I'm kristianak from London. I've been Qyping since 20-05-2008
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kristianak's Qype profile
Westfield, Ariel Way, London W12 7GA
Ooooh, I'm going to be contentious here and disagree - I like the design and modernity, but it leaves me cold.
The odd shape of the store means that some of the women's fashion ends up being shoehorned into the jutting point of the building, and I find it incredibly hard to find things. Also, they don't have the range that other stores have - I do understand that it's smaller, but I would have expected HOF to make this the flagship and go all out.
It's handy in that it's attached to all the other luxury stores in the mall, but in my mind, not worth going into.
The one concession that stood out for me is Biba, but not enough variety in the beauty, fashion and accessories. What's with the handbags on shelves positioned 10 foot off the ground? I want to look at it, not slam-dunk it.
34-40 Great Cumberland Place, London W1H 7TW
Went here with a friend to use a voucher I had purchased for a pair of cocktails. ALthough the lobby looks like it is still being finished off, the bar and resturant area is all brand-new. I liked the style now, which is classically modern and sleek - especially as I seem to remember this hotel being a bit chintzy before.
The bar is called Barre Noir, and noir it is. Black chandeliers and columns in the sort of circular space contrast perfectly with the onyx-lit bar. The theme is old Hollywood glamour and rich upholstery and tiled-look walls add to this.
Cocktails were really well-made - I went for a cosmopolitan which was potent and pink, and my friend had a standard mojito with blessedly-little ice. At £9.50 they're expensive, but not as much as most hotel bars.
A nice place for a revive stop after shopping on Oxford Street perhaps?
301-302 The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London NW1 8AH
Why this coffe shop hasn't made it onto Qype earlier I'll never know!
It's a small Italian espresso bar and shop in the front corner of the Stables Market ( well, Camden Lock Place actually) with the best service ever! Yes, you do wait a while for the artistry of their espresso-based drinks with perfectly-frothed milk to be ready - but it's so worth it.
As tourists and locals alike huddle patiently in the 'shop', they can browze seemingly hundreds of varieties of loose-leaf tea and roasted coffee beans to take home. There's even those pretty chinese hand-made tea bombs that slowly unfurl in hot water to reveal coral-like garlands and explosions.
Anyway, on Saturday afternoon after freezing up the high street, I was presented (after my 15 minute wait) with the prettiest latte EVER! A delicate caramel flower drizzled on top sprinkled with edible purple glitter.
Go now! HURRY!
91-92 Camden Lock Place, Camden, London NW1 8AF
I love this branch of Yumchaa - the first and the best in my opinion.
I was working back up in Camden for a week in my old office and was taken right back to the heady days of summer 2007 as soon as I walked through Yumchaa's door. They give £1 coffees for traders or local businesses - bargain, but even for full-price I think it's great value coffee.
The chocolate cake is rich, fudgey and decadent, better than the brownies which can be slightly dry. The sandwiches are fab doorstops of goodness.
It is a smaller and therefore more friendly branch, oh, and they let me take plates of cake back to the office until I've scoffed them and return their crockery later. Bliss.
22 Charterhouse Mews, Charterhouse Mews, London EC1M 6DX
You know you've had a good night when you wake with the cheese sweats at 3.45am the next morning. Luckily it was totally worth it.
Last week I attended the very special tasting event with Qype hosted by Le Café du Marche restaurant in partnership with Cheese Cellar and Great Western Wine.
This fantastic, romantic French restaurant is tucked away in the alleys off Charterhouse Square and offers a different place in time - a traditional brasserie-style dining with rustic ambiance. The night started well - champers on arrival in the private room upstairs and then 20 dedicated qypers sat down to be educated.
The inimitable Tom from Cheese Cellar started us off on which cheeses not to love, before passing around amazing platters of cheeses starting from ancient sheep's cheese to the lactic Cirencester, old and rich gouda, acidic and moist Lancashire, pungent Mont D'Or, and finally my favourite, the strong agressive blues of the Roquefort and Gorgonzolas.
Coupled with these presented by Joel from Great Western were different wines from all over the globe, including prosecco, Gewurtztraminer, a Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Spanish Rioja, Trinity Hill Syrah from Hawkes Bay and a Castera Cuvée.
After the tasting finished I tried a few charcuterie platters and fresh-baked breads before heading home to dream of goats rolling cheese in ash.
I really want to return soon to try the full a la carte menu as the food we did have was sublime.
Best quotes from Tom the chhese-man:
''In the Pantheon of cheeses, roquefort and gorgonzola are at the pinnacle - the Holy cheeses of Zeus himself''
''Wensleydale is effectively failed roquefort''
''The Swiss version of Mont D'Or killed more people than any other cheese''
''Let me demonstrate milk proteins on my fingers if I may''
''Ironically, hatred of your neighbours is responsible for some of the best cheeses''
Never has delicious cheese been presented in such a knowledgeable and acerbic way.
