The celebrity travelogue is an increasingly tired format, but this is one of the better recent entries in the genre. Victoria Wood has a gentle punchline for everything, neatly undercutting the absurdly bombastic soundtrack that blares throughout her travels, which tonight take her to China and India.
It was in the Orient, of course, where Britain’s love affair with tea began, but also an unsavoury trade in opium that led to an inglorious war. It’s fascinating to observe both the art and science of tea from its cultivation to its consumption: the philosophical sits surprisingly comfortably alongside the commercial in these two nations, even if Wood is a little too content to laugh off the odd potentially exploitative practice.
But it’s a breezily enjoyable hour, with presenter and subject a perfect match, and self-indulgent diversions kept to a minimum. Wood’s journey concludes tomorrow with celebrity tea drinkers including Graham Norton, Matt Smith and Morrissey, of all people, having their say.
Voltaire Cocktails & Champagne Bar
What used to be a prison has been converted into a Champagne and cigar bar at the edge of the City. It's an ideal spot for post-work drinks – the private VIP vault areas can be reserved for groups while the bar offerings run from cocktails, starting at £9, to a range of Champagne, from £11 for a glass to £1,200 for a Cuvée Louise Brut 1990 Jeroboam. The food menu includes club sandwiches, somerset brie with spicey orange marmalade or Indian aloo tikki with mint and cucumber yogurt.
Venue says: “Happy hour Monday to Saturday, 5-8pm, with 50% off cocktails and house wine, £5 prosecco, £4.50 beers and £3.75 for craft beer of the month.”