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 apr├Ęs 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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