whathappensinlondon

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Hotel Drinking

In Day to Day on May 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm

INTERCONTINENTAL PARK LANE

Hotel drinking always reminds me of New York / Los Angeles based drama series’ – they are places of luxury, where dodgy deals are cut in the most sumptuous of surroundings, where the night can carry on in the penthouse suite, where Julia Roberts made us cry in Pretty Woman…where so much of the good stuff happens in Gossip Girl (Chuck Bass – the shows token villain with a heart is in fact a hotelier himself) – they are about secrets and breaking away from normal life.

Chuck's Hotel

I may be slightly romanticising things so in the name of informative journalism, I will follow up my extensive knowledge of trashy films with a review. The Intercontinental Park Lane was the venue for a close friends birthday party over the weekend. Without the stuffy, fancy feelings of the Ritz or Savoy, it manages to mix ultimate luxury with a modern, relevant style. When we went, the bartenders at the Arch Bar were preparing for a cocktail competition and allowed us to sample their efforts. My favourite was most definitely the Chilli Mojito, which was the perfect mix of rum, lime and mint with the added kick of spice.

We also drank Champagne, wine and specially prepared passion fruit shots which were absolutely delicious. What I liked most about the venue was how accommodating all of the staff were – the service was absolutely impeccable and I would definitely return here if I happened to be in the area again (not very likely but it could happen!).

Read more about the Arch Bar here.

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I’ll see you by the pool

In Day to Day on May 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

SHOREDITCH HOUSE

So a few weeks ago it started getting sunny, I started seeing lots of people pouring into Greenwich and I subsequently posted an article on alternative places to seek out a decent drink, seat and meal in the area.

Today, I went to Shoreditch House, which if you are privileged enough to be a member is an amazing summertime hangout for those in search of something ‘exclusive’; it fits nicely into the category of alternative places to escape crowds and enjoy your drink. A converted biscuit factory, you enter through an unremarkable, and indeed unmarked door and after making it through security checks and passport control, a lift takes you up to the fifth floor.

Here, there is an airy restaurant and bar, and I have subsequently found out that on the fourth floor there’s a bowling alley (if I had known this, the rest of the post may well have been a tally of scores).

Up another flight of stairs and we reach the gem of SH’s crown, the rooftop pool. Surrounded by white sun loungers and panoramic views of London, it really is breathtaking. We had dinner in the adjoining restaurant, again with floor to ceiling windows that provided beautiful views of the sunset across London.

The menu is simple, uncomplicated and not too pricey considering the settings and atmosphere, which was relaxed and chilled. I had monkfish with tomatoes, capers and mash: faultless. My fellow diners had the salmon, the pan fried pollock, the steak, and the lamb cutlets with zucchini fritti to share. As much as I could talk about how tasty the food is, I also love the waiters and waitresses, who wear polo shirts, chinos and deck shoes in various muted colours – not a waistcoat in sight!

The reason I liked Shoreditch House so much was for everything it wasn’t. Private members clubs are notoriously stuffy and to be honest, that is what I was expecting. I am however, prepared to admit that this might have something to do with it being in the same group that owns Soho House (below) in New York, and the episode of Sex and The City that charters Samantha’s frustration over non-membership.

Touristy Territory

In Day to Day on May 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

(Written on Friday)

London in the sunshine seems to have a interesting effect on people. Let me fill you in…at the moment I am sitting outside the George Inn with a pal and a glass of white wine. It is the beginning of the first proper weekend for three weeks and I am definitely welcoming it with open arms. Perhaps not as much as the group next to us who have just cheer’sd to ‘Summertime!’…British enthusiasm at it’s best.

The George Inn is an institution. Everyone who lives in London has probably heard of it or been to it at some point. Right next to London Bridge and a stones throw from Borough Market it unsurprisingly attracts it’s fair share of sightseeers and day trippers.

More seating outside would be good, although to be honest I don’t know how they would fit it in, but other than that, for a pub in central London, in the summertime, the George ain’t doing that badly. The Ship in Wandsworth has exactly the same problem, if a pub is halfway decent with a spacious beer garden, then by half six on a work day evening it is bound to be totally rammed.

Food is below par, but not expensive and the wait is not long. A large and rather nice glass of wine is £4.85 and the larger/ale list is decent.