NO DATES REQUIRED AT THE ROOFTOP FILM CLUB
Summer might seem like it's full of star crossed lovers, or compulsive serial Tinder daters, but it's also a great time to have a laugh with your friends, and put relationships, both good or bad on standby!
You don't need a date to have a giggle, so grab your gang, and head the the #NoDateNight at Shoreditch's
Rooftop Film Club? Taking place for one night only on Sunday 6th August, the guest can stock up on free cocktails, popcorn and snacks, whilst lolling to a private screening of the cult Will Smith movie, Hitch.
Admission is free, but those looking to come along are required to register here. There are 198 tickets available, which will be allocated at random. Every ticket allocated has a plus 1.
See you under the stars (wooly blankets provided)!
By Sara Darling
ARTICLE BY SARA DARLING
If you ever needed an excuse to learn how to surf, this coffee table book is it! However, this is not just a picture book- even though it contains some of the most stunning images of surf culture that I have seen.
Photographer and author Christopher Bickford, has made a home for himself in the sleepy Outer Banks in North Carolina, and uses it as a base to surf, write and collect documentary images. His book Legends of the Sandbar is an insider's view of life on the Banks.
Of course, surfers are already aware of it's beauty and depth, as they flock from across the States to ride the deep barrels and foot high swells; But the surfing counter culture is also celebrated, in this personally-poetic picture book. With short essays punctuating the beautiful black and white images, the reader evolves to another dimension.
An accomplished photographer, Bickford portrays the personal highs and lows of the area, along with an insight into the exclusive surfing community, and the result is a beautiful book which has taken eight years to produce.
Buy your copy here
BY SARA DARLING
ONLY ONE MORE MONTH TO GO...
So you might have missed Glastonbury this weekend, but who wants to get lost in a mini city, and spend a fortune, with no phone reception in some soggy fields in Somerset?? Been there, done that!
The place to be for any discerning festival go-er is Soundwave in Croatia!
Tisno is the laid back home of Soundwave, which is now in it's ninth year in the pretty town, and brings party goers from far and wide!
It's a laid back music festival where you can get your groove on to broken beat, reggae, afro, house, disco, acid jazz, to hip-hop, soul, funk, drum and bass along with live music, DJs, on the beach!!!
With Laura Mvula headlining, alongside Roy Ayers, Gilles Peterson, Go Go Penguin, The Pharcyde, Egyptian Lover, Josey Rebelle, Horse Meat Disco, there is something to tickle most musical tastebuds!
And it's not just about the music, Soundwave has worked with street artists to create the vibe of the Garden Resort and the Open Air Cinema is set to show independent and Croatian film.
If you have never been to Croatia before, this is the ideal place to begin your odyssey. Guaranteed sunshine all day, with crystal clear Adriatic sea to cool off in, in the daytime, leading to late night dancing under the stars.
The festival is based on site in Tisno which boasts an incredible water-side beach bar, where you are so close to the sea you are almost dancing in it, and the main stage is just behind. The Olive Grove stage is nestled in the cover of the nearby woodland, and you cannot attend the festival without hitting the legendary after hours venue Barbarella's at least once!
Based on the coast, you need to squeeze in a boat party too, I'd highly recommend hiring a snorkel, and exploring the surrounding islands too...
Did I mention I love this place??
Thursday 27th – Monday 31st July 2017
@ The Garden Resort, Petrica Glava 34, 22240, Tisno, Croatia
Laura Mvula, The Pharcyde, Roy Ayers, Gilles Peterson, GoGo Penguin, Roni Size, Horse Meat Disco, Egyptian Lover, Yussef Kammal, Josey Rebelle, Mndsgn, Sadar Bahar, Moses Boyd: Solo X, Alexander Nut, Mr Thing, Mall Grab, Medlar, Chaos In The CBD, Ross From Friends, Contours, Anchorsong, Children of Zeus, Werkha, Donna Leake (Brilliant Corners), Layfullstop, Mount Nakara, Dulahi, No Fakin' DJs, Mr Doris, Gilla and Bobbafat
Early birds tickets are £99 and advanced are £129 (club and boat parties extra)
www.soundwavecroatia.com / @soundwavecro
By Sara Darling
What does France conjure up for you? Is it beautiful drives around the countryside, experimental gastronomy, heaps of history, the Eiffel Tower and late night coffees in art galleries? For me it is all the above and more.
