I am a little late with this ‘The Week That Was…’ post (clearly, as it’s now Monday not Sunday) but we’ve been having major internet dramaz at home and I didn’t fancy dragging my arse to Starbucks yesterday morning when I had important things to do like make this…
We are supposedly getting high speed fibre set up tomorrow (I’ll believe it when it happens) which should be good news for me work-wise and just generally in terms of my sanity.
Anyhoo, let’s hop to it…
So, tell me, was it a good week?
Mostly. It was very busy but in a lovely and fun way rather than a twitchy eye impending breakdown way.
What have been your favourite ‘banging beats’?
I made a This is England inspired playlist after watching it again at the weekend, it’s what I’ve been listening to whilst tapping away…
Have you watched anything REALLY GREAT?
TV-wise, I finally got around to watching a few episodes of Black Mirror. All seven stand-alone episodes are on Sky On Demand and 4OD and I have no idea how I managed to evade them for so long. I asked on Twitter which episodes were best and based on that feedback I started with White Bear, The National Anthem and Be Right Back. At 45 minutes each it was easy enough to rattle through a few on a lazy Sunday afternoon and they are definitely worth watching with someone so that you can dissect each episode afterwards, because you WILL want to. Now I get why it trended on Twitter every time it aired.
For what’s it worth, I can sadly imagine White Bear happening in the not so distant future (this was my fave of the three in terms of discussion points), The National Anthem was laugh out loud funny and made me pity anyone working in politics in today’s Twitter-era and Be Right Back is something my husband said “I would definitely do with him”. But in a nutshell: Black Mirror is dark…and everything you see is probably gonna happen. It’s doing a great job of filling the Twilight Zone shaped hole in my heart. If you watch them then tweet me and we can discuss them like the boring late-to-the-party types we are.
Ross tweeted me after last week’s post and I refuse to be cool about it.
Without wanting to sound like Ross Kemp’s biggest fan, the Honduras episode of Ross Kemp: Extreme World aired on Tuesday and it was – again – brilliant and heartbreaking. Human rights abuses and crime in general are rampant in Honduras, with the murder rate consistently rising.
This episode focusses on an infamous train journey that thousands of residents are forced to take to try and flee the drug gangs of Honduras and make a better life for themselves. And it seems a better life would be found anywhere but Honduras, where the murder rate was the highest in the world in 2013 and where children casually speak of hundreds of people being murdered of an evening “just because”. Amnesty International have described riding La Bestia (aka The Beast) as “the most dangerous migrant journey in the world” and it just doesn’t make any sense to me at all that these poor people – teens and children especially – don’t have refugee status. It’s on Sky On Demand and it’s definitely worth a watch, although you will want to fly to Honduras and rescue everybody.
Sticking with Sky for a minute (apolz to Freeview fans), I am LOVING Fortitude. We only got around to watching the first and second episodes this weekend but I am definitely hooked. Fortitude ticks a lot of boxes for me: extreme weather, claustrophobic/remote location, lots of nutty types who clearly can’t be trusted, GREAT coats…I could go on.
I like most thrillers if they’re set in remote places where there’s no easy escape (submarines, space stations, boats, planes etc) and if you throw in extreme weather than I am basically a happy viewer no matter what happens…but it does seem that Fortitude has been well written and the cast is brilliant. It’s also making me desperately want to go back to Iceland.
Movie-wise, I gave Black Rain half an hour of my time before deciding I just couldn’t be bothered with it, an escaped murderer and Japanese mafia gangs should make for an entertaining movie…but maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Or maybe I just can’t look at Michael Douglas now without thinking of his ‘cunnilingus problems‘.
I watched This Is England again on Film Four having not seen it since it came out, it’s still great.
It’s not exactly a laugh a minute (it’s Shane Meadows for gawd’s sake) but Thomas Turgoose and Stephen Graham are exceptional in it. It’s gritty and real and shows you just how much can change in a six week summer holidays. I’d like to think the racism angle is a very “back then in the 80s” thing but of course it isn’t, it’s just that it’s more likely to have an Islamophobia edge these days. Switch out Falklands for Afghanistan and National Front for EDL and this could be a film set in 2015. I never saw the follow up TV series, but will make an effort to now as I desperately want to find out that Shaun turns out ok. It’s less than a fiver on Amazon but it’s on TV fairly regularly.
