The Jam Tree – Restaurant review

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It’s the season of the roast. But who can be doing with all that slaving over a hot stove? Not to mention the washing up. The smart move is to venture out and make someone else do the work for you! I recently checked out the Sunday Roast at The Jam Tree, on the King’s Road in Chelsea. Despite rumours, not a Made in Chelsea ‘star’ in sight!

Find out how I got on over at VADA Magazine here.

Read more of my writing on food and drink here.

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Pretty in Pink

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Fear not, it’s not another dubious ‘pinkwashing’ project…

Artist Stuart Semple has today released his own brand of pink paint, ‘PINK’, which he claims is the world’s pinkest pigment. It’s a highly reflective and rich powdered paint pigment, which repels light to effect a powerful fluorescence.

It’s not the first time a British artist has called ‘dibbs’ on a particular pigment. Semple’s project recalls Anish Kapoor’s famous acquisition of exclusive rights to use the world’s ‘blackest black’ in his art earlier this year. Developed by NanoSystems, ‘Vantablack’ is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes. When light strikes Vantablack, it is continually deflected between the tubes, becoming trapped. The pigment is currently the blackest substance known – so dark that it absorbs 99.96 per cent of light. Although originally developed for military and astronomic purposes, NanoSystems subsequently confirmed that Kapoor alone had been authorised to use the pigment for artistic purposes.

However, Semple (as always) takes a more democratic approach and intends to make his paint available to as many artists as possible – except Anish Kapoor. Semple remarked: “It’s not really very fair! We all remember kids at school who wouldn’t share their colouring pencils, but then they ended up on their own with no friends. It’s cool, Anish can have his black. But the rest of us will be playing with the rainbow!”

Purchasers of PINK will be required to make a legal declaration during the online checkout process, confirming that: “you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this paint will not make its way into that hands of Anish Kapoor.”

PINK is available to artists everywhere (except Anish Kapoor) for £3.99 from www.culturehustle.com

Read more of my writing on visual art here.

Brexit means… pyjamas?!

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First came Fifty Shades of Grey worked into the title of every media release. And now… Brexit!

I love the audacity (and ludicracy) of this latest missive from Bown of London: Ross Thompson, CEO, says “maybe it is down to the patriotic Brexit effect… or more likely, an increased number of people working from home and increased leisure time, coupled with an ageing population” which is leading to increased pyjama and dressing gown sales. Yeah, maybe Ross, maybe…

Perch & Parrow

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This week a new online design destination, Perch & Parrow, launches with an impressive range of classic and contemporary furniture and home accessories. Highlights include a selection of over 100 fabrics which allow you to create a bespoke look with their made-to-order furniture. There’s also a covetable collection of easy updates, from cushions to handmade rugs.

Founder Astrid Limal says “We inspire you to feel confident about how you dress your home… with style guides, decorating tips and advice from interiors insiders. The aim is to inspire with timeless pieces of furniture to make your space unique.”

One of my favourites is this Odyn Desk

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Or how about a Butch Sofa Bed?

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Subscribe to Perch & Parrow’s online magazine, Le Journal, for interiors trends, ideas, and profiles.

Read more of my writing on deisgn and interiors here.

 

Koons / Trump

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Another multimillionaire megalomaniac waded into US politics last week. Some were surprised when Jeff Koons declared his support for Hillary Clinton in German art magazine Monopol, as reported by blouinartinfo.com – but not because he didn’t come down on the side of Trump. Koons is a man who knows which side his bread’s buttered. The surprise was perhaps because we don’t always expect contemporary artists to be engaged in party politics, Tracey Emin notwithstanding.

However, take a glance at any of Koon’s output since the 1970s and of course you will find a body of work deeply concerned with ‘politics’ in every sense. Koon’s announcement has prompted me to share some of my snaps from the excellent recent presentation of his work from the Murderme Collection at Damien Hirst’s new gaff, which – pop fact – has just been awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building of the year.

Jeff Koons: Now was at Newport Street Gallery from 18 May to 16 October 2016.

You can read more of my writing on visual art here.

Mind the Gap – Ruby Wax on mindfulness

 

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I wanted to post something for  World Suicide Prevention Day – today Saturday 10 September 2016 – and I thought that sharing some thoughts from comedian and veteran mental health campaigner Ruby Wax might fit the bill, having heard her speak earlier this week.

Wax was in Manchester on Thursday at the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2016. When asked how her mental health journey had begun she replied, “Do you want the real story or the funny story? This audience didn’t pay so I’ll give them the the real story…” However, her account was of course filled with humour and anecdote (“I once interviewed Donald Trump – I should have taken him out then.”)

Ruby trained as a psychotherapist but failed to complete the number of required patient hours. As she remarked: “I was a terrible therapist. I used to ask clients to cut to the punchline.” She settled on ‘mindfulness’ as an approach having tried a number of ‘alternative therapies’ including marrying herself and re-birthing (“It’s supposed to be better the second time. It isn’t.”)

What is mindfulness? When asked, Wax replied with a story, explaining that it was about being aware of what was going on for you: “I missed the solar eclipse in Australia – a once in 200 years event – because I was thinking of an angry email I was going to send to The White Company because they sent me a single duvet instead of a double.”