Forget detoxing this January, it’s a miserable enough month as it is to deny yourself the pleasure of a good cocktail. However, if you are being lured to the dark side, then never fear, a fabulous Fountain of Youth cocktail, created by Russian Standard Vodka, may be the answer to your prayers.
This fresh and fruity cocktail includes delicious pomegranate juice which contains three times more antioxidants than green tea or red wine. Drinking pomegranate juice helps keep blood vessels from hardening, bring more oxygen to the heart and prevents bad cholesterol from being deposited on the arteries.
So how do you make this magic drink I hear you ask! Just follow the steps below…
35ml / 1.7 fl oz Russian Standard
40ml / 2 fl oz Pomegranate juice, fresh squeezed where available
20g / 0.7 oz thinly sliced ginger
Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice
Double strain and pour into a martini glass
Garnish with a piece of ginger and pass a mint leaf around the glass rim
Tired of your New Year’s Eve plans never living up to expectations? Forget all the usual disappointments this year and head to Cologne! Here you can celebrate the start of 2011 in true A- list fashion with a Red Carpet Evening at the glamorously grand Excelsior Hotel Ernst. Located in the heart of this stylish city, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst is offering the ultimate New Year party package – guaranteed to make you feel a million dollars and see in the New Year with a bang.
You can indulge and enjoy a selection of innovative gourmet cuisine, exclusive drinks and a wide selection of music to dance the night away. There will be enchanting piano music to set the mood, as well as live music from Cologne band Brings to get you up dancing!
Each area of the hotel will be completely accessible for you to relax and be absorbed into the magic of New Years Eve, and there is a range of culinary highlights on offer: including a kitchen party in the award winning Asian fusion restaurant Taku, where you can take a journey through Asian cuisine alongside a live DJ.
Also on offer is the chance to discover original French specialities with regional influences prepared in the famous Hanse Stube restaurant. Throughout the evening, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst will offer a range of champagne, cocktails, wines, and of course Kölsh beer. A delicious dessert buffet within the inner court yard of the hotel is also available if you have room!
Bring in the New Year in sumptuous surroundings and the upmost decadence at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst, and enjoy the varied ambience on offer. The individual culinary experiences will tickle your taste buds, and this unique Red Carpet evening will mean that you are carried into 2011 feeling like a star. Be dazzled by the fulminous fireworks which can be viewed in front of the hotel and celebrate the New Year with a bang, set against the spectacular back drop of the stunning Cologne Cathedral.
Red Carpet Evening at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst will begin at 7pm on 31.12.10 and you can book the New Year’s Eve package for €379 pp based on a double occupancy, and €399 pp for a single occupancy. The package includes an overnight stay in a comfortable room, the Red Carpet Night at the hotel on New Year’s Eve including access to all event locations as well as all food and beverages. Also included in the package is a New Year brunch and a late check out at 3pm. Further overnight stays are available at the hotel and rates start at €200. All reservations can be made by contacting email@example.com.
When I was invited to attend the Russian Standard Vodka Originals Pop-up Bar Party at the Vinyl Factory on Poland Street in London’s Soho, held last Thursday, I naturally jumped at the chance! An evening of fabulous, chilled Russian vodka cocktails (The Russian Tea being my personal favourite – bringing back all the flavours and aromas of the Russian samovar, zakuski feasts and the iciest, driest vodka) combined with music from DJ Mr Hudson, Tim from the Filthy Dukes and Sam Bell and a fantastic crowd made for one of the best nights I’ve had out in a long time.
Check out a little video compilation from the event below…
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This year Hungary’s popular music festival, Sziget, will take place on Óbudai Island from the 11th to the 16th of August 2010.
The line-up is as followed:
Kispál és a Borz – last concert
Day 0 Reggae celebration
Toots & The Maytals
Remembering Tamás Cseh concert
Death Valley Screamers
Gentleman and the Evolution
Public Image Ltd.
