Land Rover finally took the wraps of its brand new Defender this week at the Frankfurt motor show
The result is a resurgent British motoring icon, with enough echoes of the old shape to keep loyal owners happy in its 71st year of existence, while adding dozens of cool contemporary design cues, materials, clever toys and technology.
The Defender comes in the smaller, three-door “90” version, and the larger “110” version which you can specify with five, six or seven seats.
Externally, you can choose from loads of different paint colours, or the option of a matt wrap. If the wrap surface is scratched while off-roading, it has the ability to mend itself if the sun is warm enough; otherwise it’s a trip to your service centre which will just peel off the damaged panel and re-wrap it.
There are two petrol and two diesel engines on offer, all using Land Rover’s eight-speed automatic gearbox. The more powerful petrol has a mild hybrid powertrain, and next year there will be a plug-in hybrid version on sale. It goes without saying that it has world-class off-roading capabilities.
But it’s the wealth of clever options that come with this car that make it quite such a special model, and explain which you can pay anything from £45,000 to £78,000 for a new Defender.
You can, for example, choose to have a third jump seat in the front row. When not in use, it flips down to create a surface for storage. When up, the middle passenger has space for their feet thanks to Land Rover moving all the controls up by the raised gear-lever on the dashboard.
Land Rover has cleverly split the options packages into urban, country, adventure and explorer. Urban smartens things up a bit with more polished bright metal and a smoother grill. Country adds rugged styling like wheel arch bumpers, while adventure includes a side-mounted metal pannier for carrying gear outside the car, mud guards and a backpack built into the rear seat. Explorer goes the whole hog with a massive roof rack, ladder to reach it and matt black bonnet styling.
You can also choose a strange metal square placed on the outside of a rear passenger window; on the inside, it gives you magazine-rack style storage for something like a laptop, and even includes a charging port there for your computer.
We’ve rarely seen such well thought-out design details that look so smart but have customer practicality fully in mind.
According to new research, wearing woollen pyjamas is the secret to a good night’s kip.
Australian scientists have found that when you put on a cosy pair of wool pjs, it keeps the body in the ‘thermal comfort zone’, resulting in a more rested sleep.
They discovered that students in their 20s who wore merino wool to bed fell asleep four minutes faster than those who didn’t. Their counterparts took 15 minutes to snooze, whereas the wool wearers were dreaming within 11 minutes and got an extra seven minutes kip.
The participants aged between 65 and 70 who donned the woollen pyjamas were asleep in 12 minutes compared to the non-wool wearing individuals, who took 22 to 27 minutes to catch some z’s.
The University of Sydney researcher Dr. Paul Swan said: ‘Not so long ago sleeping under wool bedding was the norm, and science is now rediscovering the benefits of sleeping in wool.
‘Maybe it is not a coincidence because wool regulates your body temperature far better, keeping you in what is known as ‘the thermal comfort zone’.
‘You therefore not only fall asleep quicker, sleep longer, but also have deeper, better quality sleep.
‘Enjoying good sleep has become increasingly difficult in modern times, and so anything that helps is great for your mental and physical health.’
Winter is coming, and with it comes darker mornings and darker evenings – but it’s not all doom and gloom, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan. All the films will be on the telly in the run-up to Christmas, and there’s even a Harry Potter beauty advent calendar this year.
And better still, if you’re not a fan of all things ghosts and ghouls and prefer yourself a slice of merriment later on in the year, you can now have your Christmas dinner in the Great Hall.
Seriously, what a time to be alive.
For the past few years the Warner Bros. Studio have decked the halls and revamped the wizarding world into a winter wonderland, with snow-covered Christmas trees, icicles and a festively decorated Gryffindor common room. It’s back for 2019, and will run from 16th November 2019 to January 26th 2020.
But if you want even more HP fun this Christmas, you can now enjoy a proper festive feast in the Great Hall.
Potterheads can expect drinks and canapés, followed by a two-course meal in the famous dining room, surrounded by trees, baubles and little witches on broomsticks.
