Penguin Random House has partnered with Esquires Coffee for BAFTA-winning TV writer Ruth Jones’ debut novel launch.
Esquires Coffee, the ethical community focused coffee brand, is launching a brand new trio of of ice-brewed drinks just in time for summer! It launches on 22nd June so make sure you head on down. The 3 drinks were Black & Tonic, Iced Chocolate and Iced Raspberry & Vanilla tea. Continue reading →
In October, members from Coventry Bloggers were invited to attend a discounted pottery painting party with The Cool Pots Co at Esquires in Coventry.
The Cool Pots Co
The Cool Posts Co is a newly established mobile Pottery painting company managed by April. She provides pottery painting sessions for:
April only created The Cool Pots Co Facebook Page on 23 April 2019. And it’s already proved tremendously popular, she has attracted 984 followers in about 6 months! That’s amazing, why don’t you give her a follow to help get her past the 1000 mark?
Our Pottery Painting Party
During our pottery painting party, we had a relaxing two hours to design and paint a mug and/or a coaster.
Before I started, two hours seemed like plenty of time. Afraid, I am a bit artistically challenged when it comes to painting. So, I spent two hours quietly concentrating on trying to perfect the paws on my mug. As a result, I sadly ran out of time to paint my coaster.
This masterpiece took me two hours! I’m a photographer, which means that I like to try and make things look their best. Can you tell?
I would suggest that you think about what design you plan to paint on your pottery before your painting session with Cool Pots Co. You can draw your design in advance and copy it onto your mug, plate or coaster.
If you are a bit artistically challenged like me, the good news is that April will draw a design in pencil for you. So, you would only need to paint!
Bespoke designs & Commissions
The Cool Pots Co has a vast range of figurines, plates, mugs, plaques, clocks, posts and more.
Prices start from £8 up to £35, which includes glazing and kiln firing.
April studied Illustration, so her drawings and designs are fabulous! I probably should have told her what I wanted and asked her to draw my design because I am a little bit better at the calming art of colouring in.
Despite my low-level painting skills, I had a great time during our pottery painting session and I think my paws mug looks pretty cool.
Art activities are relaxing, and a popular mindfulness tool. Whilst I was focusing deeply on the task of painting, other thoughts and anxieties drifted away. One of the reasons I love photography is because it often helps me de-stress and focus my mind on the beauty before me.
Group bookings for painting parties
Fancy a few hours focusing your energy on feeling calm and creative?
All of the Coventry Bloggers who attended our pottery painting party with The Cool Pots Co had an enjoyable, arty, and relaxing evening.
In addition to being an incredible painter and illustrator, April is super organised, extremely friendly, and great with families and children.
Why don’t you organise a pottery painting party with The Cool Pots Co? Or commission a special Christmas Gift for a loved one?
The custom-made eat-as-you-go healthy food group, Wok to Walk, opens the hottest show in town with its first restaurant in Coventry on Friday, 15 November.
Wok to Walk prides itself in offering something a little bit different, serving simple, sizzling Asian food in a flash. The new restaurant, in the heart of Coventry at 2 Cross Cheaping, has created 11 jobs, seats 38 and will be open until late every night.
Wok to Walk aims to give customers total flexibility and involve them in the cooking experience through the use of open kitchens.
Explains Wok to Walk’s Coventry manager, Hassan Kamara: “We’re about firing up fresh, healthy ingredients, before your very eyes. Customers design their recipe picking the base, ingredients and sauce of their choice, and we stir it on the spot. All sorts of cravings are welcome: our 3-step menu has thousands of possible combinations!”
Hassan added: “But that’s not the only thing we’re known for. We’re also referred to as the hottest show in town! Our fearless wokkists love to play with fire, and that’s what they do while cooking customers’ delicious custom recipes. There are options for everyone, from vegans to meat lovers. Each meal is prepared in less than five minutes, so it is fast but, make no mistake, this is not fast food.”
Wok to Walk offers rice and noodle bases cooked with a choice of meat, fish and vegetables, with a selection of sauces stirred through. Options include udon noodles with prawns, bamboo shoots and teriyaki sauce, and brown rice with tofu, broccoli and Asian hot sauce. Meals can be eaten inside or taken out.
Wok to Walk’s first restaurant opened its doors in Amsterdam in 2004 and is now one of the leading noodle food groups with over 70 outlets around the world. It has restaurants in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Reading.
Santa Claus is back in town this Christmas with Imagine Theatre’s festive family show Santa’s Dizzy Day returning to the Belgrade Theatre. Last staged at the Belgrade in 2014, this interactive, song-filled production offers little ones an ideal introduction to the magic of live theatre.
Aimed at kids aged 2-6, Imagine Theatre’s popular Santa shows have fast become something of a seasonal tradition for Coventry families, each one including a chance to meet Father Christmas himself and receive an early Christmas present.
Previous shows have included Santa’s Sparkly Surprise, Santa’s Mixed-Up Martian, Santa’s Polka dot Pirate and Santa’s Rusty Robot all written by Belgrade panto legend Iain Lauchlan, drawing on his extensive experience in the children’s entertainment industry. In addition to his 25 years writing, directing and performing in pantomime at the Belgrade, Lauchlan created the BAFTA-winning children’s series The Tweenies, and has worked on a wide range of other successful television programmes including Playdays, Fun Song Factory and Fingermouse.
Iain Lauchlan said: “I think it is really important for children to be introduced to theatre at a young age, and even more important that they have a wonderful experience. Santa’s Dizzy Day has been specially designed to get them involved in what is happening in the show, shouting out and joining in with the songs before meeting Santa at the end.”
Coventry-based Imagine Theatre specialises in pantomime and children’s theatre, co-producing the annual Belgrade panto, as well as creating its own shows and supplying sets for productions across the country.
Steve Boden, Managing Director of Imagine Theatre and producer of Santa’s Dizzy Day, said: “Since our ‘Santa’ series first began five years ago, it’s been wonderful to see them go from strength to strength, receiving fabulous feedback from families who have taken their children to see the shows. This year, we’re delighted to be returning to the show that started it all off in 2014, and introducing the story to a whole new audience of little ones.
“Running at around 45 minutes long, it’s great for children who are just a bit too young for panto, combining a Christmas show with a visit to Santa – although in my experience, the adults seem to enjoy it just as much!”
Santa’s Dizzy Day shows at the Belgrade Theatre from Thursday 12 until Tuesday 24 December. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or visiting http://www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.
I have never heard so many people singing along to a show that was not a concert and I loved it!
A multi-award winning West End show, we follow the life of Buddy Holly and his phenomenal rise to fame in just 18 months, culminating in his astounding final performance at Clear Lake Iowa.
What a show! With so many talented actors and musicians, it’s hard to know where to start. Everyone flawlessly played their roles, embodying stars of the past and the people around them. While all the actors shone, a particular mention should go out to Harry Boyd, our narrator who played multiple roles from the radio host to the producer who gave Buddy his big break. He moved seamlessly between roles and a range of accents, making the transitions between roles effortlessly and believably.
Christopher Weeks, playing Buddy Holly, was an uncanny likeness to the late star, his voice and musician skills perfectly embodying the role. He brought an innocence to the role that truly presented Buddy as he was, believing that his talent was made for more than small time music, while remaining humble when he reached fame. Between the friendships, romance and passion, Christopher Weeks portrayal of Buddy made him endearing and admirable.
Along with the actors, the music was brilliant, making me want to jump out of my seat and dance. Thank goodness we finally got that chance at the end, when everyone in the audience was up on their feet and singing their hearts out.
From the 50s costumes to the sets, it felt like I was really at a concert back in the day, especially during the second act.
Whether you are a Buddy Holly fan, a lover of the 1950s or even don’t know anything about him, go Johnny go to the Belgrade Theatre and watch this show.
