The hot new trend on the London restaurant scene is the “no reservations” policy. So what it means in practice is this:
You turn up with a couple of friends and ask for a table.
The reply is – sorry we don’t have any tables for another two hours.
Wait, what I though there was a no reservations policy?
Yes there is but you come and leave your name and number and then we text you when your table is ready.
Otherwise known as these hipper than hip restaurants don’t want to have to pay someone to manage a diary, they want guaranteed bums on chairs so make you rock up and leave your name and then they call you. The flaw in the plan – it’s cute at the beginning but the no reservations but we do really policy gets old fast. I still have yet to eat at Hoppers because every time I turn up at 6.30pm on a Friday night – solo or with friends I’m told there are no spaces left. The restaurant opens at 6pm so either the whole of London runs to put their name down on the list or the door person doesn’t know how to work the iPad their holding. The problem with all of that is, maybe I’m getting old, but I just want to eat when I want to eat and I like having a reservation beforehand. All this spontaneous booking rubbish means if you forget to put your name down or have a friend who just doesn’t queue forget the hip place. Although 4 is the magic number so if there are 4 or more of you – these types of restaurants will let you book the old fashioned way. So you know what you need to do – make some friends. However, as a solo diner sometimes just sometimes you get lucky and skip the 3 hour wait – YES 3 HOURS – and sit down straight away at 7.30pm on a Saturday night just before catching a film at the Curzon Soho as part of the London Film Festival at the hottest table in town – Kiln Soho! View Post
Sartre was right – hell is other people!
Alas my full time passion of writing and and film criticism doesn’t currently pay the bills. I’m back temping in a “proper job” to pays all the bills plus a little fun and frolics. I hope whoever devised open plan working is living out their days miserable as sin. Open plan working is like experiencing hell ever day. There is nowhere to hide! Those flirty texts need to kept to a minimum and other people’s conversations funny for the first time but when you’ve overheard the same story ten times and seen pictures of their puppies, babies push one to the proverbial edge. I now just put my headphones and whack up the music although I have no desire to become deaf. So now I just put them on, bop along to non existent music and people leave me alone. Result! All that means is I cannot wait until I work for myself and remove myself from the crazies although somedays I do wonder who’s crazier. Lunch is supposed to be peaceful but not at your desk and sometimes you need to Spring into action. At these times I take myself off to a ritzy place. Afterwards, I return to the office hot and flustered as if I’ve done something naughty. We all need a little decadent, naughty fun in our lives, even just in a lunch hour, more so when you’re daily existence is open plan! View Post
Let me explain
The above picture is a still from Irrational Man by Woody Allen that I attended the press conference last year. Yes, that’s right press conference. I moved home, unsuccessfully tried to eat solo and darn it I just have too many friends. However, one solo pleasure although truly when reviewing films it is less pleasure and more how long do I have to write up my review. It all started as an accident back in 2011 when I was on a work trip and must be the only person to be involved in a road traffic accident in Singapore whilst sitting in the back of a taxi. Seven weeks of sick leave back in Paris and the only people who talked to me were the baker and the cinema attendant. I watched a lot of films with my MK2 unlimited cinema pass.
Fast forward 5 years and I’m almost (cough cough) a professional actually I am. The 9-5 job I still have is just to pay the rent. Most of my reviews are on Battle Royale With Cheese but I’m going to start putting some on here. The ones I really like, without censor and also things to watch out for. If you’ve ever wondered what I sound like then click here as I was featured on Radio 4’s film programme discussing womens role in the western genre from its inception to present day.
What you can look forward to!
So all the above to say I’m back writing and eating. I have found some sort of balance so I’ll be posting recommendations and reviews of films, dvds, interviews and festivals to check out. This year I’m off to Venice last year it was Edinburgh it’s a wonder I have any time to write! The one thing you won’t find on here are reviews of horrors – I’m a proper self confessed scaredy cat nor any fawning. If I dislike a film I say so plus I’m not a lover of blockbusters although Midnight Special is the exception of 2016 – incredible Sci-fi film that you simply must see.
A friend, Monsieur B, asked me for monthly recommendations about a year ago so the film bites section is dedicated to him bien sur!
How will I know I’m successful?
I shall go to the cinema at midday and afterwards sate my appetite eating oysters all day and not worry about the cost. However, whilst I am still in the fake it whilst I make it stage I must watch the pennies, sort of. How is it possible to eat oysters everyday and not worry too much? Not walk and text is how. Walkers and texters miss all the bargains – you have to keep your eyes peeled. A few weeks ago I came across the sign above and made a mental note. I thought I really must try out this place although I did have a sense of fear. You see I’m a virgin. An oyster virgin in public. I’ve eaten the delicacies with people who know what they are doing in sweeping gardens in South West France and on a dock of a bay in San Francisco. The imagery is sickening I know! However, eating them in a restaurant and ALONE – I recoiled in silent horror just as I imagine an oyster does when the shallot vinaigrette is first poured on. View Post
I’ve always been hip!
A bold statement I will admit but, since returning home, all the places I used to hang out or thought that looks interesting are now achingly hip. Obviously not because of moi but for instance, Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street, was quirky and a bit trendy in 2010 with a mixture of shops and a few restaurants but now it is full of restaurants and there are queues! You, loyal readers that you are or haven’t quite worked out how to unsubscribe from my newsletter, will know I despise queues. If there is a line out of the door with people holding menus, I just head elsewhere. Except, the night in question I had stumbled out of the bombastic, quake filled press screening of San Andreas and needed something to bring me back to reality. The Rum Kitchen had been in my sights for a long time: a nibble and drink were in order. View Post