Luigi’s death stare: are you enjoying Mario Kart 8?

Mario Kart 8 has been out in the UK for a few weeks now, leading to a large increase in sales for the Wii U console. It’s even seen the birth of its own meme: the Luigi death stare, a celebration of the lesser-heralded Mario brother’s ice-cold reaction to the administration of shell-based justice.

I spent the weekend getting to grips with the latest Mario Kart iteration, sunny weather eschewed in favour of relentless four-player action.

Early impressions are positive. The karts drive, glide and slide like a dream, and as our review points out, the new weapons are a satisfying addition. And there are little pleasing tweaks that make logical sense: if you plunge off the course into a cute ravine, lakitu returns you to the track much more efficiently than before, power-up boxes reappear a touch more quickly, and there is now a means of combatting the blue shell. At last.

And, as the Luigi death stare indicates, the end-of-race highlights (which you can edit and upload to Youtube) are an absolute joy. We almost enjoyed watching each hit, in glorious high-def slow-mo, as much we enjoyed playing the game itself.

As many have mentioned, the only bugbear is battle mode, which now takes place on the standard courses rather than ready-made arenas, and this is a real step backwards. “I can’t find anyone,” and “it’s taking ages, isn’t it?” were standard responses when we tried it.

Now it’s over to you. How are you finding Mario Kart 8? Is it the best one, or do you still pine for the SNES or the underrated Game Cube versions? Share your thoughts – and links to your own killer videos, if you’ve made any – in the thread below.

Share your experiences of UK museums for kids and win a £200 hotel voucher

With the half-term break on the horizon tell us your day trip tips on museums and galleries that have a wow factor for kids

Long gone are the days when children wandered around our revered institutions in a state of extreme boredom, when the best they could hope to see was a skeleton in a glass case. Museums today use technology to create exciting interactive exhibits and run activities to engage young imaginations – and this half term many children will be chomping at the bit to visit them … hopefully. Tell us which UK museums your children have most enjoyed, and the places that go the extra mile to enthral them.

Send us a tip via GuardianWitness of around 100 words.

The best tips will appear in print in next weekend’s Travel section and the winner, chosen by Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com, allowing you to stay in more than 260,000 places worldwide. Submit your tip by clicking the blue button and using the text tab.

You’re welcome to add a photo if you own the copyright to it – but it’s the text we’ll be judging.

Iconic Canadian Food: The History Of The Caesar, Canada’s Cocktail

Welcome to our series, Iconic Canadian Food! You may know which classic Canadian dishes you like, but do you know the stories behind them? And how can we define Canadian cuisine if we don’t know its past? Gabby Peyton will be sharing the back stories of a smorgasbord of iconic Canadian dishes to celebrate the country’s 150th birthday this year. This month Gabby explores the quintessentially Canadian cocktail, the Bloody Caesar.

Caesars are the best-kept non-secret secret in Canada. If you walk into a bar south of the border and ask for one, there’s no doubt you’re getting a Bloody Mary — the thicker (and lesser, in my opinion) older sister of our beloved hangover cure.

The Bloody Caesar or, as it’s more affectionately known, the Caesar is probably the most Canadian thing you can drink aside from a glass of Canada Dry ginger ale or Molson Canadian. In 2006, the drink was honoured as the 13th greatest Canadian invention and just over ten years later, we’re guzzling more than 400 million Caesars a year; that’s more than 33 million every month! There’s even a national Caesar day — make sure to conjure up a Caesar on May 18.

The original recipe is simple: vodka with Clamato juice, a dash of Worcestershire, a squeeze of lime and served in a glass of ice rimmed with celery salt. While the recent trend has careened towards skyscraping garnishes and potions of juices, one thing is for sure: Canadians will never clam up about Caesars. They’ll continue to order them in American bars and get the same perplexed looks from the bartenders.

FROM SPAGHETTI COMES CAESAR
While some culinary origin stories have a muddier history, there’s no question about who invented the Bloody Caesar. In 1969 Walter Chell worked as a bartender at the Calgary Inn (now the Westin Calgary) and was asked to conjure up a signature cocktail for Marco’s, the new Italian restaurant at the hotel. Inspired by a dish on the menu — Spaghetti Vongele (spaghetti with clams) — the Caesar was born after three months of development.

Unlike the salad (named after the guy from Tijuana who invented it), this cocktail was actually named after the historic leader. Chell’s granddaughter claims it was in homage to his Italian heritage. Legend has it he had originally called the drink by the simpler “Caesar,” but a regular British customer of the hotel was heard exclaiming, “Walter, that’s a damn good bloody Caesar!” and Chell added the British colloquialism to the name.

