summer-time-singing

Summer time singing

Spring brought with it an abundance of good times, but with the recent coronavirus alert, we are almost ready for it to bid us adieu and pave way for the hot summer days ahead. Good times or bad, fashion never tends to leave our inherent selves. It is an essential art form that is worth exploring. 

Having said that, Shahrukh Amin, a renowned designer of our country, also agrees with us — “It is the only reason why I was motivated enough to initiate Saree Club. To me, fashion is an essential art-form, where every person should be able to recognise their forte,” said the designer.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Model: Manoshi, Sheila

Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha

Makeup: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon

Wardrobe: Saree Club by Shahrukh Amin

rise-of-the-covidiots

Rise of the Covidiots

Corona! A word striking fear into everyone’s hearts. People are indeed petrified and panic-stricken by the Covid-19’s lethality. Some people more than others. It is these people who belong to the notorious community, the Covidiots.

A covidiot is someone who goes against all the safety regulations (ones that actually could work) and decides to shelter themselves in their unconventional ways. Here are some covidiots you might be able to recognise.

Ms. Buy-Everything-TODAY!

Yes, the panic buyer. A true slave of the capitalist society. Pictures of these covidiots have been circling the web since before the dark days of quarantine. The wallet-heavy creatures walk into convenience stores with an intention to annihilate everyone else’s chances of buying masks, sanitisers, toilet paper rolls and other necessities.

Well, of course, their panic is understandable; fifteen sanitisers for a family of four will simply not cut it. What if everything closes down tomorrow and there are no more sanitisers? What if going outdoors becomes a carnal sin?

These covidiots are forward thinkers. Best to leave them to their adventures.

The CEOs of Sanitisation

Coronavirus has a weakness; the fearsome virus can be tackled through hand washing and proper sanitisation. A group of covidiots have adapted this fact as a life mantra.

Starting from their hands to the books they touch to the mugs they use; every article has been generously splattered with an intoxicating layer of sanitiser or hexisol. This is conducted routinely everyday twice as they stay quarantined in their own homes. One can only imagine how their passion to sanitise would manifest if they were out and about.

These covidiots are likely to be exclusive members of the Buy-Everything-TODAY club.

Doctor Faith

Nothing can harm Doctor Faith. At this moment, he is probably out and about, chatting at close distances with his fellow covidiots who share the same, unshakeable belief.

Corona cannot touch him. In fact, corona fears Doctor Faith. His belief, a sacred and powerful entity, wielding massive strength, will protect him. His ritualistic offerings to this entity have made him immune, rendering coronavirus weak in front of him. Who needs a mask to breathe in clean air when they have an adamantine faith?

The Spring Breakers

Corona could not make these adventurous souls from sitting idly. With universities closed, classes off and an unknown number of days of nothingness forward, this is the perfect opportunity for travelling.

When coronavirus was not around, these very people spend their weekends and holidays being lazy at home, streaming Netflix, cancelling plans and ignoring their friends. But now, why do all that when the empty traffic-less streets call their names? Now is their perfect time to venture out outside the city with a group of similar-minded friends with whom they have barely spent time with before.

The Doctor Next Door

This individual has a degree in medicine specialising in Covid-19 from all the social gatherings he still attends and news he reads from undoubtedly reliable sources on social media. The television and the internet have educated him splendidly.

As he douses his home and the outside surroundings with a potent bleach solution to kill any virus, he yells at his family members to bathe in steaming hot water while eating a vitamin-C enriched orange.

Simultaneously, he passes his education onto his neighbour, telling them about how chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug is the solution to curing coronavirus’s victims. He swears on Donald Trump’s scientific and not at all FDA-approved statements.

Best to fact-check anything this doctor says.

This community is expanding as a whole in diverse ways as quarantined days never end. But no community remains unchallenged. It remained our duty to bring covidiots back into the light and expose the coronavirus’s true face to them.

block-prints-for-all-seasons

Block prints for all seasons

Block prints and the warm summer temperature go hand in hand; a special bond that is hard to put into words. Maybe it’s the vivacious motifs, resembling the first bloom of the previous season, or just the simplicity of the designs that attract the eye. Whatever it may be, reality stands that Bengali girls have a strong affinity for blocks as everyday wear.

If you have never understood what the fuss was all about, try block prints on khadi. That too, on a bright and clear Baishakhi afternoon, and you will immediately realise the grounds.

And Warah, a quaint boutique shop in the heart of the city, has boundless options.

