Madison, glamping in Kent, Radioooo and on dates, ask questions

25 Jul

I told someone I work with that I ‘have a blog’ and then realised I haven’t bloody written anything in a month. I need to stop referring to this as a blog and call it a ‘diary that I sometimes tweet about and hope people find useful’.

‘Blog’ is slightly more concise, I admit. Anyway, here we go. What have I been eating, doing, listening to and thinking about recently? Read on and all will be revealed.

EAT: I left an agency nearly 2 years ago and they knew I liked food – usually a burger for a tenner or something that didn’t break the bank, but tasted good. So, they decided to treat me and get me a £100 voucher to spend at one of the D&D Restaurant group’s eateries. Their restaurant list includes The BlueBird, Coq au Van and Madison – where I decided to indulge and use my voucher.

Madison is the infamous bar which has a terrace overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral and gives you a pretty epic view of London. So I admit, I was disappointed when my friend and I arrive and all the tables were over the other side of the restaurant/bar, away from the window.

So, for £100 we got the following from their menu: olives (£4), buttermilk fried chicken (£6), 2 x half corn-fed chicken with lemon and  green chilli marinade (£18 each), fries (£4), sticky toffee pudding (£6), vanilla panna cotta (£7), a diet coke (£3) and two cocktails (£9 each) + service charge.

The starters were far better than the mains and desserts. The buttermilk chicken is enough for a main really and you get a huuuge bowl of olives for £4. However, the half chicken is nice, but nothing special and didn’t really have much flavour. Certainly not worth £18. the desserts, again, were nice… but nothing special.

10932060_1541134106173756_1562639364_n At the end of the day, you’re paying for the view and an ‘exclusive’ experience. But we didn’t actually get to eat near the view and the staff were slow and at some points, rude. I actually tried to order a fancy salad for my main, but when they said they’d run out, I changed to chicken and got berated by the server for ordering chicken in a place like Madison. DON’T SELL IT THEN. Humph.

gfd Overall review: nice food, not worth the price. If I were you, keep Madison as a summer drink/date location and don’t bother going there to eat.

SEE: I’m currently doing my social media thaaang at M&C Saatchi PR and they know how to have an epic away day(s). We went to a lovely, out-of-the-way place in Kent called Biddingdon and went glamping.

The campsite used to be a garden center and has a ramshackle (love that word) charm about it. Once you’ve walked through the mis-matched tables, the random pottery and statues you come to the ‘tents’:

photo 3 (1)

I won’t go into lots of detail about the dancing, drinking and jacuzzi action that took place, but I will say that the glamping was lovely. We were really lucky with the weather and snuggling up around a campfire shouting STRAIGHT IN MY BASKET for about an hour at 2am had a certain charm to it.

photo 2 (1)

You get to sleep on a mattress and there’s a lamp and plug socket in each of the tepees too. Toilets were lovely, as were the showers and in the morning we all ate bacon rolls, played rounders, and lived happily ever after.

If you want to get away from it all and visit somewhere with a bar, great food and a beautiful setting, then this is the place for you. Only takes 2 hours by car from London and it’s a great experience.

LISTEN: This week I discovered http://radiooooo.com. It’s AMAZING.
Short blurb on the website: The wonderful musical machine that allows you to travel through space and time!
Long blurb (me): I spent an entire morning listening to American 1940’s jazz music. Then, I decided I wanted a slice of the 1980’s UK scene. And then I realised that I actually love swing, jazz and blues more and went back to the 1920’s in Spain.

Here’s a song that I’ve fallen in love with thanks to Radiooooo.

LOVE: I read an article the other day (can’t remember where I found it on my travels around the web, but I’m not making this up, promise) that due to online dating, people who aren’t good at writing and expressing themselves by text are missing out.

Now, I admit. If someone messages me using terrible grammar and is difficult to make a conversation with, then it usually won’t get to a first date. The article made me realise that, actually, that probably isn’t fair. I stick to the good grammar thing, but just because someone doesn’t ask insightful questions or give me a lot to chat off the back of, doesn’t mean they’re not necessarily worth seeing.

So, I gave it a try. I got chatting to someone who seemed completely lovely, but who didn’t ask questions and who didn’t really give me much to ask about. All off the back of this article, but I like trying new things and meeting different people, so I thought taking a chance on this guy was the right thing to do!

It was  a mistake. Turns out he’s exactly as he is in real life as he appears over text (well, Whatsapp). I turned up, asked all the questions you’d usually ask on a first date (where he lives, location, have you always lived in London?) and then after an hour, decided I’d stop initiating conversation and see what happened.

Nothing. Nothing really happened. He sat there, took a sip of his drink and then sat there. Then sipped his drink again because he felt awkward. Then, after a 20 second silence he asked me something we’d already talked about. Bless him, he obviously just wasn’t that comfortable around new people, dates, me… whatever.  I actually stayed for another hour because by that time I was tipsy and didn’t care and just found the whole thing a fun experiment. I burned through three dates’ worth of question in the space of two hours.

 So, what did I learn? Well, to not necessarily believe everything I read (lol) and that for a date to go well you need to ask questions and elaborate on your answers (this guy spend 8 months in Asia… all he said was “it was nice”). That’s. Thaaaaat’s it.  Dating 101, done.

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