY
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Autumn heatwave: Victoria Tower Gardens last week
sitting in hyde park, beer in hand, sun is shining. reading tnt – while everyone else is working. losers!
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Amanda Knox is fit. I’d have a sex game gone wrong wiv her anyday
What should I tell her? I try to reduce this exposure to my daughter and I don’t feel I am being a prude. Suzanne Cooper, via email
Perhaps you are just testing the water to see if your readership are all voyeurists (Capital of Kink; TNT 1465)? Well by doing this Front page is a bit you marginalise cheeky! I think it’s all respecting great. Tony Smart, via CAPITAL OF KINK men and Facebook women. You say your readership are “liberal minded” so won’t TOUTS MUST GO be offended. I am “liberal Touting in the Brick Lane minded” but still find your area has become an cover and red light reviews increasingly oppressive, quite appalling! Disgusted! aggressive and unwelcome addition to a meal with Brendan Greally, via email friends. Stopping touting I read your piece on London isn’t about ‘sanitising’ an area and creating a Fetish Weekend – it looks disinfected utopian (Our great! Katie, via email View; TNT 1465) it’s about making the area safe and Well done guys! Good to harassment-free. I’ve see things are spicing up! been witness to these Skye Zielke, via email hawkers fist-fighting over customers, selling drugs Picture this; my five-yearand verbally abusing old daughter picks up passersby declining a meal magazine on Tube. “Mum offer (especially towards what’s she doing, why is women). Issues like this she dressed like that, why need to be tackled. is she showing her bottom? She doesn’t look happy.” Andrew Heron, via email Septem ber 26-Oc tober 2
1465 tntma gazine .com
DUBA I SHOESTON A RING
Yes, it is poss We tell ible. you how
e emb moments arrassin at Crin g ge Lon don
Emma thnx for the Harry Hill interview, that guy is a COMEDY LEGEND! I would eat his fairtrade nuts anyday
That girl on TNT cover this wk must have the most famous bum in London LOL!!!
Spinksy wat is that farmer on? who in their right mind would tell rihanna to cover up. saddo!
I have to say, I love living in London, especially during beautiful weather, like what we enjoyed last week. But, I seem to know so many other Australians living in the capital who hate it. They spend so much of their time and energy whinging about how crappy London is and how it has nothing to offer them. HELLO! Why are you here then? Piss of somewhere else and stop hating! Tara M, Putney Tara wins a three-day tour of Ireland with Shamrocker shamrockeradventures.com
THE HO LY
Brace yoursel the AFL f for grand final
Get ready to
unleash your dark
side at Londo n Fetish Weeke nd
YOUR TWEETS Tweet us @tntmagazine @ConfusedJulia Another reason why Shark Night 3D is an inappropriate release!: Shark bites mans leg off @Sneakyspy Ryan Reynolds? He looks very moody about his decline to M&S ads. @Rogernash I have created the first ever Barack Obama jelly mould. I’d imagine that sets a precedent.
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RUGBY WORLD CUP NZ v FRANCE @ THE CHATSWORTH Acton Town Saturday, September 24 Photos by: Nicola Bellinfantie/ TNT Images
ALISON GRINTER ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR At the grand old age of 85, Tony Bennett has become the oldest living person to top the US album charts, beating Bob Dylan’s record with his new LP Duets II. In comparison, Dylan was a sprightly 67 when he broke the record in 2009 with Together Through Life, which just makes Bennett’s feat all the more remarkable. However, it does make me wonder what in god’s name an octogenarian is doing at the top of the pop charts. Well, he’s been keeping very good company for starters. Bennett was the last artist to record with the late great Amy Winehouse. The song, Body And Soul, features on the new album alongside a spirited cover of The Lady Is A Tramp, which he recorded with uber pop goddess Lady Gaga. There are also duets with kd lang, Faith Hill and Josh Groban. He may have been born in the US during the Prohibition, but the timeless crooner can still get down with the kids when it counts. Impressive stuff.
RIHANNA The O2, Peninsular Sq, SE10 0DX OCT 5-13 | DOORS 6.30PM | £40-£55
Is there a person alive who doesn’t love Rihanna? Sure her middle-of-the-roadhogging pop isn’t to everyone’s tastes but the woman herself inspires sympathy and admiration on a grand scale. This is due in no small part to the way she bounced back from the horrific attack she suffered at the hands of then boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009, but there’s much more to it than that. In recent years she’s raunched up her image to an eye-popping degree with scorching videos such as S&M but she’s balanced this with a sense of humour and down-to-earthiness that can’t be faked – case in point was her recent appearance on a hotel balcony in Rio dressed only in her jim jams sans makeup and photo-ready hair, blowing kisses to her fans. Can you imagine Katy Perry or Kylie Minogue doing that? At only 23, the statuesque Barbadian has sold more than 20 million albums and 60 million singles worldwide, and there’s nothing to suggest she isn’t going to continue steamrolling ahead. Her latest single, We Found Love, a collaboration with Calvin “I got all the girls” Harris has just been released and is steadily making its ascent to the top of the UK charts as I write this. As the first single from RiRi’s upcoming, as-yet untitled album (due out on November 21) the dancefloor-storming tune has already lit up the blogosphere with celebrity-watcher Perez Hilton gushing: “This Rihanna reign just won’t let up!!! Slaying.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. theo2.co.uk
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SNOOP DOGG GIG FRI, OCT 7. 6.30PM £29.50-£50
Last time we checked, Snoop Dogg was talking about recording some “baby-making music” for Prince William and Kate Middleton. Mind you, if the royal couple have checked out his R-rated single Sweat, he probably needn’t bother. In any case the hip-hop hero is back to plug his latest album, Doggumentary, and play all his hits.
The O2 Peninsular Sq, SE10 0DX theo2.co.uk North Greenwich
PIAS FIRE BENEFIT
RINSE 17TH BIRTHDAY
WED, OCT 5. 7PM £8 Adv
SAT, OCT 8. 9.30PM £17
Indie music became an unlikely victim of the London riots when PIAS distribution’s main warehouse burned to the ground destroying a huge cache of indie-label stock. DJ/producer Richard Norris has curated and headlines this fundraiser to help PIAS get back on its feet. Expect a night of leftfield electro and house.
For 17 years, Rinse FM has been unearthing London’s underground sounds from dubstep to grime – Dizzy Rascal and Wiley both got their first airplay on here. To celebrate, the community radio station has put together a bill that includes onetime Rinse regulars Miss Dynamite, Roll Deep, Skream and many more.
Favela 91-93 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HZ favelalondon.wordpress.com Old St
Brixton Academy 211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL o2academybrixton.co.uk Brixton
THU, OCT 6. 7.30PM £12.50-£22.50
SAT, OCT 8. 10PM-6AM £13.50 adv
MON, OCT 3. 7PM £12-£22
As intriguing as Gurrumul’s back story is – he’s a blind, media-shy, indigenous Australian singersongwriter and onetime member of Oz charttopping outfit Yothu Yindi – it never threatened to overshadow his sublime music. Counting Sting among his fans, the unlikely star returns to perform tracks from his second album Rrakala.
Egg invites punters to be sartorially inspired by cultural “heroes” such as David Bowie and Grace Jones while they set the scene with a bleeding-edge line-up of party purveyors. This month’s bill includes breakthrough DJ Hannah Holland (pictured), Kaiserdisco and Smokin Jo. Gals should check out the pop-up hair salon.
Metronomy’s quirky dance-rock is possibly better suited to a smaller venue, but since 2008 the RAH has been encouraging younger, hipper acts to perform there. Built around the talents of multi-instrumentalist Joe Mount, they don’t come much hipper than this UK quartet who’ll be playing their latest LP, The English Riviera.
Barbican Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS barbican.org.uk Barbican
Egg 200 York Way, N7 9AP egglondon.net King’s Cross
BRAIDS THE BUZZ SO FAR Just when you think every original idea in music had been exhausted, along comes a band pushing sonic experimentation to the limits once more. Calgary, Alberta quartet Braids create music so textured and sculptured that you can almost reach out and stroke it. Imagine if Anish Kapoor‘s luxuriant forms were made for your ears instead of your eyes. And they don’t skimp on pop accessibility either. They’re touring with fellow envelopepushers Wild Beasts in November so you’ll be hearing more from them. THE CRITICS SAY “The four-piece deal with Animal Collective’s arpeggiated synths, Chillwave’s hazy guitars and Gang Gang Dance’s tribal percussion” – NME THE PLUG Single Peach Wedding (with Purity Ring) out Oct 10.
Royal Albert Hall Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP royalalberthall.com South Kensington
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Point Blank Resident DJs Marc, Masco and Lil Danny spin ska, rock ‘n’ roll and Northern Soul. Charlie Wright’s International Bar, Pitfield St, N1 6EN (020 7490 8345). 9pm-4am. £5, £3 before midnight.
Bite DJs Lydia, Ian, Marcus and Wade spin electro, leftfield indie, disco, dubstep, post-punk and pop. The Den & Centro, West Central St, WC1A 1JJ (020 7240 1083). 10pm3am. £3 & £5, free before 11pm.
QueerlyOut DJ Robby D spins commercial dance, pop and R‘n’B. Escape Bar, Brewer St, W1F 0SU (020 7734 3040). 9pm-3am. £5, mems £3.
Cuban Hideaway DJ Rich plays Latin, house, funk and R‘n’B. The Hideaway, Stanthorpe Rd, SW16 2ED (020 8835 7070). 9.40pm-late. £5.
Radio The Radio DJs play 1980s pop and disco. The Roxy, Rathbone Place, W1T 1HJ (020 7255 1098). 10pm-3am. £5, NUS/w/flyer £3.
Hard Core Salsa DJ Mario plays mambo and salsa, plus dance lessons. Salsa!, Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0JG (020 7379 3277). 6pm-2am, last adm 1am. £4, free before 9pm.
Roller Disco Funk and disco for a wheeled audience. Renaissance Rooms, opposite Arch 8, Arches, Miles St, SW8 1RZ (0844 736 5375). 8pm-midnight. £10, £7.50 skate hire.
I Love Mondays DJ Victor spins commercial dance, disco, pop, garage, R‘n’B and funky house. Moonlighting, Greek St, W1D 4DR (020 7437 5782/cc 020 7287 3727). 10pm-3.30am. £5, NUS £1.50.
Popcorn Jonesey, Jamie Hammond, Harvey Adam, Terry T Rex and spin dance, electro, R‘n’B, pop and hip-hop. Heaven, Charing Cross Arches, Villiers St, WC2N 6NG (020 7930 2020). 11pm-5.30am. £8.
Bang The Box Resident DJs spin electro, techno and hip-hop, plus a live performance from Modeselektor and Siriusmo. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7344 0044). 9.30pm-3am. £16.
Rehab DJs Val, Satoko, Zoe Demonettes, Joe, Saral and Hale supply indie, electro and pop. The Roxy, Rathbone Place, W1T 1HJ (020 7255 1098). 10pm-3am. £5, NUS/w/flyer £3, £1 before 10.30pm.
Captain Morganís Spiced & Sub Club Presents Francois K, Horse Meat Disco, Bill Brewster and Domenic play house, garage and techno. XOYO, Cowper St, EC2A 4AP (020 7729 5959). 10pm-late. £15.
Salsa Cellar Resident DJs play Latin funk and reggae. Downstairs At The King’s Head, Crouch End Hill, N8 8AA (020 8340 1028). 9pm-late. £7, concs £4.
TUESDAY 4 Dirty Fuxx Launch Party DJ Will Manning spin house, techno, electro, hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass and R‘n’B. The Hoxton Pony, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3AH (020 7613 2844). 9pm1am. £5, NUS £3, free before 9pm. Latino Sound DJ Kirisis and CLI play R‘n’B, hip-hop and dance. Sound, Leicester Sq, WC2H 7NA (0333 240 1010). 9pm-late. £5-£10. OMFG! DJs Lady Lloyd, Joshyou Are and Niyi Maximus Crown play pop, disco and electro, with host Queen B Munroe Bergdorf. The Shadow Lounge, Brewer St, W1F 0RF (020 7287 7988). 10pm-3am. £5, free before 11pm. Once Is Never Enough Resident DJs provide dance anthems, R‘n’B, commercial hits and funky house. One, Leicester Sq, WC2H 7NA (020 7437 0453). 10pm-3am. £11, £5 before 11pm, ladies free before 11.30pm. Panic! Max, Gaz and That Perfect Fumble play indie, electro and post-punk. The Roxy, Rathbone Place, W1T 1HJ (020 7255 1098). 10pm-3am. £5, w/flyer/NUS £3. Short Back And Sides Resident DJs supply dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass and indie. The Nest, Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ (020 7354 9993). 9pm-2am. £5, free before 10.30pm. White Heat DJs Matty, Marcus and Olly play indie, punk and electro. Madame Jojo’s, Brewer St, W1F 0SE (020 7734 3040). 8pm-3am. £6, adv £4 & £5.
WEDNESDAY 5 Cheapskates Old school hip-hop, electro and disco courtesy of DJ Downfall. Moonlighting, Greek St, W1D 4DR (020 7437 5782/ cc 020 7287 3727). 9pm-3.30am. £6.50, NUS £5.50, w/flyer £4.50.
PIAS Fire Benefit DJs Ashley Beedle, Andrew Weatherall, Justin Robertson, Ross Allen, Pete Herbert, Nathan Detroit and Richard Norris spin house, electro and techno. Favela Chic, Great Eastern St, EC2A 3HZ (020 7613 4228). 7pm-1am. £8 & £10.
Deviation DJ Benji B supplies house, dubstep, hip-hop and soul. Concrete, Shoreditch High St, E1 6JJ (020 7729 1888). 9pm-3am. £7.
Roda De Samba Ulisses Bezerra and Groupo So Kem Eh spin Latin and samba beats. Guanabara, Parker St, WC2B 5PW (020 7242 8600). 5pm-late. £5.
Diffrent Strokes Manny Norte, Phatcatz, Maintain, CJ I DJ, Lonyo and MOBO Award winner and Kiss FM DJ Manny Norte play neo soul, 1980s pop, US house and R‘n’B. Cherryjam, Porchester Rd, W2 6ET (020 7727 9950). 9pm-2am. £10, £5 before 11pm.
Trannyshack Miss Dusty O, Tasty Tim and Lady Lloyd spin commercial dance and pop. Madame Jojo’s, Brewer St, W1F 0SE (020 7734 3040). 10pm-3am. £6, w/flyer £3, free before midnight.
London Electronic Ivan Smagghe plays electro, techno and house, plus a live performance from Brandt Brauer Frick. Fabric, Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HJ (020 7336 8898). 8pm-1am. £8-£12.
C’est La Vie DJ Colin Francis plays house and commercial dance classics. Embassy, Old Burlington St, W1S 3AP (020 7851 0956). 10pm-3am. £20, ladies free before 11.30pm.
N*A*S*I*N SoniX, Brahim and Punk Gareth play punk, rock, metal and ska. The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB (0870 060 3777/ cc 0871 231 0842). 11pm-3am. £5, NUS £3, w/flyer £4, mems £2.
Clubbing London Resident DJ F-Sound spins dance anthems, house, commercial electro and R‘n’B. One, Leicester Sq, WC2H 7NA (020 7437 0453). 10pm-3am. £11, £5 before 11pm, ladies free before 11.30pm.
One Night In New York City Resident DJs spin pop, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and funk. Plastic People, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3QE (020 7739 6471). 8pm-1am. £5, free before 10pm.
Deepo Ivaylo, Olanski, Patrick Turner, Asad Rizvi and Fresh Tee supply house and deep bass. The LightBox, South Lambeth Place, SW8 1SP (020 7434 1113). 10pm-6am. £15, concs £10.
Phoenix City Social Club DJ Cello spins house and techno, plus live performances from Owen Grey and The Sidewalk Doctors. The Queen Of Hoxton, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3JX (020 7422 0958). 7pm-midnight. £10.
The Mink Revue Resident DJs play blues, R‘n’B, funk, swing and soul, plus live burlesque and cabaret performances. RS Lounge, Woodford New Rd, E17 3PR (020 8509 6450). 8.30pm-late. £8.
Fabriclive Jack Beats, Dr Gonzo, Zinc, Style Of Eye, Neoteric, Marc Roberts, Roska & Jamie George and J Kenzo spin dub, house and techno. Fabric, Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HJ (020 7336 8898). 10pm-6am. £16, adv £15, NUS £10, £7 after 3am, £20 inc CD. Favela Blockparty DJs Limao and Cae Traven play Brazilian funk, Latin, house, R‘n’B and hip-hop, plus Groove N Bossa performs live. Guanabara, Parker St, WC2B 5PW (020 7242 8600). 5pm-2.30am. £10, free before 9pm. The Gallery Hernan Cattaneo & Nick Warren, Luis Junior, Filth & Splendour, Steve Lee, Francesco Poggi, Jim & Dale Chambers, Subbass, Endemic Digital, Wez Saunders & Mark EC, Stefan K, Matt Whittet, d00sh Darren Flecta and Ivan Paderi spin house, techno, electro and dubstep. The Ministry Of Sound, Gaunt St, SE1 6DP (0870 060 0010). 10.30pm-6am. £13. Hairbrush Heroes Pop karaoke night hosted by Brian Mince and Eric Widdle. The Bowery, New Oxford St, WC1A 1EP (020 7580 3057/ cc 0844 477 1000). 10pm-3am. £6, £5 before 11.30pm, adv £4. Idiosynphonic Birthday Bash N Type, Skism, Doctor P, Shock One, Tomba, The Others, Roksonix, Dubba Jonny, Rollz, Dream, Rossi B, Luca, Rattus Rattus and Esoterra spin dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass. Cable, Bermondsey St, SE1 2EG (020 7403 7730). 10pm-6am. £15, adv/NUS £12. Infectious Grooves Danny Oatz, MattMan and James O’Callaghan spin progressive and electro-house. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 8pm-midnight. Free.
Tales Of The Unexpected Dixon Brothers & Friends spin indie, hiphop and electro, plus performances from Captain Dangerous and Birdy Hunt. Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (020 7482 3867). 7.30pm-2.30am. £10, £8 before 9pm, w/flyer £5 before 9pm.
