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More Bond Bang for Your Buck

Daniel Craig doesn’t make announcements by halves. The confirmation that he will be back as Bond follows hot on the heels of new release Logan Lucky from production company Studiocanal. 

Craig’s 007 revelation bodes well for Logan Lucky which is directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Magic Mike, Traffic) and stars Hilary Swank, Seth MacFarlane, Katherine Waterston, Sebastian Stan, and Brian Gleeson.

The jaunty plot features Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) who’s from a blue-collar family from the hills of West Virginia which has been plagued with bad luck for nearly 90 years. After being fired from his job, and with his ex-wife (Katie Holmes) threatening to move out with their daughter, Jimmy decides he has to reclaim his family life back on track. Help comes from his brother Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) and his sister Mellie (Riley Keough).

There’s no typecasting here for Daniel Craig who plays an incarcerated explosive expert named Joe Bang who helps out with an audacious plan to steal $14 million from the Charlotte Motor Speedway on the busiest race day of the year.

LOGAN LUCKY opens nationwide across the UK on 25th August 2017.

Watch the TV spot here... 

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Welcome to Arena Birmingham

The Barclaycard Arena heralds in September with the name  ‘Arena Birmingham’ in a move to reflect the venue's location.

The Nooran Sisters (9 Sept), John Legend (20 Sept) and The Australian Pink Floyd Show (30 Sept) are scheduled to be among the first acts  to perform under the new brand name.

Barclaycard announced in 2016 that as part of a review of their sponsorship strategy across both Barclaycard and the broader Barclays Group, it planned to move away from long-term naming rights with the venue.

Managing director for the NEC Group Arenas, Phil Mead said: “Much of what we have achieved is down to the support of Barclaycard who have been an excellent partner since 2012, but we are now entering another exciting era with Arena Birmingham, as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city.  The construction of the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Birmingham is already underway, we are a principle venue of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 bid, and will be hosting a roster of great events throughout the rest of 2017/18.”  

The Arena has become one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe, staging everything from sports events to concerts, entertainment spectaculars, business conferences and exhibitions, benefiting from its position at the heart of the UK.  Alongside its sister venue, Genting Arena, the NEC Group Arenas provide the ultimate arena customer experience, attracting over 1.5 million visitors annually.

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Veuve Gets Hyperreal At Wilderness

Veuve Clicquot announces a twist to this year’s Wilderness festival and invites you to its “hyperrealism experience” in the rural idyll of Cornbury Park in August. Abigail Park

The debut sees Veuve Clicquot bring its creative, bubbly outlook to several festival locations. From 3rd to 6th August its famous yellow label will flutter in Cornbury Park amid Wilderness’s  own special mix of rousing live shows and experiences. Veuve Clicquot’s fun brand of hyperrealism will see champagne fans mingle with nature through the creative prism of tech, music and performance. In the picturesque setting overlooking the lake, guests can relax inside or out, as an extension of the surrounding landscape the space will be full of hanging foliage and vibrant pop-art inspired fruit adorning the bar.

The Veuve Clicquot Champagne bar will host numerous performances from visual dance piece Kimatica, who use body movement and interactive technology to amp up the surreality. Adding to Kimatica’s colour will be Veuve Clicquot’s signature Yellow Label and Veuve Clicquot RICH, a refreshing champagne dedicated to casual over-ice consumption. Food can be enjoyed at the Long Table Banquet with renowned chef Nuno Mendes, executive chef at Chiltern Firehouse and Taberna do Mercado, who will be creating a unique menu complemented by Veuve Clicquot’s Yellow Label on arrival.

 “It’s a perfect mix of foodie, arts and music, with a beautifully scenic backdrop, and all within a family setting,” said Nuno Mendes in his tribute to Wilderness. “I’m excited to be back and look forward to hosting a banquet this year.”

Elsewhere, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label will be available from five separate bar locations, including the Spa Bar and in Boutique camping. Wilderness festival headliners include the sparkling Two Door Cinema Club on Friday, Bonobo brings the heat on Saturday and the ever-now icon, Grace Jones on Sunday, her first ever Wilderness appearance.

 Tickets from £168.50 +booking fee www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wilderness

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Rum Running With Drink Up London

 

Who better to celebrate National Daiquiri Day with than Bacardi rum and DrinkUp.London? Get ready for a tour of four hand-picked cocktail bars with taxis waiting.  Dee Osborne 

The tours will run across the 18th and 19th of July with a Daiquiri at each stop, three bars lined up, and black cabs ready to drive you between each venue. A £25 ticket triggers your starting venue and the rum-based adventure.

Both of Soho’s bar tours go between the legendary 68 & Boston, the Edition’s stupendous Lobby Bar (where you’ll get some food) and a step back in time to Cahoots in Kingly Court.

