Gin, erotic French poetry and a plate of meat

Last night, I had one of those lovely, random nights that happen every so often and for me often happen in Soho!

My sister in law, Abbi, had mentioned that she was going to check out this women’s networking club called The Trouble Club. She’s got a brilliant idea to create a women in wine group (more on which as it gets confirmed) and this seems like the perfect location at which to hold it. Being a big fan of The Libertine magazine, which has been putting on events at the venue since it opened in February, I was keen to go with her and check it out, so we arranged to head over there last night to meet the founders and check it out. We met early and wandered down Carnaby Street, with a quick  pop in to Monki for emergency new clothes. Obviously not an emergency, but I am very much loving my new ridiculous trousers.

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We then had a swift glass of wine and a gossip at Shampers (terrible name) and then headed up to the second floor of Kingly Court to get involved in some Trouble.

A little bit about The Trouble Club – it’s a newish women’s club, which is open to use as a hotdesking space during the day and hosts interesting talks and events in the evenings. At £10 per month, which includes £10 credit to use for events, it’s incredibly good value and as a freelancer, something I’ll definitely consider signing up to.

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Last night, Anne Pigalle kicked off her UK tour at the venue. The Trouble Club site describes her thus:

In a pioneering evening of expression, eroticism and exploration The Trouble Club is excited to be kicking off the tour of Anne Pigalle – The Last Chanteuse from Paris. With an international career spanning from Madame Jojo’s and Ronnie Scotts in their 80s heyday, through to Trouble today, Anne is taking us back into the heart and soul of Soho. The Amerotic salon will draw together Anne’s artistic, poetical and musical roots in a unique and interactive program infused with performance, poetry and pornography, from lecture to life-drawing. We would never claim to have met our match, but Anne Pigalle knows how to cause some trouble…

So not really knowing what to expect, we headed up and settled in with a vat of gin and tonic.

Let’s remember here that I’m with my sister in law in a room full of strangers, listening to a gorgeous French woman read her poems and sing her songs, which featured a lot of erotic imagery, it definitely started off a little awkward. By the time we’d enjoyed a couple of the Bloom gins though, we were getting into it as you’ll see from the picture below, I found myself blindfolded whilst one of the other guests read me a quite filthy poem!! Anne Pigalle is a fascinating woman and you can read more about her on her blog. She’s on tour in the UK for a couple of weeks, if you get the chance, do check her out.

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After Anne finished, we hung around for a little longer to chat to the founder, Joy and some of the people who had attended the event and then decided to go grab some dinner. One of Abbi’s colleagues, Simone, was at Damson & Co just around the corner.

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Damson & Co opened when I was working in the neighbourhood. It’s on Brewer Street, right in the heart of Soho and a pretty low lit, intimate venue where you can grab a coffee and cake during the day or wine and tapas style food in the evening. The charcuterie board looked incredible – all the meats are sourced from British suppliers, so we had some of each – although sadly they’d run out of the smoked duck. I was veggie for a long time from my teens to my 20s and I still find some of the gamier meats a little too rich/deep of flavour to eat. However, the venison charcuterie was incredible, as was the ham, chorizo and salami. I do love a good board of meat.

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We also ordered the flatbreads – two varieties, one with mushrooms and onions and the four cheese one. These were like little worthy pizzas, on a brown bread base, stacked high with toppings. Sadly by this point, I couldn’t face eating too much (having stuffed myself silly on meat) so only had the mushroom one.

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We had a bottle of albarino to wash it all down, then finished off the evening with a cocktail – I had an amazing old fashioned, Simone & Abbi had a pink pepper gin and tonic. The manager brought my old fashioned over with an apology that it was a little sweet – by this stage however, everything tasted good to me, but liked that he would have happily remade it if I’d asked!

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The bill came to just over £100, which for the amount of food we ate and the booze we drank, was ridiculously good value. Will happily go back there again and again.

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