Saturday, February 09, 2013

Willy Wonka style Barbarella Brunch 16th Feb

Have you got your golden ticket yet?                                

What?  Hadn’t you heard?!!  London’s Saturday day parties have just taken a leap to another level…(You might even need to use a glass elevator…)  A fantasmagorical level at that.  Willy Wonka is coming to town and he’s bringing with him 6 hours of fabulous eccentric scrumdidlyumptious fun… (Spellchecker doesn’t seem to like that word – but I do, so I’ll leave it in…)

If you’re looking for an alternative way to spend your Saturday afternoon (beats Home base doesn’t it?!)  Then Barbarella Brunch it is… 

You might remember alternative evening ‘Blackout’ back in November – held at Westbourne Studios, it was an awesome night of naughtiness with some wicked DJ’s and a massive real life robot…  Well this is being run by the same guys and promises to be just as cool, and a little bit kooky.

So what can we expect between 12 and 6?  Remember those fizzy lifting drinks in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory?  Well Absinthe will be providing the cocktails for that fab fuzzy feeling, but there’ll also be cheeky champagne cocktails and real gobstoppingly amazing sweet treats in the form of candy from Jamie Laing’s ‘Candy Kittens.’  There’s also a full brunch if you’re burning the candle and wanna re-fuel… 

That’s our refreshments sorted so what about our entertainment?!!  Well….What about a set from DJ Charles Brafman, co-owner of DWTDJ and recently back from a months long residency at PRIVA Barbados. And fresh out of Brooklyn, DJ Trauma’s dropping by to bring you some bad ass New York City beats.

So check out the venue here:

And grab your golden tickets here

Oooh and don’t tell everyone… It’s a bit of a secret… See you there.  (I’ll be with my mate Leo dressed as an Oompa Loompa – she didn’t get the memo telling her it's way too cool for that…)

Barbarella, 428 Fulham Road, London, SW6 1DU, UK


Saturday 16thFebruary

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Waldorf

The Waldorf…

Probably one of the best dinner dates I’ve ever had…  My date didn’t live in London and I was determined to show him the best of what the city has to offer.  And everyone has heard of The Waldorf right? 

You know, the luxury 5 star hotel which has been standing over 100 years despite being bombed.  Twice.  The Waldorf with it’s infamous Palm Court – home to Tango Teas in the 20’s, the inspiration for the interior of the Titanic and graced by stars like Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton… 

Never mind Claridges, they need to make a TV series about this iconic hotel with all its high end history and the stories hidden within its walls.

Dinner was served in The Grand Salon.  It’s a beautifully grand room with super high ceilings, stunning chandeliers and columns, white walls, white tables, white marble floor.  Exquisite.   As was the food.  Rabbit and olive terrine with plum and cinnamon compote and a red pesto croute.  Followed by Roast beef medallion with confit celeriac, apple and new potatoes, baby leeks and thyme jus – it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it again…

We got all dressed up in our best get up, and definitely weren’t out of place…  Yes the clientele was slightly older and the grand space lacked a tiny bit of atmosphere, but I was so wrapped up in the delicious food and conversation that I really didn’t notice too much.
And after desert – a beautifully presented Vanilla cheese cake with passion fruit and coconut (sooooo tasty…!), we retired to the 1920’s style cocktail bar ‘Good Godfrey’s’ – named after the handsome Howard Godfrey who’s house band used to play the finest tunes while London’s finest learned to tango. 

The guy behind the bar was a serious mixologist who really knew his stuff.  Like really really knew his stuff… And their menu is A-mazing.  We quite literally made our way down the cocktail list while chatting about the hundreds of liquers and spirits lining the bar…  They have American, Canadian, Welsh, Irish and Japanese Whisky’s on the list – so impressive.  Then there’s a champagne list, a champagne cocktails list, a seasonal cocktails list… There’s even a cocktail called the ‘Astor Hip Flask’ in celebration of William Waldorf Astor who founded the hotel in 1908.  It’s a bourbon based cocktail made with secret ingredients and served in an actual hip flask.  Or the Godfrey’s Cobbler whose recipe dates back to the 1880’s.  And we just had to try the Sazerac, because it’s Brad Pitt’s favourite drink in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ – as if you’d need another reason?!

