Monday, February 6, 2012

Star of Bethnal Green, 28th January

So, it was early Saturday night and we were feeling good after our Hunanese. It was time to get into the Saturday night swing of things and imbibe some alcohol. I even had some cash left from my last paycheck burning a hole in my pocket – we could drink like kings!

We warmed up in a pub we recently discovered on Brewer Street called the The Glasshouse Stores. It’s a Sam Smith pub and does wheat beers which Stephen particularly likes. It was only about 8 pm and the pub was fairly busy but we still had a seat. It didn’t quite have as much atmosphere as we were looking for, and we ended up sitting by a draughty window so we decided to move on after two. On to the Star of Kings – somewhere we could get home from easily when we were half cut.

I’ve heard about this place as a bit of a hipster beacon in Bethnal Green but this was my first time venturing in. Stephen had been himself and said it was small. He was right. You walk in, and there is a room and in about ten moderate paces you can get to the bar directly in front of you, which also doubles as the back of the room. But there is an upstairs. We perched on a small table right by the raised DJ area and consumed our drinks. As the night wore on, more and more tables were removed from around us, and taken up the stairs. The music got a bit louder, the hipsters got a bit drunker, and dancing began in fits and starts until people were around the DJ and on the floor in front of us. You couldn’t blame them – the music was fantastic. Earlier on they had been playing fairly standard, ear-pleasing house music. But by the time the night really got going, they had moved on to 60s soul and r’n’b. Sweet Soul Music, closely followed by Soul Man – well you just can’t go wrong. I actually didn’t venture upstairs but Stephen checked it out and said that it resembled the downstairs circa 9 pm in atmosphere – ie you went upstairs to sit, downstairs to dance.

We, however, stubbornly bucked this trend, continuing to sit and drink while people danced around us. I was tempted on more than once occasion to get up, but we just weren’t drunk enough to ‘be out dancing’ as a couple. It was enough fun to drunkenly chat and hipster-watch. I can't be too scathing about hipsters - I am practically one myself except for the way I dress and act. But I do draw the line at ordering double Baileys as my drink of choice when I'm out on the piss (yes, I witnessed one floppy haired gentleman order just this. Two hours later and he was still on the same drink.). We left at around 11:30 to get a cheeky McDonald’s and the last tube home. 

Square Meal

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