Local Area NewsFeb 2016
InnThe Park - St James's Park
Excellent wines, an intelligent menu and a lovely view of one of London's prettiest parks all add up to a perfect destination for a romantic Valentine's dinner this month. Ricotta pancakes and mango slices followed by roast sea bass with a tart gratin dessert tastes as romantic as it sounds. The inspired architecture of the restaurant is alone worth the trip into town and a walk through the park is guaranteed to sharpen the taste buds. Once there, the friendly and courteous staff will greet you with a refreshing glass of blood orange Buck's Fizz.
Vegetarians need not feel left out on Valentine's Day and can enjoy truffle omelette with mixed leaf salad. A stroll back through St James's Park takes you by a beautiful lake that is a natural magnet for water fowl of all shapes and sizes. It would seem that this leafy corner of London is a meeting point for more than one sort of love bird!
Macy Gray - O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Everything about Macy Gray seemed outlandish when she initially burst on to the music scene fifteen years ago. Crazy hair, a strange voice and an even stranger fashion sense immediately set her apart from the usual crowd of soul divas. Her left field approach can be an acquired taste at times but there's no denying that she has an ear for catchy melodies and smoky, downtempo grooves.
On stage, Gray seems to be able to cast off her carefully crafted slacker persona at will and with a tight band behind her, well versed in classic soul hooks and acid jazz stylings she'll be more than ready to cut loose. There seems to be a glut of "kooky" female singers on the market right now. Macy Grey is a reminder that weirdness is no substitute for originality and talent.
Wild - Cinemas Londonwide
Less of a road movie and more a trail story, Wild tracks one woman's journey on foot along the western coast of the U.S. Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) is rocked by the death of her mother and forced to take stock of her life which seems to consist of a decade of drug abuse, bad relationships and wasted opportunities. Determined to detox body, soul and spirit, she elects to backpack along the Pacific Crest trail which runs from the Mexican border, through California and up into Canada.
What makes this choice extraordinary is the fact that Cheryl has zero experience, training or equipment knowledge - she just buys some kit and takes off! There are plenty of chances to quit along the way as injuries, extreme weather and mad strangers seem to be always just around the corner but Cheryl sticks with it. She's rewarded by a zen-like peace and all the majestic scenery her eyes can take in. "Wild" realises that movies about nature are not about us using nature, but about taking our place within it.