Where To Eat This Weekend: Pei Edition

We’re back with a new edition of Restaurant Roundup! The theme? Where To Eat This Weekend. We profile different parts of Canada with a list of great dining recommendations for you to check out — from fancy to hole in the wall and everything in between! If you’re planning a trip to PEI this summer, look no further. Today Janice Lawandi take us on a tour of PEI restaurants. You’ll want to check it out whether you’re a local or planning a trip – now you’ll know where to eat in PEI!

With its gorgeous red sand beaches, Prince Edward Island, the home of Anne of Green Gables, is a popular summertime destination for travellers from all around the world. Prince Edward Island offers more than a scenic holiday, and scattered throughout the island are some great eats that you won’t want to miss on your next trip.

If you are visiting PEI, you are probably staying at a Bed & Breakfast, but that doesn’t mean that you should spend every single breakfast eating at the B&B. Breakfast at Leonhard’s Café is definitely worth leaving the B&B for.

Leonhard’s vanilla Swiss roll cake is very well known around town, but if you’re going for breakfast, Leonhard’s offers many great “non-cake” options (not that I would judge you if you ordered cake for breakfast). The French toast is made from Leonhard’s fantastic homemade multigrain bread. It’s a hearty French toast, served with maple syrup. Or if you feel like having eggs for breakfast, I recommend ordering an omelette (my favourite was garnished with black forest ham & a very generous amount of Havarti cheese).

And if you are still feeling a little peckish, you must try the cream horn (a.k.a “Schillerlocken” in German), which is a horn of flaky pastry filled with the most delightful vanilla cream.

RECEIVER COFFEE CO
To get your much-needed caffeine fix, head to Receiver Coffee Co. The great thing about Receiver Coffee Co. is that, besides good coffee, they also have a small, but impressive menu that changes often. When you visit, the breakfast menu may include a breakfast club sandwich, crêpes, Eggs Benedict, or even breakfast nachos (yes, I really do mean nachos that you eat at breakfast).

The daily lunch specials vary too, and usually include hot dishes like mac & cheese, sweet and savoury apple bbq beef brisket sandwich, feta stuffed lamb burger.

THE CHARLOTTETOWN FARMER’S MARKET
WHERE TO EAT THIS WEEKEND: PEI EDITION

MAY 16, 2016
We’re back with a new edition of Restaurant Roundup! The theme? Where To Eat This Weekend. We profile different parts of Canada with a list of great dining recommendations for you to check out — from fancy to hole in the wall and everything in between! If you’re planning a trip to PEI this summer, look no further. Today Janice Lawandi take us on a tour of PEI restaurants. You’ll want to check it out whether you’re a local or planning a trip – now you’ll know where to eat in PEI!

With its gorgeous red sand beaches, Prince Edward Island, the home of Anne of Green Gables, is a popular summertime destination for travellers from all around the world. Prince Edward Island offers more than a scenic holiday, and scattered throughout the island are some great eats that you won’t want to miss on your next trip.

BRUNCH OR LUNCH IN PEI

LEONHARD’S CAFÉ & RESTAURANT

Where to Eat in PEI | Food Bloggers of Canada

If you are visiting PEI, you are probably staying at a Bed & Breakfast, but that doesn’t mean that you should spend every single breakfast eating at the B&B. Breakfast at Leonhard’s Café is definitely worth leaving the B&B for.

Leonhard’s vanilla Swiss roll cake is very well known around town, but if you’re going for breakfast, Leonhard’s offers many great “non-cake” options (not that I would judge you if you ordered cake for breakfast). The French toast is made from Leonhard’s fantastic homemade multigrain bread. It’s a hearty French toast, served with maple syrup. Or if you feel like having eggs for breakfast, I recommend ordering an omelette (my favourite was garnished with black forest ham & a very generous amount of Havarti cheese).

And if you are still feeling a little peckish, you must try the cream horn (a.k.a “Schillerlocken” in German), which is a horn of flaky pastry filled with the most delightful vanilla cream.

RECEIVER COFFEE CO

Where to Eat in PEI | Food Bloggers of Canada

To get your much-needed caffeine fix, head to Receiver Coffee Co. The great thing about Receiver Coffee Co. is that, besides good coffee, they also have a small, but impressive menu that changes often. When you visit, the breakfast menu may include a breakfast club sandwich, crêpes, Eggs Benedict, or even breakfast nachos (yes, I really do mean nachos that you eat at breakfast).

The daily lunch specials vary too, and usually include hot dishes like mac & cheese, sweet and savoury apple bbq beef brisket sandwich, feta stuffed lamb burger.

