Alpharooms reveals how travellers can save up to £890 on a 3-night city break by staying in alternative locations


September 21, 2017

For immediate release

City breaks are a popular staple for tourists to take respite from the interminable UK weather, and when thinking of your next trip, the major European capitals are the usual suspects. However, research from alpharooms has discovered that people may be over-paying for their city breaks in those capital cities. There are many destinations outside of the popular European capitals with a wealth of culture, history and entertainment that are worth consideration for your next weekend break. Alpharooms research helps you understand which European cities give you a good deal and which cities you can make a saving on.

Using a variety of data, alpharooms compared the cost of a night’s stay in a typical three-star hotel, added in the cost of an average meal for two, with wine and beer thrown in, then calculated how much travellers could save by staying in alternative destinations in 19 of Europe’s top cities.

Coming in with the best saving was a stay in the Oslo suburb of Bygdoy. The Norwegian capital was the most expensive city in the survey, with a 4-day/3-night stay costing £1,435. By staying in the scenic Bygdoy peninsula, less than half an hour from central Oslo, visitors can enjoy a range of museums and attractions, as well as beaches – and spend less than £550, a savings of more than 60%.

Alpharooms’ suggestions for an alternative to explore the Danish capital may be surprising – it’s in Sweden! Yet thanks to the awe-inspiring Oresund bridge (a must-see attraction in the town), Malmo is just an £11 public transport ticket away from wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen. Malmo is a vibrant, modern city in its own right and a typical 3-night stay there will cost you £849 less than one in its southern neighbour, and you get to see two countries in one trip.

Sunny Madrid has an abundance of historic, cultural and culinary treats for visitors, but at an average daily price of £338, the Spanish capital is among the most expensive cities to stay in Europe. Madrid’s neighbour city, Toledo is just 32 miles away and this ancient city is full of history. Its imposing castle and cathedral are complemented by mosques and synagogues – a reminder of when Spain was a Moorish possession. Cultural sites, such as the El Greco Museum, have helped make Toledo a UNESCO World Heritage city.

The fine architecture and wealth of history make Edinburgh a must-see location. But with a 3-night weekend trip at an average of £930, it’s not necessarily a cheap place to stay. Stirling, an hour’s train away and only £13 for a return ticket, is a historic town to discover, with a less-crowded and calmer vibe. Stirling was once the capital of Scotland itself, and it boasts a castle to rival Edinburgh’s, as well as a great variety of shops, pubs and coffee houses. It’s on the doorstep of the Highlands too, so why not enjoy a wee dram of whisky while you’re there.

Eastern European locations are usually cheaper, but UK visitors to the onion-domed splendours of Moscow will find city centre hotel prices push it into the expensive bracket. Alpharooms recommends a stay in the Dubrovitsy estate, 27 miles from the Russian capital. This historic estate was once the retreat of Catherine the Great, and it contains a magnificent manor and an ornate church, dating back to the early 18th century.

If Vienna is the crowning glory of Austria, Klosterneuburg is a hidden gem just half an hour’s journey away. An ancient military town and monastic centre, it lies in the Danube valley amid simply stunning scenery. It’s also noted for its fine wines – and for the large homes of some of Vienna’s wealthier workforce. Luckily, you don’t need to be wealthy to stay there: travellers can save over 55% in costs by staying here than staying in the capital.

Other recommendations include Uppsala for Stockholm; Bankya for Sofia; Hafnarfjorour for Reykjavik; Windsor for London; Murten for Berne; Wolomin for Warsaw; Haarlem for Amsterdam; Bray for Dublin; Bled for Ljubljana; Szentendre for Budapest; Leuven for Brussels; Kladno for Prague; and Ostia for Rome.

As a leading provider of discount holidays and hotel deals worldwide, alpharooms have won several British Travel Awards from 2013-2016.  You can vote for alpharooms in the 2017 British Travel Awards to win Best National Travel Retailer, Best Online/Call Centre Travel Agency, or Best Hotel Booking Website.

