Sunday, 28 November 2010

Victoria hits 30....

Victoria turned 30 yesterday and celebrated with drinks, (and plenty of them), at The Alibi in Dalston.


Lovely to see some old faces again on a raucous East End night.

Nick and Tom

Ems and Kel


Saturday, 27 November 2010

Susie hits 30....

....Another day, another 30th. This time, the early, (for she is a Christmas Eve babe), and surprise birthday of Susie Palmer.

Susie & Kelly

We spent a wonderful evening with Susie, her husband Ian, family and friends at the Circus in Covent Garden. In many ways a similar venue to last week, (Proud Cabaret), but in many ways, so, so much better.

James & Ian

The performances were in the shape of an acrobat, a burlesque dancer, fire throwers and a yo-yo artist(!), all performaning at intervals atop a vast concrete dining table in the middle of the room.

Tassled breasts n' all

The food was a well thought and well imagined group of sharing plates that allowed us to pick freely whilst watching everything that was going on. I'd expect nothing less of the venue, designed by the famed Tom Dixon, with the food, drink and entertainment living up to the high design of the interior.

Fire n' all

We ate and drank, sang our Happy Birthday's and moved on to a private section of the rear bar area. A really fun birthday, for a really fun girl. Many Happy returns!

Blowing out the candles

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Friday, 26 November 2010

The Friday Night Take Out - TESTED!...

....After blogging about this a few weeks ago, it was only right that Kelly and I road tested it. First off, I love the premise - a skilled chef taking the gastronomic staple of restaurants, and turning it in to an entirely more personal, fun affair.

Frank Hannon, an Irish former chef at Moro, was parked out side my front door tonight. On a bike. He was on his rounds, with a vast crate of food attached to a rack above his rear wheel. He passed it over, a couple of boxes, and described the best way to reheat the food. I thanked him, tipped him and wished him a safe cycle. Good old Frank.

Dinner tonight was poached guinea fowl casserole with winter vegetables and puy lentils. We reheated as directed, opened a bottle of rouge and Kelly and I bedded in and thoroughly enjoyed our winter feast. Far better than your average take away. But then this was a Friday Night Take Out. If you live in East London, look him up and see if he will deliver to your area. It's worth it.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Rachel hits 30....

....Kelly's good friend Rachel celebrated her 30th birthday, with a night at Proud Cabaret, where the evening's events were hosted by the Tassle Club.

Rachel dresses accordingly

A sit down dinner for 12 friends whilst a burlesque backdrop played out behind. Wonderful. Once the show was over, the DJ kicked in, so we had a boogie until the small hours.


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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Kelly & Roy hit 1....

....I know anniversaries should be of the post-wedding variety, but Kel and I decided to celebrate one year together with a jaunt to Hastings. The reasons were two-fold. To get out of London for a night, but also to, (sad but true), go for a walk in our new shoes, bought for our South American adventure.

Foyles B&B

We stayed at a wonderful little B&B called Foyles. Set in a listed 18th Century building, right on the front in Hastings Old Town, owners Sharon & David, (and dog Charlie), have created a World War II memorabilia cafe, above which sits three twee rooms.

Cafe scene, complete with bunting.

We arrived on Friday evening and decided to stay in. After being greeted by Sharon, we were left to ourselves in the cafe, so we sat amongst the paraphernalia and got stuck in to plenty of pre-bought cheese and wine.

Say cheese!

The plan for the walk the following day was along the coast, up to Hastings Country Park and back. About 10k. It proved to be a wonderful and indeed testing walk. The ups and downs along the cliff edges made for stunning scenic views and ultimately a rewarding, strenuous walk. (Our new shoes will have been pleased with their introduction to the outdoors).

(That's the sea behind us).

We finished our brief visit with a wander around the Old Town, with George Street in particular a really lovely parade of shops and cafes. (We took advantage of one, of course, with a coffee and a cake).
A lovely, if brief, way to celebrate our first year together. (And I thoroughly recommend staying at Foyles B&B too).

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Saturday, 13 November 2010

Nick hits 30....

....And he has done so with the annual joint celebration with Aimee. We worked out this was the tenth time they'd held centre stage together. The evening started at Aimee's for a quick champagne reception, before heading on to the Hemingway pub.

There, everybody gathered and had a right old knees up. A great time was had.

Nick & Aimee


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Friday, 12 November 2010

Aimee hits 30....

....As a warm up to the joint extravaganza that is Aimee & Nick's 30th this Saturday, the former invited guests to dinner at Rivington Bar & Grill last night.

Lovely food and an intimate affair....well, an entirely civilized celebration befitting a 30 year old!


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Bill Bailey, Dandelion Mind....

....Tonight I surprised Kelly with an early Christmas present, with tickets to see Bill Bailey at the Wyndham Theatre.

We began the evening with a quick bite to eat at the marvellously unpretentious and hearty eaterie that is Gaby's cafe, in the heart of Leicester Square.

Kel & I were really excited to see Bill Bailey, after becoming fans from his numerous appearances on panel shows like Buzzcocks and QI, alongside brilliant comedies like Black Books. Tonight's performance was along the theme of doubt.......or was it?!.....and allowed Bailey's idiosyncratic comedy to come to the fore.

Bill Bailey's Essential Guide to the Orchestra

He is like a more musically proficient Stewart Lee in terms of his intelligent, surreal, punk-ethic routines. You can sit there and split your sides, or alternatively have a five minute period where you haven't laughed, but remain totally and utterly engaged. The show covered topics from football, to politics, advertising to music and of course doubt.

Apocalyptic rave

Interestingly, Bailey raised a story about his use of Spanish on a trip to Columbia. Kelly and my ears pricked as he continued on about Santa Marta and the Lost City Trek - exactly what we'll be doing come January. If it's good enough for Bill, (even if he was stoned), it's good enough for us. And so was tonight. Rambling, surreal, infectious, musical, intelligent, hysterical comedy genius.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Friday Night Take Out....

....I have just been made aware of this rather curious little take away - a chap in East London has turned to making a big ol' dish every Friday night, which is available for take away.

He posts the menu at the start of the week, here, and it can be picked up or delivered from his kitchen. Costing £8.50 a pop, it is the price of standard take away but with a more personal touch. (Not sure how he'll fill out his tax returns mind......)

Top tog....

....I finally treated myself to a new duvet and a set of four new pillows, whilst an early Christmas present from mum & dad, of new bed clothes, has resulted in an altogether more comfortable sleep. Zzzzzz.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ian & Susie to dinner....

....Our ongoing dinner parties with Ian & Susie continued as we treated them to a three course banquet a la Roy & Kelly.

Goats cheese, beetroot and pomegranate seed salad, to start

We ate a great meal, whilst (obviously) watching the latest developments in X Factor.

Seated and ready to feed, Susie, Ian & Kel

After a small starter we tucked in too a deep South favourite, (via Nigella), of ham cooked in coca cola.

The ham post coca cola cooking

Coca cola ham, with mustard mash and green beans with almonds & mixed seeds.

Kelly had made a Guinness & chocolate cake for our dessert, which turned out incredibly well.

Finishing touches to the icing

The proof is in the.....

The cake was phenomenal and a great end to the meal, which was, as ever, amongst fantastic company. A great evening, cheers.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

In the oven....

....Ruth and Andy are expecting their first child in March of next year. We're all a little bit excited. I'm already a little bit scared I might drop the bairn. Today was Ruth's 20wk scan and we're happy to say, all is well.

Baby Preston.