Thursday, July 24, 2014
This is where I ended up choosing. They have a small cafe in the day that you can have completely for yourself for a minimum spend of 550. They can fit up to 60 with tables, up to 100 probably without and you can have full use of their PA system, mics, bring in a DJ and even decorate a bit if you like! I'm not bothering - I think the inside is nice enough as it is. You need to put down a 100 pound deposit in advance.
Dead Dolls House/Dead Dolls Club
The newish Dead Dolls Club at The Arch has a private area that overlooks the rest of the bar so you'd be subject to the same music everyone else is listening to. The Dead Dolls House has various areas you can have completely to yourself, depending on whether you just want drinks or a sit-down meal as well.
I love this place, with its quirky decor and cocktails. They have a couple of places you can hire out - through the wardrobe or the upstairs bar. The Upstairs holds 30 people and there's a minimum spend of 1500 pounds though that can be spent on food, drink and the service charge (and the cocktails aren't cheap so you'll probably get through it quicker than you think!). You have to put down a 30% deposit.
The Looking Glass
Another cocktail bar, and this one doesn't even have a minimum spend! Nor a hire charge. All they ask is for a deposit in case of cancellation, and you can get a part of, or even the whole area through the Looking glass depending on how many of you there are.
They have a basement bar that you can again, have either part of, or the whole thing if there are enough of you. There's a minimum spend if you want the whole thing, otherwise there isn't but other people are free to wander down. Didn't get as far as finding out what the minimum spend was.
House of Wolf
I was *this* close to picking House of Wolf because it's such a cool, weird, splendiferous venue. THey have several rooms available - I had my eye on The Apothecary Bar (which also has the secret room) which would have been a 200 pound deposit and 1000 minimum spend before midnight. You would also be able to have your own music playing but after midnight they open it up to everyone and it would play the same music as the rest of the venue. Can take up to 40 people.
This can be hired privately but I didn't get as far as to ask for how much or really any other details as I'd pretty much decided on Bohemia by this point.
The Macbeth has an upstairs which is available to hire. It can take up to 60 people standing, there's a £1000 minimum spend and it requires a £100 deposit.
The Star of Bethnal Green
This place has an upstairs that can be hired for £150 though you require at least 40 people to be able to hire it privately. There is then only a £750 minimum spend - not bad!
The Red Lion, Hoxton
I didn't even think this place would do private hire but I found it on Barchick's list of private hire places. I was tempted by this one because it's a pretty cool, shabby old pub, laid back. You can hire one of the upstairs rooms and get access to its roof terrace. It can take up to 70 people and there's a minimum spend but I didn't end up enquiring about it because, it is such a basic pub - the wine is cheap and the beers aren't extensive.
Other places to note: Shaker & Co, Pub on the Park, Far Rockaway...
Where have you hired and was it any good? Let me know!
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
This is a great way to spend a couple of hours, giving your brain a work out with some likeminded friends. If you've already done Hint Hunt or a Door in a Wall, and are looking for something new, or if you're yet to try them and want to see what these live puzzle adventures are all about, then Agent November is your man!
Monday, July 14, 2014
Probably my absolute favouritest act was ‘Womans’. With a generic Borat-like accent she wooed us with the art form of dance. Unfortunately what she did doesn’t lend itself well to being described – it’s a ‘you had to have been there’ kind of act. Let me just say three words. Art. Bum. Tassles. Carlos, Istanbul’s premier operatic singer was a close runner for top performance. He came out with his accordion and ‘sang’ a song that is about as far from opera as you can get and was utterly hilarious. He’s actually got a solo show at Soho Theatre this week and I’d definitely recommend checking him out.
The truly weirdest act was probably Gentleman John and his friend. He came out with a colander on his head strapped on with an elastic band, a bushy moustache and boxing gloves, while his friend came out in multi-coloured clothes and some leggings on his head. And then they proceeded to fall about the stage muttering nonsense for about ten minutes. This actually was pretty funny, although for me probably went on for a tad too long before they muttered an almost incomprehensible ditty and disappeared off stage.
