You’re well-dressed and well-coiffed. You have a defined sense of style and a love of the better things in life – not to mention a pair of testicles. Well congrats. In the words of a certain ad campaign: You Are Man. And your time is now.
It’s not that you’re a total snob, but (love those buts) wandering late night Shoreditch on the weekend, you can’t help noticing how much it feels scarily like Soho circa 2005: stumbling out-of-town stilettos, a little curb-side vom, the odd lilting football-yodel in the distance. With most local areas now so inundated by the hordes, it’s high time for a West End renaissance.
It was a particularly impressive year for the bar-world. Despite being an infamously recession-proof industry, a lot of chaff has closed over the last couple of years. Which means that there’s been plenty of space for some gems to come shining through. So here’s a little round-up of our 2010 faves… and a few of the highlights that we’re holding out for in 2011…
Not wishing to sound like my grandmother, but what have the French ever done for us? Aside from Chanel, that is. Oh and Bardot. And maybe Piaf, berets, Tefal and Sartre. Include Paris’s Experimental Cocktail Club on the list and even my grandmother might have to rethink her quaint xenophobia. Bless her tipple-loving socks.
Girls have long bought into menswear-inspired womenswear – or just borrowed from their other halves (take the sexy On and Beyond photo-project). It’s traditionally not so easy for us gents. But the new LN-CC leads the refreshing injection of accessible androgyny to make unisex-shopping easier for all.
So Issue 2 of the Protein Journal has finally made it back from print. And in case you haven’t gotten your hands on a newsprint copy yet, here’s how the latest culinary-themed edition of Protein Network’s new cultural insight bi-monthly looks, complete with contributions from Carolyn Steel, Ellen Rogers and Alice Waese.
So East London has two new bars? No way! Ditch the too-cool-for-school sarcasm, kids, and listen up. If only because neither ClubTEN nor The Nightjar are in deepest Dalston (for a change) – and they both promise some more-than-decent drinking fare.
Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant concept, Barbecoa, leads London’s latest carnivorous trend which includes a new Hawksmoor, St. John Hotel, and some of the strangest chewing gum you could ever conceive…
No sooner did images of Karl Lagerfeld’s Isla Moda finally make their mouth-watering way onto the web than, poof!, the island vanished. So what is a hotel-lover in search of something interesting (and real) to do in the meantime?
The gym is too sweaty and serious. Your local pool all urinating infants. And the great British seaside – well, let’s just settle on it not being all that great. So where does one go for a dip? A certain 1930′s renovation has the cure…
We, the undersigned, to hereby and forthwith declare ourselves officially and unrelentingly outraged by this monstrosity that you’re calling a summer. We work hard all year round, through dark-grey winters, mid-grey autumns, and light-grey springs. And all we ask is for one bloody thing: sunshine.
Fact: great hotels are addictive. For example, the delivery of a club sandwich and glass of bubbly, ordered on a whim at 2am, might just be the definition of heaven itself. Then there’s that delicious sense of regal anonymity, the mini-bar… Alas, always and forever, there’s also the damned bill. Well, no more!
Rising from The East Rooms’ ashes, Jonathan Downey’s old Match EC1 on Clerkenwell Road has been impressively re-imagined as Giant Robot – a bizarrely named Italian-American ‘East Rooms Lite’ diner/cocktail bar that trades Match’s 90s-styling for a 50s/60s surf-ish NYC vibe.
“Redchurch Street is absolutely the new Lamb’s Conduit.” Yep, that was me. It was a weekend, bear in mind, and there was a lot of booze in the room. But all the same I think we’re onto something here.
Our nation’s next leaders might lack Barack Obama’s oratorical oomph, but there is still something very different about the current election – why, it’s almost as though politics are cool. And as usual, it’s the curious and creative of London who are having the most fun. And there seems to be a slightly longer-lasting trend here too.
‘Limited edition’. Stamp those words on any product or event and it becomes instantly desirable. Hence pop-ups. But striking the balance between creativity, cost and satisfaction is rather tougher. Which brings us neatly to the trend for ‘chefs for hire’.