Old buildings, ports and markets: so far, so every other European city break you’ve ever been on. But Antwerp is also big on luxey living, high fash and supercool entertainment.
We once went to a wedding where Portuguese egg custard tarts were flown in for midnight munching. At the time it struck us as potentially excessive, but by God we've been on a quest to find those joy-giving little loves, without the need for a plane, ever since. Last week that quest came to the most glorious of ends.
We haven't read this book. Okay, that's not strictly true, we haven't finished this book, but we're admitting it to you. We're not willing to rush this one because, having had first hand experience with anxiety and depression, we can literally feel this novel doing us good as we read. And deadlines, quite frankly, are anxiety-inducing d*ckheads.
Being at one with room service is more our style than being at one with nature. But these rustic spots are light on roughing it and heavy on life-changing experiences and gosh-darned gorgeous vistas. The previously pricey Tuscany and south of France become more purse-friendly as soon as you’re under canvas, so leave the two-man tent at home. For your next temp home, think yurts, caves and gypsy caravans.
Mercury 7 were America’s first astronauts, the first to experience zero gravity and the first to orbit Earth. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they achieved considerable acclaim. You probably haven’t heard of the Mercury 13. They were a group of enthusiastic pilots and aspiring astronauts and part of an unofficial NASA programme - that were women.
The hype for Rihanna's Fenty Beauty launch last September was intense. As is the norm with celebrity brands, it seemed everyone on social media was talking about Fenty and when it came to launch day, there were queues outside of Harvey Nichols - the exclusive stockist - around the country. But is the hype justified?
Dream dinner party guest, David Chang, travels the world as he visits food hotspots to dissect comfort goodies like fried chicken, tacos and pizza. It might not always be pretty, but blimmin' hell it's tasty. Be warned: never watch this show on an empty stomach.
This Country is a BBC Three comedy mockumentary about rural living. We devoured the first series and now we’re patiently waiting each week for a new episode on iplayer. So irritation was our immediate response when we realised we’d stayed in the village that series is set in, only after we’d returned home. We were staying at the Wheatsheaf Inn, in the village of Northleach, where there is no visible trace of Kerry and her friends.
We need some more girls in here / Couple a Chantelles and Chanelles in here / So pass me the bitter let me get heavy on / Buff ting gally rude boy sling it on / There's too many man, too many many man /
Not exactly the most Bell & Smokey of lyrics, but when you're ordering two Menemen for brunch, trust us, it's hard to get the lyrics of Two Many Man by English grime collective, Boy Better Know, out of your head. So hard in fact that we found ourselves rap battling the lyrics with a neighbouring table the moment the waitress was gone.
There are so many new openings in B’ham right now that we’re proper struggling to keep up. What a wonderful time to be alive. Here are the absolute most excitingest.
Lord knows we’re big into relaxy, natural, new age spa treatments. But we’re also recent converts to Flint+Flint’s ‘anti-spa’ concept — dark salons with neon lights and fancy skincare science that actually works.
The last production we watched by Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures was The Red Shoes and it was arguably the best thing to happen to us in 2017. So expectations were preeeetty high for Cinderella, Bourne’s piece that was originally performed in 1997 and is now touring the country.
Did you know interactive podcasts are a thing? They’re totally a thing. The Walk is a thriller in which the listener plays an active part, both literally and figuratively as they're encouraged to get outside and walk as they listen. Written by Naomi Alderman (The Power) and developed by Six to Start (behind the fitness app, Zombies, Run!) this is a dystopian podcast with a difference.
Hairdresser-wise, we've flitted hard. And moving from highlights to a darker mane, we even started to self-colour, such was our confusion about where to hit. But in basically the news of the year, we've found a spiritual home for our now luxey locks, and as it's Christmas, we're even going to share it with you.
When we've got three nights to max-out, you'll find us on mainland Europe, wearing an excessively large hat. For any lesser period, a final destination under 90 minutes from our door guarantees an actually pleasurable weekend. At the centre of the beaut Cotswolds village of the same name, The Painswick's our nearest and dearest escape of choice right now, and totally winter proof.
Yoga's been having a moment since before the first time leggings were okay. And this year, we've finally gone all in, with a week of bending and breathing and bending some more, in an unpronounceable corner of south west France.
It's easy to throw around words like awe-inspiring and beautiful. So we won't. But just know that we wanted to use them to describe Jess Bianchi’s Given.
Perfectly poised between the sea and the mountains, Casa Cook is dotted with low, white buildings, wooden verandas and potted cacti. If we didn’t know better, we wouldn’t believe the Kos beaut was the second of the concept boutique hotels from Thomas Cook. But we do, and it is.
"The one constant through all the years," says James Earl Jones in Field Of Dreams "Has been baseball." He's totally wrong, of course. The one constant through all the years is El Borracho De Oro, the Edgaston-placed stalwart of a Spanish restaurant. Baseball is just boring rounders.
We've got a confession to make. Haydn's not our fave. Not even close actually. The music director of the CBSO, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, however, is our newest girl crush. And we suspect there's very few works that wouldn't sparkle with her behind the baton.