Now in it’s third year 51st State Festival, the premier event for celebrating the evolution of house music, returns to London’s Trent Park on 5th August with a fantastic line up of heavyweight DJ’s and legendary artists singing live across 6 arenas.
Line-up Announced With MAW, DJ Spen, Wookie, Norman Jay MBE, BeBe Winan, Evelyn “Champagne” King and Barbara Tucker.
Bringing together the sounds of US House, UK Garage, Soul and some Reggae vibes, this year’s line-up will be headed up yet again by the undisputed kings of house, Masters At Work, who will be pushing the main stage to its limits as they lay down a dance music masterclass. Joining the ranks is the inimitable Dimitri from Paris, who will be bringing his distinct fusion house, disco and soul to ignite the main stage, while Backto95 host “Battle” and “Back up back up” hitmaker Wookie will be spinning a history of UKG. Elsewhere, new stage hosts FOUND will be bringing down the Chicago house with the legendary Derrick Carter.
The electric line-up continues on the We Love Soul stage, where the long-reigning queen of disco, Evelyn “Champagne” King, will demonstrate why she deserves her crown. If this wasn’t enough for what is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal events for dance fans across the globe, Grammy Award winning gospel icon BeBe Winans, rare groove pioneer Norman Jay MBE, and falsetto pro Byron Stingily will also be bringing their own visionary sounds to this guaranteed sell-out.
This year’s event promises to be fine-tuned with an easy bar, quicker entry, sharper sound systems and a state of the art production. With tickets already on fourth release, 51st State Festival 2017 is set to lay its own milestone in the annals of dance music history.
If this isn’t paradise then what is?! Barbados. Blessed with sublime turquoise sea, lavish hotels and world-class cuisine … perfect haven for the great escape.
Us D.I.V.A.’s love to travel so I couldn’t resist the lure of Barbados’ 50th Year of Independence Celebrations and frankly, a well-earned slice of indulgence on Sun, Sea and Bajan’s finest Soca!
My journey started along the southern coast of this tranquil 21 miles long and 14 miles wide Caribbean “Small Island,” whose resident’s warmth matches the climate.
First stop, Savannah Beach Hotel (SBH). This four star all-inclusive resort lies in Christchurch next to the historic Garrison Savannah and the similar named famous horse racetrack. Next day, I couldn’t wait to don my shades and kini, have a plunge in the palm tree lined pool, then flip flop around the local area.
The picturesque south is the hub for tourists with excellent transport links to get sightseeing. And there’s plenty on offer, whether cruising on a catamaran, roughing it on a 4×4 Island Safari, splashing on Duty Free shopping, strutting at Barbados Fashion Week, dining in US President George Washington’s house, boarding the supersonic jet Concorde to NY (well it doesn’t physically leave the museum) or simply taking a romantic walk along Hastings broad walk.
I didn’t quite make it to GW’s table but I did feast at Rachel’s Restaurant, at SBH. Set against a backdrop of tranquillity; with its sweeping floor and open view to the pool I fine dined to the sound of the waterfall gushing below, whilst carnival rhythms of jerk chicken and zing of lemon meringue danced on my taste buds. The staff were first class; Horace, Tyrone and graceful Kay and even fulfilled my request for Bajan drink Mauby, made from the bark of the Mauby tree, even though it was not on the menu.
That night I somehow managed to get to my historical plantation room, flop my sunstroke-rum punched and Maubied body onto the solid mahogany four poster bed.
Day 3.Time to Independence parrrr-tay! I was eager to get to the free concert everyone was so excited about at Kensington Oval Cricket Ground (cricket is the country’s national sport) to celebrate national achievements since breaking free from British rule. I heard bajan born superstar, Rihanna would perform. I got a right royal surprise when the hippest Prince, HARRY, took centre stage to rain his nana’s blessings on the nation. I was surprised Rhi Rhi got louder cheers than him, but disappointed she didn’t “Work Work Work Work Work,” her 20,000 fans.
Barbados dubbed “Little England” due to similarities to England like lush countryside, school and judicial systems, heritage properties and place names – Worthing, Hastings, Clapham, Kensington, Holborn and even Brighton Beach!
