Thursday, December 13, 2012

Checking in at Mayfair’s coolest new bar – The Luggage Room

It was freezing last night in London… thankfully not cold enough to deter us from the special preview of The Luggage Room (10-13 Grosvenor Square).

It’s always a good start when you have to do a bit of searching to find the entrance I think…a secretive black doorway was our passage way back into the 1920’s where we found a super stylish cocktail supping area awaiting us, oozing ultimate sophistication and style.





The interior of this place is amazing! Kitted out by Fable Studios, there’s huge attention to detail, marble floors, studded walls, great big loungey sofas and fabulous areas to sit in if there’s a good group of you all in bang on 1920’s style.  This was in fact the real luggage room of the hotel that it’s located next to and the transformation is unbelievable!

The menu didn’t disappoint either - crafted by Bar Manager Abdulai Kpekawa, it's really something quite special.  Some of our favourite tipples were the ‘Airmail’ and the ‘Boston Cobbler’ cocktails , but there’s also a huge range of champagnes and wines, martinis and punches on the massive menu plus a small snacks taster menu – we tried the pork pies with mustard which were totally delicious.

Carrying the theme of the - ‘Bentley Boys’ – a group of weathly Brit’s who drove their Bentley’s to victory in the roaring 20’s, there’s actually a themed ‘Bentley Cup’ which is a blend of Tanqueray, English tea (keeping in with the uber English theme) marmalade vodka and champagne (of course!)  But if you want to indulge in that one, then be quick as there’s only one Bentley Cup which sits proudly in one corner of the bar.

It’s an amazing place for a date, or a really nice catch up with friends, and it carries all the glamour of the decade too.  The waitresses and bar staff are kitted out in the most gorgeous outfits (you’ll see what I mean when you see the girls… ask them nicely and they might tell you where they got their dresses from!) and the service really was impeccable.  You’re sure to be made to feel really welcome whatever time you rock up (opening hours are 5pm-1am)…. That’s if you can find the secret door….

Check it out from Thursday 13th December….
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

'The Rum Kitchen' packing some punch


Rum Kitchen!  (6-8 All Saints Road)  Sounds A-mazing!  And it was.  Shaking things up in Notting Hill – half way between Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park, is a brand new Caribbean restaurant, beach shack and rum bar which after a hard day at work will chill you out much more than any massage ever will. 


Head downstairs to the cellar when you arrive and grab some pre-food therapy in the form of a fabulous rum cocktail while you kick back, surrounded by barrels, great lighting and Caribbean beats.  Upstairs, a tasty evening awaits with Roasted Cod, Jerk Chicken, Wings, Mutton Curry and Pulled Pork Sandwiches to spice up your night.




It’s been masterminded by the management behind Ping and Love Brunch, so if you’re a fan of either, you’re probably gonna love the rum-tastic vibe here.



Alex behind the bar is brimming with knowledge about the 100 plus rums which they currently stock (and word is there’s more on the way….)  This guy has over 400 of them at home so he definitely knows his stuff…



Check out the Pussers Grog Mix which is a twist on the old traditional naval drink with a secret blend of house rum and aromatic bitters – guaranteed to put a few hairs on your chest (and that’s just the girls…)



Also look out for food and rum matching and rum and desert matching – we LOVE the sound of that…



So… spreading Caribbean sunshine right across West London right now, get ready to rum-ble.
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Have a Bunga Bunga New Year!



I just wanted to throw this out there for anyone who hasn’t organised their New Year’s Eve night yet….  I’ve lost count of the number of people who say they’re not gonna do anything at all, because it’s ‘always a let down…’ !!!  Surely a night out (or in) is what you make of it and the people you’re surrounded by?!!


With that in mind, if you’re still undecided, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have an amazing night with our friends at Bunga Bunga!  These guys know how to party – how can you expect anything less than a really special evening from the gang who actually celebrate Christmas at midnight every night of the week with fireworks, streamers and cocktails?!!