I could’ve sat there all night, supping my way through spirits, but having almost fallen off my chair twice (did I mention those drinks are kinda strong?!), it was time to leave the 20’s behind and head back out into the Theatre District of my favourite city, in 2013.

Sadly, the guy I dated didn’t actually turn out to be the love of my life as hoped, but my love affair with The Waldorf will most definitely live on forever…

All aboard the Tonteria Express - Choo Choo....

All aboard the Tonteria Express!  (which has a very naughty inspector by the way!...)

I’ve always maintained that week nights are the ultimate way to experience London town’s amazing nightlife and see it at its best.  On the weekends, yes you still get a great night out (if you know where to go..), but on a school night there’s always an awesome and eclectic mix of people – the out of towners here on business trips, the professionals who wanna let loose after a hard day at the office, the cool peeps who have nothing to get up for the next day…

Well Thursdays in the capital just got a whole lot cooler.  Last week we boarded the Tonteria Express (again) and after such a brilliant night, I thought it was about time I spread the word…

Tonteria reminds me of a night train I once got from Bangkok down to Surat Thani.  You board with the intention of having one of two drinks early on along with a bite to eat, but then once that train gets chugging, the carriages come to life, the tequila starts flowing and everybody just wants to party.  All night.

Now, calling all single ladies – the boys in here are hot.  Think Channing Tatum and Liam Hemsworth types… These boys know how to sink a tequila or three and you know you’re in trouble when they call for the tequila train (there actually is a tequila train by the way, which circles the ceiling, stopping off at the various tables who’ve put in their mid-week mash up requests – how cool, I know…)

The dance floor is small, and super intimate – kinda reminiscent of a New York underground club because from outside, you’d never know it was here.  There’s also a VIP area, but much better to get amongst it on the dancerfloor I reckon...

The theme obviously is Mexican – ‘Tonteria’ means insignificant or of little consequence… Yes there's nothing insignificant about this place.  You can pop in for early for tasty tapas - enchiladas, nachos and burritos served on dainty dishes, while sipping on the finest of margheritas (they have an exclusive margherita machine) and hang out in the hammocks.  But come 10pm, the hedonistic journey begins as the lights dim on the hand painted tiles, Mexican style plants and shabby chic interior.  If you’re a big fan of the music, you won’t be disappointed either -  the beats bang off every wall of this hidden cave.

Drinks choosing is always a bit of chore in here, but only cos their menu is so damn extensive.  Sharing cocktails are served from skull glasses and or go wild and sup up the Mayan Pyramid which serves 8-10 thirsty clubbers  and is a deadly combo of tequila and fruits…

So drinks, club, music, all awesome.  What else?  I’ll tell you what else – the team behind Tonteria are also pretty cool.  Albie is Marketing Exec – an old friend who I’ve known for years from the London clubbing circuit.  He sports a super cool Mohican (look out for him and say Hi) he always takes time out to chat no matter how busy he is.  My fabulous flamboyant friend Henry Conway has also started getting involved in Tonteria Thursdays - even more reason to get yourself down there mid-week if only to see which amazing ensemble he's chosen to wear for the evening!)

Perhaps more surprisingly, co-owner and nightclub entrepreneur Marc Burton (Whisky Mist, Mahiki) is also uber friendly.  He’s been there every night I’ve been there (...and I've been there....a lot.  Dedication or what?) Marc's a super busy guy who everyone wants a piece of, but he was more than happy to stop and chat about his hacienda haven.  Now, being a showbiz writer, I obviously wanted to hear all about the celebs as it’s quickly become a huge hangout of the A-listers, but as he explained, he wants everyone no matter who they are to feel comfortable, cool and relaxed hanging out at Tonteria and therefore no celeb secrets passed his lips.  So no scoop for me, but what a classic club mantra.  I love this place.  

Jump on board, but just be aware, you might not wanna get off….
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