From frock style kurtis to regal angrakhas, you name a style — our best bet is that Warah will have it in store for you!

There is a common allegation about block prints; that the colours fade with time, creating a worn-out look, which some may find attractive, but to others, it is another sob story.

However, Warah’s blocks are different; they endure through all types of weather.

Rumana Chowdhury, owner and head designer of the boutique house, assured of their quality, saying, “The colours used for our blocks are of the highest quality, and we also use khadi material as foundation fabric. And everybody who has worn khadi at least once in their lifetime knows how comfortable and long-lasting it can be.”

Once you are inside the store, you get to see many racks filled with blocks in all sizes and shapes. But one thing is surely common in the quaint outlet — the well-regarded khadi used as base material for most designs.

Golden shimmer reflecting off of beige kameezs, unique cuts, high collars and crochet laces — that is what Warah is mostly about. Our assumption is not wrong, as the designer agreed with us.

“Everyone is able to differentiate between Warah’s blocks and others. Our signature is beige khadi, crochet laces and lots of golden sheen.

“When people generalised blocks as office wear or casual wear, we proved to the world that blocks could also be haute couture. With unique cuts, special stitching and gorgeous motifs, one can wear our collection to any high-end parties including a flamboyant wedding,” said Chowdhury.

But does Warah only make blocks?

We ventured a little bit more to find gorgeous hand painted saris on fine Muslin.

“I am a passionate artist, seeking beauty in all things around me. With blocks, I tried to reach the highest limit of my styling efforts and it’s the same with Muslins. There are only two materials that I work with — khadi and Muslin, and as the latter is lightweight, my personal belief is that it looks best as a sari. 

“I try portraying the beauty of nature onto my saris; hence the subject-matter is mostly hand painted florals,” said the designer.

A few rounds around the collection and we are officially fans. Warah Boutique offers an ambience that is soothing to sore eyes. Its spring-summer collection of blocks and beautiful Muslins were definitely a respite, from all the unsightliness around.

By Fashion Police

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha

Models: Efa, Taspia

Wardrobe: Warah

Make-up: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon

Location: Chef’s Table Courtside

quench-the-heat-with-nababarsho-indulgences

Quench the heat with Nababarsho indulgences

PRAWNS IN BOTTLE GOURD LEAVES (CHINGRI MACHER PATORI)

Ingredients

½ kg prawns (head and tails removed)

1 tbsp poppy seeds (posto)

1 tbsp white mustard seeds

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

2-3 tbsp water

1 green chilli

½ cup grated coconut

½ tsp salt

Pinch of sugar

Mustard oil (2 tbsp for the filling; 6-8 tbsp to fry)

10-12 bottle gourd leaves (lau shak)

Method

Start by preparing the filling for the patori. In a bowl, combine the poppy seeds, white mustard seeds, black mustard seeds, water and soak it for 15-30 minutes. Add a tiny pinch of salt to prevent the bitterness of mustard seeds.

Once the seeds are soaked, add the green chilli and grind into a paste. Combine the paste with the grated coconut. This can be left with a grainy texture or can be as smooth as a paste. Add salt, sugar, and mustard oil to create the filling.

Before using the bottle gourd leaves, make sure to wash them thoroughly. Take an individual leaf, spread the mustard and coconut mixture in the middle of the leaf and place a prawn in the middle. Wrap the bottle gourd leaf so that there is no filling coming out and set aside.

Repeat this process until you have enough parcels to fry. 

In a frying pan, heat the mustard oil and place the parcels individually, once the leaves start to change colour, flip the parcels and cover for 10 minutes, make sure to check in a few times and turn the parcels around.

Place on top of rice of your choice.

Orange Hilsa (komola Ilish)

Ingredients

3 tbsp mustard oil

2 whole cardamoms

2 tsp cumin seeds

½ cup onion paste

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

1½ cup water

1 cup fresh orange juice

5 pieces of hilsa (Illish)

Method

Place a shallow pan over medium heat. Pour mustard oil and wait to hear the oil crackle. Once the oil is hot enough, add the cardamoms and cumin seeds. Wait for the seeds to sputter.

Once the seeds begin to pop, add the onion paste, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and sugar. Mix well and pour half a cup of water. Keep simmering the gravy over medium heat. When the oil starts to float, add the orange juice and remaining water. Bring the gravy to a boil and carefully place the pieces of hilsa fish into the gravy. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes, flip the pieces of fish and cook covered, for another 5 minutes. This process should reduce the gravy and bring the oil to surface, and is also an indication of the fish being entirely cooked. 

