Category Archives: London

Be At One – Spitalfields

Cocktails on a Monday night? Why not!!​

http://www.beatone.co.uk/cocktail-bar/spitalfields

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The Anthologist bar

Last night I went out for some payday drinks with work friends. We went to our local pub the Red Lion for ‘one’ drink (that is four) and then went to the Anthologist bar. I hadn’t been there before, and it was great! Nice vibe, good music from the DJ, busy and bustling. There wasn’t exactly a dance floor, but I managed to have a little dance, that always makes me happy!

http://www.theanthologistbar.co.uk

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d2392222-Reviews-The_Anthologist-London_England.html

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A night out in south London

Met up with some friends for a few drinks and a night out.

Started out in Be@one bar in Balham.

http://www.beatone.co.uk/cocktail-bar/balham

I love this chain and it is a lifetime ambition to visit every bar they have. The problem is that they keep expanding since I added this to my bucket list! Well, I suppose it’s not a problem really 😉

They make a huge variety of good cocktails, the atmosphere and staff are always upbeat.

Last night was good but a little quiet – not sure if that’s because Balham is not the hippest party spot or perhaps 8.30 was too early. We stayed for a few rounds then decided to head somewhere with a dance floor.

Someone on google came up with Hootanannys in Brixton:

http://www.hootanannybrixton.co.uk

I hadn’t been there before and the name sounded familiar. The six of us jumped in a cab and headed over.

There was a £4 cover charge and it was pretty busy bustling when we arrived. There was seating indoors and out, as well as some food stands. Great!! The DJ was good, but sadly the live music that came on after was not. The accordion playing band in drag would have been good if it was just a few songs, but their set was SO long… After hoping they would go away soon and sitting outside in the cold for a while to get away, we decided to check out the bar we’d passed on the way.

Effra social
http://effrasocial.com

Not quite sure how to describe this place. It was part pub and part bar with a dance floor. Nice crowd, good music, it seemed pretty down to earth. We drank and squeezed in a bit of dancing before they closed at 1am.

Yes, 1am in London. This is a very frustrating thing about going out in LondonI! Clearly too early to end a night out.

So, back to Hootanannys that would close at 3am. We didn’t stay for long though, the accordion drag band had gone but we weren’t a fan of whoever the new act was.

Had a good night out catching up with friends. All venues were worth a visit. I’d be happy to give Hootanannys another try some time. I usually enjoy random music although it wasn’t quite what I was looking for last night!

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The Bar with no name – Angel

For a friend’s birthday, I went to the bar with no name, maybe ten minutes walk from Angel station. From what she’d said, it was supposed to be amazing!

http://www.69colebrookerow.com

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186338-d2514353-Reviews-The_Bar_With_No_Name-London_England.html

It’s a nice little bar, and when I say little, I do mean little. Nice ambience, dimly lit and professional staff. Admittedly the limited list of cocktails were actually very good and well-made (I think £8.50 each).

However, I wouldn’t say this place is amazing. Perhaps it is ‘exclusive’ because it is so small, but for me it was uncomfortably small. The tables were too low, you have to squeeze into the chairs and are being jostled the whole time. And just as I’d said to my friend ‘this is not the kind of bar to get drunk in because you’d easily knock the glasses off the low tables’, one of our group did stand up and knock a glass off the table.

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Happy to have tried this place, it is nice but I won’t be back in a hurry.

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Graveney & Meadow – Tooting

Tooting is my closest local ‘cool’ hang out area, but for some reason, I end up going out more in central London than locally.

However, every time I go out in Tooting I end up having a great time!

Last night I made plans to catch up with a friend. Original plan was Clapham, for various reasons we changed to Tooting. We met at Tooting Broadway station at 8.30 – she had already eaten but I hadn’t. I had a vague idea of a place that meant she could start drinking instead of just watching me eat – Graveney & Meadow. By day it is a bakery/cafe but I’d noticed the bar suggesting it was more.

We popped in, there was a good buzzy atmosphere and a dinner menu. A pretty awesome dinner menu in fact! The chickpea stew caught my eye. I ordered, got our drinks and sat down to embark on catching up. My stew was so tasty, surprisingly flavourful and very spicy. It also came with an egg on top.

We ended up staying until it closed at 2am. There wasn’t really a dance floor, but we were perfectly happy at our table listening to music and watching the cool and trendy crowd. It had a really nice atmosphere and got busier throughout the night.

http://graveneyandmeadow.com

This is definitely a cool place to hang out and I hope to be back soon!

