Thursday, 26 January 2012

Hip Hop Karaoke at the Social

In London its not easy to find a fun, unpretentious and most importantly free night out but I might just have found one! I have to admit when my friend first suggested going to a hip hop karaoke night I wasn't expecting amazing things and was a little apprehensive how much fun it could be, in my mind expecting mainly drunk people taking to the mic in a rather bad attempt of discovering their inner Missy Elliot. But boy was I wrong! Entering the basement of the Social on a Wednesday night is more 8 Mile than average karaoke bar. Squeezed into a small space with people that know their hip hop, the people that take the stage are regulars. They know the lyrics by heart and are here to perform. Its serious stuff and everyone gets totally involved, if someone is doing well the metal walls get a good bashing to show the crowd's sign of approval. Even in the breaks between performers everyone has a good time, here it truly is about hip hop and dancing to it in whatever form you like (although I feel like I need to up my game next time). Its a place where you can have fun even if you aren't a massive hip hop fan and is definitely set to become a new regular going out spot for me, just don't expect me to take the mic!


And here is a little how to guide if you are brave enough to take the mic: http://www.thesocial.com/2011/10/646/

PS: to tie in with the music theme I got a pair of Dr Dre Beats headphones this week from Zalando and I freaking love them, I may be deaf in the future but when everything sounds so brilliant and they actually go with my beloved hats why take my beats off!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Tapped & Packed

I absolutely love coffee, in fact since starting university and living in London its pretty much what I live on. I do more often than I'd like to admit  ( usually when in desperate need of a fake sugary caffeine fix and after too few hours of sleep) go to  Starbucks and have my usual Venti Coffee Light Frappuchino however with the wealth of amazing coffee shops in London I have also become a major coffee, and in particular flat white, snob and know what a good one should taste like. Having tried many of the supposedly best places I have a few favourites where coffee is not simply seen as an instant beverage but every cup is carefully made with beans chosen for their aroma, poured by barristers that know their stuff, leaving you with a strong, smooth and delicious cup of coffee that would put any Starbucks drink to shame in its quality and aroma. One of these great coffee finds is Tapped&Packed. Unassuming from the outside because of their belief in leaving aside ridiculous over branding and hence only signposted with its house number , it is a cosy, welcoming and seriously cool place where you can easily chat away for hours and totally forget that you are in actual fact just off Oxford street. With a laid back vibe, warm lighting and friendly young staff as well as a tempting array of cakes and sandwiches, my friend after having sampled the Victoria sponge exclaimed it was the best she has had in london, it is place with that that certain personal touch (novelty teaspoons are another thing to look out for here) that makes you want to become one of their regulars and return for a guaranteed cup of awesome coffee that packs a caffeine punch.
Amazing Victoria Sponge
The real deal. Flat whites (with cute spoons)

Tapped & Packed
No. 26 Rathbone Place

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Secret Cinema.

Secret Cinema. Tell no one. That is the motto of the most authentic, entertaining and thrilling cinema experience you are ever likely to have, an alternative night out that will see you not only watch but also become part of a film. Since it's conception a few years back the Secret Cinema has gathered a cult following and after having been twice i can say justifiable so. You buy your tickets, which at £25-35 aren't much more expensive than a night out, completely oblivious to what film you are going to watch, in the run up to the date receiving hints and dress-codes via email that build up anticipation and leave you guessing right until the last minute.
Once you arrive at the secret location you will instantly be transported into the setting of the film with intricate sets, themed food stalls and incredibly convincing actors that will actively engage with you and make you feel part of the storyline. Only when, after a few hours of being completely submerged into the atmosphere,  you sit down and finally see the title of the film flash before you, do you finally know that you have just been reliving much of the film and realise just how being part of it changes your view and perception of it. You are only allowed to talk about what film was portrayed once its month long run has ended which is why you will have to wait a little longer to find out what i experienced when i went at the end of December. However the first time i went the film chosen was the Battle of Algiers and i got to experience life in a Kasbah under French occupation in a 1950's Algiers with belly dancers, coffee bars and armed French soldiers. This short video gives you a little taster of what it was like and watch this space for a detailed post of the latest edition in a few weeks. It is addictive, different and an experience you will never forget. 
To sum up, go plight your allegiance to the Secret Cinema and don't forget: tell no one.


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Year's Day Brunch at Gail's Soho!

Despite a rather late night Bryonie, my fellow blogging friend and eating out fiend, and me managed to venture out for brunch on the first day of 2012, even if slightly bleary eyed. Thank god the newly opened Gail's in Soho was there to provide us with an amazing array of pastries (we also had a kind of puff pastry, egg and spinach concoction which was amazing and white chocolate scone) as well as cheaply priced yet creative hot brunch options. Despite a few teething problems such as one our orders for the hotcakes being forgotten, the staff were being super nice and make Gail's the perfect place for a late brunch or just a quick snack and a great addition to one of my favourite areas in terms of eating out in London!

 Buttermilk hotcakes, toasted pecans, maple roasted pear & yogurt
Gail's Bakery
128 Wardour Street 

Monday, 2 January 2012

Egyptian Nights

Dress: Topshop Unique
Occasion: NYE 2011