I'm lucychambers from London. I've been Qyping since 25-12-2008
"Filmmaker, Writer, Slacker, Lover, Not a Fighter. "
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14 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 3JT
Formerly known as Ego, this club hosts many different club nights but the one it is most famous for amongst my crowd is “Vibe”, the Tuesday night gay extravaganza, and the reason why so many gays in Edinburgh turn up for work/uni with a hangover on a Wednesday. The night is cheap in price- £1.50 drinks, £3/4 in- and cheesy in music- Dolly Parton gets played every week at 2.45am, and the rest of the night is made up of stereotypical gay anthems and pop tunes with a little commercial dance thrown in to get the sweat going. There used to be R&B played downstairs but this section is never opened for Vibe any more, which is a pity as it was always good to go down to the dark basement and watch/be watched as drunken rampant homosexuals ground against each other for thrills. Now they just do it outside on the street. There also used to be an outdoor smoking area they opened downstairs but again- when Vibe is on at least- this is closed so people stand outside on the street. It’s another Edinburgh gay night, so you get the same faces, but it’s always good for a laugh, and standing on the stage dancing away to Beyonce or Britney with your friends is nothing to be frowned upon. If you want to know what Ego/Luna is like on other nights I’m not the person to ask, but it’s a nice space and I’d assume it’s good craic.
19 Blair Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1QR
Pool tables? Check. Cheap drinks? Check. Decent food? Check. Great location? In case you hadn’t realised, that one’s going to be a check too. City Cafe is a great bar for a few pre-game drinks or a chilled out first date, with a few premium seats in the booths by the pool tables and some less attractive seating options up at the front, a downstairs bar that is normally closed but occasionally plays host to live music events, and a good buzzy atmosphere. You can find out about club nights happening in town thanks to the wealth of flyers scattered around the bar and the influx of flyerers at about nine o’clock looking to shelter from the Edinburgh cold and drum up some business for their night. The food is fine, if on the deep-fried side, but they do have a good selection of spirits and beers and the prices are very reasonable. Definitely a step up from its nearest competitors.
47-48 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JJ
When confronted with the word 'fusion’ I normally tend to add the suffix 'schmusion’, as many fusion restaurants seem to be ill-thought out attempts to jump on a bandwagon that rolled out of town in the early noughties. However, the Modern Pantry bucks this trend with incredible attention to detail and mouth-watering food. We arrived on a cold monday night to be greeted with warm, attentive service from the onset, with our server coming across as friendly and in control of the room. We sat at a communal table and began to drool over the menu; every dish sounded delicious and intriguing, with the food taking in elements of rustic French and British grub, Asian flavours and Pacific elements.
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Modern Pantry was certainly not all talk and no trousers [I’m all about the cheesy British sayings tonight aren’t I?]. To start we shared a sugar-cured prawn omelette, which has to be the best omelette I’ve ever had in my life- Just wet enough, with four massive prawns, spring onions, chilli and a myriad other thai style flavours all nestled under a smoked chilli sambal, which was basically an earthy jam. For mains I had duck confit with a quinoa cake, greens and tamarind jam which was beautifully balanced and moreish, whilst my companion had a beef shin stew flavoured with tamarind and served with parsnip mash and crisps which was equally tongue-pleasing. Then dessert; I’m normally the type to share desserts, but everything on the menu sounded so delicious we ended up getting one each AND some of their divine Valrhona truffles, and we definitely made the right choice, as both the absolutely inspired Pina Colada trifle and the chocolate truffle torte were perfect- not too sweet, just rich enough and plate-lickingly good. This place is getting deserved praise in the papers at the moment with a nine out of ten in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine last week, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to try something a bit special.
36 Blair Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1QR
Mmm clubbing. Isn’t it fun to get sweaty? Don’t you just love dancing to great music? Aren’t cheap drinks a bonus? If you answered yes, yes, and duh to those three questions then Cab Vol is calling you. There’s a different style of music on every night, from drum and bass on a Tuesday to electro on a Friday, with some indie, r&b and techno on other nights, and during the week it’s free to get in. The space is intimate and gets crowded, a real remedy to larger, more sterile clubs in Edinburgh. Love it.
10A-12A Broughton Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 3RJ
The Basement is charming; From the staff clad in their bright Hawaiian shirts with their even cheerier personalities and fantastic serving skills, to the reasonably priced, delicious food, everything about this place makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The steak here is fantastic, really good quality meat cooked perfectly to order with great sauces and sides, and the beef and merlot pie is gorgeously rich and unctuous [what an amazing word that is by the way, I’m quite sure it’s onomatopoeic]. They also serve mexican food like burritos, and on the weekends they serve an extended mexican menu, which is good news as mexican food is delicious and good. The drinks are great, the desserts are divine, the atmosphere is relaxed, the staff are super friendly- go here. You won’t regret it.