Shoreditch’s July 18th tour will travel between the wickedly fun Bad Sports, experimental Super Lyan (with some food included) and the cavernous new space at TT Liquor.

The tour on Wednesday 19th in Shoreditch will take you between the newly-opened London outpost of Red Rooster (food is included at this stop), the Discount Suit Company’s intimate basement bar and the famously fun Cocktail Trading Co.

Three bars, three Daiquiris, a bite to eat and a black cab between venues – and even a goodie bag.

Tickets from DrinkUp.London.

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Club White In BA Club World

British Airways has now boarded luxury lifestyle brand The White Company onto its Club World service. Dee Osborne

The iconic British retailer will supply bedding and amenity kits as part of the airline’s £400m customer investment plan. Later this year, customers travelling in Club World between Heathrow and JFK will be given a new elegant day cushion which will double up as a ueful lumbar support when working or relaxing on board. The White Company has also designed a bespoke, luxuriously soft large pillow and white cotton pillowcase to enhance customers’ comfort and to aid sleep.

Customers will also be given a super-soft woven blanket with satin trim and a specially developed luxury duvet, as well as a padded mattress cover giving an extra layer of comfort. The new bedding from The White Company will then be gradually rolled out across British Airways’ other long-haul routes.

The new Club World amenity kits come in an elegantly designed bag from The White Company and contain products from the retailer’s 'Restore & Relax Spa Collection', as well as a super-soft jersey eye-mask, offering a further touch of luxury in the sky. 

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “Our investment in Club World has started and we’re kicking off by helping our customers sleep even better in the skies. Partnering with The White Company, another quintessentially British brand renowned for quality and style, is the first step in a multi-million pound investment for our premium customers.”

Chrissie Rucker MBE, founder of The White Company, said: “We are passionate about creating the best night’s sleep for all our customers and I'm truly delighted to now be working with British Airways to 'sleep well in the sky'. I hope you love the result as much as we do.”


The White Company opened its first international flagship store in New York last month at 155, Fifth Ave in the city’s Flatiron district. Founded by Chrissie Rucker MBE over 22 years ago, The White Company has become one of the UK’s fastest growing multi-channel retailers and a leading lifestyle brand with over 50 stores across the UK

In autumn a new restaurant-style premium dining service will begin in Club World, with display trolleys allowing customers to select dishes from a choice of freshly prepared starters and desserts served on beautiful new table settings.

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Gorillaz Move Into Recruitment With JLR

Multi-platinum Gorillaz has paired up with multi-selling Jaguar Land Rover in a novel way to recruit bright candidates for the latter. Chris Page

The aim is to work together to recruit the next generation of world-class electronics and software engineering talent. The method is to use a code-breaking challenge found in the virtual band’s app.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) hopes to fast-track the best applicants via the Gorillaz App challenge in a major change in the way the business looks for candidates. JLR says it helps tackle the engineering skills gap and inspire and attract a diverse range of talent and new thinking.

Noodle, the band’s guitarist and a JLR ambassador, said: “Can you crack the code? Put your skills to the test!! Hey, maybe you might land yourself *the* most BADASS job you can imagine. Dare to win!”

The Gorillaz App has now launched a new JLR recruitment area featuring a 360-environment of the band’s garage which also features all the iconic vehicles of the Gorillaz. Here, applicants can explore and take a two-part challenge. The first part, designed to educate users about the benefits of electric vehicles, involves assembling the Jaguar I-PACE Concept, Jaguar's first all-electric five-seater sports car. Users can learn about the vehicle’s performance, battery technology, space, charging and range.

The second and more demanding part of the game, developed to engage and recruit budding electronic wizards and coders, will focus on cracking code – there are more than 4,000 combinations, as well as cipher in an alternate reality format. The challenges put a stronger focus on skills and talents than on qualifications.

Alex Heslop, head of electrical engineering, JLR, said: “Here we’ve found an engaging way to recruit a diverse talent pool in software systems, cyber systems, app development and graphics performance. It will be the first of its kind.”

The Jaguar I-TYPE, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's all-electric Formula E racecar, appears in the garage. Users can click on a poster of Noodle with the I-TYPE and ‘FanBoost’ which enables them to vote for the @JaguarRacing team drivers to gain a power boost during their next race or to follow @JaguarRacing twitter channels.

The project follows on from Jaguar Land Rover’s STEM initiative with Gorillaz in 2016, where  founder member and guitarist, Noodle, became Jaguar’s Formula E Racing Ambassador. As the UK’s leading investor in research and development and a leading global automotive manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover is putting Noodle at the forefront of its campaign to address the skills gap that manufacturing worldwide is facing.

JLR recruitment: www.jaguarlandrovercareers.com

JLR says traditional application methods remain open and CVs will be accepted, but it invites potential applicants to download the app and break the codes and solve the problems to fast-track their way into employment.

