So, it's tennis right, but in a squash court...

BEST OF: BEST OF BRUM

Supporting beautiful and local just got city centred. With Provide captaining the impeccably designed vessel, a collect of Birmingham-based creatives have got all poppy and uppy with their wares, resulting in Best of Brum — a store and event space — at the Great Western Arcade all the way through to NYE. Here's our pick of the pick.
Provide: Spreading the Bab love
In what's being billed as the Brummiest Christmas card ever witnessed, a phrase little understood by outsiders has been overlaid on to a typical Birmingham scene. A bit like a modern take on Bethlehem, it's £2.50 as a stand-alone container of festive frivolities, and but £15 for a whole pack of ten. Which is (spoiler alert) therefore the precise number of wish-filled cards we'll be sending this December. Get it in-store or right here.
Copper + Solder: Industrial yes
Bringing their properly affordable handcrafted range from their Lichfield home to Brum, Copper + Solder's big up into concrete. Get all industrial with your candlestick game using a marble effect holder (£10, pictured). Or give someone the gift of actually being able to find their watch and rings in the morning with the team's hexagonal dish (£10), which is also suitable for hot drinks thanks to the application of a thin seal. Cleverheads.
Joe Lycett: Writes words
No you can't buy him. But on November 19, you can watch Joe Lycett sign his name repeatedly, in-store. Saving his sole Brum-based book squiggling for the occasion, pick up his thought-provoking debut work Parsnips, Buttered. A weighty text that has attracted the design of its own full-fingered pin badge, if you're not that into words, there are plenty of pictures. Pre-order your copy to guarantee entry to the 2.30pm soirée.
Hades: Last chance
Sold out at Liberty of London and just about everywhere else, a small number of Hades' designs remain at Best of Brum. Achieving the approval of Alexa Chung at Glastonbury this year, the 100 per cent lambswool range features The Slits and The Smiths in addition to our Patti (they're £160 a pop). You'll also find a range of one-offs from British menswear designer, Joseph Turvey. The garments are pieces of art as much as they are clothing.
Haslucks Honey: Bigging up bees
Understandably, bees may have given up on life for 2016. But you can still get some of the Hasluck swarm's best work. Having bought up all remaining stocks of the organic operation's raw, unfiltered, small batch honey, you can count on two hands the number of jars still available to pimp your porridge, adorn your giant crumpet, or more likely consume directly utilising only a spoon. Honey Eden will result in you having £5 less in your wallet. 
Imbue exhibition: New spoils
Taking over the upstairs gallery space from December 2 to 4, Imbue's got new works for the viewing. Considering the development of our Roman-based language from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, the artist's been considering our reversion to communicating via symbols rather than actual words. Pictured are Imbue's "emojiglyphs" — a gold and black screen print on Egyptian papyrus. 👏 👏 👏

TENNIS, IN A SQUASH COURT?


Want to make your legs feel like Aquafresh toothpaste? Try Padel. A racket sport born in Acapulco, it's now going local (see what we sort of did there?) down in, erm, Yardley. Absolutely enormous in Spain it essentially consists of a tennis court with walls around it which ensure the bloody ball refuses to go out of play. Actually that's not strictly true, winning a point is easier than it sounds and the game is nowhere near as repulsive and injury-inducing as squash, and infinitely easier than tennis (underarm serves mean you can't 'Andy Roddick' your cowering opponent). There are only 35 courts in the country and four are in Brum, the biggest Padel facility in the UK so far and the only indoor facility outside London. We booked a quick class to guarantee we had the rules right and once we had them down it was... wait for it... smashing fun (*Roger Moore eyebrow*). Lends itself brilliantly to doubles. Give it a try or consider yourself a custard of the cowardy variety. Website

LITTLE ITALY, IN THE MAILBOX


According to the World Tourism Organisation, Italy received over 50 million visitors last year. Whether or not you were one of them, you'll be on the receiving end of a right proper Mediterranean reception at Harvey Nichols in November, and in particular, this Saturday. To salute the launch of the team's British-Italian hamper hoorah (the Dolce Eater is pictured), there'll be a Britalia Prosecco and Peroni bar — serving up exactly what you'd expect — at a cost of no lira and no pence. In addition to all sorts of gifts, there'll be Italian inspired dolce vita makeovers by Estée Lauder, a selection of treatments from Good Life Barbershop, food and wine tastings, plus lessons in crafting Disaronno's Etro Sour. Molte bene!

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: ARRIVAL


With Prisoners and Sicario, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has quietly been carving himself out a niche as a deliverer of classy, visually impressive thrillers (he’s the one cause for optimism about the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel), but he’s on cerebral form here. A brace of mysterious alien craft appear at seemingly random places on Earth, and Amy Adams is the linguist brought in to attempt communication with their tentacled crew. It’s not the end-of-the-world thriller it sounds like, but instead a thoughtful – at times chilly – meditation on communication and, ultimately, free will. This is high-end stuff, with Adams fantastic, and a wonderful score from Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson. Times
Venue: Edmunds Bistro de Luxe, 6 Brindleyplace, B1 2JB; website
Choice: Supreme of free range guinea fowl (£20) Chooser: Chef

Quietly sipping a glass of Laurent Perrier, looking across a dining room of meticulously laid tables, the idea that Edmunds' new incarnation — the more accessibly billed Edmunds Bistro de Luxe — had actually become more accessible, seemed like a stretch. And nothing about the food we enjoyed (because enjoy it we did) suggested a change of tenure, apart from the pricing. Our pick was a supreme of guinea fowl, so, the breast of the bird off the bone, with the wing joint attached. Served with luscious girolles mushrooms, the addition of blackberries to the beautifully constructed plate was the dish-defining twist, which cut through an otherwise rich combination. You can get the dish within a six-course set menu (£60), for lunch or an early supper as part of a two-courser (£19), or as a single plate (£20). However you proceed, expect the same service, interior and quality of cheffing. And do listen to the sommelier, who made some wonderfully unexpected recommendations. Menus

WE'RE JAMMIN'


An entirely new musical is coming to Brum, and as the image left might just have given away, it's all about Bob Marley. Focusing on a defining period for the global leg-end’s life and career, we join Jamaica on the brink of civil war. One Love: The Bob Marley Musical is a spiritual and political journey which brings the artist's catalogue of live to the musical stage for the first time. Showing March 10 to April 8, tickets are from £10.

DIM SUM YUM YUMS


Dollar Dim Sum Club is bringing freshly steamed pork and shrimp Siu Mai dumplings to Digbeth. We could stop there. Or mention the Bruce Lee appearance (by projector, in a film), the Chinese beer Tsingtao is throwing in, and the limited run of hand pulled, screen printed t-shirts available. The Custard Factory dealio is created and curated by street wear sorts, Bene Culture. On December 10, early bird tickets are £10, rising to £12.
  • Cine-Excess X is a cult and horror film festival. It starts today and continues throughout the weekend. Here be the skinny
  • Original Patty Manx Giving is a thing that is happening at Peel & Stone Harborne. A whole Manx lamb from The Lost Farm, Warwickshire will become tacos, sharing plates and unbridled joy. Nov 24. More
  • Get inside the Council House this Saturday with Birmingham Whisky Festival. From 12pm until 5pm, entry is £30 and there are more than 25 exhibitors to share a drop with
  • The Indian Rasoi is taking over the kitchen at The Victoria tonight from 5pm. Think chicken chaat and chutney goodness. Think
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"Life is like a box of chocolates. It doesn’t last long if you’re fat." - Joe Lycett
WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry, Tom Cullen
IMAGES: Tom Bird (Dim Sum)


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