SATURDAY 8 Beyond The Clouds Anthony Shakir, Daniel Bell, Ben UFO and residents Lakuti, Joe Hart and Tothebone DJs play electro and house. Corsica Studios, Elephant Rd, SE17 1LB (020 7703 4760). 10pm-late. £15, adv £11. Myopia Party DJs Lisa Pin-Up, Foid, Monique, Pebbles, F133, Miss KT9, Ronnye M, Neil Hugo, Flippie and Zany spin electro and hard house. Club 414, Coldharbour Ln, SW9 8LF (020 7924 9322). 10pm-8am. £13, £8 before midnight. Plush Dafunk Chris Kaeser, John Paul, Paul Bertoni, Sam Dowling, Alternatives, Ashley Turrell, Dirty Disciples and Steve Marshall spin electro and house. Pacha, Terminus Place, SW1V 1JR (0845 371 4489). 11pm-6am. £20, adv £15. RidonkuLOOSE Mickey O and Ian Robinson spin house and electro. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 7pm-late. Free. Size Matters AN21 & Max Vangeli, Future Disco, Tucillo, Sean Brosnan, Dom Chung, Delice De Phunk, Philip Van Het Weld and Lyle M spin house and techno. The Ministry Of Sound, Gaunt St, SE1 6DP (0870 060 0010). 11pm-7am. £15.
SUNDAY 9 Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Mark Radford and Maxwell Van Morrison spin house and techno. Club Aquarium, Old St, EC1V 9DD (020 7251 6136). 11pm6am. £15, £10 before midnight, ladies free before midnight. Chereen’s Farewell First State, Charlie Bradley, DJ Omar Sherif, Steve Vernon, James Blackmore, Scotty Hedges, Ben Yong, Tobie Allen and Vesna Angeleska spin trance and progressive house. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 2pm-11pm. Free. Forro DJs spin Brazilian, African and indigenous rhythms. Guanabara, Parker St, WC2B 5PW (020 7242 8600). 5pm-late. £5, free before 8pm. In The Box DJs Enzo Gomes, Manjit, Clubholic, Kid K and Beppe Gallo play dance and electro. Club 414, Coldharbour Ln, SW9 8LF (020 7924 9322). 7pm-1am. £10, £5 before 9pm, ladies free before 9pm. Showtime DJ F-Sound spins house, electro, R‘n’B and dance anthems. One, Leicester Sq, WC2H 7NA (020 7437 0453). 10pm-3am. £11, £5 before 11pm, ladies free before 11.30pm.
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MONDAY 3 Matt Cardle Pop-rock from the 2010 X Factor winner. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). £20.
Wheatus Pop-rock by the New York-based band of Teenage Dirtbag fame. O2 Academy Islington, Parkfield St, N1 0PS (020 7288 4400/ cc 0844 477 2000). £12.
Xtatic Soul and funk outfit fronted by Vanessa Haynes. Dover St Restaurant And Bar, Dover St, W1S 4LQ (020 7629 9813). £12, free before 10pm.
Andy Cutting Folk from the award-winning singersongwriter. The Slaughtered Lamb, Great Sutton St, EC1V 0DX (020 7253 1516). £12.50, adv £10.
Datarock The Norwegian fourpiece plays a skewed fusion of synth pop, art rock, post-punk and funk. Relentless Garage, Highbury Corner, N5 1RD (0870 060 3777/ cc 0844 847 1678). £12.50. Hot Club Of Boisdale Parisian swing inspired by Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Boisdale’s Of Canary Wharf, Cabot Hall, E14 4QT (020 7715 5818). £5-£20. Kids Can’t Fly The band plays anthemic pop-punk with elements of ska. Relentless Garage, Highbury Corner, N5 1RD (0870 060 3777/ cc 0844 847 1678). £6. Metronomy Electro-pop by the London-based combo. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP (0845 401 5045). £12-£22.
Hammersmith Apollo, November 19-21. £65-£75 The folk demi-god returns for a run through of his considerable canon of songwriting brilliance. Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler supports. W6 9QH
WEDNESDAY 5 Asere Traditional son music from the Cuban combo. St Ethelburga’s, Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AG (020 7496 1610). £12.
Alan Reid & Rob Van Sante The duo plays modern and traditional folk. The Green Note Cafe, Parkway, NW1 7AN (020 7485 9899). £10.
Duotone Minimalist folk-rock by guitar, cello and effects pedal-wielding artist, Barney Morse-Brown. The Slaughtered Lamb, Great Sutton St, EC1V 0DX (020 7253 1516). £10, adv £8.
Ed Sheeran Soulful pop from the London-based singer-songwriter. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £17.
Dean Dyson & Chris Newland Soulful indie-pop by the London-based duo. The Green Note Cafe, Parkway, NW1 7AN (020 7485 9899). £8.
TUESDAY 4 Ahab The four-piece plays country-rock. The Slaughtered Lamb, Great Sutton St, EC1V 0DX (020 7253 1516). £9.50.
Fink Atmospheric and intelligent alt rock with elements of folk and blues by Brighton-based singer-songwriter Finn Greenall. Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN (020 7226 1686). £13.50.
The Urban Voodoo Machine Bluesy rock ‘n’ roll from the London-based collective. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). £12, adv £10.
THURSDAY 6 Anekdoten The Swedish outfit plays progressive rock. The Underworld, Camden High St, NW1 0NE (020 7482 1932). £12.
Chas Hodges & His Band One half of boisterous rock ‘n’ roll duo Chas & Dave plays cult cockney songs. Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Town Hall Approach Rd, N15 4RX (020 8365 5450). £15, concs £12.
Downtown Cajun Band Cajun music band from Holland plus dance workshop. Cecil Sharp House, Regents Park Rd, NW1 7AY (020 7485 2206). £16, concs £13. The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger Folk-rock from New York-based Sean Lennon’s latest project. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £15.
Lloyd Hip-hop, R‘n’B and soul by the Atlanta-based singer. The Coronet, New Kent Rd, SE1 6TJ (020 7701 1500). £12.50 & £17.50. Love And Money, Dogs In The Traffic, Strange Kind Of Love The cult Glasgow-based outfit performs soul-tinged rock. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £25.
Is Tropical Electronic pop from the London-based three-piece. Hoxton Square Bar And Kitchen, Hoxton Sq, N1 6NU (020 7613 0709). £7.50.
The Get Up Kids Alt rock from the Kansas City-based five-piece. The Underworld, Camden High St, NW1 0NE (020 7482 1932). £15.
The Humans Alt pop by the new project from Toyah Willcox and colleagues. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £17.50.
Beres Hammond And Tarrus Riley The vocalists sing reggae. IndigO2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0871 220 0260). £32.50-£50.
Man Like Me Hip-hop and indiedance from the London-based outfit. Relentless Garage, Highbury Corner, N5 1RD (0870 060 3777/ cc 0844 847 1678). £10.
Aaron Lewis Country-rock by the singer-songwriter from Springfield, Massachusetts and member of Staind. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £20.
Death From Above 1979 Dance-infused noise rock from the Toronto-based twopiece. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000). £21.50.
Gold Panda Electronica from the London-based musician. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). £12.
Brooke Fraser Folk-pop from the Australian singer-songwriter. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £18.50.
Kids In Glass Houses The Cardiff-based five-piece plays pop-punk and power-pop. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7344 0044). £14.
Empire State R‘n’B and soul outfit. Dover St Restaurant And Bar, Dover St, W1S 4LQ (020 7629 9813). £15, diners free before 10pm.
Cage The Elephant Erratic indie-rock from the American five-piece. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7344 0044). £14.
Exit Calm Indie-rock by the band from South Yorkshire. The Lexington, Pentonville Rd, N1 9JB (020 7837 5371). £10.
Nerina Pallot London-based pop-rock singer-songwriter. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £19.50.
Marissa Nadler Contemporary folk by the Boston-based singersongwriter. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £10.
Rihanna, Calvin Harris Charttopping R‘n’B from the Barbadosborn starlet, promoting her album Loud. O2 Arena, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £40-£55.
Pete And The Pirates Indiepop by the London and Readingbased combo. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/ cc 0844 477 1000). £10.
Triggerfinger The Antwerpbased band plays roots-rock. The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB (0870 060 3777/ cc 0871 231 0842). £10.
Eric Taylor Americana and country from the Texan singer-songwriter. The Green Note Cafe, Parkway, NW1 7AN (020 7485 9899). £12.50.
Tanita Tikaram Dark folkpop from the London-based singer-songwriter. Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN (020 7226 1686). £20.
The Twang The West Midlands collective fuses indie-pop and house music. Electric Ballroom, Camden High St, NW1 8QP (020 7485 9006). £15.
Trial Hardcore punk with a political edge by the Seattle-based band. The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB (0870 060 3777/ cc 0871 231 0842). £10.
Sam Sweeney & Rua MacMillan The duo plays traditional folk music on fiddles. Cecil Sharp House, Regents Park Rd, NW1 7AY (020 7485 2206). £12.
Crosby & Nash Harmony-filled, folk-infused rock from the veteran singer-songwriters and Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP (0845 401 5045). £40-£65.
Steve Carlson Los Angeles funk-rock singer-songwriter playing songs from his album Stripped Down. Half Moon, Putney, Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1EU (020 8780 9383). £12.
Gym Class Heroes, The Skints Alt hip-hop with indie and rock influences from Travie McCoy’s New York-based outfit. Electric Ballroom, Camden High St, NW1 8QP (020 7485 9006). £14.
Gurrumul, Dewayne Everettsmith The indigenous Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist plays acoustic folk and roots in support of his album Rrakala. Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS (020 7638 8891). £12.50-£22.50.
Amjad Ali Khan The sarod players perform Ragas of Indian classical music & dance. Wigmore Hall, Wigmore St, W1U 2BF (020 7935 2141). £15-£30.
SATURDAY 8 Caravan, Curved Air The veteran five-piece from Canterbury plays psychedelic rock. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £25.
John Otway And The Big Band The surreal cult singer-songwriter performs with his group. The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB (0870 060 3777/ cc 0871 231 0842). £17.50. Plaid The London-based duo consisting of Andrew Turner and Ed Handley plays psychedelic electro in support of the album Scintilli. Village Underground, Holywell Ln, EC2A 3PQ (020 7422 7505). £15. Stefan Redtenbacher’s RB Funkestra The Austrian bassist performs with his jazz band. 606 Club, Lots Rd, SW10 0QD (020 7352 5953). £12. Reuben Richards & Soul Train Blues, funk and soul from the seven-piece. Boisdale Of Belgravia, Eccleston St, SW1W 9LX (020 7730 6922). £12, £4.50 before 10pm. Snoop Dogg The Californian rapper performs hip-hop from his album Doggumentary as well as material spanning his career. O2 Arena, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £29.50-£50.
Kult Alt rock by the veteran band from Poland. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7344 0044). £25. Fredy Massamba Reggae and soul by the Paris-based singer-songwriter. St Ethelburga’s, Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AG (020 7496 1610). £12. The Mods Johnny Warman and his band perform music from 1964 to 1971 by The Kinks, The Who and The Small Faces. Half Moon, Putney, Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1EU (020 8780 9383). £12. The Real Thing British group who had hits in the 1970s with You To Me Are Everything, Can’t Get By Without You and Can You Feel The Force? Millfield Arts Centre, Silver St, N18 1PJ (020 8807 6680). £20, concs £18. Todd Rundgren, The Ronnie Scotts All Stars The singersongwriter and producer performs his rock hits. Ronnie Scott’s, Frith St, W1D 4HT (020 7439 0747). £45-£60. Seasick Steve Hobo blues from the American troubadour and his array of homemade guitars. HMV Apollo, Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH (0843 221 0100). £23.50. Sick Of It All The seminal New York-based outfit plays hardcore. Relentless Garage, Highbury Corner, N5 1RD (0870 060 3777/ cc 0844 847 1678). £15.
SUNDAY 9 Joe Brown London-born veteran rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist. Millfield Arts Centre, Silver St, N18 1PJ (020 8807 6680). £21. Sel Lithuanian musician Egidijus Dragunas leads his alternative dance and hip-hop combo. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/ cc 0844 477 1000). £40 & £50. Tristania Symphonic Gothmetal by the Norwegian band. O2 Academy Islington, Parkfield St, N1 0PS (020 7288 4400/ cc 0844 477 2000). £20. VNV Nation Electronica from the twosome. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). £18.
Clockwise: The Lion King; Kylie Minogue; Betty Blue Eyes; Phantom; Lion Kingâ€™s 5000 show; John Owen Jones in Phantom
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Who’s king of the West End? As Les Mis, Phantom and Lion King celebrate London milestones, Betty Blue Eyes closes early. We look at recipes for stage success WORDS REBECCA KENT
What makes a good West End show? Is it the cast? The story? The music? Or is it the audience? It’s a question to which producers wish they had the answer – now, more than ever. Currently, London is in a time of theatrical extremes. This month marks the 27th year of Les Miserables, the longest-running musical in the world; the 12th year of The Lion King, which has been seen by more than 60 million people globally; and Phantom Of The Opera celebrates its 25th year, with a box office income of £35bn – more than any other stage play in history. However, on the flipside of these historical successes are shows such as Betty Blue Eyes. Despite rave reviews, a cast including Kylie Minogue providing the voice of a pig, and being based on Alan Bennett’s screenplay A Private Function, it flopped. Playing to half-empty audiences, the British-made musical closed at the end of September after just a six-month run. Critics were shocked. Newspapers ran free adverts in an attempt to encourage ticket sales, but to no avail. It even took producer Cameron Mackintosh, who has 40 years of experience under his belt, by surprise. He said: “Something has happened on this show that has never happened in my whole career.“ It came a year after Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies closed early – although that was a little more expected after it received dire reviews. Watching a West End show is almost a rite of passage for both tourists and locals in London. But how do theatre-goers choose which production to spend their cash on? “There are 2000 different answers to what makes The Lion King so popular,“ says Rabah Aliouane, the show’s resident director. “Visually it’s spectacular and it’s underscored by a story that people can relate to: a dad trying to guide his son on the right path. The entire production is so multi-layered so people enjoy it for any number of reasons. “I take the train home after each show and sit among the people who have just been to see it. It amazes me every time how much people have to say about it. Go to the cinema and you can discuss the film afterwards for a couple of minutes, but after seeing The Lion King, people are still talking about it 15 minutes into their journey.“ The show’s foundations in the Academy Award-winning Disney film can’t be overlooked. The story has already lived in homes through the book, the movie and the music. But Aliouane points out that it’s the production’s designer and
director Julie Taymor’s influence that gives the theatrical production legs. “It’s been 12 years since the movie was out – that’s a long time for a show to have continued success purely off the legacy of a film,“ Aliouane says. Taymor has been widely credited for taking a unique approach to distilling the emotional and cultural elements of the film for the stage, with the mechanics very much on show. Rather than performers being hidden in costumes, they visibly control the animals’ movements using sticks or stilts. The African land and soundscape are also imaginatively portrayed; in one scene, stamping wildebeest are presented as cut-outs on furiously rotating wheels. The dances are the stuff of ephemeral dreams, the colours evocative, and, thanks to the catchy songs composed by Elton John and Tim Rice, the soundtrack is big, bold and tribal. It’s a recipe that works. More than 60 million people have seen it worldwide and since its 1997 Broadway premiere, 18 global productions have grossed more than £2.7bn. Last month marked its 5000th show at London’s Lyceum theatre. It was Cameron Mackintosh’s Cats that set the benchmark for long-running musicals. It wrapped up in 2002 on its 21st ››
Actors Alfie Boe, Matt Lucas, and Cameron Mackintosh (C) unveil a plaque commemorating Les Mis TNTMAGAZINE.COM
Still running: Jean Valjean in Les Mis
birthday, holding the record until 2006 when it was surpassed by Les Mis, another Mackintosh baby. Following the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption in 19th-century Paris, it opened in the West End on October 8, 1985, to critical reviews; scholars resented what they considered a bastardisation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel. But public opinion differed and, to this day, the musical continues to draw crowds into London’s Queen’s Theatre. It has been seen by 60 million people in 42 countries and is now to be made into a film starring Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. Hot on the tail of Les Mis is Phantom Of The Opera, yet another Mackintosh brainchild, which will have enraptured theatre-goers for 25 long years on October 9. The white half mask, the crashing chandelier, the descent to the Parisian sewers, the stomping masquerade, and the swish of red curtains in the haunted opera house: these are the show’s insignia, underpinned by a score that is considered a work of genius by Lloyd Webber. Phantom has played to more than 130 million people in 27 countries and in 14 languages. And if anyone has been
Lion King from £25; Les Mis from £20; Phantom from £25.75 disney.co.uk thephantomoftheopera.com lesmis.com
Photos: Johan Persson
London's theatreland: Bright lights, big city
a part of the show’s success, it’s John Owen Jones who has played the role of the phantom more than 2000 times. He has also had a long run as the Les Mis protagonist. He says: “If we could put our finger on the secret behind the success of all these long-running musicals, then there would be more of them. But what I can say from my experience is that Phantom is the most complete theatrical experience you can get. As a novice theatre-goer it’s a great starting point; if you went a Shakespeare play you’d probably need a bit of education, but with Phantom, Les Mis and The Lion King, it’s just there and it’s self-explanatory.“ They also hit on universal themes, unrequited love, redemption, sacrifice and revenge. “These are things people have always had in their lives, so they can relate. The musicals are such richly textured pieces you could easily go back and see them five or six times,“ Owen Jones adds. Although even the veteran actor admits not everyone who goes to the show appreciates the talent behind the production. “I’ve done shows where people have literally come straight off their flights, sat down in the theatre and slept through the entire show, then stood up at the end to give a standing ovation,“ he says. For Terri Paddock, MD of Whatsonstage.com, the West End has become a brand destination in its own right, which is part of the reason for its appeal. But she believes there is an argument for limiting the run times of the behemoths. “Musicals are the pillars of the West End. They attract the tourists who would then perhaps also go and see something that has only a limited season,“ she says. “However, they are some of London’s biggest theatres and their long runs are preventing other productions from showing in such highly sought after real estate in the West End.“ And in terms of the serial theatre-goers, who may see the same production five or six times, Paddock says: “People feel such loyalties to these shows that they go again and again and again.“ Whatever the secret to the success of theatre shows, one thing is for sure, if a new production comes to town, the best thing an audience can do is support it, otherwise miss it, and, like Betty Blue Eyes, it might really be gone for good. ❚
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COME AN at SEN D SEE US Ex Busine hibition ss Centre Design , Is 14th + lington 15th STAND Oct 93
We help find the right job for over 10,000 teachers across the UK. In London, we currently have a range of fantastic permanent and temporary opportunities available for teachers within a number of primary and secondary schools throughout London. Some of our latest opportunities include Year 5 teachers, Year 6 teachers, KS1 teachers, KS2 teachers and a number of secondary roles to name but a few. At Randstad Education we are not only the UK’s leading education recruitment specialist, but also one of the largest education recruitment specialists in London. But don’t just take our word for it… “I am very satisfied with the service Randstad Education provides on day to day and long term supply. I am particularly pleased with the feedback and tips on how to perform at different schools and what they might require. I also appreciate the way that my consultant has kept me informed of all the changes in legislation including AWR.” Richard, Teacher So if you are a qualified teacher with a passion for what you do, we would like to hear from you. GOOD TO KNOW YOU DATES come and meet our team of experts on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th October. To support the growing needs of our schools we are keen to meet and register more qualified teachers. If you would like to come and see us outside of the school calendar this half term, please contact us on 020 7400 6035 to register your interest. To avoid disappointment, please note that registrations for these dates are by appointment only.
