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This Month: March

6 March 2014 | Josh Barrie

It’s thirsty work, booking tickets – fortunate then that the London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival will soon be upon us!

Now it’s March – the traditional door to daffodils – many of us will be hoping spring isn’t too far away. In true British cynicism however I somehow doubt such worldly kindness, so here are some picks to enjoy this month that are delightful, and indoors.

It’s been a wonderful 12 months for cinema. With the awards season just coming to a close, some of the most exceptional works for a generation have been in the spotlight.

But one spectacle’s drifted nonchalantly past the melee – despite being one of the most hyped movies since trailers first aired last year. Wes Anderson’s latest project, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is set for release on Friday March 7. It’s got a cast to rival any other and a story that promises all the intrigue, colour and oddity so typical to the American director.

Starring the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, the resoundingly wonderful Bill Murray (even for just a tender minute) and just about everyone else, the queues are likely to be sizable this week. There are a handful of advanced screenings on March 2, according to filmdates; at the Picture House in Greenwich, Clapham and Brixton, as well as Mayfair’s and Richmond’s Curzon. But even if you catch it later, the likelihood of nourishment remains.

It’s thirsty work, booking tickets – fortunate then that the London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival will soon be upon us. It’ll be the 30th occasion and it’ll no doubt deliver.

Craft beers are all the rage at the moment and lagers are very much a part of the microbrewery, hyper-local revolution. But so too are the real ales, the bitters – and these tipples of tradition are integral to life. What’s more, cider’s often overlooked this side of the country. It shouldn’t be.

The festival runs from March 12-14 at the Camden Centre and is said to be a “celebration of all things real ale, real cider and imported beer”. It’s run by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and is set to host a “bar dedicated to the expanding number of London breweries, new and old”. It’s open for free between 12-3pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and 5-10.30pm on Friday (£3.50).

One thing a pint does is remind me of my dad. So too does Johnny Cash. It was excitedly reported last year the singer’s estate intended to release a new album, Out Among The Stars, this month, after uncovering unheard songs recorded by the country legend alongside Billy Sherrill in 1981 and 84. And after a long wait that time’s finally upon us.

His son, John Carter Cash, said the discovery was a thoroughly enjoyable one. He told the Associated Press: "We were so excited when we discovered this. We were like, 'my goodness, this is a beautiful record that nobody has ever heard.’”

Cash’s son goes on to say he believes the work highlights his father’s voice in its “prime”, featuring 12 hidden gems previously stashed away and ignored by the musician’s label at the time, Colombia Records. It’s hard to believe such a sentiment however, especially when a duet with wife June is on the bill, and another with Waylon Jennings.

It’s due to hit shelves and digital platforms on March 24 and is sure to be an album worthy of adding to any collection. To many it’s likely to be more: a real treat and privilege to have the opportunity to listen to those gritty, hard-line tones that defined a scene and brought so many to the dusty south of America.

Before that final week hunger pangs may well encroach. Good then that the Albany in Deptford’s still running its Yam Yam, an engaging celebration of Asian cuisine and its artistic interpretations.

The centre explains: “Throughout this time the Albany is championing growing projects and sustainability whilst bringing together some of the most inspiring artists working with food for a festival celebrating the things that happen when we eat”.

The festival’s running until March 15 and a new “work-in-progress” called Man From Fukushima would prove an apt way to investigate the Far East. It’s “about a man who believes he has been transformed into Godzilla following the Fukushima nuclear power station disaster. A story of loss, survival and a beloved monster,” reports The Albany.

There are two more cooking workshops scheduled too, on Wednesday March 5 and 12, while later this month, on Saturday 15, an “intimate culinary theatrical adventure” is to unfold, inspired by Vietnam. There’s more information on the Albany website.

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