Despite the legendary invention, there’s some question about the originality of Canada’s favourite libation. Recipes for New England clam juice and vodka cocktails date back to 1909, and in Ritz Paris bartender Frank Meier’s 1936 book The Artistry of Mixing Drinks there’s a clam cocktail made with “a teaspoon of Tomato Ketchup, a small pinch of Celery salt, two or three drops of Tabasco sauce, one glass of clam juice; shake slightly and serve.”

Ironically Mott’s was also developing Clamato juice in California at the same time Chell was creating the Caesar. While sales were small initially, with the rising popularity of the Caesar in the 1970s, sales exploded in Western Canada. There’s no doubt Chell’s Calgarian cocktail creativity helped skyrocket Clamato juice.

ALL HAIL THE CAESAR REVOLUTION?

While the Caesar has remained a classic in the Canadian cocktail compendium, it’s also risen to #foodporn status on Canadian food bloggers’ Instagram accounts. In the past decade there’s been significant evolution of the Caesar. Newer variations of the Caesar include using horseradish instead of Worcestershire, and adding hot sauce or other spicy ingredients like wasabi, Sriracha or even jerk spice.

The Score on Davie in Vancouver is said to have started the trend of putting more-than-ample garnishes on the Caesar with their caloric catastrophe called the Checkmate Bloody Caesar. This $60 “drink” is topped with roasted chicken, the Score burger, a pulled pork Sriracha glazed slider, onion rings, chicken wings, a pulled pork mac and cheese hotdog and a brownie for dessert. Everything from lobster claws to Montreal smoked meat sandwiches have been balanced on the Caesar’s rim, and there’s no sign of it stopping. There have even been ice cream sandwiches and margaritas.

Build-your-own Caesar bars have also become a popular brunch staple in pubs across the country, at places like Pogue Mahone’s in Toronto and Durty Nelly’s in Halifax. Some criticize gluttonous gulps like the Scores, and many bartenders (and hungover patrons) still opt for a simpler approach.

GETTING CLAMMY ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Even Mott’s is jumping on the proverbial bandwagon: in 2000 they introduced ready-made Caesars across the country, and have made several variations on their original blend of Clamato including Extra Spicy, Lime and The Works. Just this year, they introduced Pickled Bean Clamato Juice. A few years ago, they also ran a contest to hire a CMO (or Chief Mixing Officer), won by Clint Pattemore. In 2014, he published a book entitled Caesars: The Essential Guide to Your Favourite Cocktail.

Then came Walter. In 2013 this Toronto-based Caesar mix came onto the scene made with all-natural and high-end ingredients like small batch vine-ripened tomatoes, horseradish and North Atlantic clam juice. French’s is also set to release their Not Your Ordinary Caesar Cocktail Mix in grocery stores in 2017.

Whether you enjoy the classic Caesar, or prefer one of the new creations, there are few things more Canadian than this iconic cocktail.

Nintendo’s rejection of gay relationships gives fans a lot to be angry about

Nintendo often seems like the rarest kind of corporate entity: one that only inspires feelings of goodwill from its customers both past and present. Even as the company continues to flounder in its current state of financial insecurity, much of the criticism from fans, detractors and industry analysts is delivered as if from a concerned friend, rather than a dispassionate onlooker.

That changed on Wednesday, when Nintendo of America (NOA) responded to a social media campaign asking the company to allow players to enter into gay relationships in its game Tomodachi Life with a flat denial issued to the Associated Press.

The company “never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life”, the statement reasoned. “The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that Tomodachi Life was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary.”

It repeated the phrase “social commentary” twice in just three sentences. NOA was trying to avoid rocking the boat and ended up doing the exact opposite. Fans responded passionately with anger and disappointment.

There’s a lot to be angry about here, and a lot to be disappointed by, too. But more than anything else, I’m confused by Nintendo’s logic, because none of this makes sense.

For starters, look at the game itself. Tomodachi Life belongs in a hyper-specific genre of games called “life simulators”. It has often been described as the Japanese gaming giant’s take on The Sims, that enormously popular Electronic Arts game that lets players indulge in seemingly mundane activities – picking out outfits, going to work, coming home, going on dates, getting married.

There are tons of games that owe no debt to realism. Those that do, like Madden or Call of Duty, aspire to such a narrow vision of what realism means that a degree of exclusion is understandable. I don’t expect to see myself cast as a quarterback for the Giants any more than I feel entitled to be represented as burly meathead who runs around hunting for terrorists. But if you make a game that’s meant to simulate life – even a “whimsical and quirky version” of life – and then tell a portion of your players that they’re simply not allowed to make an authentic simulation of their lives, something isn’t adding up.

