Que Sera Sera

Shedding a little light on what our contributors get up to outside the magazine. 

Que  Sera  Sera  documents  a  year  long  FA  Cup  campaign  across  England  with  full  access  to  the  stadiums  throughout  the  competition,  providing  a  looking  glass  in  which  to  view  the  modern  game  beyond  the  glitz  and  glamour.  The  series  is  now  being  turned  into  a  photo-book  with  a  kickstarter  campaign  in  collaboration  with  renowned  documentary  publishers  Bluecoat  Press.  It’s  currently  live  with  only  a  days  to  go  to  make  it  a  reality    kickstarter.com/projects/queserasera/que-sera-sera/

The  FA  Cup  is  one  of  Britain’s  greatest  sporting  institutions. With  a  history  stretching  back  to  1871,  it  is  the  oldest  football  competition  in  the  world  and  still  possesses  huge  cachet  for  players  and  supporters  alike. Photographers  Joseph  Fox  and  Orlando  Gili  saw  the  FA  Cup  as  an  opportunity  to  reverse  the  camera  and  capture  fan  culture  from  the  top  teams  down  to  the  grassroots,  taking  you  on  a  footballing  right  of  passage from  the  perspective  of  the  fans.

Que  Sera  Sera  tracks  the  campaign  beginning  in  mid  August  during  the  extra  preliminary  rounds,  a  few  miles  down  the  road  from  Wembley  stadium.  Following  each  winner  into  the  next  round,  the  two  photographers  travelled  a  combined  total  of  more  than  3,000  miles  over  10  months,  taking  in  13  rounds  and  15  games  (including  two  replays), returning  full  circle  back  to  Wembley  for  the  final. Uniting  every  fan  across the  country  during  each  round  you  can  hear  a  hopeful  yet  resigned  chant  reverberating  around  the  terraces  ‘Que  sera,  sera,  whatever  will  be,  will  be,  the  future’s  not  ours  to  see.’

The  series  of  images  build  up  to  provide  an  anthropological  look  into  Britain’s  obsession  with  football, at  every  level  of  the  game. It  questions  whether  the  country’s  preeminent  domestic  cup  competition  still  retains  it’s  magic,  in  the  light  of  competition  from  top  flight  football  leagues  and  the  European  cup competitions.

France Unseen

Within these pages you will find all things archetypically French, from snow-covered chalets, mighty châteaux and fromage, to every variety of wine a connoisseur could desire. But you’ll also encounter the unexpected – food- inspired jaunts through the Pyrénées-Orientales, journeys across the Alps in the footsteps of literary giants and a coastal road trip that pays homage to the elegance of yesteryear. This is a country of jasmine harvests, market splendour, Parisian decadence, fairy tale islands and adventure; a place to chase light and history and appreciate the marvels of terroir and creative daring. Full of the singular, serendipitous and spectacular, France, je t’aime.

Every issue our talented-beyond-words contributors share with us the most outstanding work. However, being limited by pages we simply can’t print it all. So, we wanted to share with you just a few of the spectacular French images we didn’t have space for – these come from Sarah Arnould, Arturo Bamboo, Tom Bunning, Mary Gaudin, Jim Johnston, Georgina Skinner, Renae Smith, Beth Squire and Angela Terrell.

To buy a copy of our France magazine (or invest in a few back issues) click here.

 

The Old Clare Hotel

Sydney has changed since I left for London seven years ago. It’s still an utterly glorious harbour-side oasis adored for its coffee and cafes, and it still has beaches I yearn for on cold English mornings. But it has become noticeably cooler in my absence. The galleries that were little more than tiny, unknown establishments in my early 20s have flourished and spread, architects are taking greater risks, food is increasingly daring and festivals of light and creativity seem to be on everybody’s minds. This may be the distance speaking, but I love what Sydney has become.

