This is what weekends are about for me, sitting at the bar area in my favourite restaurant [Banners] in Crouch End; chatting to the staff; eating great food: drinking endless coffee and watching the world go by… and relaxing.
Perceptions on human nature base on physical appearance can be so wrong. I find piercings and tattoos intriguing and in terms of the latter, beautiful. But some look with caution and avoid those with large volume piercings.
Whilst people avoided sitting next to this guy and approached with caution, a blind woman sat next to him chatting to him without care or concern about his appearance. Refreshing occasionally that appearance isn’t the be-all and end-all.
The West End is crazy busy, ridiculously so. As an office worker in the West End you spend half of your lunch break dodging tourists jay-walking mindlessly and stopping for no apparent reason and the other half being battered by the Primarni Army with five overstuffed bags of cheap clothes in each hand. So to find a quiet little haven away from the madness is not only a relief, it’s a delight.
Spaccanapoli is a stones-throw from the bottom of Tottenham Court Road amidst the Lego Buildings as they’re affectionately known. It’s well loved by regulars and the staff are friendly, like they’re actually happy you came in, rather than filled with mirth and general distain you can often get.
Aaand the food is great also. The lasagne is quite exceptional as is the pork belly, just actually delicious. And Then There are These Beauties!! Cannolini ~ crispy white chocolate filled pastry rolls. I defy you to bite through these without letting out a little groan. And for £1 you can’t go wrong.
One of my favourite pubs is The Bull near Liverpool Street. It has an old world charm about it; its selection of craft beers is growing as is their bar food offer … let’s just say “sausage roll” and say no more … other than I waaaant to try their scotch egg imminently!
It’s recently under new management so give it a go, Elliot did an amazing job of managing my all time favourite pub, The Old Red Cow, before this.
So another part of the 2014 plan carried on in earnest today, the “move more” bit with a second foray to an exercise class. I can’t remember when I last did any formal exercise, suffice to say a while.
I did my first, but resolutely not last FitSteps class a week ago, my Aunt said, “well the challenge now is to go back”. At first I thought “but I went!” And then I realised actually the challenge is to sustain it, the first grand gesture is actually easier than incorporating it into your life and forgoing other things to do exercise ~ gin is indeed much more fun and will forever be. So today I went back and not reluctantly.
As I’m hooked on Strictly this is the perfect class for me – it’s a dance-based exercise class incorporating cha-cha, quickstep, waltz, salsa, jive, rumba and a few others I’m sure to have forgotten.
I *thought* prior to last weeks class that I *was* co-ordinated, that I *was* pretty good at dancing, nay a dance hall diva no less [the aforementioned gin may have been involved in this summation]… what last week’s and indeed alas this week’s class has taught me is that I have little ability to co-ordinate what my feet, my hips and my arms are doing. I can conclude that it is little wonder that I fall over regularly with seemingly no explanation whatsoever.
Hopefully at some point I’ll stop seeing these trainer *things* as items of torture, but for now the post class adrenalin euphoria has morphed into owww! Even after a lovely dinner at Pescatoria with an old old friend.
I don’t know why I feel like a naughty big kid whenever I go to Ed’s Diner. Maybe it’s the swinging stools ~ maybe it’s the sign that makes me laugh that says “if you can find a better burger, go eat it” ~ maybe it’s the cheese sauce dip with all the nutritional qualities of a shoe, but unlike a shoe is utterly delicious, especially when you dip gherkins up your elbow in it.
Whatever it is, a colleague and I snuck off here for lunch today, swung on the stools, supped milkshakes, listened to 50s music and ate deliciously bad food.
The inimitable Kirsty Newton organises two of my favourite nights out every month, Distraction Club and Singalong at King’s Head in Crouch End.
What is Singalong? … is it Karaoke, kind of but not … is it a Knees-up, kind of but not … is it fun? Hell yeah in abundance … it’s just plain brilliant. Let’s try not to define it, but just enjoy it.
After a long hard week at work, culminating in 29hrs in two days I trudged into the King’s Head with less energy than a sloth after a marathon. But my boss had said “get a taxi and a bottle of wine on the company” as a thank-you for the week, so who was I to argue??
Wine bought, poured and sipped and Bye Bye American Pie on the go and the stresses of the week ebbed away in a single breath. And then the night was *on*.
Wuthering Heights > Abba > Mustang Sally > Like A Prayer … there is no better night.
If you’re still in any doubt have a look at the video and I’ll see you next month on 14 February at the King’s Head in Crouch End, from 8.30pm.