The menu looks like a right little treat. Starters include beetroot, orange and dill cured salmon with pickled fennel, with a main of thyme roasted turkey with confit leg, pork and chestnut stuffing, bacon wrapped sausage, roasted Parisienne potatoes, crushed carrot and swede with peppered Brusseltops, a bread sauce croquette and turkey jus.
Mouth watering yet? Same.
There are also vegetarian and vegan options on offer.
For dessert – a traditional Christmas pudding, chocolate and orange mousse or roasted chestnut and espresso tart – head to Platform 9 3/4 where you’ll be served a holiday-inspired bowl of goodness, washed down with Butterbeer and followed by a trip to Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
The Christmas feast will run on 9th, 10th and 11th December 2019 and tickets go on sale here at 10am on 17th September.
They’re almost certainly going to sell-out – despite the eye-watering £240 price tag.
Winter is coming, autumn is here and summer is long gone. It’ll soon be a case of going to work in the dark, coming home in the dark, and layering as much as you can to shield yourself from the chill. Luckily, there are some delightful winter coats out there to keep us warm as the temperatures drop.
However, if you’re looking to shake things up a bit and enjoy the cold elsewhere (think magical and marvellous European cities), why not start planning a little getaway for less than £30? Yes, it is possible. No, we can’t guarantee it’ll be warmer. But you will have the option to enjoy excellent wine, cheese and Christmas markets.
There’s currently a huge Eurostar sale, with trains from London to Paris or Brussels coming it at less £29 each way. Bargain.
If you want to push the boat out, you can also travel to Amsterdam or Rotterdam for £35 one way. And if you really want to get your boujee on, for an extra £7 you can upgrade to a Standard Premier ticket which includes more space, a light meal and refreshments.
The sale ends on 23rd September 2019 so you’ll have to book soon if you want to jet off, and dates of travel are between 1st October 2019 and 17th January 2020.
The number of sale seats are limited, so if you want to make the most of the deal you’d better get booking.
The world was introduced to the latest iPhone this week, and there are updates to the screen, camera and an all-powerful charger, as well as a more energy-efficient chip.
However, the only thing you really need to know about is the introduction of a pet portrait mode. Yes, that’s right – the iPhone 11 gives offers you the opportunity to take the most perfect pics of your pup and people are ready to hand over their hard-earned cash immediately.
What pet owner doesn’t have a camera roll full of snaps of their adorable dog/cat/rabbit? Well, the latest Apple product promises to take pictures that really bring out your fur baby’s true beauty.
Of course, the most recent iPhone models do already have a portrait mode. However, some have complained that it doesn’t always capture your pet pup perfectly. The pet portrait mode on the other hand is designed specifically to recognise your pet’s face and snap them in a crystal clear photo.
Twitter users began debating whether or not the new iPhone was worth it for the pet portrait mode – and many of them decided it most definitely was.
‘Now starting to wonder if I should upgrade my iPhone just for the pet portrait mode,’ one wrote.
‘Want it. No I need it,’ another commented.
Not everyone is convinced. Some people pointed out that the current portrait mode works just fine, whereas others shared photos of their attempted pet portraits (that didn’t quite turn out as they wished).
Is it worth forking out for it? The iPhone 11 Pro starts at £1,049 in the UK, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max will cost an eye-watering £1,149. Gulp.
There’s nothing quite like a cheeky Nando’s. Whether you’re a lemon and herb kinda person or you’re heading straight for the wing roulette, it can do no wrong. It has a bevy of celebrity fans – Adele, Drake, and Bella Hadid are just a few famous faces that have apparently been spotted getting their fill of Nando’s. Ed Sheeran has a black card and even wrote a song about it. Prince Harry reportedly ordered a pitta with extra cheese and a side of creamy mash when he popped in recently.
But back to food news. If you’re a PERi-PERi fanatic, you’ll be pleased to know that Nando’s is now trialling a new lunchtime menu and it’ll cost you less than £6. Bargain.
They’re launching a PERi-PERi Chicken Bowl, filled with chicken fillet pieces, spicy rice, chargrilled peppers, spinach and lightly dressed corn.
