I'm katiesol from London. I've been Qyping since 08-07-2009
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2.8 Kingly Court, off carnaby st, London W1B 5PW
All the fun of the fair lives up to its name and then some. It's a treasure trove of crafty and knitting supplies, it has some really lovely wool and yarn and a nice range of knitting needles. Alongside this, you can pick up patterns, instructional books and very cute little labels to sew into your knitted goods. There's also a good few accessories and other crafty supplies.
If you're not much of a knitter, you can always pick up some of their hand-knitted examples - from knitted cupcakes to tea cosies. All very cute.
It's a lovely little shop with helpful staff and beautiful window displays.
191 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2ED
This is, without question, my number one most favourite cinema in London (in the UK it's second only to the Little Theatre in Bath). Whenever there's a film I'm dying to see, I splash out and see it at the Electric. The seats are really comfy, armchairs all round and if you book early enough you can even nab one with a footstool, or a sofa for two. Even sitting quite near the front is fairly comfortable.
The snacks are delish, if a little pricey. And you can even indulge in a cheeky bottle of wine or a nice cup of tea.
What's great about going to the Electric is you feel like it's really an experience, it's a bit special - as opposed to going to your local Vue where going to the cinema is about as exciting as getting on a bus.
175-177 Fulham Palace Road, Fulham, London W6 8QT
On a cold, quiet New Year's Day, I ventured to the Southern Belle for the first time having walked past it eight million times since I moved to the area. From the outside, it's a quietly, unassuming place; with deep brown paintwork, a wooden terrace and high windows. When we nipped inside, stamping our feet and slowly pulling off gloves, scarves and other winter apparel, the first thing we noticed was that this pub is massive; much bigger than it looks from outside.
There's a huge focus on games at the near side of the place; there are pool tables galore, video games, quiz boxes, table football and, I'm sure, more. We zipped past this area and snuggled ourselves down at one of the spacious table areas with comfy benches.
A hotdog was my lunch of choice; it was a real sausage hotdog, sorry frankfurter fans. The chips are proper skins-left-on made from real potatoes chips and they were alright, a little over-cooked I think. But it was great value; two meals and two soft drinks set us back around £20. With a name like Southern Belle, you're right to expect deep south type food - there are ribs and bbq galore on the menu too.
I can't vouch for what the place is like at night; I imagine it's a lot busier and perhaps a little rowdy. There are decks set up at the front and plenty of move-able tables so I'm sure a pretty big dancefloor could be created, no probs.
171 Greyhound Road, Barons Court, London W6 8NL
A sad victim of the recession, this pub has changed hands a couple of times over the past year (it was previously The Queens Arms). This hasn't been brilliant for those of us who live but two minutes from it, as unreliable opening hours, long periods of closure and sporadic food availability made us sad and unlikely to choose to go there.
However, it looks like happier times are here to stay as the new owners are pretty serious chaps. With a successful twin pub in Barnes, here's hoping they'll have similar joy in Barons Court.
The interior is fairly nicely decorated. There are plants galore around the dining area which makes for a nice green feel, and although they've crammed in as many tables as they can, the place is rarely full so it doesn't feel too crowded. The food is delish, although it is quite a select menu with not much to choose between. I have heard that the burgers are amazing although I haven't sampled them myself yet.
The staff are attentive and really friendly, and the prices aren't too bad either. The pub does have a couple of flat screen TVs but, disappointingly, no Scrabble.
28a Comeragh Road, London W14 9HR
12-07-2009 (updated on 09-09-2009)
ORIGINAL REVIEW: The Curtain’s Up is an alright pub if you just want a drink. The atmosphere is generally quite genial and it’s rarely full on a weekend day.
However, do not - repeat: DO NOT - rely on it to be serving food at even the most sensible of times. Even if they’ve still got the menus out on the tables and signs saying that they are serving food. And don’t expect them to tell you the kitchen is closed until you go up to order. It’s happened so many times now that I just don’t go there for food any more.
UPDATE: Wowzer, The Curtain’s Up has undergone quite the refurb. The kitchen is more reliable now, although it’s a more formal dining experience and a little more expensive.
33 D'Arblay Street, Soho, London W1F 8EU
The Breakfast Club is more about being brilliantly and kitsch-tastically nostalgic for the '80s than it is about getting a good hearty breakfast in you.
The decor, the ambiance and the 'vibe’ (yeah, I hate that saying too) are all spot on; from the comedy blackboard outside spouting breakfast-relevant witticisms to the Happy Meal toys from your childhood and the photos of brat pack flicks on the walls, it’s a nice place to discover.
Portions are sizable and the menu features all the staple breakfast items you’d hope for; but the food is reasonably greasy and in some cases a little on the bland side. Oh, and if you’re not a fan of grimeyness then I’d steer clear. I can imagine clean-freaks would get the urge to don the marigolds and give the whole place a good scrub.
It’s a tiny little cafe so there aren’t that many seats, and it can get freakishly warm and smell a bit like toilets if you sit right in the back. But it’s a fun place to visit occasionally, especially when you’re in the mood for a good old fry up.
61-63 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9RH
With lots of seating and nice little nooks and crannies, Alphabet Bar is a good place for a pre-dancing drink, or to hire out for an event.
The downstairs is pretty dark but you can pretty much take it over if there are enough of you. The mojitos aren’t bad and it’s not toooo crazily expensive considering it’s slap bang in the middle of Soho.
2 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4PX
Like cocktails? You’ll absolutely LOVE Dollar Grills & Martini’s. The cocktail menu is comprehensive and inventive, and the resulting cocktails are absolutely top notch. I had a watermelon martini - can’t recommend it enough. Fresh, summery and completely delicious.
The interior is quite stuffy and dark, but would make a good place to have a special meal - I didn’t sample any of the food on my first visit, but the menu looked good, lots of grilled stuff. Quite pricey.
The service was a little hit-and-miss. We asked for recommendations on cocktails and were advised to go with items number one and two on the menu (hmmm), which also happened to be the priciest (double-hmmmmm). But would definitely go back - perhaps on pay day..!
Regent's Park, London NW1 4NP
I was taken to the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park as a surprise, to see one of my favourite ever plays The Importance of Being Earnest.
I didn’t even know there was an open air theatre in the park until we rocked up that day, so it was like discovering a secret garden or a magical mystery land. With hedges instead of walls and lovely Pimms available it had all the makings of a perfect summers day out.
The auditorium itself turned out to be quite the heat trap, so whatever the weather, it’s worth going prepared for the best and the worst. Layer up, my friends, and pack sunnies as well as a brolly.
The set design was really clever and even as the rain started, stopped, started again and continued, the actors really played up to it (I suppose in a more serious play that would have been difficult though). It did get a little more miserable towards the end of the performance, akin to sitting in a cold shower fully clothed for over an hour.
Apparently photography of any kind is frowned on, which is a shame as it’s quite an unusual experience, and one you’d want to remember.
So; in conculsion: Go prepared. Choose a comedy. Be sly with your photography. And enjoy!
47 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London SW7 3JP
As a cafe, the Hummingbird Bakery on Old Brompton Road falls short. It’s tiny, feels as though it has more staff than seats and doesn’t have a customer bathroom.
But for ridiculously delicious cupcakes with mega-icing and sprinkles or for the ultimate birthday cake, there’s just nowhere better.
Staff are generally friendly and helpful, although they tend to get a little flustered as the queue grows - which it will, because no one can get enough of those cupcakes.
If you can’t make it to that end of town, they do deliveries to certain places in London, but it’s by courier so ends up being pretty pricey.
But then again, it’s pretty much worth it for the greatest cupcakes in all the land…