Runs at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry until Saturday 9th November 2019
The boots have been filled for Belgrade’s panto of the year, Puss in Boots!
Writer and director, Iain Lauchlan, returns with his 25th panto for the Belgrade Theatre, along with a brilliant cast that are sure to have us feline great during this festive season (it’s November, so basically Christmas and yes, do expect many cat puns to come).
Lauchlan returns alongside Craig Hollingsworth, back on stage as Matilda and Simon Puddings, a son and mother duo journeying in search Puss in Boots to help them save their village of Baggy Bottom on the Bog from cat-astrophe, as it is threatened by a treacherous ogre and his notorious henchman, played by Peter Watts.
Cast in the infamous role of Puss in Boots will be Joanna Thorne, who Belgrade panto fans will recognise as Sleeping Beauty’s Prince from last year. Aiding our heroes will be Aimee Louise Bevan, acting as Fairy Flutterby who wants to defeat the villainous pair.
Miriam Grace Edwards, a recurring actor in B2 alternative Christmas shows, will play the role of Princess Sophia, with her father being played by David Gilbrook, otherwise known as King Collin.
Along with the ensemble roles done by Ema Astarloa, Dylan Hones and Daniel Teague, they will be supported by a Junior Chorus of local children aged 9-16.
If it is anything like Belgrade’s previous pantos, then it is sure to be the purrfect event to get you feeling ready for the festive season. Full of hilarious hijinks, fantastical costumes and a classic story retold, Puss in Boots is not one to be missed.
With a cast like this, Puss in Boots is sure to be one that will leave you feline great!
Now the cat’s out of the bag, go and book your tickets today.
Puss in Boots shows at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry from Wednesday 27 November until Saturday 11 January.
An emotional rollercoaster from the start, My Beautiful Launderette followed the story of Omar (Omar Malik) and Johnny (Jonny Fines), two young men trying to find their place in the world and prove what they are worth, all while previous feelings are being rekindled between them.
Set against the backdrop of London during the Thatcher years, My Beautiful Launderette explored sexuality, gender inequality, cultural conflicts and many other topics that were revolutionary for the 1980s, when the screenplay was originally released.
From the moment I walked in the theatre, I was curious to know what was happening. Amongst the grey, graffitied set was a man in bed, while three other men lay on the floor, before the show even began. Everything about it was visually stunning, capturing the midst of London one minute and hopping to several different households the next. The set was brilliant, constantly being moved around and completely transforming the scenes.
The true stand out of the play were the actors. Each perfectly captured their role, whether they were playing one or multiple characters. Omar and Jonny played their characters in a way that slowly built up the romantic tension, making the audience root for them and eager to confess their feelings. Though their relationship was a secret, it was one of hope for a better future and showed the tender side of their characters, as well as laddish banter.
While the main focus of the play was their relationship and building up their business, the sub plots really stood out, each leaving you wondering how they would resolve throughout. From Tania (Nicole Jebeli) determined to break the traditional female role to Nasser’s (Kammy Darweish) unraveling affair, every moment challenged ideas of tradition, love and cultural tensions. Each topic was flawlessly dealt with and left me thinking long after the play was done.
If you are a fan of the screenplay, romances or just looking for an enjoyable night out, go and see My Beautiful Launderette at the Belgrade Theatre. It is sure to leave you with a warm feeling and tears in your eyes.
My Beautiful Launderette runs at the Belgrade Theatre until Saturday 2nd November 2019
Catch a glimpse of the fallow deer or the bucks bellowing or sparring as part of a guided tour with the Park & Gardens team at Charlecote park.Tickets are £20 each
26 October: Coventry Continental Food Market
Join Igers Coventry & Warwickshire for a foodie themed instameet at the Coventry Continental Food Market as part of the Festival Before the Lights.
Coventry BID team are veery kindly providing 30 instagrammers with a complimentary food voucher! Never been to an instameet before? Well now’s your chance. Make sure you book your free ticket via this linkto secure your food voucher!
