As I stepped into the neon-lit, violently yellow stairwell, I realised I’d been tricked. I had accidentally agreed to go for dinner in a sodding multi-storey car park, again, despite the fact that I hate restaurants in car parks and, indeed, car parks in general. Nobody, except perhaps people who were once particularly low-quality teenagers, can claim to ever have had fun in one.
I am all for re-purposing disused buildings, but so far very few people have managed to do a good job of it. This is usually down to poor insulation, inadequate kitchen facilities and the acoustics of a pre-war gymnasium, combined with all the soul and personality of a pile of burning tyres. So I was quite relieved, once I’d had a little sit-down after five flights of steps and a brief flirtation with cardiac arrest, to find that the designated eating spot for the evening was in fact a Proper Restaurant. There was metal cutlery and everything, and nobody expected me to wait 30 minutes for a plastic cup of tepid Blossom Hill.
This was already a 100% improvement on every single other car park-based establishment I’d ever had the misfortune to visit.
Admirably, most of the seven-storey car park is actually given over to co-working spaces and independent businesses, most of whom are native Peckhamese. Naturally, there’s a yoga studio, and also a cluster of other restaurants and bars which were buzzing by 7pm on a Tuesday night. I was there to try a new place called Wildflower with my pal Hannah, who lives around the corner and is always getting me down to try out Peckham’s robust restaurant scene (a source of much envy, I might add. Despite hosting the Olympics a few years back, my stomping ground of Stratford is the gastronomic equivalent of a black hole.)
Wildflower is an all veggie/vegan restaurant, which I am always excited to try. As I always say, you can’t stay open for long in this town as a vegetarian restaurant if you’re not doing something really spectacular with those yams.
There weren’t actually any yams on the menu, nor were there any of the goat’s cheese doughnuts I’d been eyeing on the website all day. Bummer. But there was an absolutely spanking ‘swede fondue’ (£9.50), which was a curiously creamy, goopy, garlicky bowl of pureed swede that even mustered a certain cheesiness with the help of something called nutritional yeast. (I don’t know what it is either, I think it’s what the veegs use to stave off rickets.) It came with some homemade croutons and a big pile of spunky house-pickled veg. The cauliflower dippers were divine, but no amount of pickling will convince me that cucumber isn’t the devil’s dildo, so I left those ones to Hannah.
Less impressive was the enormous sweet potato with fresh chilli, coriander and yogurt (£11.50), which was perfectly fine but, it has to be said, is the sort of thing I’d make myself for dinner if I’d forgotten to go to the shops. But there was a jolly jumble of crispy onion bhajis (£4.50) with curried raita (sodding cucumber again) and a smoked aubergine dream (£8.00) with an actually decent vegan mozzarella cashew cheese topping and pesto, which may have been my favourite of the night.
Pudding (£6.50) was an absolute triumph, even though the ‘choccy’ ganache looked a bit like something I’d normally try to avoid on the pavement. It came with a suspiciously good dairy-free hazelnut gelato which, I swear to God, was indistinguishable from the real thing. Side note, because this has been bothering me for some time and I need to share: how the hell are there so many ice cream shops in the West End? I am convinced it must be some sort of money-laundering scheme because not even the Costa del sodding Sol could support so many gelato sellers, let alone a country as perpetually soggy as the UK.
I digress. So London’s veggie scene adds another string to its bow. It’s not as refined as Vanilla Black (overpriced) or The Gate, but then at this price point you don’t expect it to be. It’s more like an edgier, small plates version of Mildred’s. In a car park.
Who knew that an evening of chucking pins at a wall would be such fun?
Actually, I did have a sneaking suspicion it might be. When Mike and I first started going out, we ended up at his place one night watching the World Darts Championships on the telly with his housemates. Naturally I was furious to have to play second fiddle to a parade of balding, middle-aged men gently sweating on the box, but then I started getting really into it. It’s quite exciting in its own way, and the rhythmic heavy breathing of the top competitors, none of whom weigh less than 300 pounds, can be quite soothing.
Anyway, Flight Club in Shoreditch (and also Bloomsbury) makes it EVEN MORE fun, because it’s all computerised and there’s waitress service and a reaction-cam. We went for one of my housemates’ birthdays and had an absolute hoot, and the oches (rhymes with ‘hockey’ – it’s what they call the individual little darts areas) are very reasonable if you’ve got a few of you going. They do book up really far in advance though, so if you want one for a birthday or special occasion I’d make a reservation at least a couple of months in advance.
But there are oodles of game-themed nights out to be had in London right now, and here they all are:
The damage: £30/hour per oche. An oche fits 20 people but only 12 people can play at a time.
BOWLING Live your best 11th birthday party life at one of London’s many bowling alleys. All Star Lanes’ alleys are probably the best, with surprisingly decent food and a kitschy 1950s theme complete with photobooths and milkshakes. They also have private alleys for parties (or, in my case once, if the people in the lane over are little shits and keep deliberately throwing the ball into your pins. Don’t be afraid to make a scene, is my advice.)
