Pull up a chair, crack open a beer and watch #drinkingbuddies #LFF #LondonFilmFestival #Filmreview

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 09.14.35Drinking Buddies is set in and around the working and running of a brewery, where Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) are co-workers. She’s in a relationship with a wealthy older man (Ron Livingston) and his fiancé (Anna Kendrick) is keen to get their wedding plans moving along. Their friendship is very strong and they have a lot of similar interests, such as the beer they produce and they both share similar playful senses of humour. Their lifestyles revolve around drinking with their co-workers, and for the audience its hard to know whether or not what they share is friendship or something that little bit more.  Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 09.15.06

The film is directed and produced by Joe Swanberg and is an honest and real depiction of friendships and relationships amongst late twenty-somethings. There is sexual tension, tomboyish playfulness and blurred lines around the line drawn between men and women who just enjoy each other’s company. The drama you witness within Drinking Buddies feels real and void of any “film like” over- dramatization; no dramatic realization that one person is with the wrong partner, and no overly thought out inner battles over whether or not each character should be with one another. Some would say it is exactly how you or I would deal with the various situations that present themselves – sit on them until absolutely necessary then apologize profusely! – With the right balance of humour, relatable trials and tribulations of modern day relationships and that awkward feeling where you’re pretty sure there’s underlying sexual tension between you and a friend – this film manages to capture issues that often burden the general public more than anything and yet depict it in such an enjoyable way.Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 09.15.53

Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson are incredibly believable as the lead characters who share this surface based brother/sister /best friend style friendship; and a lot of this is to do with the heavily improvised scenes which not only make the audience feel like they’re catching a glimpse through the keyhole of a group of peoples lives but also help you to dispel any potential distaste towards Wildes beautiful and likeable girl next door persona. You can understand why Luke likes Kate, she’s one of the boys, and is always the one up for some fun. What you do question within this film is why there isn’t any suspicion or doubt from each of their characters other halves. Their tactile approaches to each other can be a little hard to swallow sometimes and yet you’re still routing to see if they eventually take the brave step to cross that all important line.Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 09.18.29

What these characters represent is often the realistic approach to potentially something better suited to ones self. Its clear to the audience that Luke and Kate would be perfect for each other, yet they never dare to do anything more than think about it. You will leave this film questioning whether or not there are regrets about someone or something that you have had the opportunity to pursue in days gone by, and having taken the safer option, maybe regretted after.

What the director manages to do with Drinking Buddies, is give its audience a glimpse into the days of the lives of people not so different to you and I, everyday jobs and simple pleasures that we all have, essentially, life is a simple construct and sometimes its not really worth the complication. With this in mind Swanberg delivers a film that is fun to watch, quirky in its own right and most importantly get you thinking. Its style is simple and poignant, so wont be everyone’s cup of tea, not much happens throughout, but what does happen manages to get you routing for those you’re watching, laughing at similarities that you most likely will see in yourself, and leaving hopefully with a smile on your face.

Drinking Buddies hits cinemas 1st November.

4 Stars

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Revealed: Covent Garden Tops Your Tipple! #nightlife #drink @London_Pride #facts

Screen shot 2013-09-04 at 08.49.40So this Summer is going on and on and on! Not that we’re complaining in any way, but if you’re enjoying those long Summer nights of sociable drinking and hanging out with friends in the Capital, then this new insight might be of interest to you! Impress your friends by becoming the most knowledgable of nights out with these interesting facts.

Think you know where the best night out is? Are you the go-to person for the hottest night out in town? Well, did you know that during the week Londoners are most likely to go to Covent Garden for a night out and order a pint to unwind after a working week, according to a new poll on behalf of London Pride.

Over 23% of the 1,000 Londoners surveyed chose Covent Garden as their favourite area to go out in and over a fifth (21%) of Londoners go for a pint on a Friday night.

Whats the top tipple? 

While a pint is the preferred tipple on a night out for the majority of Londoners, 15 per cent choose a glass of white wine and 11 per cent go for a spirit and a mixer. Do you know which category you fall into?

