TREAT YOUR FRIENDS: Pique Hampers
SL favourite Pique has just launched a new range of picnic hampers and sharing boxes in time for spring and the easing of lockdown restrictions. With your chosen five, head down to your local park to enjoy one of their luxury selections. We’ve got our eye on the ‘Freedom Picnic’ hamper which includes caramelised apple and thyme sausage rolls; coronation chicken with toasted almonds; orzo with fresh pesto dressing, peas and pea shoots; sweet potato and feta frittatas, herby aioli; creamy za'atar hummus with crudités; brie, grapes and chutney; freshly baked baguette and double chocolate brownie bites. The seasonal menus all focus on picnic classics with modern twists and are packaged in disposable, compostable and plastic-free packaging. Kits start from £40 and are available for delivery to selected London postcodes.
STREAM A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: Manon, English National Ballet
The English National Ballet has just added a performance of Manon to their at-home online streaming platform. Originally performed in October 2018, the production includes choreography by Kenneth MacMillan and music by Jules Massenet, played live by English National Ballet Philharmonic orchestra. The romantic tragedy tells the story of Manon, a young woman who falls in love with a penniless student but is lured into becoming the mistress of a rich gentleman. After being swept up in a world where extravagant riches and poverty exist side by side, Manon is caught in-between. The performance is available to rent for three days for £7.99.
GET THE DRINKS IN: Lucy’s Wine
Created during lockdown, Lucy’s Wine is the latest drinks subscription service to know about. Every month, Lucy and her team handpick a selection of organic, natural and sustainable wines, and deliver them straight to your door. There’s no subscription fee involved so you can sign up for as long as you wish or buy a one-off box. This month, The Garden Starter Box (£58) includes a fresh Portuguese Branco, an organic rosé from Provence and an Italian Frizzante – ideal for alfresco dining or picnics in the park. Whether you’re looking for a new tipple to enjoy in the sunshine or want to get into the world of natural and organic wines, each box has something for everyone.
WATCH THIS NEW DOCUMENTARY: Black Power: A British Story Of Resistance, BBC iPlayer
After last years’ powerful BBC drama Small Axe, a series about a group of young black people living in London from the 1960s to the 1980s, Steve McQueen is back with another important watch. This new feature-length documentary follows the trial of the Mangrove Nine (a group of black British activists tried for inciting a riot at a 1970 protest against the police targeting of The Mangrove, a Caribbean restaurant in Notting Hill), surveying both the individuals and the cultural forces that defined the era. Featuring rare archive footage of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael, as well as music from Ken Boothe, Bob Marley, and Niney and Big Youth, this documentary shows viewers what it was like to be a young black person growing up in Britain during the time.
COOK UP A STORM AT HOME: Virtual Paella Class By Sea Saffron
Learn how to cook an authentic Valencian paella this weekend in a virtual cooking class by Sea Saffron, one of Spain’s top-rated food experience platforms. The interactive class will be hosted by founder Eduardo Aguilar, who will show you how to recreate his grandmother’s recipe. During the experience, he’ll share the origins of the dish alongside family anecdotes, and his favourite wine-pairings. Designed for cooking novices and pros alike, Eduardo will show you how to cook paella in under two hours – you’ll get a shopping list and instructions beforehand. Classes are available at various times every day throughout April. Tickets cost £25.
HIT THE GYM AGAIN: Core Collective Open Gym
With gyms set to reopen on Monday, head down to Core Collective to experience their new ‘open gym’ concept. From 7am-2pm every day at the St John's Wood and Kensington sites, you can book a private 60-minute slot for ergonomic, cycle or strength training workouts via the online timetable. You can workout at your own pace in-studio with a range of daily Core Collective workouts or buy credits (£10 per hour) towards classes throughout the week. If you’d rather stay at home, tune into their live sessions via Zoom instead – their 45-minute Pilates and power yoga classes are some of the best we’ve tried.
WATCH THIS NEW FILM: Night In Paradise, Netflix
Night In Paradise drops on Netflix on Friday. It follows the story of a man targeted by gangsters and a woman who has given up on life. After carrying out a revenge attack that makes him the target of everyone in town, a gangster flees to Jeju island where he forges an unlikely friendship with his tour guide – a young woman riding out the last days of her life. Starring Um Tae-goo (The Age of Shadows), Jeon Yeo-been (Vincenzo), and Cha Seung-won (A Korean Odyssey), Night In Paradise premiered at the 77th Venice International Film Festival and is the latest from acclaimed South Korean director Park Hoon-jung.
VISIT AN OUTDOOR EXHIBITION: The Silk Road: A Living History
Get your culture fix this weekend and head to Granary Square in King’s Cross to see this new outdoor exhibition. Wild Frontiers have partnered up with The Aga Khan Foundation for an exciting open-air photography exhibition: The Silk Road by travel photographer Christopher Wilton-Steer. The exhibition documents Wilton-Steer’s journey along a historic trade route where he travelled 40,000 km by car, bus, train, ferry, horse and camel from London to Beijing, passing through 16 countries. Expect stunning photography of some of the world’s most iconic landscapes, plus unusual yet beautiful places off the beaten track. Ideal for feeding your wanderlust, the exhibition will run until 16th June. Tickets are free.
READ THIS DEBUT NOVEL: Fragile Monsters By Catherine Menon
With glowing reviews from critically acclaimed authors including Hilary Mantel, we’re excited to sit down this weekend to read Catherine Menon’s debut novel which is released today. Set in Malaysia, Fragile Monsters is a cross-generational story about one family. Mary is a difficult grandmother for Durga to love – she’s sharp-tongued, ferocious and at times, mysterious. When Durga visits her in rural Malaysia, she only wants to endure Mary, and the dark memories home brings, for as long as it takes to escape. But a reckoning is coming. Stuck together in the rising heat, both women must untangle the truth from the myth of their family's past. What happened to Durga's mother after she gave birth? Why did so many of their family members disappear during the war? And who is to blame for the childhood tragedy that haunts her to this day? This is a story about love, betrayal and redemption with an electric daughter-grandmother relationship at its heart.
TUNE INTO THIS NEW PODCAST: Zombiemum
When writer and illustrator Laura Dockrill became a mum, the experience was life changing – but not in the way she was expecting. She woke up on her first Mother’s Day in a psychiatric ward, without a clue where she was, separated from her newborn, with a diagnosis of postpartum psychosis. Since her experience, she’s been on a mission to uncover the psychological effects of bringing a baby into the world and smash the stigmas associated with them. Each week, Laura will welcome a new guest from a range of different backgrounds, all with their own unique experience for some heart-breaking, heart-warming but generous and reassuring real talk about motherhood. In the first episode, Laura is joined by singer Paloma Faith to talk about being pregnant and raising children in the public eye.