I don’t know what I was expecting when I stepped on the scales the other day at school. I have been scoffing constantly since touchdown, the struggle is real. Temptation is strong and I just don’t have the will power to resist goodies. I blame it on the weather. All this coldness is giving me an appetite that needs appeasing (shh!)
I’ve got a hankering for pizza and after a bit of online research I find the perfect parlour to satisfy my craving. What attracted me to ‘Homeslice’ was its size. Size matters, and in this case, size was not an issue. I’m talking 20 inches of cheesey goodness. Perfect some might say for date #3. Bookings can’t be taken here so once we arrive at Homeslice which is hidden down a little alley in Neals yard we are immediately turned away. We’re told to hand our number over in return for a phone call when our table awaits “ It’s going to be about 45 minutes” just the right time for a vino. We visit a sassy little place around the corner and I order the cheapest on the menu. I think I’m over the stage of trying to impress, if he can’t handle my money savvy northerness then we might as well call it a day right here. Skip 45 minutes and we’re sat side by side strangers drooling over their pizzas. Some things are better left simple, pizza is a perfect example of this. Cheese, tomato, maybe a little meat of some variety. Of course here that’s not the case. We’re in London after all. Toppings are edgy and quite frankly they sound very unappetising, but we’ve waited 45 minutes just to sit down so I’m getting my fill. I crank up the pressure and ask said boy to choose the pizza for me. PIVOTAL MOMENT. I secretly make a pact to myself if he chooses the one with anchovies i’m OUT. Luckily, the boy does good. I’m surprised as on paper this pizza sounds truly disgusting but I guess if you pile mounds of cheese on anything it’s going to taste good. The pizza of choice is one of two halves. One side is pumpkin, broccoli and crispy onions (sounds gross right?) but amazingly absolutely d-lish! The other, mushroom takeover with chilli. Of course I crank up the date awkwardness and go into far too much detail about the last time I ate mushrooms when in China and lets just say my roomie and I became very close overnight due to the bodily functions neither of us had control over. Anyway, Homeslice has secured a top spot in the ‘Best places to scoff’ list.
Last week I had my flat-iron virginity well and truly popped. I’ve heard a lot about this place and although I’m not a huge fan of steak I had heard so many good things I just had to give it a try. Flat Iron is another establishment very similar to homeslice, it’s not a place where you can just stroll straight in. We rock up to the Covent Garden restaurant and are faced with a two and half hour wait. No steak is worth two and half hours but luckily my friend has connections which means we can book a table. We stroll straight in and are soon visited by the head butcher who comes to say hi. It’s good to know people who know people. Flat Iron has a great reputation, mainly as it serves amazing steak at an amazing price! We’re talking 1o boys for probably the most delicious steak to ever touch my mush. The salt crystals on top have me drooling and I’m chewing at a non existent pace to savour all that flavour. YUM. The butcher invites us into his open ‘office’ where he spends his days being photographed by chinese tourists. The carcuss’ hanging in the fridge take me back to playing tomb raider and locking the butler in the giant fridge. One of the perks of flat iron is the freebie ice cream at the end, pallet cleansed and a quick lesson on butchery it’s time for a post steak beverage. Destination: Where else but the Ivy. We’re classy don’t you know?
It’s not until writing this blog post that it dawned on me just how much food I am consuming. Fatty fatty bum bum mode is in full swing as my friend and I indulge in our second instalment of monthly Afternoon tea. Her boyfriend doesn’t like sweet treats, so as any good friend would do, I stepped up into her boyfriends shoes to satisfy her sweet tooth. This month takes us to Guoman by Tower Bridge. The views are beautiful and I go into full nerd mode. After unleashing a few facts I start to appreciate how fortunate we are to be sat in front of one of the most recognisable buildings in the world. And here I am, eating mini rectangle sandwiches and macaroons staring at it and all its beauty. Lucky me!
Last week after years of nothingness I am reunited with my hombres of which I travelled around South America for two months with five years ago. We meet up in the Lock Tavern in Chalk Farm and spend the next few hours reminiscing about our escapades such as that time we unknowingly did coke, had many near death experiences and oh yeah, that time Sam got arrested. I’m the only girl, but these guys are like bro’s, it was a sad time when we hugged goodbye all those years ago on Ipenema beach in Rio De Janeiro. Who knew that five years later we’d be sat in a North London pub chowing down on Pie and mash. WHICH, by the way was incredible. Corrrr, pie and mash, so underrated. One of the guys is playing at Camden assembly rooms, he’s in the band L.A Springs. I’m feeling slightly out-of-place wearing my brushed wool cape as I’m surrounded by indie grungey folk all bopping along, thankfully that’s nothing a little coffee liqueur shot from an incredibly smoking hot bar man can’t help with. The tunes are catchy, toe tapping occurs, Matt is really impressing me with his skills with the sticks. I can’t quite work out what the lyrics are but the chorus sounds remotely like “ I want an ice cream cone” so we go along with that. Clearly I have food on the brain, as always. It’s quite hard to catch up on five years of life at a gig so we hang around for some beers. Three hours later, 2am is here and I find myself in bed with a kebab. Its only bloody Tuesday! I’m already looking forward to our next rendezvous, it’s amazing how close you get to people when spending 24 hours a day together for two months. Whats even more amazing is how five years later nothing has changed, apart from we’re now older, arguably wiser and look a lot less like travel hippies.
