Choosing Empathy

“Rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better is connection.” You may think you’re empathising, but empathy is quite, quite different to sympathy. And here’s why.

What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities. See the full talk here: RSA YouTube.

Sofa Cinema

In our box-setted on-demand digital world, it’s oh so easy to gorge ourselves on episode after episode of the latest everyone’s-talking-about-it series or trashy reality show isn’t it? Just before you dive back into another nine-series long binge of American comedy show/Scandi cop thriller, why not try something a little different?

No commitment mind, just one box set of Serious Films that you should definitely have watched. Start with a selection of critically-acclaimed award-winners: The Palme D’Or collection. Featuring Emir Kusturica’s magnificently epic Underground alongside two powerful and haunting films: The Child and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, it’s around six hours of some of the best cinema to have been made in the past 20 years.

Or why not try the Rafi Pitts collection, including three of the Iranian New Wave director’s must-sees, or the four emotionally-charged films featured in cinematic superstar’s Claire Denis’ box set. Just a few suggestions, but we’re willing to bet you’ll see the difference. Swapping TV junk food for Michelin-starred cuisine? Yes please.

Which Way To Heaven?

Scarves have to be the simplest – and chicest – way to upstyle even the most basic outfit. Jeans and tee? Add a scarf. Boring shift dress? Add a scarf. You see where we’re going with this?

This Way To Heaven scarves

London-based label This Way To Heaven‘s whimsical art-inspired scarves feature the work of established artists and photographers, making for pretty darn eye-catching accessories. From digital photographic prints to bright graphics and ethnic-style patterns, the scarves are unique, stylish and super versatile.

This Way To Heaven

And thanks to our exclusive designer deals, you can get discounts on This Way To Heaven’s  wearable art until April 6th. Your wardrobe will thank you. See our Members’ Only deals here.

Shakespeare 2.0

Innovative theatre companies are bringing Shakespeare into the 21st century and making Britain’s best-loved playwright ever more accessible with brand new ways of staging his plays. These five come highly recommended…

King Lear at the National Theatre – London

Directed by Sam Mendes, Soviet-style designs and the play’s menacing swarm of soldiers add a twist to one of the most eagerly anticipated Shakespeare stagings of the year, with Simon Russell Beale as Lear. See the National’s website for more information. Tickets are currently on sale for dates up to the 28th May. Tickets for later dates will be released in the spring. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe – London

Another Shakespeare performance with a difference at The Globe, as deaf-led theatre company Deafinitely Theatre stage a British sign language performance of one of the bard’s best-loved comedies.  See The Globe’s website for more information. On stage 2nd – 7th June.

Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won at the RSC – Stratford

The RSC marks the centenary of the First World War with this pair of plays. The first is set in 1914, with the threat of war looming as the play ends. In the second, we find ourselves in 1918, with Benedick and Claudio returning from the trenches. See the RSC’s website for more information. On stage September 2014 – March 2015.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors – venues around the UK

Acclaimed all-male theatre company Propeller are touring their lively productions of two of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies. See Propeller’s website for more information. On tour until June 2014. 

All’s Well that Ends Well at The Globe – London

20th century India is the dazzling backdrop for The Globe’s foreign language production of All’s Well That Ends Well, with visual jokes and sung soliloquies helping non-Gujarati speakers to keep up with the action. See The Globe’s website for more information. On stage 5th – 10th May. 

RIH Drinks

Sloe Bloom Gin plus Prosecco is our new favourite discovery, allying two of the nicest libations out there: gin and fizz. With its subtle, lightly floral sour cherry aromas, Bloom’s sloe gin is the perfect partner for Prosecco. Warning: these are extremely moreish and very, very drinkable.

bloom sloe gin fizz

Sloe Bloom Fizz

Take 50ml of Sloe Bloom Gin. Top with Prosecco and serve in a chilled champagne glass. That’s it. No crazy mixology skills or bonkers ingredients needed.

Scented Pleasures

You may have been under the misapprehension that after a hard day at work, you couldn’t possibly get more indulgent and relaxing than a long soak in the tub. Newsflash! You were wrong. Meet Jo Loves’ Bath Colognes: just what the doctor ordered for the ultimate in decadent down-time.

jo loves bath cologne

While using Bath Cologne isn’t quite tantamount to pouring a bottle of scent under running water, it’s not a million miles off either. As well as creating a scented bathing experience, the colognes soften the skin while leaving a delicate veil of perfume in their wake. In addition to Ms Malone’s signature fragrances, the latest creations (No.42 The Flower Shop and A Shot of Fresh Sweet Peas) are beautifully feminine scents, instantly reminiscent of pretty spring blooms. Luxurious bathing? This is it.

For more information, see the Jo Loves website.

 

Reconsidering Creativity

Fostering creative spirit and exploring passions, UGG Australia’s Creative Council is an initiative that may make you think just a little differently about everyone’s favourite purveyor of classic, comfortable shoes.

