Tag Archives: drinking

hallelujah for the weekend…

25 May

It’s been a glorious week here in London town and thankfully it looks like it’s going to be an amazing weekend too.. the BBQs will be out, the parks will be packed and no doubt there’ll be a few beverages consumed too..

One of the vital elements for any weekend sunshine soiree (in my opinion anyway) is the musical accompaniment.. setting the right tempo, feel and tone to the gathering and time of day..

Here are a few of my personal choices for the weekend that may well complement a weekend outside..

First and foremost, if it’s sunny and you’re rocking one of London’s many green spaces this is a surefire hit..

This is a lovely laid back mix that’s perfect for playing at a BBQ – it’s an hour long so you don’t have to worry about changing tunes, plus the opening track by Bobby McFerrin is something really special.

Once the sun has gone down, this is a great segue from day to evening.. upping the tempo a little.. and will maybe even bring a little Balearic vibe to the city..

And finally for Sunday morning when it’s still sunny and you’re sitting back with a coffee and life is good, praise the lord with this euphoric soul gospel number!

Have a great weekend everyone..

rum diaries – the 223 club and aloosh

15 Apr

We’d like to apologise for the lack of posts over the weekend, but in a desperate move to absolve any personal responsibility, it really wasn’t our fault.

Please lay all blame on the unfeasible amount of fun we had on Friday night at the new 223 club in Waterloo (and possibly the strongest rum punch anywhere outside of the Caribbean).

We were there to see Aloosh – a band you should really check out (have a listen to “Time” below).

I’m not going to try and describe their sound, as it’s pretty hard to pigeon hole them into one specific category (without sounding like a bit of a prat). But as each member of the band are all accomplished musicians in their own right, their sound is a really refreshing mix individual influences (and as an inconsequential side note to the music, lead singer Jodie has possibly the best hair ever).

With the super cool Dave Okumu (guitarist of The Invisible and producer of Jessie Ware – reviewed here), following the band and playing a really fun set of tunes that got the whole crowd dancing in the archway space, it was more akin to a great house party than a club..

And with everyone being ridiculously friendly (possibly due to rum punch good vibes), it all added up to make the opening of the 223 a pretty special night in our opinion..

All photos: Courtesy of the 223 club

Check out the club site for upcoming listings… we know we will be… we may just go easier on the rum punch next time..

Aloosh music http://www.myspace.com/alooshmusic

223 club – 137-39 Lower Marsh Street, Waterloo

exmouth market – all day ideas

12 Apr

For a number of years I had the joy of my place of work being located a stone’s throw from Exmouth Market.

Photo credit: Alan Stanton

You might think “joy” is a slightly exuberant word to use to describe a street, but in my opinion it’s one of the few streets in London that you can visit at any point in the day or any day of the week and go somewhere interesting, independent and of a good standard (also fitting that my office is now based right on Leicester Square.. which is a long way from joyous).

Exmouth Market is in no means a hidden gem, but it still surprises me how many people haven’t visited.. I think it probably has something to do with there not being a tube stop in the close vicinity (Angel, Farringdon and Kings Cross are a 10 min stroll away).

So here’s the His and Hers recommendations of spots in the vicinity, by time of day and activity.. this is in no way exhaustive (unfortunately we’re going to miss some spots, otherwise this would be the longest post ever..)

Weekend Breakfast & Brunch: Starting with the obvious here… one of the more recent additions to the market is Caravan (which we recommended here). Run by a group of antipodeans it’s the spot to get breakfast and top notch coffee (lets face it, there’s two things you can expect Kiwis to be great at, coffee and beating everyone in rugby). Tip: If you don’t like waiting, turn up early, or in pairs.. if not, prepare for a bit of a wait.. it’s popular.

Weekday Lunch: Not technically on Exmouth Market but just around the corner, Clerkenwell Kitchen, frustrates me. Mainly because it’s so good and I don’t get to go there as often as I’d like (it’s only open weekday lunchtimes). With a real focus on sustainability, the team that run the kitchen change the menu daily. If it’s sunny make sure you sit in the courtyard out the back (bordered by the kitchen’s herb garden).

Weekend Lunch / roast: Again just off Exmouth Market on a very quiet residential street (this post should possibly be renamed “Side Streets around Exmouth Market”), The Easton is a gastro pub, which, due to its slightly hidden location, will always guarantee you a spot even if everywhere else is rammed.. which maybe implies it’s a last resort, but it definitely isn’t, especially based upon the quality of the Sunday roast we had there recently.

Early evening with friends: Cafe Kick – The spot to have a post work beers and then get way too competitive on their table football tables.  You reserve and pay for the time on the tables, as opposed to sinking quid after quid into hungry machines, which makes things a little less expensive.. but the likelihood is that you’ll probably spend the equivalent on beers working up a competitive thirst (no halftime oranges here)..

Evening – “Catch up with friends” dinner spot: Morito is the little sister restaurant to possibly my all time favourite restaurant Moro (it’s next door). Unlike its bigger sibling which is probably for more special occasions, Morito is all tapas, you can’t reserve a table and there is a very relaxed vibe to proceedings.

Due to its pedigree and no reservations policy, it is always extremely busy from opening. However, due to patrons’ keenness to eat, I’ve actually been a couple of times a little later in the evening, Spanish style (maybe after a game of table football/beer or two), and never had to wait… however the danger of this approach is a tendency to get carried away with the ordering… “7 plates per person yeah?”

I could carry on with recommendations but I won’t, so go explore for yourself – you might even find “The Secret Pub”.. and this place is infamous.. the one with the best beer garden, cheap drinks, great food and no crowds.. I’m not going to tell you where it is here, but if you invite me for a drink.. I may just show you.

Exmouth market – from central London (Charring Cross Rd / Tottenham Court Road) take the 38 bus and it’ll drop you right at the end of the end of the market in about 15/20 mins

sunny pub, shady pub.

28 Mar

Drinkers in London are a fickle bunch.

Take The Salisbury and the Angel & Crown on St Martins Lane in central London. Both on the same street, located exactly opposite each other.

In winter when its cold and wet The Salisbury does a roaring trade, and you can’t move.Whereas just over the road the pretty average Angel & crown sits devoid of drinkers.

But as soon as that first spring sunshine appears, like Swallows from the south, drinkers land on the pavement of the Angel & Crown in their droves (however please take note that they’re still not going inside), leaving The Salisbury empty and lonely.

This was the situation at lunchtime today, I don’t think I need to tell you which pub is which or that the weather was great today.

 

I guess its only fair that both pubs get their fair share of the spoils, so remember should you ever be in St Martins Lane looking for a drink, if its sunny stick to the left and if its cold stick to the right (or alternatively carry on 1 minute down the road to The Harp – voted best pub in the UK 2011 by CAMRA – which is great whatever the weather).