27 October: Pumpkins R Us
If you haven’t picked your Halloween pumpkin by now, you best hurry! Dawn, who is another one of our Amazing Authors, recommends picking a pumpkin from your local pumpkin farm rather than the supermarket. You will find a much bigger choice of colours and sizes!
31October: Dead of the Dead Festival and Bonfire party
Umberslade Farm Park are having a Day of the Dead Bonfire Party. Gates open 4.30pm, Bonfire lit at 6.30pm, Fireworks at 7.30pm
If you go in Fang-tastic Fancy dress you will have the chance to win a Family Farm Pass!
The Day of the Dead Bonfire Party will be a frightful delight for all of the family. There will be Dia de los Muertos Skeletons, fire dancers, their Dead Famous Family Silent Disco and a Live Mariachi band.
It is one of the largest bonfire & firework displays in the Midlands. This means that there are a lot of people there and it can feel quite crowded. There are a number of food stalls in the grounds, but these can also tend to have long queues.
The Carnival of Lights is a new event for the calendar this year!
It is a Lantern Procession which starts at Foleshill Community Centre at 5.15pm. The Lantern Procession will head into the City Centre and finish in Broadgate. There will be floats, live performances, and Bollywood dancers with LED umbrellas. It sounds rather fabulous!
This is a free event, and you can watch the procession from various points along the route.
There will be Victorian themed market stalls, crafts and Victorian fun fair rides. And, the lights will be switched on at 7pm.
30 November: Wreath Making Workshop
The Herbert Art Gallery are hosting a wreath making workshop, you need to book tickets for this event. Tickets cost £26 but the Herbert Art Gallery are providing materials, and you will be able to develop your wreath making skills for every Christmas after.
There’s another festive Victorian Christmas market with a Dickensian theme in Stratford Upon Avon. It will have traditional gifts, street food stalls, vintage fun fair rides, and a variety of entertainment.
Coventry Bloggers were invited to the opening night of Frankenstein at Belgrade Theatre and I decided to go for it as I haven’t been to the theatre in ages and I love a good horror (it’s especially perfect for October with the run up the Halloween).
I arrived a little early so I had a bit of a wander of the theatre, it was so cosy with the bad weather and darker nights drawing in and I ended up with a glass of wine, sitting at one of the tables just observing what was going on before heading over to pick up tickets.
The show is in the B2 auditorium which I’ve not been in before, it’s much smaller than the main stage but I really liked it, it made the show more intimate and really suited what we were there to see. The stage was set up to encompass a variety of landscapes (office, house, boat, forest) with books and a wingback chair ready for the performance.
From the moment the show started it managed to capture an eerie atmosphere which maintained throughout but also had humour to it. The story was being told from the perspective of the writer which wasn’t what we were expecting but worked well. A fact I know but always forget is that Frankenstein is the creator not the monster! It had its jumpy moments but I’d say not to be put off if horror isn’t normally your thing, it was creepy without being terrifying and we had a great night out.
I don’t want to give away any details of the show because it’s one that is much better to watch than be described and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anybody going to see. It is one I would recommend seeing whether you are somebody going to the theatre regularly or someone like me that wanted something a little different to do with my evening.
Now that Autumn is well and truly here, it’s time to cosy up on the sofa under a blanket and drink lots of hot chocolate! This is my favourite thing to do once the colder weather and dark nights come around, but I also like to try and keep active as much as possible too. Dark, cold nights don’t really give you the motivation to get yourself to the gym after work, so I have something that might help …
The past few weeks I’ve enrolled at Rebel Manifesto Aerial for their beginner aerial classes and it’s made working out so much fun. I still go to the gym throughout the week, but my aerial classes are the workouts I look forward to the most now.
