I’m baaaaack: Hache, Holi Fest, Rosemary Clooney

10 Aug

Ok, I’ve been the worst blogger ever. 2 months without a post: I KNOW. I’d like to blame the following things – being very busy at work recently, moved house (endless packing) (followed by endless unpacking) and also having no internet at my new places for a few weeks.

Moving on…

EAT: So, I’ve moved to the top of Battersea, which means I’m now surrounded by new places to explore. I already have a local (I’ll blog about that soon), a beautiful European outside dining square to frequent and I’m about a 10 minute walk from Chelsea. True, I cannot afford to spend a lot of time eating and drinking in Chelsea, but I got paid last week so I figure once a month I can go MENTAL and spend more than £7 on a meal.

I decided to give Hache Burger a try. I’ve heard really good things about the place – lots of burger blogs have given it good ratings, so as it’s only a 15 minute walk across the river I convinced my friends to visit.

Big mistake. Ok, it’s not the worst place in the world, by any standards. The decor is lovely (we all know how much I value a lil’ bit of atmosphere): lovely lights, great toilets and just generally a good looking place. However, the staff were pretty bad. Slow service and they left our food waiting on the side of the kitchen for longer than they should have done (c’mon, I paid £16 in total for my food and drink, I can moan a bit) and they forgot one of our sides.

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The food itself wasn’t that great either. The burger I had was their Chicken Fajita burger – roasted pepper, spicy onions, jalapenos, chicken breast and more in a brioche bun. The bun wasn’t soft or tasty enough to be a GOOD brioche bun and the burger had way too much salsa: totally wiped out the taste of, well, virtually anything else in the bun. I will say, however, that the Hache mayo was pretty yummy and the sweet potato fries were quite nice too. Portion was quite small, but enough. Slightly undercooked in parts, but for the most part, they were nice (not as good as Kua’Aina in Carnaby Street).

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I’d say Hache is one of those places that, if taken there on a date, you certainly wouldn’t judge the guy harshly. However, it’s not somewhere I’ll be recommending or returning to anytime soon.

SEE: Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’.

Nooooot so much the Holi Festival which came to Battersea last weekend and continues this weekend. My friend and I rocked up early afternoon and very quickly realised we needed to be in a group of about 6+ people and completely wasted in order to make a day of it!

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Don’t get me wrong, the few hours we stayed were fun. It’s novel, colourful and everyone is generally very happy. Also, everyone was also aged between 18 – 22, so I felt old (I seem to be feeling this increasingly more and more at the moment, sob). The festival organisers try to evoke elements of India’s Holi Festival by announcing at random intervals that “we are one, we are all different colours and we are one”… etc. Which is lovely, but we’re all, also, pissed and just throwing colourful dye around.

Battersea Power Station is the backdrop for the festivities and the arena itself is actually very sparse. There are two bars, both identical and serving £5 a pop drinks to the masses. There are a few food vans (none of which serve Indian food, haha) and that’s it, aside from the stage. Which means that, unless you’re pissed and love dance music – which is mainly all that was playing on the stage – there’s not a lot to entertain you. Luckily my friend and I are infinitely interesting, so we chatted and wandered around quite happily… but you get my point.

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However, the highlight really is the COLOUR. Standing immersed in the crowd as everyone throws their powder in the air was amazing – yes, it gets in your eyes, but you don’t need to cover your hair or wear goggles to have fun. If you mix the powder with water it turns into a paint-y mixture and sticks to skin and clothes much better… but looks horrible. The more drunk I got the less I cared though – I just wanted to be splashed and look like a rainbow. Which I did. Fun times.

Tickets for Holi aren’t available any more, but they are taking orders for next year. If you go, make sure you buy some colorful powder, wear white clothes, take water if you want to get messy and drink beforehand. You’ll need it to stand the music and last the day 😀

LISTEN: Rosemary Clooney was one of the most popular female singers in America: well, apparently, I only came across her a few months ago, but I’m loving her sound at the moment. Like many of her peers in the so-called “girl singer” movement — Doris Day, Kay Starr, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, et al. — Clooney’s style is grounded in jazz, particularly big-band swing. I love jazz, big band, swing and therefore, Clooney. The song below is one I’m particularly like at the moment. It’s more of a novelty song (I believe it’s what shot her to fame before she became an actress) but a good’un nonetheless.

LOVE: I went on a terrible date the other  week. I am going to re-live it for you guys so you can learn how not to leave a first date perlexed and running for he door… as I had to.

So, I got there late, but I warned him well in advance. I was standing outside the pub for about 10 minutes after the time I said I’d be getting there before he came out. He said he was sitting in the pub garden – walked straight past the bar, sat outside and continued drinking the pint he’d started. I sat for 10 minutes opposite him without a drink… awkward, but not a reason to bail on the date.

So, I’m great at forcing conversation. Making conversation/forcing it/prolonging it… I’m usually pretty awesome at it. The art of conversations comes down to two things: asking questions and when being asked a question, giving a GOOD answer finding links between things so you can unearth interesting stories, things in common… you get my drift.

This guy did NOT ask questions. When I asked him a question, he gave answers which only came to about two sentences. Brilliant. He didn’t seem excited about any element of his life: his job was ‘meah’, his housemates were ‘ok’, he likes London but has a lot to moan about. Then, came the bombshell. I asked him about music he lies (FYI he’s a hipster of the highest degree with ok taste in music I suppose) but when I asked him what he didn’t like he said: indie, hip hop, anything ‘rocky’ and that he hated Radiohead.

Now, music is how you get me into bed. It’s a simple as that. So this revelation (I love indie, Radiohead and hip hop as well as numerous other kinds of music) was the icing on the cake. FOURTY minutes after I arrived I made a terrible excuse and left.

The lesson? It’s not the music thing (well, it’s a lesson I suppose if you want to sleep with me), but it’s just about coming across as someone who is interested in others and has something positive to say about their own lives. I like people who are passionate, sometimes ambitious, but if a guy comes across as having nothing driving him in life then I immediately lose interest.

Ask questions. Listen to answers. Seem like you enjoy your life. Simple.

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