Tag Archives: Burger

Evans and Peel, Much Ado About Nothing, Oddisee and long term confusion.

12 Mar

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EAT: Evans and Peel Detective Agency has been on my London to-do list since… well, since about 6 years ago when I moved here actually. So, I suggested a speakeasy style bar and restaurant where you have to make up a fake case for a detective before you’re allowed in and my friend Jude didn’t need any further convincing to come.

We arrived and buzzed: by the time we got let in (they open at 5pm – had to call for a reservation, old school) there was another 4 pairs of people waiting for their 5pm appointment. So, after waiting for the guys ahead of us to finish their chat with the detective, we were let in.

So, the story we decided to go for (I say we, Jude had nothing to do with it although he did a good job at playing along and not being embarrassed by me) was that we wanted the Evans and Peel to investigate the suspected Ghost Brothel next door to my flat. I was pleased to see a genuine look of confusion on the woman’s face when I presented this, but she played along well – asking how we knew they were ghosts and/or prostitutes, had we heard any noises coming from next door? Etc. When the play acting was finished (it lasts about 3 minutes) our case was taken and a bookshelf swings open to reveal a dimly lit, prohibition-era bar. In we went.


Jude and I went all out – cocktails, beers, mains, dessert. Mainly because the atmosphere of the place was wicked – fantastic music (instrumental of course and perfectly in keeping with the prohibition style of the bar) and we basically just wanted to hang around for as long as possible! The menus are delivered to our table by a server, in plain brown envelopes (but the fancy kind which you have to loop string around in order to close them) and you’re also kitted out with the likes of a magnifying glass too.

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For mains, we went for burgers. The menu is a little limited – but not bad at all (see above) – and standard London prices. We also had a couple of beers to see us through too – again, limited selection, but a GOOD selection, which is the key thing. The burger was good. The way it’s cooked (on an old fashion grill or something) means you can only have it medium well done. It actually comes out medium which I wasn’t loving, but I ignored as most people like their burgers this way and it was still a tasty burger. Chips were solid too, as were the sauces; nowt ground-breaking (Patty and Bun have nothing to worry about) but you do get bacon and cheese with it, as well as coleslaw. All in all, a good burger.


Where Evans and Peel really shines is the spirits. The cocktails are pricy (£7-£15) but worth splashing out for just once. I went for a fruity one (passion fruit, egg white, rum) and Jude selected a Bourbon from their EXTENSIVE whiskey and bourbon list. They have stuff on there which is £25 a shot (seriously), so make sure you grab the magnifying glass and have a look!

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When I said we went all out, I meant it. I also opted for dessert (as did Jude) and we both went for the ice cream cookie sandwich – blueberry ice cream with jam sandwiched in between two chocolate chip cookies. SO GOOD. I warned Jude not to try and bite the bloody thing because it would go everywhere… which it totally did. Tip: eat one of the cookies first and then you can bite your way through. Super simple, really yummy.

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Basically; I loved Evans and Peel. It’s a KILLER date venue –  a little bit different, off the beaten track and the vibe is perfect for some romancing. It’s also a great place to catch up with friends. What it’s not is a place to ‘go out out’ for pre-drinks. Just sayin’. Seriously – go. It’s a place you’ve got to try while in London; I’m gutted it took me so long to get down there!

SEE: My favourite Shakespeare play is Much Ado About Nothing. I’ve seen it performed countless times, abroad, in London, in Stratford. And the latest production, currently showing at Theatre Royal is a really strong production. I should know… did I mention it’s my favourite Shakespeare play and I’ve seen it countless times? Yup? Cool.

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The setting is Autumn 1919, with the soldiers (Benedict and Claudio) returning from the war. The staging is simple – all the action takes place in a few different sets and, I admit, it got off to a slightly slow start. Benedict was fantastic the whole way through though; the scene where he overhears that Beatrice loves him was fantastically funny and I think the actor carried Beatrice a little bit at times, to be honest.

That’s not to say Beatrice wasn’t good, but the comic timing just wasn’t there at some points. The actor totally nailed the ‘give a shit’ disposition of Beatrice, but the scene where she overhears that Benedict loves her was lukewarm, with all the actors not really going as all-out as the male cast members had done.