And that’s not all. A customisable lunchtime menu is also part of the trial, featuring the more traditional Nando’s plates like 1/4 chicken and 1 side, 3 wings and 1 side, Caesar salad and veggie cataplana.
All items are a bargain £5.95 and are available for takeaway – meaning that you can bring your bowl of chicken goodness back to the office if you need to.
It’ll be rolled out across 37 restaurants across the UK, on offer Monday to Thursday between opening and 3pm.
Looking to book a long weekend away, or something a little longer – then look no further than Plum Guide. With experts at your fingertips they will do all the hard work for you enabling you to live like a local instantly without any stress.
Who are they?
The Plum Guide is a definitive collection of the world’s best homes, taking an obsessive approach to vetting every holiday home on the planet and accepting only the top 1% ensuring that every stay is guaranteed to be relaxing and unique.
Taking away any hassle of researching yourself they now live in 12 exciting cities globally – London, NYC, LA, Paris, Milan, Rome and most recently Lisbon, Barcelona, Tel-Aviv, Berlin, Copenhagen and Berlin.
We travelled to Madrid for a foodie weekend away in search of the best relaxed tapas bars to Michelin Stair eateries – all recommended by travel experts who know the city like the back of their hand.
Where to stay
Blue Torito, Salamanca
This colourful home located in one of the liveliest parts of Madrid and uses patterns and textures to let out its character. From woven carpets to the textured headboards, it’s apparent that the hosts like playing with colour in the details. Blue Torito is bright, stylish and has access to a resident-only terrace with a pool to cool down after a day of sightseeing.
Salamanca is Madrid’s most glamorous and prestigious quarter. Usually associated with aristocratic façades, wide avenues and luxurious living which are atypical for Madrid’s cosy centre, the neighbourhood features niche museums, and designer boutiques along its ‘Golden Mile’.
The demanding clientele has made the food scene equally exclusive, and you’re likely to find quite a few Michelin-star restaurants in the area alongside relaxed tapas bars for those less willing to splash the cash.
Where to eat
Be spoilt for choice at upmarket food court Platea
Food markets are normally a relaxed affair but Platea isn’t it– this is a gastro leisure space with Michelin-starred chefs and musical performances on its main stage.
Visit Madrid’s gourmet experience at Ramón Freiza
A baroque dining room that features a master chef that loves to get creative–this is a treat for all senses.
Dine the Asturias way at El Paraguas
One of Salamanca’s most famous restaurants, El Paraguas cooks up the best of Austrian cuisine, accompanied by a fantastic wine and champagne selection.
Taste Galicia at Saraiba
A popular local hangout, Saraiba offers a superb dining experience inspired by Galician food — the wine selection is pretty impressive too
What to do
Get lost at Madrid’s archeological museum
With permanent and temporary exhibitions that showcase the latest discoveries from the Iberic peninsula and beyond, Madrid’s Archeological museum is a treat for the curious mind.
Take a stroll through Retiro Park
Enjoy the green serenity of Madrid’s central park. It’s filled with different parks and gardens, as well as Parterre Francé, which is believed to be Madrid’s oldest tree.
As the all-round culinary expert on Netflix’ Queer Eye, Antoni Porowsi knows a thing or two about food. Ahead of the release of his first cookbook, Antoni in the Kitchen, we asked the self-taught chef about his love for cooking, go-to dinner party recipe, favourite foodie destination and so much more.
Tell me a little bit more about your background?
My upbringing was a mix of Polish heritage and Canadian culture. I was born in Montreal, but my parents and older sister emigrated from Poland, so I was the first member of my family to be born outside of Europe. Montreal is a very diverse city; I was exposed to multicultural foods from a very early age. We had this tradition in elementary school called ‘buffet de nation’ and all the kids would bring food from their respective countries. Most of the parents were from different countries, so everyone would bring two dishes.
I lived in Montreal for most my childhood, then moved to West Virginia for three years, and ended up going back to Montreal for university. I was studying Psychology and working night time jobs at several restaurants – from a family run Polish restaurant to the sort of farm-to-table restaurants – until I moved to New York, where I’ve been living for ten years now.
