Category Archives: London

Can Vico revitalise Cambridge Circus? (Absolutely yes!)

I met my wino at the opening night of Dehesa many moons ago and we’ve been delightfully happy and scarily well fed ever since. But those heady days of going to the opening of the latest, well, envelope, are far behind us. We do eat out a lot still (you don’t get our fine figures without a significant amount of three course + wine dinners) but suburban life has put a bit of a dampener on being able to go to every opening or wine tasting or whatever.

However, when you get an invite (through the wino) to the opening of a new restaurant from the team behind Bocca di Lupa and Gelupo, you really can’t say no. Particularly when the food and drink is free all night. So last night, on a torrential Monday in August (gotta love British summers) we found ourselves at Vico.

Vico is soft launching this week – check out its social media channels (Facebook / Twitter/ Instagram) to find out details of how to get to one of this week’s events or head over to Cambridge Circus from next week when it’ll be officially open to the general public.

Vico takes all the skills and techniques of the formidable Jacob Kenedy and transports them to a format that’s right for the location – effectively Italian street food. Vico is in that formerly chain zone of Cambridge Circus, on the site of what was probably a Pizza Hut or Frankie & Benny’s. It’s one of those locations that Londoners avoid (unless you’re walking from Soho to Covent Garden) – just filled with tourist tat and not particularly appealing. However, a Polpo opened there recently, the refurbed Ivy has just reopened around the corner and it’s hopefully coming into its own now.

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The food is sold by the weight and features several different varieties of arancini – and as you’ll know from a previous post, I love me some arancini. We had two black squid arancini – I’d thought these would be my favourite but I found them a little underseasoned for my taste (I will admit that I’m a bit of a salt junkie so this may just be me). We also had the beetroot and goat’s cheese, hazelnut and blue cheese varieties and these were all amazing – the risotto rice was cooked beautifully and they were served warm and unctuous.

On top of that, we tried the prosciutto and mozzarella pizza with rocket, a salad of some grains (I didn’t see what) which you could add rabbit to and a endive salad with parmesan and some lovely bacalao fritters. Oh and a fancy Italian sausage roll which was layers of crunchy pastry around some beautifully flavourful pork. Probably my favourite. For all the food in the image at the top of this post, and 500ml of red wine, our bill would have come to about £45 – not bad at all.

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We washed this down with 500ml of red wine – wine is on draft and sold by the carafe. You can get a 250ml or 500ml. They also have prosecco on draft which I didn’t realise until much too late but I literally cannot wait to order me a pint of prosecco. There’s also beer, soft drinks, Campari and various other spirits but I stuck to the wine. It was Monday, goddamnit. I’m not sure if they removed the seating for the event because I’m pretty sure I saw some stools hiding around the back, but it would be good if there was some seating.

Rather than trying to be Bocca di Lupo 2, Vico offers a range of beautifully prepared, simple Italian finger foods that you eat at standing/perching tables, rather than sitting down for a full meal. It’s perfect for the location – quick for a good pre-theatre bite, great for families and probably quite nice for a quick dinner with friends. Will most definitely be back. Regularly.

In a pickle about pickles? Learn about kombucha and kimchi and a whole world more at The House of Ferment

The last few weeks have been a little hectic, to say the very least – I’ve moved from Shoreditch to Dalston (for work not actual house move), thereby increasing my hipster rating significantly (I haven’t yet told them that I’m a massive geek – but they’ll learn), I’ve had the mother of all stomach bugs (too much information? Believe me, I could get much more graphic…. but I won’t) and I’ve been helping with the comms for The House of Ferment which launches tomorrow and which is what I’m going to tell you about, right now. Forgive the indulgence, but think it’ll be of interest to you if you’re London based and foodie. I’ll resume usual service about eating out and cooking in soon (and don’t worry Chris, I’m mentioning you now so you don’t feel like I’ve forgotten this blog is secretly about my obsession with you!)

The Science Gallery London in its own words is: “…a space, focused on 15–25 year olds, where art and science collide. A flagship project for Culture at King’s College London, it will engage over 300,000 visitors per year in cutting edge research in science, the arts and design, bringing together researchers, students, local communities and artists in new and innovative ways to stimulate fresh thinking.

SGL doesn’t have a fixed abobe (yet) but last year ran a successful season entitled Frequencies and has followed this up in 2015 with its current season FED UP: The Future of Food. This season launches this week with a brand new installation at Borough Market entitled The House of Ferment.


