Best states to drink beer

I like a good beer. My top 10?

1. Boddingtons*
2. Caffrey’s Irish Ale
3. Stella Artois
4. Corona with lime
5. Lagunitas’ A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale
6. Heineken
7. Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter
8. Ruhstaller’s Gilt Edge
9. Blue Moon
10. Pyramid Apricot Ale
*My #1 really varies, depending on the day and my mood.

EVERY STATE IN THE USA, RANKED BY ITS BEER

At any rate, I’m glad to live in a state that appreciates beer – where I can procure some wonderful locally brewed beers, and get my favorites from the U.K. easily.

Thrillist.com agrees – and has put together its ranking of every state based on the quality and quantity of the beer they produce. California was #2, only surpassed by Oregon (which I have to say does have some wonderful brews).

How did your state do? And what’s your favorite beer?

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Why “The World’s End” is my favorite British movie of the past year

The World's End
I finally watched “The World’s End” this week (currently airing on HBO Go) and love love loved it. Have you seen it?

It really was a great ending to the “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” trilogy, starring Simon Pegg (who also co-wrote it with Edgar Wright, who directed all three).

If you missed this gem, it’s premise is simple: Six friends reunite 20 later to attempt one massive pub crawl – The Glorious Golden Mile – that they didn’t complete in their youth. In the course of hitting 12 pubs in their childhood hometown, they stumble upon the unsettling truth that they are surrounded by residents that are decidedly not human – and must fight for their survival.

It’s so British and so brilliantly written, so smart and funny and nostalgic. It made me ache for the 1990s in Britain again, when I first spent time there at uni (American translation: college). It will make you want to hunker down in a grandpa pub named something like the King’s Head or the Royal Arms on a winter’s day and order a pint (or two or more!) of real ale like Old Peculiar (or maybe that’s just me.)

The soundtrack is especially evocative – tunes like The Housemartins’ “Happy Hour,” The Stone Roses’ “Fool’s Gold” and Primal Scream’s “Loaded” are just golden. As a side note, if you do decide to buy the soundtrack, get the British version of it, which includes an additional 10 songs including The Sundays’ “Here’s Where the Story Ends,” Happy Mondays’ “Step On,” and Kylie Minogue’s “Step Back In Time.” Sigh.

Second baby news for Will and Kate

Kate, Will and Baby George

Ah, congrats to the lovely Will and Kate on news of baby #2!

Now might be a good time to place some bets. What do you think? Girl or boy?

I think the last go-round, I was pretty psychically sure that it would be a girl (and then was clearly so wrong). This time, well, I’m going to do the reverse and say it will be a boy. A boy named Hugh, in fact. Or Lucien. Or perhaps Joffrey. (Maybe I’ve been watching too much “Game of Thrones.”)

What do you think? And what’s the latest royal name going to be this time?

“Sherlock” Emmy wins

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch

Congrats to Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who won the Emmy for best lead actor and best supporting actor in a miniseries or movie for their roles as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in BBC’s “Sherlock.” The show’s creator Steven Moffat also took the Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for “Sherlock: His Last Vow.”

If you haven’t seen “Sherlock” yet, what are you waiting for? You can stream it on Netflix and it is such a great watch!

See the full list of Emmy winners from last night’s broadcast.

20 signs you were born and raised in Scotland

Scottish piper

I spent a couple of years living in Scotland – the first year in Stirling, the second in Edinburgh – but I feel almost Scottish born.

Well, apart from the fact I look not-at-all Scottish and can’t speak with a Scottish accent or play the bagpipes. But … but … in spirit, I’m SO Scottish. Love the people, love the music, love the pubs, love the weather most of the time!

How about you? Read these 20 signs you were born and raised in Scotland and see where you land.

Secret Cinema’s tribute to Robin Williams

Dead Poets Society poster

I’m still heartbroken about Robin Williams’ death. I still can’t believe that we’ve lost such a rare comic talent and, by all accounts, such a wonderful human being, to boot.

I feel like his movies and TV have defined so many stages of my life – “Mork and Mindy” as a child, “Dead Poets Society,” “Awakenings,” “The Fisher King” and “Aladdin” in high school, “Good Will Hunting” in grad school when I was also living in Boston, “Happy Feet” now with my own kids.

And we still have more to go. Our family still hasn’t seen any of the “Night at the Museum” films, “Jumanji” or “Popeye.” His passing has also served as a reminder to me of his really wonderful body of work that he has left behind and that we need to seize the day.

On that note, Secret Cinema (see my previous blog post about Secret Cinema) in London is hosting a film screening in tribute to Robin Williams this Friday at the Troxy in East London. They will be showing “Dead Poets Society,” which will raise money for the mental health charity Mind. The evening will feature live music, food, poetry and other performances, in addition to the film.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit robinwilliams.secretcinema.org.

A London sign

Pottery Barn London sign framed print

Looking for a way to add a little London to your home? Check out Pottery Barn’s London sign, now on sale for $509. It’s a framed giclée print that can be special ordered.

30 things British people say vs. what they actually mean

I spotted this on Tickld.com and couldn’t resist sharing! I can’t even tell you which is my favorite or I would end up naming every single number. That’s how good (and true!) this collection is.

30 Things 30 British People Say Vs What We Actually Mean

Art Everywhere

Art Everywhere

Art Everywhere, the U.K.’s biggest art exhibition runs through the end of this month. Where? Well, everywhere. Art Everywhere is showing up on more than 30,000 billboards across the country. Genius, right? Here are just a few examples.

Read the rest of this entry

The surprises of our first English birthday party

Birthday cake

Alex Richards is an American writer, who recently moved from Brooklyn, New York to Bradford-on-Avon in England with her British husband, her 3-year-old daughter and one on the way.

Check out her recently post about the surprises of their first English birthday party and her observations of the scene on Momtastic.com.

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