As things slowly start to reopen again, some of our readers and members of the Property Week  team share their cultural recommendations:

Netflix

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This week:

Leena Gillespie, commercial director at Public Sector PLC shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Leena Gillespie

Leena Gillespie

Something to watch:

I am a fantasy fiction geek and every Christmas involves rewatching the Star Wars series. Growing up, our games always involved playing Jedis and Stormtroopers and I always wanted to be a Jedi and not the princess. It’s been great to see Daisy Ridley play the lead role in the new films and show girls can do whatever they put their mind to.

Something to listen to:

My favourite podcast is Ways to Change the World with Krishnan Guru–Murthy. It challenges my thought process and initial views on people, their politics and their difference in opinion. In an age where we are becoming more polarised in our opinions, it’s great to hear someone else’s view. 

The most ridiculous fact I know:

The most ridiculous facts I know are that a giraffe’s tongue is black, blue or purple and that lobsters taste with their feet – the joys of listening to my animal-mad son!

Top travel destination:

My number one travel destination is Hawaii. We were lucky enough to visit as a family in 2019 and we loved the diversity of the islands, the people, culture and food. I would love to be able to go again.

 

Katherine McCullough

Katherine McCullough

Katherine McCullough, director, head of UK property at Merchant Land shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to read:

The Nix by Nathan Hill is a really well-written first novel that’s humorous and set in America over a 40-year period from the 1970s. It touches on social media, the environment and the changing roles for women, and the humour makes it really readable. It’s really interesting as it was published just before Trump was elected but one of the themes was how America was heading towards a really populist political climate.

Something to listen to:

The Nobody Zone podcast tells the story of Kieran Kelly, who some suspect was a serial killer in London. But really, it’s a story about Irish immigrants in London with no safety net. Kieran Kelly was homeless and so were most of his suspected victims; and before social media and mobile phones, young people who left rural Ireland sometimes drifted out of contact with their families. I found it really haunting. Plus, Christy Moore sings the soundtrack.

How I’d spend one million pounds:

If I had one million pounds, I’d invest it in property.

If I could meet any celebrity:

If I could pick any historical figure to be my (imaginary) friend, it would be John Hume. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 and was instrumental in the peace process in Northern Ireland. I often still read things he said and wrote as he was incredible at expressing how to overcome division.

Last week’s recommendations:

Alex Gibbs, co-founder and director of Built Asset Management (BAM) shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Alex Gibbs

Alex Gibbs

Something to watch:

I am one of those strange people who likes to learn while enjoying themselves, so I am going to pick World War II In Colour, which I really enjoyed recently. I found it very eye-opening to be in some way immersed in the events of that time. The unimaginable things people went through also helps put into perspective some of the challenges we face today.

Something to read:

I am going to cite Zero to One by Peter Thiel. It is a very relevant read for founders, investors and anyone with a general interest in the future of business, and I fall into all three camps. I particularly like the author’s vision of the future where tech is concerned.

My best purchase:

The best thing I have spent money on is most definitely my original investment in BAM. For the worst thing, I am going to select the general category of ‘the last round of drinks’. Instead of providing jobs, homes and a return, they tend to provide you with a headache.

Top travel destination:

It is impossible to pick one travel destination as my favourite. For sun, the Maldives – believe the hype in this instance. For skiing, Austria – the skiing itself is excellent, and the hearty food is always very welcome. Within the UK, I have a soft spot for Cornwall as I spent many childhood holidays there and I have a good network of family and friends down there living the coastal dream!

 

Vikki McKay

Vikki McKay

Vikki McKay, real estate partner at Proskauer Rose shares some of her cultural recommendations::

Something to watch:

I have just finished watching Cobra Cyberwar. Great writing and acting, although slightly disconcerting on how reliant we are on technology to prevent a collapse on social values as we know them.

Something to read:

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch because I love the juxtaposition of modern London and the places we walk past every day set against the idea of a demi-monde society that includes personifications of the lost rivers of the City.

The most ridiculous fact I know:

A carp is worth enough money that they carry out an autopsy to find out how they died.

Top travel destination:

The  Dordogne in France – it is ancient, beautiful and feels so far removed from the busy lives we lead.

Previous recommendations:

Peter Todd

Peter Todd

Peter Todd, founder of Portus Retail shares some of his cultural recommendations::

Something to watch:

I like detective mysteries, especiallyVera. I enjoy the way there are always several twists and subplots, and her character is so independent and strong-minded.

Something to listen to:

Come and Get Your Love by Redbone just makes me smile and feel positive, no matter what the situation.

If I could have one superpower:

If I could have a superpower, I would choose the ability to teleport. I travel a great deal for business, and while I really enjoy travel, the time it takes is very often an issue.

Top travel destination:

I was fortunate to briefly visit Tokyo a couple of years ago. I would love to spend some time in Japan and travel around the islands. The people are so friendly, polite and welcoming and I find the culture fascinating. Covid restrictions have meant it has not been possible to revisit, although that has given me the time to save for the trip – it is an expensive country to visit!

Jen Lemen

Jen Lemen

Jen Lemen, chartered surveyor and co-founder of Property Elite and Projekt shares some of her cultural recommendations::

Something to watch:

I like any cycle racing on TV. I am an avid cyclist and love watching both the racing and the beautiful scenery.

Something to listen to:

A Tale of Two Cities by Mr Hudson & The Library is an album I can listen to over and over again. It’s chilled, emotional and the perfect soundtrack to most events.

If I could have one superpower:

If I could have one superpower, I wish I never needed to sleep but would always be rested and never tired. I always get told that I have too much energy so this would suit me perfectly. Then I would have even more time outside work to ride bikes, enjoy time with friends and family and walk my greyhound, Ben.

Top travel destination:

My number-one travel destination is northern Italy. It has got fantastic, quiet (and hilly) roads for cycling and a coffee stop in most villages and towns. Then there is the incredible food and wine for afterwards.

Stephanie Bonduelle

Stephanie Bonduelle

Stephanie Bonduelle, managing director of Tétris shares some of her cultural recommendations::

Something to watch:

Life Is Beautiful is a beautiful movie about one of the worst moments in history, but with the beauty of a father protecting his son. I always get very emotional thinking about it…

Something to read:

Madame Bovary is one of my all-time favourite books because it is about a woman who wants to live her life and escape boredom. It is a parallel I can draw for myself as a woman – making your own choices and living your life as you want to.

If I could have one superpower:

If I could have one superpower it would be to make the planet green again. For me, this is the top priority we should all focus on – whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever age you are. And we all have the potential to possess this superpower.

Historical figure I’d most like to meet:

The historical figure I would most like to have met is Mahatma Gandhi. His inspiring personality has led people with his optimism, courage, principles and practice.

Tadhg Flanagan index

Tadhg Flanagan

Tadhg Flanagan, managing director of Breezblok shares some of his cultural recommendations::

Something to watch:

The Guard with Brendan Gleeson is an excellent film. He plays an unorthodox, rule-breaking police sergeant who attends a briefing by an FBI agent and is put on an operation to hunt down drug traffickers. I won’t spoil it, but there are some great one-liners.

Something to listen to:

I’m a big fan of Desert Island Discs. It’s the perfect mix of music and conversation. There are some great guests, and you get to find out things that you won’t have learned from other interviews. It’s life affirming, as you find out the tests and troubles of others’ lives, when on the surface it may look like they have it all.

Top travel destination:

My number-one travel destination is Cumuruxatiba in Brazil. It’s a small village on the eastern coast and is totally uncommercialised and unspoilt, with miles upon miles of beautiful beaches. The culture in Brazil is unlike any other, and the food is spot on.

Celebrity I’d most like to meet:

The celebrity I would most like to meet is Roy Keane, one of the best footballers of our time. I like his dry sense of humour, frankness and passion for the game. I’d like to pick his brain over so many different things. If you’re reading this, Roy…

Martin Roberts

Martin Roberts

Martin Roberts, principal and co-founder of Addington Capital shares some of his cultural recommendations::

Something to watch:

My favourite film is Top Gun. I like Maverick’s rebellious anti-establishment approach, and also his raw natural talent. There are some amazing flying scenes – and some great one-liners, too! 

Something to listen to:

My favourite radio show is Dead Ringers. I like the way it satirises contemporary politics and I appreciate the sharp, witty jibes at today’s politicians on both sides. And it always makes me laugh!

Top travel destination:

My number-one travel destination is the south of France, where I holiday with my family. It has it all: great food, wine, sea, sunshine and a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’!

If I could have one superpower:

If I could have one superpower, I’d like to be able to time-travel to experience other lifestyles: back, to see if the past is as we have learned about it; and forwards, to see what the future holds.

