Keep one hawk eye on this page for Daisy’s quick pick of the best things road tested each week from trainers to events via a few parties if she’s lucky…
08.10.10 Purl. Slip down a stairwell into a cosy bunker where cocktail dreams come true. Candles, prohibition style decor and expert mixologists serve interesting and elaborate drinks. Nothing overly sweet or fussy here though, serious alcohol for serious drinkers.
21.08.10 Haunch of Venison Exhibition. Now. Polly Morgan’s Psychopomps and Joanna Vasconcelos crocheted everything. Amaze. I won’t ruin the surprise, but just trust me. Go.
08.08.10 For top, melted-cheesy fun, All Star Lanes on Brick Lane ticks all the right boxes. We ate, we drank, we bowled, we got merry and all of the above were great. The food was surprisingly top draw, for a plastic American Diner and the burger really was the size of my friend Dan’s head. Our waitress was the cherry on top, friendly, open, helpful, funny and efficient. I wish I could remember her name as she deserves a high five.
06.08.10 When it’s raining but humid outside and you’re miles from a holiday, the best thing you can do is duck into Barrica and indulge in some authentic Spanish tapas. Huddle on a stool at the bar, nurse a red wine, chuck down some port and indulge in their delicious mini plates. The specials menu changes daily, and the owner is an attractive and friendly young man who’ll happily talk you through his recommendations. Finish with the salted caramel and dark chocolate choc-ice topped. The black and white tiled floor, dark wood, busy chatter and Spanish staff make you believe you’re actually in Barcelona. Until you walk back out onto Goodge Street and straight into a puddle.
08.07.10 Little party at Holborne Studios, sipping warm red wine on the floating decking and looking out over the canal. Sasha Baron Cohen in effect, videoing on his iPhone the very energetic Paul Kaye as Mike Strutter performing with his band, who were fittingly dressed as sailors. All went well until Strutter bounced, tripped and hit his head on the stage. Wipe Out.
08.07.10 A few swift cocktails at Ninety Eight Bar & Lounge testing out Kath Morrell’s potent but delicious infusions. Vodka with lavender and apple, and Courvousier with cinnamon. Rather than describe this total treat of a bar, here’s a link to a piece I wrote for Daily Candy.
03.07.10 Disco Bloodbath at 89 Shacklewell Lane. A splendid hot-box of a venue, with some camped-up house music (well it was Gay Pride) proving to be a great way to undo all the virtuosity of Kenwood House’s earlier wholesome activities. I tumbled out at 4am having wished I hadn’t worn brand new House of Harlow shoes. The words scuffed, sweaty and stupid spring to mind.
03.07.10 Rufus Wainwright at Kenwood House. A giant homemade picnic, pink fizz, tartan rug, The Boy dressed in tweed and lashings of sunshine. A Great Gatsby moment. Rufus played solo, no band, no dressing up, just a divine warble through the best of his latest hits. A perfect way to celebrate Gay Pride.
26.06.10 Clinging to the edge of a rambling cove in Northern Ibiza is El Bigote. The most stunning situation for a fish restaurant, or in fact any restaurant. Clear water laps at your feet, a rope swing sways, little fishing boats bob and the owner, an oversized moustachio serves up either Fish Stew or a platter of Grilled Fish passing an alfresco stove briefly on its passage from sea to plate. They don’t have a phone, so you need to go down the day before to book. Total fish lovers paradise.
22.06.10 A blissed out moment at Atzaro Ibiza, a sumptuous, up-market, bedouin style cocktail bar, restaurant and boutique hotel and spa. Hidden among orange groves we sipped pina-coladas as the sun set. Total, luxurious, zen-like heaven.
08.06.10 Nike/RED: Tied Together global running event at 1948. Getting energised, together, for a right good cause – with some blue cheese thrown in for good measure. Happy days.
