On The Agenda: Hammer time! No, not parachute pants, but a series of scary movies for Halloween...


A celebration of all things outdoorsy in the Lake District next month, in the form of the Kendal Mountain Festival. More than 50 high-octane films will be screened during the event (the biggest for adventure-enthusiasts in the UK), alongside readings – UK rock-climbing heavyweight Jerry Moffatt will deliver an extract from his new book – lectures and a Q&A with urban climber Alain Robert (aka the Human Spider), famous for scaling skyscrapers with his bare hands. 19-22 November, www.mountainfest.co.uk

Adam Jacques


With the cold weather drawing in, it's time to get your drawers on, and Uniqlo's Heat Tech range is just the ticket. Its lightweight fabric traps air and retains the heat your body generates, but is thin, durable and chic, in a range of colours and styles, from neon brights to camouflage prints. Plus, the new campaign is shot by Mario Testino and features models including Lily Donaldson; this is one set of thermals you won't mind anyone seeing. Available nationwide.

Harriet Walker


If you haven't yet heard of Jack Thorne, you soon will. A playwright (last chance to see his critically lauded 2nd May 1997, at the Manchester Royal Exchange), he has also written for TV shows Shameless and Skins, and is now set to hit the big time. His first feature, The Scouting Book for Boys, has just premiered at the London Film Festival, and he also recently completed mocu-drama Cast-Offs (to air on Channel 4 early next year). But what has us really excited is his collaboration with gritty director Shane Meadows on We Were Faces, a four-part TV follow-up to the acclaimed skinhead flick This Is England. Starring Thomas Turgoose from the film, it is due out on Channel 4 next year. AJ


Half-term too often means "treating" kids in restaurants grown-ups would not normally be seen dead in. Luckily, the fabulously smart London hotel The Connaught has created A Chocolate Spread afternoon tea for families – an array of Valrhona cocoa-inspired finery. The hot chocolate is nectar, but if it comes at the end of a day out in town, parents might want to wash down their brownies with a glass of champagne. From £19.50 for children, 020 3147 7100, until 1 November



If you are too old to go trick-or-treating or don't fancy dressing up as a werewolf this Halloween, the Hammer House of Horror Festival might appeal. The studio is putting on a series of screenings around London of its cult horror films, which propelled Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing to stardom. There's artwork on display, too, at the Idea Generation Gallery (www.idea generation.co.uk), including previously unseen posters from Hammer's back catalogue. www.hammerfilms.com



Fans of the novels on this year's Booker shortlist will be pleased to know there is more to come, fictionally, from two of their favourite characters. Hilary Mantel has already promised a sequel to Wolf Hall, concluding her story of Thomas Cromwell. And now comes news of a novel that, coincidentally, picks up where Adam Foulds' The Quickening Maze left off. The Poet's Wife, by Judith Allnatt, will be published in February by Doubleday. Told from the point of view of Patty, the wife of the poet John Clare, it begins on the day Clare absconds from an asylum – exactly where Foulds' story left him.

Katy Guest

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