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The House of Ferment has been developed by the clever folks from Grizedale Arts in collaboration with Science Gallery London. The process of fermentation goes back hundreds of years, but it is making a global comeback and is now the latest craze to excite chefs and foodies across the world. Do you know your kombucha from your nuka, or your kimchi from your borscht? Come along to The House of Ferment to find out more so that when you’re next dining at the latest fancy pants raw food venue, you won’t feel confused by pickles and processes.

The House of Ferment is a multi-functional arts installation incorporating a collection of edible fermented cultures that explores and discusses the processes behind food preservation. Billions of bacteria have been carefully nurtured and developed into six different cultures, each of which produces a distinctive flavour. The cultures have been used to create over 30 peculiar and pleasing products which you’ll be able to try, including sourdough, several kimchi (of Korean origin), nuka (a Japanese bran pickle), local milk cheese and yogurt, nettle ‘champagne’, pickled cucumbers (of Polish origin), sauerkraut, borscht and more unusual products such as kombucha.

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In the installation, the fermented foods are combined with functional elements by selected artists, including a bespoke table by the 2013 Turner Prize winner, Laure Prouvost, and an inimitable vessel by the artist Bedwyr Williams. Further functional works by Sarah Staton and Giles Round are augmented by a new range of kitchen equipment created by Grizedale Arts and the village of Coniston.

The installation will act as a hub for a variety of workshops, talks, performances and a pop-up café. Whilst all events are free, you will have to book in for certain tastings and talks through Eventbrite. The link can be found on the main Science Gallery site or you can see the different events and book here:

The House of Ferment launches on 7 July and is open to the public until Saturday 11 July. it will be at 6 Southwark Street, within Borough Market.

North London Sundays (and eating WAY too much)

Twice a year, my husband and a bunch of other middle aged, not at the peak of fitness, mates play cricket in Regents Park. They love it, it’s literally the highlight of my husband’s year – I reckon, given a choice he would take two afternoons of cricket over an all expenses paid trip to, oh, I don’t know, Costa Rica. (FYI, if anyone wants to send me to Costa Rica, I’m well up for it).

One year, early in our courtship, I drove Marcel to cricket, and stood in the drizzle for maybe six hours watching them play and then went to the pub with some of the cricketers and listened to them reliving their every move from the cricket match. Whist I was stone cold sober because I was driving. Have I mentioned I find cricket quite tedious? Even though I’m a good Sri Lankan gal.

I’ve since learned that life’s too short to spend hours pretending to care about cricket, so this year, with the first of the two matches this summer approaching, I realised that my dear friend Alex was also playing, which meant that his girlfriend Katie would be free. Now I’ve known Alex for a decade (ish) and whilst he’s great (mostly), Katie is one of those truly awesome, clever and beautiful women and as she’s relatively new in my life, I figured it’d be the perfect opportunity to get to know her better (and let our men folk do that cricket nonsense). And of course, because we love them, we’d turn up to watch, maybe one – definitely not 5 – hours of their “glory” on the field. Pitch? I literally don’t know or care.

So we booked a table at the York & Albany which is spitting distance from the Hub in Regents Park.And one of my favourite places in London (introduced to me by another gorgeous, clever, funny friend, Sarah who bloody moved to Bristol a few years ago and I miss her madly and often. I should really go to Bristol more often :-))

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Thankfully Katie likes a drink, so we started off by ordering a bottle of prosecco before we’d even contemplated the food. Now, I was still a little hanging from the Secret Cinema thingie (turns out you can drink a lot in Tattooine and the space booze makes your hangover last for two days), During those two days, I think everything I ate was either beige (toast, humous) or brown (chocolate). Not a green thing or a red thing or an fruity thing passed my lips. By Sunday however, I was feeling up to a breakfast smoothie (yup, those are still rearing their heads on occasion) and then headed out to meet Katie for lunch.

The reason I mention the hangover is because we had our prosecco and a bread basket (obvs – we’re not carb free fools) and I decided that I needed something light after two days of hangover eating, so ordered the cod. Despite there being what looked like an AMAZING Yorkshire pudding with the roast beef. And Katie’s roast chicken looked incredible. And to go with my cod, I ordered a rocket and tomato salad. Have I mentioned, I don’t really like tomatoes before? Well I don’t. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking other than I needed green things.

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York & Albany is a Gordon Ramsay venue so we knew the food would be good and it was. Not mind-blowing but good, honest food. One of the reasons I knew I was going to love Al’s girlfriend was the first time we met, she ignored starters because she knew she’d want pudding. My kinda gal. So we ordered two – a lemon posset with an earl grey granita and shortbread. And a chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream. Jesus wept, they were awesome. That salted caramel ice cream blew my mind.