For £10 however (which is how much I got my ticket for) it was a fantastic production and I can’t recommend it enough. Go!

LISTEN: I went to see Oddisee at the Islington Assembly Hall last weekend. I’ve seen him before, a few years back at the Jazz Café, but this time he was playing to a significantly bigger crowd, with a live band and a kick-ass new album.

If you haven’t heard of Oddisee, how can I describe him? He’s for people who want Drake to rap about something meaningful and put some thought into his music. BURN. But seriously; Oddisee blends hip hop, soul, funk and thrown in a hint of pop on a track here or there.

His latest album, The Iceberg is fantastic. Stand out tracks include Hold It Back, in which challenges inequality between women and men in the workplace, which refers to the current political climate; “We gon’ push the demons deeper in the closet, It ain’t no secret they just seeping out regardless, We’re keeping logic hostage”. Another of my favourite tracks is You Grew Up, which tells the story of Oddisee’s childhood friend. His (the father’s) friend loses his job, blames ‘immigrants’ like Oddisee’s father for it and their friendship has to end. Forward a good few years and we learn that his childhood friend is another white cop guilty of killing an innocent black man. There’s some ACTUAL shit going on in this album, but it’s thoughtful. It hasn’t been thrown together in anger; Oddisee is interrogating the situation with his lyrics and putting them against a blend of funk, soul, hip hop music, all played by an actual band rather than a Drake 808.

Cannot recommend the album enough. And if you love The Iceberg and Oddisee, check out the rest of his tracks on Spotify. I have a soft spot for ‘Miami’ – an instrumental off his album Travelling Man. For now, I’m going to leave you with a recent track: Like Really.

LOVE: So, I’ve been on a few dates with a few people over the last couple of months. And something wasn’t sitting right with any of them. That was, until the last guy I dated – then boom. It hit me.

The guys I meet online and usually on Tinder (so you can never tell if they’re looking for anything serious, but they’re usually not). Or, they’re on OK Cupid and they’ve listed ‘Long term relationship’, ‘Short term relationship’, ‘New Friends’ and ‘Casual Sex’ in their ‘Looking For section to make sure all bases are covered. Which is fine.

But now, I’m filtering out the guys who include ‘Casual Sex’ and ‘Short term relationships’. Because I’ve realised I want something a little more significant than that. I only realised this when I was sat with a perfectly nice, attractive, intelligent guy on a date, but who I know has just got out a relationship and isn’t looking for anything serious.

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Which is fine. But when I left the date, I realise I just want someone I can rely on to do stuff with. Hence why I’m not removing ‘New Friends’ from my OK Cupid searches – I want someone who will go to gigs with me. While I vent about my day to. Who wants to explore new restaurants in London. And I either need them to do this as friends or as someone I’m in a more long-term relationship with, because that’s the only way you can totally be yourself, right? If you’re dating someone short term JESUS it’s exhausting. The conversation, having to rock up looking great, having to always plan ahead in terms of what you’re doing. Second guessing the way they respond to you or touch you. Take all that crap out of the equation and I want a friend with time for me to explore London or I need to get past all that stressful dating stuff and just be comfortable.

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So, all this dawned on me. And I turned the last perfectly nice, intelligent, attractive guy I went on a date with down when he asked for a second date because ‘we want different things’. At least he knows his thing is sex. Mine? As you can tell from my rambling, I guess I’m still not 100% sure. Ho hum.

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.

Motherflipper, Project Orange, Fiona Bevan and same sex marriage

22 Mar

EAT: It’s time for another burger review guys… but this one is a little different for my blog. Usually I review veggie or chicken burgers…but this one is 100% beef. *OMG* WTF* ETC.

So, Motherflipper have been on my to-do list for a while and they’re currently at Camden Brewery every Friday night.  So, I rocked up with my friend to find that they only serve beef burgers. No veggie options, no chicken, no fish… just beef.

Well, I’ve heard such good things about Motherflipper that for the first time in over a decade I had a ‘proper’ beef burger. I asked for it as cooked as they could possibly cook it – much to their dismay I’m sure – but they delivered a (good?) beef burger sandwiched in between a beautiful bun with lots of yummy extras.

