1. Somewhere you should go… Hackney Homemade Market

    Here at TCé, there is nothing that warms our cockles more than a sprinkle of entrepreneurial spirit mixed with a dollop of creativity. That’s why we are big fans of Hackney Homemade Market, taking place every Saturday in the verdant grounds of St John’s Church opposite Hackney Central Station.

    Providing a refreshing alternative to the overcrowded walkway of Broadway market and the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane, the food market was set up by a local resident back in February in order to promote local traders and businesses and bring the community together through some edible yummies from across the continent. It seems to be working out pretty well so far…

    Accurately reflecting the diversity of its residents, the cuisine and produce on offer ranges from homemade cheeses, sausages and artisan breads through to wild game, duck eggs, katsu curry, burritos with an Indian twist and sweet cupcake treats from Hackney’s ‘Lush Mush’. Also featuring is a pop-up teashop from Haggerston Tearooms, where you can sit down and ‘chillax’ after you’ve been a little greedy guts, bought up all the homemade guacamole and chutney and stopped salivating for at least five minutes.

    On the flip side of the coin, if you’re a foodie local whose been seriously contemplating peddling your own delectable delicacies, the organisers have tried to make the market as accessible as possible, running market trader training days and offering free stalls to local charities. So what are you waiting for: get involved!

    Unlike the current economic state of affairs, this feels like a genuine win win situation for all. And those - as we know - are the very best kind. (Words: Aoife Moriarty)

    For more information, go to: http://www.hackneyhomemade.com/food



  2. Somewhere you should go… The Grant Museum of Zoology

    If you’re interested in the animal kingdom, then chances are you’re already familiar with West London’s wonderfully impressive Natural History Museum. However, if you have time to spare, then we also highly recommend a visit to the lesser known Grant Museum of Zoology near Euston Station, open 1 - 5pm Monday to Friday. It’s a bit of an obscure gem.

    Part of University College London and founded over 170 years ago, The Grant Museum of Zoology is the only remaining zoological museum in London. It was originally founded as a private teaching collection and is still used as one today, but recently became open to the public.

    Despite being housed in a relatively small space, the dense collection still manages to cram in some 67,000 specimens  and contains some very exciting treasures of the animal world. It includes one of the rarest skeletons on the planet, the now extinct quagga zebra (a brown zebra – looks a bit like a horse), dodo and Tasmanian tiger specimens, as well as Sir Victor Negus’s bisected heads, which are pretty amazing and bear resemblance to the work of Damien Hirst.

    There are interactive activities too, bringing the Victorian collection up to date and you can use iPads or QR codes on your own smartphone to answer relevant questions about the role science plays in society.

    And if you’re not around on a weekday, then fear not… As part of the Museums at Night series, the Grant Museum will be open 6 – 9pm on Friday,  May 18 following a jovial treasure hunt around all of UCL’s museums. Simply RSVP to: events.petrie@ucl.ac.uk.

    In the words of Girls Aloud: You can’t escape this biology…!

    Words: Aoife Moriarty

    For more information, go to: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/zoology


  3. Somewhere You Should Go… Dress Up & Dance at The Black Cotton Club

    Have you ever wished you were born in a different era? Are you anti social networking, but pro-smooth suits and snappy fedora hats? Do you attempt to play life out as a romantic vintage fantasy against the odds?

    Then you’re probably the type of person for who The Black Cotton Club - a swinging night of hot jazz from the ‘20s to the ‘40s - was created. It’s strictly a dress-up-and-dance-night, so ensure to don your best vintage clobber before you boogie on down to rare swing and rhythm’n’blues music, played on original 78 records. And not only that: if you attend the next monthly night, you’ll also witness retro jive band Sugar Floor Stomp honking their horns and plucking their cellos to their seedy swing sounds until the early hours.

    In the age of depersonalised superstar DJ clubs, places such as The Black Cotton Club are a genuine breath of fresh air. So get down to Volupté burlesque club on the 17th to soak up the fun and sleazy prohibition era atmosphere. Flapper dresses at the ready! (Words: Aoife Moriarty)

    For more information, go to the Lady Luck website: www.ladyluckclub.co.uk


  4. Something You Should See… Asia House Pan-Asia Film Festival

    Some Asian film industries rule their continent, like India, which produces over a 1,000 films a year – 200 more than Hollywood – but  film from countries such as Vietnam or Indonesia barely register on the cinematic map.