So it was no surprise to see fish ‘n’ chips for sale at Oistins Fish Fry, Friday night hang-out or liming, at Oistins Bay. The place exploded with chefs conjuring flames on steel pan BBQ’s preparing mouth-watering traditional seafood dishes, while reggae music blared and people danced at the stage show in the humid night air.
I’m fish-phobic, but didn’t PANIC!!! KFC was across the street (phew!) alongside vendor’s selling original arts, crafts and souvenirs.
Amongst the hubbub I found grandparents gracefully waltzing to melodies from yesteryear. My heart-tugged as I romanticised about dancing under the stars one day. Bizarrely OAP’s jam ended later than the main one.
Alas my final night south had ended but those with the energy moved on to the string of clubs along St Lawrence Gap where nightlife pulsates till sunrise.
Next day I took the $2 Reggae bus (£0.80 cost per journey. Bus plays music) along the west coast to enjoy a day pass at Sugar Cane Club (SCC). Nestled in St. Peters amongst thick tropical paradise, this luxurious haven was serenity, well – after the quick bike ride around the area.
Stillness fell when I entered the luxury Spa for a pedicure with therapist Nikaie and rested back on the massage chair, feet up and eyes closed. She worked magic on my hardened heels (Q. Why is it that flip flops can be the most comfortable (to wear) and the most harsh (on the skin) at the same time?) as she shared her story. Post spa I met up with my holiday buddies, Rum and Punch for a succulent burger and chips overlooking the pool below.
As well as a wealth of treatments SCC has the usual luxuries expected at a four star boutique hotel, but the added extras include a Gully Walk into the lush green landscape, beautiful pieces at Frangipani Art Gallery and best of all the chance to be up close with little green monkeys as they make their morning visit for food. I didn’t see any but if you check-in you’re bound to get a glimpse.
Also, SCC was literally on the doorstep of Port St. Charles marina where multi-millionaires, including X Factor Simon Cowell, leave their super yachts (you can blag a boat tour).
As the afternoon ticked into evening I took the free shuttle bus to Almond Beach Hotel along sleepy Speightown ready to take in the breath-taking sunset and write my name in the powdery sand. I jigged to the symphony of tropical night creatures, lapping waves and Soca Queen Alison Hinds wafting from Little Bristol Beach Bar. My time in utopia was at an unwelcomed end.
Whine your waist at Carnival Crop Over.
Flutter at prestigious turf Garrison Savannah Racetrack.
Eat Sunday Brunch at posh Sandy Lane Hotel $275 (£120)
Cheer on cricketers at England vs. West Indies
Discover fresh flavours at Barbados Food & Rum Festival.
Attend Holders Season Performing Arts Festival.
Devour a delicious roti from Chutney’s Roti & Curry House
Find arts, crafts and organic food at Holders Farmers Market.
Currency: Barbados Dollar and/or US Dollars.
Visas: You may need a visa so check before you book.
There can be many reasons for feeling tired, with the most obvious being lack of sleep! But what you eat and drink can also be important. The ‘right’ choices will provide slow-releasing energy, as well as all the necessary nutrients to help your body convert that food to energy.Nutritionist, Cassandra Barnsreveals 6 healthy choices you can make to improve your ‘get up and go’!
Whole grain oats
If you start the day with a sugary breakfast cereal, toast or croissant, your energy is probably taking a nosedive by about 11am. Try swapping them for whole grain oats: as an unprocessed whole grain, they’re higher in fibre and break down more slowly, providing sustained energy. They’re also a natural source of energy-producing vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, vitamins B1 and B6. Go for Nairn’s Scottish Porridge Oats – as well as porridge, they can be used to make ‘overnight oats’, or to make your own healthy muesli by adding chopped nuts or seeds and a sprinkle of dried fruit.
Like sugary breakfast cereals, the average bowl of pasta won’t keep your energy up for very long. As most pastas are made with refined white flour, they’re quickly broken down in the gut and absorbed, giving you a blood sugar high followed by a slump. Instead, try a high-protein pasta such as Clearspring’s Green Pea and Quinoa Pasta. It contains almost twice the amount of protein of a standard pasta, and more than twice the amount of fibre. This means that breaks down and releases energy more slowly, as well as filling you up for longer – a bonus if you’re watching your weight!
