Somewhere between hunting lodge and horsebox, our private dining room is tantamount to a country escape. Secluded from hubbub of the Cafe but for a couple of grazing horses, the space seats up to 14 for meetings, meals, parties and whatever you might not like to share with everyone else.
What we're listening to
Not every sad day is a bad one. Cold November mornings under the duvet with a soundtrack of twinkly guitars and sweet songs couldn’t be more heart-happy. And maybe a bottle of wine if you’re not going anywhere.
This list stretches from Calexico, to Nick Cave, and back to East London with some Dry The River.
Tell us what you like, share your favourite tracks, or send us a list and we’ll stick it up.
THINGS ORGANIZED NEATLY
Most of us live in varying degrees of disarray: of unmade beds, junk drawers, of Primark shelves more akin to a jumble sale than any school of visual merchandising. It’s for us folk for whom Things Organized Neatly is that much more compelling – the juxtaposition of precision against the unruly disasters of our everyday.
They kindly break things down, order them up, by colour, grid, texture, angle – whatever – making sure, everything is always just so.
FITZROVIA LATES, LAST THURSDAYS
Whilst the rest of London was getting to grips with where in fact Fitzrovia was located, the art world descended. In the tradition of the neighbourhood’s bohemian past, there are now more galleries per square foot than the British Museum.
To help every time-poor Londoner circumnavigate the patchwork of topnotch exhibitions, most of the galleries now stay open late on the last Thursday of the month to let you check out more art than working hours alone allow. And, because people are clever like this, there’s even a handy monthly map showing you where to go.
Fitzrovia Lates takes place the last Thursday of each month (image from Scream’s East of Eden exhibition)
M-F: 7.30am to 12pm
S-S: 9am to 11.30am
S-S: 11.30am to 4pm
M-F: 12pm to 3.30pm
S-S: 12pm to 4pm
M-S: 6pm to 10pm
Sun: 6pm to 9.30pm
All day menu available throughout the afternoon.
In the morning
When once we only saw 9am on the wrong side of a night out, now the promise of fluffy pancakes, Eggs Royale and flat whites somehow keeps us all in line. Oh, and a chorizo hash brown for when it all goes horribly wrong.
Once you’ve got the spiced Punt e Mes ready to go, this is quick to make for one or many. Or if you’ve had one or many.
20ml Spiced Punt e Mes*
20ml Plymouth Sloe gin
Mix together the first three ingredients over cubed ice in a rocks glass. Top up with the prosecco and garnish with a piece of orange zest.
* empty out a small bit of the Punt e Mes to make room for a couple of cloves, small piece of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. Seal back up and leave somewhere warm to infuse gently (near a radiator works quite well!)
GOGOL BORDELLO & MAN MAN, FRI 13th DEC
How excellent is this?! The most outrageous Manhattan gypsy-punkers AND the very best Nacho Libre rock n’ roll at the same London show? Yes sir – Gogol Bordello are coming to town (to be fair, they don’t do much else besides touring) with what is undoubtedly one of the best nut-job live shows around and the added bonus of Man Man as support.
Christmas has come early. Two bands who play accordions like electric guitars and who look as at home in ponchos as they do in fluoro.
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This recipe requires patience for now and a personal trainer later. Totally worth it.
Enough for 4 (2 real people)
1. Marinate 300g chicken wings overnight in:
- 30ml buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- pinch chilli powder
- salt & white pepper
2. Wipe off marinade. Poach wings in half milk / half water until cooked through. Leave to cool in liquid.
3. Prepare 3 bowls – one with seasoned flour; one with 20ml Cholula Hot Sauce mixed with a beaten egg; and one half seasoned flour, half cornflour & 1/2 tsp custard powder.
4. Coat the wings in the flour, then egg, then cornflour. Deep fry. Drain & coat in more hot sauce.
5. Serve with sour cream & blue cheese dip & lots of beer.
DAILY CAKE QUOTIENT
Everyday, our kitchen brings us a jar of cookies. Or sometimes a pretty little cake stand with a banana loaf. Macaroons. Meringues. Depends how they’re feeling. But everyday, regardless, there is a new batch of home made treats to eye up on your way in and have with a cup of tea.
No holds barred fridge adulteration from all around. Lonely, abandoned fridges. Bountiful fridges. Funny fridges. Fridges with people in them. On them. Fridges on adventures and fridges that once were but maybe aren’t anymore.
There are a lot fridges. Image quality ranges from phone snap to breathtaking. Worth ten minutes of time wasting particularly if you’re avoiding spending too much time near yours this month.
At the sharing table
WHO DID YOU MEET?
Once upon a time, we chatted to strangers, brought jams to neighbours in times of plenty and said hello to passersby. We hear it still happens up North.
We also hope one might choose to shoot the breeze with fellow diners at the sharing table. Maybe you might debate current affairs; maybe you share a secret haunt; maybe you might just pass the pepper.
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It’s no secret we’ve got soft spots for hot bikes (except for Adam, he likes cars, we forgive him). Whilst the somewhat juvenile colouring-box antics of one East London bike builder don’t really do it for us, the level of bespokification of Paris’ Heritage bikes is more fun than a DIY sundae bar.
Look at these! They’re just beautiful – certainly don’t look like you’ve just arts-n-crafted yourself a ride out of the flouro leftovers of a Lego factory.