Rebel Manifesto Aerial is ran by Luka Owen, the loveliest person I’ve met! She’s an amazing aerialist and such a great teacher. She makes everyone feel welcome and is really supportive (both mentally and physically!). I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to do much in my first class, but Luka had me doing beginner moves straight away and then I was hooked. Each week since I’ve been slowly progressing and I’m even putting together my own hoop routine at the moment! There are nets, silks, trapeze and a hoop there and you get to learn them all.
Don’t be put off because it looks hard and/or scary. The beginner’s classes are great for easing people in gently. They won’t expect you to be able to jump straight on a hoop and then do a backflip dismount (if that’s even a thing, which it probably isn’t haha!), they’ll do some easy moves with you first to ease you in. Everyone then learns at their own pace and Luka will give you all individual things to practice during classes, as well as a few group exercises.
You have that much fun at these classes that you forget that you’re even working out. I’ve been going to the gym regularly for the last 4 years or so and even I’m working muscles that I didn’t even know I had! It’s great for improving your strength, flexibility and core as well as getting your heart pumping and all while you’re learning a new skill and having fun.
I have a little bit of a dance background, so I know the structure of learning moves and putting together routines already. However you don’t have to have any kind of dance/aerial/gymnastics practice at all. People of any age and ability can join in and are welcomed into the group with open arms. The girls in my class are all super lovely and I’ve never met a group that are so supportive of each other. Cheering each other on and congratulating each other on accomplishing that special move is compulsory! 😊
The sense of accomplishment you get at the end of a class is addictive. It’s so amazing to be able to go home and show my fiancé the new moves I’ve learnt and also moan about the new bruises I’ve acquired too! I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of myself as often as I have been over the last month and I love it.
If you’re looking for something to get you motivated to get moving this winter then this is your thing! It’s such a fulfilling class and will ensure that you’re excited to get exercising. Luka has the best energy and is such an amazing teacher that I’m sure you’ll be hooked just like me. You can get in touch with Luka through their Facebook page here or through Instagram here to book classes.
Earlier this year myself and Pete discovered the Ballroom Climbing Centre in Coventry City Centre and it’s developed into a regular place to be for us. My husband climbed when he was younger and really wanted to pick it back up again. I enjoy climbing but thought I’d just be a now and again climber but I end up coming with him most weeks!
The centre is brilliant, it’s bouldering which is what we enjoy most and it’s a great space with plenty of diverse routes to suit all levels (I am definitely beginner!). They change the routes too so it gives you plenty to come back for.
The atmosphere is so friendly as well, the people who work there are lovely and all the climbers are so friendly. We’ve joined a bit of a group but even when we come on our own there are plenty of people happy to talk and help of you want help with a route. It’s quite nice spurring each other on too, there is plenty of encouragement and I’ve know there to be cheering when somebody completes a route they’ve been struggling with.
Some days are busier than others but there are benefits to each. When it’s busier you sometimes have to wait a turn to go on a wall (although this is never too long as there is plenty of room) but there is more of a social element. When it’s quieter you pretty much have your pick of any wall so if you want to repeat a route to figure it out then that can also be fun.
They do classes which I’ve not been to so can’t say what they are like but there are beginner, intermediate and coaching to choose from as well as a ladies night on Wednesdays.
The routes are graded from V0 which is easiest and as the numbers go up, the harder it gets. I’m on V0 & V1 which are plenty enough to keep me entertained. I’m writing this post at the centre whilst Pete does a bit of extra climbing and there is a route that has been my nemesis. It’s on an overhang and I don’t quite have the strength, technique or mentality for it! Tried it a few times and can only get to a certain point (pictured below). It’s great to persevere with it though and I know I’ll get there at some point! There are a few routes I’ve thought I’d not be able to do then loved it when it be gotten there.
What I really enjoy about climbing is not just that it’s keeping me physically active but mentally active too. There is quite a bit of thinking involved to figure out routes and sometimes I need a bit of help but feel quite proud of myself when I manage to figure it out.
I’d really recommend for anybody to give it a try if you want to try something a bit different. They are on Instagram if you want to check out more photos and some videos. Comment below if you do give it a go, would love to hear about how you get on!