Date with a Diner.

Be not alarmed this post is not about me actually attempting to go on a date! Note the word attempting, because whenever I do actually go on a food related luncheon or evening meal I end up looking like an T-Rex trying to eat spaghetti i.e. date fail. No this post is about the most American, the most Fantastic, the most Nom Diner ever. It is known simply as “The Diner”, so simple and elegant in it’s phrasing it hides the complex genius hidden under it’s seemingly shallow façade.

The reason I’ve written this post in a rather over the top and quite frankly disturbingly descriptive way is not because I’m aspiring to have my work praised on forums like Wattpad, but because I really feel I should emulate how American and over the top this place is. No where else have I been able to find this quality of ‘fries’ (the quote marks because to us Brits they are and will always be chips). Not only are these ‘fries’ amazing (think salty, crunchy goodness), but they also come with two sidekicks, cheese and chilli. The Americans aren’t famed for doing much right (saying this with the risk of offending any Yanks) think Jersey Shore and dare I say it…*whispers* Iraq. However food, especially fatty feel good food is something I can conclude they do well.

If you are ever in any of the following locations: Camden, Shoreditch, Islington, Soho and (newly opened) Covent Garden. Try to pay The Diner a visit. Having been to three out of the five  mentioned I feel Soho is the best. Camden’s Diner is a bit quieter whenever I’ve been and I just don’t get the same feel. Soho is always vibrant and very busy. Even with the busy crowds of diners the waiting staff are great and the food wait time is minimal.

The Diner in Shoreditch is a bit hit and miss, the area is OK, sandwiched between some building and a cafe so hipster it oozes pretension. The easiest way to get to the Shoreditch Diner  is to take a tube to Old Street and walk. The walk is crap.  As a women, while walking to The Diner I felt that at any time I may get relived of my handbag or raped. On a positive note the diner itself is actually quite nice, if small. The Shoreditch branch was the original Diner, and it feels like it. Out of the three The Diner in Shoreditch felt the most ‘authentic’ and the least like a chain. However before visiting you have to prepare yourself for the clientèle. While some punters are lovely and friendly, there are A LOT, I repeat A LOT of hipsters.

The menu in all the diners is basically the same. The Blue Plates are not what you are there for. Go for a burger and any one of there large selection of chips. My vegetarian friend is also a fan of The Diner and he assures me that the veggie options are pretty good. For drinks the Root-beer and Milkshakes are to be recommended. The Milkshakes although pricey are HUGE, so big in fact that the extra gets served in a metal cup.

So to recap, do try to go to at least one of The Diners. The food is great (if you like that sort of thing), just avoid the hipsters that gravitate to the image and you’ll be fine.

http://www.goodlifediner.com/

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I’m back

I’m back now. After a long period of doing nothing, drinking lots of tea and panicking, I’m officially back. I plan to upload quite a few posts over the next few days.

No one told me university would be THIS stressful! Unfortunately to add to my stress, the administration is utterly incompatent with regards to informing its students about what the hell is actually going on! So to stop myself form going bat shit crazy just before exams I have taken to having a constant supply of Earl Grey on hand, simples.

PopUpShopUp

I know this post is very out of date, but I love the events that PopUpShop do. They always have something fun going on in London. To find out more about things coming up soon sign up to their mailing lists. Visit http://www.popupshopup.com/Security/login?BackURL=%2F or for ‘real-time’ updates follow them on twitter @PopUpShopUp.

Dinner, Drinks and Winter Indulgence

The Disappearing Dining Club is bounding back and they mean business! Too Much is Never Enough, The admirably titled popup shop & restaurant is a four course discovery whereby each floor of the building is, well, a course! Set in stunning Grade II listed Victorian corner terrace, 123, look up when you arrive you’ll clap eyes on a neon sign by established artist Olivia Steele. The visit lasts around 2hrs and for £50pp, welcome cocktails are followed by mini-Winter Soups and Potted Meats in Menswear, a 2nd floor East End boys club that tells the story of Modern Buckles, the previous occupiers of 123, (and a front for a network of illegal gun suppliers!). Mains are served up in a stylishly dressed boudoir with historic nudes. Settle down at a huge sharing table with giant cast iron hot pots of Coq au Vin, vegetable Stews & tasty winter salads. Desserts are down in the Bunker Café with a glass of Spiced Rum & Mince Pies, British Cheeses and dessert cocktails. They’ve got late night fun till midnight. Djs and dinner – Heaven!