THE CHARLOTTETOWN FARMER’S MARKET

Where to Eat in PEI | Food Bloggers of Canada

If you are visiting Charlottetown for a weekend, spend your Saturday morning eating your way through the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market, where you can have anything from a healthy smoothie or a fresh juice, a St-Viateur bagel topped with locally smoked salmon from Medalion Trading PEI, an incredible falafel pita from Shaddy’s, or even Polish pierogies and apple strudel.

Of course, you can also pick up fresh fruits and veggies at the Charlottetown Farmer’s market too, but the prepared food stands are so great, it’s hard to resist. The market is open Saturdays and Wednesdays too, from 9AM to 2PM.

When you drive around Prince Edward Island, you will probably notice that just about every restaurant seems to offer a lobster dinner, and even many of the churches too!

You can’t go wrong with a lobster dinner from the Water Prince Corner Shop and Lobster Pound (a classic recommendation from the locals, open 7 days a week), where I was served a dinner roll and a bowl of chowder (featured on Food Network’s You’ve Gotta Eat Here).

If you are on a tight budget, head to one of the local fish shops and pick up a cooked lobster. You can pick up cooked lobsters at Doiron’s Fisheries, which is conveniently located near The Olde Village Bakery, where you can grab dinner rolls and classic sides, like potato salad and coleslaw. The Olde Village Bakery is also known for their selection of classic squares, so you definitely don’t want to miss this gem for dessert.

It’s no surprise that Terre Rouge has been ranked among Canada’s top restaurants. Named after the red earth of PEI, Terre Rouge is committed to local growers and producers, and firmly believes in the farm-to-table movement. Whatever you decide to order for dinner (their menu changes almost daily), the house-cured charcuterie and cheese platter is a great way to start your meal.

Terre Rouge also has a small market area where you can shop for a few of the local preserves and ingredients they feature on their menu.

There are several locations around the island, of which the biggest location is the Cow’s Creamery factory offering a factory tour. The line of ice creams ranges from the classic vanilla to crazy flavours like “Wowie Cowie” and “Mooey Gooey”. My personal favourite is the PEI Strawberry ice cream. Their homemade waffle cones are awesome, so definitely order your ice cream in a cone.

This one’s for all the cheese-lovers! There was a Dutch lady in PEI who became famous for her gouda cheese and became known as the Gouda Cheese Lady. She made gouda cheese for over twenty years in PEI, until she handed the business over to the McCourts, who continue to make great gouda cheese, from plain to smoked, and even flavoured with cumin, red pepper flakes, or mustard seeds.

Glasgow Glen Farms also makes fabulous artisanal breads to go with all that cheese and even pizzas baked in a wood-fire oven.

Richard’s Fresh Seafood is apparently THE place to go if you are craving a lobster roll which, for the record, is excellent and served on a toasted hot-dog bun.

Really, you can’t go wrong with any of the menu items. Served with a homemade tartar sauce that is flavoured with fresh dill and sun-dried tomato, the fish & chips feature panko-crusted haddock fillets that are light and very crispy on the outside and almost buttery inside. And the fun part of Richard’s Seafood: they give you gummy candies for a sweet treat to enjoy after all that seafood.

A stop at The Chip Shack is an absolute must because the Chip Shack has THE BEST, crispiest french fries I’ve ever had. The french fries, made from PEI potatoes, are blanched and fried to order, and honestly, you should make a point of stopping by for a snack.

How Jann Mardenborough went from Gran Turismo on a PlayStation to being a racing driver

Jann Mardenborough won the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition in 2011, earning the chance to take part in professional racing. Backed by Nissan, he has since competed extensively in sports car racing and completed one season in single seaters; he’s finished with a class podium at the Le Mans 24 Hours and as runner-up in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.

As part of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver development programme, he will race for Arden International in this year’s GP3 Championship – one of the most important feeder series for Formula One.

I started gaming when I was seven

Playing Gran Turismo on the original PlayStation, really just racing games, I played the odd shooting game now and then but the majority of it was racing, I’ve always had a passion for Gran Turismo and to drive cars I’d probably never, ever, get to drive.

For my A-levels I designed a gaming pod to race in

I made it out of MDF wood and bought myself a wheel paddle with some money I saved up, and then I was away. About a year later GT Academy came round, and served me pretty well.

Winning GT Academy was the best moment of my life

I knew that my life was going to change massively. After that, the first time I drove a fast GT car, a fast road car, that was a pretty cool moment – to be released round Silverstone in a 500-horse power Nissan GT-R was pretty crazy for a 19-year-old.

The transition from videogame to real-life driving wasn’t that difficult

The controls and physics engines in games these days are crazy, they take real-life data from cars and then put them into code so that the way that the car pitches and brakes and the steering input works very well in racing games.

Of course you feel the G-force which you don’t in the game, but you’re so tightly strapped into the seat, that it’s not really an issue.

People think gaming is just lounging around

But it can actually be something that’s fantastic and, although it’s all happened very, very quickly, it’s a amazingly cool situation to find myself in.