Five Guys Named Moe

What: Five Guys Named Moe
Where: Marble Arch Theatre, London
Who: A funky, fun theatre experience in a brand new theatre
When: Until February 17, 2018
Why: A great show and a fantastic bar area make for a great night out!

There’s a new theatre in town, it’s fabulous, and the show now playing at this theatre is fabulous as well.

 The Marble Arch Theatre, which is an Underbelly production (the team that brings us the excellent shows in the Southbank), is cleverly located right next to the arch in Marble Arch, is the newest theatre to pop up in London. It’s a gorgeous 650 seater wooden structure that includes a very large bar and an auditorium with a stage that is semi-circle in the round, a design that reflects the 1940’s New Orleans Jazz bars. And theatregoers will be able to take their seats at the cabaret tables in the Funky Butt Club and have drinks served directly to their tables for an up-close and personal musical experience all around them. And the show at this new theatre is “Five Guys Named Moe,” which is a show about Five Guys Named Moe (Big, Little, Eat, Know and Four-Eyed) who give guidance, advise and support to Nomax, who is single, broke and lamenting about a broken relationship with a woman named Lorraine. The Moes sing and dance their way throughout this two-hour very lively extravaganza, while Nomax (played by Edward Baruwa) takes it all in. Songs, featuring the hits of original jazz king Louis Jordan, include “Early in the Morning,” “I Like ‘em Like That,” “Safe, Sane and Single,” and “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” are sung by the Moes in such a fun and unique style. And there is also quite a bit of audience participation. One member of the audience who was chosen to recite some sentences on the night I saw it, and it was none other than stage and movie star Freddie Fox. The Audience also gets to outdo each other, with the help of the Moes, in a sing-a-long that provides raucous laughter. It’s the oldest trick in the book to include the audience in the show to make sure they are having a great time, and the Moes use it to their advantage.

“Five Guys Named Moe” is based on a musical of the same name by Jordan in 1943, and has been around since it’s 1990 UK debut (and a 2010 UK revival). With a book by Clarke Peters, if feels like this show has never left London. But if you’ve already seen it, seeing it again at the new Marble Arch Theatre will be a whole new experience, and perhaps more of an enjoyable one in a setting that matches the fun and frivolity of the show. Kudos to all the Moes who make it a fun night out (Ian Carlyle, Idriss Kargbo, Dex Lee, Horace Oliver and Emile Ruddock) and to Underbelly for copying their successful formula to Marble Arch, and to the production team for pulling it off and producing one big party.
They’ve just announced that “Five Guys Named Moe” has been extended to 17 February 2018 due to overwhelmingly popular demand. Tickets are on sale now, get yours here:
Photo from The Corner Shop PR
Review by Tim Baros

Fashionette re-launches UK online shop with new look design and usability

London, 12th September 2017

fashionette, the leading online retailer for exclusive designer bags, has today launched its new look online shop in the UK following a successful relaunch in Germany earlier this year. Designed to integrate products with expanded editorial content, the online catalogue inspires users with the newest looks, celebrity styles and catwalk trends. Fully optimised for mobile devices, users can now zoom in further to see bigger product images and detailed style notes on each product.

“The new shop design is a way to address our customers on a more emotional level. Our customers can now experience the stories behind our designers and trend inspirations whilst shopping their favourite brands,” explains Dr. Sebastian Siebert, co-founder at fashionette.

Additionally, the e-tailer was recently awarded with the Shop Usability Award 2017. The new online shop from fashionette was honoured with one of Germany’s most renowned eCommerce awards, in June 2017 taking first place in the ‘Accessories, Gifts & Lifestyle’ category. The ceremony was part of the K5 Future Retail Conference in Berlin.

Shop Usability Award initiator, Johannes Altmann, comments on the jury’s decision: “We are impressed with such a new and innovative concept, which isn’t a usual standard for e-tailers.  fashionette pays extra attention to its customers emotions and the editorial content which follows.”

fashionette will also re-launch its online platforms later this year across Europe.