Heading to The Loire Valley with my history head on, I wasn’t quite sure what delights I was letting myself in for. At a hop skip and short (90 mins) train ride from Paris, the pretty village of Amboise was worth the trek. Winding country roads, and chateaux a plenty, the village is probably best known for its Chateaux du Clos Luce, where the prodigy Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years, but there are lots of other things to explore for a long weekend too, particularly if you are an outdoorsy sort, or like wine! Both of which appeal to me.
If you are in the mood for castles, the Loire Valley has plenty to choose from, as this is where most of the French royalty preferred to spend the bulk of their time, and the wealthy bourgeoisie continued to renovate existing châteaux or build lavish new ones as their summer residence in the Loire.
My pick if I had to choose a favourite, is the châteaux of Chenonceau- and is arguably one of the Loire Valley’s most famous and romantic castles. The French Revolution saw many of the grandiose châteaux destroyed and ransacked with their treasures stolen, but this is a delight and is still in remarkable condition.
Set on the River Cher, Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici famously lived here and their rooms have been preserved with original features for authenticity. Pick up an ipod and take a 45 or 80-minute tour, stopping and starting where you please.
The adjoining grounds are the home to the meticulous flower and vegetable garden (Ineduit de Russel Page) which is manned by American, Nicholas Tomlan and award winning floral designer, Jean Francois Boucher. If you check in advance, there might also be flower arranging workshops, where you can get your hands on the fresh posies that the team use, and create one for yourself.
Pretty gardens, fresh air and a view to die for means you have will have probably worked up an appetite. There are two restaurants on site, and I sampled the gastronomic delights at the Orangerie. Romantic, tasteful and experimental, with an impressive wine list, this (along with the giant cheese board) is the icing on the proverbial cake.
A short car journey away is Château du Clos Lucé, where the genius Leonardo Da Vinci spent his final years. Relocating to France, he worked on several projects for King Francis, and was christened with the moniker "Renaissance Man" along with his contemporary Michelangelo, who was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet.
A term which was befitting of both, working on the principle that man is the centre of the universe and has no limits. Knowledge is there to be consumed, questioned and embraced and every man should develop their own capacities for enrichment as fully as possible- which is completely evident in da Vinci’s practices. One of his most memorable teachings is ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’, which goes hand in hand with breaking knowledge down to the bare bones.
And after all that culture, book in for wine tasting in the ‘caves Duhrad’ which is the wine cellar of any connoisseur’s dreams, and where you can get advice on how to sniff, taste and swallow! Followed by an authentic Renaissance lunch at reconstruction renaissance restaurant Auberge du Prieure. More wine drinking out of a tankard. Don’t mind if I do!
So, if it’s cakes, cheese, wine or culture that ticks your boxes, The Loire Valley has it all. My advice is to take some sensible walking shoes and outfits with an elasticated waist.
With special thanks to Atout France, Château Chenonceau, Château du Clos Lucé and Odyssée Val de Loire. For further details and booking check out
Article by Sara Darling
If you like experimental Mexican food, and you have a fair few bob to impress your date, head to Peyotito in Notting Hill for some good times, fun times with added tequila!
An unassuming exterior is the gateway to a vibey, intimate main restaurant, where, on a full night you would be sat up close and personal with the folk on the table next door. But as the food is designed for sharing, the atmosphere lends itself to this sociable space. And with the central bar and authentic hipster cocktail waiter, you can imagine that you are in Mexico City, rather than west London.
If you think that Mexican food is just chillies, chimichanga, and nachos. Think again! The menu at Peyotito is thoughtful, tasty (but not overly spiced) and inventive. With relatively few choices, there is no excessive faff to deal with, and the choices of ensaladas, tostadas, masa, ceviche and mole, were made for meat and fish eaters. Veggie options were few and far between but who goes out to dinner and just orders a salad anyway?
The plates are served ad hoc style, with no time wasted between courses- however if you are in need to do something to pass the time, I would recommend a gander at the cocktail list. But be warned they are rather strong! Having consumed three (on a school night!) it certainly made my eating experience more memorable!!! Maybe spurned on by the minimal art work- the neon sign declaring ‘Tequila to wake the living, mescal to wake the dead.’ Which was encouraging to say the least! So, an ‘unmissable’ Peyotito margarita later, and I was ready to dance on the tables!
Knowing what I was letting myself in for by dining with a pescatarian, did limit our options slightly, but what we did get through was impressive! Tacos de pescado are every bit as thrilling, the fish fresh and expertly seared, the salsa singing lustily of green herbs and lime
We swerved the octopus (I’ve never been a fan of tentacles) but opted for scallops, served in an oyster shell on ice, and were zingy with hint of coconut and lime. The pieste resistance for both myself and my dinner mate was the mushroom quesadilla de hongos- a ‘shroom filling oozing with white sauce and cheese stuffed inside a fried tortilla case. This was enough to tantalise the taste buds for both of us, and in retrospect we could have easily managed one (or two) of those each!