Federica Buricco

Federica Buricco

Federica Buricco, associate at CallisonRTKL shares some of her cultural recommendations::

Something to read:

I enjoyed This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook. It is a gripping read and includes contributions from people on the front lines of the climate crisis, as well as activists, academics and politicians. Ultimately, as a society, we need to do more and act now to ensure our future.

Favourite podcast:

The Urbanist, a podcast by Monocle, is a must-listen for those interested in urban design. The series covers subjects from the rebirth of public art to tactical urbanism and the 15-minute city. I’d also recommend the TED Talk by Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena. He explains how alternative thinking can creatively overcome governance or budget constraints to get vital community projects delivered.

Top travel destination:

Asia broadly tops my list of number-one travel destinations, specifically Seoul, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Asian culture fascinates me and there are lots of things Western society could emulate. Many Asian cities are leaps ahead with innovation and developing solutions to their challenges. 

The historical figure I’d most like to meet is:

If I could be friends with any historical figure, I’d pick author and activist Jane Jacobs. I share her passion for the protection of local neighbourhoods from large generic urban renewals. I imagine long conversations over a glass of wine about the new theories regarding 15-minute cities and the disappearance of cars as an individual means of transportation.

Eleanor Deeley

Eleanor Deeley

Eleanor Deeley, deputy managing director of Deeley Group shares some of her cultural recommendations::

Something to listen to:

Green Day are my favourite band and their album Dookie is the record that brings back so many brilliant memories. It reminds me of being young in Malta, visiting the clubs and all the great times I had in that period of my life.

Favourite podcast:

The Good, The Bad & The Rugby with James Haskell, Mike Tindall and Alex Payne is a great podcast. I just love Haskell. I met him once at Twickenham and I became like a teenager all over again. The podcast is full of great stories. It’s good to know we’re all human and the famous do stupid things as well.

The best thing I’ve spent money on:

My best purchase has to be a shocking-pink Mulberry handbag. It’s one of my favourite things. I use it in the summer and love it. Everyone knows it’s my handbag and if I left it on a seat at an event, people would just know that seat was mine! My worst purchase would be the overpriced Covid tests required after coming back from holiday.

If I could have one superpower:

If I could have one superpower it would be the power to never have a hangover – so I can drink as much Sambuca as I like. As soon as I’ve had a few drinks, I insist on ordering Sambuca shots, which can be problematic the following day. It has very much become my signature on an evening out.

Mark Hawthorn CEO Landmark Group

Mark Hawthorn

Mark Hawthorn, chief executive of Landmark Group shares some of his cultural recommendations::

Something to watch:

The Big Short has so many lessons and reminders that resonated. The biggest one for me is that the contrarian position is often the loneliest and most profitable. Also, to keep your nerve if you know you are right, no matter what the rest of the herd are doing.

Something to read:

I read around 60 books a year, so there are too many to choose from! The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson is one that should benefit anybody and everybody.

The best thing I’ve spent money on:

The best things I’ve spent money on are memories, be it holidays, birthdays, Christmas or other experiences. There are too many ‘worsts’ to list, although the amounts I’ve spent on them have been limited as I’ve always used the ‘first fire bullets and then cannonballs’ approach: only when low-cost, low-risk spending is successful – when the bullets hit the targets – will I invest more resources on the bigger cannonballs.

If I could have one superpower:

If I could have one superpower it would be to be able to know which leads and people are worth pursuing. Despite our best efforts and quite advanced processes, there are still too many dead ends. 

Beth McQue

Beth McQue

Beth McQue, planning and development manager at Keyland Developments shares some of her cultural recommendations::

Something to watch:

I usually have a rule that I don’t watch a film more than once, with one exception – Love Actually. It has to be done during the run-up to Christmas. Joni Mitchell’s song ‘Both Sides Now’ will now always make me cry!

Something to listen to:

I am currently obsessed with Louis Theroux’s podcast Grounded. He has used the past 12 to 18 months through Covid to talk to various high-profile people from all walks of life. I love all his documentaries so it’s not surprising that I feel the same about his podcast. Who doesn’t love Louis?!

Top travel destination:

My number-one travel destination is Italy. I will never get bored of how stunning it is and how delicious the food is. I feel very lucky that my most recent visit was to beautiful Venice last September, in between Covid lockdowns. To be able to explore the city at our leisure, with so few people about, was probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

The most ridiculous fact I know:

The most ridiculous fact I know is that cows moo in regional accents. I know this after recently being charged by a herd of cows while walking through a field with my boyfriend. As we were frantically running away from them to the nearest gate, my boyfriend started to loudly moo at them – I thought the loud noise had deterred them as they did stop running at us. However, I have since learned they have regional accents. 

Clare Coe

Clare Coe

Clare Coe, co-founder of Madison Berkeley, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to listen to:

Radio 1 is always on in the background in my car, kitchen and office. However, as I get older I am enjoying Radio 2 a lot more.

Favourite record:

Anything by Coldplay. I know it is very clichéd, but I have seen them live numerous times over the years and they never get old!

Top travel destination:

My number-one travel destination has to be New Zealand. It really has everything: the most incredible landscape, wonderful people, countless outdoor activities and nature to explore. More importantly, they have the most amazing vineyards. The only downside is that it is so far away; I am not sure I can do that flight with a baby any time soon.

The most ridiculous fact I know:

The most ridiculous fact I know is that at 20 weeks gestation, a baby’s heart is the size of a thumbnail. My little boy had a fetal heart defect discovered when his heart was that small. He is now a year old and thriving! awesome.

Ros Goode index

Ros Goode

Ros Goode, principal and managing director, London, at Avison Young, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

This is Us on Amazon Prime is an insightful, funny and moving family journey, with a great combination of topics that in the same episode will make you cry and then laugh – a lot.

Something to listen to:

I am actually a very boring Coldplay fan but for the sake of variety, Keane are an equal favourite, especially their album Strangeland. From there, Sovereign Light Café is a great, inspirational record that I run to all the time.

My best and worst purchases were:

The best thing I have spent money on is a Land Rover Defender 90 when I turned 50, because it has rivets in the bodywork and reminds me of my dad and the Morris Minor vans he drove back in the 70s. The worst would have to be an ‘Abcircle’ – a fanciful online shopping channel purchase when I was working in Dublin during the GFC that I thought would get me fit. 

Celebrity I’d most like to meet:

The celebrity I would most like to spend an hour with is Louis Theroux, as he has the art of posing the most excruciating questions in a way that sounds like he is just asking the way to the bus stop. Not to mention the fact that he is just awesome.

Stefano D'Ambrosio

Stefano D’Ambrosio

Stefano D’Ambrosio, environmental and planning solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Interstellar is a really well-made sci-fi movie with a heavy focus on science and just enough fiction to make it appealing. I have always loved sci-fi, mainly when it touches on the topic of time travelling. This movie is considered by many to be a contemporary sci-fi masterpiece.

Something to listen to:

Devil’s Trill Sonata by Tartini is a great classical piece and has a fantastic story behind it. The composer once had a dream in which he challenged the devil to play the violin. It was the most beautiful music he had ever heard. He woke up and immediately tried to recreate the music, but the memory of the dream slowly vanished. The result of that attempt was the Devil’s Trill Sonata, which, as amazing as it might be, is nothing more than a shadow of the music that Tartini once heard in his dream.

My worst purchase:

My worst purchase was buying an iMac from the US while living in Peru. I had problems when trying to use the warranty in Peru and ended up paying for the cost of repair out of my own pocket. Now, I always double-check the small print on warranties.

If I had a million pounds:

If I had a million pounds, I’d invest half in a balanced portfolio of shares and bonds. Then, I’d buy a house and decorate it to my liking. Finally, I would use the remainder to cross off some items from my bucket list (like seeing an aurora borealis for the first time) and giving back to charity.

Dan Green_Associate Director Acquisitions Firethorn Trust

Dan Green

Dan Green, associate director, acquisitions, at Firethorn Trust, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Formula 1: Drive to Survive – I have always liked F1 but never really appreciated it for anything more than people racing fast cars. However, the fitness levels of the drivers and the politics behind the scenes are not what I expected – it’s a great insight into the sport.

Something to listen to:

I can listen to anything, with Capital usually being on in the car or on my Spotify (probably not a good thing to publicly share). If I had to pick one artist, however, it would probably be Eminem, his earlier music in particular.

Historical figure I’d most like to meet is:

If I could pick any historical figure to be my imaginary friend, it would be Napoleon – he was tactically brilliant, inspirational as a leader and challenged the status quo. He’s inspirational to me in that you don’t need to be tall to be successful. I hope his English is better than my GCSE French, if we are to communicate properly!

Celebrity I’d most like to meet:

The celebrity I would most love to spend an hour with is Tiger Woods – arguably one of the greatest sportsmen of all time. I would love to understand the mindset required to dominate a sport for so many years, and the strength and determination required to overcome personal scandals and injuries. He could probably also help sort out my swing.

