Culture

Category:Culture

A Field of Poppies Marks the Anniversary of WWI at the Tower of London

A gorgeous new installation opened today (August 5) at the Tower of London, to make the centenary anniversary of the start of World War I.

Called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the display by ceramic artist Paul Cummins will feature hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies – the ceremonial flower traditionally used to remember war veterans in Britain – arranged in and around the Tower’s moat.

The official Twitter account for the Historic Royal Palaces – the charity that oversees locations such as the Tower, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace and others – has been sharing photos of the event this week, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at how such a massive undertaking will be completed. Take a look at some of the most impressive below.

Category:Culture

Watch the Queen’s Guards Play the ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Song at Buckingham Palace

So, Queen Elizabeth probably doesn’t have a Ser Barristan the Bold of her own outside Buckingham Palace, but the Queen’s Guards are apparently big fans of fantasy drama Game of Thrones anyway.

We know this because during a recent Changing of the Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the band suddenly burst into a rousing rendition of the HBO series’ incredibly recognizable theme tune. (For those that don’t know the band traditionally performs a song during the ceremony, which takes place daily in the summer at 11:30am.)

It’s awesome. And thankfully a quick bystander recorded it and put it on YouTube

Category:Culture

'Downton Abbey', 'Sherlock' Lead British Invasion as 2014 Emmy Nominations Are Announced

The 66th Primetime Emmy Award nominations were announced this morning (July 10) so I thought it a good time to take an inventory of how some of our favorite actors from the UK fared with the Television Academy. If you're curious - the answer is - quite well, and in a few unexpected categories to boot! Let's take a look. If you’d like to see the complete list of nominees, regardless of their nationality, click here.

Category:Culture

Celebrate Independence Day by Imagining If The British Had Won

As every American knows, on July 4 the United States celebrates its independence. We watch fireworks, eat barbecue, go to baseball games, and basically spend the day generally rejoicing in our Founding Fathers’ successful thrashing of the British Empire.

I never know what to write about on this particular day here on the blog – it’s such an American holiday and we cover all things British and it’s probably not best to cross the streams and all that kind of thing. But luckily, the marketing team at beer manufacturer Newcastle has helpfully provided us with the perfect post topic this year.

Category:Culture

Hugh Bonneville, Benedict Cumberbatch and More Read Children’s Stories at Hay Festival

Last week, BBC Radio 2’s The Chris Evans Breakfast Show ran a special competition meant to encourage children to write short stories. Called 500 Words, the annual event challenges children to compose a complete short story in – you guessed it – just five hundred words.

(Which is a task that, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time at all, we all know I would fail. Badly.) 

Category:Culture

Sherlock Holmes: The Theme Park is a Thing That Might Happen in Portsmouth

Now that we’re all back to our regularly scheduled programming of waiting for new Sherlock episodes following the conclusion of eries 3, the natural progression of life as a Sherlockian is to start looking for interesting Holmes-related things to pass the time until we get to Series 4.

And this is certainly one of the more interesting Holmes-related things we’ve seen in a while.

Would you visit Sherlock Holmes: The Amusement Park? Because that’s something that’s actually in the works right now. No, really. That’s not a typo. 

Category:Culture

Celebrate Robert Burns Night with Some Scottish Telly

You don’t have to be a poetry fan to be familiar with the work of Scottish national poet, Robert Burns. In fact if you’ve ever sung Auld Lang Syne at a New Year’s Eve party, you have performed a piece of Burns’ work.  

So beloved is Burns to his fellow countrymen that he was named the greatest Scot of all time in a STV poll in 2009. In fact, Burns’ birthday is celebrated as an unofficial Scottish holiday with suppers held in his honor on or around January 25th. These traditional gatherings are organized around the world, in people’s homes and in swanky halls. No matter where it’s held or how fancy the event, however, there are certain elements that are a part of all Burns’ suppers.

Just a quick look around YouTube will demonstrate the range and scope of these celebrations in honor of Scotland’s favorite son. 

 

Category:Culture

The Holmes Effect: Sherlock is Apparently A Baby Name People Are Doing Now

The global success of the BBC’s Sherlock, combined with Robert Downey Jr.’s blockbuster movie franchise and Jonny Lee Miller’s American adaptation Elementary have done more than make Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective popular again among both literary geeks and British television enthusiasts.

Sherlock Holmes is apparently way cool amongst the British parental set now, too.

Category:Culture

British Telly Chefs: Who Would You Trust to Make Your Thanksgiving Feast?

In case you’ve lost track of time, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, a holiday which holds many fond memories and a lot of anticipation for me.

It’s a great celebration for several reasons. As the name suggests, it reminds us to be thankful for all the good things in our lives. I find Thanksgiving to be less stressful than Christmas; one single day designated for families to gather together and gorge on the most delicious meal of the year. We also get to watch a parade that features giant character balloons and Broadway musical numbers. Only in America, right?

I don’t know if the Brits are jealous of our feast-based holiday, but I do know Americans miss the holiday terribly when they’re away from home. Let’s say you found yourself in the UK over the Thanksgiving holidays, no family and no kitchen facilities of your own.  Who would you choose to prepare this most important repast, the meal that would make you feel less homesick on this special day?

 Jamie? Gordon? Nigella, you say?  They’re all fine and good and granted they are real food preparation professionals.  Nonetheless, the telly chefs I have in mind tend to be a tad more amusing.

Category:Culture

Remember the Fifth of November: The Gunpowder Plot and Bonfire Night

Rememeber remember the Fifth of November 

The Gunpower Treason and plot

I know of no reason the Gunpower Treason 

Should ever be forgot. 

Nowadays many Americans are more likely to be aware of the Remember, remember the fifth of November rhyme from the Wachowski Brothers’ cult hit V for Vendetta or the flurry of Facebook status updates on the subject in their Newsfeeds once a year, rather than because of actual history, but did you know that there’s an actual British holiday associated with this saying? 

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