whathappensinlondon

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Queen of Hoxton

In Day to Day on April 18, 2011 at 8:56 am

HOXTON/SHOREDITCH

 

This has been the longest weekend for me. Starting with a night out on Friday, I followed it up on Saturday with a trip to The Queen of Hoxton for a friend’s birthday. We arrived at around half eight and went straight up to the rooftop garden (for the launch night), which was understandably packed due to the good weather we have had recently. The East London pub has a large ground floor for clubbing and a recently renovated garden, from the same people behind The Book Club, read my review here to see why I had some high expectations!

Despite the amazing location and the fantastic company, the rooftop bar let down the standards considerably. To be fair to the team, the small Rum shack bar only allowed for a couple of people to work behind it, resulting in a twenty minute wait for any drinks. Add to this bottles of Beck’s that had passed their sell by date, no crushed ice, an empty cider keg and no coke post-mix, it became difficult to sympathise.

Overall, this was a great place to go and I am prepared to overlook a poorly prepared bar as something that is easily rectified. The views, fountain in the middle, strings of lights and cool decor makes this bar a definite place for anyone to try out for cooling down during the summer months.

I rounded off my weekend of fun with the London Marathon (watching not running) and as usual, I watched it in Greenwich. At around the seven mile mark, it is a good place to see people when they need the motivation of a loud crowd to keep them going once tiredness starts to set in!

http://www.queenofhoxton.co.uk

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Gordon’s

In Day to Day on April 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm

EMBANKMENT

I have been meaning to post this for a while. Gordon’s Wine bar is next to Charing Cross station, behind a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it door, the exterior does not do the place justice by any means.

Once inside, follow the small staircase in to the wine cellar below or head to the right to see the outside dining/drinking area. As a wine bar, the selection is excellent and the intimate surroundings (candlelit, lots of romantic corners, low music) make this perfect date territory. It also makes for a great place to impress with ‘I know a great little place’ – it’s always the first bar I suggest to people coming to London for the first time.

They also run a buffet, with cheese boards, olives in oil and fresh crusty bread…mmmm, and a very good idea if you are going to be sampling a few glasses!

The sun’s out…let’s all go to Greenwich!

In Day to Day on April 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

GREENWICH

Every year it is the same. The sun comes out and thousands of people descend on Greenwich to enjoy the weather. As nice as this is, it’s too crowded for me (and others I have spoken to),  so I’ve put together an alternative guide to seek out the places off the beaten track and enjoy your beer without having to protect it viciously from spillage.

For drinking…pubs towards the Deptford side of Greenwich are your best bet for getting a seat. Try the Morden. Very local and the wine list is ‘red or white’ but for a relaxed, friendly atmosphere it can’t be beat! Just around the corner you’ll find The Greenwich Union, which is always quite busy but for good reason. Their selection of beers is vast and the food is restaurant quality (try the Cherry Beer and the paella). Also, they acquired a new site, The Old Brewery on the University of Greenwich campus last year, which is brilliant.

For eating…if you don’t fancy The Greenwich Union, The Saigon restaurant does delicious Vietnamese food at the same prices as the far more substandard Tai Won Mein, and Noodle House (all three are in central Greenwich but most tend to head for the two latter choices). The food court in the indoor market is brilliant – I recommend the Churros, the Chicken Karage  stall (get there early, they always run out) and the two blokes cooking up huge pans of Nigerian food. However, unless you arrive very early I would avoid the whole indoor market as there is barely room to breath once it hits midday.

Village East

In Day to Day on April 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm

LONDON BRIDGE

Yesterday I met a friend from work at this brasserie bar and thought it was worthy of a post for how nice it was. I tend to have a problem with lots of bars in london – too loud, too quiet, too expensive, too suity, music too loud…etc, etc. Aside from clearly turning into an old lady who can’t stand anything, my review of Village East follows…

I arrived first, and rather than feeling awkward, I felt immediately welcomed by the staff. A wine drinker, the selection was good and reasonable – also a mojito drinker, the raspberry one my friend ordered was amazing. The crowd was the typical after-work brigade but the space is big enough that your not all tripping over each other.

All in all the warehouse interior, combined with intimate lighting and multi-level bar/restaurant makes Village East a must for anyone working in the area. Perfect for ‘I know a great little place’ moments!