The deal is this.  You pay £85, and you get drinks on arrival, a 5 course dinner (!!), and a gorgeous mask to wear to their Venetian masked ball.  If you’ve never eaten here before, the food is superb, the atmosphere is so fun, and there’s a club upstairs to continue the party in the small hours.  There’s even language tapes on in the toilets so you can brush up on your Italian while you’re brushing up on your makeup. 



I really can’t think of a better way to spend NYE, and instead of switching from bar to restaurant to club, why not do it all in one place?!!!  We’re already booked up and we’ll see you there!!
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Parties at Dukebox!

So with 2 weeks to go, you still haven’t decided where to have your Christmas party?!  How about in one of the coolest club spaces West of the city?!   

DUKEBOX opened in September – a hidden playroom just off the Fulham Road with a New York warehouse feel to it, housing whimsical drunken debauchery…  

It’s a fantastical club full of imagination and innovative cocktails concocted by mixologists in military clothing.  Versatile, ambient, and for any party size up to 250 people, the celebs have already discovered this IS the place to party… 

Check out my review here: 

(link to my blog: http://thegirlaboutlondontown.blogspot.com/2012/11/dukebox-review.html?spref=tw) 



There has been a certain void in the lives of the Chelsea set since Public closed its’ doors back in May due to noise complaints.  Fast forward a few months and there’s a new club on the block – DUKEBOX which threw open it’s heavily guarded doors in September. 

Occupying the former space of The Valmont Club, you’ll find the new box of tricks on the Fulham Road – just look for the queue of leggy blondes, model men and the Made in Chelsea cast. 

The door staff most definitely mean business - they're all beautiful girls with clipboards who look like they grace the pages of Vogue when they’re not keeping order on their unruly queue. One minor stumble on the Louboutins, or a drunken slur from the boys and you’re really NOT getting in… Again, if your names not down, then quite frankly you’ve got no chance – there’s also a strict Over 21 policy. 

…But make it past the hostesses, down the stairs and a truly fun chelsea playground awaits! Billed as the new ‘Mahiki’, this place has a much more edgy yet whimsical vibe, with the amazing military uniforms of the bar staff, jack in the boxes in cages and waltzer car booths. The drinks are just as playful from their innovative ‘Egg and Soldier’ sharer cocktail to the ‘The Present’ which of course comes wrapped in a bow and is delivered to its own theme tune by the military parade.  There's also plenty of confetti and sparklers to make a truly awesome spectacle. 

Look out for the luminous UV writing lit up on the exposed brick walls, and the bars on the windows surrounding VIP – (although that’s one area if you’re lucky enough to get into, you won’t be wanting a free jail card out…) 

So all in all, a cool, cave like haven of a club, with all the fun of the fair and a damn good DJ with some wicked beats. The dancefloor’s always packed, the drinks are innovative, quirky and actually not badly priced, although a table will set you back £500 minimum spend. 

But hey, this is the Chelsea playground where the movers and shakers of W1 throw their shapes. Mix in a few celebrities and you’ve got the perfect Public replacement, just don’t steal any of the toys…. 


Here’s the small print: 

DukeBox is available for exclusive hire for Private Parties and Events.  The venue offers something different and innovative for your venue needs and requirements. 
DukeBox staff are experienced in the Events industry and will create bespoke events to suit your every need, whether it be sourcing World Class DJs or working closely with ‘Chilli Bees Catering’ to provide the best canapés. The Events team will work closely with the client to make sure that the event runs smoothly and successfully. 
The venue provides a versatile and ambient space for a multitude of events, including themed parties, corporate events, Christmas parties, birthday parties, product launches, art exhibitions or private gigs. 
The venue is competitively priced and it can be booked exclusively for private events, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until 2.30am, as well as for private parties on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7.30 to 10pm. 
The venue is also available for daytime hire on any day throughout the week. 
Please contact info@dukebox.uk.com or call 020 7352 6200 to discuss your event requirements or to arrange a visit of the venue.
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Alexander Du'bel Launch

Alexander Du'bel is an exclusive new members only lifestyle company with exclusive access to products, services and discounts set up by footie player Damian Batt...