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Go to tntmagazine.com/competitions. See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random.
6 DAY HIGHLIGHTS OF RUSSIA TOUR FOR 2 PEOPLE TNT and Travel Talk are teaming up again to give away one lucky reader the chance to win a six-day Highlights of Russia tour for two people worth £1000. Russia is an experience as much as it is a destination. You’re far more likely to have a great adventure rather than a run-of-the-mill holiday. Travel Talk will provide you with quality accommodation, safe transportation and professional licensed guides for your amazing travel experience. You’ll start off in Saint Petersburg, discovering the beautiful city, including
the Hermitage, before moving on to Moscow where you will enjoy a guided walking tour of Red Square and the Kremlin. Travel Talk will take you on a pilgrimage of culture, history, adventure, fun and relaxation. You will visit sites of antiquity, explore the treasures of Russia. Reading up about Russian history, cultural norms and knowing a smattering of the language, will enormously enhance any visit. Enter at tntmagazine.com/competitions traveltalktours.com
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He survived six days alone in a Guyanan jungle on a new reality TV show but just don’t ask the star about comedian Stewart Lee INTERVIEW ALISON GRINTER
Did winning I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here prepare you for being dumped in a Guyanan jungle for new reality TV series Alone In The Wild? No. I don’t think there was any comparison between the two. The only similarity was the locations – they were both rainforests. On Celebrity ... there was a doctor on hand 24 hours a day and you are given food rations every day. So the worst thing that can happen to you on Celebrity ... is you can get voted off, whereas the worst thing that can happen to you in Alone In The Wild is you can get eaten by a caiman [a type of crocodile] or a jaguar. What training did you do beforehand? Everything from first aid and building a shelter to foraging for food, finding water, hunting animals – just basic survival stuff really.
You were left alone for six days. What scared you the most? All the noises – you didn’t know what they were. The worst were the howler monkeys. They sound like a herd of tyrannosaurus rex coming at you. And I couldn’t light a fire for the whole six days because it was raining all the time and I couldn’t get any dry wood, so there was no means of scaring off wild animals. I was in a hammock with a tarpaulin and mosquito net. Every night you’d hear things walking around underneath the hammock but you wouldn’t have a clue what it was. If you couldn’t get a fire going for the whole six days, what did you eat? I didn’t eat for a week. I was given a pound of a local root vegetable which is ground up into a powder. It’s poisonous in its original form but after it’s been treated, you’re left with this pulp that tastes disgusting. I had a pound of that as rations to last me a week along with any animals I could catch. But, because of the rain, all the animals went to ground and the fish went to deep water. They’d showed me how to kill them, gut them, skin them and how to cook them but in fairness to all of that, if I’d seen something with a face on it I don’t think I’d been able to do it. I lost a stone in a week. I was so hungry one day I ate a maggot – I opened up this nut, but it had been eaten by a
You should hear his voice … giant maggot, so I ate the maggot and it gave me indigestion all day. It sounds miserable – were there any good times? I absolutely loved the solitude: not having a phone or newspapers or television and being out there in that environment. It was great. I don’t know if I could do it for any length of time, maybe two weeks max – after that I’d be like, ‘get me a bacon sandwich and a bed, quick’. Surely you had a phone in case of an emergency? We had an emergency GPS radio, but that was it. If you used it they were going to come in and take you out and that would be show over. Did you have any hairy moments? I got lost a couple of times. One night I went out to do some night filming and got totally lost and didn’t have a fire, so couldn’t find my way back and I panicked. I did eventually, but it took me ages. What’s this about you once getting drunk before you met the Queen? It was for one of the Royal Variety Shows and
they put a bottle of champagne in my dressing room. I’m not really a drinker, so after a couple of glasses of champagne I was as pissed as a fart. And then I had to meet the Queen. For the show I’d done a thing with the Blue Man Group and I’d been painted blue. The paint was made of eggs so afterwards I had to have a shower but I still smelt all farty. So I met the Queen after a few drinks and told her I smelt minging. And the Queen went: “Minging? What’s minging?” so I told her. She leaned forward and sniffed me and said: “Oh yes, you are a bit whiffy.” So I’m writing an autobiography called Sniffed By The Queen. Comedian Stewart Lee once accused you of nicking a joke written by Michael Redmond for one of your Royal Variety Show performances. What’s your response to that? I’m not even going to get into that conversation. It’s ridiculous, that is. I’ve never responded to it and I won’t. It’s just ridiculous. It’s a waste of your time and mine, love. New series Alone In The Wild featuring Freddie Flintoff, Jason Gardiner and more on Discovery Channel from Wed, Oct 5.
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PERFECT SENSE FILM review by Alison Grinter STARRING: Eva Green, Ewan McGregor | 15 | 92mins
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS FILM STARRING: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams 12A | 94mins
It’s been a long time since Woody Allen made a truly great film but even the cult director’s sub-par efforts, such as Vicky Cristina Barcelona, are enjoyable explorations of the awkwardness and neuroses inherent in love. His latest, Midnight In Paris, depicts an American couple forced to face up to the shortcomings of their relationship in the city of light and love. 28
Bond girl Eva Green plays Susan, an ambitious epidemiologist who tentatively embarks on a new relationship with a chef, Michael (Ewan McGregor). So far, so positive. However, during the course of her work she discovers the outbreak of a bizarre new epidemic which initially causes outpourings of grief among its victims. In subsequent waves, the disease, which quickly spreads around the globe, also causes sufferers to lose their sense of smell, taste and eventually hearing, leading to the gradual breakdown of society. Perfect Sense doesn’t seem to want to commit to any particular genre: is it science fiction? Is it a love story? There’s no reason why the film can’t be both but the big problem is that there isn’t much of a narrative arc going on for either of the intertwining stories. What’s more, the writer seems to have missed a trick by not setting the blossoming love affair against a more apocalyptic backdrop. The world might be falling apart but this doesn’t appear to threaten the protagonists. The disease raises intriguing questions: would life be worth living if you lost your sensory perceptions? How would this sensory deprivation impact on love and sex? Director David Mackenzie, who brought us offbeat romance Hallam Foe, hints at these ideas but doesn’t explore them in any satisfying depth. Still, the cinematography is lush, painting rainy Glasgow in a poetic light, and the leads deliver intense, affecting performances. The startling image of a ravenous Green devouring a bouquet of flowers has to be seen to be believed. GOOD FOR: Anyone who likes their love stories with a side of disaster
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RUDI LICKWOOD: WORK IN PROGRESS
Starting his career as an Eddie Murphy impersonator, Rudi Lickwood soon developed his own line in social commentary stand-up. His take on X Factor is particularly hilarious: “If your kid ain’t got no talent, tell ‘em – don’t wait for them to go on national TV to embarrass you!” He’ll be honing some new material this week.
Etcetera Theatre NW1 7BU. Mon, Oct 3. £8.50 etceteratheatre.com Camden Town
NO NAUGHTY BITS
A child in Nazi-era Germany and an escapee from communist East Berlin, Gerhard Richter’s rejection of ideology has long been reflected in his paintings and photographs. Richter’s famous 15-part rendering of the Baader Meinhof group, October 18 1977, will feature in this major retrospective, coinciding with his 80th birthday.
This reconstruction of the ‘75 court case brought by Monty Python against US network ABC’s censorship has moments to savour. Matthew Marsh provides a masterclass in low-key comedy as the sardonic judge presiding over their case, whilst Edward Hall’s colourful production recalls the surreal silliness of the Pythons’ humour. LK
Tate Modern Bankside, SE1 9TG. Oct 6-Jan 8. £14 tate.org.uk Southwark
Hampstead NW3 3EU. Until October 15. £22- £29 hampsteadtheatre.com Swiss Cottage
HUGH THE DROVER
RUSSELL KANE In a nutshell, tell us about your new show, Manscaping. It’s an exploration of being lost prompted by shaving my bits with a manscaping device. Who was your nemesis at school? Near enough every other boy apart from hardcore nerds and the little guys who stank of wee.
A ROMANTIC COMEDY BY
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Text By Harold Child
HAMPSTEAD GARDEN OPERA At Upstairs at the Gatehouse Highgate Village, N6 4BD
Have you ever died on stage? Loads in the early days. All of us have.
Directed by Angela Hardcastle Design: Charlie Tymms With The Dionysus Ensemble under the direction of Oliver-John Ruthven Evenings: Nov 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19 at 7.45 pm Matinées : Saturdays Nov 12 & 19 at 2.45
What’s your porn star name? Albert Jacobs. Albert was a supercool cream Burmese cat.
Tickets – Nov 11 evening & 12 matinée £18 (concs. £16) All other performances £20 (concs. £18)
BOX OFFICE: 020 8340 3488
Other booking options at www.hgo.org.uk
Photos: John Haynes
performed by arrangement with Faber Music Ltd., London
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
Guillermo del Toro, the innovative Mexican filmmaker who brought us fairytale horror gems Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage helped pen this tale about a young girl Sally (Bailee Madison) sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in a Gothic mansion. Things get interesting when Sally discovers monsters living in the basement, offering the lonely girl a sense of belonging.
Iqbal Khan’s has crafted a fine revival of Arthur Miller’s psychological, political drama about a Jewish couple living in Brooklyn in 1938 as the Kristallnacht attacks in Berlin make news. Antony Sher’s angst-ridden, impotent Phillip is painful to watch as he struggles to make sense of his wife’s (Tara Fitzgerald) hysterical paralysis. LK
On general release
Vaudeville WC2R 0NH. Until Dec 10. £22.50-£47.50 brokenglasstheplay.com Charing Cross
What’s the worst joke you’ve ever heard? Why did Jamie Oliver eat sweetbreads? Cos he was talking bollocks. Why are there so many Russells in comedy? There are statistically less Russells than there are Robs, Daves, Nicks, Toms – at least five of all of those. Should I go on? Headlining ‘So Comedy’ Soho Theatre, 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE. Tue, Oct 11. £15. sohotheatre.com Tottenham Crt Rd. Also booking now for Manscaping, at the Hammersmith Apollo on Dec 11.
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Erasure: Tomorrow’s World
FIFA 12 X360
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Cream cardie Cosy speckled cardies are a must for this look – add texture with a scarf.
Grey knitted poncho Best worn with jodhpurs and riding boots or indoors by a roaring fire.
Khaki coat Keep warm in this countrymeets-military jacket with its corduroy collar
SHOPWATCH TINC, WESTFIELD
Boundary-pushing stationery might sound ridiculous, but then you may not have heard of Tinc. Connoisseurs in electric rubbers, scented pencil tops and party bags filled with accessories for your desk, they’re about to make stationery cool. Our favourite Tinc product has to be the calculator that doubles up as a maze, which comes in an array of eye-popping colours. After launching in Bath in April, Tinc is popping up in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush from October 3 to showcase its wonderfully bright wares. Well, why use a black biro when you can use a fluorescent green bendy pencil that complements your fluorescent blue bendy ruler? Keep an eye out for strategicallyplaced QR codes around the mall on October 3 to get your hands on some freebies. Office stationary is about to become addictive. OPEN From October 3 to Christmas COST Proucts start at 75p tinc.uk.com Westfield, Ariel Way, W12 7GF Shepherd’s Bush
Green stretch skinny trouser This earthy green is the colour you need to pull off the outdoorsy look.
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Pocket watch necklace Girlie-up the pocket watch to complete the country look.
Kirsty ski lace up boots Good-looking footwear that gives the walkingboot an edge with its chunky heel. boohoo.com
TU men’s jumper Stay cosy in this chunky, grey knitted jumper. sainsburys.com
Brown leather duck boots Perfect for muddy country walks or shooting jaunts. topman.com
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CLASS OF THE WEEK
BALLET SCULPT Egoist Body Studios oozes elegance from the moment you step through its doors into woodenfloored Georgian townhouse chic. Unsurprisingly, the fitness fare taking place between these refined walls is somewhat more delicate than your standard gym offerings. The body light/ballet sculpt class is a case in point: 60 minutes of exercise drawing on the disciplines of ballet, yoga, pilates and contemporary dance. “The class focuses on improving grace, usually forgotten these days,” teacher Iliana Alvarado says. “The result is an elongated figure and good posture, which can add inches to your height and take inches off your waist.” Ballet Sculpt attracts both men and women, most aged between 25 and 45. The setting may be tranquil, but this is still a workout, and by the end of the hour you’ll feel muscles you didn’t know you had. Hourly classes take place every Monday from 8.15pm and cost £15 for a drop-in session. This is fitness at its most boutique. The ultimate antidote to your noisy gym and sweaty treadmill.
Like a pro In an exercise rut? Well shame on you. Four future Olympians tell us how it should be done WORDS CLARE VOOGHT
How do you convince yourself to push on through exhaustion (or laziness)? What kickstarts your route to reaching your fitness goals? And just how do you avoid doing yourself a mischief? Learn from the experts.
Rebecca Downie, gymnast Even though she’s only 19, Rebecca Downie has already earned the title of Britain’s best ever all-round gymnast after she bagged 12th place at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. To avoid hitting a fitness plateau, she says: “One day I use a cross trainer for an hour, which gets every muscle group, the next day, I’ll use a bike for an hour, to just focus on legs. Swapping between two different activities helps.” Working out with other people is key for Downie, from Nottingham. “As we lead up to a major competition, we’re around our teammates so we have their support. If you have somebody else to exercise with it makes it a lot easier.”
Bobby White, GB handball captain British handball goalkeeper Bobby White started out as a semi-professional goalie on the football pitch, before he was selected for the team three years ago. “You need to indentify both your goals and your ability before you jump up and pound that treadmill,” says White, 28, from Milton Keynes. “Train smart before you train hard.” For strength, he recommends working on every muscle in the body, especially the core, with freestyle body weight exercises. “Train everything so you get stronger everywhere rather than over-developing in one area, which can give you problems.”
Alan Cooke, Table Tennis Association In a typical week of training, performance coach Alan Cooke – who currently holds the accolade of world veterans champion – gets his team to do two intense all-over body
Egoist Body Studios , 6 Fitzroy Square, W1T 5DX egoistbody. com Warren Street/ Great Portland Street
Rebecca Downie 34
Alan Cooke with table tennis player Hannah Hicks
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It’s about to get real for Bobby White, centre
circuits (freestyle, without equipment) plus two sprint-relay and two weights sessions, all before daily practice on the table. “I’m a big fan of running. Not just for the body but for the head as well,” says Cooke, 45, from Chesterfield. “I tell the players, ‘ask yourself why are you doing this, why are you putting yourself through all this pain and hardship?’ Then you start to put twoand-two together, and think, ‘I’m doing it because I want to become a better athlete’.”
Yana Stadnik, Olympic wrestler Wrestling is in Yana Stadnik’s blood. Her father coaches the sport and her brother won a silver medal for wrestling at the
Beijing Olympics, so it’s no surprise she has been doing the sport since she was 13. The most important thing you can do to get fit, is pick a sport you enjoy, says the 24-year-old who lives in Manchester. She has no time for anyone who can’t fit sport into their life. “Everyone has 10-20 minutes a day, or a minimum of three times a week. You should find that time. I train twice a day, six times a week – on the mat, running, different things every day – and it’s only Sunday that I have off. Think NEXT WEEK about your normal routine and try to add Fitness gets a bit of sport when sociable you can.”
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TOP TREATMENT: PAY AS YOU GO SHAVE Given the cross-continent lifestyles of celebrities, it’s not unlikely you’ll bump into one while storming across the concourse of the departure hall. You might even find yourself caught in the lights of the paparazzi mob. You’ll want to look your spiffy best in the eventuality, gentlemen. The No. 1 Traveller Travel Spa in Heathrow 3 will save you. Go for a wet shave for £35 using lush Truefitt & Hill products. Hell, go the whole hog and get a haircut, too.