 

This change is most noticeable when booking into the city’s hotels – and Chippendale’s The Old Clare Hotel in particular. Constructed from two heritage-listed buildings (the original Clare Hotel pub and the Carlton & United Breweries Administration Building), this 62 room property, part of the Design Hotels collection, is the warm, light-filled definition of industrial chic. A place that honours its history, embraces Australiana and makes leaving its welcoming, elegant interior very difficult indeed

 

 

Within the hotel’s walls natural tones abound, with each room (all subtly different in design) boasting high ceilings and massive windows. There’s polished wood, exposed brick, marble tiling and gleaming concrete, with glass used in communal areas to invite the outside world in and draw attention to the bones of the original buildings – metal external stairwells transformed into pieces of art and brick walls mirroring the streets beyond. There are pendant lights and vintage furnishings (the dentist chair by reception sets to tone immediately), all of which nod the Chippendale’s industrial past. Colour is added with the use of soft furnishings, which include cushions inspired by Australia’s wildlife and wildflowers and throws you long to secret away. 

 

 

Once a lesser-known haunt coveted by locals and uni students (music posters from its earlier incarnation have survived, which look rather glorious beside the brilliantly retro central bar), the revamped Clare Bar is open to all, with many of the cocktails made from spirits produced by the local distilleries popping up across the city. A rooftop pool beckons on warmer days – the chaos of the city seeming particularly far away – while the attached Kensington Street Social restaurant is the ideal breakfast haunt. Those unwilling to leave the lushness of their rooms are able to sample the fare as part of the in-room dining service. The hotel is also right beside Spice Alley, perfect if you have a hankering for something Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese … I could go on. This is Sydney street food and accommodation done right. Here’s hoping my hometown continues to thrive.

 

theoldclarehotel.com.au

 

São Tomé e Príncipe

Words & Images by Miguel Neves

The sense of stillness is palpable, the scene before me otherworldly. In the archipelago of São Tomé e Príncipe the world is put on hold and time has no need to move forwards; the only real motion is the swaying of the banana trees and the Atlantic Ocean’s gentle waves that roll upon seemingly empty beaches.

This feeling of timelessness – of a land forgotten – is also present in the island’s colonial architecture. The tropical rainfalls of October to May leave their mark on São Tomé e Príncipe. They blemish the facades of the old Portuguese era buildings, leaving room for mould and vegetation to form between their cracks and tiles, blending the work of man and nature. 

Perhaps the residents of São Tomé describe this sensation best with the islands’ motto of ‘leve, leve’, which translates to ‘lightly, lightly’. This seems to capture the idea that life here should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace and that one should not trouble themselves with mundane problems that really do have no place among these parts.

It’s in this communion between man, nature and time that sets São Tomé e Príncipe apart and allows this place to consume you. You can get lost in thought here, free from worry, totally absorbed in a collage of green. You breath, hike up mountains, wander through villages and float in turquoise water, free from time’s constraints.  

Miguel Neves is a travel photographer and videographer from Lisbon, Portugal who imbues his landscapes and portraits with genuine emotion, hoping to not only tell stories but shed light on the deeper connections that bind us to the world and to others.

Follow his work on Instagram @thedeserts and Tumblr

 

Paramount House Hotel

Retuning to Sydney on my annual pilgrimage south there are certain things I need to do. Have a scoop of mint chock chip at Messina, indulge in a burger or two at Harpoon Harry, swim in the sea at Camp Cove, wander the Wendy Whitely Gardens, bask in all things Australia at the Unicorn and, because being a bit of a cliché is fun sometimes, be on Bondi for at least one sunrise.

On my most recent journey back to The Great Southern Land however I found a glorious new activity to indulge in – swapping the spare-bedroom-meets-storage-room I normally claim in my childhood home for a Loft room at the newly opened and utterly gorgeous Paramount House Hotel. This brick and copper-adored structure, in ever-trendy Surry Hills and just a short amble from the transport hub that is Central Station, is a destination in it’s own right. Across the road sit Longrain and Chin Chin, restaurants any gourmand would swear by, and within the building you’ll find Golden Age Cinema and Bar (the ideal date location for lovers of all things a little bit retro), long-adored breakfast haunt Paramount Coffee and co-working hub The Office Space

 

Having once been the offices and warehouses of Paramount Picture Studios, the 29 room hotel, which took four years to fully restore, feels like it comes with creative history. The interiors are warm, almost earthy – there are plants throughout and natural tones and textures abound. You’ll find polished concrete, exposed brick, floor to ceiling windows (in the Loft room at least), rich furnishings, a lift with the best wallpaper in town, French linens you long to secret away and a Japanese style bath made for soaking. The artwork has been curated by the nearby China Heights Gallery, while check in within the lofty lobby comes with a welcome drink – I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the the sour beery from Marrickville brewery Wildflower – and plenty of indie reading material. 