Matt Smith 1

Matt Smith

Matt Smith, head of sustainability at Shaftesbury, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I would recommend watching The Dawn Wall. An incredible film about free climbing on the famous El Capitan wall in Yosemite. Lots of spectacular scenery and a fair amount of climbing but more a story about friendship and overcoming adversity. Not one for you if you have a fear of heights. 

Something to read:

The book I have read more times than any other is Bill Bryson’sA Short History of Nearly Everything. Bryson is very good at finding the humour in science and some of the stories really are stranger than fiction. Great for pub quizzes too. 

The celebrity I’d most like to meet is:

My first thought on the celebrity I’d most like to meet was David Attenborough, but I think it has to be tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. There is no doubt she would have some fascinating stories and unique perspectives on world events. 

If I had a million pounds:

If I had a million pounds I’d buy a house on the coast and spend my weekends surfing and hosting BBQs for family and friends. Similar to many people, lockdown has emphasised the importance of social connections and the simple things in life. I love the excitement of living and working in London but do miss the ocean.

Adam Kamani

Adam Kamani

Adam Kamani, co-founder of MoveStreets and chief executive of Kamani Property Group, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

This might sound odd but one TV show I like is Mr Bean. He just doesn’t care what people think, he does what he wants and he gets by in life just fine. I think a few more people could take a leaf out of his book and stop worrying what other people think.

Something to read:

I really enjoyed Alex Ferguson’s book even though I’m a Man City fan. I thought it was so interesting to get insight into the football world and understand how he dealt with certain personalities. 

Top travel destination:

My number-one travel destination is Florida. I used to go when I was a child and I have very fond memories being there. I have been back in my latter years and it is great as it always takes me back to my childhood, which is pretty liberating. We went back before the pandemic as a family and it was so good for us all to be together.

If I could have one superpower:

If I could choose a superpower it would be to read people’s minds. Imagine every business negotiation you are in – you know exactly what move to play, which would obviously have its benefits. I am pretty good at reading people but this would be next level. Knowing what people are really thinking could be hilarious!

Francesca Brady

Francesca Brady

Francesca Brady, chief executive of proptech company AirRated, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Interstellar – first, the music is incredible. Second, the fifth dimension is a concept that, although it melts my brain, is truly fascinating!

Something to read:

1984 – I love books that you can relate to the modern day. It is not an easy read but it is super interesting. George Orwell was a peculiar character, and through reading his books you get a brief insight into his way of thinking.  

Celebrity I’d most like to meet:

The celebrity I’d most like to meet is David Attenborough. It would be fascinating to hear about his personal life and all the events he has lived through. He has also visited some of the most remote areas of the planet and places we will likely never get access to. Speaking to him would be a gateway to those untouched worlds.

If I could have one superpower:

If I could have one superpower, it would be teleportation. It would be amazing to be able to transport yourself to a calm space when you’re feeling stressed or worried. It would also be fantastic to be able to see family and friends in far-flung places. FaceTime is OK but it can never replace face to face. And imagine how much it would reduce travel emissions!

Tomer Bercoviz

Tomer Bercoviz

Tomer Bercoviz, chief executive of Vonder, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Back to the Future Part II – I have always found the character of Marty McFly to be innovative and ahead of his time. Growing up, Marty was my definition of cool. He was funny, adventurous and used all those cool gadgets to fight against the bullies.

Something to listen to:

I listened to the album The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd a lot while I was travelling and exploring the world. It was a very insightful period in my life. Pink Floyd inspired me and helped me define the meaning to so many of the things I am doing currently. 

If I had a million pounds:

For me, nothing broadens the mind quite like travelling; it enables me to grow and invest in myself. The world is full of so many opportunities, experiences and chances to meet interesting and inspiring people from other walks of life. If I had a million pounds, I’d love to be able to make a difference in the places I were to visit and know that I’ve made an impact.

Historical figure I’d most like to meet:

The historical figure I’d love to meet is Henry Ford. He was a great innovator who was ahead of his time. I have always been fascinated with Ford’s approach to life. He solved problems of the present by taking inspiration from the past and transforming it into future opportunities. 

Anna Kealey

Anna Kealey

Anna Kealey, project director and architect at McBains, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to read:

Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor is heart-warming, heart-breaking, laugh-out-loud funny and, at times, nauseating all in one!

Something to listen to:

I’m Every Woman’ by Chaka Khan – for no other reason than my sister and I like to wail it at the top our lungs!

If I had a million pounds:

If I had a million pounds I’d buy a chalet in the mountains; the French Alps would do nicely. I love to ski and hill walk so this would suit me for both winter and summer seasons. A couple of early morning runs down the mountain before work starts would be the perfect work/life balance for me. Only the matter of the million-pound chalet to worry about then!

Top travel tips:

Patagonia is one of my top travel destinations. I visited as part of a bigger four-month trip around South America. The mix of mountain ranges, lakes and glaciers make up some of the most dramatic landscapes I have ever seen, and the perfect place for hiking. All topped off with an Asado BBQ for dinner after a long day’s trek to finish each day on a high.

Joy Nazzari

Joy Nazzari

Joy Nazzari, founding director at dn&co and Showhere, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I love Kill Bill and La Femme Nikita for their kick-ass women. There are plenty of higher-brow films I adore but these two bring out my secret martial-arts spy alter ego. From a young age, I loved the idea of being a secret agent and those who know me know why it never happened – I’m incredibly tall.

Something to listen to:

My kids will always turn on Capital FM but when they’re not around it’s Classic FM. I have seriously eclectic music tastes, and although I grew up on a varied diet of punk and pop, I also listened to a lot of opera. I’m a proud member of Glyndebourne.

The celebrity I’d most like to meet is:

The celebrity I’d most like to meet is Madonna. I’ve always admired her ability to reinvent herself and bravely push boundaries on so many topics, seemingly without a care for critics. I’d like to know what motivated her through the decades and what boundaries she sees are still movable.

Top travel tips:

My number-one travel destination is Japan, and more specifically Naoshima island. The Japanese have an incredible appreciation for aesthetics, from food to architecture, landscaping and art. The whole country is a feast for the senses and every light in my brain went on there. I found Japanese people to be warm, polite and philosophical. 

Johnathan Crawley 1

Johnathan Crawley

Johnathan Crawley, UK managing director at MiddleCap, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back – action and adventure set in a galaxy far, far away. Pure escapism, from the time I was a young child until the present day.

Something to listen to:

BBC Radio 4’sFront Row is a much-needed daily dose of the arts, from theatre and opera to music and film, that keeps me up-to-date with the must-see culture of the moment.

Something to read:

My favourite book is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It is an intricate story-within-a-story set against the backdrop of one of my favourite cities – Barcelona.

Top travel tips:

My number-one travel destination is Spain. The language, the people, the culture, the cuisine, the varied landscape and climate from north to south (and everything in between) and the history and architecture all combine to make it a never-ending adventure of discovery.

Stuart Henderson

Stuart Henderson

Stuart Henderson, head of operations, UK north, ROI and Germany at GSA shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

As one of many people who got a new dog over the past year or so, Marley and Me articulates the bond between human and dog so well. I will never not cry!

Something to listen to:

Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Ride. I saw this band at Wembley the night I proposed to my fiancée, so it will forever be a special band for us. Some great memories and the album works really well from start to finish, as well as having a song called ‘Glasgow’, where I was brought up, and another called ‘Heathrow’, where I spent a lot of time for work (pre-Covid!).

Lockdown purchases:

My number-one purchase of lockdown was a panini maker. Work-from-home lunches had a massive upgrade! Worst purchase would be an impulsive buy of the PS5 on pre-order, and I think I have had it on about five times since.

The celebrity I’d most like to meet is:

I am a bit football mad so if I could pick any historical figure to be my (imaginary) friend, it would have to be Brian Clough. I have watched the movies and interviews on Parkinson and read the books, and I am just fascinated by his style, humour and confidence.

Jonny Rosenblatt

Jonny Rosenblatt

Jonny Rosenblatt, co-founder of Spacemade shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to read:

I love Malcolm Gladwell’s approach and style of writing – simplifying macro issues using smart anecdotes and stories through history. The Tipping Point is fascinating as he focuses on how an idea, a social behaviour or a trend tips into becoming a global phenomenon or issue.

Something to listen to:

One of the hardest questions I’ve ever faced! After considerable deliberation, the album I am going to go for is Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It takes me back to my teenage years and more than 20 years later it still resonates as a near-perfect rock album. 

The celebrity I’d most like to meet is:

Referring back to my answer about my favourite book, the celebrity I’d most like to spend an hour with would have to be Malcolm Gladwell. He is a phenomenal storyteller and is able to distil the most complex ideas into something very simple. Failing that, I’d like to sit with Dennis Bergkamp – another master of making the difficult look so easy!

