Dirty Bones, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, Green River Rock Band and the total lack of The ‘One’

13 Apr

I’m starting this blog post with a quick summary of a fancy dress outfit I created recently. I always use blogs for inspiration when it comes to dressing up, so if anyone out there is looking for a cheap and cheerful way to pull together a Little Mermaid fancy dress outfit, hopefully this will help.

photo 4 (2)

photo 5 (2)

All you need: purple bra. White shells (get these from a fancy dress shop, mine were only £2.50) + purple acrylic paint and red glitter to decorate the shells. Blue/turquoise or green leggings to wear under the tail material. Tail material – mine came from one of the fabric shops on Goldhawk Road and was only £2 per metre. Belt: use superglue to glue the material to the belt and voila!
Also, get yourself turquoise eyeliner (mine’s amazing and from No.7), purple glittery eyeshadow (Barry M) and a flower to add to your hair. Oh, and of course, get your hair as bright red as possible. Red lipstick goes without saying.

I made my bag by buying a Flounder stuffed toy from the Disney Store, removing all the stuffing and sewing material to either side of his fin. Worked a treat!

EAT: As you’ll have guessed, I’m usually all about the burgers. However, hot dog joints are popping up around London so I thought I’d give Dirty Bones a go as I’ve heard good things.

I went on a Friday night and we walked straight in. I admit, my friend and I rocked up to Bubbledogs first (simply because it’s closer to where I work) but we were told there’d be a 2 hour wait for a table. So, after having seen some good reviews of Dirty Bones and generally liking their impressive cocktail menu we rambled over to Kensington.

DirtyBones2

Dirty Bones is very trendy. There’s funky lights hanging from the ceiling, great music and all the lights are dimmed. Personally I like this in eateries because I eat like I have no dignity and spill everything everywhere (hence why Meatliquor and The Player Bar in Soho are my favourite date options – the darkness makes it harder for my date to be put off by the food thrown down the front of me).

So, onto the food. The service was a little slow, however it’s a Friday night and my server was lovely, so it can be overlooked. Dirty Bones specialises in hot dog deliciousness and reading through the menu, you can’t help but be tempted by everything. I particularly like the fact you can choose either a pork, beef or veggie hot dog, making it friendly for all but vegans.

I went for The Mexican with a pork dog – featuring pulled pork cactus salsa (sounds great, right?), lime sour cream (again – yum) and guacamole. My friend also opted for Pork but instead got the Asian: kimchi puree, wasabi mayo, crispy seaweed (crispy seaweed is not featured on anywhere NEAR enough menus in my opinion) and sesame seeds. We also went crazy with the number of sides we ordered; we got the garlic buns, triple cooked fries, glazed and charred sweetcorn and the bourbon beans.

photo 4

THE DOGS:  Well… the pork hot dog itself was amazing. High quality meat and was very flavoursome. However both my friend and I found that the meat was so flavoursome that the garnishes were rendered kinda useless. I could taste a hint of my lime mayo, put that was the only thing in my Mexican dog which I could identify in amongst the strong porky taste.  Kimchi is usually quite overpowering, however this didn’t add much flavour to the hot dog either. It could have done with more crispy seaweed to mix up the texture too. The dogs are also quite small – don’t be fooled by the photo above. I’d say you’re looking at maybe a 6 inch dog at best.

photo 1

THE SIDES: The sides weren’t too bad – the garlic buns were a little overcooked (more charcoal and garlic than garlic) and the triple cooked chips were nice, but nothing to shout about. The sweetcorn was one of the oddest things I’ve ever tasted. I have no idea what they added to the corn but it was strong and had a peculiar flavour… not bad per se, just very odd and it had a real kick to it! I’d recommend adding the sweetcorn or the bourbon beans (which were actually really good) to their plain, cheapest hot dog to add the flavour their dogs seem to need to add, rather than be overpowered, by the taste of the meat.

photo 3

We also opted for a desert – Milk and Cookies. This is actually just one (average sized) double chocolate chip cookie with ice cream. I really don’t have much to say about it other than the cookie wasn’t warm or any better than what you can pick up in ASDA (at least then you get 4 for £1 rather than in this case one for £5). The ice cream also tasted of nothing – give it a miss. Don’t believe me? Just bloody look at the photo above…

photo 5

Their cocktails however were very good – I went for the Top Dog cocktail (vodka, strawberry, chambord, lemon and prosecco). It was sweet and delicious and their other drinks all looked amazing. Now, don’t get me wrong. The food at Dirty Bones isn’t bad, I just don’t think it’s exceptional. I don’t resent paying what I did for the food, but I just don’t think they’ve nailed it yet. When I think gourmet hot dog, I want something which tastes significantly better than just ketchup on a dog in a bun. But the flavours accompanying the hot dog just didn’t quite do it for me. I’d definitely go again, but it’s not somewhere I’ll be going out of my way to take people for food. For drinks and music though? I’d absolutely recommend the place. The DJ was great and the drinks were wonderful.