    And whilst many mainstream Bollywood films make it to London multiplexes, films from creative film talents in other parts of Asia and the Middle East more often than not don’t ever make it to these shores.

    That’s why the Asia House Pan-Asia Film Festival – from March 9th - 18th – will be showcasing award-winning films from countries including Iran, Kazakhstan, Tibet, Taiwan and South Korea. The lively programme features a diverse range of genres, from drama and comedy to romance and adventure, and there will be a number of Q&A sessions with cast and crew to coincide with the screenings.

    Highlights of the fest include Starry Starry Night from Hong Kong (which visually, takes inspiration from  Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night),  The Tibetan The Sun Beaten Path which follows a young man’s journey from Lhasa to his home in a remote part of the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau and 11th Flower - a heart-warming, semi-autobiographical story set in the latter days of the Cultural Revolution and wraps up the festivities on March 18th.

    Make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to gain unique access and insight into life across the diverse cultures and countries of the Asian continent. Not to mention witness some exciting new filmmaking talent. (Words: Aoife Moriarty) 

    For more info visit: http://asiahouse.org/arts-and-culture/pan-asia-film-festival/2012-festival-programme


  5. Something You Should Do… make a Mother’s Day Card

    We owe so much to our mothers. Without them, we wouldn’t have been woken up for school every morning, had a childhood birthday party or ever eaten greens. Of course, we also would not have actually been born, because let’s face it: we all arrived here by a much more painful method than a mere baby-wielding stork.

    This year, Mother’s Day takes place on March 18th, a while it’s a somewhat cynical creation of card companies and florists, it’s also a chance to genuinely say ‘thank you’ to mummy dearest for all the long hours she’s put in turning us into the upstanding young characters we are today. Or if we’re not upstanding, for putting up with us just the same and making all those visits to the principal’s office and the jail cell. Thanks mumsies, we really do appreciate it.

    If you’re feeling super organised this year, then you might like to attend Drink, Shop & Do’s Mother’s Day Card Making session on March 6th to make a fabulous shoddy handmade card for your own lovely mother ahead of schedule. A nice cocktail and a piece of yummy cake should help the creative juices flow. There’s no doubt she’ll love it - but just don’t blame us when she crowns you ‘the creative, thoughtful one’ and you become her new favourite. (Words: Aoife Moriarty)

    For more information, go to Drink, Shop & Do’s website: www.drinkshopdo.com


  6. Somewhere you should go…Free Free Fringe Festival at the Scoop

    I am terribly ashamed.

    Last summer, I worked near London Bridge and was completely unaware that perched neatly between Tower Bridge and the former was an amphitheatre inspired by those of ancient Rome, with seating for 800 hosting a range of free events from morning exercise classes to live theatre, music and film. Had I known, I have no doubt I would have popped down there on an eve after work and had a very pleasant time: free and outdoors is - after all - my favourite combo.

    Well I won’t let it happen to you and so I feel it is my duty to inform you about The Scoop, a modern day amphitheatre in the heart of London. Their upcoming offering is a fringe festival, taking place Wednesdays to Fridays in June and featuring a variety of offbeat performances with an alternative approach. There is comedy from Palladini Productions with their play ‘Citiest of Cities’ about a bunch of mischievous city tour guides, an updated take on Offenbach’s opera La Belle Hélène called ‘Troy Boy’ from The Merry Opera Company as well as darker and more intense drama from Chickenshed with ‘Crime of the Century’, dealing with the UK’s escalating knife crime problem amongst the younger generation.

    Nothing better than a night at the theatre, daahling. (Words: Aoife Moriarty)

    More London’s Fringe Festival runs until June 24th.  Click here for more info.  


  7. Somewhere you should go…Pop Up Screens Outdoor Cinema, Ravenscourt Park May 27th to 29th

    The early onset of summer has us all running frantically to the supermarket to buy large quantities of red meat and disposable BBQs, lathering on the sun tan lotion like crazies in the park and in general, wondering how best and most creatively to utilise the amazing weather before it’s pulled like a rug from under our feet.

