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We’re back!

Pubs will be re-opening this Saturday (4 July) in England, and they are, quite frankly, desperate for you to come down and pay a (socially distanced, responsible) visit.

Kenny Easton, who manages the Selsey Arms in Coolham, has kept himself busy during lockdown. In addition to his pub’s already large RAF memorabilia collection, he has built a full-size Vickers Supermarine Spitfire (MK IX) replica to greet his guests when they rock up to the pub garden this weekend.

The pub will reopen on 4 July with social distancing in place, as per government guidelines.

To celebrate the return of the beloved local, north London’s Beavertown Brewery commissioned poet and comedian, Tim Key, to draft up a wee poem to welcome the pubs back.

The poem will kill two birds with one stone, being placed on the pavement line by line one metre apart outside 10 London locations, so you can have some reading material in the queue.

Key’s poem will be placed outside The Clissold Park Tavern (Cannonbury/Stoke Newington borders), Royal Inn on the Park (Hommerton/London Fields), Faltering Fullback (Finsbury Park), The Rose SE1 (Bermondsey), The Pineapple (Kentish Town), Three Compasses (Dalston), Howl at the Moon (Hoxton), Neighbour (Kentish Town), The Old Ship (Hackney Central) and The Beavertown Taproom (Tottenham!), which is also re-opening on 4 July.

Beavertown isn’t the only brewer getting arty this weekend.

AB InBev has called on the expertise of the artist who created Barack Obama’s ‘Hope’ poster to create some street art with a nod to its Stella Artois beer brand.

The floor design, which will be rolled out to pubs and bars across the country, uses a combination of geometric shapes and contrasting colours to manage people’s movements and maintain social distancing.

The artwork has been developed by Studio Number One, the team of street artist Shepard Fairey, best known for the Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster and his Andre the Giant OBEY designs.

The colour-contrasted circles accommodate different-sized groups, allowing individuals from different households to meet in adjacent circles, with larger areas for several housemates to share a beer together.

Elements of the design are being shared with 1,000 pubs and bars across the UK to support their covid-19 measures as they finally welcome back customers.

In fancier fayre, Scottish-style London restaurant Boisdale is opening up in Belgravia again and sweetening the deal with entertainment from a Frank Sinatra tribute act.

Boisdale

“Live music is integral to our business as a restaurant” said Ranald Mcdonald.

“We believe we are able to comply with the government’s intentions by introducing a reduced live music programme with some innovation and strict management controls.”

Pubs and restaurants are just the beginning…

We have been informed that Lancashire wedding venue, Gisburne Park Estate, has pivoted its business operations this summer to host the UK’s first socially-distanced outdoor festival, creating 100 temporary jobs in the region’s hospitality and events industries.

The Gisburne Park Pop-Up festival, which is sponsored by Moët Chandon, Peroni and HUN wines, will run for an astonishing eight weeks between July 11 and August 30 2020 to ensure they can hit their target of 24,000 attendees.

Meanwhile, London dough slingers Pizza Pilgrims is reopening its first site in West India Quay, and attempting to lure people in with a new menu item: an eight cheese pizza.

An eight cheese pizza.

Eight cheeses are on the pizza.

So many cheeses, in fact, that they didn’t even name them all in the press release.

Pizza Pilgrims said there will be Ricotta, Fior di Latte, Provala, Gorgonzola, Stracciatella, Bufallo Mozzarella and “two types of Parmesan”.

Is that too much cheese? There’s only one way to find out…

In gin news, Bombay Sapphire has commissioned Chicago-based African American visual artist Hebru Brantley to design its first limited edition artist’s bottle.

Having collaborated with the likes of Nike and Adidas on design projects, Brantley has quickly amassed a celebrity following, with everyone from Jay Z and Lenny Kravitz to LeBron James collecting his work.

Influenced by Chicago’s Afro Cobra movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Brantley uses mural and graffiti as a framework for his own creations. A mixed media artist, he creates his works with everything from oils, acrylics and spray paints to coffee and tea.The project was undertaken as part of Bombay Sapphire’s Stir Creativity initiative.

The limited edition bottle goes on sale across the US today. A portion of the profits will go to Black Lives Matter Chicago.

And in more mixed media, the founder of a premium mixer brand, The Artisan Drinks Company, has found a home as an installation in his own gallery in Monaco.

The gallery has recently been launched by UK-born artist Alan Walsh, whose artwork has led to commissions for a whole host of  brands.

Walsh is also one of the founders of the Artisan Drinks Company and designed its branding – which is why it made perfect sense for the bottles to become a centrepiece, plugging two new projects in one fell swoop.

Italian estate Frescobaldi Toscana has released the eighth vintage of its Gorgona wine made, which is by inmates of a penitentiary on Gorgona island to help teach them skills that could be useful for finding work on their release.

The prisoners of Gorgona island have helped to produce the wine, a blend of Vermentino and Ansonica, since 2012.

We’ve had Sarah Jessica Parker, we’ve had Kylie Minogue, we’ve had Phillip Schofield and we’ve even had Mary J. Blige, and now pop punk stars All Time Low have launched a rosé wine to add to their range.

It’s the third wine release in partnership with Wines That Rock, funded by Warner Music Artist Services.

Sharing its name with a track in the group’s latest album, Wake Up Sunshine, the wine is called Summer Daze Rosé.

A blend that includes white Zinfandel, the wine is said to have a “bright floral nose, notes of fresh strawberries, and melon complete with a light acidic finish.”

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