05.05.10 I was kindly taken to Downstairs at Momo last night by the delightful PR from Purple. Tucked away down Heddon Street just off Regents Street, Momo is the brainchild of Mourad Mazouz also of Sketch and Double Club fame. The new bar downstairs, with the same name is a kitsch, Moroccan den. Low lighting, sumptuous seats and leather armchairs make for a cosy, glamorous and decadent feel. The sound system rivals a heady Ibizan chillout bar – clear, surround but not too intrusive. The door policy is no suits. Which suits me. Phoning ahead can be useful if you want to reserve an area. The cocktails taste garden fresh, possibly owing to the fact the place even has its own mint man- yep a guy is employed purely to look after the mint. Now that is dedication to the cause. It’s already had celebs like David Gandy, the Olsen twins and Amy Winehouse knocking back spirits, if that sort of information interests you… www.momoresto.com
01.05.10 What a difference a lick of paint makes. And some fancy Fornasetti wallpaper. And gutting a place and reopening it – with a visible kitchen, spanking new menu, 9 draft real ales, 2 ciders from the South East (all on tap) and taking all the spit and sawdust out of the toilets. The Jolly Butchers on Stoke Newington High Street is a much welcomed addition to the Stokey pub scene. Do expect trendy types peppered by the odd odd-ball (a leftover from the pubs previous incarnation), don’t expect the push chair brigade (hopefully they still think it’s that dodgy pub just off Church Street).
23.04.10 Elemis Day Spa in West London was a little slice of zen for my boyfriends birthday. Looking for a ‘manly’ spa treatment for a spot of indulgence on my man’s birthday I booked us into the Rasul for two. What that means is 45 minutes (ended up being more like an hour) in an Arabian temple where we smothered mud on each other, sat in a steam room twinkling with stars and let the gunk draw out impurities while we looked like naked tribal warriors. After 30 mins ‘tropical rain’ fell from the ceiling washing us dry. The locked shower/treatment room was ours to enjoy for a further 15 mins where we scrubbed, oiled, moisturised and buffed with all the best Elemis products. An hour of hilarious, relaxing pretty sensual fun. The cobbled street and courtyard where the Elemis day Spa resides is packed with alfresco diners and oversized white parasols. On the sunny day we were there, it felt more like the South of France than West London. Recommended. www.elemis.com/dayspa
28.03.10 Believe the hype, Bistrot Bruno Lebout at the Zetter is well worth a visit. I can highly recommend the Mauricette snails and meatballs with royale de champignon to start, chewy in all the right places with a light, fluffy mushroom souffle squatting in the middle to compliment. Equally the Valrhona chocolate tartlett with caramel and salted butter ice-cream to finish was divine, a flaky pasty crust hugging a molten chocolate torte, with the creamy ice offering just the right amount of bitterness to offset the sugar high. I could easily have been gobbled the pudding fifty times over, it was that delicious. The atmosphere is a bit dry as there is no getting away from the fact this is a ‘hotel restaurant’ but take good company and you shouldn’t fail to have a splendid time. www.thezetter.com
26.03.10 Babington House. Proof that even in the sticks you can enjoy the most fabulous food. Shoreditch House needs to take a leaf out of Babington’s book when it comes to gastronomy – I went for my birthday and the menu changed every lunchtime and evening with a solid choice of locally sourced meat, hearty and interesting snacks, crisp and salads and fresh fish. The portions were generous and the flavours punchy, organic and wholesome in all the right places. The ham hock with horseradish dumplings was a salty, tender fist of chunky pink that even I with my bottomless appetite couldn’t finish. www.babingtonhouse.co.uk
25.03.10 A thumbs up to Bistroteque for their laid back atmosphere, friendly but discreet service and sea-fresh oysters. I followed mine up with steak tartar which melted and oozed in all the right places accompanied by a handful of rhubarb cocktails which were like drinking liquid crumble. Shame they couldn’t do anything for the hangover the next day. www.bistrotheque.com Skip the cabaret though, comparatively it’s pretty low-budget.