Middle Age

The Talbot Hotel, Yorkersgate, Malton, North Yorkshire

Following a deafening dinner at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen a few years ago, when twenty-somethings maintained a roundelay of "Happy Birthday" for much of the evening, I've steered clear of restaurants run by TV chefs. So it was with trepidation that I entered the refurbished mansion (Pevsner: "probably c.1840") that houses the Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire, since the owners Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland and his son Tom have installed local boy James Martin, an ornament of Saturday Kitchen and other televisual bonbons, as executive chef.

Film review: Paradise: Love - If you want sex on the beach, prepare

You might well think that Austrian director Ulrich Seidl takes a dim view of human nature. His Dog Days (2001) depicted the Vienna suburbs as hell on earth, while Import/Export (2007) set dim-witted Austrian thugs loose in a decayed Eastern Europe, while a Ukrainian nurse tried to survive in a horrifically inhospitable West. Yet you can detect a wry tenderness in his new trilogy Paradise, although you have to reach the final episode, Hope, for it to blossom into something like fondness for humanity. In the opening chapter Love, Seidl seems to give us human nature at its worst.

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