VISIT A CLASSIC BRITISH SUMMERTIME EVENT HERE: The Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show
All this week, and for the first time in its history, the world’s greatest flower show has gone digital to bring you an exciting line-up of world-leading designers, plant experts and practical gardening advice – all from the comfort of your home. On Friday, a line-up of video and inspirational articles will highlight how gardeners play such an important part in supporting wildlife and the environment today, with garden enthusiasts encouraged to join a virtual tour with designer Ann-Marie Powell as she shares a look around her Hampshire garden. On Saturday, join 2019's Best in Show designer Andy Sturgeon in his courtyard garden to get advice on what to grow in your own smaller space. If that’s not enough, why not join in one of the many events taking place around the show, including a live sofa session with Chelsea Flower Show gardener Matthew Wilson over on the Slingsby Gin Instagram this Saturday, or order a Chelsea Flower Show-inspired afternoon tea – available until 23rd May and priced at £60pp from the Dorchester At Home’s new delivery service. The set includes a 375ml bottle of Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label Brut, with all proceeds going to The Royal Horticultural Society.
BOOK IN FOR A CELEBRITY CHEF COOK-ALONG HERE: Belazu Virtual Banquet
Join the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi, Thomasina Miers and Angela Hartnett as they show you how to cook a vegetarian feast, with all proceeds going to the Belazu Foundation and its charity partner Chefs In Schools. While the event doesn’t take place until Friday 29th May, this Friday (22nd) marks the closing date by which to purchase your tickets. For £90, you’ll receive all the ingredients necessary to make a signature cocktail and four-course dinner for two, as well as a weblink to join the virtual dining experience and an evening of entertainment from comedian Wendy Wason and magician Chris Dodd. Dishes include Ottolenghi’s hummus with Pizza Pilgrims’ flatbread, Josh Katz’s signature cauliflower shawarma and Jeremy Lee’s raspberry and ricotta pudding. With only a working laptop or phone and basic kitchen equipment needed, it’s bound to go down as one of the most memorable culinary moments of lockdown.
GET HOOKED ON A NEW SERIES HERE: Little Fires Everywhere
Based on the 2017 best-selling book by Celeste Ng, the TV adaption of Little Fires Everywhere finally lands on Amazon Prime this Friday. Following the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives, the story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington and Joshua Jackson, this eight-part series has already won rave reviews from US critics. Watch the trailer here.
Available on Amazon Prime from Friday 22nd May
FIND YOUR WEEKEND BRUNCH HERE: 26 Grains Boxes
With restaurants across the country facing a prolonged closure as a result of the ongoing crisis, many are pivoting their business models to see them through this testing time. London favourite 26 Grains is no exception, having launched a range of delivery boxes, available for drop off within five miles of London Bridge. With prices starting from £28 for an Aperitivo box for two, delivery slots must be booked seven days in advance. We love the idea of the Breakfast Box, which comes complete with cardamom granola, seasonal compote, porridge, french press coffee, oat milk and half a soda bread – everything you need for an indulgent weekend brunch.
ENJOY A LIVE DJ SET HERE: Lyaness at Sea Containers London
This bank holiday Monday, one of London’s best bars – Lyaness at Sea Containers London – is hosting a five-hour live set over on the Lyaness Bar Instagram account from 5pm-10pm. Gathering together some of the capital’s finest and most eclectic DJs to provide the soundtrack to finish off the three-day weekend, music lovers can enjoy a cocktail or two to the sounds of funk, soul, disco and classic hip hop, curated by Lyaness’ resident record spinner Martin 2 Smoove. The line-up includes LDN HRLM, DJ Andy Purnell, Volatile, DJ Cable and DJ Santero. To get warmed up, have a listen to Lyaness Stream on Spotify, and follow @LyanessBar for a few ideas on what to drink.
CATCH VANESSA KIRBY ON STAGE HERE: National Theatre At Home
As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister Stella for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski. Throughout lockdown, we’ve been loving the weekly live streams from London’s National Theatre, and this week’s show is a real treat. From 7pm this Thursday, Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, Sex Education) plays Blanche DuBois with Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Kill Your Darlings) as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, Mission Impossible) as Stella in Tennessee William’s modern classic A Streetcar Named Desire. This critically acclaimed production was originally filmed live on stage at the Young Vic in 2014 and will now be screened to audiences across the world, in the comfort of your own living room.
DISCOVER & DISCUSS A NEW READ HERE: Embassy Gardens X Penguin Live Virtual Book Club
Regeneration project Embassy Gardens has announced its next phase of new virtual book ventures with Penguin. Kicking off on bank holiday Monday, all members will receive an audio or eBook and have two weeks to read it. The book club will then be hosted on a Sunday afternoon followed by a live discussion chaired by Hannah MacInnes, a regular host and moderator for the How To Academy and host on London’s Talk Radio. At only 50 members per session, each will allow for interactive discussion for everyone involved. Starting with Educated by Tara Westover, and including other books of the moment, including Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, readers are encouraged to book their spot well in advance to guarantee a place.
VISIT A VIRTUAL ART EXHIBITION HERE: Andy Warhol at Tate Modern
One of the greatest shames of the coronavirus crisis is the inability to visit some of the highly anticipated shows and exhibitions which were due to hit the capital in 2020. Case in point: the blockbuster Andy Warhol exhibit at London’s Tate Modern. Thankfully, the galleries are offering an immersive and digitalised tour of the works on display. Join curators Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran as they discuss Warhol through the lens of the immigrant story, his LGBTQI identity and concerns with death and religion. Exploring the artist's life and career via 12 different rooms, you’ll soon come to understand why Warhol’s work is considered as socially and politically charged today as it was during the height of his career. Best of all? It’s completely free.
CREATE A SPEAKEASY COCKTAIL NIGHT HERE: The Lost Estate Cocktail Kit
Experiential event creators The Lost Estate have launched a ‘Secret Jazz Age Night In’ experience, to be enjoyed at home. Entitled Ms. Belles Livingstone’s Superior Medicinal Spirits Company, the company will deliver an at-home kit complete with spirits, syrups, bitters, bartenders equipment, glassware, so you can make 12 prohibition-style cocktails from scratch and host a Roaring 20s night-in. You’ll find a letter from Belle herself, explaining what’s in the pack and how to use it. Keeping guests utterly immersed, this letter has been hurriedly typed on the back of a blank medicinal alcohol prescription, with links to a custom Jazz Age playlist with authentic 1920s recordings from the likes of Louie Armstrong and Duke Ellington to soundtrack the night also included. The full box costs £99.99, but for those who have the equipment already, a stripped-down version can be requested with just the ingredients and experience cards.
VISIT A TRUE WONDER OF THE WORLD HERE: Palace of Versailles, France
Experience the Palace of Versailles in virtual reality with ‘Experience Versailles’, an app created with Fondation Orange, which allows visitors to relive the visit by the Ambassador of Siam to the Court of Louis XIV in 1686 and the Yew Ball held by Louis XV. The experience, available in French and English, is surprisingly educational: visitors can learn more about the life of certain figures – from courtiers to Louis XIV via the famous architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart or Madame de Pompadour – or discover interesting details about the life of the French sovereigns. Designed in direct connection with the exhibition Visitors to Versailles 1682-1789, the experience allows visitors to go a step further in their approach to the visit from these extraordinary ambassadors to Louis XIV. Originally designed for on-site visitors to use in and around the palace, the app is available for download, and is compatible with virtual reality hardware such as HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
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