Part of our 12 Pokes of Christmas. What do you want to unwrap?
Remember Harvey Nichols’ award-winning Christmas campaign ‘I Spent It On Myself’? Well this year they’ve extended the refreshingly selfish spirit with a campaign that sees people dropping unsubtle hints about what they really want to unwrap. (Cheers, Andy.)
Titled ‘Could I Be Any Clearer?’ the campaign includes a range of cards that can be customised by shoppers with exactly what they’re hoping for (all from Harvey Nichols, obviously). Cards can then be printed, emailed or shared on social media just to make it super-clear to clueless friends and family.
Now there’s really no excuse for buying those novelty socks.
In London and looking for a boozer for Saturday night? Forget Google, the search engine you need is www.solsearch.com.
Created by Sol Beer, it claims to ‘dig deeper’ than the usual search engines by rating establishments by authenticity and not popularity. The result is a list of up-and-coming bars and restaurants with a ‘real local or heritage vibe’.
It’s all part of Sol’s Espiritu Libre – Free Spirit – ethos, championing people and businesses who are doing things their own way.
See you (and the rest of London) in Shoreditch then.
Part of our 12 Pokes of Christmas.
Bare neon bulbs. Simple wooden furniture. And a menu featuring tagliatelle with lobster and truffle oil, smoked reindeer and pickled blackberry, and a panettone bread pudding.
At first bite, pop-up restaurant Deluxe seemed like any other Shoreditch hot spot. But for unsuspecting diners, the bill came with a little surprise: the revelation that every dish had been made with ingredients from budget supermarket Lidl.
It’s all part of the chain’s continuing marketing effort to be seen as the source of quality, good-value food – particularly from its new higher-end Deluxe range. Only Christmas sales will tell if bargain-priced reindeer will float anyone’s boat…
‘This is one small step for ice cream and one giant leap for moustached-kind.’
To celebrate the stratospheric success of Movember, protein ice cream brand Wheyhey sent its last tub of limited-edition banoffee ice cream into space, complete with a pink ‘tache.
After making its way back to earth four hours later, the ice cream was ‘revived’ and the brand’s founders Greg and Damien grabbed a spoon to tuck in. (No reports as to whether they’re still alive.)
See the whole epic journey here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifMOZQkuUvk
Part of our 12 Pokes of Christmas. This one’s a Black Friday cracker.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s a mannequin drone. Obviously.
Instead of just splashing SALE signs across stores for Black Friday, fashion brand Camisaria of Colombo took to the skies of Sao Paulo to show busy office workers what was on offer.
With the strapline ‘Colombo Black Friday. Truly Surprising’, outfits zipped by the windows of skyscrapers, saving people a hasty lunchtime dash to the shops. Now that wouldn’t be distracting at all in your monthly sales meeting…
How cool is that? In a recent collaboration, premium whisky brand Chivas Regal 18 commissioned Italian design house Pininfarina to create a limited edition ice press for the on-trade. The press, which produces ice teardrops bearing the brand’s ‘18’ mark, will be gifted to the world’s most exclusive watering holes.
The A-list includes venues such as London’s Connaught Bar, which recently hosted a special Chivas event to celebrate the introduction of the ice presses. For the occasion, the Connaught’s Head of Mixology, Ago Peronne created three brand new Chivas cocktails. Everything over ice, naturally.
Part of our 12 Pokes of Christmas. Courtesy of Santa’s Elmwood elves.
For some of us, Christmas represents a once-a-year opportunity to place extreme demands upon the National Grid. House exteriors are strung with cascades of Christmas lights, while illuminated reindeer frolic in the garden, looked on by inflatable glowing Santas. In the West Yorkshire village of Saltaire however, residents have joined together and taken a rather more restrained approach.
Saltaire’s distinctive arched windows are being used to display festive scenes, effectively creating a living advent calendar across the village. One new window will be revealed each day from the 1st to the 24th of December, and shops and businesses in the area will be adding to the spectacle with windows of their own. The windows will remain illuminated until Twelfth Night, 5th January, and then like magic they’ll disappear for another year.
As a World Heritage site, Saltaire’s residents are accustomed to visitors peering through their windows. Whether they’re prepared for people knocking on their doors and demanding chocolate is another matter.
We’ve all been there. Half an hour of weights, followed by 20 minutes on the bike, followed by 10 minutes in the bar. All the benefits of your workout effectively neutralised by the failure to resist a long cool beer.
Thankfully, with the introduction of Lean Machine, it’s now possible to enjoy a cold one after training without undoing all the good work. Created by Vampt Brands in Canada, the beer is described as a ‘recovery ale’ and includes active ingredients which help restore the body after exercise, in the same way a sports drink does.
With only 77 calories per can, 7 vitamins and no gluten, it’s less likely you’ll pile on the pounds you’ve worked so hard to lose. Which is good to know. After the excesses of Christmas, the promise of a guilt-free beer after a workout might just be enough to tempt us back into the gym.
Part of our 12 Pokes of Christmas. Only 16 sleeps to go.
For some, the mere mention of Christmas is enough to send them running for the basement and closing the door until January. Try that at Leeds Town Hall however and you’ll find yourself descending into a mysterious Christmas netherworld.
In the crypt beneath the imposing Gothic building, Leeds-based art directors Lord Whitney have created The Wood Beneath the World – a subterranean forest where strange things happen and events take unexpected turns.
Visitors are invited to ‘rove under the roots and discover the secrets of Winter’s forest, greeting the fading hour of twilight under a silvery sky…’ A series of live performances and family storytelling sessions all add to the slightly spooky atmosphere.
Worth remembering though, the spaces below the Town Hall were once used as holding cells for criminals. So make sure you’re out at the end of the night or you might not escape until next Christmas.
In the professional kitchen, it’s generally accepted that a few flying expletives really help a dish come together. In a cookbook however, it’s a bit of a shock to find recipes in which the language is just as ripe as the ingredients. With the launch of their vegan recipe book, Thug Kitchen show they’re not afraid to throw in a generous helping of sweariness.
Here’s where vegan food gets rude. The book aims to bludgeon people into a healthier diet by cutting out the ‘pre-packed bullsh*t’ and starting to ‘give a f*ck about what you eat’. The recipes themselves are tasty, nutritious and simple to prepare. Which, in Thug’s blunt terms, promises to make you look like ‘a skilled sonofabitch in the kitchen.’
It’s certainly a far cry from Nigella. The authors hope that by adopting a grittier tone of voice, they’ll spread the appeal of healthy eating beyond the polite circles where it’s usually served. The recipes are certainly delicious, but repeat them out loud and you might be asked to wash your mouth out.