Paramount House Hotel is the work of Melbourne-based Breathe Architecture and you can really sense the love and attention that has gone into making it something distinctive – an industrial-chic hideaway you don’t want to leave. And you don’t have to. Check in, admire the set up, catch a film downstairs, listen to the sounds of Surrey Hills, raid the cheese and wine in the mini bar and bask in the brilliance of one of Sydney’s newest additions.  

Rooms from $240 
paramounthousehotel.com

Photos by Sharyn Cairns & Tom Ross

 

 

 

 

 

Corsican Craft

Words by Kieren Toscan & Photographs by Renae Smith

It was October when we arrived in Bastia, Corsica’s northernmost city. The summer had already left on its annual journey south, taking with it the best of the heat and the bulk of the tourists; a draw I would argue was a win, allowing us to have the still-sun- kissed island all to ourselves. Alas, as a result there are fewer flights to and from Corsica at this time of year and this, combined with vagaries of airline delays, meant it had taken the best part of the day to fly from London. Nevertheless, rest and Napoleonic history were on my mind – even if they required further travel – so my wife and I left the airport to chase the softening glow of the sun west towards La Balagne.

Bastia to La Balagne is not far as the crow flies and, even accounting for the narrow roads that wind and unwind along the way, it should have taken little more than an hour to drive the distance, yet we found ourselves arriving well on the wrong side of two. Traversing the tip of the high granite backbone that runs almost the length of the island proved to be more than we bargained for. But this wasn’t a challenge of conditions, rather one of attention.

No sooner had we started our journey than the landscape began to show us glimpses of its harsh beauty, beckoning us to stop at every turn and marvel at its offerings. Partially covered in dark green, fragrant scrub – which makes up a biome known as maquis – the ranges and peaks seemed to fold over and into themselves, again and again off into the horizon, and grew more indiscernible as the sun receded, almost to the point of confusion. Was that another range? An angry bank of dark clouds making its way towards us? Or something else entirely?

It was harder still to keep moving once the ranges had parted and dropped away to reveal the deep blue of the Ligurian Sea, still sparkling in the early evening light. Bordered in parts by golden sand, topped with the occasional white cap, and finished with gusts of clean, salty air, the scene was one we had known would be bountiful, but was unexpected nonetheless – worlds away from the wintery London we had so recently departed. By the time we reached La Balagne we were wholly enlivened and rendered utterly refreshed, retiring with the travails of travels past a faint memory.

Given our glorious introduction to Corsica, we awoke the next morning greedily wondering what more it would gift us. The answer revealed itself as we arrived in Pigna, a small medieval village of sand-coloured buildings, blue shutters and cobbled alleys, perched on a hillside with expansive views towards the coast. It was here that we had the good fortune to meet some of the artisans of Strada di l’Artigiani – the Artisans’ Road – a serpentine, scenic drive between the villages of La Balagne, conceived in 1993 to help regenerate the region and promote Corsican heritage. Along this route one can find craftsmen and women creating everything from sculptures, ceramics, honey and wine, to leather goods, music boxes, wooden flutes and guitars. Part of the joy of journeying along Strada di l’Artigiani is found not just in the creations encountered but in the time spent with the artisans themselves after you’re welcomed into their workshops, where they reveal just how keen they are for visitors to understand a little more about them, their art and their island home.

Renae and Kieren’s full article appears in the Lodestars Anthology France magazine. You can order a copy here.

 

Postcards from Japan

We returned to Japan this April with Wondertrunk & Co and Polaroid Originals to explore glorious San’in – a lesser known region on the island of Honshu that overlooks the Sea of Japan (bring on the freshest fish we’ve ever sampled) and remains a centre for Kagura (a brilliantly dramatic dance – serpents and all – performed for the gods), craft and Shintoism. We’re working on a custom magazine with Wondertrunk at the moment, but in the meantime, wanted to share some of the polaroids gathered on the road. Getting rather hooked on shooting on vintage film, there’s something about slowing down and rationing your images that makes you see a setting in an entirely new light. Watch this space!

