Eat/See/Listen/Love: Ben’s Canteen, Arrested Development, St. Etienne and Blue Jeans.

12 May

I figured I should probably start calling these blog posts something else as it’s terrible for a) me to remember what the post is about, b) my readers to remember what the post is about and c) SEO. I hate how that is actually a concern of mine!

I read an article on the ‘Top 5 Regrets of the Dying’ and, as I’m sure it did with many people, it struck a chord. A palliative nurse recorded the most common regrets of the dying and these were the top responses she received. I’m going to use them to make my life a little better. Hopefully.

1:  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
For the most part, I’d say I’m true to myself. Of course, these are times when I’d love to just fly to another country and explore at the drop of a hat – but work, money and all that other stuff gets in the way. But, as far as I can be – I think I’m doing ok with this one. Not great, always room for improvement… but ok.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I think I have my work/life balance sorted. At the moment, anyway. It’s always easier when you’re single, but we’ll see.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
This one struck a chord. I’m always very quick to give my opinion and I don’t mind sharing my feelings with everyone other than the person I feel something for. Should probably work on that.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I’m actually really good at this. I’m always the one to be organising reunions and I make sure I touch base with the people who means a lot to me as often as I can. Friends are important: true, my friends will get married, have kids and I will become less and less important to them – but when they need me, or if I need them, we’ll still be in touch. That’s what really matters.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
You can always be happier: I think working on just being happy is the thing to aim for.

Anyway – read the article. Interesting and thought-provoking stuff.

EAT:  I dragged my friends to Ben’s Canteen at the weekend because it’s only a 10 minute walk from my place and because I’d stalked the photos on their website and they made my mouth water a lil bit. Ben’s positions itself as THE place to get brunch and for casual meets up with friends. So I was expecting good things (ok, despite not ACTUALLY going there for lunch. You know me, I can never resist a burger if one is on offer).

So we turned up and waited for a table. The member of staff who came over told us to wait a minute. He then went to his colleague and had a chat, mooched around a bit and then seemed to completely ignore us. We shuffled forward a bit, only to get stopped by a different member of staff who, again, took a while to seat us in the (half-empty I should add) cafe. Slightly irritating, but let’s move on.

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The food is quite expensive so I was expecting great things. A burger and sweet potato fries will set you back £11.50 and, quite frankly, it’s not worth it. The fries were lovely – but the burger had far too much burger sauce and the chicken was just… meah. Nothing special at all unfortunately. My friend went for the mushroom and peach veggie burger and the staff presented her with a full-on beef burger. Needless to say she was NOT impressed and ended up shouting “What the HELL IS THAT?!” at the, slightly taken aback, waitress. They apologised and served up the mushroom and peach burger pretty quickly, but it was just a little something else to add to the already mediocre experience.

The decor is stripped back and a little bit trendy – but not really enough of anything to class them as… well, anything. Nice enough, but I couldn’t quite my finger on what they were going for.

All in all – the place is ok, some of the staff were good, some were not and the food is nice but not nice enough for what they’re charging. If you want a reasonably plain burger experience, Ben’s can offer that. If you want something you’ll remember then head elsewhere. I sense we perhaps just caught the staff on an off-day – but the food needs to get cheaper to draw me back there.

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SEE: I went to the Arrested Development Season 4 Netflix premiere in Leicester Square the other day. I cannot communicate how much I love that bloody show – well, I can, but it would only be in quotes from the show. I took a photo of the Bluth Banana Stand which they’d been touring the city with to promote the shows – this show honestly deserved the new season and it’s been a long time coming. Let’s hear it for the huge mistakes, NO TOUCHING and Annyongs we’ll be a part of on May 26th.

For those of you who know the show, you’ll get why I love the scene below. For those of you who haven’t seen the show – GO AND SORT YOUR LIFE OUT.

LISTEN: I’m a cover version skeptic, I’ll admit it. I’m very precious of the music I fall in love with and often the cover version feels like sacrilege to me. So when Saint Etienne did her own spin on ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ (originally by Neil Young) it shouldn’t have worked, and I shouldn’t have liked it. But… it does and I do. It sounds totally different – the emotion is stripped from the song and added again in a completely different way. I think the upbeat, early-90s sound of the song – the repetitive nature it takes on in the second half – says a lot and really works. Take a listen and let me know if you agree.

LOVE: You fit me better than my favourite sweater and love is mean, and love hurts, but I still remember that day we met in December.

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