At what point did you develop an interested in food?
It sort of stemmed from necessity. As a child, I wasn’t really allowed to partake in the kitchen in terms of cooking, only my mom would do that, and I would just watch from a distance. It wasn’t until I was 18 and no longer living at home, that I had to figure out how to cook meals for myself. I quickly realised that it was such a lovely way to communicate with other people. My friends and classmates from university would come over and we would make meals together – it was such an easy, inexpensive way to socialise.
But you never trained to be a professional chef?
We have a lot of physicians in our family, so when I graduated high school, I was encouraged to pursue medicine. That wasn’t something I wanted to do – I was obsessed with movies and I wanted to be an actor – a degree in Psychology ended being the middle ground. When I finished my undergrad, I moved to New York and studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Afterwards, I worked for Ted Allen for a couple of years – he was the original food and wine expert on Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
When I was studying, and afterwards even when I was working, the one job is always had was working in restaurants. It didn’t register to me that it was something I could do in a professional capacity until Queer Eye came about and that is when it all changed. For me, food was how I connected with my family growing up, behind closed doors in our dining room. I would consider myself a private person and being on Queer Eye sort of flipped the tables because now I’m talking about my personal life, my experience growing up and what it was like being part of the LGBTQI community.
As a private person, what has been like dealing with the success of Queer Eye?
It was definitely rather explosive at the beginning. It felt like this overnight thing that happened. I would get really exciting about meeting all kinds of interesting people, going to these events and being flown around for press. It was, and still is, an exciting new life – I mean, it’s only been two years. During that first year, I didn’t know how long the excitement was going to last, so I would drain myself until exhaustion and then go home and cry. There were mornings when I would step outside my apartment to get a coffee and within a few minutes, someone would recognise me and ask for hug, even though I hadn’t showered yet, or had just gotten back from the gym.
People get very excited because they think they know us personally. We are ourselves on the show, it’s not a full-on performance the way an actor plays a character, we are wider versions of ourselves. At first, I would forget this and someone would grab and I’d be like: oh right, this is a thing, and this isn’t a thing that is only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Eventually I started to get used to it, and now I’m able to remain cool and calm, say hi and not be as much of a weirdo. But I still have days where I’m a little shyer and I have to remind myself that this interaction might be really important to this person.
Do you help the other cast members with their cooking skills?
Tan once made me roasted and mashed sweet potatoes with chilly flakes and they were really nice, but he hasn’t fully cooked a meal for me yet. I do know for a fact that Tan cooks a lot at home for him and his husband, so he doesn’t need the help. Jonathan, however, I believe has absolutely zero interest in ever preparing a meal for himself. He is arguably one of the largest sponsors of Postmates, it’s a delivery service that will delivery anything at any time of the day, whether it’s McDonalds, limes, a block of cheese or chips in the middle of night.
I’ll be 100% honest, whenever I have Tan and Jonathan over at my house for fajita night, Tan always asks if he can help, but I love to do everything myself. One because I’m way too much of a control freak, secondly because I tell myself that’s what a good host does. But I’m trying to be better. I recently watched the docu-series Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix and chef Samin Nosrat was explaining that if she is making pesto, she lets one of the guests tear the basil so they feel like they’re part of the process, and leave feeling like they have learned something. So maybe that’ll lead up to teaching Jonathan and Tan something.
What’s your go-to dinner party dish?
Growing up in Quebec, we always had a cheese course after dessert, so I kick off my dinner parties with the thing that makes me the happiest; dairy. My favourite starter is a cheesy, lemon, rosemary and artichoke dip. It’s dairy-heavy, but the brightness of the lemon and tanginess of rosemary make this perfect with crackers, chips, or even some beautiful rainbow carrots, endives or thinly sliced radishes. If I don’t make the dip, then I will always have a cheese and charcuterie board.
And for date-night?
