Monday, 20 October 2014

The Dead Dolls Club - The Arch

Jazzy Razzmatazz 

And so begins a story, 
One of great acclaim, 
But do not take it lightly, 
You’ll have yourself to blame.



It starts inside an archway, 
With towering ceilings high, 
An entrance unassuming, 
Do not just walk on by.


Speckles of light surround you, 
From the giant mirror ball, 
And with the swinging jazz band, 
Head over heels you’ll fall.



Welcome to the Dead Dolls Club
A gem I’d like to share, 
My addiction is well rooted, 
Each Friday I’ll be there.


LA street food have a pop up, 
With dishes quite sublime, 
Not to come and visit, 
Would be a heinous crime.



I can’t express my feelings, 
Of adoration for this place, 
Just stepping through the doorway, 
Will bring a smile to your face.


So I urge you one and all, 
To hop to Bethnal Green, 
It will make you just as cheerful 
As a jumping jelly bean!


A HUGE thank you must go to Matt from the wonderful Matt the list for tipping me off about this fabulous hideout. Make sure to check out his blog for multitudes of good sense!

The Jazz band that have officially stolen my heart are The Kansas Smitty's. Curated by the delightful Giacomo Smith on Saxophone, the group features exceptional young talent that will have you captivated in a second. The enchanting vocals from Pete Horsfall can melt the room with a single note and leave you dreaming of decades past, so go on .. what's stopping you!

Friday, 17 October 2014

London Brunch

Brunching in London

Delightfully suspended not simply between breakfast and lunch, brunch is quickly becoming an all encompassing excuse for a meal of whatever, whenever, wherever. At the weekend, Brunch really comes into its own and whether it’s an all you can eat feast, seven course’s worth of dim sum or an excuse to get your booze on at 11 in the morning, I’ve come up with a little brown list of my top haunts to satisfy those irregular rumblings.


A Little Brunch list


For a laugh and a half
Bunga Bunga - Battersea
(Think all you can eat pizza and antipasti, unlimited prosecco and a daytime party fiesta)!

For a taste of the Orient
Flesh and Buns - Covent Garden
(More unlimited prosecco, signature flesh and buns galore and toilets that will entertain).

Hakkasan - Fitzrovia
(For a splash out afternoon of the best dim sum in London).

For cosy comfort
Riding House Cafe - Fitzrovia
(A delightfully relaxing escape from the nightmare of Oxford Street).

For a little bit of this and that
Pix - Angel, Notting Hill, Covent Garden
(All the things on sticks).

For duck and waffle
Duck & Waffle - Liverpool Street
(Sky high dining - the duck and waffle is a total winner).

For sophisticated ease
The Delaunay - Aldwych
(White table cloths, shining silver, and a super friendly doorman).

Nopi - Soho
(Suave and scrumptious tastes of the Middle East from Ottolenghi).

For an Indian feast
Dishoom - Shoreditch
(Vintage interior and wonderful wafts of chai).

For effortless cool
Caravan - Kings Cross 
(Pick-me-up coffee, avocado on sour dough and all the cool kids).

For relaxation stations
The Proud Archivist - Haggerston
(A lovely canal-side spot with a gallery for your culture hit).

For playful plates
The Parlour - Kensal Rise
(Fun which doesn't compromise on taste, the best menu names around)! 


And if that hasn't tickled your fancy, here are some great posts from across the web for extra inspiration.






So my wonderful readers, because I'm sure I've missed a ton, what are your favourite London brunch spots that should be added to the list?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Cecil's

Oriental Twist

Once upon a time in a faraway land, 
Lived a lantern a spring roll and a Cabaret band. 
This jazzy group found their home underground,
Amongst dancers and drag queens, the finest around.




The hustle and bustle of their homely abode, 
Enticed many a visitor from each post code.
With cocktails, glitter balls and giggles galore, 
It's impossible to see why they'd wish for more!