Heathrow Terminal 3
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MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT on working abroad
Bright lights: Hong Kong’s skyline of skyscrapers is unrivalled
Hong Kong dreams Loud, bustling and beautiful, if you’re looking to spend time working abroad, try out a city that never sleeps WORDS REBECCA KENT It’s a place where East meets West, with a skyline that dazzles and a harbour that delights. The food is exotic, the city is alive and, if you’re lucky enough to land a job here, you get to savour everything Hong Kong has to offer for longer. From gravity-defying skyscrapers to bargain shopping, it’s a world-class city. And amid the sprawl of Westernisation – a vestige of its colonial past – the Chinese culture remains incredibly rich. It’s this which is its greatest appeal. Most jobs for English-speaking expats are in banking and finance at multinational organisations, and a visa can only be obtained with an offer of work. Samantha Stafford, of London-based Paddington Partners recruitment, says vacancies are also common in the 36
recruitment sector. “The demand is huge for recruiters, especially those with experience,” she explains. “Expats are viewed as offering added value to companies and most want a diverse and international culture, so encouraging expats, as well as locals, to join helps to achieve this.” Wages are taxed at only 15 per cent in Hong Kong and are among the highest in Asia – one of the main draws to those who want to save some pennies while working. To see what jobs are available, try the sites jobsdb.com.hk and monster.co.hk. The most important thing you can do to find a job in Hong Kong is to get there and network, according to Callan Anderson, general manager of Hong Kong-based Gemini Recruitment. He
says: “Go to the Chamber of Commerce and have a drink with business people. Take your business cards and make sure people remember you. Finding work here is a slow, painstaking process, but you’ll get success if you’re serious.” And he advises anyone wanting to make the move, or work there on their way home from the UK, to keep an open mind. “It’s not an easy place to come to and start your life,” he says. “For example, Chinese food is not the same as we’re used to – you get chicken feet and duck’s tongue – so this can be a culture shock. You either immerse yourself and you love it or you get stuck.” Geri Weeks, 28, from London, who worked as a nursery teacher between 2004-06, loved it. “I just wanted to
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LIFESTYLECAREERS ON THE JOB CLAIRE CRONIN CAREER English teacher (secondary) AGE 26 LIVES Dagenham FROM Dagenham
Mad about malls
Geri, second from right, with friends in Hong Kong
work abroad so looked WHERE TO LIVE from the city’s energyon a nursery job site for With the work-hard-play-hard sapping, humid jobs abroad and Hong mentality of Hong Kong, you weather, head to its Kong was the first one are hardly ever at home. But for underrated seaside, that came up,” she says. somewhere to lay your head, look which hosts handy “I got a job on away from the incestuous expat urban beaches and interview. Many hubs. Sai Ying Pun area is up-andsurf spots. Try hiking organisations sign you coming and sometimes compared along Dragon’s Back into a two-year contract to Shoreditch. Geri Weeks’ favourite and on to Shek O beach before you arrive. I is Sheung Wan, a predominantly on Hong Kong Island, wouldn’t recommend Chinese area. She says: “Everything which is just one hour it because if you don’t was expensive for us, but once we from the city centre. like what you see on became ‘locals’ after about three Weeks indulged in arrival, you can be months, suddenly everything was lazy Sundays along the financially crippled if a quarter of the price!” Rent in a beachsides at Lamma you break a contract. flatshare costs upwards of HK5000 and Lantau islands. “Go over to Hong (£405) per month. “Down at The Stoep Kong and meet other in Lantau was always people who work in the same industry great,” she says. “You can take a and it’s easy to find work and try lots of private junk there and have a leisurely new experiences. boozy lunch.” Countryside and the “Although everyone seems to be mountains are never far, either. Or, either a banker, pilot or teacher!” if retail therapy is more your thing, Work hard, play hard is a motto in start Causeway Bay, a money-spender’s Hong Kong and its famous bar strip, paradise, then continue to explore the Lan Kwai Fong, caters to those who streets, which burst with shops, markets need to let their hair down. and malls. If it’s the hustle and bustle of Take it from Weeks, who says: “I had city life you want, infused with culture to walk up Lan Kwai Fong to get home and the safety of the trappings every night, so I partied a lot – it was of the Western world hard not to when and there was always – and you don’t NEXT WEEK a friendly face along the way.” mind sweaty When you’re not working or armpits – then Ski jobs: get work on the slopes partying, make sure you take time to make Hong Kong explore the city. For a cool reprieve your destination.
How did you get into your line of work? I took part in lots of youth work whilst at university but wanted to help in instilling positive values from an earlier age and on a permanent basis. I happen to love English, too. What do you do day-to-day? My day starts at 7.30am in class and ends around 5pm (with marking taken home). Lessons range from teaching Shakespeare to 11-year-olds to analysing dystopian belief in Orwell and Huxley with 18-year-olds the next hour. It keeps you on the ball! The best part of your job is ... Students approaching you for advice when they’re unsure of where to turn – being able to influence and support them and hopefully help guide their future in some way. What’s the most challenging? If it weren’t for all the data entry, teachers would be far more enthused.
HOW TO ... SWITCH OFF AFTER WORK
• Finish off your projects before leaving, whether a piece of work or an issue you need to take up with a colleague. It’ll only play on your mind.
• Find a hobby to distract you from work matters, such as doing a crossword over coffee or a glass of wine, dancing, sports or training at the gym.
• Practice meditation. It’s the art
of self-control and an excellent way to gain control over your mind and thoughts.
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JOB OF THE WEEK: Telesales Executive Location: London EC1 Salary: Basic + Comm OTE £27K
A B2B sales office in EC1 selling over the phone to the public and private sectors and promoting from within..
We are looking for a target driven individual to join our EC1 office. You will be articulate, well spoken and highly motivated. Previous sales experience preferred but happy to train the right candidate Penny Moore | 020 7324 1870 | email@example.com
GAIL’s www.gailsbread.co.uk GAIL’s is a contemporary celebration of bread! We make by hand different types of products and use only the best ingredients (with no nasty preservatives or additives).
JOB OF THE WEEK: Professional Baristas and Shift Managers Location: N,NW,W,SW, Central London Salary: competitive We are expanding and looking for you! Experienced Baristas, customer service with sales experience and Shift Managers are needed for are 9 existing shops and future shops all over London. Previous experience in similar roles within the food industry is required. Currently we have 9 bakeries in central London; we sell to selected Waitrose and on Ocado the online grocer. Shani Yaacov | 020 8457 2080 | firstname.lastname@example.org
SAVANNA COLLECTION T: 0800 978 8709 / 07957 543919 www.savannacollection.co.uk Company run by South Africans, primarily focused on selling to the African market in the UK. Products include Kitchen and Serving merchandise. Savanna products are made from 18-10 stainless steel, decorated with 24 carrat gold.
JOB OF THE WEEK: Field Sales Consultant Location: Office in Aylesbury + Birmingham and London. Salary: Commission based, 20% to begin Ave. earnings of £29k to £50k Requires vehicle, consultants must be able to support themselves at the start. Experienced sales professionals, motivated, hard working. Ideal candidate will have a hunger for money. Perfect for individuals who want to work hard for a few years and save. NOT EASY JOB, GOOD EARNINGS. Sheila Flemington | 07957543919 / 0800 978 8709 | email@example.com
Looking for your next job? NEW JOBS ONLINE EVERY DAY
tntjobs.co.uk ICEBOX T: 020 7498 0800 www.theicebox.com Small edgy ice design/delivery company requires smiley ice warriors to help us maintain the high level of friendly and efficient service, by delivering our amazing products. We are industry leaders in ice sculpture design.
GALLOWGLASS T: 0845 300 2468 www.gallowglass.co.uk Gallowglass is UKs leading crewing company to the events industry, working for TV, theatre, film and outdoor production companies.
JOB OF THE WEEK: Not your usual Driving job, be an Ice Warrior! Location: Vauxhall, London Salary: £8-10 Must have driving experience, be fit and strong and enjoy working as a team. We can teach skill, but we cannot teach attitude, if you have the right friendly attitude, you’ll be fine. Must have a valid driver’s license and be over the age of 25 (insurance reasons), fluent in English. Valid visa and passport is essential. Email CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
JOB OF THE WEEK: Location: London Salary: £8 - £11 per hour + skills payments Vacancies for friendly, enthusiastic and outgoing people to join our crew. You will need to be physically fit, have excellent spoken English, be adaptable, happy to work anti-social hours and have a can-do attitude. CV to email@example.com or fill in our on line form at www.gallowglass.co.uk
T: 020 8962 5423 www.paymentsense.com
JOB OF THE WEEK: Business Development Manager Location: Notting Hill, West London Salary: £15,000 + commission. OTE £42k
We provide Chip & Pin services to small businesses including retailers, restaurants and hairdressers across the UK.
You will be responsible for sourcing potential new customers and offering to save them money by switching to us. You’ll need to be positive, friendly, driven, a skilled communicator and motivated by earning generous commission.
Neelam Ilyas 020 8962 5423 | Stuart Vickery 020 8962 3105
MURPHY’S PUB/ ISLANDERS REST www.islandersrest.ie Family run 21 bedroom hotel and pub, located on a island one mile from mainland, in West Cork, Ireland. Bar, restaurant, accomodation and marina facilties overlooking Baltimore harbour.
JOB OF THE WEEK: Staff required for Island Hotel/Pub Location: Ireland Salary: On application Looking for staff from Australia or New Zealand who require summer work duties will include bar & restaurant and accomodation. Full board provided. Great place to meet people and save a bit of money! Now until December. Irish work visa required. firstname.lastname@example.org
T: 020 8675 6095 www.shad.org.uk
JOB OF THE WEEK: Personal (Care) Assistant Location: London (Wandsworth, Lambeth, Islington) Salary: FREE ACCOMODATION plus allowance
Providing independent living support to disabled people. P/A’s needed for up to 12 months. Free accommodation and personal allowance provided. Friendly, supportive team.
You will have an interest in providing wide ranging independent living support and assistance with day-to-day tasks to people with physical disabilities living in their own home. Free accommodation, allowance and training provided! Job satisfaction guaranteed!
JOB OF THE WEEK: Sales Consultant Location: Fulham Salary: OTE of 23-25k p.a
T: 020 3080 0202 www.interactiveresorts.co.uk We are a ski specialist travel agency selling ski holidays to major destinations all over the world.
Do you love skiing or boarding? Could talk about your hobby all day? We are looking for ski seasonaires or passionate skiers who are looking to use their experience in ski resorts as a stepping stone to a career in the ski industry in the UK. Graduates or experienced sales people are also welcome to apply but a keen interest in winter sports is a must. Peter von Schmidt | 020 7614 7067 | email@example.com
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK T: 020 7201 3673 www.mandarinoriental.com/london Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, this award winning restaurant, located at iconic Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, has been internationally recognised for both its cuisine and service.
JOB OF THE WEEK: Chef (Pastry and Main Kitchen) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Location: London Salary: Depends on experience As part of the team, you’ll assist with the food production in the main Kitchen and Pastry. With a 2AA Rosette or Michelin* background and a genuine passion for food, the role is for you! Isabelle Charriere Boudart | firstname.lastname@example.org
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CASH-SAVING TIPS THE GLOBAL TRAVELCARD Xxxxxxxxx Instead of risking a lost credit card abroad, pick XXXXXXXXX up a prepaid CashCase Xxxxxxxxxxx Travelcard. It lets you switch between pounds, XXXXXXXXX euros and US dollars at Xxxxxxxxxxx the same exchange rate as when you left home XXXXXXXXX (handy in these economic Xxxxxxxxxxx times). Plus, the card comes with retail discounts XXXXXXXXX and lets you transfer Xxxxxxxxxxx money to it via mobile. FIND CHEAP SPA OFFERS Throughout October 10-16, Wahanda will be offering 2-for-1 offers on loads of health and beauty buys including spa days and breaks, facials, fish pedicures, teeth whitening, dermal fillers and haircuts. There are even 2-for-1 colonics – if you and a friend are so inclined. (wahanda.com)
HOW YOU SPEND IT! Any money-saving tips? If I can, I try to put a small amount of money away into a savings account every month and I try to ignore the fact it’s there! This helps the saving side of things. Otherwise there are always things like the Tastecard and Groupon which always seem to give great deals!
JULIETTE COLLIER, 25 JOB Graphic designer FROM Harrow LIVES Golders Green How do you budget? I would love to say that I keep a spreadsheet and
Last big blow-out? Tickets to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers. What non-essential items do you spend money on? Clothes, iTunes, gigs, and Skips (the crisps)!
HOW THEY SPEND IT! Plain sailing Coleen Rooney spent a hefty £50,000 on renting out a luxury yacht for her and seven friends while on her fifth holiday so far this year in Ibiza. Celebs do love their boats
❚ Earlier this year, the megaflush P Diddy stayed on an $850,000 (£550,126)-a-week superyacht that can be controlled by iPad.
A MOVIE FOR 35 PENCE Missing Orange Wednesdays? Now Orange customers can now download themselves a different dirt-cheap movie every Thursday, by texting FILMTOGO to 85060. And you get a whole 30 days to watch it. GENEVA /70 CHATROOM /29
I’m very organised … well, I have one set up but it’s just remembering! I do keep receipts and go through them to keep track. This is essential, especially on nights out where I seem to think I’m minted!
We’ll have three, please
❚ Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich’s extravagant 533ft yacht, Eclipse, has its own missile defence system and escape submarine. It’s the biggest private yacht in the world and set him back a cool £750m.
❚ The most expensive yacht ever built – owned by a Malaysian businessman – cost £3bn. That tidy sum included gold-plated surfaces and a statue made from T-rex bone. Lavish. ❚ S&M singer Rihanna spent her summer flouncing around in a very bright cutout swimming costume on a £200,000-a-week yacht in the French Riviera.
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Mushroom money pot Save your pennies in a shroom tigerstores.co.uk
A bit of both Angel, N1
‘Eclectic’: Angel has decent options for shopping and socialising, below
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From cheap international restaurants to vintage market stalls, music pubs, renowned foodie havens, pricey boutiques and clean bright bars – this bubble of Islington has a diverse arsenal of attractions. And it has the ability to appeal to both the boho crowd and the sleekest of City types. Angel starts from halfway up Pentonville Road and goes all the way north east towards Dalson to the end of Essex Road, but its heart is firmly fixed on Upper Street, which runs through its centre. “Angel is eclectic,” says Nathan Khider from Next Move estate agent in Upper Street. “It’s got great restaurants and nice people. It’s very media-orientated but also very financially-orientated. A lot of actors, singer-songwriters live here, too.” And it’s Upper Street that brings in the crowds, who tend to be in their late 20s and early 30s. It’s busy but relaxed, and you’ll find chainstores in the N1 shopping centre; handy supermarkets behind it; vintage and antique shops and stalls in Camden Passage; as well as far too many bars and restaurants from which to choose. These range from the cheap The Bull (good food, great sangria; thebullislington. co.uk) to the character-laden Tenshi (Japanese for ‘Angel’, the tempura rolls are amazing) in Upper Street. While Tenshi attracts arty types and those of the more hipster persuasion, the ultratrendy Ottolenghi, which serves beautifully presented desserts made from the highest-
quality ingredients (ottolenghi.co.uk) keeps the banker contingent happy. Bar crawls in Angel can have you hopping from gastro-pubs such as The Hanbury Arms in Linton Street (thehanburyarms.com), to London boozer The York, in Upper Street (nicholsonspubs.co.uk), to a cocktail bar such as The Bar With No Name (69colebrookerow. com). Then, chances are you’ll end up throwing shapes downstairs in The
Winchester on Essex Road (thewinchesterbar. com) or at one of the O2 Academy’s indie or cheese clubnights (Feeling Gloomy or Club de Fromage; o2academyislington.co.uk). Venture further and you’re a 20-minute walk from nights out in Shoreditch and a forty-minute walk or 15-minute Tube ride
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MY AREA TOMOKA FUGITA Barista, 24
“There are so many shops around here; it’s multicultural. The Nag’s Head is great for after-work drinks. It’s got a good atmosphere and great live music.”
GEDDES PHD student,
into central London. Transport couldn’t be easier, says Jonathan Rogers from Chesterton Humberts estate agent in Upper Street. Angel is also close to Moorgate – a 30-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride. “The Northern Line is on one side and the Victoria Line and the Overground are on the other. It’s a popular area.” And the best bits? Duncan Terrace, St Peter’s Street, Barnsbury Square, Lonsdale Square and Thornhill Square – all the squares and anywhere near Upper Street, basically, says Rogers.
Living in Angel will set you back a fair bit in terms of rent, as you are paying for the location and properties tend to be at a high standard inside. As with all of London, period conversions are pricier and ex-council is cheaper. Sweet deals are notoriously hard to find, but then again, Angel is in Zone One. Residents have it pretty darn NEXT WEEK good, and you Pimping your definitely get what office space you pay for.
“There are some good pubs here. The Island Queen is my favourite pub. It’s got these really interesting features – they’re kind of weird – almost gaudy – but nice.”
intern, 26 “I love Angel. Shoreditch is too trendy for me; Angel’s quieter and nicer. My favourite place is Planet Organic on Essex Road for fresh juices and salads.”
N1 INFO BOROUGH
Islington AVERAGE COUNCIL TAX
£961.81 TRAVEL TIME TO LONDON
15mins HOUSESHARE £823pcm
1-BEDROOM FLAT £1,625pcm
2-BEDROOM FLAT £1,777pcm
A room in a recently built house with a decked patio and five bedrooms over four storeys, a few minutes’ walk from Angel Tube. Large kitchen/diner and separate lounge.
A ground-floor flat in Anderson Square in the heart of Angel. The property is furnished and has a double bedroom, separate kitchen and lounge plus a large balcony.
A top-floor flat with two double bedrooms and an open-plan living area and kitchen. Furnished and located in Chapel Market, near to Upper Street.
Angel Northern Line, Zone 1 AVERAGE ROOM SHARE 1 BED
£1,200pcm AVERAGE RENTAL 1 BED
£1,400pcm AVERAGE FLAT 1 BED
Mmm ... boiled cabbage again
VEGGIE DATE FLOP UNITED KINGDOM A dating website promoting itself as being for vegetarians has been forced into the embarrassing admission that, actually, most of its members eat meat. VeggieDates.co.uk spruiks the chance to “meet single vegetarian men and women looking for love in the UK” but the Advertising Standards Authority has received complaints that the website’s promotion is misleading. A spokesman said it was one of “several dating websites” which shared a database of customers, but admitted that the majority of members were “non-vegetarians and non-vegans”. So what’s the point of running a specialised site for vegetarians?