Top travel tips:

Going on safari in the Serengeti remains the most brilliant trip I have ever done; but with three young kids now, my dream destination is somewhere hot, with an all-day kids’ club!

Benjamin Willmore

Benjamin Willmore

Benjamin Willmore, founder and MD of YoooServ shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I particularly like the film Sully. I found it was an inspirational story that encourages an attitude of perseverance, in the sense that when put in a high-pressure situation with no notice or warning, the character was able to come to a perfect solution. That is admirable.

Something to listen to:

It is not a specific album, but I would have to say my preferred artist to listen to is Lewis Capaldi. Not only does he have a great voice but behind the performer is a genuine guy with a good sense of humour.

The most ridiculous fact I know is:

…that someone actually spent £10,000 on invisible artwork. It was described by the auction house as “the air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen”. This takes the ‘value of art being in the eye of the beholder’ to a whole new level.

Top travel tips:

My number-one travel experience was travelling from Croatia to Montenegro by water. Truly amazing. There were numerous beautiful sights along the way and both have fascinating geography. It is possible to swim on the Adriatic coast in the morning and ski in the mountains in the afternoon.

Vivian Hoezl

Vivian Hoezl

Vivian Hoelzl, head of property operations at Kooky shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Catch Me If You Can is one of the classics. It has a great cast and who doesn’t like to literally escape for a while? If I had to pick a series, it would for sure be The Office (US). I’m currently rewatching it and it is just such an easy watch and really makes you feel good about yourself.

Something to read:

I unfortunately have not managed to really sit down and enjoy a good book in a while, but the last trilogy I read was called All Souls and it really teleported me into a different time, space and reality.

Something to listen to:

I cannot pick one album but The Weeknd is one of my favourite artists currently. I just connect a lot of memories with a lot of different songs, especially the ones before we went into this difficult past year. It also seems to be the only artist my partner and I can agree on, so we will probably also choose one of those for our wedding song!

Anna Shapiro - Sheppard Robson

Anna Shapiro

Anna Shapiro, associate director at Sheppard Robson shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

The Truman Show is a film that is always wonderfully relevant to how we live, as well as being a lot of fun. 

Something to read:

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall is such an interesting book, which I continually find myself dipping into.

Something to listen to:

Salted Caramel Ice Cream’ by Metronomy – I don’t listen to a huge amount of music and I prefer podcasts or the radio, but their music is imaginative and humorous.

BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time is great to have on in the background, with such an eclectic range of themes that are always discussed so expertly.

Charlotte Crawley

Charlotte Crawley

Charlotte Crawley, culture and experience director at Navana Property Group shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I’m a big fan of action and superhero films. If pushed, I’d pick one of the Bourne films or Deadpool. We’ve enjoyed a few in lockdown at home but the best experience is in the cinema. I can’t wait to get back.

Something to read:

The book that’s stayed with me the most is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It surprised me; I wasn’t a fan of that period in history – it is set in the 12th century – but the book really transported me and I have a greater appreciation for architecture from that time. When visiting those buildings now, I feel like I can almost smell, taste and hear those people’s lives.

Something to listen to:

I can’t name a favourite but the song that is guaranteed to get me up for a dance is Shine On by Degrees of Motion.

My fiancé is a DJ on Eruption Radio, so I have to say his Sunday morning soul show. It’s more chilled than his Wednesday dance show and is the perfect way to ease into the day – preferably with a bit of sunshine and a coffee.

Lawrence Owho

Lawrence Owho

Lawrence Owho, a consultant at AspinallVerdi shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I have watched Forrest Gump a few times and I always come away with something new each time. It is a great concept and has a great cast and storyline.

Something to read:

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is one of the best books I have ever read. It is gripping from the first page to the last.

Something to listen to:

I would really recommend the Accelerating Careers In Real Estate podcast by Macdonald & Company. It gives a really good insight into the career paths of some successful property professionals, as well as providing tips and steps to achieve success in the industry.

I discovered The Kinks in lockdown – they make really good music. I would also recommend any song Drake has ever touched.

Anna Harper

Anna Harper

Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of SPI Capital, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to read:

I love audiobooks and have so many recommendations, from autobiographies to psychology and business books. The Courage to be Disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi is a real game-changer. It is all about the ideas of Alfred Adler, a psychologist and lesser-known contemporary of Freud and Jung. Freudian psychoanalysis seems to blame issues you are experiencing today on trauma when you were young or relationships with your parents. By contrast, Adler believed that every problem (for example, addictions or phobias) is a result of a subconscious goal, and that it is the individual’s responsibility to change that goal first. It is a very empowering approach.

Something to listen to:

Kygo and Whitney Houston’s song ‘Higher Love’ is a great mood booster. I am a big fan of exercise before work, and this song is an excellent workout tune!

I love listening to The Guilty Feminist – especially earlier episodes – while running or walking. It is funny, smart, honest and proactive. I would recommend it for women, and also men who want to understand women better. 

Sara Bailey

Sara Bailey

Sara Bailey, head of real estate and incoming senior partner at Trowers & Hamlins, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to read:

The Lord of the Rings – I have always loved this set of books. I just love the escapism into a different world and how you can live through the characters’ highs and lows. Trying to be more intellectual than that, it is a story about hope and how the ordinary man can succeed.

Something to listen to:

‘Rio’ by Duran Duran, for no other reason than it is a great song that reminds me of my teenage years when all that mattered was whether Simon Le Bon or John Taylor was your favourite. Sigh….

Michelle Obama’s podcast – I listened to it in early lockdown. I have always been full of admiration for her as a woman and this series really made me stop and think. The episodes inspire by being honest and truly thoughtful.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith, planning partner at Rapleys, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Withnail and I is funny and nostalgic, like an onion revealing new things each time you watch it. There is a big personal resonance highlighting that life rarely is how you planned and envisaged when you were much younger. But equally it shows that if you don’t step up and take responsibility for your life decisions, you will eventually get left behind. 

Something to read:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a beautifully written, thought-provoking, moving piece of literature that captured my attention from the first page. I couldn’t put it down.

Something to listen to:

Music brings me such joy andRachmaninoff ’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor is one of the best pieces ever composed, both for the pianist in me and for the wonderful clarinet melody for the clarinettist in me.

I am not big into radio, beyond listening to music and sports commentary on international cricket and rugby matches. But, thinking about it, Desert Island Discs is something I used to listen to a lot. It is great for getting an insight into people’s music taste and life, listening to music excerpts and finding new pieces to enjoy at your leisure.

Luke Smith

Luke Smith

Luke Smith, managing director of Avory Smith Group, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Notting Hill – I like anything with either Hugh Grant or Julia Roberts, so it is great to get them both together on the big screen set in the Big Smoke!

Something to read:

I have never been much of a book guy, but I am trying to change that this year and have challenged myself to read 20 pages a day. My all-time favourite book would have to be Charles Saatchi’s Be The Worst You Can Be. Satire is the highest form of wit.

Something to listen to:

I couldn’t possibly pick an all-time favourite. Anyone who has worked with me knows that I tend to fixate on one song and play it non-stop for two weeks. Right now, that is probably Kanye West’s ‘Waves’. I visit Ibiza every summer and love dancing through the night to house music when I’m there. When in Rome, eh? 

Rajesh Gupta

Rajesh Gupta

Rajesh Gupta, chief financial officer at OakNorth, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

The Train starring Burt Lancaster is an incredibly suspenseful movie based on the Second World War. It demonstrates great values of bravery, loyalty , intellect and commitment to freedom.

Something to read:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: apart from its literary merits, this book has become even more relevant in today’s day and age.

Something to listen to:

I grew up in India and the songwriter Gulzar was behind much of the music that I still enjoy. He made high-quality poetry and melody accessible in the whirlpool of highly commercial Bollywood musicals.

I recommend BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs simply because of the really smart people they invite on to the show. And the discussions are always down to earth and smart at the same time.

Chloe Benson

Chloe Benson

Chloe Benson, a senior associate in the real estate team at Goodman Derrick, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I can watch The Breakfast Club over and over again and it always makes me laugh. The soundtrack is amazing too.

Something to read:

I love to travel and with so many amazing places to visit, I need to spend time choosing the next one. I have been flicking through Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist a lot more over the past year!

Something to listen to:

After a lot of deliberation, I would have to say Guns N’ Roses’ album Appetite for Destruction. Every song is incredible and I was fortunate enough to see them a few years ago at the London Stadium, which was epic.

Also, radio every weekday morning without fail. It is really funny, puts me in a good mood and sets me up for the day. Frank Skinner does a show on Saturday mornings on Absolute Radio that is hilarious.

Louisa Nie

Louisa Nie

Louisa Nie, senior development manager at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

A few films come to mind, but I would go for Big Fish. It might be a slightly weird fantasy, but depending on where I am with my life, I could take away something new every time I watch it.