Doi Potol

Ingredients

8-10 medium pointed gourd (potol)

¼ tsp turmeric

2 tsp salt 

¼ cup oil

½ cup onion paste

1 cinnamon stick

2 cardamoms

½ tsp ginger paste

½ tsp garlic paste

Red chilli powder

½ cup yoghurt

1 tsp sugar

10-12 prawns (optional)

Method

Peel the pointed gourd and slit into halves, the pointed gourd can be kept whole but with slits to allow the spices to seep through.

Peel the gourd completely or an alternate of skin and no skin. Marinate with turmeric and a teaspoon of salt.

On medium heat, add oil to a frying pan and fry the pointed gourd, once the skin starts darken, take off the heat and set aside. In the same pan with the remaining oil, add onion paste, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, ginger and garlic paste, keep cooking until the raw smell has subdued.

Add the salt and red chilli powder. Combine the sugar and yoghurt and add to the pan over low heat and cook for 3-5 minutes, water can be added if the yoghurt starts to thicken. Finish by placing the fried pointed gourds into the gravy and cover over low heat for 2-4 minutes. Cleaned and deveined prawns can be added while the gourds are cooking under the lid. Turn off the heat and let it sit under cover for a few minutes before serving.

Food and photo: Sobia Ameen

light-amongst-darkness

Light amongst darkness

This Pahela Baishakh’s weather forecast is cloudy with a light summer breeze whooshing past you; the perfect weather to be outdoors all day from the crack of dawn till the late hours of the night.

Well, it most certainly is a figment of my imagination, because the harsh reality at ground zero is nothing even remotely that. Things have altered in such a topsy-turvy way that it’s hard to fathom.

This year, the idea should be to devise exciting ways to celebrate the first day of the Bangla calendar from the safety of your home, amid all the pandemic pandemonium around us all over the world.

Think of this year as Mother Nature reminding us that we should fall back on all our excesses. Baishakh amid Covid-19 should be simple, clean and with immediate family only. This is a stark contrast to how we usually are. You see, we Bengalis are a riotous kind, name an occasion — be it the first day of spring, Valentine’s, Independence Day, Pahela Baishakh — we are boisterously on the road, making an unruly chaos of everything.

Dressed in a crisp red Tangail taant, with a small off-white border spun in matte gold thread, matching glass bangles, a simple flat slipper and lots of beli on your half-done bun, you get ready to brave the Baishakhi sun for a day of merrymaking on your rooftop or alcove. Dress la familia with equal fervour, and after a hurried light breakfast of a bowl of water-soaked flat rice laced with sweet yoghurt, or a heavy one of oil-free paratha, niramish and beef bhuna, you decorate a room in Baishakhi colours and concoct a make-shift mela for your children, with homemade narus, muralis, sweet tea, paper dolls, and toys in colourful papers.

Arrange a simple deshi lunch for two or four. Of course, the bhorta platter will not boast 40 items, but at least it can have four assorted ones of shrimps with young gourd leaves, boiled lentil mashed with mustard oil and green chillies, with light fish gravy, thick daal and a steaming pot of rice made with chinigura grains only.

Tea time can be enjoyed with homemade goodies of salted nimkis or muralis and potato croquets. For a change, watching an old Bangla cinema like ‘Sharang Bou,’ ‘Golapi ekhon Train e’ or the famous ‘Bondini’ of Babita can up the fun factor. You can also try the new West Bengal movies if you like. Listening to old Razzak-Kobori film songs can be equally pleasurable for a change.

And you know what else can be fun? Reading Star Lifestyle; try to cook mouth-watering dishes from many of our recipes, and above all, stay inside, stay safe and stay clean.

— RBR

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Food prepared by Shamiun Ahmed

you-that-vastness

You — That Vastness

The mind of earth shall be a home of light

The life of earth a tree growing towards heaven

The body of earth a tabernacle of God

Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

You look magnificent — the way you are sitting at this moment, the way your eyes are glancing on this page, the shelter of your dark brown lashes, the whites around those central islands —there is so much to see in this world and you have.

You are beautiful the way you run through your memories, like films which are songs of freedom, running, running, running into wild swirling lightness. Each such step of yours is the very definition of cheerfulness.

Your hands, they are flawless, your fingertips holding imprints of the million profound words you have typed, the faces you have touched, the doors you have held, and the way you have kept them now kneeling, in service for your soul, to create something remarkable, like you. Those fingers, those hands, the arms, they are the signatures of selfless service.