In a way, I’m sort of living out my childhood dream, so it’s very fulfilling that gaming is what has allowed me to do that.

It would be the absolute pinnacle for me to reach F1

But I’m concentrating this year on GP3 and will try to develop and improve. The Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver development programme means I can use their simulators to train so that I can arrive at a track I’ve never driven at before and can be on the pace in the first practice session.

A lot of guys have made the jump into the top of the sport from GP3, so it’s nice to know that I’m in the correct championship, and with a great team as well, I’m in a great position to get the ball rolling.

The GP3 season begins in Spain on 9 May, Sky are televising all the races

How fashion’s new obsession with office dressing made me feel like an 80s throwback

It’s a normal Tuesday morning in the office and people are staring at me. They look me up and down as I fill my water bottle. They give me side eye in the lift. This is not an anxiety dream. This is real life. My appearance is inspiring unspoken questions in my colleagues. Namely: what on earth is she wearing? And why?

What I am wearing is an Isabel Marant suit. It is woollen, grey and double breasted, with burgundy stripes and softly padded shoulders. In the Guardian’s proudly dressed-down environment, where jeans and T-shirts are practically compulsory, I am an aberration.

It’s not just scruffy journalists who don’t wear suits in 2017. The world of work is in flux, and the world of workwear with it. In an age of telecommuting and the gig economy, the old rules are eroding. Formal attire is not extinct, quite yet, but it is endangered. MPs are no longer required to wear ties in the House of Commons; titans of industry wear hoodies as often as pinstriped suits.

As we face these anxieties, trust the fashion industry, in all of its contrariness, to back the corporate look in a big way, with designers from Céline to Calvin Klein sending suits down the catwalk. Meanwhile, a wonkier take on office wear – shirts spliced with blazers, herringbone jackets fashioned into strapless dresses – has become the calling card of brands including Palmer//Harding and Monse. Menswear has gone managerial, too. At Balenciaga the concept has spread from the clothes to the entire brand aesthetic, with business cards used as show invitations and boardroom carpet providing the backdrop for ad campaigns.

Fashion’s corporate fascination has piqued my own interest in trouser suits for the first time since graduation. My usual work clothes are – and I deliberately employ a fancy word here to make this seem more aspirational – deshabille. The hard-cornered boardroom aesthetic isn’t part of my fashion vocabulary for the same reason that I don’t have a LinkedIn profile. Working in the dressed-down media is a big part of my identity, as is the lack of delineation between office and weekend clothes. On the moodboard in my mind’s eye is Kate Moss’s bedhead hair and the tousled insouciance of Carine Roitfeld’s casually misbuttoned silk blouse. Sadly, crumpled chic is rather less iconic the way I wear it – not least because I’m 5ft tall – but I’d rather be a bit of a mess than look as though I’m trying too hard.

Wearing a suit feels physically weird. It’s a lot more fabric than I would usually put on my body. I’m hot. So hot that I tug at my collar like a dodgy banker in a movie about insider trading. Meanwhile, my colleagues appraise me, coolly. “It’s a conspicuous look,” one says. Another adds that I look “intimidating” and “a bit like a carpet”. “You look fucking powerful,” another says. He is smiling, but I sense a chasm between us. The stiff wool boxes me in, surrounds me completely. I feel weirdly isolated, as though I have set myself up in opposition to the tribe.

The next day I trot into the office in high heels and a Stella McCartney checked coat-dress and one co-worker trills: “Oh, here she is, executive realness has arrived.” This phrase, well-known to viewers of Paris Is Burning and RuPaul’s Drag Race, is pertinent. Wearing double-breasted power tailoring does feel like a form of drag; a fantasy and a performance. It’s also screamingly 80s – other colleagues compare me to David Byrne and Working Girl – harking back to an era when power dressing manuals such as John T Molloy’s The Woman’s Dress For Success Book advised females to smash the glass ceiling with their shoulder pads. Molloy’s manifesto makes exhausting reading. Blouses should not be too high-necked or too revealing. Haircuts should not be too long or too short. Suits should ape men’s tailoring but femininity should be subtly preserved. Women should avoid sweaters and floral patterns “which say ‘lower class’ and loser,” he writes, charmingly. The history of women getting dressed for the office is so fraught that it almost feels as though somebody didn’t want us there.

Still, power dressing has its benefits. I don’t feel small any more. The finer details of my body shape feel irrelevant, which brings with it a sort of confidence. Occasionally, I interpret my own behaviour differently. After work, during my customary sprint from the tube station to my son’s childminder, I feel less like an utter failure for resorting to running and more like a high-flying, productive individual for whom walking is not sufficiently quick.

