Heads Up

For the first time since 1987, a film directed by a woman will open the Cannes Film Festival. La Tete Haute (Heads Up) is actress and director Emmanuelle Bercot’s fourth full-length film. La Tete Haute follows a juvenile delinquent’s journey as he grows up, with a social worker and children’s judge trying to keep him on the straight and narrow.

It’s also Bercot’s second film starring legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve, following her 2013 release Elle S’en Va. It’s great to see a female-directed film occupying the opening slot at Cannes – let’s not leave it almost 30 years next time eh?

 

RIH Eats

From best-selling cookery writer and presenter Anjum Anand, these Grilled Chickpea Seekh Kebab Wraps are perfect for a casual supper – or delicious packed lunch. The brains (and tastebuds!) behind authentic food range The Spice Tailor, Anand specialises in healthy, contemporary Indian cuisine full of flavour.

Normally seekh kebabs are made with lamb mince cooked on skewers and served as they are or wrapped in thin flatbreads with some crunchy bits. This protein-packed version is equally delicious and satisfying enough to make a healthy, light meal. I know it is odd to see cheese in Indian food but it really helps to add some umami flavour here and helps bind the kebabs together. You can also lightly fry them in a non-stick frying pan (with or without skewers) in which case you don’t need to brush with butter. You can leave out the butter if you are being healthy and eating them with the yoghurt, if not you should add the fat as they will taste a bit dry.

kebabs

1.5 tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, half finely chopped and half finely sliced (for the wrap)
2 tsp. finely chopped ginger
2 good cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tsp. finely chopped green chillies to taste
3 tbs. finely chopped red capsicum
20g grated cheddar cheese

1 tsp. cumin 
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. dried mango powder (or serve with lemon wedges)
3 tbs. breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper or to taste
2 small fistfuls of chopped fresh coriander
1 rounded tbs. butter, soft or melted
Large skewers, soaking in water as you cook

To Serve

6 Tortillas or thin flatbreads
8-10 Iceberg lettuce leaves
Small fistful of chopped mint leaves
Small fistful of coriander leaves
½ lemon
250g thick Greek yoghurt

 
wrap ingredients

● Mash or blend the chickpeas until they are a coarse puree.

● Heat the vegetable oil in a small non-stick frying pan and add the chopped onion and some salt; cook until soft and then golden. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and stir fry over a gentle flame for 1 minute or until the garlic is just cooked. Add the cumin and garam masala with a splash of water and cook out until there is no moisture left in the pan and you can see the mixture frying in the oil. Add this to the mashed chickpeas, along with the fresh coriander, dried mango powder, cheese, capsicum and breadcrumbs. Mix well together, taste and adjust the seasoning to taste. Leave to cool.

● Meanwhile, stir the handful of chopped mint and coriander into the yoghurt along with salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the sliced onions in a good squeeze of the lemon juice.

wrap

● Roughly portion the kebab mix into 6 and with slightly oiled hands, form the seekh kebabs around the skewers, you can make these round or slightly flattened. Preheat your grill setting in your oven place the skewers on oiled foil and place about 4” away from the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes, carefully turning halfway, or until browned on both sides.

● Place the breads in foil in the oven to heat through for the last 3-4 minutes before the kebabs come out. Brush the cooked kebabs with the butter (they will be dry and quickly absorb the fat). Quickly ease the kebabs off the sticks and place straight on the breads, top with the onions, lettuce and yoghurt, wrap and serve.

The Fashion Fix

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the French are impossibly chic. And it doesn’t get much chicer than Inès de la Fressange, now does it? You might think that money can’t buy you style – and certainly not at high street prices – but you would be wrong there. Since its launch last year, the Ines x UNIQLO collection has been going from strength to strength, proving a sell-out success each season: “UNIQLO and Ines want to help women discover the clothes that they most want to wear every day, and this is where their journey begins.”

ines uniqlo

For Spring/Summer 2015, de la Fressange’s take on ‘unconventional luxury’ is all about effortless summer style. Inspired by Morocco, the 27-piece collection includes beautifully-made basics designed to be dressed up or down – whether you’re packing for a beach break or channelling sophisticated city chic.