Something to read:

The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the 20th century, experiencing history vividly through the eyes of five very different families.

Something to listen to:

I’m not a big music person, but music from the Irish-Norwegian band Secret Garden always calms my mind and soothes me.

TED Talks are a great way to take a sneak peek into areas that you know very little about!

Jennifer Newsham

Jennifer Newsham

Jennifer Newsham, director of strategic development consulting at JLL, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I watched Guy Ritchie’s film The Gentlemen in lockdown. It has an amazing cast and is really entertaining!

Something to read:

The Red Book - there is no better way to send yourself straight to sleep

Something to listen to:

In my opinion, Queen were the world’s greatest band, so anything by them.

I would also recommend listening to BBC Radio 4’s More or Less: Behind the Stats podcast. It is a very interesting reminder not to take information at face value and to always question the data or motivation that sits behind a number.

Chithra Marsh

Chithra Marsh

Chithra Marsh, associate director at Buttress Architects and one of Women in Property’s new Inclusion Champions, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

The cinematography and music of Giuseppe Tornatore’s film Cinema Paradiso are just beautiful and totally captivating.

Something to read:

I recommend the novel The Famished Road by Ben Okri, which was published in 1991.

Something to listen to:

My husband and daughter will tell you that I love to sing and dance like no one’s watching. ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin usually does the trick!

Also, Desert Island Discs is the perfect mixture of amazing life stories and the music that influenced them. 

Gergo Petrovics

Gergo Petrovics

Gergo Petrovics, surveyor, commercial national investment at Allsop, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

The Netflix docuseriesDown to Earth with Zac Efron explores ways of building a sustainable lifestyle, both within yourself but also in the wider sense of using natural resources to reduce humanity’s impact on Earth’s lifespan. Yes, it is Zac Efron and, at first, I had very different expectations. However, it was my favourite show of 2020. 

Something to read:

This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay is a book of diary entries from a successful doctor turned comedian with cringeworthy stories that characterised his career. I loved this book not only for being the funniest book I have ever read, but also because it taught me that you need to stay positive and see the funny side of your work and not take things too seriously when it all goes wrong.

Something to listen to:

I recommend the BBC Radio 5 Live podcast Eddie Hearn: No Passion No Point. It is in the title, really: whatever I do, I commit to it and try my best.

Nikhil Patel

Nikhil Patel

Nikhil Patel, managing director of Flamingo Investment Group shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I have recently been watching the TV drama Billions. It follows the story of a New York-based hedge-fund manager battling to keeping his firm alive. It is great to see how it portrays the lives of the 0.1% of society and that even with all the riches of the world, life is still not plain sailing.

Something to read:

My favourite book in recent years is Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike. The book outlines how he started Nike and how it grew into the most recognisable athleisure brand today. Hearing the adversity that a company like Nike faced was a fascinating look into what is needed to succeed.

Something to listen to:

I will always stand by the fact that my favourite artist of all time is Kanye West. The old Kanye – his music from the mid 2000s to 2012 – provided the soundtrack of my childhood and teen years.

The Business Wars podcast from Wondery is something I have been listening to recently. It compares business competitors and the battle they face against each other to increase their market share. The stories it uncovers provide great insight into the world of large corporations.

Reuben Miller

Reuben Miller

Reuben Miller, residential chartered surveyor and RICS valuer at RM Surveyors shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

The King of Staten Island is a funny and moving true story about overcoming personal loss and creating a value-aligned career.

Something to read:

Discovering the public-speaking secrets of the world’s top minds in Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo helped me understand how to tell my own story.

Something to listen to:

Ziggy Marley’s song ‘True to Myself’ has an uplifting message about living authentically and following your own path.

The Unlocking Us andDare to Lead podcasts by Brené Brown feature inspiring conversations about innovative leadership and courageous living. I love and live by her mantra: ‘Be awkward, brave and kind.’

yemiedun_pic

Yemi Edun

Yemi Edun, founder and chief executive of Daniel Ford International shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to read:

I recommend The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason and The Money Secret by Rob Parsons. The former because of its simplicity and how, despite the fact it was first published in 1926, its contents are still relevant today. The latter because it is more relevant to our lives in the UK. 

Something to listen to:

I listen primarily to jazz and Afrobeats. Jazz because it is calming, and Afrobeats because it is nice to hear the younger guys broadening its appeal.

I also recommend the radio station talkSPORT, chiefly for their opinions that run contrary to reality. It is a time for me to enjoy their understanding – or lack of it – on matters being debated.

Tamika Hull Women in Property 2020 National Student Awards winner

Tamika Hull

Tamika Hull, a student on placement as national infrastructure officer at the Planning Inspectorate shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

The film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty teaches us that happiness is found when we step out of our comfort zone.

Something to read:

The novel The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho reminds me to always follow my dreams.

Something to listen to:

The song ‘The Wind’ by singer-songwriter Cat Stevens always makes me smile.

Elizabeth Day’s How To Fail podcast has taught me that my failures are my best ‘teachers’.

Kate James

Kate James

Kate James, an associate at TLT shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

The American drama series The Wire is an oldie but a goodie!

Something to read:

The type of books I enjoy most are those that completely immerse you and you can read again and again and never tire of. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is one of those books and every time I read it, I remember how much I love it.

Something to listen to:

The album Stoosh by Skunk Anansie reminds me of my teenage years. Every song is one you can crank up the volume to in the car and sing as loudly as you can. Nearly 24 years after being released, I still love it every time I play it, although I now listen on Spotify and not on CD.

I love a comedy podcast and Katherine Ryan: Telling Everybody Everything perfectly encapsulates some very funny moments alongside some serious topics of conversation. It is light-hearted, funny and easy listening, and also addresses some issues that people are afraid to talk about, which I really admire.

Maria Cheung

Maria Cheung

Maria Cheung, director and head of interior design at Squire & Partners shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Christopher Nolan’s film The Prestige has magic, drama, brilliant styling, a flawless plot and a fabulous cast that features local Brixton hero, David Bowie.

Something to read:

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom is truly life-affirming. It is the one book I reread every five years or so, and each time I see something different in it as my perspective changes and I get older. It is just wonderful.

Something to listen to:

The Killers are a favourite band of mine and Sam’s Town is the album I always go back to. Their live set is a great list of arena-sized anthems that beg to be belted out.

Sometimes delightful, sometimes intriguing and tragic, the whole archive of Desert Island Discs is an incredible insight into a huge and wonderful range of people’s lives and their work, dating back to the 1950s.

Arya Taware

Arya Taware

Arya Taware, managing director and founder of FutureBricks shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Secretariat, directed by Randall Wallace, is a film drama about grit in the horse-racing industry, with a lead female character who was able to overcome the challenges of a male-dominated world.

Something to read:

I recommendLet It Go: My Extraordinary Story by Dame Stephanie Shirley for its amazing life journey of an inspiring character who came to England as a Jewish refugee and started her own software company in the 1960s as a computer engineer. The concept of shared ownership – with many female CEOs having found their place at her multinational corporation – is admirable. 

Something to listen to:

The Ikonns podcast uncovers inspiring life journeys through guest interviews. They are uplifting and eye-opening. I particularly liked the episode ‘Overcoming All Odds to Success with Susie Ma of Tropic Skincare’.

I love the song ‘Endless’ by Mark Eliyahu for its blending of instruments and futuristic electronics. 

Phumzile Mbatha

Phumzile Mbatha

Phumzile Mbatha, senior quantity surveyor at Colliers International shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Skyfall (and all other James Bond movies), because I like to be kept on the edge of my seat, andBlack Panther, for its depiction of numerous black women in powerful and engaging roles.

Something to read:

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – I believe no one is born great. Our daily habits make us great, and the book has some intriguing examples of how the right habits were crucial to the success of former Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz and civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.

Something to listen to:

Promises (feat. Joe L Barnes & Naomi Raine) by Maverick City Music – “Great is Your faithfulness to me. From the rising sun to the setting same, I will praise Your name. Great is Your faithfulness to me.”

The Woman Evolve podcast, hosted by Sarah Jakes Roberts, focuses on redefining what it means to be a modern woman of faith.

Sarah Hayford Founder The Land Collective_300dpi

Sarah Hayford

Sarah Hayford, f ounder of The Land Collective and Sqft Digital, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Everyone needs to watch the US TV drama Scandal at some point in their lives. It is a brilliant show full of drama, darkness and, of course, scandal! I always love political dramas and really get into them.

Something to read:

Philosophy was one of my favourite subjects at school and Westworld is one TV show that really made me start ‘thinking’ again. So, I got a book about it – Westworld and Philosophy: If You Go Looking for the Truth, Get the Whole Thing. It is quite reflective and has a range of essays about the series that are quite interesting.

Something to listen to:

This week I’ve been listening on repeat to the album Con Todo El Mundo by American band Khruangbin. It calms me down and makes me feel very reflective.

