Red Velvet, Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, London

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The very best of British theatre! Lolita Chakrabarti’s play; Red Velvet, creates an exciting experience depicting crucial points in the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American actor, famed for his performances in nineteenth century Europe. The dialogue and mise-en-scène is encapsulating and powerful throughout. Adrian Lester, who plays Aldridge beyond my expectations is in a class of his own. I sincerely hope this production makes a come back, as it is unreservedly outstanding from start to finish.

The Langham, Regent Street, London

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The Langham is undoubtedly first class, five stars and unquestionable classy. The staff at The Langham are of the highest calibre: well trained, professional and warm. The outstanding rooms and facilities are a rare treat for one and all. Breakfast at ‘Roux at The Landau’ is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Treat yourselves to the sublime.

Nile Valley Contributions to Civilisation, Anthony Browder

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An outstanding introduction to Egyptology, or as I can now say with profound understanding, ‘Kemet’. There was no ‘Egypt’ prior to the Greek use of the word ‘Egypt’, Africans referred to their land as Kemet, that is, the Black Land.
Browder presents a text that is concise, easy to access and simply marvellous. Africans, intellects and those of you with unbiased minds, consider the truth that Egypt, before it was named so, was the first important contribution to civilisation as we know it. Yes, black African kings, queens, scientists and mathematicians whose influences exist today. Share this text with pride.

Fish Works, Marylebone High street, London

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This lovely little eatery on Marylebone High Street was a pleasant surprise. From the outside you’d be correct to think the place was simply a small fish market. Nonetheless; tucked away behind this–is a rather pleasant restaurant serving a scrumptious variety of seafood to excite the palate. Ok, so the staff were pretty ordinary, no special service offered, but the meals on offer make up where the people skills are lacking. Aside from this, this restaurant is a little delight! It’s a bit on the pricey side but a rare treat.

Native Son, Richard Wright

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Incredibly frustrating, yet impossible to put down. Yes, I was torn, torn between the unpleasant tale of the scurrilous brute Bigger Thomas, who murders the daughter from a rich white family, followed by an elaborate fast-paced plot to conceal his crime. The narrative worsens as Bigger goes on to murder his girlfriend, a young black girl, who he fears will reveal his doing. With exception to the first 30 pages, Wright creates an unbelievably encapsulating 1930s drama. Not a book I’d recommend for the faint hearted, and certainly not one suitable to the younger reader, however; credit where credit is due, Wright (as usual) writes with stunning effect.

A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

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This book is simply genius. Burgess creates a unique piece of work that’s completely in a class of it’s own. The language is unique and richly entertaining. It’s a collection of odd, futuristic dystopian dialect. You’ll find yourself whilst reading this text (and after) making reference to ‘droogs’, ‘glazzies’ or ‘to tolchock a chelloveck in the kishkas’! My favourite of all though, is reserved for reference to the young ‘devotchkas.’
You’ve probably heard about this text through the famously banned film depicted by Stanley Kubrick. Luckily I wasn’t in the position of seeing the film before reading the book which allowed my encounter to be unbiased, without fear or favour. I will certainly read this again before I die! Recommended by the girlfriend…Well done, I say.

The Beach, Alex Garland

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Alex Garland delivers what is undoubtedly a superb piece of writing. Rich in narrative, description and imagery, the story centres on the discovery of a select community, hidden away on a secret Thai lagoon. Richard, the main protagonist, is caught in an exotic spiriting adventure, where the inhabitants of the beach fight to keep their precious secret location from the outside world, ending in an ultimate fight for survival. This novel is fast paced, written with conviction and an unquestionable intelligence. A lifetime must read.

9/11 Memorial, New York City

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Incredibly tasteful. The victims have been honoured with a profound and lasting memorial. New York City has undoubtedly gone the extra mile to leave a lasting legacy for those who survived, were effected or all who simply remember the day that changed the course of the modern world. Definitely worth seeing if you’re in NYC. The architectural magnificence of the two memorial pools will move even the toughest of souls. Well done NYC.

Upper Class, Virgin Atlantic Airways

Flying Upper Class is something everyone who usually flies Economy yearns for so there was nothing more pleasurable than being directed to the FRONT of the plane, rather than the back with the rest of the cattle, when we boarded. In our seats (which turns into a bed) we were offered a drink of our choice and then the attendant returned to ask us what we wanted to eat from a menu. In Upper Class you do not have the pleasure of a Cabin Crew member plonking down a truffle of food before you; instead you can choose what you want from a menu. The choices are good and the food was tasty considering how high we were in the sky. All in all we enjoyed the experience because you can sleep easily and relax more. My only gripe is the tired-looking decor that seemed to cry out for a bit of sprucing up.

Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, Cuba

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Sun, sand and relaxation! This resort is rather lovely. We spent a glorious week relaxing on the beach, reading, chatting and swimming in the sea. The resort claims to be 5 stars, but by western standards we’d place it at the lower end of 4. The food lets the place down a bit, but we half expected this, as the Cubans struggle to gain access to the things you and I take for granted. If you’re searching for an exclusive get away, to a country like Cuba – to spend some alone time with your partner, then Paradisus is a great start. Choice of 5 restaurants and decent all round facilities.