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I went for The Bacon Swiss Flipper: swiss cheese, candy bacon, candy onions, BBQ sauce, ranch mayo. Mmmmmm. The burger is served in a standard toasted London brioche bun and the sauce is perfect – making sure the burger isn’t dry, making sure it tastes great and also making sure it’s bloody messy to eat.

I can’t really comment on the actual beef burger – it certainly hasn’t swayed me away from chicken, but my friend assured me the meat was incredibly tasty and it’s up there with the best of London burgers.

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Their criss cross fries are also good. Nice and salty, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Big win. It’s a nice extra, but doesn’t compare to the likes of Honest Burger’s Rosemary salted fries. However, they did have a huge range of sauces and if you like to pair your burger with a beer then Camden Brewery has plenty on offer.

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All in all, Motherflipper’s Bacon Swiss burger is a great eat. Flavoursome, great garnishes and good value for money. However, I am a bit put out that they only have beef on offer. For veggies or people who can’t eat red meat it’s obviously a pain and I think I’d be a little more impressed with more options. However, it was still a bloody good burger and I’d recommend giving Motherflipper a shot.

SEE:  I’ve seen Project Orange most days for the past 2 years, but I only went into the bar last week. And it’s actually a pretty cool little place!

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The place has all kinds of crazy graffiti and cartoon artwork on the walls (like the above) and the place has a green themed decor with fairy lights – but they don’t make the place seen at all feminine or delicate.

It’s about £9 for two ciders, so the prices are normal London standards. It’s not a particularly busy place – we went on a Friday night and managed to get somewhere to sit.

The music they were playing was also really good and the atmosphere was very chilled. It’s a nice little place which isn’t actually off the beaten track at all, but still escapes the usual Friday night riff raff.

LISTEN: I stumbled across Fiona Bevan a few years ago at One Taste Festival and she’s now released a new single, ‘The Machine’. It’s a lovely song and I’m sure it’ll charm you like it has me. New video for the single is below:

LOVE: On March 29th (next Saturday) gay marriage become legal in the UK. It’s long overdue but it’s happening.

It’s a long overdue right which the gay community should obviously have had long before now, but it’s still positive change and liberal thinking, which is obviously a good thing.

Do you know a same-sex couple planning on getting married over the course of the next year? Well, if you do you can nominate them (or if you’re gay and planning a wedding then you can nominate yourself) to win a honeymoon!

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Yup, all you have to do is email I.Do@virginholidays.com and tell them why you think the couple you’re nominating deserve a honeymoon courtesy of Virgin Holidays. How amazing is that?! It’s awesome to see big brands making such a positive statement and doing something so bloody wonderful to commemorate this huge juncture in not just gay rights, but human rights.

So, get nominating and one lucky same-sex couple will be jetting off to the USA, Mexico and Spain on their honeymoon.

And just to highlight how far the world still has to go, take a look below at the shocking state of gay rights worldwide. C’mon people, it’s 2014. Equality for all.

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Dirty Burger, European travels, Spiritual Sessions and my lovely friends.

11 Mar

EAT: I’ve been to a fair number of burger joints in London and I think it’s safe to say I know what’s what in terms of the best places to go for chicken or veggie burger beauty. However, there are still many highly recommended place (recommended by the best burger blogs in London) which only serve beef burgers.

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Not a huge problem, but I hate to miss out. So when I hear that Dirty Burger’s veggie special from January was sticking around I got myself down to their newer Vauxhall branch pronto.

The ‘Dirty Cop Out’ (perhaps I only like the name because I’m not ACTUALLY a vegetarian) is £5 – compared to the £6.50 and up beef burgers it’s a fair deal. I walked from Battersea to Vauxhall to get burger, mainly because Dirty Burger really does do what it says on the tin. Cheesy, fatty, greasy – it’s all the best things in life and all the worst all at once. So, a long walk made me feel slightly less guilty about visiting the joint.

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The burger is composed of a portobello mushroom, brioche bun, mayo, baby leaf salad and Applewood cheddar. Now – I dislike mushrooms. They have a bit of an odd texture and no discernible taste. However: I figured as Applewood is my favourite cheese (strong, flavoursome and smoky) its inclusion would make everything ok.

