Tag Archives: Soho

Bonnie Gull – an actual seafood shack
(in Soho)

Bonnie-Gull-Soho-Seafood8

I’m allergic to oysters. And Chloé is allergic to crab and lobster. So we thought we’d make the perfect pair to pop into Bonnie Gull‘s seafood shack in Soho and between us, try as many of the dishes as we could possibly manage.

And we loved it.

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– Melt Room –
Gourmet cheese toasties in Soho

Melt Room Grilled Cheese toasty

The Classic with crisp dill pickle

Good lord. This happened last week. In fact, it happened twice. And I documented the whole messy tale on Snapchat. For those of you that missed it, read on for story of bubble and ooze, which will guarantee you wanting to run to Soho NOW with your mouth wide open. It’s a look.

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‘Chef’
by Sabrina Mahfouz

Jade Anouka in Chef. Directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward. Produced by POP

One hour. Actually, 50 minutes. 50 minutes is all you need for the rollercoaster, high intensity, million emotion-packed, fizzing-with-energy play that is ‘Chef‘, written by Sabrina Mahfouz and performed by Jade Anouka. And only Jade Anouka.

And she gives it Everything. She’s. Got.

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Crosstown Doughnuts

Crosstown Doughnuts

Matcha Tea Doughnut, Creme Brûlée Doughnut – filled with vanilla custard

Last week, Crosstown Doughnuts opened their newest doors on Broadwick Street in Soho, and have pretty much sold out every day ever since.

If you’re not already familiar with them, Crosstown Doughnuts are a London gourmet artisan doughnut brand, who hand-make their hybrid sourdough & fresh bakers yeast  doughnuts every night, so they’re ready and waiting for you, gleaming in their glazes, just in time for your breakfast. And your late morning doughnut run. And afternoon tea. And dinner. (Don’t judge me.)

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Brunch at Foxcroft & Ginger

Foxcroft & Ginger brunch

Wow, it was cold on Wednesday. I wrapped myself head to toe in my cosiest cosies and headed off to Soho to meet my brother for brunch at Foxcroft & Ginger.

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– Maison Bertaux –
The Oldest Patisserie in London

Maison-Bertaux-Soho-15

Last week, Mbosh and I headed to Maison Bertaux in Soho, the oldest patisserie in London, to catch up, drink coffee and indulge in beaucoup de gateaux Francaises! (A lot of cake.)

The Bertaux family opened this wonderful café’s doors in 1871 and it was bought by Mr Vignaud in 1901. The current owner is a woman called Michelle, and she has worked there ever since she was 14, when she started as a Saturday girl under Mr Vignaud’s grandson – the then owner…

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Boots, Books, Blooms & A New Desk…
My Week in Pictures

Flowers in the window outside The Cow on Westbourne Park Road

Flowers in the window outside The Cow on Westbourne Park Road

This week has been so busy, I feel as though my feet haven’t touched the ground. I know they have though, otherwise I’d have been flying and I know THAT can’t be true, because if I could have one super power it would be invisibility. NOT flying.

As always, I’ve been busy capturing my week on Instagram and here are some of my favourites for you to peruse with a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or a Dark and Stormy. (I have discovered that I really (really) like rum.)

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Liane Carroll Trio with John Etheridge
at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho

Pizza Express

Pizza? Jazz? Pizza and jazz? Yes. Pizza and jazz. There is no better combo since jelly and ice cream. Cheese and pineapple. Um. Peanut butter and tomato! (Just me?)

If you have never been to this legendary basement jazz club, then it’s time you went. Jazz lovers have been flocking to this 120-capacity club in the heart of Soho for years, to hear and see some of the best jazz players in the world.