I like this feeling of pulled-together efficiency. But the exaggerated lines of this outfit – the shoulder pads – are making me self-conscious. I feel like a throwback to an era when a different battle was being fought. Power dressing is still fraught with difficulty for women, of course, as the furore caused by Hillary Clinton’s scrunchies and Theresa May’s leather trousers proves. But the suit is not the neat solution that it pretended to be in the 80s. Author and editor Tina Brown, a keen suit wearer until recently, says: “When I look back I see how very overdressed we were with bigger shoulders. There was a sense that we had to be almost aggressively put together to make a statement, which is not where we are now or where we want to be.”

The next outfit on my agenda is very different: a wilfully anti-fashion fitted shirt, tie and tie clip, inspired by the menswear catwalks of Balenciaga, Martine Rose and Gosha Rubchinskiy. This looked achingly cool on the catwalks. Recreated via an M&S shirt and Acne Studios trousers because my body is not long enough to do menswear, it does not look cool on me. Alistair O’Neill, professor of fashion history and theory at Central Saint Martins, reminds me that this trend is all about context. Fashion designers have long been fascinated by workwear – think of the lumberjack shirts worn in city centres, not forests. This time it’s white-collar work being mined for inspiration. True Gosha disciples, he points out, would wear this “to a club, or to go shopping, or when off to the skate park. The dissociation from office culture is what will make the clothes so enjoyable to wear by those who will consume them as fashion.” Sadly, I am not hip enough to make this look work. I feel a bit like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, with a touch of Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer, brisk and no-nonsense, as though I am holding an invisible clipboard. Or, as a co-worker says: “I’m scared that you’re about to make us do a team-building exercise.”

The fourth and final look is a breeze, literally and figuratively. It’s a billowing take on a striped shirt from Palmer//Harding. For the first time in days, I am not overheating. When I walk into the office my colleagues seem relieved. “I’m into it,” our stylist says – the ultimate compliment. Then she strokes the fabric of the cuff, appreciatively. I am approachable, again.

The shirt is the perfect soft power garment. I also love the bag I carry with it: a huge Balenciaga tote with corporate-style logos running across it diagonally. The logos bring to mind the branding of desk phones and photocopiers; the unglamorous insignia that permeated our lives before the sleek black and grey lines of iPhones and iMacs took over. It is these details – the little logos, the business cards and tie clips – that are so evocative. They remind me of how much has changed in office lives, in the 15 years since I started working, and how much will continue to change. You know, when the robots take over. Against this context, the mundanity of an office – its paperclips, staplers and tea runs – has become a source of nostalgia, something to be cherished.

Galicia coast holiday guide: the best beaches, bars, restaurants and hotels

Lush green valleys and rugged mountains, sheer cliffs and wild, frothing, slate-grey seas. Bagpipes, baroque cathedrals and the smell of grilled seafood. The architectural grace of Santiago de Compostela and the industrial churn of Vigo. Galicia, the north-west corner of Spain, is a diverse region, but amid the variety there are two constants: first, it’s one of the best places to eat seafood in the world; and, second, its wild landscape, seemingly more Scottish than Spanish, is the most beautiful on the Iberian peninsula.

Galicia is also large, about three-quarters the size of the Netherlands, and so for this guide we’ll travel along its coast, picking out some of the best beaches, coastal towns and seafood restaurants from Ribadeo and Ortigueira in the north via A Coruña and the Costa da Morte and then south to the area known as the Rías Baixas. Although Galicia is good to visit all year round, the best time to go is from June to September. However, even during the hottest months of the year, be prepared for rain, which can be heavy and, at times, persistent.

RIBADEO TO ORTIGUEIRA
Praia das Catedrais, Ribadeo
In Galician, Praia das Catedrais means “beach of the cathedrals” and, as you walk along this beach and through the arches and craggy domes sculpted into the rocks by wind and sea, it is easy to see why. When the tide is low, and the weather holds, it’s possible to spend hours exploring the sea caves. In summer (1 July to 30 September) and Easter week, numbers are controlled and it’s vital to book a visit to the beach (free) at ascatedrais.xunta.gal.

O Barqueiro and Estaca de Bares
O Barqueiro, a small, tranquil fishing village of multicoloured houses, is the perfect place to pass the afternoon staring out at the bay while sipping a nice glass of albariño, Galicia’s most famous grape varietal. From here it’s only a 15-minute drive north to Estaca de Bares, the most northerly point of the Iberian peninsula. Its 19th-century lighthouse is a quiet place from which to appreciate the uninterrupted views of the Bay of Biscay and the relentless ferocity of the Atlantic.

Viveiro
Set amid rolling hills covered with pines and eucalyptus trees, Viveiro is on the estuary of the river Landro. It is a picturesque place, with walls that have withstood pirate attacks and plagues, and springs that have attracted countless Santiago pilgrims. Wander through its idyllic squares, its grand entrance gates and over its medieval bridges. Covas beach is also only a short walk from the town centre.

