Daily nuggets of inspiration from the good folk
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One of Britain’s most iconic foods has received a drastic makeover at the hands of gastronomic design duo Bompas & Parr. They’ve concocted five new flavours of Heinz baked bean, each matched with a handmade bowl and a musical spoon (that you listen to through your mouth) for the ultimate bean-there experience.
The Barbeque beans come in a charred limewood bowl (giving it a smoky smell) and a spoon playing blues music and the sound of sizzling. The Cheddar variety comes in wheel of cheese, with an Elgar-inspired spoon-song played on a cheese wire. With garlic and herb, fiery chilli and curry experiences also available at Fortnum & Mason, you can enjoy British tongue-in-cheek design at its edible best.
East London eatery Dishoom has created a campaign that enables people to share their café stories. (Nice one Jamie). It’s inspired by Mumbai’s Iranian cafés, where everyone from businessmen to students to old timers meet up to share food and conversation. So, Dishoom has made 80 plates featuring personal memories and tales from these melting pots of café culture.
Each typographic design echoes the story being told, making it aesthetically pleasing and heart-warming. Dishoom customers can also submit their own stories online, for the best to be fired onto more plates, ensuring that the storytelling continues.
It’s a great example of a brand turning towards the hand-written and the personal, as people increasingly crave authentic human experiences in this digital age.
A good tea is like a good action film: strong, sturdy and well put together, which is a perfect way to describe the Die Hard series. So imagine my excitement when I found out that I had won a pair of tickets to the UK premiere of the fifth instalment of the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard. All courtesy of an internal competition with Elmwood’s own strong and sturdy brand of tea, Make Mine a Builders.
On the day of the premiere, my husband Nick and I travelled from the sprawling metropolis of Leeds to a small village called London where this spectacle was due to take place. Checking into our hotel on Leicester Square, we realised that our room was above the Empire theatre – and the red carpet and Russian helicopter were visible from the window.
Dressed in our finest, we left for the premiere. Unfortunately the weather gods had decided to strike for the evening and it was more than a little soggy, however it didn’t dampen our spirits as we handed our tickets to the burly bouncers and walked down the red carpet.
Neither of us having attended a movie premiere before, we didn’t know what to expect and assumed we would be sipping cocktails with Tom Cruise and Robert de Niro. The reality was even more amazing, as we actually rubbed shoulders with a selection of the TOWIE cast and kickboxer Alex Reid. But we knew the best was yet to come in the form of our hero Bruce…
As we sat in our seats tucking into our complimentary crisps and bottled water (what, no tea?) a ripple of excitement spread through the audience as Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney and Michael Koch entered the theatre along with director John Moore and answered questions about the film. If only every film screening had these extras!
And then it began, a 90-minute action sequence! At this point I would like to use the line “the plot was full of more holes than a Make Mine a Builders tea bag” – but there was no real plot to speak of. In my opinion, A Good Day to Die Hard is the worst film in the series and seriously lacks the charm of previous installments, as does Bruce Willis’ character John McClane. His dialogue and one-liners were somewhat diluted in comparison to earlier films and even the expletive is removed from his catchphrase ‘Yippee-ki-yay!’.
However, I feel guilty about being critical of this film (and one of my movie heroes!). The Die Hard franchise is 25 years old and still going… so it’s obviously doing something right.
Which brings me to the ‘pixie dust’ contained in the very first Die Hard film. Within the heart of all great stories there is always conflict. The original Die Hard was the first film to embrace all 3 of these conflicts: Good v Bad, Man v Environment and Man v Internal Conflict (love). Overall, a compelling story on many different levels, what’s not to love?!
Although A Good Day to Die Hard has a thin plot, it still encompasses the 3 main conflicts (I won’t expand for fear of a spoiler alert!). So perhaps this is why, despite all its faults, I was completely gripped from beginning to end and cannot wait for number 6!
British computer science graduate Jenny Griffiths is aiming to transform how we shop for clothes online. Snap Fashion, her new iPhone app, lets users take a picture of an item of clothing, whether in a magazine or on the street, and see similar items from high street retailers.
Users simply need to snap the item then search for it on Snap Fashion’s website. The results are usually returned within seconds, at which point you can click through directly to the retailer’s website.
Snap Fashions’s catalogue boasts high street giants including Topshop, Jigsaw, Uniqlo, Warehouse, French Connection, Reiss and Kurt Geiger, in addition to etailers such as ASOS and mywardrobe.com, and a host of department stores such as Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty and US fashion emporium, Bloomingdales. Definitely one to bookmark for pay day.
In an attempt to propagate peace and quiet, Selfridges have created the No Noise retail initiative – a range of de-branded products, carefully edited to cancel out the effects of information overload.
Some of the world’s most recognised brands such as Beats by Dre, Levi’s, Marmite and Heinz have taken the symbolic step of removing their logos to create exclusive collector’s items. The retailer chose brands which would remain recognisable, even without their standard branding; reducing the ‘brand noise’ by displaying no logo. Selfridges, too, has removed the branding from its iconic yellow bags for the first time in history.
As part of No Noise there will be also be The Silence Room – a haven of serenity for customers within busy stores. This concept was first introduced by Selfridges’ founder Harry Gordon Selfridge, and is now being re-introduced for the first time. Customers can also take part in events including the world’s largest meditation and performances from silent orchestras.