LADY DATE – SUMMER 2016
I’ve been very naughty and have taken a very long time to write up this most recent Lady Date in London. To be fair I had my sister’s wedding a couple of weekends ago and have been doing a lot of work on my ‘new’ house – I will maybe be posting a little bit about this at some point because I know some people are interested in these things – at the moment I feel too stressed to talk about it and anytime someone asks me how the house is coming I want to scream at them - so give me time – plus you know I’m not great at these personal posts – I’m working on it… for now I will give you a quick run down of what we got up to…
We started the day with butterflies; I wanted to be sure we’d get in so in I booked in advance for the Sensational Butterflies event at The Natural History Museum. This exhibition was housed in a gloriously humid greenhouse-come-tent in the museum’s grounds. Immediately you enter through those sticky plastic curtains and you are surrounded by free-flying butterflies. There are a few stands with the names of the butterflies (mostly long complicated Latin names) with pictures so you can tell which butterflies are which. The most impressive ones to me were the slow moving butterflies, they were brown on the inside and a beautiful blue on the outside and they hovered in groups. The most impressive thing about them was the fact that they moved so slowly and yet still managed to stay in the air. (I didn’t manage to get a video of this hypnotic movement but I did get a video of them congregating in a spot where someone spilt their coffee here:
See more information here: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/sensational-butterflies.html
Our next stop was to walk around Highgate Cemetery. I’d never been before and as it was a lovely day I thought it would be a nice excursion. It did take a little while to get there and a bit of an unexpected hill climb from Archway tube station. We went to Highgate East as the other side containing Highgate West was open for guided tours only. It costs a small amount to enter and you are given a map containing information and locations for the cemetery’s most famous residents. Douglas Adams’ grave is austere with a little pot containing pens placed in front. The most famous of all the monuments is the new resting place of Karl Marx, a very impressive tomb which is popular among the tourists, one of whom had a portrait taken in front of it while inexplicably holding a violin (which he didn’t play!) Another highlight to see is the grave of Malcolm McLaren; his is complete with a death mask, which is hardly surprising but quite rare for a modern grave. It was heartwarming to see that people had left safety pins on top in a sign of admiration much like the pens, flowers and stones seen on other graves in the cemetery.
See more information here: http://highgatecemetery.org/visit
Our next stop was Cahoots, a London Underground themed cocktail bar with a ‘blitz spirit.’ We hadn’t booked (as usual) and when we arrived there were already two people waiting for ‘standing room.’ The man on the door, dressed in spiffy 1940s get up, was friendly and welcoming and invited us to wait. We didn’t have to wait long before we could go down the stairs and into the bar area. The attention to detail was something special, even some of the floors were decked out in the same wood as the old underground trains. Everyone was dressed impeccably in World War II era style, victory rolls and tea dresses for the girls and waistcoat and braces for the boys. A special mention has to go to the maître d’ who was especially well turned out (by well turned out I mean good-looking – in case that was lost on you?!)
I love my vodka-based cocktails and ‘Keep Marm and Carry On’ did not disappoint. A fruity cocktail in a teacup containing lemon curd, passion fruit juice, sloe gin and syrups of vanilla and cassia and served with a biscuit. This was one of the most refreshing and delicious cocktails I have had for a long time.
Find more information here: https://cahoots-london.com
There were sandwiches and snacks available at Cahoots but we had already planned for our traditional pizza and so headed to one of our favourite areas in London to Far Rockaway. This wasn’t our original choice of destination. We actually went to Bethnal Green Station with the intention of visiting Story Deli down Bethnal Green Road. Little did we realize that not only is this road very very long and we walked right down the other end of it but the Story Deli was no more. It was a shame as I was really looking forward to trying what some people have described as ‘the best pizza they’ve had in their life.’ Unfortunately Far Rockaway was a bit of a disappointment. The décor was amazing; the place is strewn with music posters that are fascinating to look at while you eat very mediocre pizza. The worst thing about this place was their Coke. It tasted disgusting, either their pumps are broken or their syrup was running out or they bought some value cola from the Sainsbury’s down the road. I have no idea what happened to their Coke but I won’t be going back again. Maybe this explains why it was empty on a Saturday?
More info here: http://www.farrockaway.co.uk
Our next and last cocktail stop was The Cocktail Trading Co. I think we must have walked past this place a million times without even noticing it, and it wasn’t even a hidden spot like some we sometimes visit. I struggled to find a cocktail to drink here. The menu was a little book with lots of information and humour and even an impossible crossword in the back, but I had a hard time finding something that I thought I’d like. There were only one or two vodka-based cocktails but each of these had something odd about them that put me off, like coffee and milk (whole milk teamed with kiwi sherbet and club soda was not a good post-pizza drink in my mind.) So I had to forgo the vodka for something called ‘Nightingales Gin-O-Cello.’ The cocktail I chose was called ‘Morning Glory #2’ I was pleasantly surprised, whatever Nightingales Gin-O-Cello is, I enjoyed it.
Rebecca’s cocktail was a little more sensational than mine ‘Instaspam’ comes in a custom made SPAM tin and even includes a little pot of ice cream.
More information here: http://www.thecocktailtradingco.co.uk
For more photos of this Lady Date and others go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29592695@N08/albums/72157648848576528