When you get to my age and you get invited to two birthdays on one day, you know you will only have the stamina to make one of the celebrations but you also know you will try and kid yourself that you will go to both. I only managed to make one today. And now I'm sitting at home drinking as much water as I can and wanting to give myself a dead arm for having such little will power that I couldn't pace myself and celebrate 2 birthdays in one day.
The birthday I didn't make, was my upstairs neighbours 40th. I was really looking forward to it. He had hired the downstairs room at Dalston superstore and it sounded like it was destined to be a proper disco and I cant recall the last time I went to one of those. He works at The Social in Soho so it was bound to have some cracking music and it was going to be the night I thought we would get to know each other a bit better after 4 years of being neighbours. Unfortunately, he is now at his party up the road and I am watching the Antiques Roadshow on my sofa wondering where the Berocca is located.
The dilemma was, there was another birthday before hand. A birthday that involved a dark and cosy location with big food and delicious wine. This is a lethal combination for me. So, I ate and drank too much and fell into a food coma. Far too full to party.
On our way to Birthday Number 1, The Wig and I popped our heads into the new 'Art Gallery' on Platform 1 at Hackney Downs Station. I'm all for creativity and particularly like the fact someone is making use of dead space at the station, but this 'Art Gallery' is absolutely bloody awful. I think it might be some sort of wind up actually. It has the worst exhibitions in I have ever seen, for example, the current offering is entitled "Melanie Griffith's Knee". I don't even know what to say about it it's so bad. It has rendered me speechless which is quite unusual for me. Although on the positive side, it does give one somewhere to shelter from the wind and rain while waiting for the train to Liverpool Street.
Birthday 1 was being held at The Hawksmoor on Commercial Street which I have never been to before and I absolutely love going somewhere new for food.
21 of us were having lunch to celebrate the birthday of our dear friend Mr Marzi. 21 people is a lot to have in one group so it was decided we would all have the roast beef but it would be laid out on a table for us to help ourselves. This worked very well if you were assertive, but The Wig and I are always slow to get in on any buffet action and always seem to be at the end of the queue in these situations. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the table there were no spuds or gravy left, however the staff rectified this immediately and were very apologetic. One of them was an Aussie, which is our favorite type of person so we had no complaints whatsoever. The food overall was delicious although there was a strange charcoaly flavour to the beef which I was not expecting. However, I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you like meat and give the Hawksmoor 8 yorkshire puddings out of a possible 10. The only not so great aspect of the lunch was that one glass of wine was £9, and when you like to drink wine and do not have a job this can be a problem.
After lunch, we crossed the road and went to the Commercial Tavern for a swifty or two.
This was my first and will be my last minute. It was dark, played music that would make a dogs ear bleed and the service was painfully slow. I would not have believed it was possible to take 14 minutes to make one Bloody Mary had I not seen it with my own eyes. The only good thing about this place was that the wine did not cost £9 a glass.