Book review: A Place For Us by Harriet Evans

From bestselling author Harriet Evans comes her latest, A Place For Us – an absorbing, emotional page-turner, with characters so real you find yourself thinking about them long after you finish the book. A family saga that focuses on the power of secrets, Evans delves deep into her characters’ histories to show what makes people…

Film review: A Walk In The Woods

Directed by Ken Kwapis Based on the 1998 bestseller of the same name by Bill Bryson, A Walk In The Woods stars Robert Redford as Bryson, who decides to walk the Appalachian Trail on the east coast of America. Despite his wife Cynthia (Emma Thompson) telling him he is too old and unfit and reminding…

Film Review: Magic In The Moonlight

Directed by Woody Allen Is magic real? Is there more to the physical world than meets the eye? These are the questions that arise when master magician Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) tries to expose psychic medium Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) as a fake. Set in the 1920s on the luxurious French Riviera, Woody Allen’s latest…

Film review: St Vincent

Directed by Ted Melfi In a role he was born to play, Bill Murray is Vincent, a cantankerous old man who treats everyone badly, including himself. He drinks, smokes, gambles, swears and appears to have a problem with everything and everyone. It’s only when single mum Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) moves in next door with her…

Film review: Birdman

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu Birdman has created mixed reactions to its Best Picture Oscar win. A good film though it is, we’re not sure it deserves an Oscar, but then, it is a story about actors being actors – and Hollywood loves stories about themselves! The black…

Theatre review: Kinky Boots

For a night of dazzling, feelgood entertainment, head to the Adelphi theatre and treat yourself to new musical, Kinky Boots I love musicals. For me, there’s nothing I enjoy more than escaping for a couple of hours into another world of song and dance with fabulous costumes, impressive choreography and an emotional story to tug…

Interview with author Martine Bailey

Author Martine Bailey has created a new fictional genre; in Fay Weldon’s words ‘culinary gothic’. Here, she talks about her first book An Appetite For Violets, with a spirited, feminist heroine at its hilt Described by Fay Weldon as ‘culinary gothic’, author Martine Bailey’s debut novel An Appetite for Violets, is set in the late…

Interview with author Beth Miller

I talk to fiction author Beth Miller, whose novels When We Were Sisters and The Good Neighbour weave laugh-out-loud humour into serious themes of dysfunctional families and mental illness. Your bio mentions your love of The Archers and tea, and previous jobs as a sex educator and alcohol counsellor and ‘inept audio-typist’ as well as…

Interview with author Jo Bloom

I chat to author Jo Bloom whose novel, Ridley Road – a dark love story set in the Swinging Sixties – was inspired by a chance meeting with a member of an anti-fascist organisation

Everything stops for tea

I take a break for a cuppa, and discover the delicious range of teas from organic tea company Hampstead Tea Britain is a nation of tea-lovers. Since colonial days when the fragrant leaves from India and China were brought back to Blighty’s shores, we’ve been enjoying our daily cuppas, and have even created a sit-down…

The snacking revolution

Want to serve a healthier alternative to the usual chip n’ dip at your next barbecue? As I’m a self-confessed crisp addict, I thought it was time to discover some tasty options… Crisps, crisps, how I do love thee. So moreish, so tasty, so crunchy… and so very high in fat and cholesterol and all…

Food review: Ossa Bone Broth

  Despite having been a staple in cooking pots for centuries, bone broth has recently gained new momentum due to its superfood status – its easily digestible protein composition. The protein comes from the collagen found in the bones and connective tissue, which transforms into a nutrient-dense gelatin as it cooks. A cupful is said…