Watson’s Window


Colin Firth with Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech.

ACTRESS Helena Bonham Carter, 45, whose numerous film credits include the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech and wearing an ape costume in Planet of the Apes in 2001 – “I wanted to play an ape,” she says – was honoured by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts LA last month, with their Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year.

On arrival on the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Helena admitted she didn’t know why she was chose for the award for British actress of the year. “They must know more than I do,” she said with a straight-faced look.

Veteran award-winning star Helen Mirren made the presentation on stage in the Grand Ballroom. In her acceptance speech, Helena told Mirren “You also deserve this,” holding up her trophy.

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COMIC ACTOR Ben Stiller who received the BAFTA-LA Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy, was another star who never expected it. “I’ve long been a Charlie Chaplin fan, and it’s a great honour to win it.” Robert Downey Jr who portrayed Chaplin in the film Chaplin in 1992, made the presentation.

Other honorees included Warrant Beatty, 73, who was awarded the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, who thanked his sister, veteran star Shirley MacLaine for guiding him to become an actor. Shirley stood up to an applauding star-studded audience and blew a few kisses to her brother. It was a delightful moment, and a delightful evening.

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ONE OF Santa Monica’s best British restaurants, The Tudor House, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with an entirely new menu for breakfast, lunch and high afternoon tea.

It’s also one of my favourite British restaurants for having the finest Scottish smoked salmon (lox), equaling that served at the leading five-star dining spots in Europe and the US which I have visited.

Owners Stephen and Teresa Dulley, who have been running the restaurant and adjoining British gift shop since 2006, stocked with all kinds of biscuits, chocolates, jams and jellies, frozen foods, and the list goes on and on. Their baker supplies 14 different kinds of freshly baked British pies daily, and their fish and chips are served the British way – the fish is fried with beer.

“We introduce a new smoked salmon dish on the new menu – one that’s tossed with salad and new potatoes,” Teresa said proudly. Me and my taste buds were delighted.

If you’re a tourist from overseas or in the US visiting Southern California, it’s well worth your visiting to sample the best of British fare at The Tudor House where they also cater to private parties in true British tradition.

“We also will have a celebration for the opening of the London Olympics” said Teresa.

The Tudor House – 1403 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. (310) 451-4107, and mention the Union Jack.



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The Union Jack has been published monthly since April 1982. Our readership now exceeds 220,000 throughout the USA. We serve a devoted readership comprised primarily of British expatriates, ranging from recent immigrants to war brides who relocated to the States a half-century ago, as well as a growing number of American Anglophiles. All of our readers, whether aged 25 or 75, share a common desire to maintain strong ties to Britain and the British community in America.

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