I am a big music lover and the music and pop-culture podcast Don’t Alert the Stans talks about a range of issues across the industry. I love the authenticity of the podcast as well as its humour and critical insights, which make you view things from different perspectives and even challenge your own. It has everything!

Coree James-Beccles

Coree James-Beccles

Coree Beccles, a pprentice surveyor at CBRE, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

The film musical Dreamgirls stars a host of talented musicians, dancers, actors and actresses such as Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson. It is also one of my mum’s favourite films; we went to the cinema to watch it back in 2006 and I think I know the words to every song now!

I follow American motivational speaker Eric Thomas closely on LinkedIn and often listen to him while at the gym. There are many videos of his speeches available on YouTube. His message is based on accountability and hard work, which has helped me transform the way I think and feel. 

Something to read:

I read The Color Purple by Alice Walker a few years back after watching the film and I couldn’t stop reading it. It tells a story of pain, struggle, growth and resilience that truly captured my imagination.

I’m currently reading Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God. It is a very powerful story about his life that will resonate with people from all backgrounds.

Shabnam Ali-Khan

Shabnam Ali-Khan

Shabnam Ali-Khan, s enior associate at Russell-Cooke, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

I have been watching the new series of The Million Pound Cube on ITV. I find it so gripping and exciting. It is interesting to see people working together, plus there are heartwarming stories about what people want to use the money for.

Something to listen to:

The Beatles are one of my favourite bands. They have many brilliant tracks but ‘In My Life’ is one of my all-time favourites. John Lennon had a beautifully chilling voice and the song is a wonderful blend of sadness with a positive message.

I regularly listen to The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4. It is a fun look at the week’s news. I’m enjoying Andy Zaltzman as the new presenter. He is a great comedian and I like his surreal nature. I also love Mark Steel and am always very excited when he is on.

Something to read:

I found Matt Haig’s book Reasons to Stay Alive so relatable. I have struggled with anxiety and bouts of depression throughout my life, and it shed a light on the issue and how it can be navigated. It also gives hope that there are things you can do to still have a great life, and that you are not alone. 

Lily Nash FirstPort

Lily Nash

Lily Nash, d irector of transformation at FirstPort, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to read:

The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company by John Rossman is a book I keep coming back to. I’ve used it in a lot of the work I’ve done over the past few years. It provides incredible insight into human behaviour and the way we work.

Something to listen to:

I recently listened to the audiobook of It’s All in Your Head, a memoir by rapper and producer Russ. It is about being confident in yourself and your abilities, and taking on challenges headfirst. Those lessons are universal. 

Something to watch:

Sports documentaries such as Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix and All or Nothing on Amazon Prime are fascinating. There is so much we can learn from the mindset and motivations of those at the elite level of their sport.

Music:

I’m a big fan of singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. His album No.6 Collaborations Project is something I’m listening to a lot at the moment.

Lerato Marema

Lerato Marema

Lerato Marema, s enior planner at Deloitte, shares some of her cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Life is a BBC drama that covers the lives of four ordinary Mancunians who all live in one building. While separate, their lives intertwine and unravel, revealing each person’s life challenge and how they overcome it; from marriage and divorce to birth and death – it covers it all. As it is filmed in Manchester, I also loved being able to pick out all the locations around the city I usually walk around. The series is available to watch on iPlayer. 

Queen & Slim is a profound film about race relations in America with a focus on police brutality, which is clearly still a major challenge. It is directed and produced by two women – Melina Matsoukas and Lena Waithe. I just love how this story is told honestly but somehow still manages to be a beautiful, heartfelt piece of cinematography, from the music chosen to the main actor and actress (who are both black Brits) . A must-see for everyone.

The Netflix documentary series Chef’s Table is about incredible chefs from all over the world. I definitely live to eat, so I found all the background stories of each chef, their passion for food and their expression of life through each dish to be truly amazing.

Simon Hamilton

Simon Hamilton

Simon Hamilton, D esign Career Consulting founder, shares some of his cultural recommendations:

Something to watch:

Parasite by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho is an incredible film. It has a strong sense of humour as well as being a comment on society and wealth inequality. I love watching films and Parasite is the best I’ve seen in years.

Something to read:

Black and British: A Forgotten History by broadcaster David Olusoga is a thoroughly researched book. I bought a copy to find out more about my background – I saw the title and thought, “that’s me”. Olusoga also comes across as articulate, well-researched and intelligent on screen.

Something to listen to:

I like listening to the podcast Material Matters with Grant Gibson. He interviews a broad range of creative people about their relationship to a material or a technique. You really get a sense of what’s behind the artists’ work, their thinking and their processes.

I also love the song ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers. I always play it when I want to feel better because it’s so uplifting, and even when I’m feeling good, I’ll play it. It’s even more poignant as Withers died in March this year.

Something to watch:

Netflix’s recently released documentary The Social Dilemma will make you want to ditch your phone and laptop, until you realise you cannot. Silicon Valley experts discuss the ethics of social media and how the underlying design is geared towards generating profit and eyeball time. Chilling.

Something to read:

First published in serial form in 1972, Buddha, the manga graphic novel by Japanese artist Osamu Tezuka about the life of the founder of Buddhism, is totally gripping. Tezuka’s mastery of the graphic novel form makes the eight-book English translation feel short.

Something to listen to:

Pineapple Street Studios, the company that brought us Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill podcast, has teamed up with BuzzFeed for the series Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files, which is all about 2020’s big financial data leak.

New Order’s second studio album,Power, Corruption & Lies, released in 1983, is a fitting soundtrack to political news cycles. The track ‘Your Silent Face’ is a balm for a brutal time, while some of the other tracks are less catchy.

Mitchell Labiak

Mitchell Labiak

Property Week chief investigative reporter Mitchell Labiak recommends some of his favourite vinyl records. 

The Score

The Score by Fugees: rappers such as north London’s Little Simz still compare themselves to Lauryn Hill. One listen to Fugees’ 1996 album, which is as fierce, witty and innovative now as it was then, will show you why.

Nebraska

Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen: the album that sounds the least like Springsteen’s others and yet is quite possibly his best. Songs like ‘Atlantic City’ and ‘Johnny 99’ alone make this haunting, raw and brave record a must-listen for any fan of The Boss.

The Voice of Jazz

The Voice of Jazz, Volume Two by Billie Holiday: they say you never forget your first. After being given a vinyl player as a gift, my wife and I picked up this record from an Oxfam shop in Durham. Lady Day’s heartbreakingly sincere voice has been the soundtrack to our lives ever since.

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels 3 by Run the Jewels: “I hope. I hope with the highest of hopes,” raps Killer Mike on the opening track of this loud, angry, poignant modern hip-hop classic. Radical hope in the face of mass injustice defines this album.

Sadie Morgan, founding director of architecture practice dRMM and chair of the Quality of Life Foundation, shares her recommendations for what to watch, read and listen to.

Something to read:

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery is a paean to more sustainable models of urban living. Alternatively, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain by Owen Hatherley is a more home-grown and acerbic look at the same topic. Both books show that when it comes to our towns and cities, we do not have to look too far to work out where we might be going wrong – and how we might put things right again.

Something to watch:

Over the summer, many of us have wanted to connect with nature at home or out and about. David Attenborough was 94 this year and there is still no finer broadcaster about the natural world. You know you are in safe hands as soon as you hear his voice. So settle back and (re)watch The Blue Planet or Life on Earth. Both series are available on iPlayer.

Something to listen to:

Meditation apps such as Headspace and Calm have proliferated over the past few years and offer the chance to take a moment from our days and reconnect with ourselves and the moment at hand. Being more mindful throughout the day is proven to boost wellbeing, and gives us the chance to appreciate where we are and whom we are with.

Lockdown has given many people the time to appreciate old vinyl records. Mat Lown, partner and head of sustainability at TFT, shares four of his favourite vinyl records.

De la Soul - 3 feet high

3 Feet High and Rising by De La Soul: A pioneering and highly original LP when it was released in 1989. It still sounds fresh today and includes lots of catchy samples from Hall & Oates, James Brown and Cymande.

You Only Live Twice (soundtrack): I found this LP, which was released in 1967, and many others – including a couple of rare Gil Scott-Heron LPs – during one of my trips to the States. I love John Barry’s composition and Nancy Sinatra’s haunting vocals on the theme track.

‘Glory Box’ by Portishead: Taken from their debut LP Dummy, ‘Glory Box’ was released in 1995. I first heard this record at the restaurant Jimmy Beez, which was opposite one of my favourite record stores in London, Honest Jon’s, where James Lavelle worked before setting up Mo’ Wax.

‘Loveless (feat. Ursula Rucker)’ by 4hero: The lyrics to this song, released on Talkin’ Loud in 1997, are very relevant today as we focus on rectifying the damage done to our environment and try to build a better future for our world. 