Your face, that honesty you are holding, the sense of abundance with minimum amount of luxury, your open expressions, the sky’s reflection on your chin, the clouds passing through your cheeks are of changing times, of the prolific transformation you are journeying through.

Your face has never been so modest, so tranquil, so surrendered to the highest form of goodness, to prayers. All tiredness has been peeled off, all hungry ambitions, damaging desires have fallen. Now, you are just as you were meant to be, in the presence of your truest love — the silence of your inner temple and the dance of the light stream in your depth. Take a look, hold a mirror, you are the picture of an irrevocable exquisite transformation.

Your ears listening to the lingering twirls of bygone-winter’s fallen leaves, and the sound of rebirth through spring, the dog’s yawn full of gratitude, the cat’s purr in response to the love you shared. Not because of the food or water you gave them, but because your ears listened to their mute present love and your lips smiled — that’s all they needed from you, nothing more. Your lending listening ears are generosity.

Your legs, the way you have stretched them out, your curled toes, resting on the floor as though they have longed for this for quite a long time. They are sensing the rhythm of the world’s true needs, learning the tune of harmony the world is weaving right now, which is ancient yet just-born. The new notes, the news beats, its tempo are entering through the bottom of your feet. It is marvelous how you are opening up the lines under your feet, letting in the earth’s victorious song from below as it blends with your essence. Your feet’s still openness is all we know of plasticity.

Your blood, the warmth of it, its flushing of all toxicity, swimming up and down your veins, recognising all which needs to go and offering it up for transmutation to Grace — your blood has never flowed with such nimbleness before. Its calm fluidity, its renewal, its support to both your fragile and strong nerves are washing away all grief, all sorrows, all shadows. With awe-filled enthusiasm, it is painting your inside with the colours of an awakened life. This rush in your blood is the symbol of sincerity.

Your heart, at your being’s center, throbbing and sending circular motions to all those around you and then all the way up to the sky. The hummingbirds have returned just to bath in your pulse, the magpie robins are building new nests next to your window — they sing all day, their wings open and close as you pump new light through your heart, spreading all over your body and way beyond it. 

An automatic gesture goes up atop your head from the flame of your heart, even when you are asleep, and definitely when you are awake. In that flame, the infinity lives, birdsongs, dog’s yawns, the waves of the Bay of Bengal, the taste of cinnamon chewed with care in your tongue, an SMS from Himachal, a photograph from California, the sky’s subtle sunsets, and flamboyant sunrises from Australia, the new buds from your mother’s gardens and the promised messages they will bring, everything.

All of these concentrate at your heart centre and then they go up, up, up and embraces abundant light, releasing and resting in the golden, pink and blue firmaments of twilights. Your heart, its flame, the offering of each pulse, all this and you my friend are true aspiration, since yesterday, absolutely now and forever.

Photo courtesy: Iffat Nawaz

summer-melodies

Summer melodies

Tea and coffee will be flowing in as you browse through panels of saris, from comfortable cottons to sensuous chiffons.

“Every time someone goes sari shopping, they have to do it in such morbid conditions as if it’s a daily chore — choose, pay and leave. To me, a sari is one of the biggest canvases for an artist and can never be purchased in a hurry. So, at Saree Club, we encourage everyone to take their time to go through each and every sari and choose only the ones they can relate to,” revealed the designer.

Having heard the revered club’s story, we wanted to know from Amin about the upcoming summer, and what Saree Club had in store for us.

Shahrukh Amin seemed quite confident with all the designs, and perhaps that certainty came with years of experience in the field of fashion and designing.

“We all know how nasty the deshi heat can be, what with all the humidity and the sun’s searing heat on our skins; we’d all be looking out for clothes that are super comfortable and yet, up-to-the-minute trendy,” reflected the designer.

And right he was — Saree Club has been stocking up on soothing pastels, tone-on-tone saris, minimal embroidery, middle-eastern digital prints, geometric motifs and needlework on soft white bases.

What’s comprehensible from all these designs is that the scales may rise to any extent it wishes to, the resilient deshi people will also survive it like all the other times in the past, and yes – still stay ‘fashionable’ through it all!

