‘Dispute’ the world’s first live mediation theatre production

A new theatre production that sees mediators resolving a dispute on stage between actors debuts at the Hen and Chickens Theatre, Highbury on February 18th.  ‘Dispute’, the world’s first live mediation theatre production, sees improvising actors playing people locked in a range of compelling high-stakes real-world disputes. Between the two sides are two professional mediators who run the show exactly like a real-life mediation.  The outcome is entirely uncertain and unscripted.

Dispute by Mediator Maria Arpa and David Ellis

Dispute by Mediator Maria Arpa and David Ellis

Neighbours at war, family break-ups, business deals gone wrong, warring staff, gang conflicts and more will be covered during the show’s run at the North London theatre. All are based on fascinating true stories of conflict that are explored and resolved through the mediation process live on stage.

Mediator Maria Arpa said:  “It’s like improv on steroids.  Our cast have carte blanche to react as they feel they would if they were their characters in a real life dispute. In the throes of a real dispute there is no option other than to be authentic and it will be fascinating to see in-character actors become their characters in strangely overwhelming ways.”

Dispute is produced and directed by Chris Head.

Read more here centreforpeacefulsolutions.org


Dispute by Mediator Maria Arpa and David Ellis flyer.jpg

It’s like improv on steroids.

Hen and Chickens Theatre

109 St Paul’s Road

London N1 2NA

18th Feb, 25th Feb, 4th March, 11th March,

18th March 2015 @ 9.30pm

Tickets £10 – www.unrestrictedview.co.uk/buy-tickets/theatre

Chez Boubier Cafe de Paris Entrecote Steak in Knightsbridge

So good to find a place where things are done properly. I mean steak, and lots of it. Drenched in a ‘secret’ butter that is known the world over but originates from a 1930s cafe in Switzerland. Monsieur Boubier invented a butter enhanced with multiple spices, herbs and other ingredients giving birth to the “true” Cafe de Paris Butter.  The recipe was passed down through the family into the Cafe de Paris at 26 Rue du Mont Geneva.

The original Cafe De Paris in Geneva

THEN – The original Cafe De Paris in Geneva

There are branches throughout Switzerland, in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Madrid and Stockholm. Finally it’s in London on Brompton Road Knightsbridge and we got to try it out.

Chez Boubier Entrecote

NOW – Chez Boubier 232-236 Brompton Road, London SW3 2BB

Simple menu. No pages of choices. And of course we were there for the steak. It’s a set menu –  fresh green salad, 180 gram entrecote steak with three servings of French fries for £24.95.

Red wines start from £19 a bottle.

Green salad at Chez Boubier


Chez Boubier Cafe de Paris Butter Entrecote Steak Knightsbridge

quality steak cooked gently at your table – dip the chips into the butter for the full taste experience

We are told that this butter can’t be replicated in any kitchen and so is driven  in a refrigerated van from Geneva every six weeks. The steaks are ‘pure entrecôte’, meaning they are cut from the heart of the sirloin with no fat, and dry aged for 28 days for taste and tenderness.

We won’t mention the calor gas smell reminiscent of camping holidays because the result of melting the butter and gently heating the meat at the table is a perfectly cooked steak and a bubbling, delicious butter. Hardened arteries not withstanding this is a fantastically satisfying meal.

Tarte Tatin served with vanilla Ice cream £5.50

Every 40 minutes Edith Piaf comes around – on the CD at least. Wonderfully attended to by Head Waiter Lars we made the most of a real Cafe de Paris experience.

Chez Boubier Knightsbridge interior restauarant

unmistakeable Parisian bistro feel


Chez Boubier is located at 232-236 Brompton Road and serves lunch and dinner Monday to Sunday from 12pm – 11.00pm.

Read more here  www.eatcookexplore.com

Tantalising Toronto – Travel Review

Here’s a quick round up of easy wins in Toronto.


Art Gallery of Ottowa
Thanks to some campaigning,  the remarkable Group of Seven are given due prominence in showcasing the artists’ style and wilderness of magnificent Canada.


The permanent Ken Thompson collection is a must see in Toronto.


Alex Colville Canadian Artist

The special exhibition  of Alex Colville only runs  until 4 Jan 2015.

The Bata Shoe Museum
Step into the history and style of shoes at 327 Bloor St. West, in downtown Toronto.


This well laid out storytelling exhibition traces our feet and footwear from the beginning of time.

Over a thousand shoes and related artefacts (from a collection numbering over 13,000) are on exhibit -and many celebrity shoes from Marilyn to Madonna, Queen Victoria to Elvis.

Factoids like Roman Emperor Caligula got his name from the shoes he wore.