We naturally had a cocktail with which to wash down our puddings and then we headed over to see the last bit of the cricket and drink more prosecco. Apparently Marcel’s team beat Alex’s team (I honestly have no idea what was going on).

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At some point, a few hours later, we found ourselves a little peckish. The incredible sportsmen we are married to/dating were also hungry so decided we’d head to Q-Grill in Camden, one of my favourite locations and home to some of the best macaroni cheese I’ve ever had.

Q-grill specialises in grilled meat so probably not the best place for a veggie – thankfully none of us are. I have a big love for fried chicken so ordered the buttermilk chicken with seasoned fries (which came with deep fried pickles – delish), Katie had the same but in a bun form, the boys had burgers and one of the other cricketers had pork cheeks with cheesy grits.

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I honestly don’t think I could have walked another step after eating that much that day, so thank the lords for Uber. Here’s to many more lovely ‘ladies wot lunch’ lunches. Possibly not with ‘stuff your face’ dinners on the same day though

Fish Tacos, Red Velvet Cupcakes and Star Wars

I’ve just come out of my family birthday fortnight – my mum’s birthday (28th May), my niece’s (30th May) and my husband’s (4th June) and whilst they’re not that demanding or needy (apart from my niece, but she’s 11 so it’s allowed. When she’s 13, I’ll be having words), it always feels like a very busy time of year.

This year, the wino and I went to Secret Cinema presents Empire Strikes Back. In costume. If you’re a fan of the Star Wars franchise (I’m not) or if you like a bit of immersive, interactive theatre (I do), then go to it. I can’t say too much for fear of being caught by the Stormtroopers but it’s worth every penny of the £75 for a ticket (I know, it’s expensive, but it’s worth it). You get given a character hence the ridiculous outfits (although I think I may well wear boilersuits every day for all eternity).

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But this post isn’t about Star Wars, it’s about birthdays. This year, for my mum’s birthday, we took her to afternoon tea at the Laura Ashley Hotel in Elstree. Wasn’t quite sure what to expect, other than cakes and sandwiches – and I’ve got to be honest, these were a little disappointing – nothing that interesting and some stuff that was just a little bit bland. But the grounds at the hotel were stunning – including this awesome human sized chessboard that my niece and nephew loved.

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Rix, at that tea, decided she wanted red velvet cupcakes for the second of her two birthday parties, so I spent most of the Saturday baking 48 of them. I know, it’s a well known recipe and I won’t pretend mine is any better than any other, but they do take beautiful photos. And buttermilk in any recipe is amongst my favourite things ever.

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But what I am going to share is my recipe for fish tacos. I love me a taco. Or a burrito. Or a wrap. Or anything that involves food wrapped in bread. I’m a woman of simple tastes. So on red velvet Saturday, I decided that I’d make fish tacos for dinner. If you’re in the US, these are probably quite regular things you can find in any restaurant (of Mexican ilk) but you don’t really find them here. So after a bit of googling and a bit of cupboard staring and realising we didn’t have a lot of stuff, I made my own version -and darned delicious they were too. So here it is, Fish Tacos a la basic storecupboard and garden herbs.

Fish tacos (makes enough for two) 

  • 500g firm white fish
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A twist of ground black pepper
  • A table spoon of fresh oregano leaves
  • Three cloves of garlic

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Lightly toast the spices in a small frying pan till the aromas are released, then move them to a pestle and mortar. Add the salt, pepper and grind till it forms a sandy texture. Add in the peeled garlic cloves and oregano and grind again, finish with a drizzle of olive oil, then rub into the fish (skin still on) and leave to marinade whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients

  • 2 x peppers (we used red and orange) sliced
  • A head of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Cucumber
  • Spring onions
  • Half a head of iceberg lettuce
  • 6 x tortilla wraps

Cut the garlic head in half and throw into a roasting pan with the peppers, a twist of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover with foil and roast for 20 mins until the peppers are soft.  Meanwhile, chop all the other vegetables into strips (cucumber), circles (spring onions) and shreds (lettuce). We (Marcel) weirdly sliced the spring onions into strips, which made them impossible to eat.

Our dressing was a combination of buttermilk and sriracha (chilli sauce) and a little bit of salt.

About 10 mins before the peppers are due to come out of the oven, make the fish – simply fry it or griddle it (or BBQ it if weather allows), skin side down first then flip over for the last minute of cooking time (should only take 5-6 mins total). Flake the fish into a bowl, off the skin to serve. Heat your tortilla breads according to the instructions (we did ours in the oven but that uses a lot of foil so I’ll leave it up to you) and plate. To serve, simply put the salad toppings into one big dish, fish in another, breads on a plate and then make up your wraps at the table.