 And surprise, surprise, Londoners don’t break the age old gender habit with 49% of men ordering a pint whilst the ladies of London (20%) much prefer the more feminine glass of white wine! Screen shot 2013-09-04 at 08.41.29

 Call yourself a Hipster? Here’s where the cool kids hang out…

Hot spots for younger Londoners on a night out include Shoreditch and London Bridge. Areas such as Islington, Mayfair, Clapham, Chelsea/Fulham and Greenwich are equally enjoyed by a range of generations in London, whereas Notting Hill and Kensington are more favoured by the older age groups.

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So does your hang out top the poll? 

Where’s the best night out in London?

1. Covent Garden – 23.1%

2. Soho – 18.1%

3. Camden – 11.5%

4. Shoreditch – 6.8%

5. Mayfair 5.7%

6. London Bridge 4.9%

7. Islington 3.9%

8. Clapham 3.6%

9. Notting Hill 2.8%

10. Chelsea/Fulham 2.7%

11. Greenwich 2.6%

12. Fitzrovia 2.3%

13. Kensington 1.8%

14. Clerkenwell 1.4%

15. Stoke Newington 1.1%

Other 7.7%

 

What are you most likely to order first on a Friday night after work?

1. A cold pint – 21.2%

2. A glass of white wine – 15.1%

3. A spirit and a mixer – 11.3%

4. A soft drink – 9.5%

5. A glass of red wine – 8.2%

6. A glass of rose 7.9%

7. A pint of cider – 7.7%

8. A cocktail – 7.3%

9. Liquor – 1.2%

N/A or I do not work – 8.6%

Other – 2%

And Finally….

Londoners were also asked which brand they feel is most associated with the capital. Men chose Fuller’s London Pride, at 24 per cent, and women chose Fortnum and Mason, at 37 per cent. Do you agree?

Well, whatever you think Snoochers, remember at the end of the day the most important thing is to drink in moderation and stay safe! The Summers not over just yet so make sure you still enjoy the long evenings in the Capital!

 

Keep the Summer going with @fordhambeersuk American Craft Beers! #beer #drinks #summer

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So just when we thought the Summer was beginning to say adieu and we were starting to unbox our Autumn fashion, there’s word that yet another heat wave is on the horizon! So to celebrate we thought it’s a perfect opportunity to open some bottles of beer – delicious American craft beer to be exact!

Whilst the sun shines on this side of the pond, having a taste of these lovely beers will bring back memories of holidays abroad (particularly to the US) or if you’ve never been it will probably bring to life your imagination as to what this land across the Atlantic might just be like!

Now for some history!

Fordham Beers originated in Maryland in 1703, formed to serve a new colony in need of good beer (aren’t we all!) the brewery was reborn in 1995 with a similar purpose and passion. In 1989 Fordham Beers opened its doors to the Old Dominion Brewing Company founded by beer enthusiast Jerry Bailey and the two breweries live side by side in Delaware.

Here’s some of the Dominion beers we tasted and reviewed:

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The Beach House Pilsner

At a very affordable £1.95* per bottle we found this to be a perfect Summer lager. It has a good happy flavour with a refreshing and crisp taste. You can put the ciders to one side and lap this up next to the BBQ on a lovely Summer evening.

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Hop Mountain

Apparently this little number is becoming the UK’s favourite out of the selection, and its not hard to see why. At a competitive £2.15* it’s a rich red ale with strong hop character and a medium bodied dry finish…perfect to cool you down on a hot summer night or after something a little bit spicy!

Now if its not all about the alcoholic beers for you , never fear, Dominion Sodas provide the perfect family summer drink too… 

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 12.21.59Creamy Orange Soda

Now this really will bring back childhood memories… a modern take on a traditional American orange soda – creamy is the key word as you cut out the fizz and enjoy a very sweet easy to drink soda for only £1.95*

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Black Cherry Soda

You can mix this number with a spirit of choice, but if you’re sticking to its traditional format you may feel that you’ll need an ice cube or two to help dilute its slightly over powering taste. Those without a sweet tooth need not apply! But for those with no trips to the dentist coming up, treat yourself for only £1.95*

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Ginger Ale

We Brits just love a good old Ginger Ale, and with some very strong competitors out there like Crabbies, the market is a pretty tough place. This version is mostly for those who like a slightly lighter version of the popular drink, with a combination of ginger and citrus, you’ll either bask in its subtle taste or need to try something a little stronger.

