From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Restaurants

Sunday Swoon. May 12th 2013.

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Due to gallivanting around Dartmoor and Brixham and lack of internet access this is more of a fortnightly round-up.

1. The first book I read as an East London resident was A Hoxton Childhood by A.S Jasper. An honest and frank account of growing up poor in 1920’s from the voice of an ordinary man. No romanticising the past. It could have been wrote by my Dad from the stories he’s told me and he read the entire book in a matter of hours when I passed it on to him. A beautiful message in the book and interesting to read about the streets that now surround me.

“Be thankful that you were born now and not then. Go forward, but try to be tolerant of your parents along the way”. A.S Jasper.

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2. If you ever find yourself in Torbay the only place to have seafood is Simply Fish in Brixham. Menu is dictated by availability from the boats straight in from fishing at a quarter of the price you’d pay in London. Queues rival that of restaurants such as Meat Liquor. My favourite dish is their Tempura Cuttlefish (pictured above). Managed to fit three visits in during my visit home.

3. Janelle Monae is back with Q.U.E.E.N featuring Erykah Badu. Adore everything about this woman and still lament the day I got sidetracked by an ice cream van playing 90’s dance music at Glastonbury and missed her. Makes me want to quiff my hair and deal in monochrome only.

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4. Before the Devon adventures and in between moving house I managed to sneak in a couple of trips to Pick Me Up London. Just as inspiring, inventive and batty as it was when I first attended last year. I’d highly recommend signing up to the mailing list so you don’t miss out on it next year.

5. Hot on the heels of (the superior, let’s face it) Daft Punk comes a new track from Basement Jaxx which really minds me of Friends Va Fan Gor Du. Getting my dance on.

Sunday Swoon. March 10th. 2013

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1. Immersive cinema has been on my to-do list since I first heard of Secret Cinema screening One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Next back in 2010. So thanks to Twitter (huge thanks to Drew) I unexpectedly found myself waiting outside East London’s Troxy on Sunday evening waiting to see Casablanca for the first time. Without any expectations I was completely wowed. I’m not sure I even blinked, I was too busy drinking up the experience. I think part of my delight was in the unexpected so I won’t blog in too much detail. Just to say I highly recommend it. Tickets for extra nights are still on sale from Future Cinema.

2. John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars is perhaps not one to read on public transport after the tears I shed on the underground this week. The books main characters are two teenagers suffering from Cancer. It is bleak, tragic, real. But above all these things the author manages to convey beauty amongst an ugly and unfair illness. That is what I came away with, it’s sad but beautiful. It’s rare that I read books for a second time, I can see myself picking this up again down the line.

 

3. All this year The Southbank Centre are putting on a series of events called The Rest Is Noise broaching a wide range of topics through a series of lectures, live music performances and film. We went along to Berlin in the 20’s and 30’s. Yes, I felt idiotic (especially when the middle-class shared in-jokes over classical music and I found my blank expression mirrored back at me when I turned to my friend Jo) but I find a ton of joy in learning and so can deal with the shame. For example, I learnt that it was cheaper to burn money than buy coal after the fall out from the first world war as Berlin’s economy suffered. That The Doors Alabama Song was actually composed by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht as part of an opera. Tickets for future events are still available. Go see what you can learn.

4. The second film that stole my heart this week is Celeste and Jesse Forever. From the opening scenes I thought it would be a typical American Rom Com but it’s far smarter with unexpected, witty and warm scenes. It also has a fantastic soundtrack. Starring Rashida Jones of Parks and Recreation fame and Andy Samberg.  Don’t read too much about the plot beforehand!

5. My new favourite budget restaurant is Ariana II in Kilburn. Typically I discover it just as I start to plan a move to East London. That won’t stop me jumping on the train to come back time and time again. For five of us to eat on Friday it came to £13 a head. This included plates of the best hummus I have ever tasted, warm naan breads, panner salad, cubes of tandoori lamb, fried aubergine, baklava. You can BYOB to this restaurant which is what makes it such a bargain.

Sunday Swoon. January 27th 2013

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1. If you’re looking for a warm, funny and intelligent film to go and see at the cinema then The Sessions is currently playing in UK. Based on the autobiography of poet Mark O’Brien, a man confined to an Iron Lung, who is determined to lose his virginity at the age of 38. He is helped by his priest, friends and a therapist. Starring Helen Hunt, William H Macy and John Hawkes.

2. Virgin Cure by Ami McKay is the tale of Moth, a girl born in the roughest slum in New York in 1871. When she is 12 her mother sells her to become a maid. From there her tale of survival begins. It’s a charming and tragic tale full of characters with both ugly and beautiful character traits.

3. AlunaGeorge features in the BBCs Sound of 2013 list. Disclosures track White Noise features this young duo and it’s stunning. I’ve played it every day this week.

4. It seems London’s stomach won’t slow down in its mission to fatten itself on burgers. Patty & Bun is the latest no reservations burger restaurant getting top reviews. On this occasion the praise is worth it. My ‘ARI GOLD’ Cheeseburger was the perfect patty, tangy red pickles in a brioche bun. Rosemary chips were salty and golden. The service was far superior to any other place I’ve visited recently, friendly staff clearly enjoying their jobs with huge smiles on their faces. Check out their website here.

Written by Anon PA

January 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Sunday Swoon. January 6th. 2013

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1. I cannot recommend a visit to Dennis Severs’ house enough. At 18 Folgate Street in Spitafileds stands a house frozen between 1724 and 1914. While I could bore you with my adoration and excitement of every room from basement to attic part of the wonder was going in blind and uneducated. Don’t read up too much, Dennis Sever intended for us to let the sights, sounds and smells fuel your imagination. I think if I went during each season I would have a different experience each time (so I plan to do so this year). You can book via their website.