The Ivy Soho Brasserie DRAG QUEEN BRUNCH

On Sunday 17 September, The Ivy Soho Brasserie will host a playful Drag Queen Brunch to celebrate London’s Fashion Week. Set within the heart of Soho, guests who dine for brunch between 11am – 4pm will be greeted and hosted by two fabulous drag queens – Tiffaney Wells and Adora Dix – to ignite their dining experience. This exclusive theatrical performance is available for one day only, making it the go to dining destination during London Fashion Week. 

Tiffaney Wells

The Ivy Soho Brasserie’s brunch menu will be available from 11am – 4pm featuring an array of The Ivy Collection classic dishes, such as chicken Milanese, hot buttermilk pancakes and the melting chocolate bombe. Tiffaney Wells and Adora Dix will be the Maître D’s for the day and will ensure an experience with vibrant entertainment to excite and engage guests throughout their meal. 

Adora Dix

On 7 February 2017, The Ivy Collection opened one of its latest venues; The Ivy Soho Brasserie, situated on Broadwick Street in the heart of London’s Soho. With approximately 200 covers making up the main restaurant, bar and Parisian style outdoor seating, the restaurant is open seven days a week, offering sophisticated and friendly all-day dining to local businesses, residents, shoppers and visitors alike. As with its sister sites, The Ivy Soho Brasserie offers an all-encompassing, contemporary British menu serving breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks, cocktails and dinner. Consumers can book The Ivy Soho Brasserie’s Drag Queen Brunch online at or over the phone at 0203 301 1166.

Tiffaney Wells was beckoned by the bright lights of London’s West End after a two-year stint at Warner’s Leisure. Later, Tiffaney then decided to take her own show on the road and perform in theatres, night clubs, social clubs and charity events (JNF) throughout London and the UK.

Adora Dix (aka Carl Durbin) has been entertaining audiences for over fifteen years at some of the world’s finest venues in Las Vegas, Florida, Butlins Bognor Regis and now, London.

The Ivy Soho Brasserie is located at 26-28 Broadwick Street, London  W1F 8JB, right near Berwick Street Market.
Hours: Monday to Saturday 8am to Midnight, and Sunday and Bank Holidays from 9am to 11pm.
Phone: 0203 301 1166


World Renowned Celebrity Photographer John Stoddart opens Exhibition at L’Escargot

For the first time in the UK, world renowned celebrity photographer John Stoddart will showcase a provocative two-part exhibition at London’s favourite French restaurant, L’Escargot on 26th September 2017. The exhibition will showcase Stoddart’s iconic celebrity portraits from Martin Scorsese to Daniel Craig as well as a series of 22 photographs representing his unique vision of the journey of life. The two-part exhibition will be set in one of London’s most historic and iconic restaurants, offering guests the opportunity to dine among Hollywood stars.

Considered as one of the most important English photographers of today, Stoddart began his photographic career in his home town of Liverpool receiving his first big break, as a photographer in the early 1980s with Frankie Goes to Hollywood; creating what has become one of his, and the music worlds, most iconic images. Each photograph displayed in this two-part retrospective is taken directly from a negative and have had no digital editing, revealing Stoddart’s uncanny ability to see inside and capture the very essence of his subjects.

Commenting on this John Stoddart said “I’m thrilled to display a diverse body of my work for the first time at L’Escargot. It’s a London dining institution with its own incredible history of celebrities and influential characters that have taken a seat for dinner. It made perfect sense to display a collection of my most provocative and iconic work here. ” John Stoddart 2017

The first part of the exhibition, displayed in the main dining room, aptly titled From Beverley Hills to Soho: The portraits of John Stoddart consist of a selection of Stoddart’s most important celebrity portraits over three decades, highlighting his true artistry. From Frankie Goes to Hollywood to pierce Brosnan and ending with his iconic portrait of Daniel Craig, capturing Hollywood’s dazzling elite before they rose to fame. In the days before social media, Stoddart’s portraits let us into the elusive world of celebrities showing them as people with real emotions, from Catherine Zeta-Jones dancing on a bed in the Dorchester Hotel to Jeremy Irons sitting in the back of a taxi looking straight into the lens. Stoddart captured their natural beauty and through this managed to create the most magnificent works of art and some of the most important photographic celebrity portraits of the second half of the 20th century.