20 Forrest Road, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2QN
Simplicity- Not a quality you’d necessarily look for in a dining companion [unless you like your conversations to be dominated by chat about celebrity Big Brother or football] but an appealing trait in a restaurant’s concept. Monster Mash is all about the simple idea- traditional British grub like sausage & mash, pie & chips, haggis neeps and tatties and.. um.. burgers and chips, all served in huge portions on very attractive crockery. The food is always of a high standard and very much in the comfort food bracket, and the selection of sausages, mashes and gravies changes most days so there is the option of having a slightly more unusual meal here. Service is normally pretty efficient, and I am a fan of any place that gives me retro sweets with the bill- think black jacks and those fruit versions of black jacks whose name escapes me but are vastly superior. Give it a go, particularly if you’re in the mood for wholesome, simple fare. Just try and avoid being accompanied by a simpleton- take someone charming to give the evening a bit more depth.
69 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9PP
Newington is my local greasy spoon and subsequently you can spot me in there on many a hungover weekend with a pile of newspapers, last nights clothes still draped around me, nursing a cup of tea and a full english and trying to pretend I haven’t done whatever it is I’ve done this time. Newington is perfect for all of these as everyone who frequents it seems to be a “character” of some type, and consequently it’s a good place to people watch [as long as you can see out of your bloodshot eyes]. The food isn’t exactly gourmet but it’s cooked fresh and it hits the spot and portions are pretty reasonable; I also enjoy the fact that if you can’t face sitting in a public space for a long time you can get your full works breakfast to take away in a polystyrene container- always a sensible option.
45 Lothian Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1HB
Due to its prime location opposite Bristo square- and consequently a few minutes walk from all the Edinburgh University buildings- I tend to float to Negociants for some lunch or a coffee break at least once a week. Locale is not the sole reason for my frequent trips however- Negociants also benefits from a varied and reasonably priced menu and some damn comfy armchairs in the corners. The food varies from sandwiches and baked potatoes to stews and daily specials like stir-fries and curries, and the portions are always HUGE. The fishfinger sandwiches look amazing- chunky hunks of breaded fish wedged between obscenely thick slices of white bloomer- and I am very fond of the chicken, tomato and mozzarella burger [sans bun] as the meat is cooked really nicely and is very tender and the chips are yum. They also have a good range of different drinks and really nice tea and coffee french presses, which is always nice when you’re pretending to study/actually gossiping about the girl who sits behind you in lectures and has a few personal hygiene issues.
50 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
Oh lord. Went here for dinner last night- wow. As a committed carnivore I like to devour as much meat as possible when I’m taken out for dinner and last night was no exception- And when the meat tastes this incredible and is cooked with this much love, affection and chargrilled devotion then who can possibly resist [Any vegetarians saying “I can resist”- why on earth are you reading a review of a steakhouse?].
This is an intimate, buzzy steak place which is so authentically south American I wanted to light up a couple dozen extra strength cigarettes just to give it the final touch for a truly latin atmosphere. Instead I ordered some food, because I was ravenous. We started with empanadas- mini pasties filled with, in this case, beef for me [I told you, I love meat], spinach and cheese for my companion. Both were delicious. Then the main courses- I chose the 11oz ribeye, which arrived medium rare [on the rare side, as I like it], charred to perfection and meltingly tender. She had the 10oz fillet, the fattest fillet I’ve ever had the pleasure of ogling, and as I ended up finishing the last 3oz or so of that hunk of meat I can tell you it tasted as good as it looked, which is rarely the case with gorgeous looking things. The sides of chips and a salad were hot and tasty, and the Argentinian wines went down a treat. To finish try the Flan Casero with Dulche de Leche- A creme caramel with dollops of sweet caramel at the sides, delicious with a cafe con leche and a [on the house] glass of Malamado, or Argentine port. The service was.. lets say relaxed, but that was in keeping with the atmosphere of the place, and the food came quickly and kept me and my hunger pangs quiet. Definitely one to make the trip for.
76 Thistle St, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 1EN
Cafe Marlayne is one of the best French restaurants I have ever been to in my LIFE. This is the original Thistle St branch and there is another equally fantastic branch just off the Royal Mile on Old Fishmarket Close which is slightly less intimate but fantastic nevertheless. Why am I so crazy for Cafe M? For a start the prices are really reasonable, particularly at lunch when nothing costs more than a tenner and you can eat three courses for about £20 per head. Not bad for somewhere which uses such quality ingredients to create simple, delicious French delights. Then there’s the atmosphere- This place is so small that it is always booked up so there is a vibrant buzz to the place, and although the tables are quite close together you never feel like anyone is intruding on your personal space/conversations/flirtations/salacious gossiping about enemies. The service is always fantastic, great wines, I’ve never had anything to eat here that I haven’t wanted another plate of- I’m kind of wishing I could keep it to myself but as I say you DEFINITELY need to book in advance for this one so I guess I’m a bit late if I wanted to have Cafe M as my little secret. Go here. You won’t regret it.
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