Other:

Last week, Derek Griffin, Whitbread’s head of acquisitions in London and the South, shares four vinyl lockdown purchases. 

Pioneers pic

‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’ by The Pioneers: A joyous splash of horn-infused reggae written, produced and performed by Jimmy Cliff. Released on the famous Trojan label, it reached no. 5 on the UK singles chart in 1971 and still sounds fresh as a daisy! Lovely label art, too.

Donald Bird pic

‘Dominoes’ by Donald Byrd: The amazing bassline on this track from Donald Byrd’s 1975 album Places and Spaces is almost identical to Steely Dan’s ‘Peg’. That’s because it’s by the same man – Chuck Rainey. Eighty years young and such a legacy. What a groove!

Frankie Valli

‘The Night’ by The Four Seasons: Quite simply one of the greatest records ever made. Originally released in 1972, it became a hit on its re-release three years later, following massive popularity on the Northern Soul scene. Much sought-after and therefore still quite pricey on vinyl!

Rolling Stones pic

‘Emotional Rescue’ by The Rolling Stones: This is the Stones at their funkiest. Released 40 years ago but still sounds fresh. A great single and also the title track to their 15th studio album.

TV recommendations

Netflix’s Selling Sunset is the show to watch for all property folk enjoying some downtime. The series follows the Los Angeles-based real estate Oppenheim Group and the drama facing the brokers selling properties, which range in value from a few million dollars all the way up to $75m. It is pure property porn. Series three came out at the end of last month.

A double-trouble version of the daytime TV classic, Couples Come Dine With Me is as raucous and cringeworthy as its ‘singles’ counterpart. In the Channel 4 show, three couples host dinner parties at their homes, before being criticised by their guests. Expect plenty of one-upmanship, deadpan voice-overs and dad jokes. So many dad jokes.

Budget documentary Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles explores the mystery of handmade linoleum tiles inscribed with cryptic messages that were found embedded in the pavements of US cities and tries to find out who put them there. It is one of the most mysterious, life-affirming films to have been circulated via hyperlink.

The third series of Gone Fishing is airing on BBC2 at the moment (8pm Sundays), and you can catch up on the first two series of this brilliant TV show featuring comedians Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer on iPlayer. As the title suggests, the show is about fishing, but it is also about friendship and mortality, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful British countryside. 

Trashy reality TV is all the rage and 90 Day Fiancé is no different. The US series follows engaged couples who must get married within three months of the non-US citizen in the pair obtaining a visa. Long-distance relationships plus family disapproval equals messy drama and a must-watch. All seven series are available on TLC.

Anyone who hasn’t watched The Big Short is missing out. It shows the cut and thrust of business and finance without glamorising it, telling the true story of one of the most dramatic periods in the past decade. It has elements of comedy, incredulity and pathos. The cast is excellent and the story closely matches Michael Lewis’s brilliant book.

Comedy-drama Succession, about a dysfunctional family fighting for control of its global media empire, features many colourful characters driven by greed, power and revenge. Both seasons are available to watch on Sky TV. 

Strike a pose and watch Ryan Murphy’s moving, exhilarating drama series Pose. Set in the underground drag ballroom world of 1980s New York City, the show is a must-watch for fans of voguing and the documentary Paris is Burning. Both series are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

If you are looking for an inspiring watch during lockdown then war film Darkest Hour about Winston Churchill’s time as prime minister during the Second World War should fit the bill. It demonstrates the merits of teamwork and sticking to one’s principles. It is available to watch on Netflix. 

Looking for a TV show that combines period dramas, The Walking Dead and beautiful cinematography? Look no further than Kingdom. Set in the late-1500s, this South Korean political horror thriller follows the crown prince as he uncovers a devastating political conspiracy while investigating the spread of a mysterious plague. All 12 episodes are available to watch on Netflix.

Pixar’s latest offering, Onward, which bypassed cinemas due to lockdown, is a warm-hearted tale of magical quests, familial loss and sibling love – with enough knowing adult-appropriate side jokes to keep the parents entertained. And it makes a welcome change from Frozen.

The Last Dance, a documentary about American basketball player Michael Jordan, is fascinating. For all Jordan’s ubiquitousness in the 90s, this is a rarer insight behind the public persona – into what drove him, who he is and why he was so bankable. It is worth a watch for the 90s fashion and technology alone. You can find it on Netflix. 

My Architect: A Son’s Journey is an extraordinarily moving documentary film by Nathaniel Kahn about his father, the legendary American architect Louis Kahn, who died in 1974. The film is available to watch online.

In The Kindness Diaries on Netflix, host Leon Logothetis travels the world relying on the kindness of strangers for bed and board and repaying them in kind. It shines a light on the best of human nature and helped inspire CBRE’S ‘kindness pledges’ idea. In times when we are separated from those we care about, we think this is more important than ever.

Podcast recommendations 

In the podcast series Phoebe Reads A Mystery, This is Love host Phoebe Judge reads a chapter a day from a mystery novel. So far, she has lent her soothing tones to The Hound of the Baskervilles, Dracula and Jane Eyre among other classic works. It is the perfect listen for daily walks, household chores or to help you nod off at night. 

VENT is a podcast series hosted by young residents in Brent. Made in collaboration with VICE, the project documents life as a young person in the London borough, taking in everything from falling in love to thoughts on the dark web and intersectional feminism. There are three series to date, all available from Spotify, Acast or Apple.

I’d recommend dipping into a sports radio channel when you can. Listening to any sport adds a touch of normality for me and it’s comforting to hear that some things are beginning to return to normal, whether it’s the horse racing at Ascot or the restarted Premier League.

Rugby is one of my passions. I was fortunate enough to make the trip to Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and will be heading on the Lions tour to South Africa next year. I love the camaraderie, mutual respect and passion of the sport. Rugby podcasts such as The Rugby Pod and The Ruck share many great insights from the players. Download from iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. 

A brutal murder, police corruption, tabloid newspaper hacking – the still-unsolved killing of private detective Daniel Morgan in 1987 has all the elements of a Hollywood thriller. In podcast seriesUntold: The Daniel Morgan Murder, investigative journalist Peter Jukes takes an exhaustive in-depth look at this intriguing story. Download from iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs needs no introduction. A recent episode with Cressida Dick, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, featured some great music and the fascinating story of her career achievements to date as well as the challenges she has faced and overcome. Download from iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. 

What if one of the biggest rock singles of all time was actually written by – wait for it – the CIA? In podcast Wind Of Change, American journalist Patrick Radden Keefe investigates the claim that the Scorpions’ 1990 hit – the soundtrack to the collapse of the Soviet Union – was a piece of propaganda constructed by US intelligence. Download from iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. 

The podcast Dolly Parton’s America is an exploration of the American singer’s music, life and real estate projects. It is ideal for anyone interested in country music, how to build an empire, philanthropism or a good old rags-to-riches tale, and features interviews with the woman herself. It also offers a great antidote to what celebrity has come to mean recently. Download from iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. 

The second series of BBC podcast 13 Minutes to the Moon uses historical interviews with flight controllers and astronauts to tell the story of the nearly disastrous Apollo 13 mission in April 1970. I remember as a schoolboy sitting mesmerised in front of my family’s black-and-white TV, watching the drama unfold non-stop for five days. The entire series can be streamed on BBC Sounds. 

The soothing tones of This Is Love presenter Phoebe Judge are an antidote to any cabin fever you might be feeling. Her podcast investigates stories of love in the loosest sense. Season 4 focuses on nature, animals and the wild.

In Bryony Gordon’s Mad World podcast, the Telegraph journalist and mental health ambassador interviews guests about their mental health journey and always starts with the question: “So how are you really?” Bryony founded the Mental Health Mates network, which inspired CBRE’s Mental Health Buddies programme. 

At only 10 minutes an episode, the podcast This Day in Esoteric Political History is more digestible than its name might suggest. Each episode looks at one moment in US political history from that day in the past and analyses what lessons can be drawn from it. It is a great way to gain a bit of historical perspective. Download from iTunes or anywhere you get your podcasts. 

If you want a laugh: Fortunately by Fi and Jane is a podcast from Jane Garvey and Fi Glover. The two BBC Radio 4 broadcasters (you may recognise Jane as a presenter on Women’s Hour) spend the hour chatting to themselves, speaking over a range of guests, and sometimes bring some radio clips to play. Mostly though, they’re very rude and extremely funny, and we would recommend them heartily if you need a lift.

If you want a deep dive into human nature:The Ted Radio Hour by NPR. This is a genius concept, with each podcast focusing on one topic such as “anger”, “failure”, “the source of creativity” and “risk”. A number of Ted Talkers are interviewed on their talks, weaving together a fascinating exploration of important topics.