1 Felthambrook Estate, London TW13 7DU
Well looky what I found in the post today!!!
I signed up for Graze prompted by a freebie in the metro advertising their special blend of goodies delivered to your door at no cost. I totally applaud the concept and found it really easy to use. Sign up on www.graze.com and choose how often you want a delivery. Then have a scroll through the different heathy options, sweeties, fruities or seeds. You can choose from various 'themes' of food as well. Before I knew it I had happily clicked away to let them know how much I loved black olives, those funky japanese rice crackers and how much I hated flapjacks. The site is really user-friendly, everything is pictorial and you can request things you really like and make suggestions.
I ordered on Wednesday and got the first available delivery as Friday, every box is £3.49 but they have special joining offers on the site. Best of all, you can order one-off deliveries as gifts etc - kind of like a squirrels gift basket. Also, at any time you can opt out and cancel membership.
For me, it's not something I'll use regualrly as I should buy my own nibbles but if you can afford this ( and to be fair, many of the things you get to try are 'gourmet' and would cost a lot more to buy from the health food store) then I think it's a great idea! Each of the four parcels is seperately vacuum-packed so you don't have to open them all on the arrival day - if you have more willpower than I you can ration them!
A+ idea and really respect the dedication to eco-friendly, healthy snacks.
7 Charlotte Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1SQ
Love this salon!
It really is tucked away in a quiet cobbled mews ( opposite one of my favourite coffee shops, but that's another story...)
Redhed is owned by redhead Sarah who is this year celebrating 10 years in business. there are several other senior and junior stylists and you never feel rushed or that it's too hectic / loud in there.
A cut and finish is £49.00 which I think is quite reasonable for London standards. ( and a lot less than some rubbish chain places)
There are 4 cutting stations and a small hair-washing room to the back with 2 sink stations, just the perfect size for friendly and dedicated service.
Also for this year's birthday on 2nd Feb, they are doing £10.00 haircuts all day, with all the proceeds going to charity. If that's not good enough they will have a red carpet, makeup artists and a photographer so all the clients on that day will feel like movie stars!
I liked senior stylist Emma's cutting, so definitely try this place out!
56 Maple Street, Marylebone, London W1T 6HW
After a drink at nearby Jetlag bar, a friend and I decided we needed a quieter place to eat. A quick glimpse at the menu told me all I needed to know - Lamb Kleftico in the House!
I love Greek food and this was no exception -
a mixed meza plate of bread and 3 types of homemade dips ( hummus, tzatiki and tarramousalata) were light and delicious.
We'd been brought some olives and pickled chillies first - nothing to write home about there, but my oh my, the main course was lovely!
I had the lamb kleftico - slow-cooked lamb that is so succulent it falls off the shank ( NOT cheaper shoulder cut) like butter. Sides of rice or potatoes were a nice non-overwhelming accompaniment.
Mains were around £10 - £12 which wasn't too bad but sides etc push the bill up.
The house wine was actually really lovely ( I was expecting retsina-esque sharpness) so we had a bottle of red to boot. All in all, for our shared starters and mains and drinks it came to £49.00 or so, not super-cheap but decent quality food and friendly service that makes it worth the money.
125 Cleveland Street, Marylebone, London W1T 6QB
Well I don't know about sports, but it's a pretty cool little bar, tucked away in Fitzrovia. I had heard they were doing some movie screenings of home-grown films for Australia Day but didn't realise how packed it would be!
Upstairs (ground level) is a small bar and tables for about 30 people while downstairs is a bit more futuristic with massive plasmas across the wall and more booths and seating areas.
Seemed pretty noisy as the music was definitely much louder downstairs.
Was happy with my Tasmanians Boags beer and although we didn't eat, the choice of Aussie fare for the special menu looked great so might consider this again on a less busy day.
100 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH
I'm with Siany on this one - Book Club is the kind of place you either love or hate. I came here on a Saturday night for my friend's birthday and he had booked a table in the centre of the ground floor. Arriving fairly early the atmosphere was good, slight queues at the bar but good music.
In a way it deteriorated as the night went on, 20-minute wait to get a drink, toilets were dirty (and I'm honestly not a fan of the unisex loo option) music getting lounder and more random (s-express got my attention but there were some very dodgy moments as well)
Cocktails were from £6.95 - £8.00ish, which is fairly cheap for this area.
Liked the decor, tiled walls, quite open-plan, a thumping dark dancefloor downstairs whith different music and a ping-pong table in the rear.
I've actually heard it's a lovely place to come in the daytime for brunch etc so that sounds more like my scene. Plus under-25 'hipsters' that are painfully image-aware freak me out when I'm out of an evening.
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