Four dishes down- having shared them all of course, we decided we would tackle desert. Of course, we had to try traditional hot churros, which were ginormous!! And came with a super tasty pot of chocolate sauce. If the rest of the meal seemed healthy, this is definitely where we slipped up! But food should be fun, right?
31 Kensington Park Road, W1
0207 043 1400
Feature by Sara Darling
Having just returned from a long weekend in Turkey, I feel refreshed, relaxed and just tanned-enough, to receive some raised eyebrow envy from my non-journo friends.Marmaris is fondly known as the Turkish Riviera-a fishing village, busy port and well developed tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast; Located in Muğla Province, southwest Turkey, it has miles of white sandy beaches and a ten months of sun.
Marmaris is fondly known as the Turkish Riviera-a fishing village, busy port and well developed tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast; Located in Muğla Province, southwest Turkey, it has miles of white sandy beaches and a ten months of sun.
With most of the resorts along the Aegean coast offering a range of swimming pools, spas and private blue flag beaches, you are bound to have a good time.
But if you are looking for something beyond the realms of the hotel, you can be certain to find some culture too. Bordered by eight countries and straddling two continents, this diverse country is a mix of sights, sounds and cultural customs, which makes it more than just a sun, sea and sand lazy beach holiday (although on this occasion, this was one of the bonuses!).
For a really-chilled break, you only need to leave your sunbed for half a day at a time, and go exploring in the town. A must see are the dancing water fountains in the main square. A busy tourist spot, but impressive nevertheless, and you can hobnob with all the sailing types who jet in and moor up for the night.
You should also make a visit to the marina and check out the fashion boutiques, which sell a bit more than touristy garb- and often kit out the sailor’s wives for their glamorous, on board adventures! Head out of the new, and into the old town, where can see more local produce, and if you can, you should persevere to the top of some slightly steep stairs, which take you to the Panorama Restaurant and Bar. Get there for sunset, and treat yourself to a drink and the view.
Party animals will love the aptly named ‘Bar Street’ which does what it says on the tin. I can’t vouch for any establishments on said street, as I strolled down in the daylight, but it seemed reminiscent of carefree holidays in my early twenties in Majorca.. Say no more. There is a reason why I don’t do tequila shots anymore.
However, as I am no longer such a hedonist-I would much rather look after my head, and body, so embraced the hotel spas and pools, which were widely available at both hotels I stayed in. The first G-Hotel Grand Azur, Marmaris offered large, luxury accommodation in a typically luxury style. Big bathrooms (with Jacuzzi bath), rooftop Steak Bar, delicious cocktails and a Turkish Bath were some of the few things I tried during my stay.
A visit to Turkey wouldn’t be complete without at least one boat trip. If you are a social butterfly and like meeting new people, you can join an organised trip to Olu Deniz, where you can take a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon; Or depending on where you stay, you can book a day trip to Rhodes for a Greek lunch, as it’s only an hour away on the Catamaran.
Seeing the sunset at sea is one of my favourite things, and being based on the marina, there are many boats that you can charter privately too. My advice is to get a small group, lots of iced wine and head out for the afternoon/early evening. Make sure to tell the Captain you want plenty of stop off points to jump in to the crystal water and I guarantee you will get the best tan (and Instagram pictures).
The latter part of my trip involved upping sticks to the D-Resort Gocek, which was just 90 minutes away by mini bus, but a world away in the style of resort. A stunning modern hotel, situated next to the marina and the small town of Gocek (it is also just 30 minutes from the airport, so longer in the sun before checkout!) It also has two outdoor pools, restaurants and the very popular Breeze bar located on the beach. Gaining a reputation for its newly designed Spa, which is a haven of peace and tranquillity, and the gym which could rival any member’s club in the UK- this is aimed at the luxury market.
If you are looking for a slice of paradise in quiet, stunning surroundings, the simplicity and elegance of D-Resort Gocek will not disappoint. Both restaurants I tried for dinner- Günaydın Steakhouse, which does a delicious everything (I had the taster menu), and the experimental, but buzzing Q restaurant situated in the mountainside were both delicious. Is Peruvian-Japanese going to be the next big thing? You heard it here first!
Even though this is a recognised holiday destination, the pace is slow and the locals are super friendly. And with hundreds of blue flag beaches making up its 400 miles of white sand, it is no wonder it is a place to come and chillax. I managed to get through two books. Like I said, the most difficult choice was which ones to pack!
FACTBOXMonarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates flights to Dalaman from Birmingham, London Gatwick, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and London Luton airports, with fares, including taxes, starting from £54 one way (£101 return). For further information or to book Monarch flights and Monarch Holidays please visit www.monarch.co.uk.
Rates at D-Resort Grand Azur start from £120 per night for half board, including taxes. D-Resort Grand Azur is the only hotel in Marmaris to offer half and full board ensuring flexibility. Book online at www.dresortgrandazur.com.
Rates at D-Resort Gocek start from 448 EUR. Rates are per room per night on a B&B basis. Book online at www.dresortgocek.com.tr. Both hotels are open all year round.
The Brighton Food Festival was not strictly far for me to travel, but I was anticipating tastes from all round the world. And it was a great opportunity to catch up with celebrity healthy eating guru Stacie Stewart, who has recently collaborated with Scottish Premium Carounn Gin.
I was keen to find out what being healthy actually means these days, and how on earth I can have a drink and not be judged by the clean eating vigilantes!!! So got my dictaphone at the ready (*not that the gin made me forgetful at all, honest!!) and was all ears...
How did you get into healthy eating/living/cooking?
It came about when I was 30 and noticed from watching myself on Masterchef that I needed to get in shape. The healthy eating came a few months into an intense gym regime when I realised eating mindfully, as well as working out would double my efforts.
What is your version of eating clean?
Nice and simple; just eating foods which haven't been processed and are as close to nature as possible. Avoiding chemicals, additives and preservatives is a good place to start. And natural forms of ingredients for instance, Himalayan pink salt over table salt and raw cacao instead of chocolate. When it comes to drinking alcohol I allow myself a treat. But instead of a sugar-loaded glass of Prosecco, I whip up one of my refreshing tonic recipes with Caorunn gin. It's all about making better choices.
How important are ‘superfoods’ in our diet? Do you have to be a complete devotee or can you dip in and out and still get some benefits?
You can absolutely dip in and out. Most foods we eat are 'superfoods' anyway! They're just foods with high levels of antioxidants. My favourites are raw cacao and matcha. Another great one is antibacterial Manuka honey which you can find in some of the tonic recipes I created for Caorunn gin.
What should we try to avoid eating if we want to get thin?
You can eat anything and everything. If you want a burger, have one but use lean grass-fed steak mince. Pile it with loads of delicious salads and veggies and have baked fries sprinkled with paprika and Himalayan pink salt. Fancy ice cream? Blend frozen bananas with a little organic milk and vanilla and top with your favourite chopped, toasted nuts.
For people that don’t want to feel like there are altering their way of life (aherm, not me honest!!) is gin the best alcohol to drink for calorie counters?
It sure is! TEN Caorunn gin and slimline tonics is equivalent to ONE fruit cider. Include lots of sliced apple to bring out the natural botanics and really make the Caorunn pop in your mouth!
Booze and dieting are never normally viewed as being compatible, how did you get involve with the delicious Carounn Gin?
I teamed up with Caorunn to create a range of tonic recipes for people like myself who eat healthily and exercise regularly and don't want to ruin their efforts at the weekend. Everyone should have the opportunity to make better choices when it comes to their drinks and our collaboration has made that available to people.
The tonics I created blend natural ingredients such as fresh turmeric and cold pressed organic juices to compliment the delicate botanical flavours in the Caorunn gin. Caorunn and I very much have the same ethos of using natural ingredients which are handcrafted to create something wonderful.
Interview by Sara Darling
See more about Eat Naked here
Buy Carounn Gin here
Article: Christina Harnois
Tulum, Mexico vibrates on a distinct frequency maybe it’s the remnants of the ancient Mayan civilization that imbues the air with a mystical quality, who knows….
What is apparent is that it is a gathering place for artists, creators, dreamers, visionaries, night owls, vagabonds, old souls, young souls and anyone with a spirit of openness and discovery.
A great place to seamlessly join this world is at Tulum Art Club (TAC) in the heart of Tulum Pueblo.
Entre this open and airy café/gallery space and you will feel welcomed into a slice of Tulum magic.
During the day it is a great place to do the digital nomad thing and sip on juices and cold press coffee while working away on your laptop. Sample their simple but tasty menu, my personal favourite is the avocado toast!
Dig a little deeper and TAC has a lot to offer…. They curate a varied and eclectic calendar of cultural events and are integral players in the Tulum art scene.
