On the agenda: To app or not to app... Shakey's on the phone. Plus, it's fireball-swinging time in Scotland
Sunday 27 December 2009
Food & Drink
New pub chain The Draft House has called time on almost every big-name lager normally found on tap (no Stella, Carling or Foster's here) in favour of acclaimed real ales and lagers. Among the 50 bottled lagers are Namibia's Windhoek and Argentina's Quilmes, while there's 17 brews on tap, including real ales from two local microbreweries; just stick with the handy third-of-a-pint glasses if you're looking to try a few. The chain's first pub has just opened in London's Clapham. drafthouse.co.uk
The gifts have been opened, the frenzied pace of festive activities has died down and the kids are growing restless, which is probably a good time to take the more artistically inclined of them to the V&A's free Splendour and Sparkle workshop. Running in conjunction with the museum's glittering Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts exhibition, little princes and princesses can create their own turban and sari accessories, and get bejewelled like Indian royalty. Monday to Friday, vam.ac.uk
Following the painful revelation of Twitter Shakespeare came the better news that his complete works were to be made available on the iPhone in a searchable format. Now bardoholics can turn to the all-new Shakespeare Pro app, with 20 short versions of the plays for younger readers; facts and portraits from Shakespeare's life; a random-quotes generator (just shake the phone); and a complete glossary from Ben and David Crystal's bestseller Shakespeare's Words. O, brave new world, that has such things in't.
If you're looking for something a little more low-key than Edinburgh's epic Hogmanay bash this New Year's Eve, Stonehaven's Fireball Festival is worth a whirl. It's become something of a local attraction in the eastern Scottish coastal town, with most of the residents lining the high street just before midnight, as a procession of 60 fireball swingers make their way towards the harbour, where the flaming orbs are tossed into the sea, before the residents head back to the town square for a knees-up and, no doubt, a wee dram. stonehavenfireballs.co.uk
Watching a series of lamps flicker on and off would normally be cause to call for an electrician, were it not for the fact that 'Streetlight Storm' is actually the latest installation from rising-star artist Katie Paterson of the Vauxhall Collective. Lights installed the length of Deal pier in Kent glimmer in time and intensity from dusk, mirroring lightning storms currently taking place around the world; not a precise way to monitor global storm patterns, but an intriguing one nevertheless. Until 30 January, vauxhallcollective.co.uk
Denim nerds will love the sense of history that Swedish label Nudie has imbued its new-season jeans with. If you're the type of man who alphabetises his trainer collection or arranges his vinyls by the director of the accompanying video, listen up: each pair is a holy artefact, presented in a wooden box and accompanied by a book all about the dry selvage fabric from which that pair is made. For geeks everywhere who like to pretend they're cool. nudiejeans.com
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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