Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cahoots, 21st December

Cahoots I must say was the very definition of a theme bar done right. With cocktails to live up to the d├ęcor.

We had already been drinking fairly heavily throughout the evening so were a bit squiffy when we finally rocked up to Cahoots at 11 and hoped there would be space for us. They were able to accommodate us at our favourite space – the bar, where we made ourselves comfortable and woofed down two tins of the complimentary popcorn (no dinner had been had that evening).

When you arrive you go into a little foyer, just like a ticketing area at a station, before you go through the ‘secret’ panels to the bar below on a mocked up underground escalator. It feels ever so fun. The place is kitted out with all sorts of Underground and 40s paraphernalia which gives it an authentic vintage atmosphere.

Before sitting, we perused the menu – cunningly disguised as a newspaper from the time – before making our final choices. This was difficult - there are pages and pages of options and they all sound either interesting, or tasty. I would say, even if you aren’t much of a fan of all things vintage and themes, the cocktails are worth a visit alone. Very delectable. I cannot remember the names of the cocktails we had but I know for sure mine was boozy and rich. We watched as an elaborate garnish of chocolate, peppercorns and possibly dried mango was created before our eyes, the chocolate poured out onto the bar and set, then sprinkled with the crunchy stuff before being set atop the cocktail. It provided a very handy extra snack for us and a sugar rush that kept us going through the night.
Some of the cocktails are very reasonably priced at around £8 but they do rise up to the £10 or £13 (or more) for the more interesting combinations. But this place is great for a treat or to impress so you'll probably be willing to splurge a little bit. Everyone go. But be warned. If you want to book in advance, they require a deposit, even if only for the two of you so if there’s any chance your plans might change, maybe best to try to wing it – go later in the evening and chance your arm. Worked for us!

Cahoots Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Square Meal

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kinky Salon, 12th December

The very last rule of KSL is not to gossip about what goes on there. Which is what they say at many of these parties and I really hope that my write-ups of them would not be construed in such a way. I like to keep things general and give a flavour of what goes on rather than the specifics.

KSL has been rather built up in my mind as the epitome of a sex party – where everyone’s mind is on one thing and you’d better brace yourself. As ever with these things, it wasn’t quite such an overwhelming experience. You have to arrive within one hour of the doors opening as the evening is run by volunteers and they want to get mingling too. Depending on what time you get there then, you have an hour or two to mingle before the cabaret starts.

I’d been warned that the cabaret wasn’t that great and that once it was over everyone deserted the dance floor to get to the couple’s room. This wasn’t strictly true. Firstly, I really enjoyed the cabaret – there were a couple of traditional drag acts (male drag queens) and then the Family Fierce (female drag queens) also did an act. They were fresh and very funny. It was hosted by the supersexy Lolo Brow and everything she does turns to gold anyway.

But watching the cabaret was mandatory and meant that there was no more mingling and you couldn’t go to the bar. I had felt I was building up a nice momentum before the show started and when it ended it was a bit like the lights coming on and feeling disoriented – I felt back to square one, sober and wanting to make some connections, and worried that everyone who was there had already found someone, or had come with someone to cop off with and I’d be left dancing on my own. Wanting to dance, yes, but not necessarily solo. I needn’t have worried about this as the music came on and while there was a definite shift to the other areas there were still plenty of people bopping on the dance floor or getting some drinks. Mingling was achieved.

There wasn’t a whole host of things going on other than the play room and couples room after the cabaret had ended. There was a ball pit, and some croquet although I don’t think I saw anyone play it. I personally think it would have been nice if there were other entertainments. In fact, I think if Are you Game and KSL merged it would create the perfect night – do away with the show, and have lots of excuses for people to interact with each other instead.

I had been told that KSL was quite something to behold in terms of the sex and that was true. I won’t go into detail but there is a good amount of space devoted to ‘getting into a scene’ and I have probably never seen so many naked bodies in one place. The atmosphere was sexy yet light-hearted. You have to be friendly and see the humour in things when you’re getting it on with someone in such close proximity to others doing the same thing. Tripping over a bum or accidentally sticking your foot in someone’s face while they’re preoccupied with other things is taken in good spirit.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at KSL, so much so, that the above write-up is from when I went in October and I went back again in December when things were much the same (although the cabaret this time around had suffered a drop in quality). 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bad Egg, 7th December

Bad Egg has been on the List for quite some time, and I finally made it down. I have to say, it was a little disappointing for me but I wouldn’t write it off completely. We all chose from the burger/sandwich menu. My veggie friend got the mac and cheese burger, my other friend had the chicken burger, and I got the buffalo ribwich.