Praia de Xilloi, O Vicedo
Replete with dunes, imposing cliffs, and fine white sand, this kilometre-long beach is one of the best in Lugo province. The turquoise waters, although brisk, are not too dissimilar to the Caribbean. The beach has parking, showers and restaurants nearby and is a good place for families.

Where to eat and drink
A Lonxa, Burela
This traditional cafe-bar-restaurant is the haunt of local fishermen. It may have a school-canteen vibe but the food is simple and delicious. The product is the protagonist here, not the chef. Try the steamed clams (€12) to start, followed by the fried bonito (€10). The swordfish is also excellent.

Where to see spectacular autumn colours around the world: our readers’ tips

Winning tip: Ojców national park, Poland
They call it the Złota Polska Jesień – the Polish Golden Autumn. It’s when the oaks and sycamores around Krakow do their best New England impression. Just 20 minutes’ drive north of the city is the smallest national park in the country: Ojców. A series of small, sylvan valleys turns into a beautiful patchwork of ochre and rust-red starting in September. There are forest trails running past streams, caves and crooked cottages. You can climb up to lookout points for views over the tops of the woods, and see Ojców Castle studding the hillside like something out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Bolkonsky

UK
Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire
A walk through Strid Wood with its sessile oaks and Wharfe river views takes in various types of autumnal wonder. The abbey is wonderful abbey, there’s a river feature called the Strid, where the Wharfe suddenly narrows, or a longer stroll to the top of Simon’s Seat in the moors to view the season’s multicoloured glories from above.
Jamie Samuel

Lake District
As you stroll along Windermere to the centre of Ambleside, autumn colours are abundant. Looking across the water, it seems that the treeline is alight with red and orange leaves. As you round the bend on to the road into town, you are faced with a hillside that celebrates autumn at its best, highlighting different colours throughout the day. Catch it at just the right time in the morning and you’ll see the mist creeping down and giving the trees an eerie presence. Catch it as the sun is descending in the late afternoon and you’ll be amazed at the vibrancy of the colours as the leaves are framed by the light from the setting sun.
Alice Southern

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
The entire arboretum is fascinating at any time of year, but in late October the acer (Japanese maple) glade is absolutely magical. It’s a good idea to stay at the Hare and Hounds hotel (doubles from £125 B&B), which almost adjoins the arboretum and go to Westonbirt early in the morning to beat all the daytrippers and photographers because it does get very busy in the autumn. Another attraction is a new 300-metre aerial walkway that takes you 13 metres up into the canopy.
lindaashworth

Herne Hill, London
After picking up a coffee in Herne Hill or breakfast at the wonderful Lido Cafe, take a stroll around Brockwell Park for wonderful views of the London skyline and beautiful autumnal colours. One place to stay or go for a drink is the Half Moon, right on the doorstep.
WhereAngelsPlay

Dolgoch ‘rainforest’, north Wales
Snowdonia national park provides some of the richest, and most unspoilt autumnal views in the world. The Talyllyn Railway spoils visitors not just with a seven-mile journey from the Tywyn seafront up the beautiful Fathew valley towards the peak of Cader Idris on steam trains, but also gives direct access to the autumnal majesty of the Dolgoch Falls and Nant Gwernol woodland. Alighting at Dolgoch station and following the waymarked trails, visitors are soon amid the valley’s temperate rainforest habitat, sometimes referred to as the Celtic Rainforest, surrounded by ancient trees and carpets of moss and ferns. This habitat is full of life and, in autumn, the landscape glows in lush greens and golden browns.

The glorious town of Peebles, an hour’s drive south of Edinburgh, is scenic at all times of year but, come early October, the trees that surround the town explode into a riot of colour. For close-ups of huge specimens (including the caramel-smelling Japanese katsura tree) visit the nearby superb Dawyck botanic gardens (adult £6.50, child free), which has an excellent cafe. Peebles itself has a top-notch coffee shop/chocolate boutique, Cocoa Black.
Gavin Pearson

ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE
Cinque Terre, Italy
Autumn is the best season to see and sense the explosion of colours in the woods and paths high above the Mediterranean as you walk from one town in Italy’s Cinque Terre to another. The Sentiero Azzurro connects the villages between Monterosso al Mare and Riomaggiore over 12km and will take you from shady copses sheltered by red- and gold-leafed trees to deep green olive groves before you emerge into sunlit walkways with views of the shimmering sea. However, some of the route is closed at present (most famously the Via del’Amore at Riomaggiore, reopening in 2019) due to landslides, and in autumn there are often closures as wet weather damages paths. On some sections there’s a charge if €5-€7 to use the path – the money helps with repair bills.
gallarate

Thief – hands-on in the city of stealth

Eidos Montreal’s reboot of the respected stealth-‘n-steal series is out in a month. Here’s what is right – and wrong – with the return of Garrett, the master thief

As obvious as it sounds to say so, in Thief you nick things. You nick a lot of things. Broaches, necklaces, wallets, candelabras – anything valuable that’s lying around, really – all disappear into lead character Garrett’s bottomless sack. You find some of these trinkets in the oddest of places. One would expect to find a golden bracelet or two in a wall safe behind a painting, but who on earth leaves a goblet on a rooftop or a couple of coins at the edge of a pond?