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Dickie's Bar Launches At Corrigan's Mayfair

 

Corrigan’s restaurant is set to open Dickie’s Bar at the end of June in collaboration with Gregory Buda from The Dead Rabbit, New York.

 

Located in Mayfair, Dickie’s Bar will serve drinks ‘til late using the best of the season’s harvest largely sourced from Richard Corrigan’s garden and farm, Virginia Park Lodge.

Collaborator Gregory Buda has picked up awards including World’s Best Bar (World’s 50 Best, 2016) and states his inspiration emerges from his own discoveries in his kitchen at home. He will oversee a menu that takes a culinary approach to cocktail creation by mixing the season's finest ingredients and distillations.

On the menu cocktails such as The Professional Stalker will feature an earthy, dark and boozy mix using Power’s John’s Lane 12-year Irish Whisky, Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Fig, Allspice and Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters. Also on the menu, Stage Door Johnny made with Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey, Peach, Bergamot, Vanilla and Lemon is a tart, soft and smooth creation.

The menu will be designed by Drinksology as a storybook, telling the tale of Dickie’s Bar, the characters behind it and the journey of ingredients, from farm to glass.

"It is extremely exciting to be working on a project with Richard Corrigan,” said Gregory Buda. “He incorporates his Irish roots into his work in a really intriguing way, and at Dead Rabbit, Irish culture and hospitality runs through everything we do, so it makes for a really perfect partnership. We are well on our way to building a bar program that will be on par with the incredible food that is coming out of their kitchen, and that hopefully will draw people's attention on its own as well."

The newly renovated terrace will lead guests to Dickie’s Bar via a separate entrance and picks up the hunting lodge design cues of the main venue. A marble top bar runs down the length of space towards a feature laser cut aged copper wall, behind which the restaurant is located.

Following Richard Corrigan’s success at Michelin-starred townhouse Lindsay House and London favourite Bentley’s Bar and Grill, Corrigan’s Mayfair opened in 2008, simultaneously winning the Evening Standard ‘ London Restaurant of the Year’ award. Last year Corrigan’s Mayfair won ‘Best Dish’ at the Tatler awards.

 “I decided to work with Greg from The Dead Rabbit because he has a true talent, he is experimental with flavour, but has a lot of respect and understanding for the ingredients he uses. It was a natural fit and progression for us,” said Corrigan.

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The Rolls-Royce "Me"

Rolls-Royce Torpedo
Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

The malleability of automotive luxury has been unveiled on the shoreline of Lake Como in the form of the striking Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’ - short on background detail but long on presence.

The car represents the vision of a very wealthy Rolls-Royce customer who worked with the marque to commission his very own coachbuild. The cost of the car, like the name of the owner, is undisclosed but reportedly exceeds £10 million. And so it was, this weekend at Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este that the one-off Sweptail was presented at a press call by Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös. The name of the car emerges from the swept tail of vintage Rolls-Royces from the 1920s.

The most striking feature of the car is its panoramic glass roof which is unobstructed and one of the largest and most complex ever seen on a car before, with a smooth end-to-end curvature that floods the cabin with natural light.

 

 

The secretive customer approached Rolls-Royce in 2013 with a very specific request informed by his background as a connoisseur and collector of distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private jets. The client collaborated closely with design director Giles Taylor who helped bring the vision to life: a coachbuilt two-seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof.

““Our job was to guide, edit and finely hone the lines that would ultimately give our client this most perfect of Rolls-Royces,” said Giles Taylor. “Sweptail is the automotive equivalent of Haute Couture. It is a Rolls-Royce designed and hand-tailored to fit a specific customer. This customer came to the House of Rolls-Royce with an idea, shared in the creative process where we advised him on his cloth, and then we tailored that cloth to him. You might say we cut the cloth for the suit of clothes that he will be judged by.”

 

The iconic Rolls-Royce Pantheon grille, the largest of any modern era Rolls-Royce, is milled from solid aluminium before being painstakingly polished by hand to a mirror finish. The size and scale of this regal-looking coupé is imposing; from the leading edge of the windscreen, the roofline accelerates as it fires backwards towards the rear of the motor car, overshooting the boot lid edge to emphasise its length.

The car comes with identifier and registration number, 08, two individual digits milled from ingots of aluminium and hand-polished.

 

The two-seat configuration simply adds to the image of a car that isn’t concerned with pragmatism, just bygone opulence for the hell of it or as Rolls-Royce puts it, it “exudes the romance of travel for its own sake.”

Inside, precedence goes to the exquisite materials with switchgear kept to a minimum lest it divert attention from the visual luxury of the cabin. It’s a haven of polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao, creating visual and tactile contrasts for the owner, both classical and contemporary. This contrasting dark/ light, Ebony and Paldao, is set off by light Moccasin and ‘Dark Spice’ leathers that cover the seats, armrests and dashboard top.

