Tag Archives: Soho

Hen Do Tea Party

I cannot believe my wedding is in 5 weeks!

All the RSVPs are in, the honeymoon is booked, and I’ve had my final dress fitting. Time to relax, spend the weekend pampering myself with spa treatments, and meditating about wedded bliss.

Oh, wait a minute – not if my girlfriends have anything to do with it!

The big day that I thought would never happen is finally here:

My bachelorette party!

Saturday began with my darling friend Lia (isn’t she darling?) grabbing me for a shopping date and bistro lunch.

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A happy little salad and two happy bloody marys, then darling Lia hailed a cab and whisked me off to a secret destination in Soho…

Which turned out to be Dean Street Townhouse – where all my chirpy chickies were waiting to surprise me for my hen do afternoon tea!

How jolly British!

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I was so happy to see all of my hens – especially one who had just fluttered over from the US!

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What wedding diet?

Let the bride eat cake!

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And sip tea!

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A spiffing afternoon with the ladies!

After tea, the girls kindly accompanied me home to mine – where the scene was set with fairylights and candles, a cheese board, and lots and lots of bubbly!

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I donned my festival-themed accessories and shimmied into something a little more rock chic for the evening ahead.

Which was mainly drinking lots of champers and cuddling.

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Eventually, we prowled out into the London nightlife scene – kicking things off at our first stop, Maggie’s.

(Which was essentially like partying at home because this little 80’s club has been my bunker since I was just a Chelsea newbie).

I marched in and took the reigns – or drumsticks, in this case…

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I can’t show you more because us rockstar gals like to keep a low profile on our nights out.

But suffice it to say, with friends as gorgeous as this, it was quite a mischievous night carousing until dawn.

Oops, I guess that’s what happens when the hens fly the coop!

Udon it

I don’t think there’s ever a time when I couldn’t go for a mean bowl of udon. Fat, doughy noodles in a steamy bowl of miso broth with a dash of Nori Fumi Furikake – that’s how a make ’em. Of course, there’s a plethora of varieties. Koya on Frith Street has 27 kinds of udon on the menu. Last night I went for one of the Hiya-Atsu options – cold noodles with hot broth. Oh, with prawn and vegetable tempura… mmm, tempura. Delicate, crispy hunks of sweet potato, broccoli, mushroom caps and one lanky, long jumbo shrimp – brittle and flaky and ready for a dunk.

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After dinner, it was show time!

Helen Mirren in “The Audience”, to be exact.

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What a dame she is… I wish Helen Mirren actually was the queen!

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Hopping on the Piccadilly Circus tube – home to bed!

West End Wednesday

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There’s no better remedy to the mid-week slump than a trip to theatreland. Last night I went to see ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ at the Apollo Theatre. I have been meaning to read the book for ages. I picked it up in Daunt Books and skimmed the beginning; I even had a glance on the Amazon ‘Look Inside’ preview, but it just didn’t grab me. Maybe because it’s narrated by a 15-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome – you really have think about how he perceives the world so differently; hyper-sensitive to sound and touch, he thinks in graphic mathematical equations.

wedchampersA little pre-show champers before the bell.

wedplaybillLuke Treadaway who plays Christopher was brilliant. The manic way he furiously twists the drawstrings of his hoodie around his fingers, to the point of cutting off the circulation, made me feel anxious and faint. His chronic rationalization of every scenario veers between making perfect sense one minute and being completely frustrating the next. His strained relationship with his parents is tender and heart-rending; both sides feel desperately misunderstood. I literally squirmed in my seat while Christopher’s father changes him out of his tee-shirt after a major fit – the intimacy of it was almost unbearable! This play was exasperating, but it creatively depicted some of the challenges facing special needs families.

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After the performance, a bite to eat was definitely in order. A nice little candlelit table at Ducksoup came to mind. Ducksoup is oldish-new by London standards. I was already living in London when it opened, around the time a plethora of other no-reservations countertop bar/kitchens sprouted up across Soho.

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duckmenuThe handwritten seasonal menu is updated twice a day for lunch and dinner.

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duckartichokesBaby Artichokes, pecorino and mint

duckvenChopped venison on toast

Owner Rory McCoy explained to me how it is prepared – raw, with seasoning and lemon juice. It must be chopped to order and dressed as it’s served otherwise the acid will cook it and change the color too.

duckrecordNibbling on Jesus de Pays Basque salami and crusty sourdough bread, the record player whirring Nina Simone’s syrupy rendition of “Mr. Bojangles” – ahhh, I think I can make it til Friday.

Easter Weekend

One thing the Brits get right is the bank holiday weekend. This year Good Friday and Easter Monday were bank holidays, so nothing was getting in the way of me making the best of this 4-day weekend.

Friday night I met friends for some pre-theatre snacks at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho. A corner table by the window was a cozy spot for some candlelit nibbles.  The girolle & leek tart and the potted shrimps were just the trick for tiding us over until our late dinner reservation.

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After tipping back a couple flutes of Dean Street’s finest bubbles, we made a quick dash to the Prince Of Wales Theatre and took our seats for…

The Book of Mormon!

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By the end I had permanent dimples from all the laughing.

This show has received a gazillion rave reviews already, and I must concur –

pure hilarity!

Next on the Easter circuit was a little bit of a boogie. The next time you want to go “south of the border” without going south of the Thames, I recommend Tonteria. Located conveniently on the Sloane Square, we nestled into one of their dingy booths and sipped the very aptly-named Tonteritas.

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Easter Sunday finally arrived, providing a much needed escape to the Cotwolds to refuel and relax by the fire.

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And eat!

Creamy smoked haddock pots

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Rosemary-buttered roast pouisson & Comte gratin

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And the jewel in the crown of any self-respecting English feast… Pavlova!

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After coffee, Poppy and I were raring to get out in the country air and stretch our legs.

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I have to say, the little kid in me missed my American Easter basket with Peeps just a smidge, but..

Happy Easter everyone!