It’s possible Eidos Montreal has left these treasures scattered around its game in order to put players into the headspace of its protagonist. If that’s the case, it’s an absolutely brilliant piece of game design because stealing stuff in Thief isn’t just fun, it’s addictive. After you’ve snagged your first five or six baubles, you turn into a veritable magpie, filled with the need to obtain any shiny object that catches your eye – even if it means potentially exposing Garrett to danger in order to do so.

This compunction to loot is backed up by the game’s open-ended structure and its seductive visuals. Thief is set in a gloomy urban sprawl where the architectural schools of Gothic Europe, Victorian London and Steampunk Sci-Fi seem to have collided in a mass of fog and iron. Garrett, the antihero of the series since its 1998 premier, it back, returning to his home town, which is now in the grip of both a horrendous plague and a tyrannical ruler, The Baron. A palpable sense of foreboding drapes over the city’s gas-lit streets and shadowy rooftops, an effect that’s bolstered in no small part by the flashes of lightning that briefly throw Garrett’s shadow onto the walls and pavements around him.

As sinister as all of this sounds, it becomes apparent early on that the city’s darkened alleys and rooftops are Garrett’s natural turf. His almost superhuman ability to move noiselessly through his surroundings turns the skyline into his thoroughfare and makes every shadow inviting. Garrett also has the ability to ‘swoop’ in and out of pools of light quick enough to avoid detection and he’s armed with a decent array of equipment including lockpicks, arrows and a crowbar to force open the odd window.

Stolen moments

From the evidence of the preview build I had a hands-on with, Thief contains the odd brief linear passage, which helps move the narrative along, but once Garrett is in view of a building that houses a valuable item he’s after – whether it’s part of a side task or a story mission – Thief’s structure opens up. Couple this loose framework with the kleptomaniacal impulses instilled in the player early on, and the world in Thief simply begs to be explored.

A great example of this came in a passage of play that occurred after the game’s tutorial level. Following a bungled robbery, Garrett has to flee back to his headquarters through one of the city’s mercantile districts. As I picked my way across the rooftops, noticing one of the streetlamps below me was on the blink, I heard a couple of guards remarking on how beautiful a golden mask in the window of a jewelry shop looked.

Well, I thought, since it’s on my way…

The jewelry shop raid showed there’s no set way to successfully pull off a burglary. It was possible to enter the premises by observing the nightwatch guards, taking note of their patrol patterns, timing one’s movements to reach the shop’s door undetected and then picking the lock. Alternately, I found after circling the emporium that one of the back windows was open and it was possible to enter by shimmying up to the
rooftops.

Once inside, I found that the open-ended nature of progression extended to the style of play, too. To wit, players can proceed as loudly or as quietly as they wish, although, they’ll find that playing to Garrett’s strengths – moving stealthily and hiding from view – will prove easier in the long run.

In my run-through I found one guard on patrol in the front of the shop, but incapacitating him was easy enough. Once I’d helped myself to everything that wasn’t nailed down on display, I picked the lock of the window display case and found that the mask in the window that had so impressed the guards was actually gilded glass – and thus, worthless. At this stage I could’ve easily made my exit but I decided, since I’d gone to the trouble of breaking and entering, to explore more of the shop.

Waiting game

I’ll neither reveal what else I found, nor will I reveal any details I uncovered about the game’s plot. Believe me when I tell you I’m doing you a favour. The less one knows about the game’s story and its hidden gems, the better time one will have when it’s released at the end of next month. That is, if the developers manage to sort out a couple of issues that, while not deal-breakers, are irritating nontheless.

Garrett’s inventory, for example, is mapped to the touchpad on the PS4’s controller, but the way it’s been implemented renders it virtually useless. Selecting items involved hammering the touch pad and while this is irritating enough during sections of the game where players have a lot of time to consider their next move, it would be potentially infuriating if they’re under duress.

Second, I can report that Thief has a lot of beautiful loading screens, and it’s a good thing that they’re beautiful, because players will be staring at them for an awfully long time. Loading times feel interminable and when they appear after a dramatic cutscene, they manage to break the atmospheric spell the rest of the game is so successful at weaving. Facial animations also look positively last-gen, which is strange because the environments surrounding the characters are fantastically detailed and beautiful to behold.