Be sure to check out the Drink and Draw events on Tuesday evenings. I had the pleasure of popping in when ‘North London girl’ Illustrator Polly Nor was in town. Inspired by her devilish characters, we all gathered around a large table, chatted, doodled, and drank cocktails (fyi the Espresso Martini is to die for). We experimented with some blind contour portrait drawing, where you look at your subject and draw them without looking at the page or lifting your pencil! Quite a challenge indeed, the results were rather Picassoesque...
Tulum Art Club’s vision is to offer artists, artisans and art lovers a space in which to converge, connect and feel free to create and grow in their field and in themselves. Through their artist residency program TAC has forged collaborative relationships with both Mexican and International contemporary artists.
The residency offers artists the opportunity to pursue versatile projects by exploring the towns and pueblos of the Yucatan. This journey allows them to integrate traditional artisanal techniques and materials into their work.
Merging artisanal knowledge with creative vision in a highly vibrational place opens the door to a unique and contemporary perspective with a touch of Mexican flair.
The most recent offering is a collaboration by four artists, Monika Canilao, Ektor Garcia, Elena Stonaker and Xara Thustra, who worked together at the Gorila Artists Residency run by TAC, for a month to create an original body of work entitled CUATRO ESPIRITU.
Local materials, such as wooden planks, paint, wire, fabric, coloured raffia were scavenged and used to create intuitive pieces in a fully collaborative process.
The final result is a colorful, whimsical and accessible collection of objects that tell a story. The story is for each viewer to interpret but what can be felt as intentional is the sense of community and sharing inherent in the body of work.
Street art is as important to the identity of Tulum as the beach is. Ride your bike around the pueblo and murals of all sorts will catch your eye. When offered to the community art can be unifying force, which is where the TAC Villas Mural Project comes in.
This initiative gives the TAC family of artists the opportunity to share their work with the local community. Villas is a simple working class neighborhood just outside of Tulum far from the eco chic hotels on the beach road. Their goal is to have 40 murals completed by the end of this year.
So when you come to Tulum, explore and find these expressions of colour and energy, then pop into Tulum Art Club and see what gems of inspiration you come across there…
Tulum Art Club
Review: Christopher George
The distinguished CERU Restaurant, serving a Fusion of food blended from the Middle East and East Mediterranean. Strongly influences from Istanbul, Cyprus and the Lebanon; CERU creates a unique and light menu.
Avoiding the heavy sauces and breads traditionally from the Middle East classic diet, the food at CERU is light, fresh and easy to digest over a bottle of their fine wine selection.
Focusing on a healthy variety of food, with key dishes creating a good vegetarian and vegan option. Healthy eating is a key to their success.
Set in a comfortable and modern design, with emphasise of creating some privacy with their booth dinning. The light and airy interior is perfect for lunch and also light evening occasions.
Casual service and open kitchens allow for a bustling and relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a non-fuss dining experience.
Spiced roasted beetroot and fennel salad.
Fadi, roasted zucchini, yoghurt, lemon, tahini and garlic
Great for dipping with your.
Spiced battered squid. Fabulous batter!
Zucchini & Feta Fritters – AMAZING!!!!!!
Paprika and lemon marinated chicken breast
Fillet of Sea Bream with warm lemon dressing
Too Hot To handle cocktail (must try)
Wine – White Lxsir Altitudes, a traditional Lebanese wine. Crisp, fresh and very easy to drink.
7–9 Bute Street
London, SW7 3EY
020 3195 3001
There's something about men and bags.. Or maybe that's just the men in my life!
Not shy of clutching an oversized tote, teeny rucksack or leather cross-body bag- my fashionable men friends are nearly one step ahead of me in the baggage market!
So now it's officially beach time (I say that as I am planning my next trip to far flung lands!) it's good to see that the boys have a choice of a cool beach bag to cart the essentials.. cue the only summer collaboration you need to know about from TUMI x Orlebar Brown.
TUMI is well respected for its ultra-reliable suitcases, with Orlebar Brown catering for the man who likes playful patterned swim shorts...So put the two together, and you have the perfect practical arm candy which offers a twist on the classic canvas beach bag.
The resulting four-piece collection features photographer Slim Aaron’s iconic 1960s Cap Du Roc images, or you can tone down your trunks, with a plain cream or traditional navy version.
The totes, and weekender bags all have a rubber base, so are ideal for any pool or seaside shenanigans, and are the perfect match for Orlebar shorts and a full size TUMI suitcase.
Exposing the roads less trodden around the globe. 55Travels with the notion to encounter a more cultural and creative experience.