The week in pictures

Rum brand Bacardi has teamed up with dance troupe Diversity, pop star Alesha Dixon, GRAMMY Awards nominee Leslie Grace, American model Jasmine Saunders and rapper Meek Mill on a virtual conga.

Members of the public have the chance to join Diversity members Jordan, Nathan, Perri and Sam on 9 December for a virtual dance class, with a limited number of tickets available here.

Once the moves are nailed, attendees can submit samples of their dancing for the chance to appear in global music video Conga Feat. You alongside Dixon, Saunders,  Mill and Grace.

Hollywood star Cameron Diaz has been busy this week, launching a new fizz in her Avaline wine range made by Spanish sparkling producer Raventós i Blanc.

The Spanish sparkler is made using the trio of grapes traditionally used in the production of Cava – Xarel·lo, Macabeo and Parellada from Penedès – and is priced at US$26 a bottle.

The battle of the Christmas decs has officially begun. First up we have Mayfair hotel Claridge’s with its white frosted tree, designed by Kally Ellis, founder of McQueens Flowers. The tree is adorned with over 10,000 crystals as well as glass garlands and pendants, and stands at 4.5m tall.

Meanwhile, The Ivy Chelsea Garden has created its own Santa’s Workshop, with festive Champagne cocktails created in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot.

 

Three Michelin-starred Sketch in London’s Mayfair is also pulling out all the stops, with a series of installations in collaboration with Champagne Pommery, also featuring daily ballet dances and music from a string quartet. Pictured is ‘Two poodles and a Christmas tree by Ricky Paul Flowers.

Sparkling wine producer Digby Fine English also has cause for celebration after announcing that it has become the official supplier of English sparkling wine to the House of Commons gift shops. Pictured are Trevor Clough, CEO and head blender at Digby, and Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and the South Downs, where Digby is based.

And in other news, the owner of a Tequila bar in Nottingham has registered for his site to be turned into a church so that it can remain open under tier three restrictions. As reported by the Nottingham Post, James Aspell has registered for his Tequila bar 400 Rabbits in Hurts Yard to become ‘The Church of The Four Hundred Rabbits’.

Those interested in attending Aspell’s Tequila church can either become “a bunny believer” or “a reverend of the righteous rabbits”.

From rabbits to something a bit larger: a luxury boutique hotel where guests can get up close and personal with giraffes is due to open in Kent next year. Giraffe Hall, a Grade II listed house, will boast accommodation for 40 guests and will specialise in English wines, particularly those made in the garden of England.

And finally… we were treated to a highly enjoyable (and entertaining) Zoom tasting this week hosted by the inimitable Sandro Bottega of high-end Prosecco producer Bottega Spa. Prior to the tasting, we were sent an abundant array of cured meats and Italian cheeses to enjoy with the wines, as Sandro was keen to stress that Prosecco should be enjoyed throughout a meal, with meat and fish dishes, not only as an apéritif.

Among the wines we tasted during the session was Sandro’s new pink Prosecco, which he says he drinks more of than his other sparklers. He believes the addition of 15% Pinot Noir in the blend brings elegance, sophistication, a savoury taste and long length to the wine. Sandro is a big believer in the potential of pink Prosecco, which he thinks may grow to account for 20-25% of the total Prosecco DOC production.

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