 
SEE: As I’m sure you’ll know, a cat cafe has come to London. It sits on Bethnal Green Road, in quite an unassuming place, however you’ll spot it due to the huge number of people queuing outside to get their chance to play with cats. Now, in London it’s difficult to look after a pet. You’re out at work all day, unless you earn a fair bit you’ll probably be in a small non-floor level flat or won’t have a garden. So, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is a great way to get your feline fix in the city.

photo 2

We turned up and we were escorted into a waiting room where we were given the dos and don’ts (don’t pick the cats up, if they’re eating or sleeping leave them alone etc) and we were made to wash our hands. We were then led into the cafe, which consists of two floors – the bottom floor housing far more cats and has a far cosier feel to it. The decor is quite plain – the focus has been on providing the cats with bedding and toys and lots of things to climb and play on, which is obviously commendable.

photo 1 photo 4

There were around 12 cats in the cafe when I went and I’d say 6 of them were wither hiding or sleeping, another 3 were in and out of sleep and 3 were actively looking for attention.  Obviously it’s no issue that the cats were sleeping (c’mon, that’s what they do) and it’s actually quite nice that some of the cats were very affectionately looking to be played with. However it did irritate me that more touristy people in the cafe paid no regard to the rules and were waking cats up and harassing ones who clearly wanted to be left alone (to the point three poor cats tried to hide from the tourists in a small cat box, bless them).

photo 1 (2)

The cat cafe is obviously all about cats, but some mention should be made of the cafe. Basically: the service is pretty horrendous. We weren’t served for a long time and in the end we had to ask to place our order. When we did, it took a very long time (more than half an hour) for them to get us stew and bagel. They also took half an hour(ish) to get our order of two Diet Cokes to our table… The food itself? It was quite nice actually when it eventually turned up.  The savoury stew and bagel was nice enough (would have been better if they’d brought me cutlery to eat my salad with, but there you go) but Lady Dinah’s is actually ALL about the cakes.

photo 2 (2)

For only £3.75 you get a huge slice of yummy cake – I went for the red velvet and it was really delicious. In fact, the savoury food was also very reasonably priced, but if you’re saving the pennies then focus your efforts on the cake!

So, would I recommend a visit? Yes, I totally would. True, the service is terribly slow and a bit all over the place, but I suppose the staff are still learning and having to care for the cats too. The cats are lovely and they do seem to be well looked after. I played with around 4 of them and they were all very friendly. I think Lady Dinah’s needs to keep an eye on people a little bit more, as many people were ignoring the rules put in place for the cat’s happiness… then again, it’s not the absolute end of the world if a cat gets a stroke on the head while it’s asleep, but still. I think you just need to bear in mind when you come that you’re not going to be surrounded by cats and playing with them constantly. At the end of the day it’s a cafe which serves good, reasonably priced food and has cats for you to pamper when the cats are feeling social.
photo 3 (2)

When you book a slot they give you 2 hours in the cafe, purely due to the huge waiting list. I believe there are no pre-bookable slots until June now, so if you want to go, get booking.

LISTEN: Green River Rock Band describe their sound in a rather interesting way. They claim to be a Wonky Tonk Doom Folk Band (I know, wtf) but don’t be put off the long-winded genre description. They’re an eight-piece band from London, England and they claim to merge Old Time, Americana, British Music Hall and Folk. Think fiddles, jazz and brass and a bunch of up-tempo songs and you’ll be close to what ‘Wonky Tonk Doom Folk actually sounds like.

They’ve just released a promo for the new album Rhinoceros (I’ll be putting up a full review on God is in the TV over the next couple of weeks) but for now have a listen to Last Fair Deal. It’s from their new album and it’s a nice middling tempo track which will give you a good introduction to their style of music.

Like the track? Click here to listen to their other EPs.

LOVE:  Do people still believe in the ‘One’? I find it a very difficult concept to buy into simply because of the millions of potential meetings and relationships that would be available to me if only I happened to be in a different place at a different time.  Don’t get me wrong –  if you meet someone at work and you get on like a house on fire then that’s wonderful. But if you happened to be working in an office in New York, not London, you might find someone there who you get on with just as much.

That’s not to say the relationships we form aren’t special. I’m sure I could have endless sets of new friends if I were in a different place. But the friendships I have mean a lot and they don’t mean any less because I know they’re a product of where my life happened to take me at any one particular time, rather than us being ‘meant’ to be friends.

But there’s not the same ‘destiny’ attributed to friendships like there is to relationships. Hollywood tells us that fate is involved in meeting the person of your dreams. There’s the ‘One’ when in fact it’s more like there’s ‘One’ person for you in every 50 square miles on earth and it just depends where you end up.

MjAxNC0zNDM1MGQ4YTg4Y2YyNjBh_53456b98d0963

I love the image above. Why let the hunt for that ‘One’ person ruin all the fun you can have with the people who aren’t quite right for you? One of the most interesting men I’ve ever dated (well, we went on one date, hah) was clearly not ‘right’ for me. But he was honestly one of the best characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and it was a great and hilarious night. Just because it was never going to go anywhere didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy it being what it was: having fun and not giving a crap. And that’s what dating should be all about. As soon as you buy into the idea of the ‘One’, the pressure of finding them becomes insurmountable, surely?

What do you think – is there someone out there who is just right for you and you’re destined to be with (or should be with) above all others? Or is the person you end up with/marry/are currently seeing just an accident and no one is ever actually going to fit you in the way Hollywood says someone will?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: