ORDER IN FOR VALENTINE’S DAY: Tom Hunt x Danny Jack
This Valentine’s Day, eco-chef Tom Hunt has collaborated with chef Danny Jack to launch a plant-based, zero-waste and regenerative menu box from his new cookbook Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet. Each dish has been cooked by Tom, Danny and his team, so all you need to do is finish, plate up and enjoy. Prepared using organic and agroecological ingredients from Tom and Danny’s favourite farms and suppliers, the menu includes sharing dishes of musabaha (a rich warm hummus of Hodmedod’s British pulses) with hemp oil, aleppo pepper and rose petals; caramelised salsify and shallots with thyme, rhubarb and hazelnuts; plus ‘Rotation’ risotto with truffle salt (with the option of a whole truffle for extra indulgence). Plus, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s without a chocolate fondant, and this one comes with walnut cream, rye and cacao breadcrumbs, followed by rose, cardamom and pistachio marshmallows. The pair has partnered with Aldwick Estate to include a bottle of English sparkling wine to compliment the meal. Costing £65 based on two people sharing, the kit also arrives in food packaging that is 100% compostable.
ENJOY A FRONT ROW SEAT: Cendrillon at The Royal Opera House
Available to stream online until 21st February, Massenet’s Cendrillon is a touching, romantic interpretation of the much-loved story of Cinderella. Full of wonderful music, this Royal Opera production sees director Laurent Pelly pay tribute to the story’s fairytale origins by setting his interpretation literally within a storybook. Originally staged in Covent Garden in July 2011, the superb cast includes Royal Opera favourite Joyce DiDonato as Cendrillon, Alice Coote as her ardent Prince Charming, Ewa Podlés in gloriously comic form as Cendrillon’s snobbish stepmother, Madame de la Haltière, and Eglise Gutiérrez as a sassy Fairy Godmother. Not to be missed.
UP YOUR FITNESS GAME: Core Collective x Poké The Bear
Boutique London fitness studio Core Collective has been keeping Londoners fit during lockdown with its online fitness schedule for just £10 per class but, for Valentine’s Day, the team will be offering a free online HIIT class to celebrate its new ‘Coregasm’ poké bowl in collaboration with Poké the Bear. Available for the month of February, the bowl has been created by Core Collective’s head trainers Paddy, India and Ria and includes some of their go-to foods. The soy-marinated tuna or tofu sits on a bed of brown rice, topped with baby spinach, mizuna and frisée salad, pickled ginger, edamame, mango, finished off with toasted sesame seeds and crispy seaweed. Costing £12.95, the bowl is available to order from Deliveroo now. Be sure to sign up for a free live-streamed Core Collective class on Valentine’s Day, which can be booked via the Core Collective timetable.
GET CRAFTY: Crockd Pottery Kits
If you’re looking for new ways to stay entertained at the weekend that don’t involve looking at screens, consider picking up one of these craft pottery kits from Crockd. Its all-in-one sets come with clay, carving tools and full instructions so you can create something you love. Even better, you don’t need a kiln to fire up your final pieces – all of Crockd’s pottery is designed to air dry, plus kits can be ordered to contain enough clay for one-to-two people or three-to-four. If you prefer to order kits for groups bigger than five, the price drops from £50 a box to just £32. Alternatively, if you prefer to kiln-fire your creations, just select the ceramic option when ordering your kit instead.
PRE-ORDER THIS INAUGURAL TEXT: The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
If you’re anything like us – or most of the world for that matter – you were also blown away by the recitation of The Hill We Climb, the poem delivered by Amanda Gorman at President Biden’s inauguration a couple of weeks ago. Now, her publishers at Penguin Random House – who had been preparing to release her first collection of poetry later this year – have agreed to print a special edition of the poem, complete with a foreword by Oprah Winfrey, in April. As the youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration, Gorman’s star is now firmly in ascendence, with this special edition aiming to celebrate the promise of America and affirm the power of the written word.
TAKE IN AN ART EXHIBITION: Charles Gaines at Hauser & Wirth
Available to browse online now, take in artist Charles Gaines’ first solo exhibition in the UK, featuring new works across both galleries at Hauser & Wirth in London. Comprising two new bodies of Gaines’ critically acclaimed Plexiglas gridworks, the exhibition includes his institutionally heralded ‘Numbers and Trees’ and ‘Numbers and Faces’ series. As a leading practitioner of conceptualism and influential educator at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, Gaines will also have a solo exhibition entitled New Work: Charles Gaines at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from late February, as well as a survey exhibition at Dia Beacon in New York, opening on the 12th February 2021. This London exhibition is available to view until 1st May 2021.
HEAR FROM ONE OF FASHION’S MOST INFLUENTIAL DESIGNERS: The Talk Show
If you missed NET-A-PORTER’s livestream celebrating legendary designer Alber Elbaz’s eagerly awaited new fashion concept, AZ Factory, the good news is the 40-minute video special is still available to watch on YouTube. Tune in for a special show with VIP guests Camille Razat, Kristin Scott Thomas, Rachel Khoo and Charli Howard as they lift the lid on AZ Factory – a start-up created by Elbaz and backed by Compagnie Financière Richemont encompassing fashion, accessories, digital storytelling and entertainment. With the collection initially debuting as a 25-minute runway show-cum-documentary film during online Paris Couture Week, the collection is now available to shop at NET-A-PORTER.
TUNE INTO A NEW PODCAST: Power: The Maxwells
Everyone’s heard of Ghislaine Maxwell (Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged partner in crime), but there’s a shadowy figure who hangs above her who you likely don’t know: her father, media tycoon Robert Maxwell. His rise from nothing to a suspicious fall from the deck of his super yacht is straight out of a crime novel. Ghislaine’s theory? Her father was murdered. From Somethin’ Else, the makers of The Immaculate Deception and The Fault Line: Bush, Blair and Iraq, and hosted by investigative journalist Tara Palmeri, this seven-part series tells the incredible true story of a media mogul whose legacy is still being felt today.
JOIN IN WITH THIS RARE LITERARY EVENT: Book Club With Margaret Atwood
On Thursday 11th February at 7pm, you can pay just £5 to join the February edition of the Guardian’s online book club. This month, Margaret Atwood will join the discussion to talk about Oryx and Crake – the first novel in her Maddaddam trilogy. A dystopian parable, the 2003 tome marked Atwood’s first return to the future since The Handmaid’s Tale, placing the reader in a world ravaged by a man-made plague. Atwood paints a stark warning about humanity’s impact on the natural world, in a novel she once described as a “fun-packed, joke-filled, rollicking adventure tale about the end of the human race”. Consider this a rare opportunity to hear from one of the most singular and influential voices in contemporary fiction – plus, there’ll also be the chance to have your question answered live.
RECREATE THE ALPINE EXPERIENCE: Provisions Fondue Kit
Anyone who’s a fan of Islington wine and cheese shop Provisions will be pleased to hear the outlet is now selling wintery fondue and raclette kits for home delivery – the perfect way to mimic that alpine setting if you’re missing out on your usual skiing trip this year. From £29, you can choose from either the fondue or raclette sets, which come with pre-grated or cubed cheese mixes, as well as charcuterie, bread and full recipe cards to guide you every step of the way. Alternatively, for £24, you can purchase the pre-grated cheese mix to get a head start on your fondue, with the freedom to decide on all the accompaniments yourself.