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Model: Manoshi, Sheila

Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha

Makeup: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon

Wardrobe: Saree Club by Shahrukh Amin

delectable-baishakh-treats-straight-from-the-kitchen

Delectable Baishakh treats straight from the kitchen

WATERMELON JUICE WITH ICE CREAM

Ingredients

500g watermelon

100g ice cream

Method

Scoop the watermelon with an ice cream scooper. Put it in a food processor and grind it. Strain the juice. Keep the juice in the freezer for 4/5 hours. Take a long-shaped glass. Put one scoop of vanilla ice cream in a glass. Pour the juice on top of the ice cream. Put another small scoop of ice cream on top of the juice. It is now ready for serving. 

BEL/WOOD APPLE LASSI

Ingredients

500g pulp of bel/wood apple

500g sweet yoghurt

Sugar (optional)

Method

Take the pulp of the bel and put it in a food processor. Mix water and grind it for a while. Put the sweet yoghurt in the food processor and grind it again for 2/3 minutes. You may add extra sugar if you want. Put it in the freezer for 4/5 hours and serve it when it is chilled. 

NARKEL ER NARU

Ingredients

2 cups fine coconut flakes

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp water

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 cup milk powder

Method

Put the coconut flakes on a pan on the oven. Roast it for five minutes with low heat. Pour the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a pan and heat it. Allow the sugar to melt but avoid it from getting caramalised or turning brown.

When the sugar turns into a sticky syrup, mix the roasted coconut flex. Keep stirring constantly while it is on low heat. Pour the powdered milk and cardamom powder in the pan and keep stirring until it becomes sticky and compressed. Put it in a bowl and keep it covered.

Start making the small balls with it while it is still hot. Let the small coconut balls cool for a while and serve.

GUR ER PAYESH

Ingredients

2L milk

¼ cup chinigura rice

1 cup khejur er gur

100g raisins

50g chopped walnuts

Method

Heat the milk in a pan and let it condense. Soak the rice in water for about an hour and strain it.

In a pan, put the rice in the milk in medium heat and let it simmer slowly. Stir it often with a wooden spoon until the rice becomes soft and make sure it does not get burned at the bottom.

Pour the gur in the pan. Add the raisins. Keep it on the medium heat for another 5 to 10 minutes. When the rice is soft and condensed, pour the payesh on a nice dish. Put it the freezer for 2 to 3 hours and let it cool down.

Garnish with chopped walnuts, and serve.  

CHIRA ER POLAO

Ingredients

1½ cup chira

1 tbsp ghee

50g potato

1 tbsp peanut

5 pieces cinnamon

2 sticks cardamom

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp chopped onion

2 tbsp coconut milk

Green chilli

Method

Wash the chira and strain it for a while. Cut the potato in small cubes and boil it for a while. Put the ghee on a pan. Put the chopped onions, peanuts, cinnamons, cardamoms, boiled potato, Coconut milk and salt on the pan. Fry these ingredients for 5 minutes until the potatoes are well cooked. Mix the washed chira on the pan and stir it for a while. Serve it on a dish and garnish with green chilli. 

ILISH POLAO

Ingredients

For the fish —

8 pieces Ilish

½ cup cooking oil

1½ cup ghee

1½ cup onion, chopped

1 tbsp onion paste

½ tsp cumin seed paste

1 tbsp salt

½ cup sweet yoghurt

½ cup coconut milk

For the polau —

1 kg chinigura rice

1 tbsp ginger paste

2 sticks cardamom

2 or 3 pieces of bay leaves

2 tbsp salt

4/5 pieces green chilli

8 cups hot water

Method

For the fish —

Wash the fish pieces well and strain the water. Heat a pan on the oven and pour ½ cup of oil and ½ cup of ghee. Put the chopped onion and fry it until it is almost brown. Put the onion paste, cumin seed paste, salt and 1/3 cup of water. Cook it for a while. Put the pieces of fish in the pan and after 5 minutes, pour the sweet yoghurt, coconut milk and ½ cup of water. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the fish is cooked, separate the fish from the gravy.

For the polau —

Wash the rice well and strain it. Heat up a saucepan and pour 1 cup of ghee. Once the ghee is heated, put in the onion and ginger paste. Pour the rice, cardamom, salt, cinnamon and bay leaves. Keep stirring the rice for 7/8 minutes in medium heat. Pour the hot water in the rice. After 5 minutes, bring the temperature down to low and mix the gravy. Spread the fish over the rice and keep it covered on the oven for half an hour. Serve it on a nice dish and garnish it with caramelised onion and green chilli. 