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Look mum, no hands: Lutz Eichholz, 25, from Germany, attempts to set a new world record by riding his unicycle along the top of 127 bottles, lined up over nearly nine metres. Surely it would be more impressive if he was able to ride his little unicycle after drinking that many beers. Just saying.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK @jimmycarr A stalker broke into Madonnas house. Police asked her if anything in the house was stolen. She said you mean apart from the kids? @piersmorgan Typical. I come back to Britain for some trusty seasonal rain, cold wind and sleet – and get a bloody LA-style heatwave. @barneyronay Tevez “misunderstanding” seems fair enough. Sportsmanship, loyalty, community, idealism, selflessness. He’s never understood any of them
UNDERWEAR MARCH UNITED STATES Thousands of protesters stripped to their underwear and ran through Salt Lake City over “uptight” laws of Utah. Nate Porter, the organiser of the Undie Run, said 3000 people took part in the march, which aimed to involve anyone frustrated by the conservative nature of 44
state politics. “My goal is to change Utah. To make this state lighten up once and for all,” Porter said. “I’m trying to draw people in that are jaded by politics.” Participants donned bras, knickers, nightgowns, swimwear or boxer shorts – and some added political messages, while others carried signs supporting gay marriage.
KOALA BOOTY CALL AUSTRALIA Koalas have human-style voice boxes, allowing them to make a sound as loud as a cow, a study has found. Researchers have discovered male koalas emit loud bellows during
mating season to attract sexual partners. A team of Austrian and Australian scientists discovered the sounds were so loud because the larynx sat deeper in their throat and chest than other species. This is similar to human development because, as an individual grows up, their larynx also becomes lower and deeper. Dr Bill Ellis, a coauthor of the study, said: “A lot of times people in the bush might hear a Koala calling ... you have this cute fluffy animal but on the other hand (hear) this booming voice which jolts them a bit.”
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IN NUMBERS 101
Age, in years, of Frank and Louie, a bizarrelooking cat born with two faces, making him the oldest of his kind
Fat people like rollercoasters too
BLIMP MY RIDE UNITED KINGDOM Thorpe Park has introduced extraroomy seats on one if its rides to accommodate obese thrillseekers, admitting that an “embarrassingly large” number of customers have been turned away. Justifying its decision, the theme park’s management cited recent figures suggesting half of Brits are now overweight and inisted bigger seats would make its Nemesis Inferno – a “mad inverted Hell ride into the fiery pit of a volcano” – ergonomically correct. “The reality is that we are super-sizing – and that’s a fact we’re embracing,” Mike Vallis, divisional director at Thorpe Park, said. “Why shouldn’t people be comfortable when they are enjoying a day out with their friends or family?”
CAUGHT IN THE ACT
NEW ZEALAND A thirsty Auckland teenager had to be extricated from a vending machine after getting his arm stuck while trying to pinch a can of Coke. Firefighters arrived to find the 15-yearold boy with his entire arm stuck up the machine and had to use specialist tools to free him. “A fire truck arrived and parked in the driveway and rushed inside. Then another fire truck arrived, then an ambulance,” resident Marty Williams said. “In between, we’ve got two rubbish trucks trying to load bins in the street. It was classic, because who arrived next? The Coca-Cola truck. I feel sorry for the boy, but you’ve got to laugh.”
Speed, in mph, clocked by the world’s fastest racing sofa, rigged up by Aussie designers who also made a racing toilet
Cost, in pounds, of councils reinstating weekly bin collections. Apparently fortnightly collection is unacceptable
Weight, in pounds, of the enormous catfish caught by a British angler while on holiday in Spain. The fish was about 8ft long
Keep it in your pants, mate
BIRDS LOVE IT FRENCH GUIANA Customs officers busted a Dutch traveller trying to smuggle a dozen tiny hummingbirds out of the country, having taken the unusual step of binding the animals in cloth and stuffing them down his pants. The smuggler created crude pouches in the front of the inside of his trousers to contain the hummingbirds. But officials noticed the man acting suspicious – one can only imagine what that means in this instance – and discovered his unusual cargo after getting him to drop his strides. It seems this method of smuggling animals through customs is gaining popularity. In August, a passenger was detained at Miami airport for attempting to sneak a collection of snakes and tortoises in his trousers, and in May, a passenger was caught trying to smuggle a whole menagerie, including baby panthers, leopards and monkeys, in his luggage.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK Just because you’re an actor or make films or whatever doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to your own personal privacy Scarlett Johansson isn’t happy about her nudie pics being pinched. Maybe it’s a good idea not to take them to begin with
RECRUITMENT FAIR 2011 CAREERS
TNT Recruitment Fair 2011 is a large scale event aimed at young professionals aged 18-35 from London and beyond all looking for new jobs or a change in career.
FREE ENTRY By registering online or ÂŁ2 entry on the door
Event Associate Sponsor Co-located with the annual TNT Sun and Snow Travel Show
SATURDAY OCTOBER 15 QEII Conference Centre
TNT puts the world to rights
COMMENT: CLARE VOOGHT email@example.com
This isn’t to get drunk, it’s just for fun
Why pop a pill to stop you getting wasted?
Stay-sober tablets: just have a soft drink instead
How many times have you woken up with an intense feeling of shame after a heavy night? With the pang in the pit of your stomach that doesn’t go away after a bacon sandwich. The sense of dread that tells you you’ve done something really, really bad. And that everybody saw. Well, one day, it could be a thing of the past. Because scientists are working on a pill to counter the effects of booze that works by blocking alcohol’s effects on brain cells, so you come across as sober as a judge. The researchers tested the tablet, which they hope will be on sale in three years, on mice. And these rodents didn’t even get tipsy, despite being fed enough drink to have them sprawling on the floor. But there’s not much fun in drinking alcohol if you’re not going to get pissed. Isn’t that the whole point? To be fair, we all know people who could do with not getting quite so bladdered. Yes, we’ve all got at least one of those friends. But if there was a pill they could take to stop them letting loose, would you really want them to take it? Think of all the hilarious things that wouldn’t happen if all the crazy drunks you knew (or you) took this pill. You’d never take a ride home in a shopping trolley or wake up spooning a kebab-covered Tube sign. If every office drunk took a pill to stay sober, where would all the Christmas party stories come from? And if everyone decided to pop the pills and stay in control, how many couples would simply never have got together? It might save a lot of red faces and bleary eyed, regretful mornings after. But we all love a bit of excitement. And, more to the point, most of us would admit that we can’t wait for that glass of wine (or six) on a Friday night. If you don’t want to get drunk – and stop me if this is just completely insane – couldn’t you just have a soft drink? Although, if there was a pill that could instantly sober you up when things go wrong – like a little round ejector seat – then that would be totally different. » Agree or disagree? Should there be a pill to stop you getting drunk? firstname.lastname@example.org
ASHTON KUTCHER’S ALLEGED INFIDELITY Demi Moore has spent thousands on surgery to look fresh-faced and youthful, but the rumour mill (which, of course, is never wrong) says her husband Ashton Kutcher – 15 years her junior – has been getting his end away with a 23-year-old blonde. But it gets worse. Demi, 48, appears to be blaming herself. On the weekend Ashton’s sordid escapade was supposed to have happened, she tweeted a quote from Greek philospher Epictetus, saying: “When we are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself & study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.” Come on, love.
If Ashton did cheat, then it’s all his fault
I have absolutely no time for anyone who blames themselves for a partner’s extra-marital bad behaviour. If he did sleep with this girl, then it’s all his fault. It’s not as though Demi was there at the time, holding his hand and leading him towards her heaving minge, right? Or maybe she was... TNTMAGAZINE.COM
Losing your cool Some brands, everyone wants a piece of, but what about the ugly ducklings? WORDS TOM STURROCK
Cool is notoriously hard to define. One person’s cool is another person’s conspicuous consumerism, another’s try-hard trendiness. Still, the difficulties in defining what’s cool haven’t stopped people from trying. Last week, the annual CoolBrands survey was released, naming Aston Martin as Britain’s most desirable brand. While many might assume being cool is faddish or ephemeral, Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, outlines a more scientific approach, weighing factors such as style, innovation, originality, authenticity and desirability. “Cool is a very personal thing, but we took into account these factors, which our research found to be inherent in cool brands,” Cheliotis explains. Reinforcing the idea that real cool, the bankable kind, has a timeless quality, is that many of the brands anointed in the survey (see far right for the full list) have previously scored well. It reflects, according to Cheliotis, a consumer preference for familiarity in straitened times, for established brands that have carved out a niche for themselves. “The thing about these brands is that they’ve proved to be relatively consistent over the years – people might assume that being cool is a fad or all about fashion, but people seem to be turning to brands that have been there and done that, but still managed to remain relevant and contemporary,” he says. “There’s no surprise that certain categories dominate – fashion and cars are both pretty sexy industries, so they’re both going to take their branding pretty seriously. And technology is increasingly that way – there’s real pressure on brands in those industries to market themselves in a way that makes them stand out.” Of course, it’s all very well for the brands at the top end of the scale, those endorsed by the right people and which have slowly become hard-wired into the cultural consciousness as bywords for style, for fun, for success. But what about the brands left behind in this arms race of 48
hipness? What about those that were never cool, simply because they never tried? Or the brands that wanted to be cool, but lost their mojo somewhere down the line? Cheliotis has no problem rattling off companies which have found themselves on the wrong side of the line between what’s hot and what’s not. “Take a brand like Lidl – the discount supermarket,” Cheliotis says. “It’s not innovative, stylish or original. It’s a warehouse with loads of boxes. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that or that they don’t have a role – they’re quite useful. But they function mainly on the basis of price and, in terms of being cool – no.” Burberry made its name as a luxury British fashion house, its trenchcoat self-billed as “iconic” – surely the most overused word in the marketing game. But, through an explosion of Burberry knock-offs on the so-called ‘grey market’, the brand became blighted by its association with chavs: a clothing line that set out to be aspirational and chic instead came to be viewed as common and tacky. “That was a number of years ago – they lost a bit of focus and weren’t sticking to what they knew, so their authenticity suffered,” Cheliotis explains. “They had the chav label attached to their brand, and that was because they weren’t policing their brand enough. People thought, ‘I don’t want that’ and the brand suffered in the UK. But they refocused under a new CEO and they cracked down on the imitation market so they weren’t being worn by every Tom, Dick and Harry who couldn’t afford the brand in its original form.” A similar strip of ‘brand hijacking’ afflicted Stella Artois. Ostensibly a boutique Belgian beer, its relatively high alcohol content brought an unwelcome association with incidence of booze-fuelled aggression and binge-drinking in the UK, and the beer subsequently became known as the beer of ‘wife-beaters’. It was a label that prompted Stella Artois to release and market a new line of less-alcoholic beer.
Photos: Tate Photography, Getty
Clockwise: Agent Provocateur; Burberry; the Tate Modern
“That really doesn’t help your brand, for obvious reasons,” Cheliotis says understatedly. “The difficulty for Stella was that it wasn’t really their fault – they did some fantastic marketing, particularly their ads linked to film. The problem for Stella was the strength of their beer. “The brand owners looked at it, saw their reputation was being damaged and changed the product. It wasn’t their fault to begin with, but you have to react.” There are also brands that suffer from over-exposure and, in effect, become victims of their own success, their own ubiquity. Although most companies crave name recognition and familiarity, Cheliotis acknowledges it’s possible for the pendulum to swing too far. “Most of the brands on our list aren’t massively niche – we’re talking about mass cool – but if brands become too saturated, it can cause a problem, particularly if you’re in a consumer setting like fashion or food and drink,” he says. “Ben Sherman, for example, probably became too saturated, and people started to turn away from it and try to find something else that helps them stand out.” More than ever, branding has become a highly conceptual, multi-platform exercise. It’s no longer sufficient for a brand spokesman, as in the days of old-school detergent ads, to simply promise consumers their product delivers ‘whiter than white’ results. A new level of engagement is required to pierce the bubble of indifference towards marketing gimmicks now inhabited by most consumers. “It’s a lot harder,” Celiotis says. “There are more media channels and different ways for people to promote a brand as well as more expectation from consumers, who are more brand-savvy, more demanding and very cynical. So there’s real pressure to deliver creative marketing. If those detergent ads were on today, consumers would say, ‘You say it’s whiter than white – really? Prove it. I want evidence. I’m not just going to believe this. You’re marketing to me’.”
THE COOL LIST 1 Aston Martin (above) – cool enough for James Bond 2 Apple – is it still cool if everyone has one? 3 Harley Davidson – the Marlboro Man was gutted to miss 4 Rolex – cool in a way you can’t afford 5 Bang & Olufsen – for audiophiles with fat wallets 6 BlackBerry – no wonder people can’t put them down 7 Google – at least it’s free 8 Ferrari – Ferris Bueller couldn’t resist 9 Nike – just buy it 10 YouTube – it has cats playing the piano. Cats! 11 Alexander McQueen (main image) – late and great 12 Dom Pérignon – stick to the Tesco-brand sparkling 13 Sony Playstation – should keep the geeks happy 14 Ray-Ban – can aviators be worn non-ironically again? 15 Chanel – keeps Keira Knightley of the streets too 16 Nintendo Wii – is family gaming actually cool? 17 Vivienne Westwood – from Derbyshire, definitely cool 18 Agent Provocateur – Kylie. Mechanical bull. Nuff said 19 Tate Modern – not so cool when full of schoolkids 20 Maserati – whatever, now this list is just showing off
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TEENAGERS PICKED IN AUSTRALIAN SQUADS CRICKET Australia’s investment in its next generation of cricketers went up a notch with the naming of its limitedovers squads for this month’s tour of South Africa, with teenagers Pat Cummins and Mitch Marsh selected. Beginning on October 13, Australia will play two T20s and three ODIs against South Africa before a two-Test series in November. Marsh, whose older brother, Shaun, was also named in both squads, admitted he was surprised by the call-up. “I was really shocked, but I think I’m ready,” he said. “Hopefully I can get over there and get a game with Shaun – it would be unbelievable.”
LOCKYER EYES FAREWELL TEST
Boks hold on: Victor Matfield rakes in a lineout against Samoa in the Springboks’ final group match, which ended up being far closer than they would have liked, although they prevailed 13-5 in the end. It was an unconvincing performance by South Africa, although it was enough to ensure they qualify top of their pool, which is all that matters
RUGBY LEAGUE Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer has declared himself a “95 per cent” chance of playing one more Test on home soil before leading Australia to the northern hemisphere for this year’s Four Nations. Australia play a Test against New Zealand at Ausgrid Stadium on October 16 before flying out five days later for the tournament, which will also involve the Kiwis, England and Wales. Lockyer, who missed Brisbane’s exit from the finals at the hands of the Sea Eagles, said he’d consulted his doctor and specialist, who were both happy with his progress since he fractured his cheekbone during the finals. “It will be five weeks when the Newcastle Test is played and by then I’ll be 95 per cent fit and doctors have told me they’re happy with that,” he said. 50
ROAR CONFIDENT AHEAD OF A-LEAGUE FOOTBALL The build-up to the new season has focused on the homecomings of Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton, but Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou reckons his side will be the big story when the season starts this weekend. The mastermind of the Roar’s stunning 2010-11 success wants his champion team to start hogging the spotlight again. “I want everyone to focus on us. I want us to have the headlines,” Postecoglou said last week. “I don’t believe in all this flying under the radar stuff. We won the championship last season and deservedly so and we want to go in there thinking we are the best team again.”
BIG WEEK FOR ... QUADE COOPER is the barometer for the Wallabies. It means that, when he’s on song, Australia look like worldbeaters but when he struggles so does the team. Unfortunately for Cooper, it also means that, when Australia lose, he’s a favourite scapegoat. He’s got all the talent in the world but needs to produce his best when it matters, starting this weekend, to silence his critics.
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QUOTES OF THE WEEK We had thought Japanese rugby had improved over the last four years, step by step. However, we found out first-hand that we are far from world-class Japan’s national rugby chief Tatsuzo Yabe on Japan’s World Cup showing. Seriously, did he expect to make the last eight?
Main men: Richie McCaw (right) and Daniel Carter
PREVIEW The tournament starts now RUGBY WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINALS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 6AM, ITV1 The pleasantries are over and the Rugby World Cup now hits its stride, with the sudden-death quarter-finals to be played this weekend. New Zealand and South Africa have motored impressively through the group stage – although the Boks were pushed hard by Samoa in their final hit-out – and are the teams to beat. Fortunately for the other sides, though, the two best sides in the competition are drawn to meet in the
semi-final, meaning there’s ample room for another team to sneak through to the final on the other side of the draw. Ireland’s upset win over Australia aside, the tournament has so far been short on big results – it’s inevitable given the structure of the tournament, with minnows a token presence and the last eight pencilled in before a ball’s been kicked. But as a glance back at the 2007 tournament confirms, the quarter-finals are where the tournament takes shape. Four years ago, it was at this stage France rolled the Kiwis and England pipped Australia. Could a boilover await this weekend?
He is one bad apple. He’s a disgrace to football. He epitomises what most people think is wrong with modern football Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness sinks the slipper into sulky Manchester City star Carlos Tevez
I doubt their intentions Tennis star Rafael Nadal explains, in his autobiography, why he doesn’t like dogs, not even friendly ones
THE CHAT | Life after Tevez
SNOOKER going to happen with Manchester City Q What’s and Carlos Tevez? If he’s finished at Eastlands, what does that mean for the club? the dust settles on the Tevez debacle – it may A When drag on, in fits and bursts, until the mid-season transfer window in January – Manchester City may emerge stronger for the irritation caused by their wantaway striker. They may be forced to sell Tevez at less than market value but a line has been drawn in the sand. No matter how much City over-spends on its players, none of them are bigger than the club and none of them should question the authority of the manager, Roberto Mancini, who’s unqualified condemnation of Tevez made a welcome change from his normal hedging.
Premier League, week five Can Ronnie O’Sullivan win a ninth title? Thursday 7.30pm, Sky Sports 2
RUGBY LEAGUE Super League final Another weekend, another final Saturday 5pm, Sky Sports 1
CRICKET Champions League T20 final Not welcome: Carlos Tevez
Can an Aussie side edge the Indians? Sunday 3.20pm, British Eurosport TNTMAGAZINE.COM
TNT puts the world to rights
COMMENT: JAHN VANNISSELROY email@example.com
South Africa’s strong forward pack could yet ruin the party
All Blacks have impressed but now the real stuff starts
So the All Blacks look sharp … but the competition is far from over
» Agree or disagree? Are the All Blacks dead certs at the World Cup? firstname.lastname@example.org 52
New Zealand Warriors coach Ivan Cleary must be kicking himself for signing with the Penrith Panthers for 2012 so early in the season. Cleary had his arm twisted by Penrith early this season, when the Warriors languished in the bottom half of the table. Surely, if he had waited until season’s end, his stocks would have been far higher, after engineering a remarkable turnaround. But the Warriors’ board must also be kicking themselves even harder for not committing to Cleary beyond 2012, refusing to extend his contract earlier this year. Under Cleary, the club had all three of
Cleary knows what it takes to succeed
its sides make their respective grand finals in 2011 and has had a winning culture implemented during his six-year reign. A former player, Cleary has an intimate understanding of what it takes to succeed in the NRL. The Warriors will be hoping he forgets a little of that before they face the Panthers next season.