Here’s hoping Eidos manages to tighten up these flaws because they’re sizable chinks in Thief’s armour. Without them, there’s a lot in this game to admire and the pull of its world is intoxicating. Thief puts players into the headspace of a light-fingered ne’er-do-well and drops them into a city filled with trinkets to steal and houses to break into. Even with its niggles Thief accomplishes what the best adventure games set out to do – it surrounds you in a world you could get lost in and then encourages you to do just that.

The princess and the platforms: how these Gucci trainers became a symbol of excess

If Marie Antoinette had lived in the Snapchat age, would she be wearing £640 Gucci platform trainers? That is the question on everyone’s lips today, as we survey the fallout from Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Olympia of Greece’s joint 50th and 21st birthday party.

In case you missed it, the pair threw a bash at an 18th-century manor house in the Cotswolds, and it was pretty relaxed. Just a few dozen viscounts, the queen of Holland, King Felipe of Spain, some Delevingnes, some Hiltons and a man intriguingly referred to by the Daily Mail as a “society osteopath”.

Given the mess that the Greek economy is in, and the fact that Greece doesn’t actually have a royal family, photographs of the world’s wealthiest doing the conga around gold-plated pineapples and pyramids of macaroons haven’t gone down brilliantly on social media. But the standout symbols of the furore were fashion-based: Olympia’s trainers, which were centre-frame in countless social media posts, owing to the cunning deployment of a series of Instagram-friendly chorus-line-leg-bend poses.

Here’s what we know about the shoes. They are gold nappa leather overlaid with the Gucci brand’s red-and-green striped logo. They have an 8.5cm foam rainbow platform. They were part of Gucci’s 2017 Resort collection, which was presented in Westminster Abbey, and it’s a bit of a shame, in a way, that they have become a symbol of the excesses of the super-rich, given that Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele conceived of them with the best of intentions.

The earnest Walter Benjamin-quoting designer – the man behind the “geek chic” renaissance at the Italian superbrand – made them as a homage to Britain, taking inspiration from club-kid platforms of the 90s and the creepers of the New Romantic era. There was speculation that they had also been designed in honour of gay pride, which would be very on-brand for the new Gucci, which delights in celebrating inclusivity in its explorations of gender-fluid fashion and ethnically diverse cast of muses and models. Still. They do cost 640 quid. Which is quite a lot, even in the ever-escalating world of high-end trainers.

The fact that trainers have recently become part of the fashion vernacular has inspired a rash of unbelievably costly styles. On sale right now are studded Christian Louboutin high tops for £1,995, appliqued denim plimsolls by Valentino for £770, Rick Owens high tops for £697 and Giuseppe Zanotti mid-tops for £950, which feels a bit unnecessary given that the Reebok Club C85 – on sale for about £40 – has recently been hailed as the fashion trainer of the season.

These are not for the sneaker-heads, either, who seek out exclusive trainer styles, not expensive embellishment. For dedicated hypebeasts the holy grail is the drop of cult, limited edition kicks, such as the Yeezy Boost by Kanye West, which sell for about £150 and resell on eBay for upwards of £350. Instead, these are trainers designed for the feet of the super-rich, which must be always swathed in precious skins and diamante.

Though there is the one style that unites the trainer nerds and the billionaires: the Vetements x Reebok Instapump Fury, a model that quickly sold out despite its $760 (£586) price tag. These are squishy, oversized 90s trainers covered in meaningful doodles – “I’m bored”; “no future”; “minority” – something you could try at home with a pair of clean Reebok Instapump Furys (£87.46) and a felt tip pen if you are feeling creative. Plenty of fashion fans on a budget this season already have, which feels a lot less daft than dropping the price of a sofa on a pair of trainers.

Great outdoor activities in Colorado: readers’ tips

Winning tip: Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Strawberry Hot Springs in the Rockies mixes very hot natural spring water with ice-cold runoff from melted snow. There are a number of pools at different temperatures, including (for the brave) an all-cold pool. The rustic design is very peaceful and attracts locals and tourists. One local said: “After dark you can tell who’s from out of town because they’re the ones wearing swimsuits!”
• Adult from $15, child (3-17, daylight hours only) from $8, strawberryhotsprings.com
Flabberghast

Run away to Glenwood Springs
The relaxing hot springs of Glenwood Springs, between Aspen and Vail, make a perfect getaway. Nearby, the Hanging Lake Trail ascends more than a mile and hugs a rushing river. At the top is a pristine lake with trout and a lovely waterfall. It’s definitely worth the hike.

Ballooning, Steamboat Springs
he best way to enjoy the spectacle and variety of Colorado’s mountains, valleys and lakes is from a hot air balloon. At Steamboat Springs, northern Colorado, colourful balloon launches begin in the calm early morning hours. As you rise slowly above the misty fields, villages, forests and herds of cattle become visible, the Yampa river snakes its way through grasslands, and snow-topped peaks stretch to the blue horizon in all directions.