Lovely light simple supper. Will be making again when the BBQ is out.

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Brunches and lunches, 2

Oh my, it’s been over a week since I posted again. Sorry ‘baht that. I’ve been a little emotionally unstable but nothing a lot of cake and a vat of wine won’t fix. Please feel free to send both of those things to me.

I’ve not been at home much over the last 10 days so there hasn’t been a huge amount of cooking done (there have been two occasions of Papa John’s wings though, which was delicious but probably not something to talk about here. But for future reference, if you’ve maybe had too many vats of wine, you should try the plain roasted wings and add your own sriracha – it’s the perfect cure. Washed down with a Tango, obvs).

There has however, been a lot of lovely brunches and lunches on which to report, so I’m going to do that RIGHT now.

First up, lunch at Blixen. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m currently working in an office again and as luck would have it, my office is actual spitting distance from Spitalfields (see what I did there?)

Squid stew, Blixen

Now, I’m very old and I’ve been in London a significantly long time and I remember when Spitalfields did not look like it does now. And whilst I could rant about gentrification taking all the personality out of London (which it has and if you agree, check out the Save Soho campaign which is totally doing the right thing), right now I mostly want to talk about the awesomeness of Blixen, the latest offering from the people behind The Riding House Cafe and Village East. I went the week after it opened, with my darling friend Chris, who works just around the corner. At the time, I was suffering from a gigantic cold and cough and feeling a little sorry for myself (unusual, right?) and so I decided to have a Good Times juice of pear, pineapple and ginger and a warming squid, chorizo and chickpea stew with saffron aioli. Chris had some sort of salad because he’s weird and healthy and was delighted to be sitting across from my snot streaked face. The service was lovely, the stew was the kind of dish that seemed really simple but perfectly balanced and just gorgeous and the decor was understated elegance – loved every bit of it and cannot wait to return (this time to try the cocktails which I’m sure, based on their other restaurants, will be incredible)

Kale salad, blixen

Chris (and his darling husband, Neil) were my brunching partners this weekend too. I ventured south for the first time in years (for those of you outside London, there’s a huge north south divide – the Thames only serves to divide the capital) to meet the boys for brunch. The weekend just gone was the Rugby 7s. I don’t really know what this means and nor is it relevant, apart from to let you know that the Rugby 7s has a theme and this year’s theme was either galactic or out of this world. So I get on the tube in the north-west ‘burbs and half way through my journey, I find myself sitting opposite Pikachu. At about 10am. Which was weird of itself, but shit got weirder at Clapham North, where I made my way to street level to meet the boys and ran into The Avengers. Followed by a couple of unicorns. Followed by human Minecraft characters and then more Avengers and people in shiny all in one bodysuits which left nothing to the imagination and some spacemen. I reckon 95% of the population of South London was in costume. Honestly, this is why I don’t go to south London – it felt like I’d had some sort of acid flashback.

After that confusing start, we wandered down to Brickwood, a newish brunch venue that the boys have been raving about. And rightly so. Again, the boys are both on this health kick so had avocado on (gluten free) toast and bacon so I decided to make them drool by having the brioche french toast with syrup and bacon and orange blossom creme fraiche, all washed down with a couple of the best americanos I’ve ever drunk (and I say that having had Americanos from The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs in Spitalfields, which are also good but they don’t come with brioche french toast. Just sayin’).  FYI, the coffees in the main pic are piccolos from the Dept of Coffee – not americanos, which just aren’t that photo worthy. Whilst I doubt I’ll get back there again soon (flashback still too raw), if you’re in South London and looking for a brunch venue, check it out – worth it.

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Other fun meals of note included a trip to Ottolenghi in Islington a few weeks back where I had an amazing broccoli salad with salmon. Doesn’t sound that impressive but tasted AWESOME. And a trip to Maltby Street Market at Ropewalk with the lovely Charlotte where we drank gin at 11am and then had scotch eggs and chocolate brownies from Bad Brownie. And when I say chocolate brownies, I mean a glorious oozing salted caramel brownie and a maple bacon brownie. Those were quite some brownies. I may never recover.

Bad Brownies (good brownies) Scotch Eggs

I did also take a fancy pants trip to Roux at the Landau but that deserves a post all of its very own. I love Michel Roux Jr. Turns out, I don’t love rabbit though. And my mum reminded me of a story about that, but I’ll share that in the Roux post. It’s a goodie.