Well… the burger was ok. The brioche was lovely and it was as dirty as I expected. However the burger lacked… taste. Despite a fair bit of cheese in there, I couldn’t actually taste any of the wonderful smoky flavour. It was all a bit of a sloppy mess (in a good way) and sloppy (in a bad way).

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However, I did love the side order of onion fries I got. Essentially they’re onion rings but straight. Bit bits of onion in a lovely batter and for £3.50 you get a huuuge portion. Very impressed!

So, for £10 I got a burger which was sub-par – however my dislike of mushroom and love of Applewood may have let me down here. I’ve sure the beef burgers are far better – I’m hoping they’ll create a chicken burger which proves itself. Unfortunately I couldn’t possibly put the burger in my top 5, but the onion fries are definitely worth a try.

SEE:  I booked three holidays last weekend, to add to my pending Barcelona trip in June.

So – THIS IS A PLEA FOR HELP EVERYONE. If you’ve been to one of the places below then let me know – tell me the cool little places off the beaten path I should visit, the tourist attractions which are actually worth seeing and anything else you think I should know about the following locations. At the moment I just want Europe tips, my other holidays can wait.

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

The home of the cider which got me into cider: Koppaberg. Obviously a big thing for me to do is find a cool bar and down a few of these with the locals.
Drottningholm Palace
Stockholm Old Tour
Boat ride through the Stockholm canals
Flippin’ Burger (they. look. amazing)
Gondolen Bar (touristy, but amazing views)
IKEA
Vasa Museum (a museum full of incredibly preserved shipwrecks!)

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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
Cabaret Voltaire
Heidi and Tell burger
Opera House
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LISTEN: Last week I went to St Pancras church for a gig. I know, I know, it doesn’t exactly sound like a riot. However, I ended up having a great time (the fact that they were selling a can of cider for £3 greatly enabled this. Turns out drinking in church is a cheap way to get pissed. I guess being drunk in a church is better than getting lied to there, right? BUUUURN).

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The gig was a mix of artists, and some stand up poets,  and the beautiful church was the perfect way to see them. The event started with Tara Minton in the rafters, playing a piece on the organ, accompanied by her singing. The echoes the church created added to the atmosphere greatly. When she’d finished, she appeared on stage a short while later and took up a seat by her harp.

Now, I LOVE harps. Firstly because the strings are wound SO tight and it amazes me that people are able to play them for long periods of time. Secondly because they sound divine. Minton’s harp playing was incredible. She’s previously covered Joni Mitchell classics live, which I’d have loved to had seen, but no such luck this time around. The musical was still beautiful, and she has such a great voice too – everything fit together perfectly.

Next up was a female duo, one singer, one guitar player, walk onto the stage. The guitarist starts up and I’m immediately loving the music as her style is old, dirty, New Orleans style soul rock and roll. Pretty much anything with ‘NEW ORLEANS’ stamped all over it I love, so naturally this got my attention. The guitar player was hugely talented and the singer’s voice was also amazing. The guitar definitely took centre stage though.

What followed was a mix of stand up poets and other solo guitar players. The male poet declared himself to not be any woman’s saviour or master and in a funny, but poignant way, listed everything a woman does (and does not) expect from a man – rebuffing every expectation. The female poet was, unfortunately, more forgettable, but perhaps she just chose a less engaging piece than the guy did.

Finally, Sam Green and the Midnight Heist came on stage, much to the crowd’s pleasure. This was their last show in a long tour and if it weren’t for the drunk dickhead girl next to me who thought she was hot as well as a good singer and dancer (she was none) then their set was perfection. Plenty of energy, no faults. The engaged with the audience thanking them for their support and talking about their tour so far. Their style is guitar-based honkey tonk-esque alternative rock and you could resist bopping along to every song in their set.

However, my favourite act of the night still has to be Tara Minton. Take a listen below and tell me you’re impressed, I dare ya.

LOVE: The below is a message to all of my friends (female, mainly). Not one of my female friends has managed to not be completely be screwed over by a guy. They either assault them, cheat on them, control them, emotionally blackmail them or dump them for no reason.

