Things to Do, See and Eat This March: Daisy Hoppen’s Guide

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224-5 Sorrento PARR_2
Sorrento, Italy© Martin Parr

From a new Italian trattoria to a reading list fit for a trip to Austria’s infamous Mayr clinic

March signals the herald of spring and with it, a wealth of new things to do, see, buy and eat. Here are my suggestions for what to do over the coming month.

Watch: The White Crow, out March 22

I am an avid ballet fan, so am eagerly awaiting Ralph Fiennes-directed and David Hare-written The White Crow, which tells the true story of how Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West during the Cold War. Nureyev is played by real-life dancer Oleg Ivenko, so I am planning to drag my friend, ballet dancer Lauren Cuthbertson, with me to dissect his performance!

Eat: Gloria Trattoria in Shoreditch

Newly open is Gloria in London’s East End, the latest from the Big Mamma group. Modelled on a 70s Capri-style trattoria with all food directly sourced from Italy, the menu features a 10-level Lasagna, Neapolitan Pizza, heated in the gigantic Marana oven, or even Italian gelato made with pistacchio di Bronte or nocciola del Piemonte, everything on the menu is homemade (and, all 85 staff are Italian). Expect to roll home with a belly full of pasta and delicious wine, or for the hardier, the late night parties at the Gloria bar are already legendary.

Eat: Orasay in Notting Hill

Also opening this month is Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke’s new Notting Hill outpost – Orasay, inspired by the Western Isles of Scotland and designed with simplicity and texture in mind. Think: clean colours, hand-dyed linens, reclaimed antique French oak furniture, with a menu primarily focused on seafood, including delicious oysters, langoustine, scallops, razor clams, crabs and lobster of the Hebrides. The kitchen will also be reliant on their own organic farm in West Sussex to supply leaves, vegetables, honey and eggs. For a special occasion, ask to see the small ever-changing list of rare wines and older bottles from Jackson’s extensive personal cellar.

Shop: Joan The Store

I love Cat Hocking’s edit for her site Joan The Store. She has a brilliant selection of curated brands – from vintage finds to Mara Hoffman, Lizzie Fortunato jewellery, HAI bags, and Shrimps, to name but a few. She also has one of the best eyes for jewellery and hair clips, my favourite are Seoul Import – think vintage-inspired pastel acrylic clips with floral motifs. This month sees new uploads from Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Priscavera, too.

Listen: Maribou State

My four sisters and I all share one Spotify account – which causes endless arguments and WhatsApp messages as we fight for control of it each day. In our most played songs of last year Midas by Maribou State was number one (closely followed by Blood Orange’s Best to You). This month sees Maribou State headline Brixton Academy, as well as other UK locations, for the first time since releasing Kingdoms in Colour last year. 

Read: Books for the Mayr clinic

I am off to Austria’s infamous Mayr clinic in March and am planning on lots of Nordic-style hikes, outdoor swimming in their lake, and eating (if I’m allowed). Bearing in mind that it’s a phone-free zone, I have been saving up quite a collection of books to read. There’s Sally Rooney’s Normal People – it feels as if I am the last person I know to read this, so I have been waiting for an opportunity where I can read it cover to cover in one sitting – and Anna Burns’ Milkman, which won last year’s Man Booker prize. Its reputation precedes it as a tricky read but the story sounds mesmerising – set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland it follows a young girl who is trying her very best to stay invisible in her local community despite gossip and harassment. Then there’s Peter Nichols’ A Voyage for Madmen, a true story that documents the first solo Round the World Race in 1968, investigating each of the sailors – their journey both before and after (for those that did come home). Plus, any new Danish crime thrillers I can buy at the airport – they are my favourite books to break into a holiday with, the more tortured the protagonist the better, I like it when they have a heavy caffeine habit!

See: Only Human at the National Portrait Gallery, London: March 7 – May 27, 2019

March sees the opening of Martin Parr’s substantial retrospective at London’s National Portrait Gallery, Only Human. The exhibition showcases some of Parr’s best-known photographs alongside never-seen-before works (including fashion portraits, like that of Sir Paul Smith). The primary focus of the show, though, is his most engaging subject, people – with a particular exploration of what it means to be British. Phaidon have produced a book to accompany – meet Martin and get your book signed in Dover Street Market this March (more information coming soon). Tip: the museum has created a genius array of merchandise to celebrate the show – so don’t miss the museum shop!

Also down the road – smaller but no less impressive is Milena Muzquiz’s California at the David Gill Gallery. Exploring the narrative of childhood memories and the artist’s adolescence in the Californian landscape – from beach clubs to shopping malls and visits to the Mexican border. The show comprises of 21 ceramic pieces and a number of large scale paintings.

Daisy Hoppen is the founder of DH-PR, a London-based communications agency. She also works in house with a small number of brands, companies and personalities across fashion, art and culture.