I am continuing to stuff my face because it’s my most favourite thing to do and I’ll keep you posted on places of note. Would love to hear your Spitalfields/Shoreditch recommendations though – I’m going a bit snow blind from all of the choice around there…

The Vintage Furniture Flea

Our house is a 1930s semi in the middle of suburbia. You may or may not have noticed me complaining about it being in the middle of suburbia on occasion and it’s really the location I find most distressing –  if you could transport this house to say zone two, I’d never complain. It’s a really good size, we have a huge living space and kitchen/diner and three good sized bedrooms. Apart from the one that looks a little like a prison cell, we should really do some decorating upstairs at some point. And I’ve told you about our garden before too.

We both have a big love of mid-century modern furniture and we brought vintage pieces into the relationship when we met and have bought some pieces together since we’ve bought the house. That’s not to say we always agree on furniture – my tendency is towards colours and fun, he prefers classic and simple. And to be honest, we both like comfort and we both worry about money, so whilst it would have been lovely to get the amazing 1920s marble dining table with silver and yellow velvet chairs we saw at the Midcentury Modern fair a few years ago, we couldn’t quite justify the price. Which I believe was somewhere in the tens of thousands. Eeek. Similarly, I’ve never craved a vintage sofa because all those I’ve sat on, which look lovely, are bloody uncomfortable. Seriously, did people in the 50s and 60s not feel pain? There’s no way I’d be able to have a Netflix indulgence weekender on one of those.

Last week, I noticed my mate Chris had posted about The Vintage Furniture Flea on Facebook and as I’ve not been furniture shopping for a while, I decided to invite myself along. And drag the husband along too, mostly to rein me in from buying plastic things.

Sadly (for me, anyway) Chris is in Milan this weekend, so Neil, Marcel & I met for a full English breakfast at the Natural Kitchen in Baker Street then pootled down to Seymour Leisure Centre in Marylebone. Disclaimer, I didn’t actually pay to get in and I got free tea and cake (thanks Donna!), but I would absolutely pay £2 (or £3 for earlybird entry) if I didn’t have the blog, it’s absolutely worth it. And quite frankly, I would probably give my kidney for one of the cakes, they were AMAZING.

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The flea takes place in a gigantic sports hall and features about 20-30 traders, all of whom sell vintage furniture, collectables, kitchenalia and electricals and so much more besides. I had my eye on one of the Retromaps before going – these are vintage schoolroom world maps, utterly gorgeous but way out of our budget for today. However, definitely something I’d save for, they’re really striking and would look amazing in our dining room.

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A little more about our house – when we moved in, there was this shelving unit on the wall behind the sofa. It had been filled with knick knacks by the previous owners (who are my folks). I always hated this shelving unit, it just looked cluttered and messy so we had planned to rip it out. But then in recent months, we’ve taking to carefully ‘curating’ (I’m sorry) pieces to go on to it – starting with framed prints that fit within the different sized holes and we’re starting to love it a little more so it may yet stay. Marcel has been looking for a lamp to put on the shelves so he can read books whilst I indulge in yet more Netflix, but we’ve never been able to find one that works well. I’m also a big fan of symmetry and didn’t just want one lamp, thought we should have two. We are so ridiculous, this has caused numerous rows. And I’ve wanted a vintage floor lamp for ages, ideally one of those cinema style lights, but we just don’t have the room height or the space for it.

But today, we found two beautiful lamps for £125 for the pair at the Flea. They’re quite short lamps, so perfect to have over the back of the sofa for reading, and are a lovely burnished gold colour and they’re a pair, so I get symmetry. We’re all winners. I think Marcel would have preferred them not to be gold, but hell, given that I was about to buy a plastic Toucan light, he knew it wasn’t a fight worth having. Well done Marcel.

the shelves with lamps

Close up on a lamp

We also bought a number of vintage prints – a VW campervan advert from the 1970s and a Warhol print. And I bought some beautiful chocolate moulds for a tenner. A little gutted that we currently don’t have a lot of furniture needs – there was some really nice stuff there, a little bit that had been upcycled (which I’m never sure is a good idea) but lots of tables and chairs in really good condition and relatively good value for money – Neil & Chris are in the process of buying a house so I think I filled it about 16 times over in my mind. Thankfully for them, I’m not moving in with them. I’m sure they’re devastated to hear this 🙂

Upcycling done well

We had a lovely couple of hours at the Flea – it’s not so big that you feel exhausted by the end of it, but there’s enough there that you can find a good bargain. The next Vintage Furniture Flea is on the 31st May in Brixton and then there’s one in Bethnal Green in July. All details are on the website – www.vintagefurnitureflea.com. Thanks to Donna for inviting us along and for the cake, looking forward to seeing you at the next one – we may even come all the way to Brixton for it!

Still sad I didn't buy this
Still sad I didn’t buy this

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.