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GreatTasteAwards2013– This month sees the results of the annual Great Taste Awards, held by the Guild of Fine Food. These awards, as any foodie fanatic knows, provides a much needed point of differentiation between good marketing and good food; a line often blurred within the industry. The judges are stringent. Out of the almost 10,000 products entered, only 125 received three gold stars – the highest rating. The top 50 winners are being announced day by day until the end of August on the Great Taste Awards website.

– Although smoking in general is in decline in the UK, shisha smoking is not. The amount of Shisha Bars in the UK has risen from 179 in 2007 to 556 in 2012, and this figure is now expected to be even higher. Most Shisha Bars don’t serve alcohol, making them appealing to British Muslims who are forbidden to drink alcohol by their religion, particularly in areas such as Birmingham and Bradford which boast a high Muslim population. In places such as London and Oxford however, the crowd is much more varied. Young British Asians, then, are allowing the UK to enjoy an Arab tradition.

– From one tradition to another (OK, not really, but I needed a link!) this bank holiday weekend marks the return of Reading and Leeds Festival. This year Green Day, Biffy Clyro and Eminem topped a frankly disappointing line-up, with the Leeds bash becoming somewhat of a wash-out. Pop-Punk giants Green Day played their multi-platinum 1994 album ‘Dookie’ from start to finish as well as a greatest hits set to the crowd’s elation, whilst Eminem refused to be filmed (but presumably sucked, who does he think he is, the Rolling Stones?!). The festival also saw explosive sets from Foals, Chase and Status, Fall Out Boy and Drenge.

– As bands such as Drenge gradually break into the mainstream, we are reminded of the grunge movement, remember that? Nirvana, ripped jeans, hoodies, Seattle etc. Well, it’s back! The particularly fashion forward will have observed this already, with hoodies, beanies and and big boots such as Dr. Martins becoming more popular by the second in 2013 as the tired indie scene begins to evolve. In-keeping with the usual fashion paradigm, it is coming back but more polished than it’s early 90s predecessor.

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