Drafthouse burger, London loo tours, communal music playlists and dating hiatus

2 May

EAT: I’ve decided I have a local (it plays good hip hop and old school tunes and does the cider I like). But, TECHNICALLY, there is a pub far closer to me. Not only that but it has a rather good looking burger menu. So, at long last I visited the Battersea Drafthouse pub.

The pub has an outside seating area which is rather lovely, despite being by a main road and traffic lights (the foliage hides a lot of the cars and buses whizzing past). The inside of the pub isn’t too bad – there’s a ‘bar’ area with casual seating and music and there’s a smaller area to the back of the pub which serves as more of a restaurant/casual dining area.

The staff are nice and recommended us a rather nice cider (off to a good start). The food is also reasonably priced and there’s a good selection too. As well as burgers, you can get foot long pork scratchings (seriously), hot dogs and pub classics.

Onto the good stuff. I went for the veggie option, The Beruit Burger (Giant Chick-Pea & Halloumi Patty s/w Pickled Red Onion & Sun-Dried Tomato Salsa.) and my friend went for the The Smoke (beef burger with Smoked Chipotle Mayo, House-Smoked Cheddar & Hickory-Cured Bacon). We shared Cajun spiced fried (the portion was perfect for two people).

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The Beruit burger patty held together really well and it actually tasted of something, unlike most veggie burgers – the halloumi gives it that extra texture and taste which bean burgers often lack. The red onions were nice but they didn’t that much flavour and the tomato salsa gave the burger some much-needed juiciness, despite the ‘sun-dried’ element not really coming through. The burger bun wasn’t brioche (my usual preference) however it held the bun well and it was nice nonetheless.

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I also got a side helping of the Kim Chi coleslaw (above) with my burger and I warn you, it’s pretty hard core stuff. It has a REAL kick to it, it’s crunchy and it goes with the burger perfectly. I’d really recommend it. But make sure you have a biiiig glass of water to wash it down with!

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The Cajun spiced fries were also really nice. You can order regular fries, a small portion, for an extra pound, but definitely get the Cajun fries to share. They’re not as spicy as the Kim Chi slaw (thank god) but they’re still really good. I’m always really disappointed with fries but with the Cajun kick makes these stand out.

My friend had the Smoke burger and the beef burger was a little overcooked (asked for medium, more like well done) and apparently the beef wasn’t that flavoursome. Basically – not enough ‘Smoke’ in the Smoke burger and the quality of the beef could be a little better.

All in all – nice enough for a pub. Sides were good, burgers weren’t the best in London but they were by no means bad either. If you’re in the area, give them a try.
SEE: After learning all about the Nobel Prize and a seventeenth century war ship last week, I decided to learn a little more about ol’ London Town… by going on a tour of toilets in London.

Yup, there’s a walking tour called the ‘London Loo Tour’ and I managed to grab a last-minute space (for £6 rather than £12). The tour guide was lovely – she’s a Californian who came to London on a student visa and she may well be leaving for the USA at the end of the year, so make sure you book your space quick! The tour guide also comes with a plunger which is a novel way to make sure you can see her!

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The tour was great. Not only is the tour guide lovely but she’s got the tour down to a fine art, making sure everyone is included, the pace is right and that there are frequent, but not too frequent, stops so you feel like you’re learning all the way.

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The tour starts at Waterloo station (outside the toilets, naturally) and winds its way across to Embankment, up through Covent Garden and ends near Temple. You learn about the Jubiloos (near the London Eye) and even get a tour of them – it usually costs 50p, but the London Loo Tour lets you see the fancy lavatories for free. As you walk over the Thames you’ll hear all about how London sewers used to deal with all our lovely number ones and twos in the 1800’s.

The word ‘Loo’ comes from ‘Guardy-Loo’, what people used to shot as they threw their sewage out of the windows to warn people what was coming. You’ll also learn all about other loo related phrases and their origins, how ‘the big stink’ affected London and you’ll learn that the sewers we use today for 18 million Londoners were actually built in Victorian times for 3 million people (yikes).

photo 3Victoria Embankment Gardens (above) were purpose built over the sewers and did you know that somewhere in London there’s a lamp which gets its electricity generated by the fumes from the sewers (yummy!)

I won’t give everything away, but the tour is a great thing to do on a sunny day in London and it’ll give you lots of things to talk about. It’s a welcoming tour – go alone, with friends – if you want a private tour you can even get one! And to top it all off, the tour ends in Cellar Door. Cellar door is a bar located in toilets where Oscar Wilde used to go cruising for men. You also get discount on drinks if you’re with the tour!

If you go, tweet me and let me know what you think. And if you want to go, head to @londonlootours for more info. Enjoy!

LISTEN: At work my boss has created a playlist on Spotify which the people on my floor can contribute songs to at any time and it plays continually. You can vote songs up and down (the more quotes a song has the quicker it moves to the top of the playlist). Anyway, it’s an awesome idea and below is a song which I added to the playlist and I’m currently diggin’ on hard.

Listen, enjoy and go here to add the Soundrop app. Add it to Spotify, invite people and get your own playlist going!

LOVE: I’m currently on a dating hiatus, for a variety of reasons. When you go on a lot of dates, with the same guy or many different ones, sometimes you just need to take a break.

Firstly, money is a big issue with dating. There’s no way I’d ever allow a guy to pay for the entirety of the date so I have to spend out at least £15 per date, which obviously I’m happy to do, but I have a lot of holidays coming up soooo money is a little tighter than usual. Sharing a milkshake is about all I can afford right now.

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Secondly, I keep running out of time. I want to take a little bit of time to go the gym a bit more, meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a while and do more interesting, fun stuff in London. Dating eats into my time quite significantly – I went on around 30 dates last year. That’s 30 evenings (aside from the record day when I managed three dates in one day) which get eaten up and I don’t have a huge amount to show for it except a few short and sweet romances and hilarious stories about good and bad dates.

It’s not that the dates are bad at all. Even the bad ones are hilarious and I get a good story, but for the most time I have a lovely time and meet really interesting people. I may be alone in this, but I like dates. I love first dates. I like doing new things, I’m narcissistic so talking about myself is great and I’ve actually found I’ve learned a lot about myself through just talking about me. When people say ‘what do you do outside of work’ and you realise you have nothing to say… well, that would suck. But it’s nice to have a full life and interesting stories to share.

Due to my love of dates I sincerely doubt my dating hiatus will last. Ho hum.

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