It’s a pleasure to see talented writers and performers given their head in this Sky short film strand. The format offers freedom but demands concision and invention too – tonight’s offerings from Isy Suttie and Sarah Solemani exploit the opportunity gleefully.
First up is Suttie, starring as dopey, charming dreamer Bella – working in the café of a tiny train station, challenging the romantic pragmatism of her boss, friend and rival Jenny (Rebekah Staton) and occasionally, bursting into song. As a cheerful musing on small towns and crap jobs, it packs plenty into its 25 minutes.
Then at 9.30pm there’s Sarah Solemani’s ‘Aphrodite Fry’. Stung by the poor sexual etiquette of a one-night stand, Aphrodite sets out to prove that women can ‘cum and go’ too. For this purpose, she selects an apparently charmless partner (Alex Price’s Bobby, a man whose dreams are to ‘make lots of money and meet Mike Tindall’). But inevitably, she discovers frailty and humanity within this unpromising raw material. Both films are slight and not without their flaws and self-indulgences, but they overflow with charm too.
A Fitzrovia fixture since 2015, this Spanish restaurant on Whitfield Street serves up Basque Country cuisine, paellas and other classic dishes from the south-east of Spain and tapas from all over. The wine list features a lengthy selection from across Spain, from well-known regions and from those they consider overlooked. Tapas plays an important role here, with classics such as patatas bravas, Galician-style octopus, chorizo in cider, ham croquettes and deep-fried Padron peppers alongside huevos rotos con jamon (broken eggs with fried potatoes and iberico ham), albondigas en salsa (Spanish beef and pork meatballs) and mezclum de setas con alioli-miel (mixed mushrooms with grilled honey alioli).Larger dishes include seafood paella, iberico spicy rice and black rice with saffron alioli, as well as daily stews. The restaurant's speciality is cocido madrileño – a traditional meat, potato and chickpea stew from Madrid.