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Now, I am well aware that my friends are choosing the wrong guys and that not all men treat women badly. However, it’s becoming more and more common for me to hear about a friend getting completely screwed over or abused by a guy and it frustrates me. Firstly because no one is perfect, but my friends are good people. They deserve far better.

There is no more I can say without my judgement  being clouded by the idiots that have treated my friends badly: as I said, I’m well aware there are many, many guys who would never treat a woman in such a shitty way. And, I’m also well aware that there are lots of women out there who act like total dicks towards men too. However, this rant is because I’m at he end of my tether and I just want to MOAN.

Basically: if the nice guys would like to make themselves known to one of my single friends, that’d be just swell.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Science Museum, Bombay Bicycle Club and Valentine’s Day

15 Feb

EAT: About 10 years ago, Gourmet Burger Kitchen was really cool. It was by no means the first place to dedicate themselves to awesome burgers… however there are so many great burger places now, I stopped visiting GBK because it always falls short.

However, aside from Hache, in South Kenensington there ain’t many good burger joints. Plus I have a Tastecard trial, and you can get BOGOF at GBK with Tastecard, so off I went.

You know what? It wasn’t bad at all. I haven’t been there for about 6 years, but the menu is a lot better that last time I visited. No crazy long list of specialty burgers. Just a wide range of either beef, chicken or veggie options.

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I went for the Blue Cheese Blackened Chicken burger – but because I’m a fussy beyach, I swapped the blue cheese coleslaw for their regular house-slaw. I also had sweet potato fries with bacon aioli. The burger was good, but not amazing. Chicken was tender, sesame seed bun was underwhelming (I’m a fan of brioche, like all good Londoners), but the coleslaw was nice. However, the sweet potato fries were wonderful. Sweet and crispy and the bacon aioli was so wonderful I was inspired to try and make my own (it didn’t turn out well, the less said about that the better).

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I’d give the burger a 6/10, but the sides were better than that. I was glad to go back and try GBK after years of ignoring it (and the money off via Tastecard obviously made it more appealing). I think it’s worth the money, but if you’re looking for a GREAT burger, it’s still not the place to go. unless you’re a veggie: then you have to take what you can get, and you can get a really good falafel burger at GBK. Veggie or not, always, ALWAYS get the bacon aioli though. Yum.

SEE: I only took one photo at the Science Museum, but that was because I was having too much fun. Basically, so long as you’re a fan of rational thought and you’re not a creationist, head here. Immediately.

My trip there started at the cafe, having a catch up with my friend. We then went on to an exhibition called Mind Maps, Stories from Psychology. It was really interesting and also more comprehensive than I thought it would be. I could have done with it being a little more interactive (after all, if you’re learning about the human brain how better to test the theories than on yourself?).

I also went to their IMAX cinema to see ‘Under the Sea’. Which was AMAZING. The 3D film is breath taking, funny, sad – and around 50 minutes long, so worth every penny. The effects were absolutely amazing (did I already say amazing? I think I did) and I really want to go back and see the Space film they have.

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There’s also a big section of the Museum dedicated to engineering. Plenty of RAF planes, engines and there’s even an RAF flight simulator. It’s only £6 and you get to feel what it’s like to fly in the Red Arrows (I only went on this because I got the ticket half price, not sure I’d have been so enamored if I’d paid the full £6 for the experience. HOWEVER: the 360 flight simulator (£12) was so much fun. You basically get to control the pod and it’s as if you’re flying a plane. The pod you’re in turns 360 degrees and my friend ensured that for at least half the ride we were hanging completely upside down.

Basically, the science museum is a great place to go alone. A wonderful place to have fun with friends. And SO great for dates. Want to go see an incredible film, followed by an intriguing exhibition, followed by hanging upside down for 5 minutes?

Exactly. That’s what EVERYONE wants.

LISTEN: I had to review So Long, See You Tomorrow recently (see my review here) and the latest Bombay Bicycle Club is a actually pretty great. R&B production, great dance tunes and plenty of memorable tunes. Luna is a highlight – nearly as joyous as Shuffle (my ultimate Happy Tune) and I dare you not to at least shuffle to this song. Enjoy.