The second part of Stoddart’s exhibition named Memento Mori is a series of 22 photographs taken over many years from Stoddart’s various photography sessions. They come together in this unique display, presenting Stoddart’s unique ‘vision’ of the journey of life; beginning with the alpha and ending with the omega of life. Through these images, Stoddart beautifully encapsulates our passions, desires and fears from birth, death and everything in between. These photographs are adult in nature but for the first time, demonstrate an alternative body of work by the famed photographer.

L’Escargot is an iconic establishment set within the heart of Soho, with an incredible heritage, famous for its bourgeois French cooking snails. Over the years L’Escargot has seated a plethora of stars from stage to screen, including, Coco Chanel, John Gielgud, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Ralph Richardson, Judy Dench to Princess Diana, making it the perfect setting for a Stoddart retrospective.

The exhibition will run from 26th September –6 th October at L’Escargot, 48 Greek Street, London, Soho, W1D 4EF and is free for the public to attend. Alternatively guests are welcome to book a table and enjoy dining in the company of Hollywood Icons.



Press release for immediate distribution

8th September 2017


AN AUCTION Ball ORGANISED BY GLAM AFRICA MAGAZINE, AFRICA’S TOP STYLE VOICE, WILL see two stunning DRESSES LINKED TO “Kings of the jungle” – Prince and Cecil the LION – sold off to benefit the Aleto Foundation in London on September 20th at the RAC Club.

The Aleto Foundation matches young students of disadvantaged backgrounds with successful mentors in the UK to open doors for them and to assist them in achieving senior positions in business.

Auctioneer for the GLAM AFRICA event is Giles Peppiatt, Head of Contemporary African Art at Bonhams, the international fine art auction house. He comments: “These remarkable dresses will doubtless attract a lot of keen bidding given the designer and the cause they will aid and the reason they were created, a tribute to an African lion hunted for pleasure, and a lion of the music industry, Prince who died much too young.”

Mary Martin who designed the two dresses heads one of London’s leading edge fashion brands, best known for her outrageous, bespoke, creative designs. She emerged on the fashion scene in the late 90’s. Mary explained that when she heard that Cecil the Zimbabwean lion had been shot by an American who hunted for pleasure, she decided to make the dress in black out of mourning for Cecil. She made the dress by hand and said that since learning of Cecil’s death she had worked day and night to complete the dress made originally for London Fashion Week.

A similar feeling of huge loss inspired Martin to create a purple-feathered dress for Purple Rain singer Prince. Prince died from a fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57. It’s now been more than a year since his passing. He sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the film Purple Rain.

The pre-sale estimate for each of the dresses is £5,000.

Ms Chioma Onwutalobi, CEO and Publisher of Glam Africa, says: We  support the Aleto Foundation as its work is crucial to the upliftment and support of the youth in this country. These young people are our future, what could be more valuable than seeing them realizing their potential and succeeding. Making them and us proud of Africa’s contribution to the UK. We are in the business of showing off the best of Africa and through that building a community of supporters here in London. This event allows us to assist in the upliftment of youngsters who sometimes struggle in an environment that is not of their own birth culture but who given a chance have much to contribute.”

Glam Africa is a multimedia company with operations in the UK as well as Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. Its platforms include a quarterly print magazine, TV show and events for its supporters.

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Prince Tribute Dress by Mary Martin shown by Denise Pearson of 80s pop group, Five Star, and The voice 2012 contestant.

Tickets for the GLAM Magazine auction are available from Glam Magazine at or email [email protected]

Other stunning lots in the GLAM auction include:

*    The world’s most expensive Prosecco, Casanova Prosecco Swarovski Edition

*    A 3 day ‘Lady Tatiana of London’ yacht charter courtesy of White Star Charter

*    A £3,000 suit from Fielding and Nicholson            


Altered States | Saatchi Gallery


London, UK – On September 29th the Saatchi Gallery will open a new exhibition, Altered States in the Prints & Originals Gallery. Curated by Olly Walker, the exhibition showcases works by eight urban contemporary artists based in the UK.
The eight artists featured in Altered States are: D.A.N.T.E., David Shillinglaw, Florence Blanchard, Kid Acne, Lily Mixe, Skeleton Cardboard, Sr.X and Victoria Villasana.

