Mushroom tea, served from a very elegant and covetable white tea set, was next up; earthy yet delicate and a great transition into the main course.
Saturday, 15 October 2016
Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Just a quick blog today, as this is the last week of the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and I thought you might like to grab a ticket before it closes.
This exhibition concentrates on the photography rather than the fashion itself and there are some stunning portraits in here. As you might expect, there are several designers featured - my favourites were these wonderful shots of Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.
Kate's meteoric rise is charted, from dewy-skinned teenage discovery to London Look icon, and there are of course the stalwarts of the supermodel generation - Claudia, Linda, Naomi, Cindy et al.
My visit was last weekend, when shots of the other famous Kate had been hung (visible here through the arch) and which for me have a slightly retro, almost seventies feel. In the previous room, I particularly liked the striking intensity of this black and white portrait of a boxer.
The exhibition is set up in straightforward fashion, if you'll pardon the pun: it's in reverse chronological order by decade, so you go from current day back to the magazine's birth. There are plenty of the shots I associate with classic Vogue - impossibly beautiful women in impossibly glamorous clothes and/ or surroundings. To address the point raised in other reviews, do these offend my feminist sensibilities? Absolutely not. I might not have Christy Turlington's killer cheekbones or Linda Evangelista's endless legs, and my life largely does not involve standing semi-naked on deserted palm-fringed islands or hanging off the arm of a chiselled, tuxedo-clad man by a private pool with champagne glass in hand - but for me these images provide a harmless fantasy, a girls' version of a James Bond movie. They are escapist, not genuinely aspirational, and surely we all need to dream?
As you move onwards into the exhibition, and back into Vogue's history, you can see how the images reflect the mood of the eras; there is a wonderful portrait of Charlie Chaplin and some languid shots of intellectual and literary greats, as well as the post-war backdrops providing a visual summary of the age.
In summary, Vogue 100 won't change your life, but it is an enjoyable and gently indulgent way to spend an hour or so, looking back at the cultural phenomenon that is Vogue. And FYI ladies, the gift shop is selling the fabulously long-lasting Lipstick Queen lipsticks, including the bizarre and wonderful green Frog Prince lipstick that changes colour on your lips, and some fab hair bands that this summer I'm wearing as festival type wristbands.
Thanks for being there, Vogue - here's to the next 100 years.
Yours, fashionably late,
Girl About Town xx
Monday, 2 May 2016
The night we went, it was Lysander's turn. Inevitably my companion and I were wondering if he was genuinely drunk - the programme assures us that he was - but actually it is genius either way. The play is cropped to the scene in the woods with the four lovers - two eloping, two in pursuit, one in love with the wrong person, you remember Shakespeare - and mischievous spirit Puck, who thinks that what this situation really needs is a magic potion that will make them fall in love with the first person they see upon waking . . . what could possibly go wrong? Oh yes - half a bottle of rum and three cans of Special Brew.
This isn't highbrow, sophisticated or sensible, but it is boozy, bawdy and boisterous, a cross between serious Shakespeare, panto, and a student house party at 2am. The ad-libs are fabulous, be it from the intoxicated actor or his fellow thesps trying to keep the play going in a vaguely recognisable direction. Audience interaction is encouraged (although I'm glad I wasn't the one with the bucket!). On the evening we were there, Lysander decided that it would be much more fun if they ditched the score for the fight scene and got the audience to sing the Game of Thrones theme tune instead. He was right, it was.
The play runs until 11th June so grab yourself a ticket, support the production, have fun and be prepared to laugh - a lot - but as the t-shirt says, Always Enjoy Shakespeare Responsibly.
Yours, with the teensiest of crushes on Puck,
Girl About Town xx
Girl About Town xx
Sunday, 22 November 2015
The names of the dead - originally not released by the Chinese authorities - line the walls in bare chart form along with their dates of birth, while in the centre of the room a huge undulating row of rusted metal rods echoing the seismic activity graph of an earthquake, or the wave itself. These are the cheap rebars used to reinforce the concrete in the schools (there is a suggestion that the money intended for rods of a suitable strength may have been diverted to line official pockets) collected by Ai Weiwei and his volunteers and then hammered straight again. It is incredibly moving.
The Royal Academy have extended their opening hours for the last few weekends, including an unprecedented 56-hour marathon for the final one. So don't miss this; it has gone straight into my top five exhibitions ever and will stay in your mind long after you leave.
Yours, newly thankful for the ability to write and post this at all,
Girl About Town xx
Sunday, 8 November 2015
Yo bitches! As a fan of Breaking Bad I was very happy to get my hands on tickets to ABQ's themed pop-up bar in Hackney last week - and it didn't disappoint. I'll try not to give away any spoilers for those who haven't seen the series but if you are in the know you will recognise some key features. . .
There are three time slots per evening and despite taking time out to admire the street art on the way from Hackney Wick station (East London for me is still the best place for this) we arrived early for ours and so had time for a couple of pre-drinks. There are some nice details: the menu is in a copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, cocktails are served in beakers and blue is the colour of choice. You can even buy a charred pink bear with one eye and round off the evening with fried chicken and chips from Los Pollos Hackney, which clearly had to be done.
The main event happens in an RV; you are hustled in by a DEA agent but, once your credentials have been established, it's time to get cooking. You get to make two different cocktails in teams of six, using an impressive array of equipment straight from a high school chemistry lab and assisted by guides in yellow overalls, all under the steely gaze of a huge backlit Heisenberg. Tread lightly.
Once you have done your thing with dry ice and nitrous oxide, the cocktails are served up for you to enjoy. It's dark, a bit cramped and lots of fun; you bond with your fellow meth cooks over the tasks and recounting your favourite characters (Jesse, obviously, and Mike - and as a character, Gus is fab) and quotes from the show (I am the one who knocks!).
Win the competition for the best version of cocktail two and your team is rewarded by a test tube rack of violently blue shots. Do you even have to ask, of course we won! Yeah bitch!
Tumbling back out of the RV into the night, I was slightly envious of the next group as they got rounded up by the DEA. If you're missing your Walter White fix, or you fell for the new season prank and got your hopes up (really??), then get on the ABQ website now and grab yourself a reservation. Show them some love; rumour has it that they might make it a permanent bar, and I think I need this in my life.
London Girl About Town xx