The launch was at Circus last Sunday where there was free champers, the most delicious canapes, and 2 girls swinging seductively from a hula hoop suspended above the stage - what more could you ask for?!!  Well how about some amazing live entertainment, a free prize draw and after party at Whisky Mist with MORE free drinks?!!  Ermmmm you got it.

Great launch, fab company, sign up here:

http://www.alexanderdubellifestyle.com/ 
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Geordie Bar Chick...

Have you ever checked out Bar Chick?!!  www.barchick.com

It's an uber cool website written by some super hot chicks who most definitely know their cocktails and the coolest places to hang out - including all those hidden secret gems and the best dating dens.

They're now casting their alcoholic net a little bit wider to catch those bars in other cities that are a little bit special, so seeing as I'm an original Geordie, I decided to help out by sampling (otherwise known as cocktail pub crawling) the delights of Newcastle's best bars at the moment.

Highlights included Brewdog (16 Dean Street) where a 61 year old woman was drinking pints of 41 per cent beer - what can I say, the woman is obviously a legend, but if you don't fancy that, they also do Beer Cocktails, delicious slabs of chocolate brownie (made with beer naturally) and the staff were awesome.

Livello (35a Dean Street) is one of Newcastle's newest bar, lounge, clubs where you can splash out on a Fish House Punch for £1000 (!) and they have some hot waiters including 'Nordic Tom' with the gorgeous eyes who will be starring in a movie about the Vikings....  The lemon meringue cocktail is to die for.  Cheryl Cole had a party here after her gig in Newcastle so it can't be bad at all really and the area upstairs is fabulous for private parties!  Wear your coolest outfit.

..And the good old trusty Living Room (12 Grey Street) where all the bar staff are properly trained mixologists and there's actually a load of old photos on the walls including one of the guy who trained Tom Cruise in the movie 'Cocktail'....

...Who knew Newcastle's bar scene could be so much fun?!!!!

Obviously, you can find out more at www.barchick.com

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Rihanna's 777 Gig

Hellooooooo...

Just checking in, what a busy old month it's been, but there were some ever so fabulous highlights including Alexander Du'Bel's amazing launch at Circus and Rihanna's secret invite only 777 gig.



 

I present the Showbiz News daily on the Breakfast Show at 103.4 Sun FM which is one of the radio stations I worked for when I lived up in the North East...  It just so happened that the radio station needed some to attend Rihanna's 777 gig in London promoting her stadium tour next year (including the Stadium of Light), so I was roped into going along.... how awful ha ha.

I had a great time catching up with some old friends - Gaynor from Metro Radio, Katie Wheeler - entertainment writer / reporter for the Sunderland Echo, and Bernice Saltzer at Sorted PR who made sure we were fed, watered and at the venue on time.  It just so happened that the star of the show who's supposedly racked up thousands of pounds in airport taxes from being late, was in the mood to keep us waiting.   Although this did give us ample time to drink a pint of wine from a plastic cup, and do some celeb spotting - we managed to spy Grimmy, Annie Mac, Union J and Henry Holland.

The warm up dj set was totally ace - a guy called @congorocks - worth looking up...
...and when Rihanna finally did get on stage, she did a lot of gyrating and a little bit of singing to a backing track of her own vocals.  The songs she did belt out were great and the tracklisting for her gig is really good.  A lot of the old favourites and a couple of new ones from 'Unapologetic' aswell.

I always thought Ri-Ri had a bit of meat on her, but she was seriously skinny.... must be all that stressing over Chris Brown....
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

On the 'piste' at Bodo's Schloss


BODO’S SCHLOSS - 2a Kensington High Street

Last Saturday was a massive occasion:

1) It was a Saturday

2) I was off work!

3)  Stacey’s mate Kate was visiting and we wanted to show her how fabulous the City of London is while avoiding Buckingham Palace and Big Ben – not that we’d ever deliberately avoid a ‘big Ben’….ahem...