If you want to keep up to date with current affairs: The Daily from the New York Times and Beyond Today from the BBC both follow similar formats, covering one newsworthy topic each day of the week. They’re short, very well researched, and cover a range of topics from the success of South Korean oscar-winning Parasite, to the American women who joined ISIS.

If you want something silly:No Such Thing As A Fish comes from the QI elves (who write the questions from the panel show). They take us through all the strange facts they learnt that week. Prepare to be impressed, horrified and to have more than one laugh out loud.

If you want something gripping: The Dropout or Broken: Jefferey Epstein. The former follows Elizabeth Holmes, who is currently standing trial for massive fraud, after her blood-testing firm Thernos unrivalled. The latter takes us through the life of Jefferey Epstein, uncovering previously unknown actions and experiences. It also delves into Ghislaine Maxwell, his longtime alleged facilitator, and the prison in which he spent his last weeks.

If you want something akin to therapy:How Did We Get Here is a podcast from Dr Tanya Bryon, a psychologist, and her longtime friend Claudia Winkleman. In each episode, Claudia interviews a member of the public who has a problem they wish to fix. We then listen in as Tanya talks that person through the issue, with incredible results. It feels like a free therapy session, and our only tip is to make sure you’re not wearing makeup as it’ll smudge.

Music recommendations

LA sister-band Haim’s third studio album Women in Music Pt. III combines pop with folksier 1970s tones. In their most personal songs yet, they sing about family, misogyny and depression. But the best thing is just how catchy it all is.

Four-time Grammy winner Jacob Collier started out as a bedroom musician uploading videos to YouTube of his rearrangements of popular songs. His extraordinary ability to harmonise meant it was not long before he was signed to Quincy Jones’ management company. Volume three of his Djesse album series was released in August.

Putting the rest of us to shame, Taylor Swift wrote her eighth album,folklore, during lockdown. Harking back to her origins as a country singer, this album is a cosy, autumnal listen, filled with nostalgia and storytelling. It might be her best album yet.

Screaming Toenail describe themselves as an “anti-colonial militant queer punk band”. In new lockdown release Growth, the band touches on personal and political topics. It is worth a listen, especially if you are angry at the system. Listen via Bandcamp.

Canadian singer-songwriter Ruth B. has a beautiful voice that stirs the emotions, which is shown to great effect on the song ‘Lost Boy’. The track is available on Spotify and other music-streaming platforms.

After a 10-year hiatus, Damon Gough – AKA Badly Drawn Boy – makes a welcome return with new album Banana Skin Shoes. The singer-songwriter’s latest offering is packed with upbeat, life-affirming songs such as ‘Is This a Dream?’ The album is available to download or, alternatively, the physical CD can be purchased from all good music retailers. 

It is always interesting to reconnect with the music of one’s youth. Lately, I have been listening to the records of British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading, whose music I first discovered while studying for an estate management degree at Trent Polytechnic. It has been great to have more time to listen to her albums again. Find her music on Spotify.

For those who have never heard of American singer Perfume Genius, now is the time to get acquainted with his dreamy vocals set to bold instrumentals. With his latest stunner of an album, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, he is finally attaining the mainstream recognition he deserves.

London jazz musician Jelly Cleaver has released a gently woozy track during lockdown called Feeling Fine, featuring rapper Shunaji and saxophonist Maddy Coombs. Cleaver is in lockdown with her whole band, so fingers crossed she produces more music over the coming months. 

This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman is one of the biggest feel-good songs of recent years. It brings together a deeper meaning of compassion and kindness and encourages everyone to bring their whole self, not just their best self. When this song is on, you cannot help but move your feet, tap your fingers and get involved with the beats.

Books & games

For any self-isolators keen to get away from a screen or a book, Patchwork is a competitive Tetris-style two-player board game based on the theme of sewing. Players compete to collect a maximum number of buttons while filling their board with contiguous cardboard pieces.

Prolific author Anthony Horowitz is back with another murder mystery thriller – Moonflower Murders, the second in his Susan Ryeland series, which continues the story of Magpie Murders published in 2016. The book has all the usual plot twists of a Horowitz story and also features a novel within a novel – a device he has used before. 

Jo Lennan’sIn the Time of Foxes, published last week, is a collection of short stories. In the eponymous story, a woman faces two difficult decisions over whether to put her mother in a care home and whether to destroy the fox home in her garden. These brief but deep narratives show characters in complex situations. It is rare to find a book this fulfilling.

A book I often dip into and would highly recommend is Legacy by James Kerr. It proposes 15 lessons we can learn from the methods of the legendary All Blacks rugby union team. It is not just a book about sport – Kerr writes about leadership, humility and ethics.

James Deegan’s SAS adventure novelOnce A Pilgrim is an enjoyable bit of escapism and a step up from other similar-themed authors. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is an historical and educational epic.

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman provides a fascinating insight into the intelligence of our feathered garden friends. How can birds anticipate the arrival of a distant storm? How can they find places thousands of miles away that they have never visited before? Ackerman explains all this and more.

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh tells the unusual story of how he became a brain surgeon. This moving book has helped put life into perspective during these unusual times and is a quick and engaging read.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett is ostensibly a novel about the role of a house and its imposing architecture on the fate of a family, and is beautiful and heartbreaking in equal measure. The depiction of the house in which the book is set is almost photographic in its detail – worth a read for any fan of architecture.

Containing biographies of about 200 London architects from Inigo Jones to Norman Foster, Architects and Architecture of London by Ken Allinson is a great book to dip into and easy to read. Building Seagram by Phyllis Lambert tells the compelling story of the design and construction of the legendary New York skyscraper. Designed by Mies van der Rohe, this awesome, heroic building is a big influence on my own work.

If you want a screen break while engaging in something meaningful, check out autobiographical graphic novels. A Drifting Life is a masterpiece that completely absorbs the reader in author Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s journey to become a manga artist in Japan between 1945 and 1960. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel tells her story of growing up as the daughter of a funeral-home owner and her relationship with her father. The book’s musical adaptation is also available online.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy is one of the most creative books of recent years. Bursting with simple sketches, it brings to life the true value of compassion, kindness, understanding and self-worth. The simplicity of the line drawings and the emotions they invoke make this an absolute classic. 

Culture

It might seem basic but study app Quizlet is a reliable tool for learning languages – or indeed anything at all. With millions of user-generated flashcards along with tests and games, it is the perfect place to brush up on your Mandarin or learn a bit of Italian. 

Although many of the world’s most famous museums are shut for the foreseeable future, Google Arts and Culture collection allows viewers to take virtual tours of leading institutions. Here the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Guggenheim Museum in New York, Musee d’Orsay in Paris, and many more, can be viewed from the comfort of your couch. This huge project displays a wide range of art and artefacts from Egyptian mummies through to Vermeer’s atmospheric domestic interiors (particularly apt for these strange times) 

In the face of theatre and venue closures many are also moving their performances online. New York’s Metropolitan Opera will be streaming shows every night at 7.30 EDT, which will be accessible until 3.30 EDT the next day

Shakespeare’s Globe has many of the classics on Globe Player, while video platform Nowness contains a diverse array of global arts and culture.

In many ways the release of the 900-page final instalment of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy couldn’t have been better timed. Spend what would otherwise have been your commute getting into the ‘The Mirror & the Light’ and the deadly intrigues of Henry VIII’s court in the wake of the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

Online

In American online comedy series The Try Guys, four men in LA try out activities ranging from cooking competitions to sports trials and getting lost in the wild. Outcomes vary but the audience is always kept entertained. The series is available to watch on YouTube and new episodes come out every Wednesday and Saturday.

A way I de-stress after the working day is to sit down with my eight-year-old son and stream a nature documentary. Our favourites are the classics – Seven Worlds, One Planet and Blue Planet II – but the choice available on BBC iPlayer is fantastic! The complete escapism of diving into a documentary puts into perspective how we are all just tiny people doing little things in a vast, amazing world.

American singer Solange might not be as well known as her older sister Beyoncé, but she is just as talented. Her most recent album, When I Get Home, is a beautiful, heartfelt ode to her hometown of Houston, Texas. Her film accompanying the album is available to watch on YouTube.

National Theatre at Home is currently showing the Donmar Warehouse’s visceral 2013/14 production of Coriolanus, with Tom Hiddleston in the title role. It is arguably one of the most dynamic versions of the play ever staged. Its strong cast and small stage give it great immediacy and the savage conclusion is extremely poignant. It is available to watch on YouTube until 7pm on 11 June.

For instant relaxation, spend a few hours trawling YouTube. Living Big in a Tiny House and Exploring Alternatives both make for absorbing viewing. Alternatively, why not learn a new skill? There are many music tutorials for lockdown learning, such as David Bennett Piano and Guy Michelmore’s channels. For synth enthusiasts, Andrew Huang, BoBeats and the incredible Once Upon a Synth channel are real rabbit holes.