Pizza Express

Liane Carroll and John Etheridge at Pizza Express Jazz Club

Pizza Express

Liana Carroll at Pizza Express Jazz Club

Pizza Express

John Etheridge at Pizza Express Jazz Club

Top jazz players have been playing the club for years and more recently, more mainstream musicians like Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum, Diana Krall and Amy Winehouse all sharpened their chops here.. Also, as an audience member you really couldn’t get much more up close and personal. (Which reminds me, don’t have the chilli sauce on your pizza if you can’t hack it, or you’ll be sneezing olives into the piano. This definitely did not happen to me.)

Last Friday night I was lucky enough to catch the fantastic Liane Carroll Trio with guest guitarist-amazers, John Etheridge. John, whose career has taken him from a long-term collaboration with legendary violinist Staphane Grapelli to being a key member of seminal jazz-fusion band ‘Soft Machine,’ has a way of being completely yet understatedly brilliant.  It’s rather unnerving, how you suddenly realise that your jaw has dropped open in awe… and you have a bit of rocket in your teeth. (Again, this definitely did not happen to me.) Pat Metheney has named him as ‘one of the best guitarists in the world’ so I feel entirely justified in being utterly bowled over.

Pizza Express

Liane Carroll and John Etheridge

Pizza Express

Pizza Express

John Etheridge

Liane is dynamite on stage. Funny, self deprecating, hilarious, silly and wonderful. She is a hugely skilled and inventive singer and pianist, who manages to redefine the boundaries between jazz, pop and blues… She was joined on stage by Roger Carey on bass and Mark Fletcher on drums. Oof, they were good. I’m glad I can now do dirty whistles with my fingers – I was making a happy racket.  Her heart melting and emotional version of ‘The Nearness of You’ was my highlight.. and I still managed to whistle, even though I was sobbing into my Fiorentina pizza…

I love this jazz club. It makes me feel excited and alive and lucky to be in London. It’s moody, it’s intimate and it’s the real deal. It’s steeped in jazz history and its walls are packed to the hilt with pictures of faces gone by to prove it…

It’s a total gem of a venue and with jazz music pulsing through it seven nights a week, there will always be a gig on the horizon for you to catch.

See you there,

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Pizza Express Jazz Club
10 Dean Street
Soho, London
W1D 3RW

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‘Fleabag’
Soho Theatre, London

Fleabag 1

I haven’t laughed so much and so continuously (for a whole hour) for a very long time. In fact, I’m not sure it’s ever happened. My tummy hurt the next day. I have new stomach muscles now, thanks to the very, very clever Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Who is really annoyingly talented. I’d hate her if she hadn’t made me laugh so much and given me, what looks like to be the beginnings of a six-pack. (It’s nearly a one-pack, but you have to start somewhere.)

Fleabag Fleabag Fleabag Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is not only a very talented actress, but is also a rather spectacular playwright.  Fleabag is written and performed by the lady herself and it is now one of the most talked about plays by Soho Theatre Associate Company, DryWrite. Not bad for a debut.

This one-hour-one-woman show wowed audiences and had sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival last year, where it picked up a Fringe First award… and so now finds itself housed and perfectly located at the Soho Theatre.

Courtesy of Richard Davenport

Courtesy of Richard Davenport

This bitter-sweet and daring show lets us into the confused and complex mind of a girl in her late twenties. She’s angry, pervy, (very) confrontational, (very very) cruel, forgetful, unforgiving, flippant, capricious, but undeniably honest.

For one hour only, Fleabag lets us see the world, with all its nitty gritty, through her eyes as we follow her life, love, loss and heartbreak. Oh, and there’s a guinea pig themed cafe too. So there’s something for everyone.

fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag

Fleabag is directed by Vicky Jones, whose critically-acclaimed play The One was winner of the 2013 Verity Bargate Award for best new play.

It’s brave, it’s rude, (oh so rude) it’s dark, uncomfortable, really naughty in places and completely, utterly and tummy achingly hilarious.

It’s only on until the 25th May, so please go and (flea)bag yourself a ticket and brace yourself – it’s a bit of a ride, is Fleabag.