As New Zealanders celebeated the All Blacks’ 37-17 walloping of France in Auckland, the world’s media went into overdrive, lavishing praise on Richie McCaw and his boys. “Is this World Cup done and dusted? Leaving Eden Park, it felt like it,” a Guardian scribe gushed, another journo seemingly ready to hand over the gold cup there and then. Surely it’s too soon to be planning the parade. The All Blacks certainly clicked in the first half, but it was against a weakened French team, one that had to be taken seriously but was also missing a number of top-flight players. There’s not a Kiwi alive who won’t be taking the pragmatic view that, despite a fantastic opening ceremony and a nationwide love-in for the minnows, the World Cup really starts this weekend with the sudden-death quarter-finals. South Africa still lurks as a major contender for the title. The Boks are a big-game team who know how to win at World Cups. They’ve improved in both style and execution in the tournament and, if they gain a physical advantage at the breakdown, they can severely impact the front-foot ball of any of their opponents. They’re battle-hardened, proud and know how to grind out wins. Consider, too, the French. Forget the inner turmoil after public criticism from coach Marc Lievremont; their emotional approach means on any given day they can be a very different team from the one at Eden Park. And let’s also remember the wily, under-the-radar Australians; the courageous, confident Irish; and the, um, ever-improving English. The BBC journo who, after the All Blacks’ recent win, posed this question: “Have we caught an early glimpse of the future world champions?” got it only slightly right. Of course we’ve seen the future world champs during the past four weeks, it’s just we don’t know who they are yet. To award the cup prematurely is hugely disrespectful to the strong teams still alive.
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Sport’s dark underbelly Allegations of a ‘cash for medals’ scheme at next year’s Olympics recall other dirty tricks WORDS TOM STURROCK
Organisers of the 2012 London Olympics have been doing the hard sell in recent months. The tickets were handed out and we then entered the home straight, and the build-up will, of course, continue until the opening ceremony next July. Naturally, the focus will be on the myth-making, the feel-good stories, the local heroes, the purity of honest competition, the theatre of elite sport. But, last month, the BBC aired allegations of a plot to fix the boxing event, undermining the official account of all things Olympic. Newsnight broadcast an in-depth exposé, claiming Azerbaijani officials had paid several million pounds in return for a guarantee that their fighters would win two gold medals at next year’s Games. The allegations are now the subject of an ongoing investigation, but the report still delivered a jarring reminder that, in the realm of elite sport, there will always be dirty tricks.
Hansie Cronje It was in April 2000 that cricket irreversibly lost its innocence. Sure, there had been whispers of illegal bookmaking and approaches to players on the sub-continent, but few would have predicted that Hansie Cronje (main image), South Africa’s proud captain, would become the biggest casualty of corruption in cricket. Initially, Cronje denied charges that he was in cahoots with an Indian betting syndicate and had accepted large sums of cash to influence results and coax players to under-perform. But the evidence mounted up and, later that year, Cronje was banned for life. In June 2002, he was killed in a plane crash. Because of the shadowy forces surrounding Cronje, there remains speculation the crash was something other than a horrible accident.
Chicago White Sox and ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson It was nearly 100 years ago, but the so-called ‘Black Sox scandal’ remains a cornerstone of baseball folklore. It was 54
the 1919 World Series, between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. After the Reds won the nine-game series 5-3, it emerged eight Chicago players had conspired to throw games in return for a total of US$100,000. Lifelong bans were dished out to the players involved, including ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, who has come to personify the scandal – there is the apocryphal tale of a kid imploring Jackson, ‘say it ain’t so, Joe’, as well as persistent conjecture about whether Jackson, one of the stars of the game, was in fact involved in the match-fixing.
Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan It happened 17 years ago, but there remains a uniquely vivid weirdness about this tale of toxic rivalry and thwarted ambition, climaxing in a plume of unexpected violence. If Shakespeare was into ice-skating, he would have been all over this one. In 1994, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were vying for a spot on the US team for the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. One month before the event, though, Kerrigan was attacked at the US Championships and clubbed with a baton on her right knee. It soon emerged that Harding’s ex-husband had been involved in arranging the attack – what Harding knew and when she knew remain disputed, but the governing body of figure skating was sufficiently convinced of her complicity to ban her for life.
Pakistani spot-fixing When, in the summer of 2010, News Of The World – remember them? – caught a sports agent in a spectacular sting, capturing him on camera counting a pile of money to bribe players, while making detailed predictions about specific deliveries in Pakistan’s match against England, the scourge of spot-fixing was laid bare. Three players, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, received lengthy bans as a result. Still, the scandal reinforced two
Clockwise: Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero; Mohammad Aamer; Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan
broader concerns: firstly, the disparity in wealth between Pakistani cricketers and those in Australia, England or India means players will always be tempted by a quick buck; secondly, how feckless is the ICC if it falls to a British tabloid to police the integrity of the sport?
Juventus and Serie A Football supporters the world over have long found themselves muttering under their breath about the “cheating bloody Italians”, and the so-called Calciopoli scandal of 2006 seemed to give credence to persistent suspicions about a culture of dodginess in Italian football. Italian police uncovered a far-reaching network of referees and club officials, who used their contacts to influence the outcome of matches. Five clubs – AC Milan, Juventus, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina – faced charges and, although initially harsh sentences were watered down on appeal, Juventus were stripped of their two Serie A titles and relegated from the top flight. If only the court had been able to prevent Fabio Grosso from diving to milk a penalty against Australia at the 2006 World Cup. Cheating bloody Italians.
Spanish paralympians The Spanish basketballers who won gold at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney were eventually forced to return their medals after an inquiry found most of the team were, in fact, not disabled at all. Spain beat Russia in the competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities – team members were supposed to have IQs no higher than 70 – but Carlos Ribagorda, an undercover journalist, later revealed no testing had been conducted to confirm eligibility and that the majority of the players, along with competitors in table tennis, athletics and swimming, had no disability. As a result of Spain’s deception, the category for competitors with intellectual disabilities was removed from the Paralympics.
Taking a dive
CORRUPTION IN SPORT NOTHING NEW ABOUT IT Alas, corruption and cheating seem are as old as sport itself, and are certainly not limited to the 20th and 21st centuries or, for that matter, to the Western world. In the ancient Olympics, competitors took an oath to protect the integrity of the competition. That, of course, didn’t stop some athletes from taking bribes, which was apparently commonplace in ancient Greece. The Japanese word yaocho refers to the practice of pre-determining results of a game. It comes from the story of Chobei, the owner of a vegetable stand, or yaoya, in the 19th century. Yaocho was a nickname for Chobei, who would deliberately lose at board games with customers so they would stay longer and buy more veg. Instances of bout-rigging have also been uncovered in sumo wrestling, with sumos helping each other’ to maintain their salaries, which are determined by their win-loss records at major tournaments.
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TRAVEL LATE DEALS | HOTSHOTS | HOLIDAY SNAPS | TOP FIVE | TOURS | BIG TRIP IMAGE OF THE WEEK
ROLLER CART FESTIVAL Participants descend a hill on a rather ricketylooking homemade vehicle during the XXIII Roller Cart Festival in Medellin, Colombia
Photos: Marcus Gyger, Robin McKelvie, Getty, TNT
WHISKY TRAIL /60
VINE TIME /68
COOL CATALONIA /74
A wee dram, stunning scenery and submarine theft – just a few reasons to discover Scotland’s hidden gems on a walking tour
Looking out over Lake Geneva, the terraced vineyards of Lavaux offer great cycling and some cheeky refreshments along the way
The Catalans insist they have everything – a visit to the beaches and vineyards of the Costa Dorada suggests they may be right TNTMAGAZINE.COM
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Laura Chubb ACTING TRAVEL EDITOR
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS I have a confession to make. And I think you’re going to find it a bit odd. I guess you’d expect a person in my position to be ever-eager about gadding around the globe, always jetting off to far-flung destinations in persistent pursuit of the exotic.
Nepalese men wash a buffalo in preparation for sacrifice
DASHAIN Kathmandu, Nepal The most auspicious festival on the Nepalese calendar, Dashain celebrates the triumphs of the Hindu gods and goddesses over 3-11 demons. While rituals are carried out all over Nepal, perhaps the most spectacular occur in the capital, Kathmandu. It’s not a great time for the country’s buffaloes and goats, though, as there are thousands of animal sacrifices. OCT
WHY: Dashain reminds Hindus of the universal principles of truth, justice and virtue, and that they will always prevail over deception, injustice and wickedness. Worshipping the Supreme Goddess Durga brings good luck, whereas failing to observe Dashain is said to bring misfortune.
HOT AIR BALLOON WEEK Flims, Switzerland
DO IT BECAUSE: Dashain is a riot of colours and rituals, and will be quite unlike anything you have ever seen before. Anyone with a goat phobia should steer clear, however; around 50,000 of the animals are brought to the capital for the festival. welcomenepal.com
CROMER AND SHERINGHAM ARTS FESTIVAL Cromer, Norfolk, UK
See hot air balloons of every colour scattered against the 1-8 blue sky over the Swiss Alps. Or take a thrilling ride in one to experience a breathtaking panorama of crystal clear lakes and lush forests. OCT
GHADAMES DATE FESTIVAL Ghadames, Libya
Celebrating the end of Libya’s date harvest with 14-16 dates and dancing in the World Heritage-listed old quarter. However, we think it may be wise to put off visiting ‘til next year. OCT
A feast of arts and photography exhibitions, 22-29 poetry, music, stage shows and workshops, all set in this pretty seaside Norfolk town. OCT
Prättigaueron, Switzerland A parade of yodling herdsmen bring their 6-9 cheese, cows, sheep and goats to the Alpine valley. A large market and games programme keeps you entertained when the yodling comes to an end. OCT
But there’s a place that’s really captured my imagination recently, and it’s taken me by surprise. I’m finding myself increasingly keen to explore more of the UK. It’s all too easy to take for granted what you’ve got at home, and I suspect a lot of us living here are doing just that. But consider Lonely Planet’s latest book, 1000 Ultimate Sights, is filled with UK landmarks, and you begin to realise that a great getaway needn’t necessarily involve your knees seizing up irreversibly over a few hours flying economy. I’ve spent the past three years living abroad, and doggedly made the most of what was around me. Weekends were for discovering what lay off the beaten track nearby, and sucking up every last bit of experience I could muster. And there’s no reason that should change now I’m back in London. Sure, this is a great jumping-off point for exploring further afield, but don’t forget what’s on your doorstep. Getting stuck in a daily routine is the main reason we feel the need to fly off and escape, but work regular staycations into your life and it makes a huge difference. The UK tourism industry is set to receive a £7.3bn boost this year owing to the rising popularity of holidays at home. So you’ll be helping out our crappy economy, too. Here at TNT, we always strive to bring you the best of breaks around the UK, and we’re never short of ideas. Turn to page 60 for a start.
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TRENDING NOW: IRAQ Iraq is proving a surprise rising star among travellers in the UK. Searches for flights to the northern city of Erbil surged 504 per cent on cheapflights.co.uk in the first six months of 2011, compared to the same time last year. The price comparison site’s resident travel expert Nadine Hallak said: “With its relative stability ... increased flights and development in the way of hospitality and hotels, [northern Iraq] has begun to draw intrepid tourists.” Erbil is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Airlines reported an increase in demand for flights to Iraq earlier this year, and Emirates launched flights to Basra in February.
LIQUID CONTRABAND Airline passengers in the UK are still confused about which items constitute liquids that cannot be taken on flights, according to research by travel agent Sunshine. A survey of more than 2000 travellers found half of them had items confiscated before boarding. Of those, 88 per cent had their drinks taken away by airport security. A further 71 per cent had their suncream seized – which may or may not explain the phenomenon of pink Brits abroad. Sunshine predicted the combined cost of items confiscated from UK travellers in 2010 exceeded £143m.
NEW SNOW EXPRESS Budget travellers looking forward to a season of snowsports will be pleased to hear Londonbased coach service Snow Express has added more departures. A new Friday daytime service will take avid skiers and snowboarders direct to the Alps from London Victoria. Operations director Dave Manley said: “The new service leaving London Victoria at 2pm will enable skiers to arrive at their destination in time for breakfast.” Fares start at £65 and take travellers to ski resort hubs Morzine and Avoriaz. More at snowexpress.co.uk.
OSLO PRICE HIKES Oslo is the most expensive European capital city for an overnight getaway, online hotel reservation service hotel.info reports. According to the company’s research, the cost of an overnight stay in the Norwegian capital has rocketed more than 14 per cent compared to August last year, with an average of about £132. Moscow and Copenhagen came second and third, clocking in at about £128 and £126 respectively. The cheapest European capital city getaway was Athens with an average overnight price of £60.53, followed by Berlin at £61.74.
Remote: wildly beautiful Islay
EAT, DRINK, SLEEP
GETTING THERE Indirect return flights with British Airways from £316 (britishairways.com). Return train tickets from London to Glasgow Airport start about £115 (virgintrains.co.uk). Direct return flights from Glasgow to Islay start at £143 with Flybe (flybe.com).
The island’s most charming hotel, Port Charlotte, has a romantic restaurant. Snag a window table if you can. The Loch Indaal scallops flavoured with Islay whisky are gorgeous. (portcharlottehotel.co.uk) The best place to eat at any of the distilleries, Ardbeg Distillery is worth going to just for the food. Good value mains include local meat and seafood. (ardbeg.com) Bowmore’s Lochside Hotel has one of the best-stocked whisky bars on the island, boasting a comprehensive collection of rare Islay tipples. (lochsidehotel.co.uk) At the Port Askaig Hotel, you can recline with views across the Sound of Islay to the epic mountains of Jura. Sells a selection of blended whisky at £1 per dram. (portaskaig.co.uk) Port Charlotte Hotel is a charming old whitewashed waterfront dame in the pretty eponymous village. Make sure to book a room facing the sea. Double rooms start at £170 and include a full Scottish breakfast. (portcharlottehotel.co.uk)
Hot air: bagpipers will likely be included 60
The island’s official Youth Hostel is housed in an old whisky warehouse by the sea in pretty Port Charlotte. Rooms start at £16.25 pppn. (syha.org.uk)
The secret whisky trail A wee dram, stunning scenery and submarine theft – just a few reasons to discover Scotland’s hidden gems on a walking tour
Photos: Robin McKelvie, Getty, Thinkstock
WORDS ROBIN MCKELVIE
With eight distilleries tucked into one wildly beautiful island, Islay should be flooded with tourists – just as deluges of dram-sluggers crowd Scotland’s biggest whisky region of Speyside on the mainland. But such is the remoteness of this Hebridean isle, the tourist hordes have yet to really discover it. This leaves the locals to get on with life much as they did centuries ago, when the legendary Lords of the Isles ruled swathes of Scotland from their Islay stronghold. As I fly in, it’s easy to see why the lords chose Islay as their home. The island is painted in vivid and dramatic colours – a collage of rolling hills, sweeping sand-strewn bays and craggy coastline, with the shadowy ‘Paps of Jura’, the lofty mountain range that dominates the neighbouring island of Jura, rising to the east. This natural beauty is echoed in Islay’s whisky distilleries, which all produce single malts with an intoxicating aroma of peat. Combining with the fresh island water and traces of seaweed, it is a taste that draws in everyone from connoisseurs through to timid after-dinner drinkers (the type who normally profess to not liking the drink that is eulogised in Gaelic as ‘Uisge Beatha’, or the ‘Water of Life’). Today’s eight distilleries – Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhainn, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin and Laphroaig – produce world-renowned whisky. The best way to learn more about the hallowed dram is on a guided tour. Of the five I try out, easily the best is at Ardbeg, an ambitious distillery that only re-opened in 1997 after being mothballed in 1981. Ardbeg shares Islay’s most spectacular stretch of coastline with its equally picturesque neighbours Lagavulin and Laphroaig. The team here has created a great tour around the full workings of the distillery. It culminates in a café that even manages to draw in non-whisky-drinking locals with a range of great meals and comforting traditional desserts such as clootie dumpling (not an unfortunate disease, but a Scottish suet pudding made with breadcrumbs and sultanas). After asking directions from their stillman, I hike from the distillery up the rough hillside to Loch Uigeadail, where Ardbeg’s peaty water is sourced. The tradition is to ‘return’ a dram or two to the loch, but there was no way I was going to waste what is now my favourite island malt!
Bruichladdich has also recently been reborn with a real attempt to employ a range of traditional methods. On its tour, I learn about the Victorian-era distilling equipment that attracted some unexpected attention from the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). I’m told when Bruichladdich’s owners first received an email from DTRA, they thought it was a joke. But it turned out the distillery’s webcams, which record the antique distilling process, had become the focus of an intelligence operation that mistook the equipment for a potential terrorist threat. In 2005, the distillery again made the headlines when
The distillery captured a spy vessel
it was involved in the ‘capture’ of a British spy minisubmarine. After discovering the vessel, laden with hightech surveillance equipment, the distillery reported it to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). A series of strange exchanges reportedly followed, during which the MoD first denied it was theirs – despite there being MoD identification on it – and then seemed to imply that the distillery had stolen it from them. (The distillery launched a ‘Yellow Submarine’ malt to commemorate the occasion.) Bruichladdich’s tendency towards the dramatic ensures its tours are packed with entertaining tall stories. I end my personal whisky trail at the smallest and newest distillery on Islay, Kilchoman – the first to be built on the island in 124 years and only opened in 2005. In its first year, this small-scale farm operation only yielded seven casks, though production is now stepping up a gear. Kilchoman links the present to the island’s past, with its storyboards depicting the days when countless NEXT WEEK little stills bustled away in every Edinburgh. We village. A perfect end to my tour just love Scotland! around the most captivating corner of Scotland’s whisky trail. TNTMAGAZINE.COM
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DEAL OF THE WEEK MALDIVES MADNESS
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> £500 NEW YORK A four-night trip to New York is £599pp (save £90) with Flight Centre (0844 8008628; flightcentre.co.uk). Includes threestar accommodation and return flights. Based on two adults sharing. Offer ends October 31; valid February 1-26. SOUTH-EAST ASIA A 14-day tour around Thailand, Laos and Cambodia is £883pp (save £156) with Contiki (0845 0750990; contiki.com). Includes accommodation, 17 meals, sightseeing tours, local taxes and service charges, internal flights and transport. Valid until October 24. RUSSIA A nine-day tour around Russia is £636pp (save £115) with On the Go Tours (020 73711113; onthegotours.com). Includes St Petersburg, Moscow and Novgorod. Includes three-star, B&B accommodation. Excludes flights. Departs October 9.