Where?
123, Bethnal Green Road, E2 6AB
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green

When?
22nd November – 22nd December 2011
Opening Times:
6-9pm

How?
Call 07432833039 or email or pop in store and speak to the staff

Southbank Sojourns

Walking along the Southbank is the cheapest and most fun way to spend a few hours in London. Pictured above are some scenes taken from a seating area near the OXO tower that overlooks some of the best scenery London has to offer. Pictured on the left is the OXO tower itself and on the right is the beautiful view of the Thames overlooking sights such as St.Pauls and the Gerkin, most famously associated with the BBC series ‘The Apprentice’, and from where many a hopeful Lord Sugar-ite has had their hopes and dreams pulled from under their feet. St. Pauls is the building that most strikes me whenever I pass by (especially at night when the whole thing is stunningly lit). The building was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and this masterpiece rose up out of the ashes. In 1669 Sir Christopher Wren set about creating the new structure that would replace the old, with the help of Nicholas Hawksmoor. Influenced strongly by the Indigo-Jones designed façade from the 1630’s, Wren produced a building that combined Renaissance and Baroque elements with a geometric form. Overall I think the building is such a striking symbol of London and it’s landscape. Although people would argue the Houses of Parliament and ‘Big Ben’ (The Clock Tower) are perhaps more well known by tourists, I personally prefer the stark colour of the cathedral juxtaposed to the ornamental scrolls and decorative features that are characteristic of the Baroque especially.

Moving away from the arty aesthetic side of things, I recently discovered a gem when walking along the Southbank, about a 30 second walk from where the pictures above were taken is Gabriel’s Wharf. (http://southbanklondon.com/attraction/gabrielswharf/) It’s a small area just off the main walkway down the river where you can grab a drink or a bite to eat, or just browse the many little shops.

The areas was originally old garages that have been converted into what is actually quite beautiful and quaint retail space. The point of this space is for small businesses that design and make the majority of what they sell themselves. It’s a nice change from the  hardcore commercial feel of most of London. The area in some ways reminds be of a fairground, or bits of Brighton. I think I’m in love with this place!

I visited on a Sunday, I love the whole feel of the Southbank and the bits by the river on Sundays. I’m not sure if it’s still there now but the food market that is held around the Southbank Centre and The Royal Festival Hall is nummy (and super cheap is you go towards the end of trading hours)! Overall a lot a fun, with pretty views, a vibrant mix of people and most importantly soaking up the atmosphere doesn’t cost a penny!

I DON’T EVEN GO HERE!

I ALSO HAVE TUMBLR! It isn’t that exciting, but I have it after much deliberation. ‘Cos I’m cool like that. At least I’m not living in Shoreditch, that’s a blessing.

 

http://guppysvissticks.tumblr.com/

Cafe Deco

Cafe Deco

Cafe Deco is a cute little coffee shop right near The British Museum a short walk from SOAS, UCL and Senate House. I’ve been trying to find somewhere that does decent coffee for ages. I am unashamedly a coffee snob. After working in an Espresso House for a while I started hating the crassness that is Starbucks coffee. Having had a Mocha here (which was nummy) I can say that the coffee is fairly good quality, they don’t burn the milk, the frothy milk on top is frothy (wheey!) and bouncy like a cloud and the overall taste is nice.

The décor inside isn’t too bad either. Downstairs IS filled with very plastic looking pot plants but the american diner style booths downstairs add some quirkiness, and are kitsch (in a good way!). The food although not sampled looked pretty tasty, and the small raised patio outside is perfect for a day when you want to sit and feel chic, stylish and arty drinking a coffee reading some awfully pretentious, niche book. Will definitely visit again, this time equipped with geek chic glasses, ‘art portfolio’, and a copy of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ by Eve Ensler.