Beautiful shoes from the tribes of northern America through to the Inuit and their seal skin boots.


Shoes for a raindance

These boots are worn by a native American tribe for a rain dance – the purple cloth symbolises the thirsty tongue hanging down desperate for water.


Reindeer boots

Reindeer skin boots from Inuit tribes embellished with beads gained in barter.

Cleverly it’s not a showcase of the illustrious Bata brand – you can check them out in the department stores on Bloor Street.

Food Heaven
Bagels, bagels, bagels – crispy on the outside and soft within try the Gryfe ones.


Poutine fries with gravy and curd cheese. Lip smacking ly good – let the cheese melt into the gravy to get the full effect. New York Fries is good.

Oh my Momofuko has to be one of the coolest and tastiest places to eat ‘Chinese – infected’ food.


The duck buns are to die for. Crispy moist duck with hoisin in a pillow of divine softness.


Lots of dishes come with lettuce leaves not pancakes to make up the tasty bites. Cold pickled cucumbers are melted with finely sliced bird chillies to give a ice and fire mouthful.


Momofuko, opened late 2012, is  collection of eateries. We tried daishō perched in a glass cube in the heart of downtown toronto, the three-storey building is also home to noodle bar, nikai, milk bar and shōtō. Upbeat soundtrack and samurai inspired decor give this place world class punch.

Address: third floor
190 university avenue
toronto, on m5h 0a3

Summerhill supermarket in upscale Rosedale.
At 446 Av Summerhill, Toronto, ON M4W 2E4

So popular you have to queue to get in. Kitchens upstairs create an incredible range of fine prepped food – tasty Montreal spiced steaks, chicken with dijon marinade and even pre foiled baking potatoes.


No visit to Toronto is complete without the hour and a half drive to one of the Wonders of The World – Niagara Falls. It’s $18 to park the car and there are boat trips and fairgrounds but essentially it’s nature at its most magnificent.

Cool laid back city – New York run by the Swiss.


James Bond Spectre To Be Filmed in The Austrian Tirol

007, the most famous secret agent in the world, will start filming the 24th Bond film, Spectre, in the Austrian Tirol. Daniel Craig, will play Bond for the 4th time, embarking on his alpine adventures in the ski resorts of Sölden, in the Ӧtztal and Obertilliach, in the East Tirol region. This is the largest film production ever to be made in Tirol.


James Bond to take to the slopes here in Obetilliach

Visit Tirol James Bond Location Obertilliach

The British production company “B24″ will begin filming over the next few weeks As well as lead actor, Daniel Craig, other stars of the 24th Bond film include Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux, led by Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (“American Beauty,” “Revolutionary Road” and “James Bond – Skyfall”).

Since January 2014 suitable filming locations were pursued around the world, including in Norway and Italy. Eventually the locations of  Oetztal and East Tirol were chosen. In August the production office was set up in Sölden, ready to co-ordinate the filming, which starts mid-January to February 2015. A total of 22 filming days is planned in the Tirol, and at its peak the film crew will consist of 500 people, including 150 local filmmakers covering various positions.

The impact will be huge: taking into account production costs, with accommodation equivalent of 26,000 overnight stays, and meals, as well as transportation, accommodation and salaries of the local crew it is estimated that 6 million euros will be spent in Tirol.

Even though this will be the first time that agent 007 will be filmed in Tirol, there is an enduring connection between 007 and the region. Ian Fleming, the author of the Bond novels, lived in Kitzbühel in the 1920s and studied at a private school.


Geographically not part of northern Tirol, the village of Obertilliach is located in the Lesachtal of East Tirol and remains largely undiscovered to the UK ski market. Located at 1450m, the village has a population of just over 700 inhabitants and the small skiing area is popular for beginner skiers and families as well as a centre for Nordic sports.

To learn more about the East Tirol and its ski resorts


For more information on the Tirol region www.visittirol.co.uk

or keep updated at www.facebook.com/visittirol or @VisitTirol on twitter

MORE: Video What is Spectre and who is Ernst Stavro Blofeld – 60 seconds

READ MORE ABOUT previous James Bond locations TURKEY and vehicles from Honda

Wasp – Movie Preview from debut director Philippe Audi-Dor and Blue Shadows Films

Love stings, and how! Wasp.

A beautiful film set in the sun-soaked, insect and flower strewn Gordes in Provence.

An old family house is opened up to a new summer with the two lovers and one of their friends. It’s evocative of the scents and sounds of a rural French retreat.

Calm yet disturbing, where all manner of games, sex and the refrain of an old chanson fill the air with tension.

