St Tropez Naturals

A little light tan can go a long way. And we don’t mean sticking your head in a chocolate fountain and shaking off the slack – no one wants to see a dirty protest all over your face! – but a pleasant patina of colour. You know, take the edge off, make your pearly whites pop, stop you looking like Nicola Roberts, that sort of thing.
And St. Tropez, who are our absolute favourite colour providers until someone else bribes us, have added a new – what are we calling this? – range to their – what are we calling this? – collection of – what are we calling this? – goods. Called St. Tropez Naturals, they have done a very clever thing; combine natural ingredients (didn’t see that one coming, did you!) like pomegranate extract and grape seed oil with the active (and naturally occuring!) ingredient vegetan to create a colour that is gentle and subtle, won’t leave your bed sheets looking like the Turin Shroud or that perennial piece of toast with the image of the baby Jesus on it, and will make you look scientifically more beautiful. In a natural way.
After all, pale is only interesting if you’re interesting, and no one wants that sort of pressure. Not in January.

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The Jake Party: Cavendish Club

cavendish club

You’ll have to agree that we’ve been on a bit of a roll of late when it comes to events and our next one looks like we could have another smash hit on our hands. We’re holding it in the already luxurious but now totally done up surroundings of the Cavendish Club, which you may know as No. 5 Cavendish Square, host to many gay goings-on in the past. As well as the usual drinking, carousing, card-swapping and maybe even cab-sharing, this time we are looking forward to welcoming Ivan Massow, who will be talking about developments at Jake (it’s all good!) and other projects he has under his hat. The date for your Smythson/Hello Kitty diaries is Thursday 8th September aka next Thursday and the free welcome drinks will be uncorked at 6.30pm. Click here to RSVP.

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The Play: My City

My City Tracey Ullman

We know Tracey Ullman as the rubber-faced star of Girls On Top, The Tracey Ullman Show, Three of a Kind and a fairly dodgy Woody Allen film. Now we will be able to get to know her as a serious actress – sorry, female actor – as she treads the venerable boards of north London’s Almeida Theatre (sidebar: The Almeida restaurant next door really is rather good, you know). The play is My City, it’s by Stephen Poliakoff, it’s about teachers and there will be very few laughs and strictly no funny face pulling. It’s about running into a very influential teacher years later and finding they are actually much darker than you remember. Which we think sounds like excellent stuff. It all starts next Thursday, 8th September and you can get your tickets here.

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The TV Drama: Appropriate Adult

Appropriate Adult Emily Watson

There’s nothing like a quiet Sunday night in with a glass of something dark and fruity, maybe a delicious bar of something high in cocoa solids and a quality drama on the box. We’ll leave you to select your own high-end snacks and beverages, but we will point you in the direction of Appropriate Adult, a two-part drama that has been smeared in controversy ever since it was commissioned. It’s the story of the social worker who – having just made her kiddies’ tea, the way they do in Gloucester – was assigned a man in custody who, it was felt, didn’t have enough going on in the upstairs department to face the police on his own. That man was serial killer and torturer and general freak of the week Fred West. Starring Dominic West as Fred and Emily Watson as the social worker, it’s a dark, dark thing, the last part in a sort of trilogy that included dramas about The Moors Murderers and The Yorkshire Ripper – and is well worth a watch on Sunday, ITV1 at 9pm. And don’t forget the second part next Sunday.

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The Film: Days of Heaven

Days of Heaven, Terrence Malick

One of the most gorgeous films of all time, back when Richard Gere was still the handsomest man in the world and director Terrence Malick didn’t feel the need to bore the living bollocks off of us, Days of Heaven is back on the big screen. It’s the basic and brilliant story of a couple who pose as brother and sister to get work on a Texas farm in the early years of the 20th century, but things take a dark turn when the farm owner falls in love with her and… Oh, we don’t want to give it all away. Suffice to say it is visually delicious, has arguably the best soundtrack of all time and performances that make you despair over the fact that Ryan Gosling can be considered a major movie star in this day and age. We really will be the judge of that. See it at the Curzon Soho (we’ll add a link so long as you promise to drop your prices. £3 for a handful of Gummy Bears?!) or as part of the Terence Malick series down at BFI Southbank.

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The Exhibition: The Power of Making

V&A, The Power of Making

Some people would have it that we only plug the V&A’s new exhibitions because we’re on their permanent launch party list and they don’t ‘alf know how to put on a launch party (the champagne never, ever runs out!). What else is true is that the V&A is just about our favourite museum in the world. We even love the chandeliers in the cafe! And even truer than that, is the V&A‘s next exhibition entitled The Power of Making. This one celebrates, well, just gorgeous things as made by the fair hands of real people going about their business, as well as those who call themselves ‘professional designers’. Featuring over 100 exquisitely crafted objects from around the world, it’s an eclectic mix including a towering prosthetic suit for Stephen Hawking (you can never be too careful!) made of Japanese steel, a high-heeled shoe guitar (multi-tasking!), to a, okay, not quite sure what that is… Anyway, it’s a whole bunch of loveliness, it’s on from 6th September until 2nd January 2012, and we may even stop drinking our champagne to take a look and nod in all the right places.


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The Book: Peter Ackroyd, The History of England Volume I

Peter Ackroyd, The History of England Volume 1

Peter Ackroyd – variously described as ‘London’s Official Biographer’, ‘The Official Biographer of London’ and ‘London’s Biographer, It’s Official!’ – has a new book out. Which is a big ol’ deal in terms of historical tomes. And an even bigger deal seeing as we’ve had it up to here with David Starkey *reaches very high*, so there’s now room on our bulging shelves for a sturdy work on British history. Enter Ackroyd’s The History of England, Volume I: Foundation (perhaps through a cloud of dry-ice) which covers – with mind-blowing erudition – the history of this green and pleasant and as we go to press warm and sunny land, from the Neolithic period up until the death of Henry VII in 1509. It’s a whopper of a period, but Peter portrays it with such colour, movement, flourish and panache, you’d think it was all for real!
Oh, and there are five more volumes to come. Bang goes our social life!
Oh, and another oh… Peter Ackroyd is giving a talk next Thursday, 8th September at the Southbank Centre, but seeing as that’s the night of the next Jake party no one of merit will be there. Even Peter’s not confirmed yet.

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