I'm Flib from London. I've been Qyping since 12-05-2009
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Flib's Qype profile
49-51 Barnsbury Street, London N1 1TP
I have to be honest, I'm a huge fan of the Make Lounge and have been since it opened. I've done quite a few courses - leather belts, jewellery, embroidery, knockout knickers and quite a few of the one off craft nights too. I think it's great value for money when you add up that you're making something to take home, you come away with a new skill and you also get to spend time in a cosy, purpose-fit space, eating biscuits and drinking tea or having a glass of wine - it's a pretty good deal!
The retail shop is also one of the best sources for craft paraphernalia in London, especially for a nicely chosen selection of craft books and fabrics. Ooh, and edible glitter! I mean, who doesn't need edible glitter?
13 Edgware Road, London W2 2JE
I also discovered this place through the Qype event. I imagine the bagpiper that formed part of the Burns Night celebration isn't a permanent fixture... I wanted to go specifically because I wouldn't consider myself a whiskey fan, but of course the subject comes alive when you've got someone talking you through a tasting. You also learn why it's called firewater.
Despite momentarily losing my sense of taste, I was impressed with the place and the array of oddly-named drinks - anyone for a dram of Monkey Shoulder? It's all very slick and the staff do seem well informed, though it's a bit more difficult to judge a place during a qype event when you know you're getting everyone's full attention. If you know anyone who actually knows about whiskey, this could be great for a few quiet afternoon drinks, when you have time to linger. Very much strikes me as a guys' place, from the other customers who came in and were redirected to the upstairs bar.
Worth a look in if you're in the area already, or a detour for uisce beatha aficionados.
227 Victoria Park Road, London E9 7HD
14-01-2010 (updated on 21-01-2010)
- it's closed! Literally one of those 'one minute it was there' jobs... shop is now to let. Not sure if they are relocating? 21/01/10 *
A rather specialised shop... if it has one, two, three or four wheels you'll probably find it in here. This place is obviously responsible for the marauding gangs of unicyclists you see careering through Victoria Park at the weekends (ok, I once saw a pair of seven year olds wobbling about on one wheel each) and the owner is an expert in frisbee and kite surfing apparently. The old skool rollerskates in the window keep calling to me when I walk past...
81 Lauriston Road, Victoria Park, London E9 7HJ
One of the many estate agents around Victoria Park Village, I bought a property through them. The particular agent I dealt with was very sharp, but she left relatively soon afterwards. I find it kind of baffling that they're not open on Sundays and shut early on Saturdays - when do most normal people house-hunt?
225 Victoria Park Road, London E9 7HD
The clothing lines in Sublime aren't exactly my kind of thing but this is a nicely curated selection of gifts and fashion. It's the sort of place you can dash into and always find a great card and a suitable girly birthday present, of the bubble-bath/scented candle/body lotion variety. The staff are sweet and will gift wrap too if you ask nicely....
174 Victoria Park Road, London E9 7HD
This independent bookshop is mainly aimed at children, and indeed most of their business is as a main supplier to local schools. They're incredibly helpful and friendly - I was trying to buy specific titles on behalf of my brother at Christmas. They called me back twice about availability and then helped me to find alternatives for the one that was reprinting.
They have a small selection of adult (no, not that kind of adult publication) titles and will order in anything that is in print, and staff are very knowledgeable and affable.
I think it's closed on Mondays, like a lot of the local shops.
97-99 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1F 0UD
Quite simply the best burger I've had in London for a very very long time. Apparently they follow the Ginger Pig type ethos and raise their own beef which works beautifully. I loved the simplicity of the menu and the Byron burger was unctuous, soft, full of flavour. Almost the best thing is the fact that you can get legendary macaroni cheese as a side dish. Do it...
15a2 Arkwright Road, Hampstead, London NW3 6AB
I'll admit it, I am a complete craft ho and it seems like I have been to most of the crafting venues in London but it was great fun to discover another addition to the list in Create Boutique.
I joined the Qyper ladies for the Bow-tilicious night this week. Although ostensibly simple to make, I managed to mess up the direction for our little bow necklaces (because I wasn't paying attention, tbh) but managed to catch up easily. I came away from a night of fun girly chatter with a very cute black and gold bow necklace - which I've worn twice since then and which has received tons of compliments.
Couple of things: one of their selling points is that they will happily come to you too, if you fancy a girls' night round at your house which could be great for an inexpensive hen do. Also if you do go to the Hampstead venue, make sure you go downstairs rather than trying the upstairs doors...
20 Bury Street, (1st floor, next to the Gherkin), London EC3A 5AX
Yes, the food was astoundingly good. But oh my, the service almost made me weep. We sat for AN HOUR before our orders were taken. The chocolate mousse dessert, complete with inexplicable 'space dust' chocolate rocks, almost makes me forgive them, but not quite. We went using a Taste London discount, but even so, it was over £50 a head and I wasn't drinking. It's one for the company credit card, should those days ever exist again
1 Corbet Court, Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0AT
My main regret from last night at Bangalore Express is not staying on to indulge in a full meal, as some of the other guests did which was imminently sensible and probably a missed opportunity.
Charles Hill's philosophy is that it's important to select a comprehensive wine list that's varied enough to give customers a wide choice, but all of the selections should be robust enough to suit Indian food - and we sampled quite a few of those wines from their list over the course of a really enjoyable evening. Most of us do assume that Indian food = beer so this was really quite an education.
The highlights for me were the Pieropan Soave which surprised most of us, and a Donnafugata Sherazade which were both deliciously drinkable, as well as complementing the Indian tapas perfectly: Golden fried tiger prawns with chilli jam, lamb meat balls in tempered mint yoghurt and everyone's favourite, tandoori salmon with dill.
It feels only fair to say we'll have to go back and take the opportunity to sample more of the menu - purely to give a full review, of course...
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