But the weirdest part of Nintendo’s justification for effectively banning gay marriage in the precious little virtual universe of Tomodachi Life is yet to come. In its statement, NOA went on to say: “The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localize it for other regions outside of Japan.”

The implication here seems to be that there are value-neutral lines of code at the heart of this game. Devoid of “social commentary”, the code was simply copy-pasted from its birthplace in Japan, where the game was first released in April 2013. Tomodachi Life sold 1.83m copies in its first nine months on the market there, so people must have loved this non-“social commentary” version. Why bother tampering with a tried and true formula?

The problem is, that’s not true. People did love Tomodachi Life when it launched in Japan. But part of what they loved about it, according to a report by my Kotaku colleague Brian Ashcraft, is that there was initially a bug in the software that allowed players to indulge in gay relationships – or at least male ones. Japanese players were “thrilled by the bug, posting photos of their gay couples online”. When Nintendo got wind of the game letting players do things they couldn’t legally do in their own country, it quickly issued an update to eliminate the glitch. Dissenting players responded on social media by vowing not to download it.

Nintendo never publicly responded to this story. And given its tight-lipped reputation, the closest we may ever get to hearing anyone from Nintendo speak candidly about LGBT representation is this week’s opaque conclusion that it is using its sudden anti-gay marriage stance as “an opportunity to better understand [its] consumers and their expectations” and is “looking to broaden [its] approach to development whenever possible”.

Did Nintendo – the world’s largest video game company by revenue – really never think about the sexual identity of its customers before 2014? Late last month, one of the developers of the latest Kirby video game mentioned that Nintendo figured out early in the life of that franchise that American audiences preferred an angry-looking version of Kirby over the “cute” one that appealed to Japanese gamers. If the company’s market research delves into the minutiae of the expression worn by an innocuous blob, ignoring something like the demographic makeup of that blob’s fanbase would appear to be a massive oversight.

Then again, Kirby is a nominally male figure who’s naked, bright pink, and best known for his superhuman ability to fit large objects in his mouth. Maybe Nintendo’s market research team didn’t want to ask the question because they were scared of what they’d hear back.

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Whenever the video game industry does ask itself why it continues to drag its feet on introducing gay characters, however, the answers aren’t encouraging. Earlier this year, Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft let one of its openly gay writers explain that even he could not write a queer protagonist into his own work “because of fears that it’ll impact sales”.

It’s hard to accept that logic since it’s rarely backed up (at least openly) with actual data. Plus, it runs opposite to the recent history of every other area in the entertainment industry that comes to mind.

But whether or not you buy Ubisoft’s reasoning, such market-oriented thinking hasn’t been doing a company like Nintendo any favors lately. The same day that Nintendo explained why it didn’t feel the need to include gay marriage in its popular sim game, the company also reported that its earnings for the 2013 fiscal year were even lower than the level it had pre-emptively lowered them to back in January. And that comes after two years of similarly staggering losses.

The company’s Wii U console isn’t selling well. And the 3DS, that beloved mobile system on which Tomodachi Life will soon appear for gay and straight gamers alike in America, isn’t doing so hot either.

I didn’t cover any of this financial news, however, because I was too busy playing the amazing new Mario Kart that’s coming out later this month. Which gets to the real source of my confusion here: how is a company that consistently produces phenomenal work so thoughtless at the same time?

I don’t have an answer to that. So just let me play the part of a concerned friend once more and say: come on, Nintendo. You’re better than this. And it doesn’t seem like you have much more to lose anyway.

No ticket required: see top art for free at Venice’s San Giorgio Maggiore

Across the water from the Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Square, the island of San Giorgio is an integral part of the classic Venetian vista. The white facade and tall bell tower of Palladio’s majestic 16th-century church were immortalised in paintings by Canaletto, Monet and Turner. The church is one of the few in Venice that does not charge an entry fee, and inside there are paintings by Tintoretto – including his Last Supper, painted in 1592–94 – Jacopo Bassano and Palma Giovane.

But Palladio’s masterpiece is only one of many surprising free attractions here. San Giorgo is the headquarters of the Cini foundation, whose arts centre, next to the church, hosts regular, free, exhibitions.