I love my new job in Nursery. I feel like I’ve found my teaching forte, but due to my itchy feet syndrome I know this will not be my life long career choice. Most people move to London for career purposes, many of these careers are based in the city. I’ve never ventured to this side of town so a work friend and I decide to carry out some market research and see what’s good with the big dogs, you know get a little career inspiration. We jump off the tube at Bank. Huge, impressive buildings tower over us and swanky guys and dolls with briefcases and clip clop heels march past. They’re all on a mission it seems, a mission to get stinking rich. Our measly teachers salary must be so insignificant compared to the dolla bills these guys are bringing home each month. Anyway, recent life experiences have taught me that happiness always outweighs bank balance heftiness. I’m perfectly happy that although I may not be rolling around in notes I am at 5pm on the other side of London ready for some downtime, where as these guys probably have a few hours at their desks in front of them before they can clock off for the day. We spend our evening in the Folley. Its choc-a-block with dapper suits, pencil skirts and most importantly brown shoes. We don’t know where to look, sipping our G&T’s its hard not to lock eyes with the opposite sex and we find ourselves in many eyelash fluttering encounters. The giggles are in full flow and I get the impression it won’t be too long until we find ourselves back in these ends brushing shoulders with the suits.
On the subject of jobs, I’m happy to say I’ve made it! Half term is here, and I’ve had a great six weeks in my new job. The staff have been wonderful in helping me learn the ropes and come to grips with my new nursery position. They’re kindness and support has made a massive impact on how well I have settled in here. With a successful first half term under my belt a Friday night of frivolities is planned which turns out to be my most favourite evening here yet!
My friends and I have had this planned for weeks and the time is finally here, an evening at Sketch (eeeks!) Glam squad is in full force and I squeeze myself into a pencil skirt I bought especially for the occasion. I’m not quite sure how to describe my experience at Sketch, you really do have to visit it yourself to experience its grandeur.
Stepping into Sketch I feel like I’m in some sort of luxurious adult playground. There’s a hop scotch on the floor and you’re shimmied to multiple members of staff who each have their own agenda to make your experience here as VIP as possible. There are many rooms to Sketch, and each room uniquely designed to take you virtually into another world. Tonight we’re dining in ‘The Gallery’ a feast for the eyes with candy floss pink covering every inch of the room. The Gallery is designed by India Mahdavi, her interior design is classic yet eclectic. I feel so fancy as my bum bounces off the plush pink chairs as I’m gently pushed closer to the table by a terribly handsome chap dressed in the one of 500 different uniforms the staff are wearing here. This place is a delight, I can’t keep still and my eyes are going wild exploring the room. I’m not doing very well in my bid to be sophisticated, It’s clear I’m far too excited by this pink paradise. The gallery is covered with pieces of art by David Shrigley, each one quirky and wonderful. Even the table wear is splattered with his sketches, my favourite being the salt and pepper which is labeled dust and dirt.
Every detail impresses me from the cutlery popping out of the menu to the militarily efficient members of staff who are some could say on your case in a desperate bid to be extra specially helpful. After what seemed like hours of posing for photos we order the cheapest bottle of wine on the drinks list and peruse the menu. We decide to save the cocktails for pudding.
The food arrives and it is insanely delicious! Just thinking about it now is making me lick my lips. Our two hour time slot is slipping away so we move to the bar to ogle at this place from a different perspective. Our drink choices are solely made by the cocktails prettiness. I opt for the Sketch Spritz, this grapefruit infused drink sends my taste buds into overdrive and I start to make peculiar noises in response to its yumminess!
From the domed roof to the classy chevron floor I’m in love with everything about this place. But it’s not just the chic interiors that makes Sketch famous, one of the most talked about features of Sketch is in fact its loo’s. Walking up the staircase I feel like I’m in a mash-up of the beauty school drop out scene in Grease and what I imagine the year 3000 will look like. Each loo is encased in a little private egg and whilst you pee you’re treated to classic tunes pumped through the airwaves. The ceiling represents a 1970’s disco floor, the perfect backdrop to even more pictures. With smiles from ear to ear its time to take off our rose-tinted glasses and continue our evening elsewhere. Ah la vie en rose, Sketch you’ve been a treat!
Now, I’m not sure I should publicly divulge too much information about where we spent the rest of our Friday night. If I spill too many beans it will spoil your experience if you were to go so I’ll keep the details to a bare minimum. Evans and Peel detective agency as the name suggests is a role play bar where you are invited to have your case solved by the in-house detective who summons you into his office once you have eventually found the entrance. In an attempt to keep the bars location a secret there’s a no loitering policy outside, after a quick confirmation of appointment through the intercom you’re invited into the detectives office to disclose your case. We spend the next 5 minutes being interrogated and eventually are given access to the bar, which is concealed behind a bookcase (oooh!) If you come here be prepared to brush up on your acting skills as the fun doesn’t stop in the detectives office. This is the perfect bar for an evening with girlfriends, I can imagine the need to stay in character all night and play along with the bravado could be slightly embarrassing for a date.
This speak easy bar is full of 1920’s period features and we’re loving the buzz of excitement around the room. The staff are in character all night and it seems the detective has a little soft spot for our friend. He swings by our table every 10 minutes for a chat whilst we twirl our hair, flutter our eyelashes and quiz him about his life. He soon guesses we all studied Psychology as unknowingly the tables have turned and we are now interrogating him. The cocktail menu is concealed in a brown paper envelope adding to the undercover vibes.The cocktail list at Evans and Peel is heavily influenced by spy movies, I ask the waiter to surprise me as I’m terrible at decisions and they all sound divine. He turns up with a cocktail entitled ‘The Usual Suspects’ and its yummy!
It’s now half term and I’m sitting at home in Nottingham watching Mrs Doubtfire on a Sunday afternoon. Dreamy! I’m having a bit of London restbite. Phew!
Love from a very sleepy and significantly porkier, Fee xx