One reason for low energy can be a deficiency in a specific nutrient (or nutrients). A common example is vitamin B12, which works with iron to help build healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body. Mackerel is one of our best natural sources of B12, and also provides other B vitamins and magnesium, which help our body to release energy from food. Added bonus: it’s also high in heart-healthy omega-3s, and high in protein too, helping to balance your blood sugar.
Another nutrient that can be lacking in the average person’s diet is iodine. This trace mineral is vital for making thyroid hormone, which plays a crucial role in metabolism and energy release from food. When we don’t make enough of this hormone, one of the first symptoms is tiredness. The best food source of iodine is sea vegetables; try snacking on Clearspring’s Seaveg Crispies.
Could your tiredness simply be due to not drinking enough water? Water helps nutrients and oxygen to get where they’re needed in the body, and plays a role in chemical reactions that break down food molecules to make energy. So it’s no wonder we feel deflated (literally) when we don’t drink enough. Aim to get about 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day, which can include liquid in foods such as soups, caffeine-free teas and watered-down fruit juices.
If you’re a chocolate fiend – or even if you’re not – then try raw chocolate. Whereas a standard chocolate bar can give you a quick energy buzz from the sugar content, it’s likely to last for long. But raw cacao – the unheated, unroasted version of cocoa – is actually a superfood, rich in energy-providing nutrients such as magnesium and iron. It also contains a gentle stimulating substance called theobromine. But by choosing raw chocolate, such as OMBAR chocolate made with raw cacao and without refined sugar, you’re getting the benefits of the energy-supporting nutrients without the sugar rush.
Nollywood Reaches for the Sky as it Brings Awesome Original movies & TV Series to 10m UK Households.
Lagos Cougars – Latest 2014 Nigerian Nollywood Drama Movie
Rok Studios, the award-winning Nigerian film studio, is set to launch a brand new Nollywood channel on Sky TV, on Thursday 29 September 2016. The channel which will be on 344 is programmed with thousands of hours of Rok Studios-produced originals, including Husbands of Lagos, Desperate Housegirls, Losing Control and Cougars. The new channel for Sky customers in the UK will bring the latest and best Rok Studios produced TV shows, movies and magazine shows to Sky customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Rok on Sky will be available as a free-to-view channel for all Sky subscribers – that’s around 10 million homes in the UK. Showing awesome originals, such as Single Ladies, Banks Chronicles and Bloodline, as well as some of the most recent smash hit movies including Walking Away, Aso Ebi and Forever. Rok viewers will be the first to watch new and exclusive homegrown Rok content, before it goes anywhere else.
The new Sky channel will be fully programmed, produced and developed in-house, by Rok teams in Lagos and London. Heading up Rok is Mary Njoku, an award-winning Nollywood actress and film producer who’s spent over 12 years at the heart of Nigerian filmmaking. The new channel will be supported by Iroko, the VC-backed African technology and entertainment broadcaster and content distributor.
Speaking on the launch, Rok CEO Mary Njoku says: “Nollywood’s appeal is truly global; it is not just for Africans, but for film fans in general. As a production house, we have been obsessed with curating amazing African content and telling African stories our way, and with the launch of Rok on Sky, we can bring our stories to millions more. This channel is an unashamed celebration of all things Nollywood, but more than that, a celebration of African stories – in our own words, with our own characters, with our own drama”.
“In its short but busy history, Rok has become synonymous with edgy, distinct content, depicting the full gamut of Nigerian life. Rok is fortunate to have worked with so many of the screen greats – the likes of, Mercy Johnson, Mercy Aigbe Gentry, Ini Edo, Desmond Elliot, John Dumelo, to name but a few. These actors are instrumental in bringing our storytelling to life. We are also blessed to have a dedicated, hard-working and creative production team, who work tirelessly to ensure we release amazing content. Together, as the Rok family, we are now bringing our beloved Nollywood content onto its biggest platform yet – Sky”.
Rok will lead Nollywood fans in the UK to content they’ll love, and whilst the typical Nollywood audience is currently made up of a predominantly African and Caribbean demographic, those behind the channel hope to attract an even broader audience, thanks to the hyper-modern, original content.