 

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Soho Theatre
21 Dean Street
London
W1D 3NE

Book tickets here

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Cocktails and Treasure Islands
at Central & Co


I have discovered a little gem. It twinkles and shines… it knocks up the most yummy cocktails and serves mouth-watering food that made my eyes water. (I got a little bit of chilli in my eye, but even if that hadn’t happened, I would have cried with happiness – it’s THAT GOOD.)

Let me introduce you to the most marvellous Central & Co. Situated on Great Marlborough Street, just opposite Carnaby St, this restaurant/bar has found itself a brilliant location and was busy and bustling with a chattering London crowd when we turned up last week.

Chicken Liver Parfait with Yorkshire pudding and red onion jam - £6.50

Chicken Liver Parfait with Yorkshire pudding and red onion jam – £6.50

Central & Co offers a selection of small plates, which are a big part of the menu. I’m not sure what would have sprung to mind before, had someone mentioned ‘British tapas’, but this is what it most certainly is. And it’s not pineapple and cheese on sticks (although, don’t mock it – love it) or soggy sausage rolls. Nope, it’s chicken liver parfait (lighter than air), mini salmon fishcakes, warm scotch duck eggs (this is about the time I started crying with happiness) glazed baby sausages and several other dishes – all sourced from this land we call Great Britain (cue: Land of Hope and Glory.) (I’m starting to cry again.)

Warm Scotch Duck Egg, house marinated Central pickles & mixed leaves - £6

Warm Scotch Duck Egg, house marinated Central pickles & mixed leaves – £6


These smaller sharing plates sit alongside larger plates, which include classic British aces with a Central twist; The Central Beef Burger looked amazing (our neighbours were tucking in) and we ordered the Pollock and Chips and Welsh Mussels.

Pollock and Chips, Camden ale battered pollock, hand-cut chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce

Pollock and Chips, Camden ale battered pollock, hand-cut chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce

Welsh Mussels, English cider, leaks, sage, cream and warm bread

Welsh Mussels, English cider, leaks, sage, cream and warm bread

The food is absolutely fantastic and the prices, even more so. Small plates range from between £5 – £7 and the larger plates from £7 – £12. For such a classy menu and venue, (ding! rhyme!) the food bill will be a lovely surprise.
 
We finished off our amazing meal by ordering a Lemon Thyme Posset to share. Heavenly.
 

Lemon-Thyme Posset, with fresh raspberries and raspberry sauce

Lemon-Thyme Posset, with fresh raspberries and raspberry sauce

Downstairs in their candlelit bar, (& Co) the very clever Jimmy was whipping up a Treasure Island Rum storm, especially for Cocktail Week. ‘& Co’ specialise in outstanding cocktails anyway, (think creme brulee martinis…) so to experience the expertise and passion of the mixing magicians during National Cocktail Week was a real treat.
 

The Silver Swizzle, Rum, lime, sugar, bitters, Velvet Falernum - 'An Island legend. Sweet but full of fire'

The Silver Swizzle, Rum, lime, sugar, bitters, Velvet Falernum – ‘An Island legend. Sweet but full of fire’

You may have seen me shout about ‘Drink the Classics’ on my Facebook page, but if you missed it, & Co spent each week of last month transforming itself into a different timeless tale, complete with themed cocktails and props. We were there during ‘Treasure Island Week’ – all the cocktails were rum based, while copies of Treasure Island were on all the tables.. the candlelit room made it rather difficult to take snaps, but you can see the bar in all its glory here. We sampled 4 cocktails between the two of us, and they were seriously yummy. Who knew how versatile rum was?! Not me. 
 

I may also have had a sneaky hot chocolate.. couldn't resist...

I may also have had a sneaky hot chocolate.. couldn’t resist…

To sum up, if you’re looking for an exceptionally reasonably priced scrummy meal, mega-delicious British fare prepared beautifully and with pride, gorgeous cocktails that make your legs wobbly (that may just be me) set in a prime Soho spot in the heart of London, then Central & Co is the winning ticket.
 