The Toy Dolls
Thirty Seconds To Mars
World Music Main Stage
Csík zenekar és vendégei
Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird
Dirtmusic és Tamikrest
Los De Abajo
Mahala Rai Banda
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club® és Omara Portuondo
Rupa & the April Fishes
Shantel & Bucovina Club Orkestar
Söndörgő + Ferus Mustafov
Tamikrest & Dirtmusic
Children Of Bodom
Drums are for Parades
The 69 Eyes
The Fear Factory
Black Box Revelation
C-Mon & Kypsky
Gorillaz Sound System
Kees van Hondt
Skip The Use
Vive la Féte
Wildbirds & Peacedrums
Boyz Noize & Erol Alkan
Breakestra feat. Cali2na
Drumcode Night: Adam Beyer & Joel Mull & Alan Fitzpatrick
Sander van Doorn
Simian Mobile Disco
Barabás Lőrinc Eklektric
Heaven Street Seven
Pannonia All-Stars Ska Orchestra
3D Disco (UK)
dBridge, Instra:mental, Sp:mc (UK)
Flore feat. Rodney P (F-UK)
The Smokeeaters (UK)
Flat Earth Society
La Mal Cioffée
An Pierlé & White Velvet
Theatre and Dance Tent
Zita Swoon & Rosas
Reggae Stage & Worldvillage
Easy Star Allstars
Day ticket in advance and on the site: €45
Sziget “Day -1” (9th of August, the Hungarian band, Kispál és a Borz’s last concert) tickets in advance and on the site: €23
Sziget “Day 0” (10th of August) tickets in advance and on the site: €23
More than 2 million visitors are expected to revel at Europe’s largest free party from the 25th to the 27th of June on Danube Island. With over 2,000 artists offering live music across 13 stages: pop, rock, hits, Latin, soul, jazz, blues, hip hop, electronic, hard rock – the festival is once again set to be the place to party this June.
The open-air spectacle will see successful international musicians such as Kim Wilde, Adam Green, The Dubliners, Hot Chocolate, Amy McDonald, Aura Dione and Pendulum perform with Vienna as their stunning backdrop.
Locals including, Austrian superstar Rainhard Fendrich will also perform his greatest hits, while the Seer are a tip for their fan community. While DJs such as DJ Tom Snow will provide the right house sound.
In addition, there will be more than 250 catering stands on the 4.5 km-long party strip, offering a range of culinary delights and accompanying drinks – from juicy steaks and crispy grilled chicken to freshly drawn beer and cool cocktails.
The Polish city of Krakow is getting ready to celebrate Midsummer Night in style in just over a month’s time. The ever-popular Wianki Festival will mark the occasion on 26 June this year as Cracovians acclaim the summer solstice with parties, special events, bonfires and the symbolic floating of wreaths or wianki or the Vistula River.
The festival traces its roots to a peaceful pagan ritual where maidens would float wreaths of herbs on the water to predict when they would be married, and to whom. By the 19th century the tradition had become a festive event and it continues to this day.
As well as the official floating of wreaths, there will be musical performances, dignitaries’ speeches, fairs and fireworks by the river bank opposite the imposing but beautiful Wawel Castle. Poland’s top pop stars will be joined by international acts including British band Kosheen to complete a day (and night) of celebrations.
For those already thinking of their summer plans, one destination and event is particular is right up there: The Garden Festival in Croatia. Set in a stunning 900-year old fishing village on the Dalmatian Coast, it is an area of true beauty, one which festival goers explore to indulge in fine food, adventure and fun, all framed by the festival itself, which again takes place across the first and second weekends of July from 2nd-11th July.
The lineup is indeed taking shape to be the most inspiring yet in the Garden’s esteemed history, with everything from NYC deep disco from Metro Area jousting with the sublime sounds of Floating Points, one of the most talked about acts of 2009 for a string of revered releases and remixes, through to Leeds’ finest deck devil, Dave Beer. One of Scotland’s finest, The Revenge, is set to unleash his fine disco cuts, and since his Resident Advisor podcast his stock has risen even further. Two of the north of the border’s other favourite sons, Subclub’s Harri and Domenic, make their inaugural trips to Petrcane. London’s Horse Meat Disco also star, themselves enjoying their most fruitful year yet, and two late night specialists, Sebo K and Seth Troxler, bring a tech-noir edge to nocturnal proceedings. Of course it’s not just all about the new boys; some already legendary Garden guests also return, including Greg Wilson, Henrik Schwarz, Kelvin Brown, Terry Farley, No’ Fakin and a great deal more also star.