And during each Venice Biennale (ends 26 November 2017) this is a prestigious “collateral venue”. Tickets to the Biennale Gardens are €25, but on San Giorgio, free shows running through the autumn include a show devoted to one of Murano’s greatest glass makers, the artist Vittorio Zecchin, and one on the early 20th-century Italian actress Lyda Borelli. The only paid attraction is the bell tower, a reasonable €3 to take the lift to the top, with much less of a queue than for the San Marco tower, and a much better view.

Food Styling: Tips For Styling Sandwiches

In our Food Styling 101 series, Lisa Bolton offers up food styling tips for conveying the stories you want your food to tell. Her advice will help you create food photography that entices readers to make your recipes and read your articles. This month she shares her tips for styling a meal that’s easy to make but finicky to photograph: sandwiches.

The sandwich. A deceptively simple meal that’s anything but when it comes to making it pop in camera.

For something that can literally be assembled with an efficient fridge forage, the sandwich is always one of my most finicky styling subjects.

Unless you’re shooting a hot sandwich, the good news is you have lots of time to play with the components and get them just right. The bad news is that building a camera-ready sandwich can actually be quite time consuming. The key is having patience to spend perfecting each layer so it all comes together for the perfect shot.

Not unlike approaching most food styling projects, quality ingredients are going to be your first step. For the sandwich, they’re even more critical. In most cases the sandwich is shot with ingredients in the raw, merely sliced, and therefore getting the reddest, firmest tomatoes, and the crispiest, greenest lettuce is most important.

Each layer of the sandwich is a focal point and needs to be given every opportunity to shine.

THE BREAD
Some would argue the single most determining factor in a what makes a sandwich spectacular is the bread. This creed holds especially true in food styling.

When possible, choose bread that’s unsliced so you can maintain complete control on the size and thickness of each slice. Your best bet will always be the bakery.

Bread with colour (i.e., rye or whole wheat) and texture (i.e., flour dusted, topped with grains and seeds) will always pop off a page, over a straight pre-cut loaf in a plastic bag.

Unless you’re shooting a clubhouse, in most cases you’ll want to cut your bread slightly thicker than a sandwich slice width.

Just like my earlier article on photographing raw ingredients, don’t forget to grab a few images of just the bread, or the bread and some of the sandwich ingredients. Part of composing any image is telling the story, and shots of a really beautiful loaf of bread can give that story a beautiful beginning.

The key to a beautiful sandwich is height. Each layer is lightly draped on top of the next to create as much vertical space as possible. When I make a sandwich for my six-year-old, everything lies flat, on the same plane. The bread and the “filler” — the cheese, the meat and veg — are evenly stacked in a vertical flat manner. This does not a pretty photo make.

When preparing a sandwich for a shoot, approach each layer with intention.

As you build out each layer, don’t lay it one on top of another; rather, either pull it forward slightly or push it back slightly. Often I start by pulling each layer back ever so slightly and then adjust once I’ve seen it in camera to ensure it gets adequate real estate in the lens.

APPLYING CONDIMENTS

When applying any condiment or spread, dollop the spread close to the edge of the bread with a small spoon. Using the back of the spoon, gently push and spread the condiment toward the edge of the bread so it just dips over the edge. If not enough is showing, you can always use a toothpick or a small squeeze bottle to dab a little more out.

As with most aspects of sauces and food styling, it’s always easier to add more than to take away, so use a gentle hand.

LAYERING MEATS

To create dimension with the sliced deli meat, you’ll want to create a sort of gentle ruffle. Depending on the shape of the meat, this is achieved by either pinching the slice in the middle and creating almost a rosette shape or folding it in half but not quite evenly, so the edges have texture.

Toothpicks can be extremely helpful in this process. As you fold and build each layer, small toothpicks will help hold the sandwich fillings in place.

THE ANGLES
Sandwiches can be shot from a variety of angles, but slightly higher than a horizon or overhead are two of my favourite ways to highlight a sandwich.

Because the layers are being built at a slight angle, sometimes shooting straight on can expose gaps in the sandwich. By lifting the lens up slightly you can still highlight all the layers but avoid seeing any hollow spaces. Try capturing a shot straight on and then a second one ever so slightly above that and see what appeals to you more.

My preference for most of my shots is to capture an overhead perspective. For a sandwich, that doesn’t always highlight its best side. To still achieve that bird’s-eye view, I remove the top slice of bread and capture the sandwich open face. This still puts all the layers in view, but tells a different story by bringing more elements into the frame.

The sandwich is a great food to get some practice with your food styling: no complicated recipes and you can just work with what you have. Practice the order of the layers, cutting ingredients into different widths and shapes. Start with a horizon shot and snap ten images moving the lens up slightly with each shot to discover the angle you prefer best.

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.