My sandwich was ridiculous. A huge, square slab of pork belly, breadcrumbed and plopped in a burger bun with buffalo sauce and (somewhere) blue cheese mayo. A delicate leaf of lettuce was almost comical in its pointlessness. I couldn’t taste the blue cheese mayo at all, against the intense tanginess of the buffalo sauce. The pork belly, though tender once you managed to get into it, was a bit tough to crack at first bite and I didn’t think it worked with the sauce at all. I wish it had been paired with a more Asian flavouring like kimchi. My friend and I both ordered fries. Would have appreciated being told that one dish was enough for two.

The mac and cheese burger, however, was pretty brilliant. A circular formation of the cheese carby stuff, it was deep fried giving the edges a crispiness much needed inside a bun.
The chicken burger, too looked great – definitely thigh meat, it had quacamole and a fried egg in it. Apparently the egg made it a bit too squishy and hard to eat but it was finished pretty quickly so I think it can’t have been too bad!

Also pretty enjoyable was this rice krispie ice cream sandwich with salted caramel ice cram and a caramel sauce. I shared with my friend as we were both stuffed but it was so good I probably could have made room for the whole thing. It could easily be too sickly for some but I could handle it. 

Bad Egg Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Square Meal

This was a post-Alcoholic Architecture treat, Bompass and Parr’s room filled with Gin and Tonic mist. As with all Bompass and Parr things, it sounded better than it really was but I did enjoy it. You have to don ponchos so you all look ridiculous standing in what is quite a small room, while gin and tonic vapour swirls around you and you try to inhale as much as you can in the 45 minutes you have. Apparently you can get 2 to 3 shots worth inside you (and as you absorb it, no calories!) and my friends thought they could feel an effect but I remained unconvinced. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NY Fold, 6th December

This was actually my second visit to NY Fold but I left it so long to write up before I couldn't remember what I thought of it!
So I went and got another slice, to take away and cement my opinion. The range of types they have is pretty impressive, it was hard to make a decision. In the end I had the Hot Italian, with cumberland sausage, peppers, caramelised onions. They really load all the toppings on, which is great, and the toppings themselves are very tasty. But the pizza is too cheesy. Can you have a pizza that is too cheesy? In a way, no. The real problem here is that the tomato base doesn't have much of a presence, And while I love cheese, a richly flavoured tomato sauce is definitely what I expect to find on my pizza. Decent, but I won't be rushing back there.

NY Fold Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Square Meal

Monday, January 4, 2016

Wonderland, 5th December

When I first got to Wonderland, at a little before midnight I was a little worried. Where were all the people? Why weren’t the ones that were there as dressed up as me?

Forward to two hours’ time and all those cares had been forgotten. Sure, it wasn’t rammed but there were more than enough bodies to give the place some atmosphere and I didn’t feel like the odd one out in my choice of costume. I had such an excellent time. I hadn’t been before but had told anyone that asked that I believed it was a bit like Rumpus but on a smaller scale. I think that was a fair assumption. They had live acts, DJs and some ‘goings on’ and had completely transformed the Prince of Wales into an indoor festival.

We arrived and there was a laid back band playing some gentle ska type music. Later on Great Scott absolutely rocked the mic with their MCing and had the crowd in thrall. There was the great coronation of Queen Alice, much to the chagrin of the Queen of Hearts which involved confetti being sprinkled everywhere and much hoopla, and then another folky upbeat band a bit later. Plenty of entertainment. And that was just the one room – there was also another more focused on just dancing and a few little touches along the way, like a glitter shower (non-functioning when I went to explore it).

So, two rooms means it is a much smaller party than Rumpus. But I kinda liked that about it. I felt like I chatted to more people than I might at Rumpus, and also, didn’t have the fear of missing out on something going on. With all the acts happening in the one room, I knew where to go and at what time. Definitely took the FOMO out of my night.

The crowd was fun and friendly and before I knew it it was 5:45 am and time to start thinking about heading home. Wonderland – I will see you again!