....So enough about him.  We started the day at Borough Market with our friends Rudi and Danielle, where we supped on delicious mulled wine, ate hog roast, perused a tonne of stalls selling chutney (which we were probably never going to buy, but were nice to look at anyway), then retired to the Southwark Tavern to warm up and plan stage two.  We also met a nice Canadian man in there who actually LIVES in The Mayfair Hotel.  Really.  He LIVES there.  Actually IN The Mayfair Hotel – well for 160 days of the year anyway!  I can imagine worse places to live.  In fact, imagine coming down in the morning and seeing Matt Damon eating brekkie at the next table?!  Not that he lives there, I just saw him in there once.

So… with our tickets sorted for ‘Blackout’ – a brilliant spin off night run by the guys from Dorsia which promised some very special surprises (and delivered) at Westbourne Studios in Notting Hill, we needed a pre-hangout.  Bodo’s Schloss ticked all the boxes.  Close by, new to Kensington, and apparently very cool with an après ski Alpine lodge theme.  What’s not to like about the sound of that?!

So I know I say it a lot, but Bodo’s Schloss really IS my new favourite hangout.  First off, it’s all wooden (very authentic) and it smells of fresh pine which makes you really think you’ve just been out for a day on the slopes and you’re now about to knock back some shots to numb the pain and cramp in your calves.

All the staff wear traditional lederhosen which gives this place a great vibe before you’ve even made your way to the bar.  Stag heads line the walls and the DJ booth is actually in a ski lift – well it doesn’t get better than that does it?!!  Or does it?!!!  Well yes, you can order sharing cocktails which you drink out of ski boots!!!  We didn’t actually have these, but during a very happy ‘happy hour’ we managed to knock back a few vodka lemonades and some extremely reasonable double tequilas.  There’s also a range of premium Austrian beers but again, we didn’t sample these.




The evening flew by at Bodo’s, 80’s tunes cheesier than the cheesiest fondue, I was ecstatic to find a fellow Geordie on the dance floor and there was also a very funny toilet incident involving Kate wanting me to make her dress longer, when in fact the dress should’ve come with an instruction manual and ended up tied around her waist ha ha (I’m adamant it looked better this way, but with her bottom on show, she didn’t quite agree…) 

A very cool crowd, fantastic atmosphere and somewhere I’d be happy to return to as a restaurant, bar, club or all three!  Definitely unique to the London bar scene and if you turn up in ski wear or lederhosen, you even get free entry!

Katherine Jenkins and The Wanted were also in here on the night we were in there, and quite frankly if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

The perfect place to go on the ‘piste’… and with such generously sized tequila’s, you might need a ski lift outta there…

BODO’S = 5 gold stars.
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Langham Hotel Artesian Bar...

If you're looking for a fabulous cocktail bar this weekend in London town, you MUST try out the Artesian Bar within the Langham Hotel.

It's just been voted bar with the 'World's Best Cocktail Menu', and seriously the cocktails are to die for.

I haven't got time to write any more on this right now, so I'll update at a later date.  I have to go eat food and drink wine at Borough Market.

I can however, recommend the 'Pink and Black' cocktail - deeee-lish.  And their Chablis by the glass is pretty decent too.

Laters.
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Tonteria


Well well well… Marc Burton and Guy Pelly’s new Mexican tapas and tequila place right next door to The Botanist at Sloane Square.  I was sooooo excited to try this place and left feeling a teeny weeny bit disappointed.

I was told I didn’t need to book for tables of two, yet when we arrived, we were still asked if we had a reservation and then given the tiniest table in the middle of the dance floor, even though every other table in the place was empty.

We ordered enchiladas, burritos and guacamole with tortilla chips, and two cocktails – The ‘Sherbert M’ – tequila, orange sherbert, fresh lime and Campari, and the ‘El Burro’ – raspberry, vodka and ginger beer… Average drinks, average food, lovely place but lacked a bit of atmosphere, although that could just be because we were that at 6pm.  The place steadily filled up but we left around 8.  The waiters were super attentive though, and I have a feeling this place would be wicked as a club which kicks off around 10.

They also have a shot train which delivers your tequila shots to the table – now that can’t be bad.  So I shall return to try it out….

