Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Hotel Catalonia Castellnou, Castellnou, Barcelona

In a quiet residential neighbourhood north west of the city centre, Hotel Catalonia Castellnou is a lengthy walk from Barcelona's main attractions and not well-served by public transport. But a hire bike would work well. Inside, the walls are paper thin and the rooms tend to lack windows, but the hotel does a good breakfast, is tastefully decorated and has decent Wi-Fi. 6/10

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia

Amid a sea of silverware, Barcelona's five UEFA Champions League trophies take pride of place in the Museum at the Camp Nou.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Circular Walk from Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

Sezincote House

From Moreton-in-Marsh, there is a pleasant seven mile circular walk taking in the villages of Longbrough and a fine pub in Bourton-on-the-Hill. From Moreton, you follow a footpath south west across the fields, gently climbing up to Longbrough. From this sleepy hamlet, you strike north taking in wide views of the countryside and passing close to the charismatic Sezincote House, which apparently mixes Cotswold Mogul and Moorish architecture. After the steep climb up to Bourton-on-the-Hill, stop in the Horse and Groom for a pint or lunch, before heading east down the road towards Moreton. After a few hundred yards, you take the lane north towards Batsford Park, and then follow a winding footpath east back to Moreton. The route includes stretches of the Monarch’s Way (named for the escape of King Charles II from the Battle of Worcester in 1651), and the Heart of England Way.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Oxford to Moreton-in-Marsh by bike

The Evenlode Valley, between Wilcote and East End
About 50km as the B road winds, the ride from Oxford to Moreton-in-Marsh takes in some fine rolling countryside dotted with grand houses and sleepy Cotswolds villages. Once you break out of the university city's gravitational orbit, if you plot your route carefully, you should be able to escape cars almost entirely. Tempting as it is, you should avoid riding through Cornbury Park Estate, as you may get challenged by a ranger on a golf buggy. 8/10

Network, the National Theatre, South Bank, Central London

Images from National Theatre web site
Making full use of the Lyttelton Theatre's roomy stage, this visually impressive production has an elaborate set featuring a full-blown TV studio, with working cameras actually projecting live footage onto a large screen at the back of the stage. There is a café-bar to one side where the cast mingle with some members of the audience. The TV studio swarms with a huge cast, including presenters, executives, sound and lighting technicians and make-up artists, all plying their trade on stage in full view of the audience. An adaptation of a successful film from the 1970s, Network tells the story of a news show that goes on a fraught rollercoaster ride, after its ratings dive and its anchorman loses the plot.