It’s always Gin o’clock! Solo cocktail @ Scarfes Bar, London

Hello my name is Liquid Marmalade and for the past 9 months I’ve been cheating on myself with films.

Yes, that’s right I moved back from Paris to pursue writing and all that jazz and just couldn’t find any balance. Film reviewing is hard work. Gone are the days where; I would sit back, gleefully eat the food I hid in my bag rather than spend £5 on popcorn and watch the film with my only utterance after the credits had ended would be: rubbish or not bad actually. No, now you can find me hunched over with pen and notebook precariously balanced on the armrest furiously taking notes, observing everything. That left little time for me to write up blog posts for Liquid Marmalade although I haven’t stopped eating or drinking solo. View Post

Lastminute Love in the City of Love – Paris

IMG_0110 I’m a last minute sort of girl. I’m also usually late to the party and doesn’t it show – Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and I am posting this late in the afternoon of the 13th. However as the old adage goes – better late than never. I’m back in London now and dating (interesting) and one of the important things with dating is being able to cut a date short if it is going nowhere – I need to get better at that.  Is your date worth coffee (20 mins), cocktail (depends on the size of the glass but a healthy 45 mins) or dinner (possibly 1.5 hours filled with chat, charm and a cab ride for two back to yours – steady!) Here are my choices of unique and sometimes rather chic places to go to either spend a wonderful loved up evening or one that makes you glad to be single and free. View Post

Can you kir me coming @ Le Select, Paris

Forget what others think and just do it!

When I first came to Paris back in May 2010 to live and work I used to walk past various brasseries’ terraces and stare at the couples enveloping each other in midst of smoke and no doubt talking about something intelligent like Proust. I, on the other hand, was too afraid to even sit at a table and so that summer past with me walking sometimes seriously dehydrated past all these tables afraid and missing out on an essential part of French life – people watching! View Post

Solo Dining @ L’Ilot Restaurant, Paris

I usually forget to take a lunch break when I am working from home so the thought of actually dining solo at an actual restaurant last Friday whilst working from home seemed positively decadent. As part of my current 9 to 5 job I sometimes travel to far flung parts of the world and that necessitates getting a visa. As I had to collect my passport from the Indonesian embassy around lunchtime I thought today I should treat myself to lunch in the Paris sunshine. View Post

Solo apero @ L’hotel, Paris

When the Bullsh_t quota has been surpassed only a cocktail will do is my motto although I am sure Mr Oscar Wilde would say it in a much more succint and wry way. I do so love this quote of his: “we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars“. Well Oscar there are no stars this Wednesday night just rain, wind and a healthy dose of misery as I navigated through the streets of St Germain trying to find the discreet entrance to L’Hotel where our Oscar spent his last few years. Discreet it is with a small brass plaque of the man himself adorning the external wall.

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Le Lieu/Location

It’s all about discretion and luxury here. I was greeted with a warm smile and asked for directions to the bar. I was told to walk through the lobby and open the door. I am not sure if he said mind the step or at least he should have. As you step into the circular lobby, it is miniscule, look up. It is something to see and that is all I will say. I nearly fell through the mirrored door as I didn’t see the step. However, I managed to preserve my dignity and entered into pure luxury of velvet seats, leopard print carpet and a tiny bar. It felt as if I was in someone’s boudoir, possibly Mr Wilde’s as there were photos of him scattered around.  The barman told me to sit wherever I would like and so I did in the mini study area ( there is also a separate alcove with more seating) with the faux candelabras by a portrait of the man himself. I was a little out of place with my wellington boots, jeans etc and there were two couples seated having drinks waiting to go to very chic Le Restaurant.

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Ambiance/Good Vibes

As I caressed the velvet seating, I perused the drinks menu and spied the signature cocktail list with suitably Wilde inspired names and after a bit of indecision I decided that I was indeed “Born to be Wilde” or at the very least insane to come out in the rain and wind. The barman, Aghiles, came over to take my order.  There is nothing as vulgar as going to the bar to place one’s order at Le Bar – oh no this is the place to come where the old rules are still in existence: soft lighting, cocktails made properly, service at the table and being left alone to think upon whatever takes your fancy. After my order was taken, I sat back and enjoyed the mellow voice of Nat King Cole –  the background music here is exactly that in the background. There is no need to shout at your companion. As I was solo, I just sat and relaxed and thought a little bit about Mr Wilde.

Les Verres/ Drinks

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My Born to be Wilde cocktail arrived along with some savoury tidbits and I took a sip. Oh la la I certainly might be wild after this cocktail a mixture of: Bacardi Reserve, honey, tabasco and basil.  It certainly pepped me up – strong, spicy with a little dose of sweet. I think I just described myself – ha!  The cocktail was exquisite and certainly very strong!  As I sipped it, I forgot about my woes, the rain and started to feel very very comfortable.  Even the slightly chintzy fittings were all forgiven. 

As wild as I would like to be, it was after all a Wednesday night and I had another two days left of work. I bid the very talented Aghilles and Mr Wilde’s last haunt – L’hotel – à bientôt. I shall be back very soon. It was blissful way to spend 2 hours- as Oscar once said: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best”.

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Where? 13 Rue Des Beaux-Arts, 75006 Paris

How? Line 4 (Saint Germain des Près or Odeon) + 10 mins walk

Open when?  7 days a week + they stop serving at 1am (Mon to Weds are the quieter evenings, it is busy on the weekend)

Pricey? The signature cocktails are around €15 and if that’s not your thing then choose from the menu: wine, spirits etc

Website: http://www.l-hotel.com/