Writer-director Philippe Audi-Dor offers a new voice in cinema whether it be visually, sound or through story telling. This one is semi-autobiographical, the director’s debut, it’s magnificent with stunning attention to detail and mastery of the art of cinema. And a film where everyone deserves credit including Editor Alexis Steele with crisp cuts and Director of Photography  Pablo Rojo who brings to life juicy limes that sting the eye.

Philippe says “I want to create films that make people feel as though they are not alone, because something about that story, those visuals, that sound, or whatever else, echoes deep in them.”

Wasp is the story of Olivier and James’ romantic break in the South of France stung by the arrival of Caroline. Relationships are questioned; sexuality tested.

This is a break out movie for all involved –  with delicious performances, by turns funny, poignant and destructive from the cast of three – Hugo Bolton (James), Elly Condron (Caroline) and Simon Haycock (Olivier).

Proving that indie cinema can be as winning as main stream releases.

Wasp by Philippe Audi-Dor, Stars: Hugo Bolton, Elly Condron and Simon Haycock

Behind the scenes of Wasp by Philippe Audi-Dor, Stars: Hugo Bolton, Elly Condron and Simon Haycock

Made on a miniscule budget of less than £30,000 and shot largely in the director’s envy-inducing own home in Provence, Wasp is a great example  of  a  product  of  ‘Generation  Digital’. Flying out to Cannes with the producer, Merlin Merton, they sold the film to one of the leading independent sales agents in Paris, Wide Management, all based on a very early cut proving the idea  is  what  matters,  and  being  clever – films don’t need to cost hundreds of thousands to get noticed.

Directed and written by Philippe Audi-Dor

Produced by Merlin Merton at Blue Shadows Films and international sales from Wide Management – going to cinemas in 2015.


Elly Condron and  Simon Haycock in Wasp

Elly Condron and
Simon Haycock in Wasp

Watch out for it. 

Read another REVIEW of a ‘generation digital’ movie – the Oscar-winning Searching for Sugarman.


A pink neon ‘A’ marks the spot. Confusingly so, for a new Peruvian-inspired restaurant called Pachamama.

It’s a new incarnation on, let’s call it the lower slopes of Marylebone, Thayer Street.

Founded by an anthropologist with an eye for branding and the chap who used to run the same spot when it was known as SamarQand. The chef, Tom Catley, is not Peruvian and there wasn’t a hint of Peruvian inspiration to be discovered apart from the cartoons in reception.


It’s eerily quiet, with the few customers tucked away in the back room, and the staff are pleasant. We’ve got the place to ourselves at 12 30 on a Christmas Thursday lunchtime.


Plates are £6 each, small and made for sharing. The lunch menu short, makes for salivating reading and service quick.


The food was either bland or salty – rocks of the stuff. The sea bass ceviche,  which should have been the invigorating
highlight,  a nice enough portion and quality fish but had only a passing acquaintance with flavour. This was bunny not tiger territory.


Skewers of chicken and veal could have been from the Greek place down the road – their granular spicing mercifully dampened by the celeriac mash.


The ribs were tasty as was the duck. If a little the wrong side of crispy.


But the  quinoa that couldn’t be rescued by a Granny Smith apple.


A watery old fashioned slash negroni – sorry Rosa del Inca a pisco infused with pink peppercorns and Volcano coffee beans, vermouth, Campari, orange bitters  was nicely made and presented but had the look but not the taste – a British pisco made with British ingredients just doesn’t have the bite.

And there’s the rub. Using locally sourced produce to get something vaguely Latin is a challenge. Kent tomato salsa anyone?


The decor is eclectic –  bashed walls, perhaps from trying to get that horse down there, an attractive long run bar and good lighting are fair enough.

It’s lain undiscoverd since 15th October but it’s a tomb where even mother earth can’t hear you scream.


18 Thayer Street

020 7935 9393

PopTails – cocktails on a stick

If you’re a fan of cocktails and you love a bit of cake, then you’ll like PopTails – cocktails on a stick!   Bite sized balls of sponge infused with alcohol on a stick to give them more of an adult twist.

To find out more about PopKakery™ visit us at www.popkakery.com

PopTails from PopKakery

There are four flavours: Pina Colada (coconut and pineapple flavours infused with rum); Cosmopolitan (berry flavours infused with vodka); Mojito (lime and mint flavours infused with rum) and Tequila Sunrise (orange flavours infused with tequila).

Strictly for the over 18’s, they are sure to get the party started early.

If the alcohol doesnt give you the rush the sugar will.

Available to order now  www.popkakery.com or call on 0203 3970529.

To find out more about PopKakery www.popkakery.com