During this lockdown period we’re constantly on the look out for something a bit different to entertain us.
Nick Shottel keeps us busy with his round-up of the best books, TV shows, documentaries, podcasts and playlists…
FROM BENWELL BOY TO 46TH BEATLE… AND BEYOND – by Bob Smeaton
Bob has been a customer of ours on-and-off since we opened. The book tells the story of how he started off in a local pop group called White Heat and went on to work with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John and The Rolling Stones, producing films about them. He, alongside another regular customer of ours, Geoff Wonfor, produced the definitive anthology of The Beatles. A read jam-packed with anecdotes and humour. Some of you will recognise some of the characters spoken about, even one who has an unequalled love of Cointreau… if you know, you know!
WINE AND WAR: THE FRENCH, THE NAZIS AND FRANCE’S GREATEST TREASURE – by Donald Kladstrup & Petie Kladstrup
It tells the story of France’s courageous, clever vintners, who protected and rescued the country’s most treasured commodity from the Germans during the Second World War. A really amusing and informative read.
SAVE ME TOO – On Sky Atlantic catch-up at the moment is Save Me Too, staring Lennie James as a father searching for his missing daughter. The first series is also available on catch-up.
GANGS OF LONDON – Another Sky Atlantic series worth a watch. It’s fast-paced, action-packed and – word of warning – it’s absolutely brutal!
BRASSIC – A really entertaining series that should be watched before the second one is released online this week. This Sky One show stars Michelle Keegan and Joe Gilgun and is a dark comedy with some real laugh-out-loud moments to lighten the mood.
STILL GAME – One for those of you who have access to Netflix – and for those who ‘get’ Scottish humour.
INDUSTRY-BASED DOCUMENTARIES – There are some tremendous industry-based documentaries out there at the moment, such as ‘Chef’s Table’ and ‘Cooked’. There is a film called ‘Uncorked’ about a guy who wants to train as a sommelier, much to the dismay of his father who wants him to carry on the family’s Memphis BBQ joint.
DESERT ISLAND DISCS – You all probably consider yourselves too young to listen to Desert Island Discs. I know I did! Anyway, I was scrolling through BBC Sounds on my phone, looking for something to listen to – and happened on a Desert Island Disc podcast featuring Ian Wright. I found it really entertaining and, in part, quite moving. The podcasts only have a portion of the chosen ‘discs’ so it is all about people’s stories. I enjoyed the podcast so much that I started going through the D.I.D. archive and found loads of interesting stuff. There were programmes featuring lots of chefs including Marcus Waring, Angela Hartnett and many others. There is even one with a good friend of Terry and me, Anton Edelmann.
VINES ON THE FRONT LINE – I also found an interesting podcast on there called Vines on the Front Line, which was about the vineyards of the Bekka Valley in Lebanon.
THE ART OF THE MENU – There was another interesting podcasts called The Art of The Menu, which is about the power of the menu and highlights the tricks and secrets within it.
ROUND THE HORNE – If you like classic comedy, there’s no end of vintage stuff that’s still relevant today and extremely funny. A classic that I really like is called Round the Horne and is primarily a sketch show that has a running joke through it. At the time, this show really pushed the boundaries and laid the foundations for a lot of comedy shows to follow.
In the last newsletter, I shared a playlist that was bit more alternative to my usual taste, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same. This time, I’ve put one together that I’m sure you will agree is a bit more ‘me’.
It’s entitled SOCIAL-DIS-DANCING – DISCO. I hope you enjoy it! Check it out here: open.spotify.com/playlist