LOVE: I’ve decided the worst thing about Valentine’s Day isn’t not having a partner. It’s realising that everyone else you know has partners and I didn’t even have a single friend I could spend the evening with, taking the piss out of everyone succumbing to the Hallmark holiday.

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Singletons could just spend the day remembering the following: you don’t have it all but no one else does either. Or you could just reflect on the above. Either way, chill.

Rotary Bar & Diner, The Box Soho, Quadron/Bear & the Woods and do first, demand later

21 Nov

It’s been a strange week. Or two. Or three. In this time period I have been to a gig which my ex attended and didn’t punch him. I was also the recipient of hug therapy. I decided upon my tattoo and have sent my ideas to the tattoo studio. I went to a Soho sex club and got so drunk I mistook a t-shirt and phone charger for fireworks (don’t ask).

EAT: I’ve had my eye on the The Rotary Bar & Diner for absolutely ages, but I don’t find myself near Old Street that often so I haven’t had a chance to sample their amazing looking Fried Chicken Roll.

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This is no longer the case. My friend and I rocked up, sat down and had what can only be described as an amazing burger. The burger comes with ‘dripping chips’, which are essentially fries dipped in some kind of yummy goodness to give them a bit of an aftertaste. The Fried Chicken Roll comes in a brioche bun and includes, err, fried chicken, lettuce, red onions, American cheese and bun sauce (not sure what was in it, by my god was it good).

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The burger and fries are £12 and totally worth it. Unsurprisingly it didn’t really go with the rose wine we also had, but the oreo cheesecake we shared afterwards did. I have to admit, the oreo cheesecake wasn’t as good as it should have been –  the portion is big, but doesn’t taste of oreo or any kind of chocolate.

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Should warn you that the service wasn’t particularly astounding. Everything took a very long time to come and there just weren’t enough people to cope with the diners. On the plus side, when the food did come it was awesome. Definitely worth going for a bite to eat – but hurry. It’s due to close in around 30 days so head over there as soon as possible!

SEE: I went to The Box in Soho and it. was. awesome. I was there for a Twitter event and as soon as I walked in with my work colleagues I was given a ginger cocktail of some sort and ushered into the main room.

The Box is essentially ” a place of mystique, mystery and sexual openness”. Before any of the speakers came on to the stage, a hoop was lowered from the ceiling and a performer in flesh coloured underwear climbed inside and twirled around for 10 minutes. Y’know – did the splits, looked sexy, lalalalala. the speakers included Alistair Campbell and the Creative Director currently putting together the strategy for Virgin Galactic and… some crap comedian.

After they’d done their bit, the open bar was pounced on and the entertainment began. The things I remember are hazy, but I know that the show was extravagant and ‘indecent’. There was an amazing singer basically followed around the room by burlesque dancers. This was followed by a ripped guy in tight pants gyrating on stage – who then proceeded to get into a hoop and gyrate some more (gymnastics stylee). The final act was sexy and very surreal. A woman comes on stage, dances a bit and then does a head stand. When she spreads her legs, there’s a head down there. As in –  a mannequin’s head, attached to her underwear, to look as though her pelvis it its neck.

She essentially walked around the stage on her hands, using her legs as arms and freaking everybody out. However, when she stripped off and started pretending to get intimate with the head between her legs… well, I was going to stay she started to turning everyone on, but I think everyone was probably too drunk to comprehend what was actually happening, let alone want to get involved.

Anyway, the place also has a beautiful carpeted hallway and staircase, dimly lit and leads to the secret room upstairs. I didn’t go in because this area is reserved for specially invited guests, who on a usual night at The Box are specially selected to watch a more ‘adult’ show.

Needless to say the place certainly has an atmosphere. The entertainment was one of a kind and not what you’d expect to find behind the unassuming wooden doors in a small Soho alleyway. If you get the chance to go inside, do so. It’s an interesting place to have a wild night.

LISTEN: I went to two gigs last week, so I’m going to post a short, SHORT summary of each followed by a video for your viewing pleasure.

First up: Quadron. Last time I saw Quadron Coco (lead singer) wasn’t anywhere near as sassy and confident on stage as she is now. She engages with the crowd more. She more sure of the songs and herself. The band now know how to put on a first class show. The music was amazing and Coco’s voice was faultless. The music can be best described as electro-soul. The tunes are catchy and the one below is from their new album Avalanche.