I loved it and have already been back, so I may well see you there…
 
22 Great Marlborough St
London
W1F 7HU
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A twinkly night in Soho


Soho is a place that makes me feel alive. It also makes me feel like I don’t own enough rubber bras. I don’t own any rubber bras. But there seem to be so many people shopping for them I feel as though I must have missed a trick.


On Friday night I took the tube to Oxford Circus – I walked down Carnaby Street and into Soho, where I met K-Bosh, at Maoz Falafel, on Old Compton Street.


I love falafel. It’s tasty tasty (very, very tasty), healthy, gluten free (yip) and doesn’t break the bank. I went for falafel in pitta with humous, with a help-yourself-to-as-much-salad-as-you-want-saladbar. That, with a fresh mint lemonade came to £7.70. Bargain.

K Bosh and I go way back. Way way way. She knows things. We sat and chatted for an hour, (boys, books, jeans, boys again) before heading over to Ronnie Scotts to meet our chums. 


Ronnie Scotts opened its doors in Soho in 1959 and has been the home to top notch jazz ever since. Tickets to the gigs can be quite pricey, ranging from £15 – £50, which can put you off if you’re not feeling flush. *Tick*

However, upstairs from the main club is Ronnie’s Bar, which opens at 6pm and closes around 3am. There’s live music every night of the week and poetry slams, jive nights and samba classes also find their way there.. The best news is that it’s free to get in before 8pm (hurrah!) and so this is what we did.

After some serious negotiation with the doorman, (yawn – he was clearly confused about the time and thought it was after 8pm. It wasn’t.) K-Bosh and I nipped upstairs and Mimbles, (we go way back too – she also knows things) Lena, Ingo and Neve followed shortly after. The bar was packed (capacity 140) so there was nowhere to sit, but we were happy standing and dancing once the music kicked off at 9pm – Viva La Revolution! (Name of the band, not my own sentiment.)

Wine flowed, Evian flowed, (that’s Neve’s – she’s doing a detox and looks completely glowy-shiny-lovely-amazing) and the wine flowed even more once Lena realised “it is cheaper if we just buy the bottle!” Ahhh.


The music was brilliant and FUN and we all danced with big smiles on our faces. Mimbles amazed us with her incredible miming talents, (I couldn’t possibly try to elaborate here) K-Bosh shimmied like no other and Ingo handled being in the company of four girls very well, I thought. He held handbags and drinks when loo runs were needed and even took on the role of official group-shot photographer. This episode was slightly less successful, but we all blamed the lighting.


I said my goodbyes and headed out into the sparkly streets of Soho. Beautiful, bright and full of hope. I do love this city…


…and I LOVE Liberty’s at night.

Me, my tired feet and a glass of warm milk (I am not 12, it is just so good) crawled into bed about 20 mins later… and I thanked my lucky Soho stars to be living in such an amazing, magical and musical city… and to have such wonderful friends.


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Here’s to you, Miss Robinson

This is Lucy Robinson. How annoying. Super smart cookie, extremely witty, lovely, talented, stylish, gorgeous, (see above) and about to publish her debut novel, “The Greatest Love Story of All Time”.  A novel jam packed with the trials and tribulations of real 21st century messy love and life of a thirty-something, with Gin Thursdays, bottom slapping and an evil cat, which is clearly set to be a smash hit as Stylist love it and Cosmopolitan has deemed it “Romantic and laugh-out-loud hilarious” and has already pinned it on its hotlist for 2012. See, annoying.
You may well already know of our Miss Robinson, for she writes a blog for marieclaire.co.uk where she has entertained (me especially) with her no frills frank (and occasionally petrifying) stories of her hilariously unsuccessful encounters with the wonderful world of internet dating. 
Lucy has recently returned home from a one year stint/early mid life crisis (her words) in South America, where she’s been writing her novel, so I grabbed the chance to meet with her and ask her some intelligent and poignant questions before she becomes a global star and won’t talk to me. 
We met in Camden Passage and marvelled at all the pretty twinkly things in the shop windows, before heading over to The Breakfast Club, (Lucy’s favourite London haunt) where we drank tea, boogied on our bums (they play GREAT tunes) and I transformed into Poppy-Hard-Hitting-Journalist. 
 