Even the customer’s laptop has been taken into account in the tailored design phase. Secreted in the outboard walls of the car, behind the opening of the coach doors, are two identical panniers. Each pannier deploys forward to present the owner’s bespoke made attaché case which has been carefully packaged to exactly house his personal laptop. The case has been hand-constructed and wrapped in the finest leather to match the car’s interior.

Another personalised ‘wow’ is that the entire centre console houses a one-off hand-built mechanism that, at the touch of a button, will deploy a bottle of the owner’s favourite vintage champagne – the year of his birth – and two crystal champagne flutes. As the lid of the chiller opens, the mechanical action positions the bottle to the perfect position for the owner to pick up. No spillages there, then.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said the car is “in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental tourers. We are listening carefully to our most special customers and assessing their interest in investing in similar, completely exclusive coachbuilt masterpieces. At the same time we are looking into the resources which will allow us to offer this unique service to these discerning patrons of luxury.”

Photos: James Lipman

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Island Yachting

You don’t have to travel to the other side of the globe for crystal clear waters and luxurious stays. Specialist tour operator, The Discerning Collection makes that clear with the addition of luxury yachts to its portfolio. Abigail Parkin

The privately owned company features exclusive, hand-picked hotels and villas across a number of Greek islands. Its yacht announcement this month only adds to the indulgence with two yachts and a catamaran ready to cast off for those island tours.

 

 

Based in Corfu, two yachts, Jeannous a 65’ super yacht (sleeps 6), Argentous, a stunning 57’ luxury yacht (sleeps 8) and a state-of-the-art catamaran, Aurous (sleeps 10) will all be available for sole charter from May – October 2017.

They come with skipper and private chef so you can try sailing alongside your skipper or group around the  BBQ, all, of course, while enjoying the lush scenery en route. Guests can dine on board throughout the day, but can later sample one of the charming tavernas on shore in a picturesque Greek village. Head north to the Faraway Islands or south via Paxos and Anti-Paxos down to Kefalonia or east towards the mainland.

 

 

Facilities include equipment such as wakeboards, water skis, paddleboards and inflatables – perfect for the youngsters.
 
The Discerning Collection offers seven nights aboard Argentous from £1,460pp (based on 8 sharing), Jeannous from £1,580pp (based on 6 sharing) and Aurous from £1,400pp (based on 10 sharing).

Prices include flights and transfers, breakfast and lunch daily as well as tea, coffee and all soft drinks.

See: www.discerningcollection.com)

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Engineering An Airline

25 BEA Hangers (900 x 404)

The history of British Airways from the perspective of its engineering division is chronicled in a new book Engineering an Airline published by Amberley Books and available now.  Abigail Parkin

Your BA flight lands, the baggage is reclaimed and off you head, homeward, thinking nothing of the thousands of miles you’ve safely spent mid-air. Such insouciance is thanks to the behind-the-scenes teams whose challenge lies in maintaining that very safety. Paul Jarvis’s book brings their engineering prowess forth with intriguing photos, many never seen before, from British Airways’ 90-year past. It’s a testament to the evolution of the engineering role from before its Imperial Airways days to British Airways today.

It’s not a book that blinds the reader with science despite the title. Instead Paul Jarvis takes us on a jaunty read beginning with his own start at the airline as a technical clerk in the engineering department in 1966 when the planes were in BOAC livery.  

Here we take a visual tour of its engineering strides through the ages…

 

BA Statocruisers at engineering LHR (700 x 529)

 

The Boeing Stratocruiser was introduced in 1949

 

britishairways VC-10 Dusk

VC10, the first commercial 'clean wing' aircraft, here at its BOAC hangar

 Paul Jarvis, now curator of British Airways’ Heritage Centre, said: “Aircraft have long held a fascination for many people and our highly trained engineers are the unsung heroes of the airline. “This is the first book to look at the history of British Airways through its engineers and tell the story of those who can offer a unique insight into the complexities of running a fleet of highly sophisticated flying machines.”

 

BA 136 B Call DC 10 Major (600 x 344)

The Douglas DC10 entered the BA fleet around 1988

This is Paul Jarvis’s fourth book and draws on a wealth of fascinating and unique material from the British Airways archive and uses 200 full colour images to show the development of the airline’s engineering division.

 

BA Concorde in hangar (700 x 519)

 

High-maintenance Concorde in hangar

 

BA Planes on Stand (800 x 474)

Sibling jets parked on stand

 

BA Eng (800 x 600)

BA engineers at work

 

BA Cockpit

Engineered to perfection - the array of flight deck systems

 

‘Engineering An Airline’ is priced at £18.99 and is available at all good book shops and via Kindle, Kobo and iBook formats.