Friday, July 11, 2014
|(c) Vivek Vadoliya|
The chicken wings were alright – the agave gave them a sweet taste that I liked but they weren't as good as wings I’ve had elsewhere. Then we tried the sliders. Now, I know I’m not a burger fan but even I could tell these were not the way to do burgers. They were cold by the time we ate them, and had dried out (though there were signs they were cooked well originally, being slightly pink in the middle), and there was far, far too much bread. Assuming these were the candied bacon and jalapeno burgers on the menu, I didn’t realize any bacon was involved until looking at the menu afterwards, and the jalapeno might as well not have been there for all the kick it gave it. The mini-tacos were okay – the meat in particular was lovely; a slightly sweet, smoky flavour and a barbecued texture to it, and I liked the crunch of the radish on top, but they too were a little dry. I applied hot sauce liberally.
|(c) Vivek Vadoliya|
|(c) Vivek Vadoliya|
They didn’t have the slushie machine for slushie negronis, and they couldn’t make the most interesting-sounding drink on the list – the Sweet Papel with sweetcorn and coriander atomisation. But I tried the Pineapple and Cacao Smash, the Bandito Hi-Ball and the Ring-a-Ting-Ting. All were very easy to drink, easy on the mixer and strong on the liquor. I worried that the Bandito, being in a high-ball glass would be mostly ginger ale, but I needn’t have: slug after slug of tequila went into the cocktail shaker, and the ginger ale was only a quick gesture to sweeten things up at the end. My favourite though was definitely the Ring-a-ting-ting – not too sugary with a cucumber background aroma making it super-refreshing. I would have stuck to these but for the blogger in me wanting variety.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
This is the same area where Night Tales was held for the first time, except that where there was a bar, there is now a stage and a dance floor. If you like intimate gigs, then this is really a great space to go to. If you’re prepared to wait it out you can be less than an arm’s length from whoever is performing. And they’ve got some pretty good action lined up. We saw Kelis, who was fab, treating us to most of her hits in some form or other (be that remixed or just a burst of chorus) as well as her latest single. Her DJ was amazing too, pumping some excellent tunes before Kelis herself came on and the party continued long after the show was through. The other acts might not be quite on the superstar level that Kelis undoubtedly is, but they’re still pretty good – NYPC (formerly New Young Pony Club) and Lucy Rose among others will be gracing the stage. And it’s all free! Just arrive early as when Stephen popped to the loo at about 8 they were operating on a one-in, one-out policy. Oh, and you might want to pee before you get there – toilets were a bit of a rare commodity! My boyfriend and several others were herded by one of the doormen practically all the way up to Dalston Roof Park to go because the queue was so long.
If you like cider and live music, or even just want a cute place to party (So Fresh, So Clean and Supa Dupa Fly are both hosting their clubnights there) then head over any Thursday to Saturday from now until August 2nd.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
I can’t fault my brunch – a decent slab of pork belly croquette, two fried eggs done just right, a slice of sourdough with plenty of butter, a mound of avocado and tomato salsa and hidden underneath all that the finest, densest hash brown I’ve ever had. It also should have come with mushrooms but I don’t like them so requested mine without. Drizzled all over was a jalapeno sauce with a heavy dose of coriander. I enjoyed every mouthful and thought the portion was just right. Big enough to sate but not too big that I couldn’t finish it all (it helped that I hadn’t yet eaten anything).
Alison’s mushrooms came with two eggs and roasted tomatoes and, like mine, a heap of cress on the top as garnish. As just stated, I’m not a mushroom fan so I didn’t try any of this dish and can’t comment on what it tasted like, but it looked beautiful and Alison polished it off no trouble and proclaimed it lovely so who am I to argue?
Monday, July 7, 2014
The last place we went to was Belushi’s where the band was set up in the corner. These guys, Bad Wolf, were alright, I liked them, though the singer’s voice wasn’t my favourite of all the bands we’d seen.