XECO

The blossoms are blooming, the sun is out (occasionally) so we feel like it’s time to update our seasonal cocktail menu. And for this we look to the lovely crew at XECO who have released a collection of sherries that are worlds away from the somewhat dated drink you have come to expect (we’re talking the stuff you want to savour and make the star of your picnic spread, rather than something to hide in a trifle). Yep, XECO is making sherry cool again.

Hailing from Spain’s sun-kissed Andalucian region, sherry is having a bit of a moment right now and the ‘fino friends’ who founded XECO share more than just an appreciation of the tipple, they want to revitalise the drink while honouring its origins. Teaming up with local Spanish bodega Díez Mérito, XECO’s collection includes Fino (crisp and dry) and Amontillado (light and nutty ). Stunning with food, wonderful on its own and kind of perfect in a cocktail!

We’ve also can’t help but admire the the XECO labelling, which captures sherry’s Spanish and English connections – it has been traded between the two countries since the 13th century. Two sketched historical figures from each country (created by Ben Rothery) adorn the bottles (meaning they’ll make rather wonderful vases when the time comes) – historic feuds, friendships and unions beautifully re-imagined. Here are a few of our favourites and, as promised, a few cocktail recipes too!

To invest in a bottle (or three), click here.

“On Sherry: The destiny of a thousand generations is concentrated in each drop. If the cares of the world overwhelm you, only taste it, pilgrim, and you will swear that heaven is on earth.” Pedro Antonio de Alarcón

 

 

Food, Life and Love with Antonio Carlucio

Interview by Liz Schaffer & Photographs by Tom Bunning

Very sadly Commendatore Antonio Carluccio OBE passed away in November last year. We hope you’ll enjoy reading this interview with him, first published in Lodestars Anthology Issue 4, Italy. 

Proudly declaring himself to be a cook rather than a chef (by his own definition a chef is professional while a cook does it for passion), Antonio Carluccio was the quintessential Italian about London. Driven by his zest for food, life and Italy, it was the passing on of wisdom that inspires much of Carluccio’s work. Arriving in England via Austria and Germany, where he worked as a wine merchant for almost a decade, Carluccio launched a fleet of eponymous restaurants, ran some of the capital’s culinary icons, became a BBC fixture and was awarded an OBE, which he retitled his Order Boletus Edulis – the Latin name for mushroom, his signature. Young at heart, Carluccio’s enthusiasm was invigorating; proof that life should be lived in the pursuit of pleasure, ardour and flavour.

Your background and training are quite unconventional. Can you tell us about this and how you came to be a cook?

I was born on the Amalfi Coast and was the fifth son of a stationmaster. [We were] transported up North where I grew up near Asti, then I moved a little further up and worked for Olivetti. At the time Olivetti was something fantastic but I didn’t like it very much and I was thinking I could holiday on the Riviera and [there] I met an Austrian girl and we fell in love. She came to work in Olivetti and when my youngest brother died in 1960 she said, “why didn’t I come to Vienna?”.

I cooked all the time because in Vienna to have the food my mother used to [make] I had to cook. I remembered what she was doing because in Italy when you are the young son you participate in everything.

In Vienna I started to cook what I knew. I didn’t know very much but I cook and cook and I’m sharing it with friends and frequenting bohemian cafes. You meet incredible people and I like art so I met Oskar Kokoschka and Max Ernst and we were sharing pasta. I was having fun and cooking all the time. It was only when I came to England in 1975 [and] I was still cooking, that my ex-wife [suggested], “why you don’t [enter] the best cook competition of The Sunday Times?”. I did and I was in the final but for me it wasn’t professional, I was a wine merchant, but funnily enough the press began to contact me. For them I was ‘the Italian’, flamboyant and believing in mushrooms and pasta, and so I was in the press.

At the same time my ex-brother-in-law Terence Conran, the owner of the Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden, asked me to run the restaurant and I said, “look I don’t cook, I don’t do administration, but I will be there doing the restaurant and running it”, which I did. Then came the BBC and I did quite a [few] food and drink programmes. My first Italian series was going to Italy doing twelve half an hours in all the regions. The other series was with Gennaro Contaldo but I did quite a lot in between and I was also writing books. I can’t stay doing nothing.