2. There’s a ton of new music due out shortly that I’m geeking out over. Starting 2013 off with a new Pulp song produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is a start I wasn’t expecting.

3. Life of Pi is one of my favourite books and it’s hard for me to believe I first picked it up 11 years ago, intrigued by the cover. I always get itchy when films do their take on literature. This is visually beautiful, one of those rare films where 3D does add to the overall experience. My only concern is people are going along to look at the animals and missing the spiritual message that is key to Yann Martel’s book.

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4. Voodoo Ray’s on Kingsland Road, Dalston, is officially my number one pizza spot in London (Franco Manca’s held on to its title for a year). Authentic New York pizza by the slice, Brooklyn lager, super friendly service that comes with genuine smiles and a very talented in-house artist who decorates the pizza boxes.

5. I wish I’d had thought to do a Twitter Q&A on The Hobbit when it was released, answers courtesy of my mum who knows everything there is to know about the book. I didn’t realise just how much of a super Tolkien nerd she was even though this would have been one of the fist books she read to all her children. I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy from Peter Jackson (it’s funny to see how dated it now looks). The Hobbit didn’t disappoint, although no need to pay extra for 3D. Great to see so many English Actors in main roles.

NB: You can tell it’s Christmas blockbuster time at the cinema seeing as I’ve been twice in the space of two weeks. That’s nearly half the amount of times I went during the whole of 2012.

Sunday Swoon. December 16th

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1. John Grant has confirmed a new album Pale Green Ghosts will be released 11th March 2013 and has released a track of the same name this week. A touch of Wild Beasts about it, at least to my ears.

2. I swear on all that is good on this green earth that Bone Daddies cured my hangover by the time I got to the bottom of my bowl of Ramen, served up over a loud soundtrack with a diet coke. I had the Tantanmen, the chilli giving a massive kick to the rich and hearty bone broth. I’m not sure if it was The Rolling Stones blaring out or the food itself but I left with the hangover kicked to the kerb.

3. Easily in my top 50 tracks this year How To Dress Well has released an official video to & It Was U this week in conjunction with Urban Outfitters. A Spiritual gathering waiting for their leader to glide in on a Segway drapes in dandelion yellow. The only negative being I’d have liked for Tom Krell to have been riding it.

4. Two girl crushes, St. Vincent and Alexis Krauss, join my original girl crush Cyndi Lauper (dating back to The Goonies release date when I’d have been eight years old) on stage to perform Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Yes it’s an amateur video but that’s the beauty of the internet. We get to see these little moments happen. Oh yeah, and Rosie O’Donnell is on drums.

5. Although I’m not a huge fan of this particular track I adore this video. Winona Ryder reunited with director Tim Burton on Brighton Beach. I’m off to watch Edward Scissorhands.

Sunday Swoon. September 2nd

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Firstly, how the heck is it suddenly September? It seems I am rocketing through yet another year without achieving the things I think I should be getting on with. This week has been about food porn, a Lido album, the Paralympics…

1. First off I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Paralympics and my first of three visits took place yesterday. Day passes meant we were lucky enough to watch 7-a-side and Wheelchair Basketball. While watching Great Britain’s Women’s team it struck me how ridiculous the term disability seems. They were super fast, graceful and fearlessly competitive. I was captivated and inspired. The term SuperHumanAbility seemed more fitting. Anyone who doubted this would capture the hearts and minds of people in the same way that the Olympics did is being proved emphatically wrong. I am sure I will write more about this separately. Tonight I head to the Aquatics Centre, any regular readers of this blog will know I have a rekindled love of swimming so I am beyond giddy.

2. When I first moved to London Kings Cross was frankly dire. I lived at the top of York Way and my cousin lived behind the hall opposite the station, so I frequented dives such as The Dolphin and The Dunaree (where once I sang karaoke with my arm in a cast and was heckled with “f**k off Pudsey” and when locals asked to sign my cast they drew massive knobs all over it). It’s almost becoming unrecognisable now, its pulling up its socks and a lot of exciting things seem to be happening there. Tuesday night I scoffed myself silly at newly opened Caravan. Can’t recommend this place enough, excellent service and some buff chefs behind that cage. It’s also very reasonable (carafe of wine, two small plates, two pizzas and a shared pudding came to £56). Baked cauliflower has never tasted so good!

3. Darren Hayman of Hefner days released Lido this week. Regular visitors to this blog will know that I’m currently swimming my way round London’s outdoor pools. There’s something about travelling to a pool, in a part of London I’ve never visited before, and having this playing that makes me feel like I have a soundtrack to my swimming. It’s a beautiful piece of music. You can buy it here. I took a break from this blog earlier in the week and wrote a piece for Lido Music so do take a read by clicking here.

4. Back to Granary Square for the second time this week, this time for chilly pudding. I popped into Kings Cross Ice Cream Festival on route home from Olympic Park yesterday for a salted caramel and peanut butter cone. You have about six hours left today to milk strange fake cows and scoff as much ice cream as you can be bothered queuing for (and you have to be prepared to queue).

5. Allow a girl her nerdy tendencies and let her be happy at the return of Dr Who. It’s one of the very few TV programmes I bother to watch and I geek out when it returns. If our introduction to the new companion is the standard to go by Jenna-Louise Coleman has the potential to outshine Matt Smith. Hugely excited!