Stiletto and wheels Stiletto title Sole to sole Stiletto

STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.

WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility. title
ARTS - October 2010
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Amidst all the doom and gloom of spending cuts, economic fears and the usual personal angst, I have had the great good fortune to spend some of my leisure time doing a few good things lately. Should you need some light relief, I recommend:

Thirty Years of Japanese Fashion at The Barbican

I am a long-time aficionado of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo and, if you are too, this is so worth seeing. The Barbican is wonderfully accessible and parking may be booked.

Quoting from Colin McDowell at

‘You leave this exhibition elated and wanting more. But also with a sense of despair for Western fashion and especially the clueless young designers whose idea of creativity seems only too often to rip off last season's bestseller, with no personal aesthetic or even creative curiosity on their own part.  I urge them - and anyone interested in any aspect of design, fashion or art - to go to this miraculous exhibition and learn. ‘

After this exhibition, we strolled to the Top Floor restaurant at Smiths of Smithfields. Teensy lip-like bump into (very loud) ground floor then lift access to the top. Great long, narrow room with floor to ceiling glass doors, enough space to sit and we could hear each other talking … plus, there was another wheelchair user – not just me! Oh, and a fantastic citrus soufflé. Would definitely go back.

The film: The Social Network was possibly the most entertaining film I’ve seen all year with some great dialogue, by Aaron Sorkin of The West Wing fame, delivered well by an engaging cast. Would recommend anyone to catch it if they can.

Finally, I returned to The Bingham Restaurant in Richmond again. I have been a few times since I first wrote about it in July 2008 and it has never disappointed. This Sunday, with the sun shining in through the tall glass doors and a sparkling view of the river, our lunch – a bargain at £38 for three courses - was just fantastic. Really, this has been my favourite restaurant for the past two years and this, from someone who loves trying the new, is the highest of recommendations … and I am still intending to go again.

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