Top image: still, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ (2019) dir. Quentin Tarantino
We bring you our guide to living well in the world’s capitals, from exhibitions to cinema, food, drink, fashion, music and beyond. Just call it culture and take it, it’s yours.
LONDON, FRIDAY 23rd August – SUNDAY 25th August 2019
Bright lights and dark secrets
First up this week, we’re plonked right in the middle of Tinseltown for Tarantino’s ninth movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Set in 1969 – that tipping point year between the Summer of Love naivete and the horror of the Manson murders and the Rolling Stones’ Altamont gig – we’re introduced to TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). As the world changes around them, so is the industry they adore. His career in decline, Dalton is thrilled to learn that two of the hottest new stars in Hollywood, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, have moved in next door to him… And we all know what that means.
In typical Tarantino fashion, it’s a full-blooded (in more ways than one) romp with plenty of pop culture references to keep an eye out for.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is out now.
Not to be sniffed at
Ever wondered what the London streets smelt like 200 years ago? Us neither. But a new exhibition at Valence House Museum in Dagenham offers just that. Tracing the story of Barking’s industrial past through smell, stick your hooter in and take a deep whiff. Apparently sewage, fish and the scent of a fizzy pop factory are on the menu. Yum.
The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition runs at Valence House Museum until 6th November.
GET YR ‘STRIPE ON at Notting Hill Carnival
Jerk chicken and a can in hand is the way for the world-famous street party. Roll with a soundsystem and feel it. (Sunday is kids day and Monday is adult’s day, FYI).
Sunday 25th and Monday 26th August, 9:00-19:00, Notting Hill, London W12
An alternative Notting Hill Carnival
Not feeling Carnival this year? No worries, here are a couple of left-field options to fill the sonic void.
Japan’s finest Bo Ningen are in London this weekend for a special intimate gig at The Shacklewell Arms. Not familiar with their music? Think of it as a psych sound bath that’ll confront all your senses and send them doolally… in the best way possible. With frontman Taigen Kawabe’s aptitude for totally losing it on stage – honestly, it’s a sight to behold – this will be one hell of a night. Not convinced? London five-piece Shame will be on DJ duties into the early hours. Still not convinced? There’s just no helping some people.
Next option: nip down to Lion Coffee + Records where Never Heard Of Ya are putting on a triple-threat line-up featuring Rainn Byrns, Malady and MEAT. All excellent, all worth your time. Plus it’s free, what more could you want.
More information here.
Pub grub done good
The average total scoff at Notting Hill Carnival usually works out at around 10,000 corn cobs, 15,000 fried plantains, 1 ton of rice & peas, 1 ton of Jamaican patties, 12,000 mangoes and 25,000 bottles of rum. Stomach-achingly good, but when you’re shovelling it down you’re being elbowed in the face by a parade goer or five it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Need a lil sanctuary from it all? We’ve got just the place. Dip into the Compton Arms in Islington for some grade A comfort eating. Boasting a new refurb by the team behind The Gun, they’ve brought in culinary wizards Four Legs who have worked their magic and conjured up some top grub. Taking traditional British meals and giving it a spin, there’s potted shellfish, mussel and bacon broths and chicken scratchings. But the pièce de résistance is definitely the house burger – honestly, it’s special.
And here’s a little tidbit for you, the pub used to be one of George Orwell’s top hang-outs and even inspired his famous Moon Under Water essay. Now there’s an endorsement.
The Compton Arms is located at 4 Compton Ave, N1 2XD.