Do you think people are drawn to the Italian attitude towards food?

Italians live for food. When we were children going to school in the morning you’re already preoccupied by what you would eat in the day. It was the end of war time and the question to other children was “what will you eat for lunch?” and after the meal it was “what did you have for lunch?”, constantly. I remember in the afternoon, when you’re boys you do things, sometimes we were stealing a cabbage from the field and cutting it very, very thinly. Somebody [brought] olive oil, somebody a bit of vinegar and salt and pepper and we were making salad with bread. It was the best salad ever.

Is there an ethos or technique that sets your food apart?

I created a motto for my cooking, ‘mof mof’, minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour, and as such I don’t go to the lengths to elaborate on food because the most important thing is the taste. If you have the taste the look can be indifferent.

In fact we have items in Italy called brutte ma buone, ugly but good; fruit, even biscuits, that show you the possibility of the flavour. I dedicate everything to that which is obtained by regional food. Italy is famed for its 20 diverse regions.

What do you think makes them so distinctive?

Italy was unified in 1861 but I think in spirit each region is a country. You find culture in Italy from everywhere because each one was coming, the French, the Persians, everybody, to Italy. Even Alexander the Great was there. They united Italy in 1861 but there are different languages, different dialects, different customs. But they are united in thinking of the food as one of the best things.

They may be united by a love of food but is there still competition between the regions?

Between little villages! If somebody makes a dish someone in the next village will say, “ahh but I do it with this and this and this”. Immediately there is a conversation. I remember as a child if you were encountering somebody on road and it was lunchtime you would say, “do you want to have lunch?”. It was very simple. They would come home with you. So this is the attitude of the Italian, they really care. I always say that Italy has two or three million Michelin starred chefs, they’re all the housewives.

What do you love most about Italian cooking?

The Italians, what they have in front of others, the Germans, Austrians, English, French, is the attitude. I remember when we used to live in the train station my mother would say, “go downstairs and see if the trains are departing on time” in order to put the pasta in the water so that when papa was coming up the pasta was perfect. When you grow up with this sense of procedure and [significance] then you know food is important. She was really thinking to please other people because cooking for others is an act of love.

[Because of the various regions and diversity] I think that Italy has a more complete menu. There are 600 shapes of pasta and each can be done as a specialty with a special sauce, special ingredients. Italians want good taste and they’re prepared to use all those wonderful shops. In Napoli especially there were shops selling only pasta, and the pasta was loose, not in packets but in drawers, and all the leftovers were put into one ‘special’ and this is for pasta e fagioli – bean soup with pasta – which is wonderful, all bits and pieces. So they really have fun. While other nations have fun in eating the Italian has fun in thinking and imagining it.

What advice do you have for prospective chefs?

You have to desire food, not being greedy but being discerning about what you eat, and pay attention and love your food. If you don’t have those three things you stop cooking because there would be no point, it would just be a job, no fun. Food, it’s not only preparation but fun in eating. It’s good for the brain, for the body, the spirit, for everything.

 

 

Park City Mountain

By George Lavender

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Ansel Adams

George Lavender is a designer and art director based in New York who grew up on England’s South Coast. Having spent much of his time in cities – both New York and London – over the past few years he finds himself compelled to get away from his desk and head into the wild whenever possible. Many of his adventures revolve around snowboarding and the mountains, which means hiking trips in the Welsh hills or clambers over the boulders of Norway are never far from him mind. A creative at heart, he inevitably finds original ways to capture these daredevil jaunts. 

Find out more about George and his travels here: george-lavender.com

“Snowboarding is such a well documented sport in this day and age, it’s almost impossible to scroll through my Instagram feed without seeing several tweaked grabs or cork spins. However, having just purchased a new (old) 35mm film camera, I wasted no time in booking my own snowboarding escape and snapping away during my trip to Park City Mountain, Utah. I’ve always been fascinated by the moments of pure stillness and tranquility in the mountains, the kind that stop you in your tracks so you can just take a minute to appreciate your surroundings. That’s the quality that shooting rolls of film teaches you, make every shot count and take it all in.”

All images shot with Olympus XA2 on Kodak portra 400.