The champagne and lemon risotto is easy and light. You and your date can drink some of the champagne and use the rest in the dish. It’s a simple recipe, only takes 20 to 30 minutes to prepare, and there’s something sexy about stirring gently over a stove. Another favourite is the macadamia-crusted lamb lollies. There’s just something very primal about tearing away the macadamia nut crust of these perfectly medium-rare, salty, crispy lamp lollies drizzled in a spicy honey agrodolce. It’s sticky, it’s spicy, it’s meaty and it’s a bit of animal fat – I think that’s the sexiest dish in the book.
I assume you have a lot of cookbooks. What’s the one you always grab when looking for inspiration?
My favourite one is Feast by Nigella Lawson. I received it as a gift, and it’s the one that inspires me to be a little creative and try to figure out the story that I’m telling with my food. It’s a fantastic book (especially if you’re looking for inspiration for festive menus) and there’s something so sensual about the way she writes about food that is also so comforting. If she manages to do that with her writing alone, I can only image what her dinner parties are like.
You now have your own cookbook. What has this experience been like?
It all happened when we were filming season 3 and 4 of Queer Eye in Kansas City, Missouri. I would film during the day and then go home at night and test out various dishes per night. None of my recipes were ever written down, everything was just in my head, and I’ve never measured a single thing, so the technical part of the process took a lot longer than I thought it would.
I’m really fascinated by the fact that food can be so incredibly intimate and personal, so there’s a story behind every recipe in the book, no matter how basic or how complex it is – whether it’s a memory of where I tried it for the first time or who made it for me, a dish I invented out of necessity when I was a broke student or a Polish heritage recipe that I wanted to improve and reflect a little bit more of who I am.
What’s your favourite foodie destination?
Paris is great for decadence. When I’m there I just sit in a café, have an espresso and then go somewhere fantastic and enjoy really nice traditional food that is all about technique. What I love about Rome is the lack of pretention. You’ll have some of the best food there is, served at rickety tables in little cobble stone streets. One of my favourite restaurants is Su & Giu – I once went for three meals in a row – it has laminated photos of the food hanging on the walls and the nonna there runs the show. They have the best puntarelle salad, made from the leafy tops of chicory, anchovies, lemon juice and olive oil.
What about London?
Ninety per cent of the time I go for Indian or Pakistani food with Tan – our favourite restaurant, Star of India, sadly closed down – and the other ten per cent, I go to Nando’s. I’ll order two sides of halloumi – I love it so much, it’s squeaky, it’s delicious and it brings me so much joy – two classic burgers, one order of the peri-livers, three sides of the peri-naise and finally, I’ll ask them for a large plastic bag of their nut mix – they usually sell them in little containers but I’m not about that. Actually, since we’ve touched on Nando’s, I actually have a little homage to Nando’s in my cookbook and created my own version of their livers.
I really wish I had a chic recommendation, but that’s the tricky part. We’re so lucky to visit all these great cities, but we get taken from one hotel to the next, and we don’t really have time to actually explore. I know London has a really awesome food scene, but as soon as we get there, it’s all about Indian food. I was raised on Indian food so that’s something, especially when I tried it in London, that changed everything for me.
Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski is out on September 19
And if you’re searching for the perfect Christmas decorations a little earlier than usual, you’ll be happy to know that Primark is releasing a host of Disney-themed baubles that will really make your tree sparkle.
Almost all of the baubles will be shaped like the iconic mouse head and instantly recognisable to any Disney fan.
There will be four large baubles on offer – think cute Santa, black and white polka dot, simple red and fir tree green – coming in at a very affordable £4.
Then there are three packs of six smaller baubles, also retailing at £4. One set includes burnt orange, gold and brown mouse head baubles, and another range instead focuses on cute pastel colours – think soft purples, pinks and baby blue. The third sticks to the traditional Mickey and Minnie red, white and black palette and will look gorgeous hanging on the tree.
Each pack also includes a glittery Mickey Mouse glove, too.
If you really want your tree to shout out Disney, Primark will also be selling boxes of 25 decorations for just £12. There will be a box of cute pink, blue and gold baubles, and another featuring the classic red and black designs.
Now we’ve just got to work out – how early is too early to put the tree up…?