I also went to go and see a band called Bear & the Woods who describe themselves as Folk’n’Roll. The thing that strikes you about Bear & the Woods is how ‘real’ they are. On stage they drink, they cheer, they get the crowd involved – they love what they do but they also love interacting with the people they’re doing it for. Their lyrics are also insanely relate-able: they’re one of those bands where you can pick a particular line from any one song and it’s going to make an impression on you. Buoyancy Aids is a song which is written with a sense of humour: “I’m not clever and I’m not all there, I look a bit mental and I hope you don’t care. I can’t write songs and my lyrics are shit and half the time I’m stoned off my tits”. Trust me, the guys can write. Their first video is below.


LOVE: When people talk about love, sex, relationships the phrase “it’s all about give and take” is often thrown around. However, I’ve decided my attitude to sex needs a different line.

The line is: don’t think you’re entitled to anything unless you’re willing to provide it too.

(Yes I’m sure there’s a far better way to phrase that, but meah). Let me explain.

I once had a guy tell me that the only ‘demand’ he makes of women he sleeps with is that ‘they’re shaved’ (met him on Tindr, obviously did not sleep with him I’d just like to clarify). No problem. However when I tested him and said that’s all I demand too, the idea of him shaving off his leg hair, pubic hair and armpit hair (funnily enough) didn’t thrill him. Now, it’s not that I actually would have demanded that. But my point is that you absolutely cannot demand something of someone if you’re not willing to do the same.

Another example. The number of women I have spoken to, or overheard on the train, moaning about how they went down on their guy and then he didn’t return the favour. It amazes me when a guy is absolutely ecstatic when a gal gives head but doesn’t even make the offer of doing the same to you. Not only is it shitty of them and unfair, but it’s absolutely never going to result in good sex.

Basically: I’ll do what you want. Not a problem. Make your demands as crazy as you like. But you’ve just gotta promise that you’ll do it first. There’s an irritating number of guys and gals who’ll make demands and never volunteer. If you’re stuck with someone like this then there’s only one thing to say to them:

 

Eat/See/Love: Copenhagen

12 Oct

Last week I blogged about my time in Berlin. I went straight from Berlin and flew into Copenhagen, Denmark (it’s insanely close – only a 50 minute flight and only cost £20 to get from one to the other).

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Anyway, when I arrived the Danish Krone and the language confused the hell out of me. I very soon realised everyone speaks English – which helped, obviously, but I dislike going somewhere and not having the locals at least let me TRY and mis-pronounce their language! The Danish Krone is also a bit confusing – it’s around £12.50 per 100DK – hopefully that’ll help any Brits heading there.

Getting from the airport to the center of town took 15 minutes on the metro. The metro only has two lines and public transport is VERY expensive in Copenhagen – when people say it’s an expensive city they REALLY mean it.

That aside, it’s an absolutely incredible city. Beautiful. With so much to do. Full of lovely people. And now I’m going to rave about the highlights of my trip.

EAT: So, we all know that most of my food blogs are about my hunt for the best burger in London. Now, previously, I’ve stated that the best burger in Europe is in Barcelona. However… I may have been wrong about that.

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SAY WHAT?

Ok, so Halifax burger started in 2007 and is the brainchild of two brothers. There are now four Halifax burger joints in Copenhagen and dear god I wish they’d bring one to London.

The menu is amazing – you build a burger from scratch, so there’s around 10 different options for EVERYONE, beef, chicken and veggie eaters. You pick your ‘type’ of burger (all named after cities), then pick the type of bun you want, then pick your burger (beef, chicken or two different veggie options), your side sauce, your ‘side’ (ranging from fries and wedges to onions rings and salad) and VOILA.

I went for the ‘Zurich’ burger: instead of the bread on top, you get a potato, onion and herb rosti, topped with garlic and herb butter. You also get sweet chilli fried mushrooms, lettuce, red onion, pickled cucumber (which FYI is AWESOME). Then I went for a white bun, chicken burger, potato wedges and aioli.

