Cocktails and sunshine!

Last week it felt like summer even tho’ it was only spring and it seemed like there was so much going on it was hard to decide where to turn first! Highlights were: the launch of a new cocktail ; a jazz show; 2 new restaurants; and, the beauty of spring!

Firstly the launch of Good Godfrey’s at the Waldorf Hotel. I was invited to this but as ever the comments are completely unbiased! The Waldorf Hotel (now part of the Hilton Group) is on Aldwych and is steeped in history, being over 100 years old and is well known for its opulent Palm Court, tea dances and having lots of style. The cocktail bar’s name comes from Howard Godfrey who was the house band leader in the 1920s and a household name at the time. The decor aims to evoke the ‘opulent and theatrical’ past of the hotel and does that rather well. The cocktails and the champagne were wonderful and their mixologists can delight any requests so this bar is well worth knowing about for pre/post theatre or a longer stay!

We’ve had the most wonderful week of spring weather in London as the trees erupted into a blaze of pink blossom. Good humour always accompanies good weather and these photos give you a glimpse of the beauty and the fun – look closely at the window box where you can see a mini Easter Island Moai head with sunglasses on! The trees are in Notting Hill where I live, which is one of the prettiest areas of London. I had visitors over from America who now believe London is like this all the time as I didn’t have the heart to tell them otherwise….


Regular readers will know I love to try new restaurants and there are 2 to report on this week. Galvin La Chapelle is in Spitalfields, which hosts a very fine market, especially on Sundays. The restaurant is set in a spectacular 19th century listed building, which was formerly a chapel so has a wonderful open feel with massive roof space. The food is top notch French so not cheap and we lingered happily for our Sunday lunch which was rather special. Photos show the exterior and interior of this fine building. The second restaurant worth a mention this week is Dishoom which recreates the feel and menu of the Mumbai cafe although I’m sure both are somewhat more luxurious than the originals. These cafes are dying out in their home land but given the Brits’ love of Indian food we’ll have a good try at keeping them going here! We had a selection of sharing plates, many of which were new to us but they were tasty and zingy. It’s a no booking, turn up and reasonably fast turnaround so as long as you go outside peak hours it’s a great place to drop into on the way to theatre or cinema as it’s right by the West End.



One more event to squeeze in was our visit to Ronnie Scott’s, the Soho landmark jazz club where the evening show starred Georgie Fame and his current Blue Flames (his band has seen many changes of membership during his long career). Georgie is a real pro and gave us a lively, varied and polished show ably supported by my favourite trumpeter Guy Barker. Polly Gibbons deserves a mention as a great bluesy jazz singer who was new to me and a wonderful find so watch out for her!

Bye for now,




Good fun with visitors

I had 2 sets of visitors in town last week so there was lots of good sightseeing and enjoying London through others’ eyes which is always good fun.


The first visitor was an old friend from America who was here on a flying visit for less than a day, en route to elsewhere, so we needed to pack in as much as we could. The first stop was Spitalfields market which is one of the best in London tho’ I have to love Portobello more as it is my local market and Camden is pretty good too! Spitalfields has great one off clothing, inventive jewellery, yummy food, a covered hall, side shops, and loads more. And just as we were arriving we saw a dance company called La Troupe Delicieux doing trailers for their forthcoming acrobatic show called Deja Vu. The power and grace was amazing to see and all to a thumping Shirley Bassey track. We shopped amidst the crowds and then took a glass of wine at Galvin cafe next to the lovely Galvin La Chapelle – worth checking out their Sunday lunch deal but we were in a rush so went for the curry in a hurry!

Here you can see the Galvin La Chapelle exterior, the Deja Vu pose and the crowds in the market.


After this burst of retail delight we went to Waterloo Station to see the Railway Children which was staged on the platform of the old Eurostar terminal (which moved to St Pancras). It was very close in storyline to the film of the same title and was so imaginatively staged it even treated the audience to a real steam train coming into the middle of the stage! We loved it and so did all the kids there, young and old ! Sadly no photos allowed and the sneaky ones on the phone didn’t work (but don’t tell them I tried….)


Following this we went for a marvellous dinner at the Wolseley restaurant on Picadilly. It’s a grand room, great menu and lots of celeb spotting and our treat was the beautiful Joanna Lumley who joined us in taking the prize for ‘last to leave the restaurant’!


My second visitor was a client of my tour company It’s Your London. A businesswoman on a first trip to London she wanted a couple of half days as an introduction to London seeing the big sights and some Harry Potter! I have to admit to not know much about Harry Potter so did some research and arranged us a visit to Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross, Diagon Alley and the entrance to Leaky Cauldron., both in Leadenhall Market. My favourite is the platform which surprisingly is hidden away in station and has no signs to it so you have to know… We also visited the British Museum, Tower of London and Trafalgar Square with a trip down the Thames thrown in. They even raised Tower Bridge while we were there – how amazing! Here’s a few shots of what we saw:

A second trip to the theatre was a completely different show to the Railway Children as we saw La Bete which was costume piece in rhyming couplets with an amazing cast starring Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumely (yes her again – twice in one week!). I must say I didn’t warm to it although some of my fellow theatre goers really liked it. But had much more of a laugh at Stewart Francis’s DVD recording on Friday with a show full of one liners and comic timing. Watch out for the release of the DVD later this year and I might even be on it!
That’s enough for this week and I’m packing in loads of stuff to tell you about next Monday.
Bye for now