Eat/See/Listen/Love: Scoffers, Up at the 02, Bastille and first dates

13 Jun

Yo yo yo guys and gals, long time no speak. I say that, I actually posted quite recently, but I feel like once a week is letting both you and me down. Anyway: this blog post rectifies that and gives me until next weekend to have some adventures in London!

I booked tickets to Holi Festival at Battersea Power Station in August: GO. It’s basically a copycat of the Indian festivities where people line the street and throw bright, multicoloured dye at each other (take a wild guess why I’m looking forward to it…) There are bands playing, pop up eateries and you can find out more by visiting their London event’s Facebook page here.

EAT: As I’ve mentioned before, Battersea is a great place to live and it’s really up and coming. It’s a few years behind Dalston, sure – and still quite heavy on the yummy mummies. However, there are some great bars and eateries on Battersea Rise and one of them is Scoffers.

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The place is fairly unassuming: small, quaint I suppose, but it’s when you get to the back of the restaurant that you realise why their renovation has given the place some extra oomph. There’s a real, huge tree, which fills the whole back room and lends itself perfectly to the small space. My friend and her boyfriend go here all the time for romantic meals (the tree has fairy lights weaved in which really set the mood in the evening), so my friend decided it was time I visited and blogged about my experience!

Well, the menu is varied and reasonably priced. Mains are around the £10 mark, but I opted for the chicken burger with chips, leaves, mustard mayonnaise & dill pickles. The chips are hand cut and skin on, and the chicken came in some sort of limy/zesty sauce: it was great. REALLY succulent, filling and the chips were beaut too. Only downside was the bun: very dry and just not special enough to compliment the meal.

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On to dessert. Now, I never usually get dessert when I go anywhere, but my friend is so in love with their Eton Mess Cheesecake that I was given very little choice but to share it with her (what can I say, the things I do for friends, eh?) It was SO worth getting. It comes with meringue, thick clotted cream and sauce. It fell apart, but just how you’d want it to. I was very restrained and let my friend have the bigger half, which I totally regret and now resent her for. I kid… kinda.

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Overall, a lovely setting for a pleasent meal: not an EPIC burger like I’m used to reviewing, but a classic British style burger which was pretty darn good. Yummy dessert, all for about £15 (including a soft drink). Our server was lovely, service was quick and it’s exactly the kind of place you’d go with work mates, family members and your other half. Not really the place for a night with a big group of friends though, but then again maybe I just have more gobby friends than most, who knows.

SEE: It was my brother’s 21st birthday on Sunday last week, and I wanted to make sure he did something vaguely impressive that he’d remember when he’s old… like, 35 or something. HAH. Anyway. I took him to Meatliquor, which went down a storm as it has done with everyone I’ve ever taken there, and then we made our way to Greenwich.

Up at the 02 has been open for a little while now and its appealed to me because it’s not exactly the adrenaline activity I’m used to, but it’s something a little out of the ordinary for London. It cost £30 per person for a Sunday slot and we turned up and were presented with a safety video, waiver and our kit. By ‘kit’, I mean do NOT turn up wearing a dress/anything special – they make you get into hardcore climbing gear, as well as change your shoes. The kit I wore to climb the 02 was more hardcore than what I wore skydiving… not sure whether that actually says more about the company I went skydiving with though, lol. The photo below is my brother donning the rather exquisite climbing gear.

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Basically, they attached a harness to your suit and hook you up to a cable which runs all the way up to the top of the 02 and down again. This means you can’t fall off, and the cable has to pass through numerous locks, so you can’t rush it either. The initial section was hard graft if you’re not that fit: 30 degree angle, and the whole time you’re climbing up quite a slippery, bouncy walkway. Luckily the gym sessions have paid off and I made it to the top with relative ease.

Now… the view. Firstly, it was a dull, windy day: however, the heavy kit you have to wear means that this would NOT be fun if it were done in boiling summer heat. But when you get to the top you suddenly remember the 02 is actually in the middle of nowhere and there really isn’t ANYTHING to see. You can see the Olympic park (through a tiny gap between two buildings) and the shard (through a tiny gap between two buildings) and, err, lots of big buildings which aren’t that great to look at. Still, it was kinda fun being so high up I guess – but certainly not worth the £30 they’re charging for it.

Coming down wasn’t anything special, except when they get to the bottom they try to flog merchandise at you. I’d say this is quite a nice thing to do if you’re stuck for ideas, or if you have kids who are going for the experience rather than the view. Personally, £30 felt a little steep (GEDDIT? STEEP? I CLIMBED SOMETHING HIGH?) and I’d wait until either someone else is paying or you can get a discount!

LISTEN: As I’ve said before, I’m precious of my music. But when a band uses samples in a really creative way, I bloody love it. Bastille aren’t a band I actually like THAT much – some of their songs are ok, but nowt special. However, they’re recorded and released (available to download for free) two EPs as part of their ‘Other People’s Heartache’ series. THEY ARE AMAZING. And the lead singer’s voice adds something totally ethereal to some of the tracks. Yummy.

 

One song mixes Clint Mansel’s music from Requiem for a Dream with Blue Jeans by Lana Del Ray. They also include snippets from the film in there too, which just adds to the incredible chills you get when listening to the song. Another great track is their ‘No Angels’ –  a mix of TLC’s No Scrubs and Angels by The XX. It’s genius. It also samples the interview from Psycho: the perfect sound bite for the song. Seriously, I can’t bang on about these EPs enough, and the fact they’re free to download just makes them all the more wonderful. Listen to the two tracks and tell me this isn’t great. Head to their website to download the EPs for free too.

LOVE: First dates are, notoriously, a minefield. They’re not enjoyable until at LEAST an hour in: by that point you’ve forgotten their name once, dropped something down yourself, said something a BIT stupid and had enough to drink so that you’re not nervous anymore and you can chat like your normal self (or is all that just me?…)

As I’m sure you know, I would love to live in an age of equality. Women should also ask guys for their numbers, they should be FINE with splitting the bill and I believe if two people sleep together on the first date the man is NOT a legend and the woman is NOT a slut. C’mon guys, 2013, wakey wakey now.

However, I am constantly coming up against the whole issue of men having to make the first move, women being very passive when it comes to dating and not being allowed to have sex without getting a reputation. So long as you’re safe and you’re not hurting anyone guys and gals, knock yourselves out.

Also, ladies: ask men for their number. Just do it. You think that movie fairytale we’re sold is going to get any more real by you sitting there refusing to make the first move? Grow a pair (tits, balls, whatever) and if you like someone just go for it.

Dating is hard. Why make it harder by not actually doing anything?

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