So more choice for you all as we see the Summer continue to shine, so stay refreshed, stay merry and drink responsibly.

*prices shown are a guide and based on retail sales. Prices may vary by outlet and will be higher in pubs and restaurants.

** Fordham and Dominion beers are available at selected bars and restaurants across the UK including:

– In London: Electric Diner in Notting Hill; Beard to Tail in Hoxton;  Jetlag Bar in Fitzrovia; The English Pig in Westminster; The Diner in Soho; Bodean’s in Fulham; All Star Lanes in Brick Lane

-Outside London: Gordon Bennett in Surbiton, Surrey; The Brewery Tap in Brighton; Jake’s Place in Edinburgh; Colston Yard in Bristol; Chicago Rib Shack in Southampton.

A celebration of food review at the @realfoodfestival #Food #Freshfood #market

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Deep in the heart of London’s Southbank, you’ll find a gem of a food festival which takes place on a weekly basis and on special occasions (like Easter weekend) extends to the banks of the Thames itself. Its called the Real Food Festival and is one of the best ongoing food festivals in London at the moment.

Bringing together a fusion of food from around the world, the Real Food Festival is starting to establish itself as the affordable, fresh, go-to food market for foodies and those who just fancy something different for lunch.  What we really liked about it is that there is so much variety available. This is probably our third trip and every time we go there is something new. On this occasion we went for the full three course meal, starter, main and desert, and were not disappointed!

Unconventionally our starter was a cup of yummy Jasmine Tea from Bunta which is a Vietnamese inspired street food stall which is as colourful in colour as it is in flavour…From prawn skewers to sweet potato crisps and noodle salads, this was the perfect starting place to get an education in worldwide food.

Vietnamese Street Food stall Bunta

Vietnamese Street Food stall Bunta

Next up was a pit-stop via the Community Kitchen Project which uses fresh food produce to create North African inspired food… this stall was always busy and very helpful to explain where the food comes from, definitely worth checking out… We absolutely loved its philosophy being based on the old idea of having a central kitchen space where everyone from the village comes to cook, chat and share recipes and resources – its a commercial business with a social purpose – so really does have people at the heart of what it does.

Cheese and freshly baked cakes all on show at the Real Food Festival

Cheese and freshly baked cakes all on show at the Real Food Festival

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We also wondered around the stalls and settled on a tasty Paella cooked in a stall aptly named Paella! As the stall holder said, whilst battling the gigantic paella pans “its worth the wait” and it really was, a generous portion of healthy seafood paella cooked to perfection, absolutely divine… its just a shame that they haven’t developed their online marketing strategy just yet otherwise we’d be more than happy to point all you lovely people straight in its direction!

Finally, continuing the Spanish theme, (we just couldn’t resist) it was Churros! Churros! Churros! and if you didn’t have a chance to sample any there, here’s a fantastic video showing you how to make it at home!

Remember its not just these few stalls that are on show at the Real Food Festival. Some of our other recommendations are:

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 Craft Beer Rising which is traditionally a festival at its brewery in Brick Lane but hosted a number of yummy beers at this festival too…well worth a sample or seven!

Battersea Pie  which is great British pies using traditional pastry and free range meat – British street food dining at its finest with food sourced from our fair Isles.

Grays and Feather a delightful taster of some fantastic world wines sold in quirky bottles and fantastic additions to any dinner table… all you winos out there will relish in this treat!

So there you have it an action packed food festival full of tasters from worldwide cuisine ready to get your mouth watering!

The Real Food Festival runs every Friday – Sunday right next to the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, so make sure you check it out!