Timed to celebrate Nigeria’s 56th Independence Day anniversary, Rok on Sky will launch with a bang on the 29th September, followed by a Gala launch in London at 8 Northumberland on 30th September. Nollywood glitterati, including Alexx Ekubo, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha, John Dumelo, Oge Okoye, Mercy Aigbe Gentry, Ini Edo, Annie Idibia, Yul Edochie, Jackie Appiah, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Patience Ozokwor, Segun Arinze, Funke Akindele and many more have already been confirmed on the guestlist, with a red carpet hosted by presenter Denrele Edun.
Mary concludes, “We have so many Nollywood stars travelling to London to celebrate the launch of our new channel; this is unheard of until now. London won’t know what has hit it – Nollywood is going to take over the city. We’re also hoping to see many of our fans at the Rok on Sky gala launch as well – we are eternally grateful to all the Rok fans who’ve been with us along the way”. #RokOnSky
Luxury residenceChateau Lou Casteouin the South of France, this week hosts its fitness retreat –Body Tonic, 4-8 May, 2016.
Set in the beautiful French Riviera countryside the luxurious retreat provides a balance of different energetic training classes, stunning coastal and mountain treks, meals prepared by a private chef and chateau accommodation.
HereDavid Higgins, the highly skilled performance fitness coach who leads the fitness program, presents hisfive key fitness tips for summer.
1) ROLL IT OUT
Myofacial release, massage and foam rolling, prior to exercising, allows the muscle to breath and feed better, enhancing stamina by up to 10%.
Myofacial Release is foam rolling or massage, which manually stretches the muscle fibres, more so than a static muscle stretch. It aids in lymph drainage and improves circulation through the muscle, making it more efficient. It also improves efficiency of the body, in removing the bi-products of exercise such as lactic acid. Massage has been around since before the Greek Empire – foam rolling is just unassisted massage.
2) GET ANAEROBIC
Anaerobic exercise is less efficient and requires more energy per minute of exercise – if you are pushed for time and have good fitness then go anaerobic (power and strength).
Anaerobic exercise (without oxygen) is less efficient than aerobic exercise (requiring oxygen) because it requires more energy per second. Anaerobic exercises are generally power and strength exercises, for example sprinting rather than jogging; you will require far more energy (ATP) to sprint 100m rather than jog it. Unfortunately you need a good level of aerobic fitness (lungs and circulation) for you to safely train anaerobically.
3) HYDRATION ALLOWS FOR BETTER HOMEOSTASIS
Fuel the body prior to exercise and maintain good hydration throughout – allowing for better homeostasis.
Homeostasis relates to the chemical reactions that happen in your body, in this case for the production of energy. Water is the solution that these chemical reactions take place in. If you are thirsty then you are already dehydrated, if your muscle is fatigued then you are again late in providing it with energy. Fuel up before, during and after exercise to make sure your body reacts in its most efficient manner.
4) FREE WEIGHTS AID THE KINETIC CHAIN
Use free weights. This encourages more muscle to be utilised through the kinetic chain and challenges your core.
The kinetic chain is the integrated use of many muscles in a movement or exercise. For example if you were doing a standing overhead press with some dumbbells as opposed to a seated overhead press on a fixed machine, your body would need to recruit many more muscles for the standing overhead press with dumbbells. The main moving muscles would be the same for both types of exercise – the deltoids and the triceps – but the free weights requires you to use your fixating or stabilising muscles. Your legs and glutes stabilise your position from the floor (they are engaged but not moving), your core muscles are engaged to provide a strong base for the moving muscles above.
5) STRETCH IT OUT
Stretch before and after exercise will help prevent muscle pulls and aid in recovery. Each stretch should be for a minimum of ten seconds.
Stretching helps prevent injury. Static stretching is essential prior to exercise because it warns you if a muscle is tight and therefore more susceptible to injury often in the form of a pulled muscle. A dynamic stretch post static stretching, for example lunging prior to a sprint race, again helps stretch the muscle fibres. It also improves the blood circulation to the legs by dilating the arteries and veins in the legs, which means more fuel and quicker removal of waste products.