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Experimental Cocktail Club (13a Gerard Street)


Ahh London’s Chinatown – full of Chinese restaurants as one would expect… What one would not expect is to find is a chic Parisian wonderland hidden amongst them…
Think of the grubbiest entrance you ever walked past – a dirty black door with paint peeling off and no handle on it… Well my friends, this is your gateway.

The address is 13a Gerard Street.  We should know, we checked enough times because we Sylwi and I must’ve walked past the door about 7 times thinking ‘this surely can’t be it?!’
The occasion was a free night of wine and cinema at Universal Picture…to see E.T… (our exclusive invite was clearly 30 years too late when the film was made!)  Aaaaanyway, what better way to start a boozy screening than with some fabulous cocktails at one of London’s best kept secrets?!

So…finding the door is only half the battle, you then have to get past the French doorman wearing a beret (ooh la la).  We even had to ask if this actually was a bar as he wasn’t giving much away..  Once you’ve been ushered up the narrow stairs (just long enough to plan your escape strategy if indeed it turns out to be a drug den and not a bar) and then you’re met by a lovely hostess wearing a faaaaaabulous shade of bright red lipstick who takes you into the quaint and quirky bar area, finds you a seat, gives you water with cucumber, and a cocktail menu.

We opted for a bar stool (much better to ogle the hot barmen with…)  And these guys know their drinks.  I’ve no idea what we drank as I didn’t write it down, but it was definitely innovative, ‘experimental’ and made with love, care and attention.  That will do for me.

We stayed around an hour, just long enough to sup on our cocktails, say every French phrase that we knew – ‘oui oui’ ‘je ne sais pas pourquoi’ (gotta thank Kylie for that one) and ‘voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir (unfortunately I was only saying that to Sylwi..) and then we were on our merry way.

There’s definitely an air of ‘mystique’ about this place and if we hadn’t been rushing off to see E.T, we might’ve stayed and tried out those lines on the Frenchmen (yes real Frenchman in there) at the bar.  Oh well, there’s always next time….

Recommended, great for a date.  (With Sylwi)
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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

DUKEBOX Review

There has been a certain void in the lives of the Chelsea set since Public closed its’ doors back in May due to noise complaints.  Fast forward a few months and there’s a new club on the block – DUKEBOX which threw open it’s heavily guarded doors in September.


Occupying the former space of The Valmont Club, you’ll find the new box of tricks on the Fulham Road – just look for the queue of leggy blondes, model men and the Made in Chelsea cast.

The door staff most definitely mean business -  they're all beautiful girls with clipboards who look like they grace the pages of Vogue when they’re not keeping order on their unruly queue.  One minor stumble on the Louboutins, or a drunken slur from the boys and you’re really NOT getting in… Again, if your names not down, then quite frankly you’ve got no chance – there’s also a strict Over 21 policy.

…But make it past the hostesses, down the stairs and a truly fun chelsea playground awaits!  Billed as the new ‘Mahiki’, this place has a much more edgy yet whimsical vibe, with the amazing military uniforms of the bar staff, jack in the boxes in cages and waltzer car booths.  The drinks are just as playful from their innovative ‘Egg and Soldier’ sharer cocktail to the ‘The Present’ which of course comes wrapped in a bow and is delivered to its own theme tune by the military parade.  There's also plenty of confetti and sparklers to make a truly awesome spectacle.

Look out for the luminous UV writing lit up on the exposed brick walls, and the bars on the windows surrounding VIP – (although that’s one area if you’re lucky enough to get into, you won’t be wanting a free jail card out…)


So all in all, a cool, cave like haven of a club, with all the fun of the fair and a damn good DJ with some wicked beats.  The dancefloor’s always packed, the drinks are innovative, quirky and actually not badly priced, although a table will set you back £500 minimum spend.

But hey, this is the Chelsea playground where the movers and shakers of W1 throw their shapes.  Mix in a few celebrities and you’ve got the perfect Public replacement, just don’t steal any of the toys….

