From egg-shaped concert halls to skyscrapers reminiscent of big pairs of pants, China’s top cities are famously full of curious monuments to architectural ambition. But as land prices in the main metropolises have shot into the stratosphere, developers have been scrambling to buy up plots in the country’s second and third-tier cities, spawning a new generation of delirious plans in the provinces. President Xi Jinping may have issued a directive last year outlawing “oversized, xenocentric, weird” buildings, but many of these schemes were already well under way; his diktat has proved to be no obstacle to mayoral hubris yet. From Harbin “City of Music” to Dezhou “Solar Valley”, provincial capitals are branding themselves as themed enclaves of culture and industry to attract inward investment, and commissioning scores of bold buildings to match. Even where there is no demand, city bureaucrats are relentlessly selling off land for development, … [Read more...] about Put us on the map, please: China’s smaller cities go wild for starchitecture
Blue gold restaurant pacific city
The Sheffield that rolls alongside The Full Monty’s opening credits is a city of industry and clean air, hard work and culture, discotheques and football. “Thanks to steel,” the voiceover tells us, “Sheffield really is a city on the move.” These were the boom years. The rolling mills and forges employed around 90,000 of the city’s half-a-million population. In the city centre, the “Hole in the Road” (or Castle Square, as it was officially known), with its subterranean passageways, escalators and tropical aquarium, embodied a city looking towards a rosy future. But that was 1971 and the promotional film, Sheffield: City on the Move. Fast forward more than a quarter of a century, as The Full Monty does, and many of those earlier jobs have been lost. The Hole in the Road has been filled in. It’s these redundancies that underpin The Full Monty’s plot, catalysing Gaz, Horse, and the rest of the lads’ decision to, as one man … [Read more...] about Cities in culture: has Sheffield finally shaken off its Full Monty image?
CHELSEA have slammed Fifa for "choosing to treat Manchester City entirely differently" amid the successful appeal of their transfer ban. After the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced their two-window punishment for breaching rules on signing underage players, the Blues were given the green light to enter the January market. However the club released a statement on Friday questioning how they were dealt with compared to Premier League rivals City. It read: "Chelsea is grateful to the CAS for the diligent approach that it gave this matter. The club has not yet received the written reasons for CAS’s decision but wishes to make the following clear: "The approach taken by Fifa to this case has been deeply unsatisfactory, not least as Fifa chose to treat Chelsea entirely differently to Manchester City for reasons that make absolutely no sense to Chelsea." Their fury centred around City stretching out their own underage signing breaches so that they were judged under the 2019 version … [Read more...] about Chelsea take incredible swipe at Man City and Fifa after they have two-window transfer ban reduced after appeal
Salt, 8 Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6HB (01789 263 566). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £70-£110 Paul Foster is living other chefs’ fantasies. He has the thing they all want: the small but perfectly formed restaurant where he can be himself. From a distance he has made this look effortless. I’m sure it wasn’t. I first ate his food at a hotel in Suffolk I had never heard of back in 2011, where he was ravaging the river banks for ingredients, pairing roasted chicken wings with brown shrimps and laying pieces of hake on swollen beads of bright green tapioca, flavoured with fiery wild watercress so it looked like frogspawn. There was a poise and balance to his cooking that won him a bunch of awards, including the Observer Food Monthly young chef of the year award. Which is obviously The Only Award Worth Winning. He went from there to a country house hotel and onwards to this spot in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is his own, or the modern … [Read more...] about Salt, Stratford-upon-Avon: ‘I have skin in the game. I want this place to be great’ – restaurant review
Tuddenham Mill, High Street, Tuddenham, nr Newmarket, Suffolk. Tel 01638 713 552. Meal for two, including wine and service, £120 Stand back. I'm going to propose a theory: that the most innovative cooking in this country happens not in London, but outside it. The capital obviously lays claim to having the greatest concentration of professional, solid, occasionally thrilling restaurants in Britain. I won't lie about that just to make people in, say, Swindon, feel better about themselves. But, with a few exceptions – Jason Atherton, Nuno Mendes – it's not where the chefs are pushing boundaries. In big cities, chefs are too busy competing with each other for custom to turn in on themselves. For that you have to get out into splendid culinary isolation: think Sat Bains in Nottingham, Simon Rogan in Cartmel, David Everitt-Matthias in Cheltenham, even (in the beginning) Heston Blumenthal in his little pub on the Bray high street. Only away from the herd is it possible for … [Read more...] about Restaurant review: Tuddenham Mill