I'm lovelychaos from London. I've been Qyping since 27-05-2009
"shiny happy person"
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lovelychaos's Qype profile
39 Paddington Street, Mayfair, London W1U 4HH
Hands down the absolute worst lunchtime experience of my life.
I don't have many. Maybe I'm lucky, maybe it is down to my spectacular judgement. I don't know. On the day I visited Bagel Factory I can only assume the head cold I was developing caused some sort of major malfunction.
I ordered some sort of bacon and guacamole thing on a seeded bun. The server was more than surly. Then she cut the bagel on the wonk (seriously on the wonk. As in, I got a doorstep for one half and a paper thin other half, which disintegrated at one side). Once it was toasted she scraped a pitiful amount of guac onto one side (the ubiquitous round white tub was now empty and 'no you can't have any more'). The bacon ended up all on one side of the bagel. Then the bagel was stale.
That plus crisps cost me over a fiver. I sat on the bus for an hour wondering how everything could have gone so wrong. shudder
32 Crawford Street, London W1H 1LS
One of the friendliest shops I have ever come across. I can only assume this is Swedish country (with the Swedish resto Garbo's a few doors down). Definitely not the cheapest place in the world, but with brilliantly named sweets like 'Plopp' and giant chewy mallow dolphins sprinkled in crack (they must be to be so addictive) you absolutely cannot go wrong. A haven for anyone fancying a Scandinavian brunch (gravlax and meatballs a go-go) - and make sure you chat to the staff and read the website for more inspiration.
I'm saving for a beautiful traditional painted wooden horse.
83 Berwick Street, Soho, London W1F 8TS
You know when you have a great haircut and it immediately makes you want to wander around telling strangers about it and then you are so excited you buy some lilac skinny jeans?
Well the details are irrelevant but the theme is the same. Great haircuts make you feel great. And blow me down with a feather if Feel haven't just done that same thing to me.
I had a superb haircut somewhere very expensive about a year ago. I effing loved it and begrudged every second the fringe grew too long. Since then I've been traipsing around London town looking for someone who could cut my hair similarly and have been disappointed by people from the same salon and people from a different salon. Until today, natch - I booked an appointment at Feel just a few hours before going down and was cut up good by Kristen. She totally got what I wanted - and did it with no fuss and plenty of skill - start to finish (with a wonderful wavy blowdry) in under 40 minutes.
I'm well aware that reviewing hairdressers can be a bit of an odd task - you have to find one that suits you, understands what you want and so on - but here Kristen hit the nail on the head. Good on ya girl, mad props and all that. £35 all in and everything. Brilliant.
4-6 Half Moon Lane, Dulwich, London SE24 9HU
Cafe, bar, restaurant, whatever, smack in the centre of Herne Hill. Lovely, lovely atmos - chilled as you like, plenty of paintings on the walls, mismatched furniture - you know the drill. Then there's toys for kids in the corner (mothers will be pleased), entertainment for adults hidden in the tables.
There's a small menu for meals - the food is great but rather expensive, and service is lovely but rather slow. It's an awesome place to come for a catchup with your ladyfriends - particularly if you can secure one of the sofas - but the money factor detracts a bit - it seems a touch out of touch with the demographic and the feeling. Or maybe I'm just getting tight in my old age.
61 Paddington Street, London W1U 4JD
Undoubtedly the best flooring shop in the whole of London town by virtue of the awesome dog that lives there. The floors are also nice - I know this as I am always looking at the dog sprawled across them. A marketing masterstroke, right there.
83 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW
In this rather bewildering time when the publishing world hasn't really worked out its next play - Kindles and iPads are being foisted upon us by the technohoardes-that-know-best, newspapers are closing or trying to work out how to make money out of that internet thing everyone talks about - there is nothing better than visiting Daunt Books to realise that yes, there was a point to having proper, real, made-of-paper literature in the first place.
This store is utterly beautiful. Each room opens out onto another, each is filled with pristine condition books (not a stickered cover in sight), every cover on display is enticing and every table urges you to consider a genre you wouldn't have considered before. It's a bookshop as a bookshop should be. None of this bastardised Waterstones-esque book shopping with vacant staff and a screaming brat somewhere in the kiddy-lit section.
It's technically - according to the free bookmarks you get with every book - a travel bookshop: there's a huge travel section at the back where travel specific books meet and mingle with novels written about the country or city in question. I could stay here for hours, nay, days, collecting more books than I could read in a lifetime and still want to return.