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Saturday, November 03, 2012

Oh the mammoth 18 hour London session


A mammoth sesh at Love Brunch for their last party of the year at Roof Gardens, followed by an invite to my friend’s Victoria and Paul’s dance off at Lost Society, followed by Rudi’s birthday at the Dorsia in South Ken where they had the most amazing sax player and DJ on, followed by Pacha where we danced to Hed Kandi until 6am, followed by breakfast at my favourite all night restaurant / bar – Vingt Quatre on the Fulham Road.  If you haven’t checked out VQ before, they serve steak, caviar, full English, wine, champers and beer, ALL NIGHT!  And the staff never get grumpy even though everyone’s a little worse for wear.  Wicked place.

If you haven't checked out Dorsia yet, it's my new fave club (Sorry Mahiki, I do still love you, just only on a week night..)  Gavin Henson was there last week buying in the shots.  Not that that's a reason to go... #justsayin #DoesHeUseStTropez?
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PING! Earl's Court



Tuesday’s are super boring, and a great night of the week to organise something.  So 11 of us headed to Ping at Earl’s Court last week – the newest (and only) kitchen, bar and ping pong rooms in West London.  We got a great deal on the food – if there’s over 10 of you, you get starters, pizza each and wine for the table (which be warned, just keeps on coming….) and all this for just £20 each.  Bargain!  We didn’t get to try out our ping pong skills as the tables were already booked up, but we did manage a dance off with one of the staff and the tunes were super cool.  Worth a visit.

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Pick of the best bars this month - Clarence, Old Bengal Bar, Devonshire Terrace



The Clarence (Nicholson’s pubs) right next door to Mahiki re-opened it’s door this month with a fabulous makeover - maintaining that old pub feel with a modern twist.  They served up the most delicious Crispy Calamari and Deep Fried Brie followed by Warm Chocolate Brownie – definitely worth a visit just for this.  They also now offer a handpicked selection of the finest real ales from around the country, as well as some of the best wines, malt whiskies and gins.  It used to be the place we’d grab a quick sambuca before hitting Mahiki, but it’s definitely now worth a sit down at one of their cosy tables for a leisurely drink and a bite to eat.  (followed by Mahiki)  Think of it as your amuse bouche.

2 great date places – Liverpool Street.  Old Bengal Bar and Devonshire Terrace.

Can I just point out I wasn’t actually on dates at either of these places….but I could see the potential.  Devonshire Terrace has been there a while, but it was my first visit as my mate Leo is a P.A with a penchant for building up points which can be exchanged for bottles when she’s booking works do’s.  So, with a delicious bottle of champers already on the table and for free, this place was already looking good.  Great atmosphere, brilliant location, set in the pretty courtyard of Devonshire Square and a stones throw from Liverpool Street tube, really nice for a drink before dinner.

The Old Bengal Bar we happened to stumble upon (quite literally), after leaving the Devonshire.  Fairy lights outside, a great outdoor area with heaters and a cosy bar area inside and good lighting (good to go late on if you’re on a date and then it doesn’t matter if you’ve got makeup all over your face by this point)  Word of warning, the toilet door is a mirror cleverly concealed in the back corner.  Oh and they have a delightful waiter who was also an actor (like being in American diner) and his girlfriend is going to be in Doctors.  (LOVE a bit of Doctors).

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Exciting Work Stuff...




So… At the beginning of October I got short listed for BBC National Weather Presenter, made it through 3 gruelling stages, interview and screentest…. But didn’t get the job boo.  I thought I was going to be the next Thomas Schafernaker.  It wasn’t to be.  

However, I have started a new radio show for the radio station www.mysocialradio.comwhich broadcasts across the UK and the US and plays some really cool tunes from the 80’s and 90’s up to the current day.  Tune in for loads of great designer prizes (We just gave away a Louis Vuitton Wilshire handbag) and lots of showbiz news 6-11pm Monday to Thursdays and Sundays 8-11pm.
 