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Talks travel photography
HOT TIPS: Space When you’re going to be shooting in an environment with little space to manoeuvre, it’s a good idea to plan in advance. Space can be a range of things; it could be people getting in your way or physically a tight spot. People can be a bit easier to deal with – asking politely for them to move will get you far, although be aware of
being annoying. We have all had ‘that moment’ in London when a tourist trying to get the right shot holds up rush-hour commuters. No one wants to be that person. A tight space will need a bit of imagination, and maybe some artistic cropping. A wide lens will help with getting a larger proportion of your subject in.
YOU CAN RUN, BUT NEVER HIDE AT LA TOMATINA Sarah O’Donnell, Sydney, Australia
WHY IT WORKS Using text in an image is one of my favourite things, especially a person holding something featuring words; it’s playful and gives a cheeky element. The lady has truly taken her own advice and is sitting high above the crowd, her forehead covered in squashed tomatoes as a result. An atmospheric image, filled with fun and chaos.
RUNNER-UP ANOTHER PLACE Benjamin Smith, Sydney, Australia
WHY IT WORKS Choosing to crop one of Antony Gormley’s life-size cast iron figures at the waist provides us with an obvious point on which to focus – let’s all giggle together. I like that Benjamin’s chosen selection offers a new perspective. Would this image have grabbed our attention if it had featured the hand instead? A THREE-DAY TOUR OF SCOTLAND AND A PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE Upload your images to tntmagazine.com/hotshots First prize is a three-day tour of Scotland for two worth £218 from Haggis Adventures (haggisadventures.com). Must be taken within three months of receiving prize letter. The runner-up wins a £60 photography course voucher from Nigel Wilson Photography (photographycourses.org.uk).
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NEW ENGLAND, US
The ‘rustic’ lodge
NOMAD ECO LODGE OVERVIEW Like a hostel for grownups, Nomad Ocean Adventures’ eco-lodge is a rather ‘rustic’ affair, offering a simple set-up made great by an outdoor majlis (Arab for “place of sitting”) where guests converge and converse. As well as being a stone’s throw from the public beach and harbour, the real selling point is the lodge’s proximity to Musandam, a world-class dive site off the coast of Oman. WOW FACTOR Where to start? Reasonably priced beers (alcohol is heavily taxed in the region), a great barbecue buffet cooked up by owner Christophe’s parents, and an eclectic selection of guests make for lively evenings. (We got talking to a Parisian publishing powerhouse, a Spanish magician and an ageing playboy from Abu Dhabi on our last visit.) Diving by day is also spectacular – expect to see whale sharks, stingrays and turtles. ROOMS Spacious, shared rooms are clean and brightly decorated with local tapestries. There are shared bathrooms and shared living rooms with cosy couches and TV. BILL PLEASE A double room with dinner and breakfast buffet included costs about £40 a night. Villa rates are available for groups. Diving packages including overnight stays start at £100pp. Snorkelling and trekking is also available.
Dibba Harbour, Oman discovernomad.com
For vistas of blazing autumn hues, it’s difficult to beat New England in the good ol’ US of A. Incorporating the states of Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the region attracts “leaf peepers” from around the world hoping to feast their eyes on a fireworks display of colour. The foliage begins to morph from green to vibrant reds, yellows and russets in the northern states of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire from mid-September. Along the coast of New Hampshire and in the southern states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the colour transforms a little later and can last right up until November. A self-drive tour is the best way to enjoy the spectacular scenery and there is no shortage of routes to choose. The Mohawk Trail in Western Massachusetts was created as one of the States’ first scenic highways and does not disappoint. Taking its name from a Native American trade route it runs for 105km from Orange to Williamstown through
the beautiful Berkshire Hills. The hightest peak, Mount Greylock (3491ft), affords wonderful views and there are plenty of opportunities to experience the wilderness just off the beaten track – but watch out for bears! For a slightly different perspective on the autumn splendour, you can zipline through the tree canopy in Charlemont, west of Shelburne Falls. The White Mountains region of New Hampshire is another area of outstanding autumnal beauty. The red maples begin to turn about now and can be appreciated from the summit of Mount Washington. At 6288ft it is the highest mountain in the north-eastern US and is accessible from the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway for those not up for a steep hike. For a “fall” experience closer to sea level, check out Rhode Island’s famous vineyards at harvest time or drive down to Georgetown, Maine for a lobster roll. But whatever you decide on, do book ahead as you won’t be the only rubbernecking leaf-lover in town. discovernewengland.org
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A popular spot in which to view cherry blossoms in the spring, Japan’s lake district also puts on a dramatic display of colour during November. As the local maples (momiji) transform from chlorophyll-green to deep vermilion, the view of nearby Mt Fuji, floating among a sea of red, has to be seen to be believed. Aethsetics aside, Fujigoko is a great place for hiking, camping and fishing in the great outdoors before winter arrives. visitjapan.jp
With the maple leaf as its national emblem, Canada has no shortage of scenic spots offering up stunning autumn splendour. Quebec’s Laurentian mountains are a particularly spectacular spot in which to enjoy this magical experience. The combination of sugar maples, yellow birch and American Beech ensure a truly kaleidoscopic showing, with colours reaching their optimum vividity from the end of September through to late October. laurentians.com
Autumn is more than just a season in Poland – it’s a way of life, as people come out in droves to hunt for mushrooms and blueberries across the country’s rich landscape. Particularly fetching in late October, is the beautiful Lake Czorsztyn, located on the Polish-Slovakian border. When the riot of autumn colour reaches its peak, it provides the perfect dramatic backdrop to the hilltop medieval castle Niedzica. poland.travel/en-gb
SHERWOOD FOREST, UK
Robin Hood’s old stomping ground is also the place to see some of Britain’s most stunning autumnal scenery. With birch, ancient oaks, sweet chestnut and beech, the forest takes on a lovely golden hue this time of year. And plenty of marked walking trails and cycle paths make it easy to explore. The Major Oak, more than 800 years old, is a 30-minute stroll from the visitor centre and is a must see. Also check out the Woodland Fair at nearby Clumber Park on Oct 8-9.
NEXT WEEK The world’s best deserts to camp, trek and sweat in
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Try skiing in the Japan Alps in March
YOU ASKED FOR IT... LAURA LINDSAY FROM LONELY PLANET
planning on going to Japan for Q I’m a couple of weeks in March. I want to spend one week in Tokyo and one week somewhere else in the country. What is Japan’s must-see destination besides Tokyo? Jenni, via email experience the many faces of Japan, take A To a route starting at ultra-modern Tokyo, then
contemplating going to Egypt for Q I’m Christmas and New Year and want to know your thoughts on whether I should book on a tour or do my own thing? I will be travelling with three other females and plan to spend about nine days there. Bex, via email options have their merits. If you prefer A Both to be independent and spontaneous but are worried about travelling around by yourself, you don’t need to opt for a tour; Egypt is a reasonably easy country to explore on your own. You can travel through the country by land, air and sea (or river!) with ease. If you make your own itinerary, I would suggest you try to include Cairo and the Pyramids on your arrival, and then move on to historic Luxor further south. Follow this up with a cruise down the Nile. Alternatively, after exploring Cairo and the Pyramids, hop on an Egypt Air flight to Sharm El-Sheik and enjoy some sun on the Red Sea Riviera (egyptair.com). A return flight from Cairo is around £80 at this time of year. If you do want to go for a tour, a good suggestion is On The Go’s Festive King Ramses 13-night tour (starting from £579, departing December 23, onthegotours.com). The tour includes sailing down the Nile for a Christmas Day with a difference, then celebrating the New Year in Dahab – a great place for the festivities as its backpacker vibe is perfect for a party.
GO TO GULANGYU TIP When in China, check out OF THE the island of Gulangyu WEEK off the coast of Xiamen. When I went, I was the only Western tourist there. It’s a cute, car-free little paradise covered in derelict colonial architecture. There are also speakers all over the island that play piano music (it’s known as ‘piano island’). A word of warning – the ferry is free on the way to Gulangyu from Xiamen, so don’t be fooled by the dodgy-looking boat captains who try to charge you for a ride (find the real ferry terminal further along the docks). You do have to pay on the way back, though! James, via email IMMODIUM: JUST SAY NO I am passing on some advice from the nice doctor who hooked me up to a drip when I got salmonella in Peru. If you are suffering ‘unfortunate’ effects from your travellers’ diet, do not take immodium. It blocks you up but doesn’t fight the problem. The bacteria is different in South America to elsewhere, apparently. So it will all come out in the end. Peter, via email
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A LONELY PLANET GUIDE
Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsay will give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice. This is a reader forum — TNT and Lonely Planet accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using the information provided.
go north to the stunning scenery of the Japan Alps, and then west to culturally rich Kyoto for a taste of Japanese history. In Tokyo, visit top sites such as Tsukiji fish market and the bustling district of Shinjuku to see Tokyo’s famed neon. For a truly Japanese experience, hop on the bullet train to the nearby city of Nagoya. From here you can connect by train to the beautiful restored district of Sanmachi-suji in the city of Takayama, which takes just over two hours. Stroll through the pretty streets lined with traditional restaurants, shops and sake breweries. If you hire a car, you will be able to explore the Japan Alps, where in March you could consider skiing. Shiga Kõgen is a great resort – one of the largest in the world. From nearby city Kanazawa you can visit the stunning Kenroku-en garden, and from here you can be in Kyoto in a little over two hours by train. Kyoto is unmissable. With 17 Unesco world heritage sites, it is Japan’s cultural capital. Head here for Shintõ shrines, Buddhist temples and bamboo groves. Then hop back on the bullet train to return to Tokyo for your flight home.
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WHERE IN THE WORLD?
A TRIP FOR TWO TO BATH & STONEHENGE
Been somewhere good lately? Send us a horizontal photo of yourself with a copy of TNT from anywhere around the world and, if we print it, you’ll win a trip for two to Bath and Stonehenge with Anderson Tours, valued at £104! » Email your pictures to ontheroad@ tntmagazine.com along with your name, where you’re from and where the photo was taken, or see tntmagazine.com/world. Files must be at least 500Kb.
COPPERSMITH STREET, SARAJEVO Rafael Castro from Cuba
BEST / WORST TRIP
ENRIQUE ROBLES, 29
HENRY TUGENDHAT, 25
BEST I cycled from Thailand to Beijing with two friends. We went through some incredible places. The highlight was the three days we spent in the mountains of Laos, with fantastic views of lush jungle below. WORST On my first day in Morocco, I was mugged and threatened. I was on my own and I found it very hard to relax on the rest of the trip – even though I didn’t run into any more trouble for the remainder of my time there. The country was actually really nice.
Most memorable travel experience? I was in Emei Shan in China when a monkey attacked me to get my orange juice. We wrestled for a bit but I eventually won! Best gig you’ve been to? The Festival of Music in France is amazing. You see loads of different genres, some great unsigned acts and international bands too. Worst travel experience? I had a motorbike stolen when I was in Tha Kek, Thailand. I had to pay a lot of money to the people I’d rented it from.
» Tell us your best/worst trips, email email@example.com
Photos: Thinkstock, TNT
NORTHERN LIGHTS PHOTO BREAK Capture the Northern Lights on camera in Pingvallavatn, Iceland, renowned for its views of the Aurora Borealis (pictured). A six-day photography break is £1699pp through Tatra Photography Workshop (0161 4088988; tatraphotographyworkshop.com). Includes flights, half-board accommodation, transfers and professional tuition.
MIKE GALE Owner G2 Outdoors, Aviemore, Scotland
My first ever big trip was when I was 10 years old. My parents hired a caravan in the Lake District. Being adventurous parents, they dragged me kicking and screaming to the top of the Old Man of Coniston in two feet of snow. At the time it didn’t seem like much fun, but that little trip forged the way for my life in the great outdoors. My most challenging travel experience was spending six months climbing in the Alps with no money and little food. My favourite place in the world is the Doo Bar in Aviemore, Scotland. OK, Scotland in general – that’s why I live here. The next trip on my travel wishlist is ski mountaineering in the Himalayas. There’s so much untouched terrain out there, it’s unbelievable. So I need to get out there and grab it before anyone else. I always pack my toothbrush and a bottle of whisky. My top travel tip is enjoy, smile and get stuck in. TNTMAGAZINE.COM
Vineyard with a view: the shores of Lake Geneva
SWITZERLAND BERNE Geneva
Pedal power: wobbling along to the next glass of wine GETTING THERE Swiss Air has direct daily flights to Geneva from London, starting from ÂŁ101 return. (swiss.com)
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Vine time Looking out over Lake Geneva, the terraced vineyards of Lavaux offer great cycling and some cheeky refreshments along the way WORDS JENNIFER CARR
“Don’t be shy. Go on, get your nose right in there.” In different circumstances, sticking my schnoz in a glass like this might be considered odd. But it’s par for the course during Geneva’s autumn harvest, when Switzerland’s top wine growers unite to pluck, press and quaff grapes straight from Unesco-endorsed vines. I’ve come to Lavaux, in the Lausanne wine region, which is home to 830 hectares of ancient stone-terraced vineyards, stretching for 30km along the northern shores of Lake Geneva. There are also dozens of exceptional biking trails where you can peddle, sample and savour the scenery – and grapes – at your own pace. The entire harvesting process occurs over several weeks and is a manual labour of love, simply because the terraces are too steep for modern equipment. But they’re not too much for thick tyre treads and a half-decent level of fitness. (And remember, there’ll be plenty of refreshments along the way.) Starting from the historic town of Vevey on Lake Geneva’s northern shore, I fast-track my journey up to the bike trails with a ride on the aptly named ‘Train des Vignes’, or wine train. It’s a 10-minute trip that comes with gorgeous views of the lake, the Alps and the vineyards, and gets me excited about the picturesque pedalling that lies ahead. (Random fact: Vevey is where milk chocolate was invented, by Daniel Peter in 1875. But it wasn’t until he enlisted the help of Henri Nestlé that he could bring the product to the market, and Vevey is today the world headquarters of Nestlé.) My guide, Jean Marc, and I hoist ourselves and our bikes off at Chexbres, a wine-growing town that looks like it’s sprung straight from some alcoholically laced fairytale. Admiring the 16th-century architecture, we grab a strong cafe au lait before zig-zagging down to the old village of Saint Saphorin. The town’s impressive Roman clock tower and ancient crypt do nothing to distract from how eerily silent the village is. Then I remember that the locals are out on the terraces, deftly plucking grapes off the vines before the fruit peaks and lose its value. Spurred on to experience the results of the locals’ labour firsthand, we cycle towards the home of winemaker Alexandre Chappuis, an award-winning vintner known for great wines and even greater generosity. You can actually stay on his working vineyard, and if you volunteer to get stuck in with the plucking, Alexandre will doubtless keep you
in ample supply of his award-winning grapes. Seated on our host’s lake-facing terrace, I learn the importance of pouring wine no more than a glass’s shoulder, or in simpler terms, the widest circumference point of a glass. The reason is surface area – it’s crucial, apparently, when unlocking a wine’s full potential. Spinning my glass to release its aromas, I push
Don’t be shy. Get your nose right in there
my nostrils towards the swirling liquid and inhale a cloud of flowers, grass, maybe even a whiff of pear. “Chasselas,” Jean Marc grins. “Our signature wine – its DNA comes straight from Lausanne’s soils.” Certainly, the mineral freshness coating my tongue couldn’t be a ››
Best cellar: where the magic happens TNTMAGAZINE.COM
more fitting byproduct of the crisp alpine environment. Rising a little unsteadily (it’s not yet midday), I purchase a sneaky Syrah – a powerful red wine – for later. Then, working on the premise that time waits for no wine lover, we catch a local train to Vevey, then Grandvaux, where a thigh-busting 20 minutes uphill grind ensues. As the road plateaus, we speed over wafer-thin walls that run parallel to the train tracks, the biking equivalent of going off-piste – and it’s more than a little hair-raising. Here we find my guide’s favourite spot: ‘les capites’, or ‘the little house’. Hidden to the untrained eye, this ancient stone outhouse was reportedly once a refuge for monks, but local winemaker Alain Chollet has reworked it into a scenic honesty bar for bikers and hikers thirsting for refreshment. Charmed by the simplicity of the moment – dropping Swiss francs into a box and helping ourselves to a crisp Viognier – we sit beneath a canopy of vines and let the soft acidity slide slowly down. For not the first time that day, I’m forced to kick myself: I can’t believe I’ve never before considered the Alps in autumn. ❚
Hike: earning a tipple or two for later
NEXT WEEK Scrooges be damned. We scour Europe’s very best Christmas markets
Load up on reliably good, generously sized plat du jour – including the local fish fillet de perche and steak tartar – at Bidlingmeyer SA, or keep things simple with baked chevre and a selection of the bakery’s nine varieties of bread. (Grand Rue1; tel +41 21 946 10 2)
A favourite haunt of the Tour de France, Cafe de la Poste is a cosy roadside cafe that excels in Mediterranean/ Swiss fusion from an enthusiastic Portuguese owner. Don’t miss the house special – garlicky gambas. (Grand Rue 48)
Tucked away in the cobbled streets of historic Vevey, Le Mazot offers cramped seating, less than 30 covers and a tiny menu. So what’s it got going for it? It’s unapologetically romantic, the wine is top notch and you can slice through the steak like butter. Book ahead. (Rue du Conseil 7; +41 21 92178 2)
