FOOTBALL THREADS… Godspeed to Polo Ralph Lauren, which has officially thrown the doors open at a spanking new store in Liverpool ONE. It’s one of those choice brands that as well as being a wardrobe staple of high-spending aristo types, is also much beloved of more casual wearers – football lads in polo shirts come to mind more readily than the folks pictured on the shop’s frontage, let’s say. Over in Manchester, there’s also a similar dichotomy next week, where Flannels in Spinningfields will be hosting the launch of another brand beloved by lads lads lads of all ages, Stone Island. Bob along to the store between 6pm and 8pm on 25 April to take a look at the new collection, equally wearable for an evening at brand-fan Pep Gurdiola’s Tast restaurant, or for curling up on the sofa to watch a well-worn box set of Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men.

DAME SHAME… Tragedy often brings out dark humour in many people, and this week was no different following the devastating fire at Notre Dame cathedral. News that the French Government would be launching an international architectural competition for the replacement of the cathedral’s spire, destroyed earlier this week, was met with a few tongue-in-cheek suggestions by the design community: THING’s personal favourite is the one above. Whatever happens, the pledges of support seen so far bode well for the restoration of one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

Viking Longboat THING

BARROW BOATS… As you can imagine, THING spends plenty of time trawling through planning committee agendas for choice nuggets of information, so we were pleased to find an unexpected Viking longboat lurking in the depths of Barrow Council’s agenda from earlier this week. The boat, or rather a sculpture of the boat, is proposed to sit on top of a sandstone plinth next to the road into North Scale, and has been put forward by the North Scale Residents’ Association. Somewhat predictably for pretty much every planning committee up and down the country, there has been one objection from a neighbour, who has argued the sculpture would “spoil the peace and quiet of their garden”. Nevertheless, the planning committee gave the go-ahead on Tuesday.

Bordeaux Wine Festival THING

WINE WEEKEND… Oenophiles of Liverpool have reason to celebrate this week with the confirmation the Bordeaux Wine Festival will be returning at the end of May, after making its debut around the same time last year. Taking place across the same weekend as the River Festival, previously covered by THING, the festival runs between 31 May and 2 June, in only the second time it’s ever been held in the UK. Eight wine pavilions will be on offer, as well as dining outlets with the likes of pizza and street food. There’ll also be some cookery masterclasses on show hosted by chef Paul Askew, along with Great British Menu alumni Nigel Haworth, Ellis Barrie, and Tom Brown, as well as Michelin-starred chef Tom Parker. Tickets can be found here.

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