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Food and recipe: Shamiun Ahmed

samsung-offers-better-storage-solution

Samsung offers better storage solution

It is a weekly dilemma for most with their refrigerators after the grocery shopping is brought home — what to throw away, what to keep and how to store everything. While some end up cleaning out their refrigerator to make space for the new products, others resort to everyday trips to the store for less food waste. But none of these methods can give the proper solution to saving time, money and energy.

To combat these inconveniences, the world’s leading tech giant, Samsung, has introduced a new technology, titled ‘SpaceMax,’ for their refrigerators. This technology utilises thinner insulation, thus giving more storage space for the refrigerator. Typically, a refrigerator requires insulation to prevent outside heat from entering the refrigerator. To do this, the refrigerator walls are made thicker, which in turn, makes the storage space smaller. However, with Samsung’s thinner insulation, the capacity of their refrigerators has increased by 100 litres.

Refrigerators with the new SpaceMax Technology now come with capacities from 551 litres to 674 litres in 5 distinct varieties. They also offer a Power Cool option to chill the food or drinks or groceries in no time. There is another feature — Power Fridge, which can firm up frozen food or freeze water really fast and make ice in lesser time.

Available in four colours, these refrigerators have a deodorising filter to eliminate any bad smell, preserving the original flavour and smell of the food, while keeping the inside air fresh. Apart from the insulation technology, these fridges have more efficient and eco-friendly compressors, which help to cool down the air inside a unit faster than a typical induction compressor, and thus reduce the electricity charges.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/SamsungBangladesh

garden-centres-are-garden-centres-still-open

Garden centres: Are garden centres still open?

Easter Bank Holiday starts on Friday, with four days off work for some lucky Britons. A popular bank holiday activity for some is to head out into the garden and do some long-awaited improvements. But if you’re in need of supplies – can you head to the garden centre?

With the spread of coronavirus, the Government has placed the UK on a lockdown – with only essential shops open.

Garden centres do not fall under the essential shop category, and so will not be open.

However, if you are looking to get gardening supplies there are some options.

Read More: Easter weekend warning: Holidaymakers told ‘you are not welcome’

Garden Centre opening hours: Couple at a garden centre

Garden Centre opening hours: Are garden centres open? (Image: GETTY)

Garden Centre opening hours: Woman with wheelbarrow

Garden Centre opening hours: Garden centres are classed as non essential so are not open (Image: GETTY)

You can click and collect from B&Q and Wickes which are classed as essential due to being hardware stores, however, click and collect takes a day or so to process.

Stores for B&Q and Wickes are closed, except for customers to collect their ordered items.

B&Q and Wickes have cautioned customers who are collecting orders to abide by the social distancing guidelines.

Some ‘essential’ stores which have remained open have rules in place, such as one customer per family, keeping two metres distance from one another, and card only tills.

Garden Centre opening hours: Mother and kids gardening

Garden Centre opening hours: Gardening could be fun for all the family this bank holiday (Image: GETTY)

The only facilities which can stay open are:

  • Supermarkets and other food shops
  • Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chiropody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services)
  • Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies
  • Petrol stations
  • Bicycle shops
  • Hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Corner shops and newsagents
  • Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Post offices
  • Vehicle rental services
  • Car garages and MOT services
  • Car parks
  • High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses
  • Public toilets

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Shopping centres may stay open but only units of the types listed above may trade

The opening hours of the above may vary over the bank holiday weekend, with trading hour restrictions in place.

Britons cannot go outside except for essential reasons, including to buy groceries, attending key jobs or undertaking one portion of exercise.

The Government has issued warnings stating Britons should abide by the rules over the bank holiday, despite the temptations the warm weather may bring.

Garden Centre opening hours: Plants on a shelf

Garden Centre opening hours: You can still click and collect from B&Q and Wickes (Image: GETTY)

Heading into the garden to tackle weeds, mow the lawn or just spend some time in the sun is allowed.

Bank holiday Met Office forecast

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Frank Saunders, said: “The Easter weekend starts dry and warm for many with temperatures possibly reaching as high as 24C in parts of London and the south-east on Bank Holiday Friday and Saturday also.

“As the weekend continues there is an increasing risk of showers, some of which could be heavy or thundery.

“By the start of next week, although it will be drier and sunnier again it will definitely feel cooler with temperatures reaching the mid-teens at best.

“Many of us will see plenty of dry, settled weather with sunny spells next week, with the driest conditions most likely in central and northern areas of the UK.

“Temperatures look likely to be slightly above normal with the warmest conditions likely in the south.

“There will be a return to a risk of frosts overnight in places, especially in central and northern areas.”