4 September 2012
After seemingly endless weeks of grey skies and drizzle, we’re enjoying this unexpected burst of sunshine and warm weather! Hopefully this will blossom into an all-out Indian summer. By the way, have you heard about the origins of that phrase? We were all quite surprised!
A silly name for an increasingly popular pastime, glamping has taken off in 2012, and it seems like everyone we know is taking a mini-break in a tipi. Whether you want to sleep in a yurt, a treehouse, or a geodesic dome, there are campsites (glampsites?) that will be happy to accommodate. Yes, it does rather defeat the object of camping –offering something akin to a hotel room in a field – but for those who fancy getting closer to nature, while keeping home comforts (duvets!) close at hand, it could be just the thing. Check out Go Glamping for ideas!
Polpo is both JFL’s most local restaurant and one of our very favourites; a Venetian bàcaro serving delicious food from the city immortalised in the work of Canaletto – in whose former home Polpo just happens to be housed! A regular JFL haunt for some time, we were all hugely excited about the release of Russell Norman’s Polpo Cookbook. The understated excellence of Polpo’s food is mirrored in book itself; a huge amount of craftsmanship has clearly gone into creating it. Try JFL favourites fritto misto and cod’s cheeks washed down with an Aperol spritz.
Billed as “the thinking man’s Downton”, this Tom Stoppard adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s novels is truly delicious. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the repressed Christopher Tietjens, and Rebecca Hall as his socialite wife, the series explores social and political turmoil on the eve of the first world war. Compelling and beautifully shot, we’re keen to see more – but whether it will replace Downton Abbey in our hearts remains to be seen...
Zadie Smith NW
The arrival of any new Zadie Smith novel is to be heralded, but NW has been tipped as her best to date. It tells the story of four friends – Natalie, Leah, Felix and Nathan – who grew up on the same council estate, and the different paths they take in their adult lives. When a stranger arrives on Leah’s doorstep asking for money, a chain of events is set in motion which affects every character in the book.
If you’ve not already visited the city of Barcelona on the east coast of Spain, you are missing out. A vibrant clash of modern design and ancient architecture, Barcelona is full of winding side streets, a gorgeous sandy beach and Gaudi’s inspirational art. If you want to avoid the crowds try Parc de Montjuic to the south of the city, home of the National Palace and the Olympic Stadium. If a bustling city street is your thing, head straight to the Ramblas, where you will find everything from jewellery to pet rabbits for sale – and of course, a glass (or jug) of sparkling Sangria is a must.
Director Joe Wright teams up with muse Keira Knightley for this sumptuous period piece. Expect gorgeous gowns, lush cinematography and high drama. In cinemas September 7th.
If you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to the Games, you can still cheer for your Olympic heroes on September 10th’s parade. Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah and the rest of team GB will start at Mansion House at 1.30, before heading along Cannon Street, past St Paul's Cathedral, into Fleet Street, through Aldwych and The Strand, before reaching Trafalgar Square. As cyclist Laura Trott explains, it is “a chance for all of Team GB to say a huge 'thank you' to everybody out there who has supported us and to thank the people who made the Games possible".
The Thick of It returns to our screens
Fans of political satire and baroque swearing, rejoice. Armado Iannucci's inspired sitcom The Thick of It returns to BBC2 this weekend. The series is expected to lampoon the coalition government, in particular the role played by the Lib Dems ("the Inbetweeners"), with the inept Nicola Murray, as the Leader of the Opposition, having to face a "Leveson-style public inquiry".
The Queen of Versailles
Billionaires Jackie and David Siegal were in the middle of building the biggest house in America (inspired by Versailles) when the financial crisis struck, almost bankrupting them. Lauren Greenfield's remarkable documentary takes a peek at their lifestyle as they struggle to cope with their drastically changed circumstances. Tempting though it is to recoil at the brazenness of their wealth - Jackie mentions in passing that she own a pair of $17,000 Gucci boots - it is difficult to ignore the warmth and humour that runs through the film. Compelling viewing.