Ride the Rockies
Cycle 400 magnificent miles with locals across the mountain passes of Colorado by taking part in the annual, fully supported Ride the Rockies bicycle tour. Each night you stay in a different mountain town and the organisers come up with routes to ensure that some of the most beautiful reaches of the state are included. This year some 2,000 cyclists crossed the stunning 3,300-metre Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan mountains.

Enjoy a ‘Cliffnic’
As a wedding gift, relatives promised us a hotel stay in Estes Park at the gateway to the Rocky Mountains national park, and lunch at a place with “Colorado’s best views”. Little did we realise it would mean abseiling 100ft down a rock face to eat on a portaledge! From the Stanley hotel, our guides drove us, equipped us and then waited on us, zipping the meal down to our ledge. The views were spectacular and food was delicious. As if our dining experience wasn’t scary enough, the Stanley was the inspiration for The Shining, and back in our room the movie played on a loop on one of the TV channels.

Bag a ‘thirteener’ in the Rockies
Colorado has 58 mountains over 14,000 feet high, and every tourist, local and distant cousin wants to “bag a fourteener”. The result is overcrowded trails, especially on the less-challenging fourteeners near Denver, such as Mounts Bierstadt and Evans. Instead, summit one of Colorado’s thirteeners. From Denver, head to Georgetown to Guanella Pass, and spend a beautiful fall day on 13,763ft (4,204 metre) Square Top mountain. Enjoy a top-notch hike with stunning views all the way to the top. Fall colours abound this time of year. The summit view will not disappoint. As a bonus, the hike also offers fantastic close-up views of Mount Bierstadt, as it starts at the same trailhead.
Dianne Cole

Ute Mountain tribal park
This park is more than twice the size of the adjoining and better known Mesa Verde national park, and contains hundreds of wall paintings, petroglyphs and cliff dwellings. There are still pots lying where they fell that broke centuries ago. The tour of the park requires you sign up at Towaoc visitor center, a small office building about two miles from Ute Mountain Casino and Resort (a wonderful place to stay). A tribal guide leads groups of all sizes into the park. There are a number of tours: the half-day one is a very good start ($29pp plus $12pp transport). We first saw Mancos canyon, which has a petroglyph that may be of the 1054 supernova on the canyon wall. You can also camp in the canyon. Our guide, Marshal Deer, told us about the spiritual meanings of petroglyphs.

Get Creative With 15 Almond Beverage Recipes

If you think almond beverages are just for pouring on your granola or adding to your latte, you need to think again! We challenged 15 FBC members to come up with creative ways to use Almond Breeze almond beverage in the kitchen. You’ll be amazed at the versatility you can achieve with this beverage! Everything from cool, refreshing drinks to an impressive array of savoury entrees to try for dinner, and, of course, decadent desserts! And now, you can find Almond Breeze in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

On Board In 20: Harissa Honey Rib Chops With Broccoli Tabbouleh

Welcome to On Board in 20: a recipe series where we share wholesome, family-style meals you can prepare in about 20 minutes. The recipes always contain whole food ingredients and are intended to be brought to the table for family members to build and construct their individual plates as their senses guide them. Along the way, we bring you tips and tricks for speeding up prep and clean up for those busy weeknight meal times.

Move over sriracha, there’s a new condiment in town! It’s time to add harissa to your pantry. Harissa is a blend of roasted chili peppers, garlic, oil and spices like cumin and coriander. It’s such a fantastic way to add a rich, deep flavor to a dish in a short period of time (not unlike how jarred roasted red peppers gave our 20-minute lentil stew a boost last month). There’s no doubt this sauce is the star of this month’s 20-minute meal of rib chops with broccoli tabbouleh. I chose a mild version and added a little extra honey for my little eater at the table, but you could easily go spicier for an extra kick.

Tabbouleh is traditionally a vegetarian salad made primarily of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion and bulgur. In this 20-minute meal we’ve swapped out the bulgur for quinoa, which gives this meal the added bonus of being gluten free. You could easily substitute couscous for the quinoa as well for an even quicker cooking time. The broccoli is barely blanched before processing and boosts the vegetable content of the side dish. The mint is a pretty important element in this salad. Although there’s only a small amount, it makes a difference in the final product.

As with most of our 20-minute meals, the order of execution is important. My kettle boils 1.5 litres of water in about five minutes, so this always goes on first. This is enough time to get my pots on the stove and preheating, and get out most of my ingredients. You don’t need to worry too much about the ratio of quinoa to water; just be generous with the water and you can always drain out the excess.

And one final tip: set the timer once the pork chops go down because four minutes goes by fast, and it’s pretty amazing what you can accomplish while they sizzle away. This dinner finishes beautifully with a squeeze of lemon and whatever fresh greens you may have on hand.