I’m also now the Showbiz UK writer for Reelkandi TV, and the showbiz presenter daily for my old radio station 103.4 Sun FM.  Plus there’s some exciting things in the offing – I’ve got a screentest for showbiz news and a meeting to write the Newcastle section of Barchick this week.  Oh and this is all in addition to my regular gig announcing Eastenders for the BBC.  #Goodtimes!  #worlddomination.
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Blog Slacker Alert!!!!!



Oh I’m such a slacker!
Blog – I will never desert you again!  But this month has just been ridiculously busy!

October has most possibly been my craziest and most exciting month in London town.  I’ve discovered some awesome new places to drink and dance, been for the scariest interview of my life, and taken on lots of fabulous new work.

There’s way too much to tell you about, so I’ve picked out the best bits.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Newcastle's hidden little gem... The Hood Street Club



I love Newcastle because I grew up there.  When I was younger I used to hang out at Spanish City on the waltzer (because I fancied the guy who shouted ‘scream if you wanna go faster’), then it was Metroland (I saw Cheryl Cole singing on the stage there once..) and when I was 16, my first club experience at The Ritzy….and although I couldn’t dance much (because my feet were so stuck to the floor where a thousand drinks had been spilled), it was right there and then that I fell in love with going out!  But the same bars and clubs week in and week out, tend to get a bit boring don’t they?!  And what I love about living in London is that you never have to go in the same bar twice if you don’t want to.



So in the last couple of years when I’ve headed back to Newcastle, older (but probably not wiser to be honest – wine kills brain cells), I’ve always thought to myself that something uber cool with a super strict guest list would go down really well…Something with a similar vibe to Nightjar at Old Street or Evans and Peel at Earl’s Court…Somewhere you won’t stick to the floor, have a willy straw waved in your face or fight a blow up doll in your quest to get to the bar…

Imagine my surprise, when I realised my last visit home coincided with the opening of a brand new bar concept in Newcastle – modelled on the secret drinking dens commonplace in New York, London and Milano!!!  Welcome to The Hood Street Club – a stones through from Newcastle’s Monument which means if you’re used to travelling by tube, you can hop off the metro in your 5 inch heels and be in the bar within 30 seconds! 

It’s from the same group who are responsible for Bar Luga and Perdu – Fluid Group, but far more sophisticated and stylish, and set over 3 levels including a dance floor and a cool booth area where there are telephones on the table!  (That means if you spot a hot guy on the table at a booth at the other end of the bar, you can ring them and tell them to get the champers in! – Genius.)

Really amazing décor, great lighting, a dance floor intimate enough so you don’t look stupid dancing on your own (errrmmm that’ll be me then…..Again), but big enough to get a good crowd on the floor and the DJ’s got a fab mix of tunes until 3am in the morning on Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s.

So no stag and hen do’s, a strict door policy, a great drinks menu and those luxurious booths which you can book in advance for a hot date (with the guy you rang on those table phones last week) or a Carrie Bradshaw style girly catch up.

Newcastle’s been screaming out for a venue like this.  Bravo.  My new fave place.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bunga Bunga's 1st Birthday



The guys at Bunga Bunga know how to party.  If you’ve never been, let me give you the lowdown.  It’s an Italian restaurant on Battersea Bridge Road which serves some really good food (the pizza’s are as long as the table and de-licious and the Aubergine Parmigiana is to die for).  They have really gorgeous ladies on the door with fab figures that make you not wanna eat your weight in food when you get in there.  Then you see the menu and decide you’ll do that next time. 

While you eat your dinner and sing the occasional Happy Birthday for the gang at the next table (it’s a super friendly / family place), they get some live music on the go and you kind of wish you weren’t at work tomorrow cos you know what’s coming, because as the last of the orders come in, the karaoke gets started!  Now if like me, you think karaoke should be for people who really can’t sing (as opposed to those ones who get up and sing Celine Dion note perfect while they do that thing with the microphone like on X Factor), then this is the place for you!  The singing is sometimes so bad that people get boo-ed off - exactly how it should be I reckon!  (Although I'm proud to say that when we did 'Sex on Fire', we did actually make it to end - think my mic might've been broken that night!)  And after karaoke, well, the real party starts!  The DJ spins his tunes, cheese, pop and chart downstairs, dancey housey stuff upstairs….  And you just have to be there at midnight……for Christmas!!  Christmas happens every night at Bunga Bunga and it’s ingenius! Glitter and shiny bits of paper fall from the ceiling and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas’ blares out across the bar as everyone sings and toasts their drinks and genuinely get caught up in the moment – something you definitely have to witness!  Then everyone remembers it’s the middle of September and goes back to partying.

