FIND A REASON TO CELEBRATE HERE: Connaught Cakes
The Connaught in Mayfair is home to one of the capital’s most legendary afternoon teas. But with lockdown in full grip, it’s not been possible to enjoy this traditional experience. Thankfully, this week the hotel is relighting the ovens of its award-winning patisserie kitchen to launch a collection of delicious ‘Connaughty’ Cakes to be collected by customers. Every morning, executive pastry chef Nicolas Rouzaud’s team will be busy baking the limited-edition collection which include a strawberry tart, lemon meringue pie and black forest gateau, all of which will be boxed-up so you can enjoy one at home. The team will also be baking two larger celebration cakes (chocolate or raspberry) on a made-to-order basis, complete with iced messages. Available seven days a week, and priced at £24 for a box of four, place your order by phone on 0207 314 3535 or Takeaway@The-Connaught.co.uk.
CELEBRATE PRIDE HERE: Glitterbox Virtual Festival
In celebration of Pride month, nightlife brand Glitterbox has programmed a virtual multi-room streaming event on Friday 26th June. Kicking off at 7pm for three hours, across three different rooms and in collaboration with renowned New York nightclub House Of Yes and Brighton Pride, the seven DJs playing this special event include The Shapeshifters, the award-winning luminary Billy Porter, Horse Meat Disco, Fat Tony, Jellybean Benitez, Kiddy Smile, Late Nite Tuff Guy and Ralphi Rosario. This Friday also marks the release of The Shapeshifters featuring Billy Porter’s ‘Finally Ready’ on Glitterbox Recordings – a true declaration of the spirit of Pride, and of breaking free from past traumas to take a chance on love. Still find yourself wanting more? The following night, House of Yes will host an interactive dance party on Zoom, with replays of the Glitterbox DJ sets.
TUNE IN TO A NEW PODCAST HERE: Growing Up With Gal-Dem
Over the course of this podcast series, hosts Liv Little and Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff invite a different guest into the studio to respond to old diary entries, text messages or letters from their younger selves – in turn, nurturing important conversations about growing up. Recent instalments have included Bake Off star Ruby Tandoh, activist and model Munroe Bergdorf and writer, producer and actress Micheala Coel – if you haven’t watched I May Destroy You, you need to. Between them they discuss topics including the strength and beauty of friendship, toxic relationships and the need to destigmatise mental health and medication. An important and informative listen.
ENJOY A TASTE OF BOROUGH MARKET HERE: Elliot’s
Borough Market restaurant and natural wine bar Elliot’s has been quietly open for the past month, serving the local community with coffee, wine and other essentials. Now, it’s offering a full takeaway and delivery menu, including wood-fired sourdough pizzas, natural wine, small plates and more. Known for working with high-quality produce from independent farmers, growers and fishermen, from next week, Elliot’s will launch a series of special guest pizzas, the first of which will be with its market neighbours, Mei Mei from 23rd-28th July, followed by Dom’s Subs, Jidori and Anaïs van Manen. While the restaurant remains on hiatus ahead of a wider opening of the economy, Elliot’s has opened up the unused space as a natural wine store, wood fired bakery and deli, stocking restaurant-quality supplies and exclusive ceramics by Owen Wall, best known for creating bespoke tableware for the Fat Duck, The Ledbury and Koya.
GO TO THE THEATRE HERE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A feuding fairy king and queen of the forest cross paths with four runaway lovers and a troupe of actors trying to rehearse a play. As their dispute grows, the magical royal couple meddle with mortal lives leading to love triangles, mistaken identities and transformations – with hilarious, but dark consequences. You’re probably already familiar with the story, but Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy will be streamed from the Bridge Theatre in London this Thursday night at 7pm. Starring Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) and Oliver Chris (Green Wing) as Titania and Oberon, the production was originally directed by ex-National Theatre chief Nicholas Hytner. Expect to see the theatre become a forest – a dream world of flying fairies, contagious fogs and moonlight revels, surrounded by a roving audience following the action on foot. The footage will be available to view until 2nd July for anyone unable to join the live transmission.
TRY A NEW FITNESS CLASS HERE: Lisa’s Living Club
Fitness instructor and personal trainer Lisa started her platform, Lisa’s Living Club, to teach others how to love exercise and help them fix their flaky relationship with it. In her words, while the fitness industry bombards us with unrealistic goals and tells us to obsess over aesthetic, it’s important not to see exercise as just about your weight. We all need to stop comparing ourselves to others, too.
It’s Lisa’s belief that because committed and challenging exercise makes you feel good, it’s much more motivating than the visibility of a six pack (which, she reminds us, is invisible as soon as you sit down or eat). With live workouts, unlimited fitness videos, and tutorials with an incredibly supportive community, the standard plan costs just £17 a month, with a premium level on offer for those looking to take it up a notch. Even so, you’re never tied in, and can cancel at any time.
Visit LisasLivingClub.com and visit Lisa's instagram page @lisaslivingclub
HEAD TO THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE HERE: Live From Covent Garden
To support its artists and production staff during this extended period of closure, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is streaming live performances every weekend, for as little as £4.99. This week’s programme – to be broadcast live on Saturday evening at 7:30pm – includes world-class performances of J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, George Gershwin’s Summertime, Verdi’s Brindisi ‘Libiamo Ne’ Lieti Calici’ from La Traviata and two individual ballets: Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto starring Royal Ballet dancers Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour Pas De Deux, starring Mayara Magri and Matthew Ball. This event will be streamed on a service powered by Vimeo and to access it, you will need a Vimeo account.
TAKE PART IN THIS ANNUAL EVENT HERE: Somerset House Summer Programme
Somerset House is gearing up to launch its virtual summer online programme, entitled I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now, featuring new online exhibitions, live streams, podcasts, workshops and more. Specifically for the week of midsummer and leading into this weekend, Somerset House will host a range of online events reflecting and discussing how the current conditions could reset our ‘always on’ culture. Curated by Sarah Cook, and featuring new and updated works by artists who have participated in previous Somerset House exhibitions, highlights include a live stream from Alan Warburton discovering virtual spaces which connect people with nature. Later in the month and into July, look out for ‘Coping Mechanisms’ – a new podcast with Somerset House Studio artists and film makers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, which sees the duo interview famous faces including Noel Fielding and Jarvis Cocker.
ORDER SOME KNOCK-OUT BREAD HERE: The Dusty Knuckle
Established in 2014, The Dusty Knuckle bakery in east London has quickly become the stuff of legend. With fans including Jessie Ware (the singer regularly shouts out the sourdough maker on her hit podcast Table Manners), the good news is that in response to the lockdown measures the business has gone online. Customers can opt to have Dusty Knuckle’s wares delivered straight to their home, or click and collect if you’re local: we love the decadent sticky buns, light focaccia and chewy rye bread. Mega fans can grab one of the merch-style t-shirts, while all shoppers are encouraged to spare an extra £2 for those most in need right now. All voluntary donations will go to the Newington Green Action Group Food Hub, which distributes food parcels and essentials in the Mildmay and Newington Green area.
JOIN THE FEMINIST DISCUSSION HERE: Women Don’t Owe You Pretty
A fervent, accessible entry point into progressive feminist discussion, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty covers important topics like body image, toxic beauty standards and identity-building in a world still blatantly plagued by bigotry, misogyny and sexism. Throughout the book, author Florence Given explores all corners of the feminist conversation – from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity. An accessible leap into feminism, this is a book for people seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. In a world that tells women we're either not enough or too much, it's time to stop directing anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back.
Available at Waterstones
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