Thursday night, I went for some work drinks at Floridita on Wardour Street, W1. This used to be Mezzo which was a pretty well known and popular restaurant + bar when I first started working in Soho 15 years ago. I had never been there so was pretty excited to be going there in its new reincarnation as a 'Latin Inspired Supper Club'.
Its a huge place with a big bar area upstairs and then another bar and stage downstairs. On Thursday nights they have live music in the front part of the street level bar, which I wasn't sure about at first but was actually really good. It was an acoustic set of mostly pop songs, sort of a bit Nouvelle Vague-ish. A lot of the reviews I had seen on the web about Floridita had said that the drinks were expensive but I don't think they are more pricey than any other cocktail bars in London. Average prices for a drink are £8/£9 however if you get there before 7pm I think they cost about £6. So if you are going to go, get there before 7pm. Or go with people from work and hope that they will pay.
Yesterday I enjoyed one of the perks of being Freelance and had a day off. It felt a bit like bunking but I suppose that a feeling I'll get used to eventually. The Wig decided to work from home so after I spent a few hours in the garden lobbing things down and getting thorns stuck in my arms, we went to Stoke Newington for lunch.
I lived in Stoke Newington when I first moved to London when I was 21 and then again when I was 25 when my first love dumped me for the bright lights of Sydney. I'd never heard of it before I moved there the first time and thought it sounded like somewhere up North (think that must be the 'Stoke' part), but its just up the road from where I live now. It's quite a 'groovy' type of place, and has a bit of a reputation of being a great place to live if you like pulses, brown rice and lesbians. It has much more going for it now than 15 years ago but its still a little bit dodgy for public transport.
The main appeal of Stoke Newington is one street, Church Street. This is the road with all the cafes, florists, independent shops and restaurants. It's nice for a few hours and a mooch but take some cash with you as its now a pretty pricey/over priced street. A few hours there will definitely end up costing you a lot more than a few 'work' cocktails at Floridita.
The Blue Legume cafe, specialising in healthy mediterranean style food. This has been here for years and I still don't know what a legume is. I think it must be a vegetable. I came here once when I was very hungover and was sick in their toilet. Sorry Legume.
Meat N16, lovely looking independent Butchers. We didn't buy anything this time but most likely will be back to pick up some meaty products soon.
Ribbons & Taylor, vintage clothing and accessories shop.
Tiny Independent record and book shop.
The Anglo Asian restaurant. This was the first Indian Restaurant I'd ever been to and a regular haunt with my college chums when we moved up to London. Many a Chicken Korma has been consumed by me within these walls and they used to give the ladies a red rose when you left. Smooth.
Whole Foods. Overpriced health food shop, part of a chain. A fiver for some muesli? Ha ha ha!
The Parlour. One of many delis. Had a delicious looking Lasagna in the window which I dreamed about last night.
The Tea Rooms, big tea shop selling afternoon tea and cakes alongside vintage tea and coffee crockery. Was completely empty but it seems to have good reviews.
Flowers N16. One of several Independent Florists in a lovely building.
Homage, interiors shop selling predominantly wooden items. They had a few nice bits but nothing amazing, also the chap in the shop was either having a really bad day or could do with a lesson in customer liason skills.
Hub Clotheswear. Expensive clothes for people with too much money who like dressing like they work in Muji.
Fancy pants Nando's. I am in shock about this. Firstly, check out the chandeliers, secondly, my dear old Church Street has a Nandos? Amazing.
Abney Park Cemetery. Famous Cemetery and Nature Reserve, popular with Photography Students and low budget film makers.