When you’ve got a blog about London, people expect you to know stuff.
“Hey!” they say, bounding up to you all expectant ‘n’ that, “You know about London. Six people, Saturday night. We want jazz with a casual hip hop interlude, a sit down dinner and a fine selection of craft beer on tap, preferably north of the river. Where can we go?”
It is at this point you invoke the Knowledgeable Face – an expression that involves pursing your lips together, looking at the sky, crinkling your brow and counting to three – before running through the options.
“Hmm. Dunno. Not a clue. I’d ask on Twitter. Or, actually – you tried TimeOut?”
“Oh, I just thought…” they begin, disappointment etched across their face like rampant teenage acne, “I just thought you might know. Because of your blog and stuff.”
Then they walk away, muttering about there should be an Ofcom for blogs or something and you call after them, “Hey! Come back! I know things! Ask me the five different types of people you can expect to meet on the tube! Ask me where the cool kids sit on the bus! Oi! 139 FANS CAN’T BE WRONG, SUNSHINE.”
It’s like look, here’s the deal.
I might not know where you can find a decent meal west of Kingsland Road, and I think I’ve been to Western Australia more times than I’ve been south of the Thames – but that’s because my social plans are an exact science.
It’s taken years to hone this stuff, to get it down, to master the art of what I like to do in London – and when I find it, I stick to it.
I’ve come along way since those heady days of wandering aimlessly around Leicester Square looking for any bar that’ll have me, and I’m quite proud of the fact that now, my social life on any given day can be pinpointed with GPS accuracy.
Sunday? New Rose. Tuesday? Carluccios and Colebrooke. Saturday? Ruby’s, then the Lion. Friday? Anywhere, god dammit, it’s Friday! Then usually Barrio. Brunch? Dalston Emporium or Bardens. Can’t go home, won’t go home? The Nest. Weekday, starving, need food? MeatLiquor. Hungry after work? Wahaca, Covent Garden. Belly dancing? Gallipoli. Fancy a walk? Hampstead Heath. Dead people? British Museum.
Ask me where to go, where’s good, what’s new, what’s happening and I will reel off one of the above.
Ask me which carriage to stand in to get on the Metropolitan line train at Baker Street and off right in front of the stairs at Pinner? Depends on the platform, but your best bet is the second pillar down near the Snack Stop.