Monday, July 30, 2007

The Polo

W's reaction to my account of the Cartier Polo.

Darling, you desperately want to be British and upper-class!

My response, after an appropriate scoff:
Sweetie, I am all those things ... maybe not quite British!
Followed by a Patsy ala AbFab laughter.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Marquess Tavern

This could easily become the local favourite. A romantic setting in the heart of leafy Canonbury. Why hadn't I found it? It took Gingercake to suggest it for our catch up last Friday night. We talked and talked over a plate of devilled whitebait and made a fair attempt at one of their huge steaks. This is the bit that will have me coming back - the steak board. All their steaks are 28 Day Hung Forerib of Angus Beef, all proudly listed on a blackboard each with their weight and price.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Groove Armada live ... it had been a while. Missing them at Space in Ibiza a few weeks back ... Later I heard their set wasn't the best but I didn't waste any time in booking myself a spot at this year's Lovebox.

It has come a long way since humble festival beginnings in 2002. The 2004 version at Clapham Common was small and only the true fans managed to secure one of the 20,000 tickets. It seemed amazingly small, everywhere you turned there was a familiar face! Yesterday had some of that ... bumping into one of the randoms. That look, sky smile, followed by the mutual ignorance. Cute, I had to smile to myself.

No longer an afternoon gig, but a weekend event. As soon as you got through the gates it seemed like a proper festival. The adventurous had brought their young offspring. Lots of space, organic food, fairy floss. Carnivalle/techno dancers ... apparently the current rage in New York, that tent complete with trannies at the door ...

GR were fantantastic. Always find it amazing how they can work up a crowd in a big open space. I leave you with someone else's YouTube clip

Friday, July 20, 2007

Being Female is ...

... thinking it is ok to walk into Hotel Chocolat before 9am, purchase chocolate truffles, consume whole packet with morning coffee ...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

JB and Giorgio

The excitement was just too great! The day had been awaited for months. That morning I could hardly stand still. Running errands to keep the jitters at bay. Popping into Gap for impulse shopping just to occupy myself.

JB walking into my London pad, such a long awaited moment. We have spent countless hours over the last six years talking and emailing decorating ideas, for the homes we have and the ones we aspire to. The exhilaration to have her finally in my home. The next two hours of non-stop conversation, both of us try to talk at the same time. The drama of dead phones and lost directions, and then the three way reunion with D's arrival. Making it to Locanda in the nick of time. Giorgio at the front desk to greet us, just the perfect accompaniment.

The food did not disappoint one bit. I started with cured pork neck, accompanied by crisp watercress and picked onions. My main was rolled pork with herbs, again an enticing option. For me the conquering factor, as always, was dessert. A warm chocolate fondant, which had just the right consistency and level of bitter sweetness.
Uniting old and new friends over delicious food and fantastic wine. Not always a winning combination, but that night was a success! New friendships were born and old ones cemented over an expertly selected Sangiovese, followed by a fuller bodied Chianti.

Speaking of members bars recently. There is nothing better than talking your way into one, sans membership or reservation. They tried to make us wait to get into the regular bar, but with a sweet smile and the right words, before I knew it the door was wide open. Like I have always insisted ... it pays to put your charm to good use, or failing that to have cute friends :-) The remainder of the evening spent at a cosy table in the Purple Bar, complete with perfect martinis (Purple French followed by The Berry Wall), great company and priceless conversation. Off home in the nick of time at 2am. Getting up at 5.30am to catch an early flight ... not so priceless.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back home

I always look forward to come back to the familiar scent of home. It has only been a week away, but now it seems I had taken refuge into another world. And now am back ... and happy to be back.

A lot to digest ... a grandparent's birthday milestone, my closest cousin's wedding, to be back in Sofia, and that night out with JB and Danni. It will come your way in dribs and drabs.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ibiza Follow Up

Part 2 of the JB and AlphaChick reunion is in two days time. The plan so far ... 24 hours ... London ... hopefully sun makes an appearance ... cocktails ... Locanda Locatelli

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Shoreditch House

At the Cartier Polo we all want to be in the Chinawhite tent. At Ascot it was the Movida after party. A few years ago we all wanted to find ourselves in front of the coveted unmarked entry to Milk & Honey, for knowing the exact address was a privilege on its own. Londoners crave that special tag. Why is that? Is it because all the best places require membership, or at the very least a reservation well ahead? Well ... yes!

The newest Soho House addition to the London private member circuit Shoreditch House. I keep thinking when will this city get tired of it all the exclusivity. Well ... never! It keeps it ticking. The harder it is to get into a place, the more you want to be there.

Shoreditch House is very much worth its membership fee and more. Nestled across the top three floors of an East London warehouse-like building (what is known locally as the 'TEA Building') it is like an utopia above all the hustle and traffic noise. My member friend tells me the gym is great and on par with his previous fitness abode. The rooftop heated pool is the gem at the top of the crown. It sits alongside an outside bar, where the tables are arranged around an open spit roast. And in between, the industrial space is full of cosy furniture. Open space, which despite the sheer size feels like walking in someone's home. The dining room has long tables with candle holders dramatically dripping scented wax. The french provincial sideboards laden with fresh bread reinforce the homeliness. If you are a local to East London, the call to be a member or not would have been an easy one.

We sampled it all ... caipirinhas, sunset on the roof, duck from the spit-roast, dessert in the candle lit dinning room later. Beautiful night! The setting was one thing, it was the company that really made!!

I am thinking that my persona may be far too fickle to commit to a membership at one place, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the privilege any less. I loved Shoreditch House (if I am lucky I may be invited again) and look forward to gracing the mysterious Milk & Honey later this week.

Sag Factor

Walking along Upper Street this afternoon, I am confronted with the sight of an elderly gentleman (I think homeless), bending over with his trousers around his ankles. I didn't stick around to find out exactly what he was trying to achieve. One observation was made ... It is not only women who need to worry about the 'sag factor' associated with advancing age ...