Croatia itself has enjoyed a bumper year as a travel destination, offering everything from secluded coves and deserted stretches of pristine beach to historic and vibrant cities, succulent seafood and an enriching culture of old and new. Many of those who attended one or more of the weekends this year also took time out to explore some of this inspiring and seductive country too. Visit gb.croatia.hr/Home for more info.
What’s what at The Garden festival 2010: the story so far 2020 Soundsystem • Bonobo • Crazy P • Henrik Schwarz • Killer Whale (The Arthur Russell Project) • Tensnake • Trojan Sound System DJ SETS: Adam Regan • Adam Shelton • Ame • Andy Blake • Basement Boogaloo • Ben Terry • Bobby Beige • Borja • Christophe (Redux) • Daddy G • Dave Beer • Dave Jarvis • Deano Ferrino • Discomendments • Dixon • Dolan Bergin • Dom Chung • Ed Cotton • El Diablos • El Harvo • Electric Minds • Emma Chibuku • Faze Action • Faith • Felix Dickinson • Filthy Dukes • Floating Points • Florian Keller • Futureboogie DJ’s • Geddes • Greg Wilson • Hang The Dj • Harri and Domenic • Horse Meat Disco • Ichisan & Nakova • James Hillard • James Holroyd • Jamie Jones • James Hillard • Jimpster • Joe 90 • Karen P • Kelvin Brown • Kid Bongo • Matty J • Metro Area (Darshan Jesrani) • Nick Shaw • No Fakin DJ’s • Ole Smokey • PBR Streetgang • Pete Herbert • Phat Phil Cooper • Qool DJ Marv • Red Rackem • Rub n Tug • Sam Redmore • Sean Brosnan • Sebo K • Seth Troxler • Shur-i-kan • Smith and Mudd • Soul Jazz Sound System • Ste Hodge • Stu Patterson • Subb-An • Terry Farley • The Revenge • Tirk • Tristan Da Cuhna •Yam Who?
Also, Argonaughty Boat Crews are confirmed! Ahoy there me hearties! There will be 20 voyages over the ‘Double Whammy’ period so get your cutlass polished ready, as mutiny, booty and plunder are not far from these here distant shores.
Weekend 1 Argonaughty Buccaneers: Tirk* Sub Club* Asylum/Hang The DJ* Mulletover* Crazy P* Faith* Below*Futureboogie Crews to include Greg Wilson* Harri & Domenic* Junior* Telford* PBR Strretgang* Geddes* Crazy P Soundsystem* Terry Farley* Stu Patterson* Dave Jarvis* Joe 90* El Harvo* Kid Bongo
Weekend 2 Argonaughty Bucaneers: Trojan/Andy Blake* Resident Advisor* Leftoot* Innervisions Crews to include Trojan Sounsystem* Andy Blake* Sebo K* Seth Troxler* Adam Regan* Bobby Beige* Daddy G* Ame* Dixon* Henrik Schwarz
Barbarellas After Parties Confirmed to Date: As per usual there will be some top club nights and hosts planned for next year’s after parties in Barbarellas Discotheque; the opening party will be on the 1st July and is the official start of the 2010 season. Barbarellas will be open from 23.00hrs until sunrise throughout the ‘Double Whammy’ event in 2010 – expect some very, very special guests.
Weekend 1 Club Hosts: Sub Club* Mulletover* Horse Meat Disco
Weekend 2 Club Hosts: Futureboogie* Resident Advisor presents* Freerange
Croatia on Tour: If you want a taste of Croatia in your home country, think about heading to one of the The Garden Festival European Tour Dates starting this February:
Saturday 6th Feb London UK, The Star Of Bethnal Green
Friday 12th Feb Ljubljana Slovenia, K4 with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Friday 12th Feb Brighton UK, Life (tbc) with Horse Meat Disco
Saturday 13th Feb Zagreb Croatia, A secret location with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Saturday 20th Feb Sofia Bulgaria, venue tbc with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Friday 26th Feb Birmingham UK, The Hare And Hounds with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie & after party with the Revenge
Saturday 27th Feb Nottingham, The Maze with The Revenge
Saturday 6th March, The Deaf Institute with El Diablos Social Club and The Revenge
All gigs will feature Garden friends and family, spreading the good word across the continent in anticipation of what is going to be a fantastic summer… Keep checking The Garden Festival for updated information www.thegardenfestival.eu
When one thinks about Russia, be it the feasts of Ivan the Terrible, the European-style banquets of Peter the Great or even the large socio-political functions of Stalin, one conjures the images of excess, indulgence and merriment, all at the expense of the poverty-stricken masses. But the truth is, even with little money, the Russians know how to put on a good spread for their guests. Even those with little will open their door and greet their guests with the offering of a zakuski (закуски in Cyrillic).