Featured Image

Justice Vs Simian

Bubbleology

Bubbleology: The ‘Delicious’ Science of Bubble Tea.

Bubbleology was recommended by a friend, so one day walking through the sex shop filled alleys of Soho with dildos poking out of every grimy corner I stumble across what I think is a haven of innocent pleasures ‘Bubbleology’.

Bubbleology produces  ‘Bubble Tea is a wide variety of refreshing flavoured fruit and milk teas served ice cold or piping hot with chewy natural tapioca balls that you suck up through a fat straw! Yum!’ If you are wondering what bubble tea is then let me explain: think cold green tea, mixed with flavours and tapioca balls either served milky or plain. I think this video will explain more about ‘Bubble tea’ and the new franchises Bubbleology franchises in the UK.

The first thing I was struck by when walking in was the colours. There are so many! The small cafe immediately made a good impression on me. The faux science equpitment set up in the window and the ‘chalkboard’ lined walls with bubble tea equations on them made the whole area seem fun and playful and ever so slightly nerdy. I purchased two types of this tea firstly just a plain Mango Pearl Tea and also Strawberry Pearl Tea. The milky teas were given a miss just because of the sheer oddness of texture which is halfway between a milkshake and water (not nice). The ‘Pearls’ in the drinks are actually Tapioca (starch) balls, and the thick straw provided with the drinks aren’t a funky post-modern art statement (as first thought), but have a practical purpose: to suck up the tapioca balls. The first time this happened I nearly choked! I wasn’t used to the strange texture and weird tastelessness that the balls have and I’m not entirely sure if I wan’t to repeat the experience! The pearls look like frog spawn and the texture leaves a lot to be desired!

Priced £3.25 for a medium and £3.75 for a large the drinks are not hugely expensive, but they do leave a dent in the pocket of a struggling student.

Overall I was not impressed with what at first seemed a fun, new, exciting enterprise. However I guess it’s all down to personal taste so I would advise you to get down to your nearest branch and taste this drink!

Bubbleology have stores 

49 Rupert St 

Soho

London

W1D 7PF                                                                                          

0207 494 4231  

                                                                        

5th Floor

Harvey Nichols

Knightsbridge

London

SW1X 7RJ

020 7235 5000      

To see more about Bubble Tea especially the controversies surrounding it see the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_tea

New Fringe!

New Hair

 

New Hair done at Sassoon’s Training Salon in Knightsbridge London.

130 SLOANE STREET
LONDON
SW1X 9AT

For appointments call : +4420 7730 7288

Victory Rolls

Victory Rolls a 40’s staple hairstyle. 

Victory Rolls was THE hairstyle of the 40’s. As a wartime hairstyle it had to be neat, practical and quick.

Victory rolls can be worked with any hair parting. Most commonly I’ve seen them parted to the side (see

picture), or symmetrically either side of a middle parting. To work them well (especially if you have long 

thick hair) I would suggest trying these on one day old hair, perhaps spritzing some dry shampoo into the

roots. The trick with victory rolls is to be PATIENT! It can be very fiddly to start with but with practice gets

so much easier.

This is a really good video to help with the basics:

Products:

Hairspray: 

Budget: L’Oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strength Haispray £5.99 (400ml) http://www.boots.co.uk 

Pay day: TIGI Bed Head Hard Head r.r.p £8.55

Mousse:

Budget: Shockwaves Curl Shaping Mousse £2.85

Pay day: Charles Worthington Front Row Big Hair Volume Mousse £6.29

Teasing comb/brush:

Budget: Vogetti Wonder Brush £2.95 ( I picked mine up for £2.50 in Toni and Guy OR Headmasters) 

Pay day: Marylin-T Teasing Brush £10.35

Dry Shampoo:

Budget: Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo (100ml) £3.01

Pay day: James Brown Hair Reviving Dry Shampoo (150ml) £7.14

Most of these products can be found on the Boots website.

 

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