Little more than a basement cave cellar facing the shores of lake Geneva, Caveau des Vignerons de Cully is a convivial, laidback venue boasting many a rosy-cheeked local quaffing their way through a changing weekly menu of local vintner’s produce. (caveau-cully.ch)
Another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location, Vins Potterat affords a unique induction into winemaking. With 600-year-old wine barrels and a heavenly garden with wisteria canopy for al fresco sipping, it is open intermittently during the week for guests to enjoy aperitifs, cold local meats and cheeses. (vins-potterat.ch)
Al fresco sofas, an infinity pool and, oh yeah, one staggeringly good view of le lac. Don’t miss Le Deck, if only for one (justifiably) expensive glass of local red. For determined budgetblowers, there are tables perched right over the vines and haute cuisine aplenty. (barontavernier.ch)
Fancy staying right in the thick of it on a working vineyard? B&B lodgings at Domaine Alexandre Chappuis & Fils are basic but comfy in this 16th century stone abode on the terraces of Rivaz. (vins-chappuis.ch/)
Hostellerie De Genève is a twostar, lake-facing hotel offering a friendly atmosphere and typically Swiss interior. The top floor suites are desirable with balconies facing the lake, and feature old wooden skis on the wall and cow bells hanging from the furniture. (hotelgeneve.ch)
Fusing a love of nautical with old school silver screen glamour, Le Bourg 7 is a chic, playful boutique B&B in Lutry offering luxurious interiors, squishy beds and an inviting honesty bar packed with delicious local pinot. (lebourg7.com)
Photos: Urs Achermann, Andy Mettler, Remy Steinegger, Alain Towner, Thinkstock, TNT
Taking Stock This is Stockholm in 48 hours WORDS ALISON GRINTER
DAY 1: 09:00 Set yourself up for the day with breakfast at the Skanstulls Hostel (skanstulls.se). This stylish, funky hostel is located in the uber-trendy SoFo area, on Sodermalm, the coolest island of Stockholm’s archipelago. The district is home to several galleries and boasts the most restaurants and pubs in Stockholm. Double rooms start at £80. Dorm beds from £22pppn. 10:00 Take the metro to the old town, known locally as Gamla Stan. Venerable buildings and cobblestone streets evoke Stockholm’s historical origins, but be sure to check out the main shopping drag Västerlånggatan, too. 11:00 Take a short walk to the royal palace of Kungliga Slottet. A Stockholm must-see, it was built on the site of the original royal castle which burned down in 1697. With 608 rooms, it’s the world’s largest royal palace still used by a head of state. Have a gander at the fascinating state rooms and the Skattkammaren, which displays the crown jewels. Next door, and also worth a look, is Stockholm’s cathedral Storkyrkan. It dates back to the 13th century and Sweden’s kings and queens used to be crowned here. 13:00 Stay in Gamla Stan for lunch at Zum Franziskaner (Skeppsbron 44, Tel 08-411 8330). Founded by German monks and arguably the oldest restaurant in the city, Zum Franziskaner does a roaring trade in Austrian sausages and schnitzel. It’s also the perfect place to get acquainted with herring – something of an obsession for Swedes. 14:00 If you have time, check out the Nobelmuseet (nobelmuseum.se), a museum dedicated to local-boymade-good Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist/industrialist 72
who created the annual Nobel Prizes in 1901. 15:00 Time for some culture now, so cross the bridge to central Stockholm and hit the Nationalmuseum (nationalmuseum.se), Sweden’s largest art museum. Here you’ll see paintings and sculptures by all the great masters; Rembrandt, Rubens, Renoir, Degas and Gauguin as well as works by Swedish greats. 17:00 If your legs aren’t too sore, cross another bridge to Skeppsholmen. Slightly less touristy, this tiny, charming island is the scene of Stockholm’s annual summer jazz festival. 18:00 Head back to Sodermalm to freshen up at your hostel before heading out for dinner at Koh Phangan (kohphangan.se), a quirky Thai restaurant where you sit in little straw huts surrounded by palm trees, and take in a tropical soundtrack of chirruping crickets and rolling thunder. The food’s pretty good too. 22:00 Sodermalm has no shortage of stylish bars so take your pick from Kvarnen (kvarnen.com), a restaurant/beer hall with two swanky bar-nightclubs attached that play host to some of the city’s best DJs, or Storstad (storstad.se), an impossibly hip spot where locals go to be seen. DAY 2: 10:30 Have a well-earned lie-in before enjoying a laidback brunch at Sodermalm’s cosy Cafe String (cafestring.com). Their weekend “Frukostbuffé” menu is something to behold and is available until 1pm. 11:00 Sundays are made for a visit to the island of Djurgården, home to the world’s oldest outdoor museum, Skansen (skansen.se). Built in 1891 to give visitors an insight into how Swedes once lived, the hillside attraction
Photos: Stockholm Visitors Board/Yanan-Li, Richard Ryan, Getty
Changing of the guard at the Royal Palace
boasts recreations of whole villages, complete with operating glassworks, churches and cafes (be sure to grab a snack). There are also buildings from rural areas including a Sami camp and farms – all very authentic, with Swedish mountain cattle, goats, pigs, chickens and more. There’s also a mini-zoo with an impressive complement of Scandinavian animals including bison, brown bear, moose, lynx and wolverine. You could easily while away a whole day here but also try to make time for the nearby Vasamuseet (Vasamuseet.se). This maritime museum houses Sweden’s only surviving, fully intact 17th-century ship, the shortlived warship Vasa, which sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 and was painstakingly salvaged and restored in 1961. 17:00 Time for Fika, the Swedish name for “coffee break”. The Swedes take Fika very seriously. Usually involving cake, it’s something of an institution allowing them to touch base with family and friends. You should take it seriously, too, at Bla Porten (blaporten.com), which offers an array of baked goods in an alfresco garden setting. 18:00 Walk off all that cake with a stroll around Djurgarden. Sequestered among the lush forest and meadows are canals and shaded walkways. 23:00 For a proper late-night session, make a bee-line for the nearby nightclub of Mondo (Medborgarplatsen 8). With four dancefloors and three stages, it’s guaranteed to have something to suit every musical whim. Fly from London direct to Stockholm with Ryanair for £58 return (2h30mins). ryanair.com
[Caption] The Vasamuseet
Eating out(side) in the old town TNTMAGAZINE.COM
Barcelona and Vilanova SPAIN
GETTING THERE Flights from London to Barcelona leave daily. They depart mostly from Gatwick and Heathrow and are spread across the usual low-cost providers. You can pick up a return flight for anything between £60 and £150 depending on the flexibility of your dates.
Vilanova: take to the sea 74
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Homage to Catalonia The Catalans insist they have everything – a visit to the beaches and vineyards of the Costa Dorada suggests they may be right WORDS TOM STURROCK
WHEN TO GO: There’s never a bad time, really. But if you want Catalonia considers itself a distinct entity for an afternoon or a weekend, to get out to avoid the crowds, go either within Spain – a country within a country, on the water. They come for the 6km of side of summer. The average and a fiercely independent one at that. And, beaches, for the restaurants, cafes and bars temperature for October is still if you ask the Catalans, many would be more that pockmark the waterfront, their white 21˚C, so it’s a good spot for some than happy to do without the rest of Spain. tableclothes caught, forever flapping gently, winter sun. Any visitor to this province, which shares a in an unremitting sea breeze. border with France in Spain’s northwest, will “Your kayak is fast, but it is not so stable,” CURRENCY: £1 = €1.15 hear, likely more than once, the mantra of says Rai, our sandy-haired instructor in a ACCOMMODATION: It their proud hosts: “We have the mountains, telltale Catalan accent. He has just come back depends on your budget. If you’re the ocean, the best food, the best weather from several weeks kayaking in Mexico and going for a weekend to party, then – what else do we need?” is kitted out to the nines. Standing on the your best bet is to stay in one of And certainly, in Barcelona, the provincial shore in his special kayak wetsuit – known Barcelona’s hostels – you can get capital, the Catalans have Spain’s sexiest, as a ‘skirt’ because of the flap of foam that a private room for about £25 a most attractive city, which lures tourists from stretches over the lip of the kayak to make night, less if you share. If you want around the world every year with the promise to stay in a swanky hotel, then both it waterproof – with the Mediterranean of seaside mojitos, endless tapas and alllapping at his toes, he runs an eye over my Barcelona and Vilanova are jamnight partying. There is sophistication too, of T-shirt and shorts. Plain old cotton, I’m afraid. packed with options. course. Barcelona’s upmarket neighbourhood “You will get wet,” he says, nodding to of Born, in the eastern corner of the old city, is among the confirm the statement. most fashionable spots to dine. Bistros, delis and coffee shops My kayak has barely had its nose christened before Rai line the Passeig del Born, drainpipe-thin streets breaking is vindicated. The Mediterranean has gentle ripples rather off at jaunty angles, shadowy yet inviting, heavy with the than proper surf, but they prove forceful enough to capsize promise of well-kept secrets around each corner. my kayak, with me in it, in water that is barely knee-deep. In the yawning shadow of Born’s sprawling antiques Please, bear in mind that kayaks are most vulnerable just as market, lengthened in the failing light, the area’s main they are getting under way, when they have no speed. Like thoroughfare fans out at its junction with the Placa a bike, they’re more likely to tip if moving slowly. And, like Comercial. Diners and drinkers are settling in for the evening. Rai says, my kayak is not so stable. Still, it’s an inauspicious Indeed, Barcelona is a city for hedonists, for lovers of food, beginning to proceedings. for sun-worshippers, for party animals, for those in search of Fortunately, the second attempt is more successful. I la vida loca. But there is more to Catalonia than its capital. manage to stay upright long enough to survive the meagre What lies to the south, along the lush, sunlit expanses of the shorebreak and soon enough my kayak is scything through Costa Dorada? the Mediterranean like a Viking longship, the elements bent to my will. Hyperbole aside, the kayak is remarkably zippy, Buenos dias a left-stroke and a right-stroke enough to satisfyingly propel Vilanova i la Geltrù carved out its niche on the the craft several metres. Mediterranean as a fishing port, about 40km south of Beyond the harbour to the north, the Costa Dorado – the Barcelona. The fishermen are still there but, these days, in Golden Coast, if you were wondering – curves inland before the harbour next to Ribes Roges beach, horsehoe-shaped arcing round and out to sea, the shores rising steeply into and rimmed with spindly palms, speedboats and small hills teeming with greenery. A few kilometres northwest of sailboats outnumber the trawlers. It has become the beach us, the resort town of Sitges is carved into the bluff like a of choice for Barcelona residents keen to get down the coast colourful tattoo. It is, I am informed, “the place to party”. ›› TNTMAGAZINE.COM
Clockwise: Action and adventure in Vilanova; the expanses of Ribes Roges beach; deep in the cava jungle Behind, there is only the impenetrable foliage of a Parc Natural, a mass of jungle obscuring the horizon. “Ah, you see – you are a good paddler,” Rai says from over my right shoulder, my premature dip already longforgotten. “Let me show you something. You can paddle forward,” he says, mimicking the standard overarm stroke. “Or you can turn by paddling backward,“ he continues, digging his oar sharply into the water, pushing it away from his body, causing his kayak to pivot neatly in the opposite direction. “And there is one more special paddle you need to know,” he says. Bringing his paddle forward and upwards, Rai covers me in a bucket’s worth of a salty water. “It is called Good Morning.”
the heart of it. The masia is the homestead of any rural operation, influenced heavily by the style of Roman villas, with their expansive courtyards, flat, cool flagstones and high, beamed ceilings. They are like luxury farmhouses with enough room to accommodate an extended family and more. Montse, who has taken charge of the Torreblanca operation, replacing her father, shows us around the labyrinthine masia, countless doors joining one dining
Don’t mind a drop Cava is Spanish sparkling wine traditionally made using macabeu, parellada or xarel-lo grape varieties indigenous to Catalonia. There are similarities to champagne, although there are subtle differences in acidity and fizziness, as well as variations in flavour and sweetness between individual cavas. Happily, one other difference is the price, with self-important champagne disproportionately more expensive than its Spanish counterpart. The Penedès, the hilly region just inland from Vilanova, produces about 95 per cent of the world’s cava; in these parts, they say that if you dig a hole, cava will flow out of it. And the vineyards of the Penedès are spectacular, located on the 15th-century estates of wealthy Spanish merchant families who settled in the region, like a kind of unofficial, rural aristocracy. On the estate of Caves Torreblanca, rows of grapes fan out in all directions like a bushy green spider’s web, with the exquisite masia sat square and majestic at 76
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia
room to another, each more stately and boasting more eyecatching views of the landscape, bathed in sunshine, than the last. In one, Montse pauses. “We had some Australians and New Zealanders come to stay with us – friends of mine and friends of friends,” she says. “And in this room, they drank a lot of cava.” Below the house, the cellar is a vast, red-brick vault, barely lit and cool as a cave. Lining each wall, eight-feet-high, are hundreds of thousands of bottles of cava. Two Torreblanca staff are working their way along each row, lifting the bottles by hand, rotating them ever so slightly to shift the sediment and then setting them down gently, the chime of glass on wood almost musical. Caves Torreblanca is a family-run business – in a region with so many cava producers there is competition, but they
They say if you dig a hole, cava flows out
are united in their mission to spruik cava to the outside world. Although it is drunk ubiquitously in Spain, elsewhere it is sometimes maligned, unfairly, as cheap Spanish champagne. The cava producers of the Penedès are intent on exploding that stigma. “You go into this business with your heart, but not your pocket,” Montse says, leading the way back up the stairs, the delicate clink of delicate work sinking in the silence below us. Never too late Darkness has fallen in Barcelona but the tables at the pavement cafes are still full to the brim as midnight nears. The sounds of revelry fill the night but slowly, from around the corner, drumming can be heard, growing ever louder until, rounding the final corner on to Passeig del Born, the drummers, at the head of a parade, come into view. Behind them, hundreds more gradually appear, holding lit torches and red-and-yellow striped Catalan flags. I approach a young Spaniard standing on the side of the avenue, clapping and tapping his foot in time with the drums. ››
The Insider’s guide Judith Perxés, the director of Paddle in Spain, offers some helpful hints for planning a visit. Why should people visit Vilanova? It’s very close to the big city and boasts many seaside attractions. There are great facilities for sea sports and great food. You can also do nice walking tours through the Garraf Nature Reserve, and there’s the very popular Carnival in Vilanova i la Geltrú. From Barcelona, you can take the C-32 motorway or the C-31 road that takes you along the coast. Or you can catch the train from the middle of Barcelona – trains going to St Vicenç and Lleida both stop at Vilanova. When is the Carnival? What’s it like? It’s a deep-rooted traditional festival, at the end of February, celebrated en masse by many residents. Carnival in Vilanova is characterised by its satirical nature, in contrast with the exuberance and splendour of the Sitges Carnival, which is a village well-known for its international film festival and gay-themed events. In Vilanova, Carnival comes into full swing, however, on Maundy Thursday with the “Xatonada”, a ritual meal eaten during Lent, customarily finished off with guests throwing meringues at each other. The “Arribo” (Arrival) happens on Friday – it’s a masked street procession made up of different traditional cultural groups that greet “Carnestoltes”, the Carnival King. Saturday is when the Moixó Foguer (a fantasy human-bird hybrid spread with honey and wrapped in feathers that jumps out of, and disappears into, a box) makes his entrance. The central and most symbolic day of Carnival is Sunday, when the streets of Vilanova are filled with traditional parades. Is it cheap to travel in Spain? Do people speak English? Paddle in Spain offers many options depending on people’s budgets – it just depends what people want to do. And, yes, most of the touristic facilities, attractions and accommodations have staff who speak English.
“What is this all about?” I ask, assuming his English is better than my Spanish. “La Diada Nacional de Catalunya,” he replies. “It is the national day of Catalonia.” As the procession fills the thoroughfare, it is easy to distinguish the locals, who are joining in the chants, from the tourists, who look positively baffled. A diminutive Spanish man takes to a dais and begins an impassioned speech that draws periodic applause from the assembled crowd. Approaching the young Spaniard I spotted earlier, I ask for a brief translation. “He’s talking about Catalan independence,” he explains. “He is a separatist.” Of course he is. The Catalans are, after all, a people with everything. Just ask them. ❚ Tom Sturrock travelled with Paddle In Spain, which provides customised travel to various locations in Spain. The company offers a combination of adventure sports, such as kayaking, and sightseeing, including vineyard tours paddleinspain.com; +34 682173225
There’s no shame in falling in
BEST OF THE REST EATING AND DRINKING BEST FOR ... SEAFOOD SURPRISE Big Fish (Barcelona) Top tip: At this exquisitely decorated Born restaurant, one half of the menu is sushi, while the other is cooked seafood. The sushi is so varied that it’s hard to choose, but the staff are happy to make up a platter for you. From the grill, the scallops and monkfish are the highlights. Price: Two courses and a bottle of wine is about €50 (£44). See: bigfish.cat
Mix and match at Big Fish
The Penedès is covered in vineyards
BEST FOR ... MEXICAN-STYLE COCKTAILS Margarita Blue Top tip: Any time spent exploring Barcelona’s old city and its Barrio Gotic will turn up dozens of quirky bars but Margarita Blue may be the pick of the bunch, its vibrant, colourful atmosphere complemented by some serious cocktails and surprisingly tasty Mexican food. Price: Cocktails about €5 (£4). See: margaritablue.com
NEXT WEEK Winter Sun Special Great escapes from the chilly isles Cava is stored in cool cellars
BEST FOR ... BEACHSIDE BANQUET La Fitorra at the Hotel César (Vilanova) Top tip: The food at the hotel’s courtyard restaurant, La Fitorra, is spectacular. Voted as one of the best restaurants in the region, La Fitorra specialises in Mediterranean cuisine. The paella is exceptional. Price: You’ll be well fed and watered for about €35 (£30). See: lafitorra.com
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