Much of David Attenborough’s recent BBC work has been equal parts lap of honour and opportunity for the natural history department to show off its increasingly ridiculous technical skills. This, though, is one of his more scholarly late-period endeavours. It’s essentially the story of evolution, told via new fossil evidence from China and plenty of CGI. So how did we end up slithering? Crawling? Walking? Biting?
A mixture of archeology and biology explains everything, as well as putting it in the context of the monstrous time spans involved. Attenborough’s legacy is already one of the most assured and noble in television history. And shows like this explain why: even now, he isn’t content to coast and remains relentlessly determined to shed light, bring knowledge, vanquish ignorance. To inform, educate and entertain. Lord Reith would be proud.
Madison Terrace Bar & Lounge
Did Sir Christopher Wren adroitly combine the traditional gothic style of church-building with the grace and ambition of Renaissance design, or was his cathedral too decorative for a seat of English ecclesiastical power and a dangerous transgression towards the old faith? There’s no better place to consider the points of debate circling around St Paul’s than this new rooftop terrace bar in Jean Nouvel’s One New Change shopping complex. The name of the bar is meaningless – a vague attempt at Manhattan glamour. The looks are unimportant, as the whole mall is in thrall to its neighbour. Madison seems to exist largely as a viewing platform. But what a view it is. A glass lift takes gawpers from the ground floor, sweeping up parallel with St Pauls’ east elevation. Once in the bar or its generous outdoor space, an unrivalled close-up is offered of the drum, peristyle, upper balustrade, upper drum, dome and lantern of the cathedral – all the godliest bits – with the ball and cross silhouetted perfectly against the sky. You can of course drink in more than the views: cocktails range from standards (mojitos and whatnot) to concoctions with names ripe for being cackled at by hen parties (Pornstar Martini, Hot Bitch Martini). There’s a good range of spirits, and Heineken is offered by the ‘schooner’ (a two-thirds of a pint measure). There are snacks, some of which may cause puzzlement if piled on small plates in Spain, but called tapas here nonetheless: the likes of Welsh rarebit fr
Venue says: “Our new Manhattan inspired cocktail menu is available now with 6 world-famous classics vs 6 contemporary twists. Which side will you choose?”