    When I lived in Sydney, a popular social activity (apart from ‘sunbaking’ on the beach and surfing some gnarly waves of course!) was going to the open air cinema in Centennial Park. Now, some enterprising sparks by the name of ‘Pop Up Screens’ are bringing the concept to London for the May bank holiday weekend. For just £7 a screening (or £18 for the whole weekend), you will be able to watch cult movies Anchorman (pictured), The Big Lebowski and Ghostbusters (!) on a big screen while enjoying an exotic meat burger (options include Wildebeest and Springbok) and an alcoholic beverage in the lovely Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith. All sounds very pleasant to me: grab that picnic basket and let’s roll! (Words: Aoife Moriarty)

    For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.popupscreens.co.uk.


  8. Something You Should See…Win Win

    New indie flick Win Win - written and directed by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent) - asks a pertinent question. In these times of economic uncertainty just how far is a person of integrity willing to go in order to stay afloat?

    The goal of Win Win’s central character, lawyer Mike - played by Sideways’ Paul Giamatti - is a modest one. An altruist at heart, he owns a practice dealing exclusively with the elderly. With his business capsizing, he desperately seeks to make ends meet. When a sketchy opportunity arises to make some extra cash by acting as legal guardian for one of his clients, he abruptly seizes it. But, rather than allowing the dementia-suffering Leo to live at home – an important part of the deal – he instead chucks him into an old folk’s home whilst simultaneously pocketing the monthly cheque for his care in order to keep his head above water financially. The situation is further complicated - as one would expect - by the arrival of Leo’s runaway grandson, a reticent prodigal wrestler named Kyle.

    It may not be the kind of storyline that wins awards for originality. However, the merit of McCarthy’s unusual and softly spoken film lies in the integrity of its message. It’s the type of film that reminds you humanity does, in fact, have some redemptive qualities, despite what you might sometimes suspect. Go see. (Words: Aoife Moriarty)

    In cinemas May 20th.


  9. Something you should do…Museums at Night 2011 

    Tired of the usual nights out at bars, clubs, restaurants and err, the multiplex? Looking to do something a bit different on an eve? Well, we may have just the ticket, dear readers.

    Between May 13-15th, the annual Museums at Night event takes place across the country. This will see hundreds of museums, galleries and heritage sites all over the UK open their doors after-hours for a wide range of special activities, screenings and talks. We’ve checked out the listings and some of the events at the smaller, lesser-known venues as well as at the bigger ones look quite fun and unusual, to say the least…!

    Here’s a sample of the London gigs: ‘surgery by gaslight’ at the Old Operating Theatre Museum featuring a Victorian amputation demonstration (!), a double bill of mummy films at the Egyptian Petrie Museum, Balinese dancing at the Horniman and a Renaissance night with period music and life drawing at the National Gallery.

    I am personally visualizing some highly cultured people on some very creative first dates. (suitors, feel free to take me to the Royal Observatory for some stargazing, you’ll definitely get a second.) (Words: Aoife Moriarty)

    For more information, visit the website www.museumsatnight.org.uk.


  10. Somewhere you should go…V&A Lates, I Do, April 29th

    Here at TCé we’ve noticed that recently, it’s been impossible to avoid ‘news’ about the upcoming Royal Wedding. Everywhere you look, there they are: yet more stories about Kate’s ‘low key’ hen night, familial spats and - this is key! - whether or not Victoria Beckham will be designing Miss Middleton’s honeymoon wardrobe.

    But rather than get our knickers in a twist, we may as well embrace it and go with the flow - it’s all a bit of fun, right? (cue a chorus of a disgruntled members of the public shouting: “What do you mean I’m paying for it?!”)

    In a good-natured nod to the event, the V&A Museum will be hosting a Victorian street party on the 29th as part of their monthly ‘Friday Late’ series. Activities will include: a scrapbook-making workshop, posing for wedding photos, sing-along songs and eating copious amounts of trifle. Bridesmaid dresses optional but welcome. Sounds jolly spiffing to me! Fetch my tiara dears, my public awaits…(Words: Aoife Moriarty)

    For more information, go to the V&A website.