Good stuff? Great stuff! And so much of it I’m having trouble keeping track and sharing the best of it in a timely manner. But don’t let my inadequate ability to blog efficiently get in the way you having a wonderful time. Have a look a this list of fine things to see, sip or savour – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy.
So, here’s a bummer. My plans for today included taking the train up to Manchester to attend a press preview at HOME, the city’s new international centre for contemporary visual art, theatre and film. But instead of a fun (and sunny) Manchurian day trip finding out about HOME’s upcoming season of new commissions, productions, collaborations and site-specific work, I’m here in my own home here in London, sunk in my bed feeling ill and feverish with a pesky head cold and a hacking cough. Oh well.
Formed by the merger of two of Manchester’s best-loved arts organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company, HOME’s mission is to be just that – a home at the forefront of the international arts scene for “curiosity seekers, for lovers of the dramatic, the digital and the deeply engaging; for radicals and reciprocators.”
Anyway, hopefully I didn’t annoy the folks at HOME too much with my no-show to politely request a rain check. I’m definitely keen to take them up on their offer to visit and would have much rather been healthy and happy with them there than sniffling and wheezing on my own here.
An invitation to preview the Jaeger-LeCoultre 2015 Collection brought on a bout of internal conflict lingering days after I accepted the offer to view a range of timepieces at – and take a tour of – the Swiss watchmakers’ new flagship boutique on Old Bond Street.
Most of the watches I viewed came with a price more than what I make over a few months, many were priced close to what I earn in a year, and a few even cost more than my income from the past decade. It sucks sometimes to be a poor boy living in a rich man’s city.
Still, the craftsmanship … the extreme dedication to accuracy and precision … intense attention to detail … long held tradition of high standards and innovation: it all came together in gloriously luxuriant efficiency as I tried on a variety of watches. I couldn’t begrudge the brand much for making such highly coveted upscale marvels.
I loved the hands on chance to admire a range Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most elegant pieces. The Grande Reverso Auto 1931 Seconde Centrale (£14,800) was an especially attractive ticker and just looked swell on my wrist. I got a kick learning how to flip its nifty reversible dial. The spellbinding Duomètre Sphérotourbillon (€222,000) with its hypnotic multi-axis tourbillon and the utterly captivating Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication (if you’ve gotta ask the price…) had an effect on me something like what I imagined Frodo’s ring to have on characters in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Precious.
Bringing a UK take on two divergent tastes of American “island life,” pop-up mixologists at The Manhattans Project have secured residency at Hawaiian restaurant and bar, POND Dalston. I paid a visit to a press night launch where I savoured every sip of my Underwood (£9), an inventive bone marrow infused Cognac Sazerac.
The event was my first to POND. I’ve heard good things about the food there, but only sampled a couple of cocktails before needing to head off elsewhere. Service was friendly and the buzz in the dining room was frenetic.