Lucy can be quite rude, so I apologise (mostly to my mum who I know is reading this) if you are offended by the words ‘crack’, ‘crap’, or ‘gobshite’ – she uses all three. Ready? Here you go..
Poppy: Big pants or little pants?
Lucy: Big pants. I think G strings are an abomination. They’re like a cheese slice up your crack. (See? Told you)
Poppy: What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
Lucy: In my first ever job I managed to email a picture of my breasts to every single person on my production, including the most senior bosses.
 
Poppy: Really?
Lucy: Yes
 
*Pause*
 
Poppy: Red sauce or brown sauce?
Lucy: Brown. It’s dirty.
Poppy: Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
Lucy: The man and I alternate every night so no one gets the crap side all the time. On the crap side you have to stub your toe on the fireplace to get out.
Poppy: Do you have a skin care regime?
Lucy: Don’t be ridiculous.
 
Poppy: What is your greatest regret in life?
Lucy: Not allowing myself to act like more of a tit.
Poppy: What is your favourite Spanish phrase?
Lucy: “No rompas los huevos”. It means ‘don’t break your balls’. I had an insults lesson with my Spanish tutor and she advised me to use this on sleazy men in clubs. What I love most about it is that they use the word ‘eggs’ for balls in Spanish. Amazing.
Poppy: What do you buy in duty free?
Lucy: Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent. A classic 80’s power fragrance.
Poppy: What is your favourite item of clothing?
Lucy: Anything with a good sturdy shoulder pad.
Poppy: Who is your favourite comedian?
Lucy: Miranda. I am completely in love with her.
Poppy: What is your guilty pleasure?
Lucy: Phil Collins, pasties or Diet Irn Brew.
Poppy: You’re too talented. What can’t you do?
Lucy: Paint.
Poppy: What was your favourite subject at school?
Lucy: Theatre Studies, because it gave me the chance to be a gobby gobshite.
Poppy: Who’s your hero?
Lucy: Tom Stoppard. The greatest writer ever to live on planet Earth.
The interview had to end there as Eye of The Tiger started playing and Lucy wanted to dance.
 
Published Thursday, 12th April 2012 with Penguin
 
31 Camden Passage
London, N1 8EA
 
Win a signed copy of Lucy’s debut novel! 
 
Yip it’s true. You need to do at least one of the below to enter – the more you do the more chances you have to win…
 
1. Leave a comment below with what you would make Lucy Robinson for breakfast – she’ll pick her favourite one.
2. Sign up to my mailing list
3. Follow me and Lucy Robinson on Twitter
4. LIKE my Facebook page
5. LIKE Lucy’s Facebook page
 
Good luck! Competition ends Friday 20th April.
 
 
 

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Midnight Cravings

 

 

 
My wish has come true.
 
Home baked cookies, fresh from the oven delivered to my door at bedtime. Joy. 
 
Midnite Cookies will bring you your heart’s desire in the wee hours, be it White Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter Chip, Oat and Raisin or a Coconut Dream…(breathe).  They deliver from 7pm – 1am and if you live in zone 1, they’ll deliver for free. FREE.
 
It’s not just cookies, no siree. It’s brownies and milkshakes and ice cream too…flavours and sprinkles and magic and yum all bounding its way over to you and your jammys on the back of a snazzy scooter.
 
And, if all you fancied was a simple glass of cold milk with your warm caramel pecan cookie, well they’ve got that too. 
 
Classic.
 
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