Last night was Bunga Bunga’s first birthday party – something definitely worth celebrating, so I rounded up the girls and headed down there early to sample some gorgeous Martini Royale’s and Mojito’s!  There was also mouth watering parma ham and big lumps of parmesan, prawn tempura and bruschetta in abundance followed by ice creams in proper ice cream cones!!  (Take note Heliot).  We even got special cup cakes to take home with us.  Nancy Dell’olio dropped by and my mate Sandy cornered her in the toilets to find out her beauty secrets - ‘lots of water’ is apparently key.  Why thank you Ms Dell’olio!  We’ll drink to that! (Water.  Of Course.) 
  
So if you're in the mood for a really fun italian atmosphere while drinking cocktails and eating pizza, singing, dancing and celebrating christmas, then this place is defo worth trying out.

Bravo to Robyn who is the totally fabulous General Manager and the whole gang at Bunga Bunga who made it a really special night.
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Heliot Bar & Restaurant launch night at the Hippodrome



Tuesday nights can be a little dull in London.  That’s why it’s a good night to do a launch night and invite a crowd down who like a free glass of Champers.  That’ll be myself, Leonie, Debbie, Helen and Stacey then.  To be fair, we would turn up to the opening of an envelope…Actually not entirely true, but if there's a free glass of wine, we're there.  Generally.  


So apparently there’s a new restaurant within the casino at Hippodrome and the owners wanted to show it off.  But the plan was fatally flawed.  First of all, only one glass of champagne each…  Not impressed.  And one canape each aswell.   Bitesized.  Some might say, (everyone would say) not quite enough for us to know whether or not we actually would like the food?!!!   

What I did like was the impressive glass floor which was made up entirely of one pence pieces!  Cool!  The smoking area was also meant to be nice.  But seeing as I don’t smoke, I wouldn’t really know.  I’m ashamed to say that as soon as the free wine ran out, we also ran out.  Oh well.
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Corporate Box at Lady Gaga!





Sunday Morning:
Matt: ‘Ash do you have lots of hot mates?’

Me:  ‘Well they all scrub up okay yes’…Just joking, they are of course all fabulous and amazing… ‘Errm why?!!!’

Matt:  ‘Fancy bringing them down for some free food and drink in a corporate box with me and my friends at Lady Gaga tonight?’

Me: ‘Errrrm……Ooh let me think about that, okay thought about it, we’re in!  All of us!’

Turns out my mate who does something to do with rugby that I don’t really understand because I’m a girl, had a box which needed filling at Twickenham Stadium.  Cue 8 very excited girlies who were even more excited when the waiter (yes waiter service!)  happened to have an unlimited number of bottles of Laurent Perrier Rose on tap for us too.  And this was all before Lady Gaga even started singing. 

Gaga came out on a horse which my friend said couldn’t possibly be real because it would be scared by the loud music and jump into the crowd?!!!… Hmm ermmm something I hadn’t really considered as I polished off another glass of champagne.  But the show, wow – it’s true what everyone says – she’s a totally amazing performer, super theatrical stage set, and really endearing with her fans.  She did all the biggies – ‘Judas’, ‘Marry the Night’, ‘Edge of Glory’, ‘Paparazzi’ and a tonne of new ones from her album too.  If you get the chance to see Gaga, then you simply must!  But unlike me, maybe make sure you buy the new album and listen to it BEFORE the concert, then you’ll be able to dance and sing along to allof the songs instead of just the 4 I mentioned above.   Maybe also pick up a blonde wig and some ripped tights.
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