“I think it’s important to look elegant, even if you have limited items. We can dress well even with just a few pieces of clothing. Luxury isn’t about buying expensive things. It’s about having good taste and enjoying beautiful things,” says de la Fressange.

ines de la fressange uniqlo

 
In cotton, cashmere, silk and linen, the Ines x UNIQLO collection relies on beautiful fabrics – and, of course, impeccable tailoring and fit. Every single piece feels easy to wear, with subtle sportswear-inspired detailing featuring in relaxed jogger-style trousers, slip-on dresses and retro bombers.

uniqlo idlf

 
Although de la Fressange’s legendary androgynous insouciance dominates the collection, there are nods to a sensual femininity too, with floral tea dresses and button-through skirts. With pretty polka dots and vintage-inspired florals working alongside muted neutrals, it feels very Paris-meets-Provence. Summer fashion is all about simplicity – it looks like Ines x UNIQLO has come up with yet another winner. Vive la France!

For more information and to shop the collection, see the UNIQLO website.

uniqlo

Find The One

You’ve been looking for the perfect partner. Searching for the one that’s just right for you. Perhaps you really like the sexy ones. Maybe you feel like you haven’t tried enough? Or it could be that you’re just never completely satisfied… Well now it’s time to #FindTheOne.

Well here’s some news: Triumph is on a mission to help no less than 500,000 women to “Find the One” – the perfectly fitting bra. “The right bra is completely life-changing: it means no more pinching, no more straps or underwire that dig in – only weightless support, total comfort and a beautifully shaped silhouette.” With 129 years of experience in matching women with The One, Triumph certainly knows what they’re doing… Sexy, flirty or sweet – isn’t it time you #FindTheOne?

Find the One bra for you at triumph.com/findtheone.

triumph

Alternative Therapies

Therapy might seem like a big step for some of us. If we’re just feeling a little down, slightly overtired or a bit stressed, is therapy really the best option? Created by the always-marvellous School Of Life are three rather cool mobile sites/apps: Books as Therapy, Art as Therapy and Food as Therapy. We’ll let you guess which is our favourite…

books as therapy

Simply select your current malaise, and suggestions will be generated for you in terms of reading matter, artworks or recipes. Food as a therapy for boredom? Why, you need to whip up some Salsa Verde – described as “the gourmet equivalent of a roll in the snow after a hot sauna.” Would you like to feel more grounded? Some easily-made, super-delicious soda bread (made in under 12 minutes) is just the ticket.

art as therapy

Perhaps you find a lot of people annoying, but you don’t want to be lonely… The book you need to read is Anna Karenina – and of course, there’s a very convincing SoF explanation as to why! Art-wise you could be perusing Pieter de Hooch (your job is banal),  David Hockney (you can’t bear the rain) or Diego Velazquez (you think that everyone but you is having fun). So before you resort to the therapist’s couch, maybe it’s time to sit down with a good book – or cook a batch of strawberry jam!

Women Fashion Power Food

Are there any women out there who aren’t interested in fashion and food? We haven’t met them yet in any case! What better way to celebrate the Design Museum’s ground-breaking Women Fashion Power exhibition than with food?

women fashion power

The Blueprint Café’s head chef has devised a special menu inspired by fashion, and how influential women have used style to define their power and position in society.  Available during February, the three-course affair opens with ‘Ready To Wear’ – a beautifully light chicken broth followed by delicate poached salmon served with roasted Jerusalem artichoke accented with aromatic mussel foam. The spectacle concludes with ‘Haute Couture’ – a showstopping gold leaf-embellished chocolate fondant accompanied with rum and banana ice cream. Chocoholics beware, you may just have met your match in this dessert! The restaurant’s spectacular views over the Thames make for a pretty stylish backdrop.

blueprint cafe

For true style devotees, on February 19th Blueprint Café is also hosting an exclusive soirée including an exhibition tour (with Champagne, bien sur) led by the Design Museum’s curator Donna Loveday, plus a truly unique four-course menu paired with matching wines. Guests will also be able to enjoy a talk and post-dinner Q&A courtesy of acclaimed British fashion designer Tabitha Webb.

For more information on the Celebrate Style evening and Women Fashion Power menu, see the Blueprint Café’s website.