The Body Tonic luxury fitness retreats are priced at £1,550 pp (inc VAT) pp for a private en-suite room with a sea or mountain view or £1,350 pp (inc VAT) for two guests sharing a room. The price includes five days accommodation, all meals with wine, champagne reception on arrival, daily fitness classes, coastal treks, water aerobics, one massage, yoga and stretching classes and transfers from Nice airport. The next Autumn Body Tonic event dates are Wednesday October 12th to Sunday October 16th at Chateau Lou Casteou, Cote d’Azur, France.
Behind the bar of London’s hottest new quayside restaurant, Bella Cosa, stands Head Bartender Martina Furiga. Drawing from her Italian roots and three years spent in Milan studying hospitality, Martina has single-handedly crafted the restaurant’s entire cocktail list. Speaking passionately about her job, she says, “The best thing about what I do is being able to create new, exciting recipes and impress diners with original and unique flavours.” Martina, aged 29, has worked tirelessly to create a list of cocktails her guests will enjoy by combining delicious homemade syrups with mixers and innovative garnishes. The mouth-warming Italian Sunset and fruit-forward Mediterranean Collins are just two of the beverages on offer.
50ml Gin Mare
25ml Pink Grapefruit Juice
20ml Rosemary Syrup
In a Highball Glass, combine the Gin Mare and Pink Grapefruit Juice.
Stir together, then add the Rosemary Syrup and ice.
Finish by topping up the glass with Cedrata.
Garnish with Rosemary sprig and Pink Grapefruit peel.
Milano Fashion Week
25ml Gin Tanqueray
1 spray of Pernod
In a Boston Shaker, combine the Campari, Gin Tanqueray and ice, then shake strongly.
Spray the Pernod into a Martini glass and double strain the liquid into it.
Finish by decorating the glass with a red Ribbon.
30ml Chamomile Liqueur
Pink Grapefruit Juice
25ml Lime Juice
4 drops of Peychaud
In a Boston Shaker, combine the Tequila, Chamomile Liqueur, Lime Juice and the
drops of Paychaud before shaking.
Wet the rim of a Martini glass with Pink Grapefruit Juice, and add the pink salt.
Pour the liquid into the Martini glass and garnish with a flower.
Bella Cosa, South Quay, Drewry House, Marsh Wall, London E14 9FJ
Malaika School to launch library on International Women’s Day!
Malaika school will open the doors to the very first library in Kalebuka, DRC, in March 2016. The brand new building is part of the Malaika School and will be the only library within a hundred mile radius. It will feature both e-books and print books in the English and French languages. The state of the art facility is set to have Android tablets and an interactive whiteboard, all of which have been donated to the non-profit. This new access to resources and technology will open up a world of learning opportunities for the students.
Malaika founder, Noella Coursaris Musunka, will officially inaugurate the library on International Women’s Day. Noella is an international model, activist, philanthropist and humanitarian who founded the non-profit organisation in in 2007. Grammy Award-winning hip-hop recording artist, Eve, will join her on the day. The gorgeous diva says of her involvement in the project: “I am a huge supporter of anything that will have a positive impact on a young girls’ life and Education is an obvious. Not only can it give them self-esteem but also a wider path of choices in life.”
Malaika is a grassroots organization with a mission to empower Congolese girls and their communities through education and health programmes. The foundation operates in the village of Kalebuka, in the Southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Built in 2011, the Malaika School is a free, accredited school that provides a comprehensive and high quality education to 230 girls. The goal is to cultivate the leadership potential of each student so that she is empowered to give back to her community and has a positive, long-term impact on the future of the DRC. The curriculum is structured around daily classes in French and English, on subjects including math, science, information technology, health and civic education. Art, music, theatre and physical education classes are also a key part of the robust educational programming. Additionally, each girl receives two healthy meals a day – often her only ones.
At the same time, Malaika impacts the surrounding Kalebuka village through its Community Centre, which provides education, health and sports programming to approximately 7,000 youths and adults per year. Malaika also provides essential infrastructure development by building 5 wells that supply fresh water to 10,000 people, greatly reducing disease and illness.
