We've returned from Latitude festival and we're totally blissed out, like, totally. Here are our TOP TEN Latitude loves from 2013, and reasons why you should start a piggy bank to get tickets for next year...
1. i-arena stage in the woods. This was really atmospheric and intimate. RHYE played an incredible set there followed by 'Purity Ring'. We hadn't heard of them; but stayed to watch anyway, and it was amazing.
2. i-arena generally. This was our favourite place throughout the festival. It turned into a dance scene late at night after other stages had closed... meaning there was always fun to be had, and our dancing shoes stayed in constant use, as expected.
3. The Woods. The woods were a regular thoroughfare for us every day, and they were magical! Full of ferns and really tall trees, we had to walk through them each time we went to our tent; it was how to get from guest camping to the main arena. The woods contained a brilliant feature called DENTURE DISCO, a DJ booth-cum-stage which was shaped like a massive mouth and set of gnashers! The woods also contained the i-arena and another little stage or two. They were just utterly stunning, and lit up with light bulbs hanging between the trees at night.
4. We watched an amazingly funny comedy set by TIM KEY in the Cabaret tent. It was so nice waking up hungover and being able to go and lounge and laugh the next day if you don't fancy a dance again straight away!
5. One of the key landmarks as Latitude is the beautiful lake with gondolas riding around in it, which you could rent if you so fancied. A tinsy slice of Venice daydreaming anyone?
6. Latitude is family friendly; it had a nice family feel and we felt safe. I definitely think people could bring their kids here too; the Children's Arena is pretty cute.
7. We weren't too daunted. Glastonbury is one of my favourite places in the world; but Latitude was more manageable in the heat! There weren't too many people, and it was relatively fast to zip around the site..
8. We ate the best pizza i think i may have ever tasted from a stone baked pizza place that we can't remember the name of, as it was 3am and pizza was all we could think about - and that's saying something.
9. DISCLOSURE performed a blinding set at BBC RADIO 6 music tent. An absolute highlight, the boys never fail to disappoint, and my dancing shoes found their calling during that set.
10. CULTURALLY DIVERSE. Latitude has a Comedy Tent, a Literature Tent, A Poetry Tent, and A BAFTA Film & Music Arena. This isn't just a festival for music buffs, there is something for everyone.
Marks out of ten? 10/10
We're definitely going back next year.
Previewing in the States but very possibly coming over here is Dominos live cam. This may be a bit of a Burger King/MacDonalds thing where you probably don't want to really know what's in it or see it being made but on the other had it's interesting.
Dominios is loving it's digital-ness at the moment and the Domino's Live online platform is the newest digital edition to it's army. At Domino's Live customers can follow the action of an in-store lunch or dinner rush live.
Pioneering in Salt Lake City Online customers will get a live, uncut glimpse, via five installed cameras within a Domino's store, into the start-to-finish making of a pizza. The initial single-store pilot program launches today and will run throughout the month of May.
"We at Domino's have made continued efforts to open our doors and be as welcoming as possible," said Russell Weiner , Domino's Pizza chief marketing officer. "This is simply the next step, and we are very excited to merge the visual tradition and spirit of the pizzeria with today's digital capabilities."
On the same road as an 'everything £1' discount shop, a money transfer establishment and the cobblers sits discreet little pizza place Sodo on Hackney's Upper Clapton Road. I visited it for the first time on Thursday after a couple of jars at the Clapton Hart and by way of recommendation from a friend who had been singing its praises. And she had every right to.
As soon as we walked in we were greeted with two of the widest smiles: one being from the lovely waitress who excitedly showed us to our seats and the other from one of the chefs in the open kitchen who was casually spinning his dough in the air like a pizza based vinyl. Though tiny inside, it was jam-packed with character and the whole place was buzzing as Stevie Wonder played cooly in the background and diners nattered away at their candlelit tables.
Now, I'm a firm believer in a limited menu as it usually means what's on offer has probably had more time and affection kneaded into each dish rather than spread thinly over three pages of options. For example, when you fancy fish and chips, do you go to the traditional fish and chips restaurant or do you hit up the joint that does curry/ pizza/ Chinese/ kebabs/ Thai AND fish and chips? Exactly. So, a choice of four pizzas and two specials was quite enough for me. Whilst my veggie friend went for the Lorena which saw a sourdough base topped with tomato, mozzarella, butternut squash, rosemary, feta and pine nuts, I opted for the pancetta, goat's cheese and caramelised onion special of the evening. Full of flavour, a dash of chilli oil and with the right amount of crunch from the base, it was the best pizza I've had in a while and I unashamedly finished every last speck. As for drinks, we got through a bottle of red from Sodo's neighbours over at Borough Wines, although their craft beers from an extensive list were also crying out to be tasted. Alas, next time.
As the evening began to wind down, my friend and I finished up our wine as we did the "I'm nicely full and happy" belly rub before we were greeted by the chef himself who asked if we enjoyed our meals. With a grin and a slight slurring, we told him we absolutely did and that we'd would be making another appearance soon to try out the other pizzas. It would be silly not to.
Sodo Pizza Cafe, 126 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JY. Open Tue-Sat midday to 10pm.
For those that love Strada but don't have time to sit in a restaurant over lunch there is now the Strada Lunch Box.
Grab a Strada pizza, salad and a drink any time between noon til 4 Monday-Friday and most Stradas.
Pizzas on offer for the lunch include the Rossa, Cotto and Margherita options can be chosen alongside a mixed salad and a San Pellegrino fruit drink for an all-in price of £8.
This lunch box promotion is to celebrate reaching a grand total of 5,555,555 pizzas sold in the UK.
If you have a craving for a pizza and your in Dalston this is the place to go. Voodoo Rays is still pretty new, only opening in November but it’s already a popular face stuffing hang out with the locals. Voodoo Rays is the sister venue to Dalston Superstore.
It’s not overly pretty, you’ll find no special cocktail glasses and taxidermy here, but that’s ok because the pizza holds its own regardless of the decor it’s served in.
There’s a club downstairs, communal chilli and garlic oil at the end of the bar which sits in front of an open plan kitchen and enough different pizza slices (14 toppings) to warrant a good few return trips to try them all.
They do serve cocktails and they also have a small but well rounded selection of canned beers.
Pizza is £4.20 a slice or you can really pig out and get yourself a whole 22 incher.
It’s also open late with one special pizza only available after midnight, the Full Moon Slice, Fresh tomato, mozzarella, bacon dust, mayonnaise.
Open from 6pm in the week (4pm at the weekend), until 1am from Sunday through to Thursday and 3am on Friday and Saturday.
95 Kingsland High Street
020 7254 2273