The cross-dressing gents of Victorian England

Published in BBC Culture on June 8, 2016

Had you been sitting in the Royal Strand Theatre one evening in April 1870, you might have noticed a giddy young woman in a low-cut cerise silk dress, larking around in a box before repairing to the ladies’ lavatory. If you had looked a little closer, you would have realised this was no lady after all: rather, a 22-year-old man by the name of Ernest Boulton. Or, to give her the name she preferred, Stella. Continue reading “The cross-dressing gents of Victorian England”

Generation Boring? British teenagers are partying less

Published in Refinery 29 on March 17, 2016

The series Fresh Meat returned to our screens recently – with the gang of Manchester students soon to graduate and face the real world. In the second episode, reluctant teen Luca is sent by his mum round to the flat share, to see how brilliant university life is. Continue reading “Generation Boring? British teenagers are partying less”

When you love going out and your partner loves staying in

Published in Refinery29 on December 4, 2015

It was 9AM when I came through the door. I had started by meeting a friend for brunch the day before, then gone on to an afternoon pub session with some pals. That turned into a cheap Italian dinner out, followed a sweaty club night, all concluding with me catching the tube home on a misty, Autumn morning. Continue reading “When you love going out and your partner loves staying in”

The great hippie hijack: how consumerism devoured the counterculture dream

Published in The Independent on Sunday on November 29, 2015

Might 2015 be the year the hippies finally won? Five decades since the emergence of the flower-power counterculture, the hippie dream has at last gone mainstream. Admittedly, peace and love haven’t quite saved the world, but when it comes to lifestyle, we’ve never been more right on (man). Continue reading “The great hippie hijack: how consumerism devoured the counterculture dream”

Mildreds and Vanilla Black give vegetarian food a makeover

Published in The Independent on Sunday on August 2, 2015

Being a vegetarian is no longer a big deal, with many of us somewhere on the spectrum: cutting out red meat, being veggie during the week, going vegan for health reasons. But many restaurants and gastropubs have yet to catch up, all too often offering the same old mushroom risotto or goat’s cheese tart. Continue reading “Mildreds and Vanilla Black give vegetarian food a makeover”

Gizzi Erskine is taking on the ‘clean eating’ fanatics

Published in The Independent on Sunday on July 26, 2015

“People don’t know how to eat any more.” It’s a bold statement – but, then, that’s typical of Gizzi Erskine. The food writer, TV presenter and trained chef doesn’t mince her words. She credits this tendency for being a bit “gobby” as having helped launch her career more than a decade ago, when she was picked up for Channel 4’s Cook Yourself Thin TV series. Several hit recipe books followed, all with the basic premise that good food, cooked well, can be healthy and delicious. Continue reading “Gizzi Erskine is taking on the ‘clean eating’ fanatics”

Why I’m Over Audrey Hepburn as a Female Icon

Published in The Debrief on July 3, 2015

If anyone deserves to have a show at the National Portrait Gallery dedicated to photographs of their face, it’s beautiful, doe-eyed Audrey Hepburn, right? If anyone deserves to have their exhibition subtitled ‘Portraits of an Icon’, it’s Audrey Hepburn, right? She has become an icon: evoked in fashion editorials for her ‘timeless’ and ‘classic’ style; that Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster a student halls cliche; her gamine presence even posthumously inserted into adverts for chocolate. This show of 150 pictures of her neat, sweet face, her pretty pastel frocks and signature Little Black Dresses is bound to be a ticket-shifter. Continue reading “Why I’m Over Audrey Hepburn as a Female Icon”

Why do (some) guys turn into pervs the minute the sun comes out?

Published in The Debrief on July 2, 2015

It may be hotter than Hawaii in Britain this week, but life isn’t exactly a beach: most of us still have to navigate public transport, replete with strangers’ dripping armpits, before slaving away in an office that’s either stuffy as your nan’s airing cupboard or arctic with aircon. Continue reading “Why do (some) guys turn into pervs the minute the sun comes out?”