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It is absolutely fucking incredible. The rosti is amazing and is lighter and FAR tastier than a bun on top. The salad is fresh and everything is made from scratch each morning – so needless to say the aioli is amazing. In fact, it’s the best aioli I’ve ever had and I get it everywhere I see it. The chicken is perfectly tender and pickle cucumber tastes GREAT.

The wedges are also beautifully done – the seasoning has a kick, but isn’t spicy. And paired with the aioli they’re divine. Basically, I would like to start a long-term (and unfortunately long-distance) relationship with this burger. For the entire meal it’s also ‘only’ around £15 (135DK). If you go to Copenhagen you’d be a fool to give this place a miss. There are a load of other burger options aside from the ‘Zurich’ (for example, the ‘Liverpool’ burger is essentially English breakfast in a burger: lettuce, tomato, onion, HP sauce, cheddar, bacon and a fried egg): beautiful. Also, their Danish apple cider is great and bizarrely only costs about 20p more than a glass of cola, so definitely give that a try too.

SEE: When I was in Copenhagen, I did the obvious things and visited the Little Mermaid and Trivoli Park. However, my visit to Christiana was the most interesting.

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Christiana is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of about 850 residents. The authorities in Copenhagen regard Christiania as a large commune, but the area has a unique status in that it is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989 which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen to the state. The Danish authorities have overlooked the cannabis trade there for a while, however they have now stated in order for Christiana to truly govern  themselves, they need to purchase the land they’re on from the government. So, the area is open to locals and tourists and they sell all sorts in order to raise funds.

The place is unique – it has a ‘Green Light District’ which takes up most of the area open to the public – but you can’t photos there (basically because if the Danish government saw photos of the pot being smoked and sold there they’d freak out). The place is quite incredible – their ‘rules’ are pretty much: love each, cause each other no harm and be happy.

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There’s a bar, some restaurants and the food there looked amazing. However, I went to the bar (duh) and asked for a cider. Carlsberg is brewed in Copenhagen and they now have their own cider, which is yummy. However, I was given the option to have a ‘Cactus’ version of the cider, rather than apple or pear – which obviously I went for. It tasted nice.. possibly illegally good.

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The place is full of street art and reggae is all that’s played. The residents seem bemused at the popularity of the place with tourists, but also proud that they’ve taken a stand. Definitely worth taking a stroll to if you have a spare 2 hours.

SEE: Another see, of course. This time I’m going to recommend a Flea Market. Flea markets are kind of a big deal in Copenhagen, and at the weekend you’ll find them popping up all over the place. I went to one next to the Assistens Cemetery (a stunning place in itself, home to the dead body of Hans Christian Anderson…) which was good, but not as good as the vintage flea market that popped up next to the Town Hall (near Trivoli Park).

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I came across someone selling a vintage Cola bottle, unopened, selling for about £20. The bottle dated to the 1950s and I totally would have got it if they’d let me carry the bloody thing in my hand luggage. Anyway, you should go and check out one of the markets if you have time There are loads of great (and terrible) things for sale, so have a hunt.

LOVE: Copenhagen isn’t as sexy as London. It’s not as romantic as Paris. It’s not as S&M as Berlin. However, it’s so charming I think it need to become an alternative romantic getaway place.

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Copenhagen is a city to walk around. Transport is expensive (tickets only last one hour, which is petty useless really when they’re around £5 a pop). Or, it’s a city of boat around. The canals and the lakes all have options for you to float on the water and quite frankly, it was all painfully happy couples doing so. WHATEVER. Anyway – floating and strolling around the city is definitely something best done with a partner I reckon. I spent 7 hours walking the city one day and I ended up just swearing at how much my feet hurt or singing to myself, At one point I sang all the songs from the Little Mermaid in a row and then got annoyed I couldn’t remember all the words. Pretty sure I need saving from myself 90% of the time…

So, go. Go eat great food. Go see beautiful sites. But do it with someone. As much fun as I had making friends in the hostels I stayed in and exploring the city for myself it would have been more fun with someone else there. True, I’m already planning my next solo trip – but, the main reason you need someone else there isn’t for the chat. Or the romance. Or to save you from the loneliness. It’s because I was only in ONE SODDING PHOTO from my holiday because I hate selfies. Bring a camera person and you’re sorted.

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