Porridge Cafe, Erotic Poetry, threatening yet seductive music and standing up to stubborn people like me

7 Mar

EAT: So, you may have heard about the Porridge Cafe that’s just opened in Shoreditch (where else?) It’s a one month pop up (now about one week in) and I went along for Skint London for some oat-y goodness.

My 94-year-old Grandma has porridge every single day. She’s the Queen of Porridge. Therefore, I like to think of myself as the Princess of Porridge: partly because of the wonderful alliteration, and because it’s an absurd title to bestow upon oneself. Anyway – I’m a porridge fan, so I was intrigued to see what the Porridge Cafe was like.

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So the way the cafe works is on a rotating menu, with different porridge available each day (both sweet and savoury options). I think this is a bit of a shame – I was expecting something like Shakeaway, where you select your grain, select your milk and then select your toppings. Doesn’t work like that, but that’s me being fussy, just a recommendation for the cafe if they end up opening full-time!

The cafe is small, with limited seating, so I guess they’re looking for office workers taking their breakfast away rather than a full cafe experience. They also serve coffee and tea (although I was given a lot of free prosecco when I went… who knew prosecco and porridge went so well together, eh?)

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So, I went for the cherry and white chocolate porridge (VERY yummy, perfect for a sweet tooth), pomegranate and orange porridge (zingy and the pomegranate added a nice change in texture), gluten-free apple and hazelnut (lovely gluten-free option, flavours weren’t that strong though) and chorizo (this is basically like quinoa with spicy meat, not porridge). They have lots of different milks (soy, skimmed, full fat, coconut), different grains and, as you can tell, different toppings.

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Basically: it’s a nice idea and the porridge was good. I don’t think it has huge amounts of staying power, but that’s simply due to the public’s appetite for paying for special porridge and the saturation of these kinds of ‘themed’ food cafes in London these days. If you’re in Shoreditch, absolutely give it a try to make sure you visit while you can.

SEE: I went to an erotic poetry evening where a host of naked men, women, all ages, all races, all sexual orientations all got up on stage and talked about fucking. And emotions. And everything in between. But before you read on: it’s the kind of night where 50 Shades of Grey is mentioned in a wholly sarcastic way for being vanilla (sorry old women/people with dull sex lives).

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The night is called ‘Velvet Tongue’ and it’s billed as an ‘erotic open mic soiree’. It’s run by Ernesto Sarezale – someone I’ve seen at a few events (another poetry evening called Naked Boys Reading – there’s a theme with Ernesto as you can see!). The poets are, for the most part, gay men – so expect lots of beautiful descriptions of sphincters and guy-on-guy action. However: there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. One amazing women (grey hair, corset, at least 50 years old) did a piece about cyber sex: getting off with a sex toy, desperately trying to beat the man on the screen to orgasm, but failing due to her cat deciding to get involved and the man being able to cum before she could.

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Yes, it sounds crude. Sex usually is. But the people who get up on stage and talk about intercourse, the state of sex in 2015 and unrequited love and lust are talented. They have guts. One guy wrote a poem following the arrest of the naked rambler, stripping before he read the poem. The balls (no pun intended) it must take to get up on stage and, either literally or metaphorically, bare yourself I envy greatly.

The crowd was great. If you’re open-minded, liberal and up for a laugh, then I’d highly recommend Velvet Tongue. Well – Ernesto announced that this would be the last one he did, although the uproar that followed makes me think the erotic open mic poetry night will continue in some way or another. It’s a great night, full of professional and completely amateur performers, giving people the opportunity to completely be themselves. If you want to talk, in great detail, about exactly what your last orgasm felt like: this is the place to do it. (C’mon. You know you want to).

LISTEN: The title music for House of Cards puts me into a trance. I realised last year that I really love music which is threatening. Soft, classical but threatening. There’s something quite sexy about it. Honestly, songs I associate with seduction all have something threatening about them. So, here’s a list of delightfully threatening songs that potential suitors can woo me with.  Again, I must reiterate that I honestly don’t believe I don’t have any deep-set psychological problems. Enjoy.

I promise I don’t have any deep-set psychological issues, although I’m well aware you won’t believe me.

LOVE (& FRIENDSHIP): Every single one of male and female friends challenges me. Every  one. In fact, that’s what makes them my best friends. If people don’t have the guts to tell it straight, I usually don’t have the time for them. Truth telling is far preferable to whispering or silence.

Everyone always bangs on about how it’s not possible to be friends with the opposite sex. I don’t believe that to be true. At all. Some of my best friends are male, many of them I’ve been close friends with for coming up 10 years or more.

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The interesting thing is that every one of my friends has attractive qualities. As, I’m sure, do yours. I wouldn’t be friends with them if they didn’t have qualities which I admire. Both my male and female friends are wonderful people. But do you know what they all have in common? They stand up: to me, for themselves, for what they believe in, and I don’t want to jump into bed with any of them.

My friend Jude is a liberal, like me. He always challenges my point of view, the few times he doesn’t agree with me. He ALWAYS calls me on my shit. Sam bites her tongue will usually just tell me straight when I ask for advice or if I’m being purposefully difficult. Olly is challenging in that he just totally ignores me when I’m trying to make a point. It’s just as effective as arguing back, bless him. Ryan always point-blank calls me out when I need it. Fabiola is as feisty as I am and has no issue putting across her point of view, especially when it differs from mine. Nick deals with me tactfully before just laughing off how ridiculous I’m being. Basically: my good friends do not roll over. And I love them for that.

^how I want my friends to react when I start going off on one.

The most attractive qualities in a person, so far as I’m concerned, is someone who is resolute in their beliefs. An intelligent person will have strong beliefs but will be open to changing them if new information comes their way. My friends are all intelligent people. Who have a go at me if I need someone to have a go at me.  Who stand by me when they think it’s right to do so. Doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, or if we’ve been friends for a few years of for decades.

Creepy seductive music aside, having something you believe in and not being afraid to express those beliefs is the easiest way to get my attention and for me to like you. I don’t dislike people without a backbone or without beliefs. But it’s far harder to respect them. And if you don’t agree with me? Tell me. The more you admire my declaration, the more likely it is that we’d be friends. Or more. Rambling over.

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