By its nature art concerns transition and transformation. Ideas and emotions transform from impulses to physical images. Substances are transformed when rendered on surfaces, liquids become solids and colours merge. Similarly, artists find themselves living within a society that is constantly changing and presenting them with new challenges and opportunities.
The UK is home to a community of diverse artists. Some were borne in the UK and others were drawn to it; but all continue to explore artistic ideas as the nation evolves. Altered States showcases the output of a selection of British-based urban contemporary artists working today.
Brief Biographies of the Artists

D.A.N.T.E. was born in Glastonbury, Somerset, UK and currently lives & works in London. Inspired by Basquiat and Haring, the artist creates free-flowing and expressive works reflecting upon contemporary urban life.

David Shillinglaw is an artist whose work includes a variety of disciplines, ranging from small drawings and hand-made books, paintings on canvas, and large-scale wall murals and installation. The artist graduated from Central Saint Martins, London in 2002 and has exhibited internationally. He lives and works in London.

Florence Blanchard is a French painter, muralist and screen-printer based in the UK. Blanchard spent 10 years in New York where she graduated with a PHD from New York University. Her training as a scientist, as well as her earlier experiences writing graffiti under the moniker Ema, inform her abstract creations.

Kid Acne is an artist, illustrator, print-maker and emcee. A retrospective of his work was exhibited at Museums Sheffield in 2011 and his work has featured in numerous publications. The artist has exhibited internationally and his work has been utilised by leading brands. The artists lives and works in Sheffield, UK.

Lily Mixe is an artist originating from Paris who is currently based in London. The artist creates detailed and carefully rendered works on found objects. Her works illustrate a love of nature and a deep concern for the environment that surrounds the artist and us all.

Skeleton Cardboard studied Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Art. The artist was particularly inspired by a trip to Mexico City and later left paintings of skeletons on scraps of cardboard for people to discover on the streets of London. The artists lives and works in east London.Sr. X is a Spanish street artist now based in London. The artist continues to produce works on the street and in his studio using techniques including stencils, collage, oil and acrylic painting.

Victoria Villasana has spent her life living in either Mexico or London. Both cultures have inspired her work. Her trademark pieces are portraits embellished with yarn. The artist often pasted these up on the streets of London.

About the Curator

Olly Walker, the founder of Ollystudio, has cultivated a reputation for curating strong shows and artistic collaborations for a range of clients. In addition to the curation of a number of high profile gallery shows in London and Berlin, Olly has collaborated with brands such as Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Converse, Orange and artists like Vhils, JR, Nick Walker, Paul Insect, Ben Turnbull, Mode 2, Ben Eine, D-Face, WK Interact and Alexander McQueen. Ollystudio has designed books for some of the best artists in the world and worked with influential galleries such as Saatchi Gallery, Urban Nation and Lazarides.

About the Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery was founded in 1985 with the aim of bringing contemporary art to as wide an audience as possible and make it accessible by providing an innovative platform for emerging artists to show their work. Over the last five years the Saatchi Gallery has hosted ten out of the top 15 most visited exhibitions in London, according to The Art Newspaper’s survey of international museum attendance, and is also ranked amongst the world’s top five most liked museums on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+. Entry to all the Saatchi Gallery’s exhibitions is free.
For further press information and images contact:
Lily Greensmith [email protected] +44 (0)207 811 3091
Paul Foster [email protected] +44 (0)207 811 3078


   Robbie Smith, a 32 year old Australian expat, was stunned to see his family sitting outside his local café, after ŠKODA flew them to the UK for a surprise reunion  

   ŠKODA reconnected Robbie with his loved ones, after years apart, to celebrate the launch of the new Kodiaq SUV

   The ŠKODA Reconnect Fund launches today, giving people the chance to win and reconnect with what matters most to them:

30th August 2017 – An Australianexpat who moved to London more than two years agois reconnected with his family in a heart-warmingmoment captured on camera and released by ŠKODA.

Robbie Smith lives in the capital with his English girlfriend.  He hadn’t seen his family from Melbourne in years until ŠKODA surprised him by flying them to the UK in secret and capturing the moment they reconnected.

On his daily commute, Robbie unsuspectingly passes a series of clues hinting at a family reunion including a graffiti mural of photos with his loved ones and an entire cinema decorated with posters of his life. He even unwittingly walks past Sir Bradley Wiggins holding a newspaper about Robbie before spotting his family sitting outside a local café.

Robbie said: “I am still so shocked. I was just walking my normal route and had no idea that my family would be waiting for me at the end. I can’t believe all the clues I missed along the way; it wasn’t until I noticed the cinema posters and saw my face that I realised something wasn’t quite right.

“I haven’t seen my family in years, and while talking on the phone and video messenger is great, it’s not the same as seeing them in person and being able to hug them.”

ŠKODA reconnected Robbie with his family to celebrate the launch of the Kodiaq, the brand’s first ever seven-seat SUV.

“The film captures the dichotomy of everyday life”, said Kirsten Stagg, Head of Marketing for ŠKODA UK.

“We often rush trying to squeeze more in to our daily routines – the school run, dog walk, getting to work before rush hour, the last minute food shopping for dinner. It’s a familiar scene for millions up and down the country and whether we realise it or not it’s become the norm”, continued Stagg.

“Yet often it’s the time we spend connecting with the things that really matter to us that is the most rewarding, whether it’s revisiting a favourite place, restarting a sport or hobby, or spending time with family in the car.  A car can be so much more than just getting from A to B – it can help you reach the people and places that matter to you.”

“We now want to inspire others to reconnect with what matters most to them with the launch of the ŠKODA Reconnect Fund; a chance for ŠKODA to make it a reality.”

The ŠKODA Reconnect Fund is now open at   From reconnecting with a love of running, through a new pair of trainers, to reconnecting with an old friend by enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience together, ŠKODA will be facilitating reconnections however big or small.

You can watch ŠKODA’sReconnect Robbie film on the ŠKODA website: 


Stag and hen party organisers face financial hangover long after the party’s ended

New research from Paym, the UK’s mobile payments service, has found that one-third (33%) of stag and hen do organisers were not paid on time by party participants attending pre-wedding celebrations, with the average amount owed at almost £250.


Long gone are the days when stag and hen parties involved a night at the local pub with a bag of chips for dinner. Nowadays stag and hen dos can take a whole weekend to celebrate. In the past year, almost 1 in 5 (18%) people partied in Europe. For the rest, London was the most popular single UK destination for both stages (11%) and hens (5%).

As destinations have become more ambitious, the stag and hen do shopping list has become longer including items such as travel, accommodation, day and night activities, and last but not least, themed outfits. It comes as no surprise in that case that the average cost of a stag do per person is  £140 with the average cost for a hen party coming in slightly more at £146… a lot of money if you’re having to pursue multiple partygoers for payment!

The average cost of a stag and hen do per person, by region:

  1. East and West Midlands – £151
  2. North West of England – £150
  3. South East and East of England – £149
  4. Greater London / North East of England / Scotland – £141
  5. Wales and West of England – £127


Chasing stag and hen party members for money is often a thankless task, especially once the fun’s over, but according to Paym’s survey, this may all depend on where you live. Guests from Scotland were least likely to pay on time for activity costs, whilst those from Greater London took the top spot for reliability when paying on time.

Who performs best for paying on time for stag and hen parties:

  1. Greater London – 78%
  2. North East of England / Yorkshire / Humberside – 73%
  3. North West of England / South East and East of England – 68%
  4. East and West Midlands – 51%
  5. Wales and West of England – 50%
  6. Scotland – 44%

It’s no coincidence therefore that stag and hen party revellers from Greater London were also found to have the greatest awareness of Paym (36%), the simple and secure way of making or receiving a payment using just a mobile number. Paym is already included in fifteen banks and building societies’ apps, so there’s nothing new to download to be able to use a phone number to pay straight from one bank account to another, and there’s no need for any sort codes or account numbers.


So one more important addition to the organiser’s ‘pre-do’ checklist is to make sure you’ve registered your mobile number with your bank to enable party participants to pay via Paym. You never know, next time you might just receive 100% of payments on time. To register now, go to:

Craig Tillotson, Executive Chairman of Paym, said:

“Hen and stag parties have become a firm fixture of pre-wedding celebrations, and the pressure is on for organisers to please brides and grooms-to-be. Costs can mount, especially for those arranging travel and activities. But with mobile banking more popular than ever, there’s little reason why organisers should have to chase for payment from stag and hen party participants.


Paym enables more than 20 million customers of fifteen banks and building societies who use mobile banking to securely and quickly pay back friends, families and small businesses using just their mobile number.”

As a subtle reminder to stag and hen do revellers, Paym has launched a video showing how it can make or break a late payer’s pre-wedding celebration experience.

Logan Lucky

What: Logan Lucky
Where: At a cinema near you
Who: Steven Soderbergh is back with another heist film
When: Logan Lucky can now be seen anywhere in the U.S. and UK
Why: Excellent performances barely save a film that’s a bit unbelievable and a tad silly
Steven Soderbergh said in 2013 that he planned to retire from filmmaking. Well, his short retirement is over and he’s back in the cinema with “Logan Lucky.”

The man who gave us “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” “Out of Sight,” “Erin Brokovich,” “Magic Mike,” and the Ocean’s Trilogy has returned with a film that, while it’s not groundbreaking, is littered with excellent performances but its a case of been there seen that.
So alike “Logan Lucky” is with “Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen” that it could as well have been Ocean’s fourteen but set in the Confederate state of Virginia. “Logan Lucky” is the story of a bank robbery, a bank robbery that’s so cleverly planned and executed that it’s a bit unrealistic and unbelievable.
Channing Tatum is down on his luck Jimmy Logan who can’t seem to get a break and keep a job due to his permanent limp. His daughter, Sadie (a memorable and amazing little Farrah MacKenzie) is a beauty pageant winner wanna be, and she’s in the care of his ex-wife Bobbie Jo (a very good Katie Holmes). His one-armed brother Clyde (a good as usual Adam Driver) owns a bar called Duck Tape, and they have a sister Mellie (Riley Keough). Jimmy, after talking to brothers Sam (Brian Gleason) and Fish (Jack Quaid), who have mentioned that their other brother Joe (Daniel Craig, at his best ever, better than his James Bond character), who happens to be incarcerated, can and will break out of jail and can help the gang break into the underground cash-handling system at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during one of the it’s busiest days of the year – the Coca Cola 600 race.

Did I mention that the plot is a bit far-fetched?
Clyde (who got himself arrested just for the sole purpose of helping Joe escape jail for the day) and Joe successfully, in another ridiculous moment, escape jail. And it’s then a dream team attempting to steal money from a stadium chock-a-block full of people yet there is absolutely no one guarding the underground area where the money is dropped in via a tube system. Absolutely no one, not a security guard, employees, garbage collectors, no one at all. And all seems to go according to plan, thus lacking in any suspense whatsoever.
It’s in the performances where “Logan Lucky” is saved, barely. Craig is fantastic as the seasoned thief, Driver is good (as always) as the one-armed brother. Holmes surpasses expectations as Jimmy’s ex-wife who is now married to a wealthy man (more of her in the future please), while Seth MacFarlane is unrecognizable and fantastic as an arrogant personality famous for who knows what. The script, by Rebecca Blunt, has some very good moments but “Logan Lucky” is basically “Ocean’s 14” but with a better cast and a cool and quirky Southern vibe. Perhaps Soderberg’s next film will be an original, this one certainly wasn’t. But he’s putting together “Ocean’s Eight” at the moment, so it will be more of the same.
Photo from Thinkjam
Review by Tim Baros