That quintessentially British bear (despite hailing from Darkest Peru!) Paddington, hits the cinema screen today in a star-studded film following the polite, bumbling bear’s adventures.
And to celebrate, Britain has gone all gone soft – and cuddly – for a certain small bear from Darkest Peru, with a penchant for marmalade sandwiches. The Paddington Bear film, starring Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Ben Wishaw, only opens today, but he’s already making an impression elsewhere around the UK.
In London you can search for 50 different Paddington statues on the Paddington Bear trail or visit the exhibition at the Museum of London. Get into the look with wellingtons from hip boot brand Hunter or a blue duffle coat; or simply tuck in to Elevenses – with marmalade sandwiches, of course.
A Bear Called Paddington, Museum of London
This small, free exhibition feature original memorabilia, including author Michael Bond’s typewriter and Paddington’s actual costume from the film. Visit on 29-30 November and take part in Paddington’s Picnic Weekend when there will be storytelling, craft activities and even a chance to meet Paddington himself. www.museumoflondon.org.uk
Toast & marmalade truffles, from £2
Using 70 per cent Pacari Piura Quemazon chocolate from darkest Peru, brown bread toast, butter and marmalade, star chocolatier Paul A Young has reimagined Paddington’s favourite foodstuff in confectionery-form. www.paulayoung.co.uk
The Paddington Curiosity Shop at Selfridges
The Paddington story began at Selfridge’s department store, when in 1956, author Michael Bond bought the last teddy on Christmas Eve – which then inspired the adventures of the bear from Darkest Peru. So it’s fitting that the a golden Paddington statue (one to tick off on the trail) takes over one of the windows, while Selfridge’s Wonder Room concept store has been taken over by all things Paddington. From one-of-a-kind archive pieces to props from the film it’s a trove of delights. Expect exclusive gifts and fashion items inspired by the much-loved bear, including a blue duffle coat from Gloverall (kids £109, adults £295) and Globetrotter suitcases (from £285). www.selfridges.com
Hunter boots, £95
The original gloss wellington boots, as favoured by the festival set, in military red – team them with a duffle coat for maximum Paddington effect. www.hunterboots.com
Paddington Bear with wellies soft toy, £19.99
With his cardboard label saying “Please look after this bear”, shiny willies and blue felt duffle coat, this gorgeous bear is just like the original. www.johnlewis.com
A bear called Paddington, Michael Bond, £10.99
The hardback edition of the very first book, originally published in 1958, has beautiful illustrations by Peggy Fortnum and tells the story of a bear, found at Paddington station, having travelled all the way from Darkest Peru with only a jar of marmalade, a suitcase and his hat. www.waterstones.com
Robertson’s limited edition Golden Shred, £2.29
Grab one of the limited gold label jars of the UK’s favourite marmalade featuring the new-look Paddington Bear from the film and the story about his inception on the jar. Exclusive to Selfridges, www.selfridges.com
Elevenses and afternoon teas
Known for his love of a snack – elevenses was his favourite – there are Paddington-themed afternoon teas popping up all over the place. At Aqua Shard the afternoon tea of orange marmalade macaroons, praline cream buns, chilli-chocolate taxis and orange blossom scones, is served 31 floors high in a battered suitcase (£34.50, www.aquashard.co.uk). At the Athenaeum you’ll find marmalade-glazed ham sandwiches, marmalade tarts and chocolate tea cups filled with orange and white chocolate mousse (£39.50, www.athenaeumhotel.com). And at the Lowndes hotel you can try Elevenses – a morning ritual that Paddington Bear famously enjoyed with Mr Gruber – and a Pastuso cocktail (that’s Paddington’s original Peruvian name) as part of the Paddington Bear experience, which also includes a night at the hotel and a toy Paddington Bear (£252, www.jumerirah.com/JLH).
Paddington Pisco Marmalade Fizz, £7.95
The Fable in London’s Farringdon has created a cocktail that may leave you feeling like a bear with a sore head – Peruvian Pisco, lemon, sugar, Prosecco and two healthy dollops of marmalade. It even comes served with a mini marmalade sandwich. www.thefablebar.co.uk
Paddington wallpaper and fabric
Jane Churchill’s London Sights Paddington range of wallpaper and fabric have a vintage feel that will give any child’s room a timeless feel. www.janechurchill.com
Paddington Bear suitcase gift, £20
This gorgeously-presented bath set contains shower gel, bubble bat, bath fizzers and a marmalade-shaped sponge – too cute by far to give to your little ones. www.marksandspencer.com
This feature appeared in Metro on 27 November 2014. To view the newspaper version visit http://e-edition.metro.co.uk/2014/11/27/