This Girl Can

We love love LOVE the latest campaign from Sport England. Ready to sweat, celebrate your shape and get involved in sport?

“I jiggle therefore I am”. Girls, it’s time you get your fit on! Fore more information, see the This Girl Can website.

After The Party

The so-called party season is officially over. This month you’ll find us slurping down green juices, adding kale to every meal and generally feeling quite hair shirty in order to atone for festive excess and overindulgence. But we might just have considered booking a detox had it not been for Korres’ magnificent Party Survival Gift Set.

korres party survival set

People seem to think that gift sets are reserved for Christmas and birthdays, but we’re going to let you into a little secret: any time of year is a good moment to give yourself a little something – if you deserve it! And dedicated hard-partying ways most certainly merit this bunder of wonder from Korres. In reality, you’re unlikely to confine your parties to the festive season only (right?!) so the Party Survival Gift Set is actually very useful 24/7/365. Five beautifully-scented natural products to mask the scent of gin make you feel like a human being again. What could be better?

korres party set

Skincare-wise, say au revoir to the slap with refreshing, energising White Tea Cleanser, and follow up with a deeply hydrating brightening Wild Rose moisturiser. Then bring body and mind back to life with an invigorating blast of Guava Shower Gel and zingy Basil Lemon Fresh Tones Body Milk. There’s also an Aloe and Dittany Shampoo so you have no excuse for hangover hair… Buy this now and keep it somewhere safe for when the party spirit returns!

The Korres Party Survival Gift Set is available to buy online via Debenhams.

RIH Drinks

For the non-drinker, Christmas can present a bit of a trying time. First off, people will inevitably question your reasons for abstaining from booze and try and wheedle you into having a tipple or two. And secondly, non-alcoholic drinks tend to be pretty uninteresting. You can expect to find soda water, orange juice or – if we’re being adventurous – sparkling elderflower.

From Lindy Wildsmith’s inspired Artisan Drinksthis recipe for Cranberry Fizz is deliciously different and wonderfully seasonal. On festive occasions this stunningly colourful drink can be dressed up for the non-drinker at the party. And it also works beautifully with a splash of gin, should you wish! Vary the fruit in this recipe to make vibrant fizz at any time of the year – rhubarb in spring, soft fruits and cherries in summer and blackberries in autumn.

cranberry spritz

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) cranberries
Finely pared rind and juice of 1 lemon
Finely pared rind and juice of 1 orange
300 g (10.5 oz) sugar cubes
2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) boiling water

3 tsp (10 g) fresh baker’s yeast, or 1.5 tsp (5 g) active dry yeast
Pinch of caster (superfine) sugar
20 ml (0.75 fl oz) warm (not hot) water
1.5 tsp (5 g) cream of tartar

cranberry

Put the fruit in the crock or deep bowl and crush with a potato masher or the end of a rolling pin or even better a mouli-legume or mincer. Add the citrus zest and juice, add the sugar cubes and the cream of tartar. Pour the boiling water over the top, stir and leave to cool to blood temperature. When the liquid has cooled sufficiently, mix the yeast and caster sugar with the warm water, stir into a paste and add to the liquid. Cover with a clean cloth and leave for 48 hours.

artisan drinks

Using a slotted spoon, skim and discard any debris that may have floated to the surface. Strain and using a large jug and funnel pour into bottles. Stand for 48 hours. Keeps for 2 to 4 weeks. Once open drink up within a few days before the sparkle subsides.

Lindy Wildsmith’s Artisan Drinks is published by Jacqui Small. Buy online here.

Status Anxiety

The first question you tend to get asked when you meet someone at a party is “So what do you do?” And according to how impressive your answer is, people are really keen to get to know you or swiftly leave you behind by the nuts.

If you ever needed proof that the School of Life completely lives up to its billing, watch one of their YouTube videos. In just over four succinct minutes, you must get at least one hour’s worth of therapy. In this clip, the School of Life tackles an oh-so-timely issue: status anxiety.

So that’s how to beat status anxiety and get past focusing on what other people think of you. After all, who actually cares what you do? For more like this, subscribe to the School of Life’s YouTube channel.