Chloe Norgaard

The Creative Council is made up of a hand-picked group of inspiring individuals, from fashion director Natalie Hartley and actress Suki Waterhouse to pop-up restaurateurs Check On.

ugg creative council

Reconsidering what modern, classic style means, breaking down S/S ’14 trends and hosting creative events, the Creative Council is all about inspiration.

suki waterhouse creative council

For more information on the project, check out Ugg Australia Creative Council.

advertorial

Metal Guru

A glimpse of shimmering silver or the elegant addition of a hint of rose gold can’t fail to make a statement. Style with neutral wardrobe staples: a skinny black cigarette pant, a dove grey merino sweater or a simple white tee will ensure that you look more luxe, less magpie.

metallic trend spring 2014

 

metallics spring 2014

 

RIH Eats

Is it possible to satisfy those sugar cravings in relatively healthy manner? Absolutely! From nutritionist Jenna Zoe’s Super Healthy Snacks and Treats these Chocolate and Mint Tartlets are dairy- and gluten-free desserts which are even suitable for vegans.

Chocolate Mint Tartlets

Ingredients

  • 145g almonds
  • 135g dates, stoned
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

 

 

Mint Chocolate Filling

  • 1 large banana
  • 60ml coconut oil
  • 60ml pure maple syrup
  • 40g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 fresh mint leaves OR half a teaspoon mint extract

 

 
 
Put the almonds in a food processor and mix until crumbly. Add the dates, desiccated coconut, salt and coconut oil and continue mixing until a smooth mixture forms. Remove the mixture from the processor and divide it into 4. Press each portion into a tartlet mould so that it neatly lines the base and sides of the mould. Ideally you want the tartlet cases to be about 1cm thick all the way around, with plenty of room for the filling. Don’t worry if you have a little extra mixture- you can roll this into bite-size energy balls and save for a healthy snack later on.

chocolate mint tarts

For the filling, first make sure the coconut oil is liquid. If it isn’t, put it in a pan over low heat and melt. Allow to cool completely, otherwise the hot oil will start to cook the other ingredients in the filling. Place the filling ingredients in the food processor, one set at a time, and mix until smooth. Freeze for at least 15 minutes to set.

These will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, so they’re a great make-ahead option for tea and dinner parties.

A Very BRIT-ish Tea Party

There’s no doubt that music and fashion have long been happy bedfellows, so it makes perfect sense that the BRIT Award statuettes are designed by none other than milliner extraordinaire and royal warrant holder Mr Philip Treacy OBE. In fact, you’ll find an enormous replica of the 2014 statue residing in all its gigantic glory just a short walk from London Fashion Week’s home of Somerset House - in the atrium of the tres stylish five-star ME Hotel. And that’s not the only eye candy; the luxury hotel is also currently offering a very special BRIT-themed afternoon tea in the rather futuristic Marconi Lounge.

marconi lounge

Along with the tea (culture as well as cake, if you please), there’s also a BRITS photography exhibition on show at the ME Hotel. Some rather memorable snaps of previous BRITS winners by photographer John Marshall are on display;  I fell in love with his snap of our Amy from 2007 after she performed Rehab. Looking serenely beautiful and so genuinely happy, it’s a real treat to see her so luminous. And then there’s the powerful 2010 image of Lady Gaga performing in the white lace McQueen jumpsuit just days after the fashion designer’s death. The exhibition’s star-studded cast includes everyone from Bono and Bowie to Robbie and Rihanna.

Brit Awards John Marshall

And as for that tea? Well tea is very important to me, I am a Brit therefore I believe it to be genetic and I am known for drinking tea so strong that you can stand a teaspoon up in it. The fact that Afternoon Tea at the ME Hotel comes with a menu, not only listing the teas and aromas but also mapping them across the world is very impressive (and for any other aficionados of the classic British blend of ‘Builders Tea’, may I recommend to you the Palace Blend). Left to steep in a GIANT Jasper Conran for Wedgewood teapot, giving the leaves plenty of room to manoeuvre, it truly was a perfect cup of char.

BRITS afternoon tea ME Hotel London

This essentially flawless cup of tea complements a beautifully-balanced afternoon repast of traditional savoury finger sandwiches and freshly baked buttermilk scones with clotted cream and jam. There’s also an incredible Jaffa Cake macaron. Could patiserrie get any more quintessentially British than that? I guiltily shovelled down the fancy top tier: a pina colada-flavoured egg custard and a luxuriously moist pistachio and lemon gateau. And then it was Back to Black for the piece de résistance: a dark chocolate and cherry mousse topped with a chocolate record. What do you mean there isn’t an Outstanding Contribution to Cake award?

The BRIT S photography exhibition is on display until 10th March in the ME Hotel’s Marconi Lounge, with the special afternoon tea priced at £35 including a glass of Champagne. For more information and to book, see the ME Hotel’s website.