Noella believes strongly in the power of education to transform the youth of the DRC. “I am so excited to launch this project”, Noella said, “it is amazing to know that the students will now have a warm and welcoming environment where they will feel comfortable and eager to learn”.
The new library in Kalebuka will enhance Malaika’s mission of building the leadership capacity of each student so that they have a brighter future. http://www.malaika.org/
Best actress winner TARAJI P. HENSON selected Kimberly McDonald earrings set with Gemfields Zambian emeralds to attend the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California.
The actress, who won the award for her role as Cookie on the hit show, Empire, complimented her custom Stella McCartney dress with an extraordinary pair of 107-carat cushion-cut Gemfields Zambian emerald and diamond earrings designed by Kimberly McDonald. Henson finished the look with a vintage pear-shaped diamond ring and signature irregular diamond band.
Photo credit:Taraji P. Henson wears Kimberly McDonald earrings set with Gemfields Zambian emeralds.
We asked Dr. Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist in fertility and women’s health, and the author of The Nutritional Health Handbook for Women (www.marilynglenville.com) to give us her top tips on how to treat PMS.
It’s that time of the month again… you feel tired and irritated, your skin is breaking out, tummy is bloated and you are craving chocolate more than anything. It is estimated that PMS affects almost 90% of woman!
So what exactly is PMS? The term ‘Premenstrual syndrome’ is used to describe all symptoms that occur after the middle of your menstrual cycle and stop, almost as soon as your period arrives.
An overwhelming 150 symptoms can be linked to PMS and among the most common are: mood swings and irritability, anxiety and tension, bloating and water retention, breast tenderness and swelling, acne, tiredness, weight gain, headaches or migraines, crying spells or depression, sugar and food cravings, constipation and dizziness.
Say no to sugar and caffeine
‘What you eat is the foundation of your health and it is a crucial aspect of not only preventing, but also treating PMS. The most important dietary change you can make is to keep your blood-sugar levels steady: the higher your sugar intake (and caffeine) the more severe your symptoms are likely to be. If it is possible, cut out sugar and caffeinecompletely. Also, try to eat every three hours as this prevents your blood-sugar levels from dropping and stops the release of your stress hormones, which block the hormone progesterone in the second half of your cycle.
Top up on vitamins and minerals
‘Supplements are the best way to make sure you have enough of the essential nutrients to balance your hormones. Certain nutrients can be hugely beneficial when it comes to reducing PMS symptoms.’
‘Both Magnesium and Vitamin B6 are very important when it comes to controlling your mood and behaviour. Vitamin B6 supports production of dopamine and serotonin (a ‘happy’ hormone) and Magnesium is classed as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ as it helps to reduce anxiety and tension.’
‘Zinc is an important mineral as it is a component of more than 200 enzymes. It may help balance female hormones as it plays a main part in the proper action of many of them, including insulin and sex hormones.’
‘Many women that suffer from PMS have been found to have a problem with converting linoleic acid (LA) to GLA, a plant-derived omega 6. There are many factors that can prevent that conversion, like stress, a high-sugar diet or low levels of Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Zinc. To provide our body efficient amount of GLA you can supplement these essential fatty acids in the form where the conversion has already happen – by taking evening primrose oil, borage oil and starflower oil.’
Brew yourself herbs
‘Apart from reducing your intake of salt and salty foods and drinking more water you can also start drinking Dandelion tea to reduce water retention. Dandelion is a natural diuretic, which allows fluid to be released without losing vital nutrients at the same time. It is one of the best sources of potassium and contains more minerals and vitamins than any other herb. In addition, it is known to support detoxifying process in your body.’
Trigger those ‘happy’ hormones
‘When you exercise your body produces ‘happy’ hormones, endorphins. They help us to feel happier, calmer and more alert. If you exercise regularly you are more likely to reduce stress levels, anxiety and depression, which are common PMS symptoms.’
… And relax!
‘Stress is a very important factor when it comes to PMS due to adrenaline, which your body releases when you are under stress. High levels of adrenaline prevent your body from being able to use progesterone correctly in the second half of your cycle and that can cause PMS symptoms. Look into ways of helping you cope with stress, such as relaxation techniques or meditation. You can also consider supplements such as Magnesium or Siberian Ginseng.’