On the agenda: There's a scare in the air for film fans at Somerset House

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The Independent Culture


What do a whale's tooth, an elephant called Jumbo and a silk scarf have in common? They're all gifts given to the Queen by heads of state and her Commonwealth subjects during the past six decades – and they're all on show in a special exhibition starting today at Buckingham Palace. (Well maybe not the elephant, from Cameroon; it was wisely placed in the care of London Zoo.) www.royalcollection.org.uk

Adam Jacques


Cinephiles will doubtless be heading to London's most beautiful open-air cinema, at Somerset House, on Thursday to catch the UK premiere of Pedro Almodóvar's Broken Embraces. But it's the thought of Friday's nerve-jangling double bill of Alien and Poltergeist that has our pulses racing. Other films to be shown over 10 days at the site include prison drama The Shawshank Redemption, and there will be talks from insiders including Slumdog Millionaire's Oscar-winning editor Chris Dickens. www.somersethouse.org.uk


Food & Drink

If you're heading down to Cornwall this summer, then sampling the mouth-watering creations of acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw should be on your list. Having recently opened his latest seafood restaurant at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, he's now teamed up with award-winning Kiwi wine producer Cloudy Bay for a pop-up seafood shack on the beach, serving tasty platters of marinated catch of the day, oysters and prawns, served with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (and a jazz trio pumping out 1930s medleys). The shack is heading to the capital, too (14-15 August at Parsons Green), with London-based chef Neil Churchill serving the seafood.



Frank McCourt, who died in New York last weekend, wrote his squillion-selling memoir Angela's Ashes when he was 66, and seemed to spend the rest of his life finding this late literary success a slightly comical affair. At the Dubai Festival of Literature in February, he gave an impromptu, well-lubricated speech at a launch dinner at the house of Maurice Flanagan, executive vice-chairman of the event's sponsor, Emirates. The speech was self-mocking and full of surprise that he and his countryman Flanagan should find themselves steeped in decadence in a desert city. But Limerick, where Angela's Ashes was set, has changed too, he said. "It has become a boom town like Dubai, with cranes all over the place and people putting on weight."

Katy Guest


The "jegging" – a jeans-leggings lovechild – is a new wardrobe staple we can really get behind. Trompe l'oeil denim effect leggings were first shown by catwalk genius Martin Margiela a few seasons ago. For those after the tightest skinny jeans, they were a godsend. Available on the high street in stretch jersey cotton for a while now, Topshop launches its autumn/winter version at the end of the month. Made of knitted denim, it will stretch in as many ways as you do. Yet the addition of a button fly seems to undo this good work – the best thing about last season's jeggings was you didn't need to loosen anything after a big meal...

Harriet Walker


Best known for her roles in blockbusters including The Mummy, Oscar-winning Brit Rachel Weisz (above left) is getting back to her roots, playing Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire from Thursday at the Donmar – the theatre where she won the "Most Promising Newcomer" Critics' Circle Award for her role in Noël Coward's Design For Living 15 years ago. www.donmarwarehouse.com