#54 Have a drink at the Library Bar

>> Sunday, 24 January 2010

Darling should I take the Bentley, the Porsche or the Number 16 bus?

The Five star Lanesborough Hotel at Hyde Park Corner is not a venue to be taken lightly. Upon arriving in the foyer we were instantly besieged by a sea of tuxedos and ball gowns. Immediately feeling underdressed and out of our depth we scarped through to the Library bar to meet some friends for a pre dinner drink.

The wood paneled bar is offset by exquisite table lamps, burgundy leather armchairs and walls laden with leather bound books. A waiter in a white tuxedo showed us to our table happily tucked away in a corner near the flickering fire and opposite the resident pianist.

The Library Bar, reminiscent of the gentlemen’s haunts of a bygone era, is like stepping into a world in which you do not belong but which is utterly fascinating to catch a glimpse. We found ourselves whispering in hushed tones to avoid being noticed or seeming out of place and were reluctant to drag out our anachronistic mobile phones vibrating with the standard string of Saturday night sms.

The menu arrived in an old library book along with a complimentary tower of nibbles. I had a mild panic that the first bottle of wine I laid eyes on was £1250 but recovered to find the cocktails were a more reasonable £12.50.

After the first few sips of my martini the formality and the furnishings started to fade into the background and we settled into our normal banter enjoying the ambiance and atmosphere of what remains one of the finest bars in London.


Nike Plus Running Toy

>> Wednesday, 6 January 2010


#63 Gamble on Art

>> Monday, 4 January 2010

I had been forewarned coming to the UK that the British love queuing some would hazard it is a nation obsessed with queuing for just about anything. Before I had even cleared immigration at Heathrow airport I was indoctrinated into this great British tradition with a polite and ordering queue for over an hour and a half simply to have my passport stamped. No queries. No interrogation. Just a quick stamp and your on your way. By why the excessive queue??

In summer time the Brits aren't obsessed with the Ashes and Wimbledon. They adore the opportunity to queue outside in good weather for seemingly hours on end! At Wimbledon you even get a ticket / memento of your time in the queue so you can remember the occasion with grandkids in years to come!

Anyway the Royal College of Art decided that it was not fair that sporty types get all the fun, so invented the RCA Secret Postcard. Famous artists create postcard sized works of art that go on sale for £40 each. The catch is the artist is not revealed until after you have bought one and the sale starts at 9am on a November Saturday morning.

We joined the 2009 queue shortly after 7.30am having been out the night before and struggled to drag our hung over heads out of bed. When we found the queue stretching around the entire RCA building we realised we should have in fact not gone home from Crazy Bear at midnight but should have come and stood in queue. The art folk deprived of the opportunity to queue on a regular basis take this business pretty seriously.

At 10am after some bacon butties and caffeine our feet were starting to get a little sore and the cold was penetrating every pore but worst of all we hadn't really moved.

Circa midday we entered the building. The joyous moment was short lived as the postcard gallery was only feet away but RCA had a cruel trick to play forcing the queue downstairs and through a series of barriers and mazes.

Circa 12.30 and entering our fifth hour in the queue we entered a huge room with rapidly changing screens showing the available postcards. Now came the conundrum. All of the postcards that had been shortlisted were long gone. Do we fork over £40 for a postcard we don't really like or want simply to justify queuing for 5 hours on a Saturday morning? Luckily as the screens rolled through we spotted a few good ones amongst the rabble and manage to grab a few that we were happy with...

Everyone always asks me what is the meaning of the plug to which I reply the power of the British to queue. Definitely glad this one is off the list although a Damien Hirst in 2010 wouldn't go astray.


#981 Pay Homage to the hilariously camp Christmas Tree at the V&A

>> Friday, 1 January 2010

Worst Christmas tree ever...
Stupid recession!


#906 Cycle Around an empty London on Christmas Day

The 2512 Cycle Ride saw a motely crew of cyclists assemble at London Bridge on Christmas day. Everyone was in jovial spirits sharing a sherry and shortbread before setting out for the Queens Head pub in Putney. A quick stop for a mulled wine with a cycle repairing homeless man in a railway arch and then we weaved through the back streets of Southwark. The roads were relatively quiet with only a few cars honking the eighty odd bikes as they sped past. As we got near Vauxhall a few angry motorists were upset that we were taking up the greater part of Nine Elms lane. Beautiful day for a ride!



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