On the agenda: Look Mum No Hands!; Kigu; wegivebooks.org; National Vegetarian Week; International Day for Biological Diversity
Animal magic: why you should take a tiger to Glastonbury and go walking with wolves
Sunday 09 May 2010
What do you get if you cross a bicycle- repair shop with a café? Something very like Look Mum No Hands!, London's first such fusion, which offers top-notch coffee and pastries, live screenings of the Tour de France and, of course, a bike workshop for fine-tuning your wheels while you wait. And with film evenings, exhibitions and book launches in the pipeline, you won't need the excuse of a puncture to visit. 49 Old Street, London EC1, lookmumnohands.com
For those gearing up for festival season, your style icon should no longer be Kate Moss in her Hunters, or Daisy Lowe and her denim cut-offs: instead, channel Picachu with the latest dressing-up kits from Japanese brand Kigu. Already spotted on the likes of Lily Allen and DJ Rob Da Bank, these cute, fleecy numbers are the perfect foil to the recent years of festival glamour – this summer will be about whimsical and childish nostalgia, so take your pick from alligator, giraffe or our favourite, the tiger. £39.99, kigu.co.uk
As the Peanuts cartoons beautifully testify, the first trip to the library was once a childhood rite of passage. Now, children will snuggle up to read around the computer, and help other children worldwide. Penguin's new initiative wegivebooks.org is based on research that shows that early reading breeds philanthropy. Read a book (for free) with your child online, and a hard-copy children's book will be donated to one of the charities on the site. (May we suggest The Little Engine That Could, to bring the message home?)
With National Vegetarian Week kicking off later this month, foodies looking for a meat-free feast should book early for the special menus springing up in restaurants around the UK. Our favourites include the seven-course tasting menu at Michael (former chef of Petrus and Chez Bruce) Nadra's new restaurant in Chiswick, which includes such mouth-watering delights as ravioli of roasted butternut squash with pecan nuts, confit garlic and courgette tempura; meanwhile, Cambridge-based The Pheasant (recent winner of The F Word) will have a "Garden Menu" featuring watermelon and feta-cheese salad and leek and Cheddar cheese tart. And if you're looking for something even more exotic, London's fine-dining Indian restaurant The Cinnamon Club offers a list of botanically inspired cocktails (we like the sound of Cucumber Chill; gin mixed with grapefruit, elderflower and mint) to sip while you sup on its six-course veggie special (inset left). From 24th to 30th May, nationalvegetarianweek.org, restaurant- michaelnadra.co.uk, thepheasant-keyston.co.uk, cinnamonclub.com
While most of us know about the international campaigns to save endangered species such as the African elephant and the blue whale, we know much less about the fragile ecosystem in our own backyards, which is what the International Day for Biological Diversity is all about, offering a series of events around the UK to help raise awareness (from 17 to 25 May). David Attenborough wannabes will be most excited about the Walking with Wolves event, where aspiring naturalists perambulate along a long stretch of meadow as socialised wolves intermingle (alongside their minders). Tickets for the non-members event on 21 May have already sold out, but we have a pair of tickets for the members' event the following day for the early bird who's the first to call the Wolf Walk Hotline (0118 971 3330). Regular monthly walks are also available to members, visit ukwolf.org for further details. biodiversityislife.net
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