Did you put anything particularly memorable in your mouth?
We went to Hutong (33rd floor of The Shard) last Sunday and it was as good as I remembered it the first time around. Better, actually, as this time there was four of us so we got to share and try more dishes. The chilli tofu is properly brilliant and I ordered more egg fried rice just to eat on it its own. BECAUSE RICE.
On Thursday I went to a Sandals press event where I got a lil cookery lesson from the one and only Levi Roots…
The event was to show off Levi’s cooking skillz and promote a special cookery holiday that fans of Jamaican cuisine can sign up for next January. If you liked the look of my trip to Grenada, then this would be similar in terms of having a butler and general all inclusive luxury awesomeness, but this would be at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Gold Resort, Ocho Rios, Jamaica and you would get two cooking masterclasses with Levi and a trip to a local food market with him. Erm, amazing?! This one-off holiday package is called “Rum, Rhythm and Roots” (oh yes) and it’s £1,599 per person all inclusive, including flights with Virgin Atlantic. If you fancy going next Jan (6th-13th) then call them on 0800 597 0002 as I don’t believe it’s bookable on their website yet.
Having seen Levi in action I am now convinced I could make some pretty damn fine chicken wings, although veggie me made do with coleslaw when it came to the actual tasting. I say “made do with” but that’s unfair to the coleslaw, it was an intensely great dish and nothing like the sad mayo drenched gaggy stuff you might usually imagine when someone mentions slaw. In fact, there wasn’t any mayo at all as you’ll see if you fancy recreating it…
1/2 Savoy cabbage
1/2 white cabbage
1/2 red onion, peeled
1/2 small mango
3 tsp French mustard
100ml cider vinegar
8 tbsp soft light brown sugar
100ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 tbsp Hot Reggae Reggae Sauce or hot chilli sauce
2 red chillies, seeded and finely cut
Remove and discard the cabbage cores and finely shred the leaves. Slice the onion wafer-thin using a mandolin if you have one. Peel the mango and cut the flesh into matchsticks.
Put the mustard, vinegar and sugar in a jam jar. Screw on the lid and give it a good shake. Add the oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Shake again then poor into a large serving bowl. Toss in the cabbage, onion, mango and chillies and mix well. Taste for seasoning.
Other treats this past week included finally going to Muriel’s Kitchen in Soho. The cake prices looked on the high side (around the £5 a pop mark) but were more than justified once you saw the size of the portions. The carrot cake is ENORMOUS and my pear tarte tatin cupcake was as yummy as it looks…
I’ve been eating some rather nice things at home too, as you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram.
In moanier news, I had cold poached eggs *again* at Riding House Cafe (third time in a row now) which did make me wonder why we all keep going back there. It was RAMMED full as always, with plenty of slebs to ogle over, but service was sloppy (food before drinks etc) and I just don’t want to eat cold yolks somewhere that expensive…regardless of whose expense account it’s going on. I can only presume they dip them in ice water to stop the yolks from continuing to cook? I can’t see how they can be stone cold by the time they reach the table unless they’ve been waiting in the kitchen for a VERY long time. I am aware this is not the biggest problem facing the world.
Been somewhere superb?
Obvs Hutong, as mentioned above. LOOK AT THOSE VIEWS!
I also enjoyed getting in the way at a TONI&GUY Magazine shoot (and pretending the Moschino garmz were all mine) and attending Diptyque’s Florabellio launch.
Anything you’ve written elsewhere that blog readers may have missed?
My February Hot List went live on Late Night London featuring my pick of things to see, eat, drink and do this month in London town.
Favourite thing you’ve worn?
ALL THE DIAMONDS AND GEMSTONES at Astley Clarke. *Swoon*. It was such a joy to play dress up in the Astley Clarke showroom and my birthday wishlist has never been so long.
What are you most excited about in the week ahead?
ST’s birthday as we’re going to try out veggie restaurant The Gate, yey! I’m told it’s amazing.
And that was the week that was! x