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Clos Maggiore – Covent Garden

This restaurant was on my to-do list last year, but I didn’t make it there… So I decided to go this year! Actually, I ended up going for the second time today 🙂

It was highly recommended to me by two friends, and with good reason. The first time was for dinner, and today for the prix fixe set lunch menu – a very reasonable £30 for three courses, or £35 including half a bottle of house wine.

To start I had the venison and pork terrine, followed by pork cheek main, and for dessert the lemon tart with hazelnut ice cream.

The pork cheek was really delicious, soft and with a really rich sauce with vegetables. The service was fabulous (except until we had finished everything and wanted to get the bill – this took a while. Maybe it’s a European restaurant thing).

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I decided today that this restaurant is in my London top three. I’d happily go back, and any wise guy would take a date here to enjoy the lovely and romantic atmosphere.

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Leong’s Legend & The Savoy

My brother recommended a Taiwanese restaurant to me in China town. I didn’t recognise the name, but I did recognise the location and had vague recollections of going in one night – then walking out because it was too busy and I couldn’t be bothered to wait.

I also mentioned it to a work friend of mine (originally from Hong Kong) who confirmed it was a really good restaurant – so it was promptly moved up on my priority list!

I did have an evening of dinner and drinks planned with two friends. Dinner location was undecided so I suggested Leong’s Legends and off we went!

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d1151087-Reviews-Leong_s_Legends-London_England.html

We had to wait five minutes for a table – it was a Thursday night. I really liked the busy atmosphere, the staff was friendly and prompt. I was really impressed with my spicy beef noodle soup. It actually had tasty hunks of meat with texture, as opposed to the usual slices of non-description meat I always get in other restaurants. Every aspect of the noodles was tasty – the noodles, broth, meat and veggie goodies. And I like my noodles enough to know a good bowl of noodle soup!

My friends seemed equally happy with their choices. I also enjoyed a glass of plum wine with my dish.

Thumbs up to this place from me, I’d happily go again.

After dinner we took a cab to the Savoy hotel on the Strand for cocktails. It was cool to arrive by cab, my friend explained something about how cabs pull up so the door is opened on the right (or something like that).

http://m.fairmont.com/savoy-london/

The American bar was fab, I loved my grasshopper cocktail (favourite cocktail) accompanied by live pianist and good company of my friends.

A lovely evening 🙂

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Be at one at Monument

I am on a mission to visit all of these bars. Loving the one at Monument.

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Winterville at Victoria Park

I hadn’t heard of Winterville before until a friend said she went the week before and suggested we go on Saturday. She described it as ‘a smaller version of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and I’d say she’s spot on!

I’ve been to Winter Wonderland a few times in years past and always enjoyed it. I also noticed that it gets busier and busier each year. This year friends have told me they weren’t even able to get in over the weekend as it was so busy! Wow!

So it was actually a relief to go to Winterville. Victoria Park is a 20 minute walk from Mile End station. There was a great atmosphere and a fair number of rides. It is deceptively large from outside, but once inside you can go around it all in 15 minutes. However, the best thing was that on a Saturday afternoon it was easy to get around as it wasn’t packed with people!

We had some nice mulled wine, looked at the rides (I love rides, but wasn’t in the mood to go on them after wine) and enjoyed some food from the stands. I really enjoyed the chorizo stew, followed by churros. Yum.

The highlight was definitely the music ‘tent’ that got going at 7pm. They had live music from the Old Dirty Brasstards who played modern tunes on their brass (awesome) and a performance by Guilty Pleasures (I think) who were fabulous. The DJ was also great and clearly having a ball with his own great tunes!

I’m glad I came across Winterville. I think I enjoyed it more than what Winter Wonderland has become – although I’d happily go to both again. Bar the latter on a Saturday evening!

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Dinner at Sardo – Italian in Fitzrovia

My friend chose to have dinner here following a positive recommendation, and now I am passing on the positive recommendation!

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d720499-Reviews-Sardo-London_England.html

This is a nice, decent restaurant.  I had the pasta with tomato and sausage dish, which was deceivingly filling.  I also requested some chopped chilli that made it even tastier.  The panna cotta was very delicious, and I was impressed with the half bottle of white wine – I’m not usually a fan of dry whites but this was really good.

I left feeling very happy and full.  Service was a little slow, but maybe they didn’t want to disturb our deep conversations…

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