Zakuski can be anything from a simple appetiser to a laden table. The tradition began in the decadent Russian manor houses of the 18th Century when the tradition of opening a meal with vodka, bread and cold soups, gave way to open sandwiches, meat and fish. Although the style of food changed, the diet remained relatively the same as before, with the exception of the introduction of cheese.
The Zakuski table would be ready to welcome guests inside from the harsh climate. A bottle of vodka, or more popular among the elite, European Champagne or wines, took pride of place, as did the samovar full with hot tea. Guests were invited to help themselves, mirroring the hospitality the Russians are famed for.
Among the delicacies, guests enjoyed salted cucumbers, sour cream (smetana), pickles, black bread and a simple meat or fish dishes. The zakuski was designed to be quite different to the main meal, so if the main course was to be fish, meat appetisers were provided and vice versa. Ensuring the table was an array of vibrant colours was important so the choice of ingredients was key: carrots, beetroot, cucumbers etc.
Blinis are an ideal component of the zakuski table.
Pilaff is a classic dish for entertaining and can be varied to personal tastes easily. Traditionally, everyone digs in from a big communal dish which makes it great for this time of year when you have visitors for dinner and want to do something a little different.
600g lean boneless lamb stewing steak
5 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp smoked salt
2 carrots, chopped finely
2 white onions, chopped finely
400g long grain rice
1 whole garlic, outer paper removed but left intact/whole
5 sprigs fresh parsley to garnish
Healt the oil in a flameproof casserole dish
Add the lamb and fry, stirring frequently for 10 minutes until brown on all sides
Add the water
Bring to the boil
Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes until meat is tender
Meanwhile, heat more oil in separate pan
Add the carrots and onions and stir-fry for 5 minutes until softened
Add the rice and stir-fry for 1 minute until translucent
Transfer rice mixture to the lamb and add the garlic
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid
Serve the pilaff heaped onto a warmed dish, garnished with parsley
Georgian food is a real favourite in Russia and across Eastern Europe in a similar way that the British are fond of a good Indian curry. In much the same way, Georgian cuisine provides some vital flavours and spice sometimes missing from East European cuisine. So, when I noticed a Georgian restaurant in Kensington, just minutes from where I live I knew I had to visit it. My meal at Ket (also a Georgian restaurnt) in St Petersburg was by far one of my favourites during my stay there, and if I was to eat a meal half as good in Mimino as served in Ket, I would be a happy customer indeed.
Located on High Street Kensington, with its entrance lying on Allen Street the restaurant has a relatively basic facade. However, a staircase leads diners down into a basement which is anything but basic. On arrival the staff are helpful and friendly (and not simply because I somehow managed to slip off the final step and literally fall into the arms of a waiter). The atmosphere is, as to be expected, lively, with many Russians and other East European ethnicities enjoying a good night out. While the decor is dramatic and visitors cannot fail to be shocked by the large round table with giant, wooden, carved chairs fit for a feast in a forest.
The menu is not vast but contains every traditional Georgian favourite and is sure to keep every diner going long into the night, if not the next day! The starters are simply incredible and lead diners on a veritable culinary adventure. Warm Lobio (red beans with walnuts and spices), Sulguni cheese (served with spring onions, radish and herbs) and Imeruli Khachapuri (flat bread stuffed with special cheese) provide the ideal way to begin a dining expedition. As these dishes are so tasty, not to mention particularly generous in size and rich in flavour, diners must be careful to leave room for their main course! It is not easy, trust me!