But here is the rub, the bee in their bonnet, 
And the reason behind my sweet little sonnet.
While Cecil's is hidden near London Bridge station, 
It is tucked away from most civilisation.


Only the most very special have heard,
And should make it their mission to help spread the word.
You can order Chinese, straight to your table,
And munch on as many spring rolls as you're able.


Each Saturday is tea time,
A 1930's affair.
On Thursday's it's Cabaret,
Hop along if you dare!



But the best thing of all, the true fascination,
Is the fun to be had is beyond explanation.
You'll be taken on a journey, back in time,
Only then will you understand my imploring rhyme!



So stop what you're doing and turn on the spot.
Grab your mates, your dates and then off you trot,
To this oriental den of entertaining scandal, 
Let's see just how much you are able to handle!




Find restaurant information on Zomato

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Vapiano

Pizza Pronto

Since embarking upon my blogging journey, there's a chance I might have become a total chain snob. I’ll skip on past Pizza Express and (#sorrynotsorry) Nando’s without even acknowledging their presence. However, this chain snobbery was forced to waiver when I had a truly lovely trip to Vapiano and their 150th branch in Europe that has recently settled onto Wardour Street in Soho.

Vapiano is all about Italian favourites, freshly prepared infront of you at smile inducing speed. We collected our special Vapiano cards and marched off to find somewhere to sit. 



Set over two floors, Vapiano is surprisingly expansive. Lively and brightly lit upstairs then slightly more moody with a blue glow cast by the Italian cityscape wall to the back of the room down below. We chose to be swathed in this bluey light and settled down amongst the basil.

Trip numero uno to the counter led us to an antipasti feast. We ordered a proscuto and mozzarella laden board of tasty.






A fabulous salad mix topped with grilled beef, king prawns, roasted vegetables and parmesan shavings became the apple of my partner in crime's eye while I manoeuvred my way around the plate of antipasti. 

Our second adventure was in search of Pizza and Pasta so we launched ourselves over to Gabriele at the counter who was to be our pasta maestro for the evening and hello beard!

After umming and ahhing over the extensive choice of dishes, we ummed and ahhed a bit more over which pasta to choose. 



Next up was the pizza decision making process and feeling adventurous, we opted for a fig and honey topping. We were handed a cheeky little device which would flash at us and vibrate when our pizza was ready to collect. 

After a necessary moment of childishness, we went to grab our plates of Italian deliciousness, fresh out the pan(slash)oven. 



There was something strangely satisfying about carrying our own trays, laden high with steaming pizza and pasta to the table and plonking (/gracefully placing) them down in front of us gave us some sort of completion. Or maybe it was because we knew as soon as we sat down, we could start tucking in orrr, I think I’m reading too much into this .. let’s quit while I’m ahead.

(apologies for the grainy picture, my eagerness to tuck in caused some major photographic neglect)!

Monsieur Vapiano man, delightfully printed on the tray for all to enjoy seemed to have become truly at peace with his chunk of cheese. While we didn't quite reach the same state of ecstasy, the meal had made its way firmly into our good books! Lets take a moment to gaze at him a little longer...

...Aand I'm back. Somehow, we ignored the protestations of our stomachs and leapt into two miniature desert pots - cheesecake and tiramisu. Since Tiramisu is a particular favourite of mine (ever since I got over my fear of what lies beneath the cocoa dusting) and somewhere along the line I began a cheesecake hunt of London, my standards were (perhaps) unfairly high. However, while not the best I've had, they were certainly a satisfactory end to a great meal. 

While somehow we managed to entertain ourselves for a couple of hours, the advantage of Vapiano, is that if you want a quick bite in a bustling restaurant environment, you can be guaranteed to have your food without the stomach rumbling wait. Make sure to take a glance at the magical tree in the center of the room (although you can't exactly miss it)!

And don't forget to grab a handful of gummy bears on your way out (although please use the spoon and hope that other people have as well).




Find the menu on Zomato

Vapiano on Urbanspoon