I think I've said my piece now - yes, she likes it, done - but I cannot emphasise enough how Daunt Books embodies the importance of real books, real literature. I just hope that everyone else agrees with me enough to keep it there come the iPad eBook wHatever revolution.
100 Avenue Road, London NW3 3HF
Not so long ago I wrote about being impressed by Inamo for serving very good food despite the whole restaurant being something of a gimmick. Back down to earth with a bump, then, after visiting a Benihana, another gimmick restaurant which serves below average food, even by gimmick standards.
It's staid and rather wartorn inside - imagine this is something to do with the habitual flame-throwing of the chefs - which does nothing for the flat atmosphere of a mostly empty place (we did go on a Monday evening).
We were second to be seated at our table which as Em points out below left us with a bit of catching up to do. The clear soup was good to start, however the salad of rough iceberg and a couple of cherry toms was poor (excepting the dressing). The sushi was good, though. We were told to select two types of fish or meat for our main course - we duly did. Our chef for the evening came out much to the delight of the small child on the table, and pretty much ignored us at the other end. To be honest, I wasn't that bothered as was catching up with a mate, and did quite enjoy some of the fireshow, but he concentrated on cooking for the other party and threw ours on at the end. We ended up with something different that we asked for, not particularly well cooked and pretty much overseasoned. Never mind. I concentrated on drinking green tea and chatting to my friend.
The 8 courses for £22 deal is still a bit overpriced as far as I can see, I definitely wouldn't pay more but did notice some others shelling out (sigh) for lobster. People on other tables seemed to be having quite a bit of fun too. Maybe we were just unlucky, but wouldn't go back.
27 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7PJ
You know what really, really helps with morale at the exact halfway point of the week? A roast chicken dinner, that's what.
Yep, the Wednesday roast is the saviour of browbeaten advertising chumps like me. A massive juicy bit of chicken with potatoes, veg, stuffing and gravy for £5.95. There isn't a better lunch to be had nearby. They also do Friday Fish Pie, and then the usual sammich / baked spud / pasta / cakey fare throughout the week. Massive bonuses here though - it's all homemade, the people are awesome and there is a verifiable rabbit warren of space out the back - loads of little rooms to chow down in.
208-209 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EP
Absolutely beautiful pub - the kind of place tourists gawp at for being so wonderfully English and quaint and publike while the Brits drink beer and moan about the weather.
It's a Sam Smiths, so you know what you're getting drinkwise (although it's worth mentioning in case you're one of the gawping tourists - this means you can only get Sam Smiths beers as well as a couple of wines and spirits - and that it's very cheap) and crowdwise - stands a mile out from the regular Sam Smiths though by virtue of the carved wood and cut glass decor.
132 Lower Marsh, Lambeth, London SE1 7AE
A wonderful little hideout in the hotchpotch that is Lower Marsh, Scootercaffe (formerly Scooterworks - they don't do repairs any more, just coffee) is a right good place with plenty of atmos and the most awesome Spanish-style hot chocolate you'll find this side of, er, Spain. It's full of transport related objects and generally old artefacts; there are also at least three cats hiding in and around the place.
I love it here. However, there are a couple of bad bits standing in the way of the big five. For all the quirks and old stuff, what also comes with that is a little bit of grime and only two comfy chairs. But, you know, it's the kind of thing you sacrifice when you choose the scruffy, atmospheric, beautiful independent over the harsh lighting and pleather sofas of St*rbucks.
- London 78 reviews
- Soho, London 11 reviews
- Finsbury Park, London 10 reviews
- Marylebone, London 7 reviews
- Stoke Newington, London 7 reviews
- Islington, London 6 reviews
- Fitzrovia, London 6 reviews
- Birmingham 4 reviews
- Coventry 3 reviews
- Shoreditch, London 3 reviews
- Harringay, London 3 reviews
- Highbury, London 2 reviews
- City of London, London 2 reviews
- Halifax 2 reviews
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- Brighton 2 reviews
- Ashbourne 1 review
- West Kensington, London 1 review
- Embankment, London 1 review
- Derby 1 review
- Moseley, Birmingham 1 review
- Balsall Heath, Birmingham 1 review
- Elephant and Castle, London 1 review
- Kings Cross, London 1 review
- Bloomsbury, London 1 review
- Bank, London 1 review
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- Kenilworth 1 review
- London Bridge, London 1 review
- Shepherds Bush, London 1 review
- Charing Cross, London 1 review
- Covent Garden, London 1 review
- Bermondsey, London 1 review
- Waterloo, London 1 review
- Holborn, London 1 review
- Swiss Cottage, London 1 review
- Herne Hill, London 1 review