Locations: Bayswater, Brick Lane, Holborn, Stratford and Shepherd’s Bush.
The damage: £9.95/game (peak) or £7.50/game (off-peak), including shoe hire.
MINI GOLF There are three big players when it comes to boozy crazy golf in this town: Plonk, Swingers and Junkyard Golf. Common themes include UV paint, junk food and thumping music, and they’re all pretty similar. Swingers is the classiest affair – especially its brand new West End location – Plonk the most rough and ready.
The damage:Plonk (Dalston, but also with pop-ups in other locations): £12pp for two rounds; Junkyard Golf (Shoreditch), £11.50pp per round peak/£9.50 off-peak; Swingers (City and West End locations): £13pp per round peak/£10 off-peak.
Swingers West End
SHUFFLEBOARD Particularly popular with Americans, there are quite a few shuffleboard venues popping up at the moment. There’s The Vine, Kentish Town, in the north; Burdock and Broadleaf, both in the City; and The Little Shuffle Club in Shoreditch.
The damage: Free to play at Burdock, £10/half hour at Broadleaf, £20/hour at The Little Shuffle Club.
Shuffleboards at The Vine, Kentish Town.
CURLING I’ve never been able to get on board with curling, probably because my dad has a habit of announcing he’s going to ‘curl one out for Jesus’ whenever he goes for a shit. But everyone always goes nuts for it every time the Winter Olympics are on, so here we are. Queens is the only year-round curling venue with six permanent lanes, plus they have an onsite meatLIQUOR to curb any post-curling munchies. There’s also an ice rink and a bowling alley.
The damage: £108.90 (including £9.90 booking fee) per lane, with a maximum of eight people.
BOARD GAMES Draughts is the big one here, with over 900 board games to choose from. Maddeningly, you can’t make a reservation at the weekend and the wait can get pretty long. They’re based in Hackney, but they’re due to open a new venue in London Waterloo soon.
The damage: Cover charge of £5 (or membership for £25/year).
TABLE TENNIS Last time I went to Bounce I had a fantastic time, despite having torn some ankle ligaments a week previously and having to play in my invalid state. Playing table tennis on crutches is no joke, but they have a good bar and decent pizzas so it was still larks.
The damage: £31/hour per table peak, £21/hour per table off-peak.
I have to include this in the interest of completeness, but it involves going to Bar Kick in Shoreditch, which is terrible, so…don’t, is my advice.
The damage: Pay-as-you-go football tables are £1 a go.
If there’s one thing that turns me off a bar or restaurant (except obviously communal seating or the dreaded words ‘family friendly’), it’s a banner strung across the joint declaring that punters can watch the sportsball while they sup. I say ‘can’. In my experience, there’s usually little choice in the matter.
Of course, I understand why. Pubs sell beer, which football fans drink a lot of. Makes sense to draw them in, even if they are prone to getting a bit lairy and occasionally biting each other’s noses off. But it’s not for me, and I can’t think of anything worse than eating my dinner surrounded by a bunch of blokes getting themselves all worked up over something as inconsequential and fundamentally silly as a game of foot-the-ball. (Yes, I know there are female fans too, but they seem to be a bit more restrained on the nose-biting front.) Besides, all that polyester in one room has got to be some sort of fire hazard.
So, had I not already agreed to do lunch with my pal Sarah, I would have kept walking right past The Italian Job in Notting Hill, a pretty blue corner pub that had had all its prettiness sucked out by the festoons of banners posters declaring that, indeed, you can watch live sport here. And that would have been a shame, because The Italian Job is not a football pub. It is a foodie pub that just so happens to show the football every now and again.
(I’ve been told that some of the football it shows is Italian football, which somehow makes it…I don’t know, more authentic? I’d like to think Italian football fans are a bit less hysterical about the whole business, but I’m probably wrong.)
Fortunately we were there on a relatively quiet weekday lunchtime so the place was mercifully free of football and its loud and shouty handmaidens. Which was good, because I needed to concentrate on not demolishing a plate of burrata (£9.50) in all its entirety (we were sharing, and I understand it’s bad form to inhale a whole plate of cheese while your tablemate is in the loo). With burrata, I usually find that less is more – a little drizzle of truffle honey is usually all that’s required – but this version was like burrata in wedding season, resplendent on a bed of watercress and bedecked with flowers, with a jaunty piece of crispbread perched on top like a little hat. Normally I’d reject all of this frippery as a distraction technique – the thing costs nearly a tenner, after all – but I’ll let it off because of the gob of coarse, nutty ‘burned’ red pesto that comes with. It worked tremendously well with the cool creaminess of the burrata.
Fresh, homemade arancini is a relative bargain at £6 for four, especially given that the kitchen likes to get creative with the fillings (we had beetroot), and the charcuterie board (£13.00) is a generous starter for at least two.
There’s pasta too, but I’ve been frequenting the likes of Padella and Flour & Grape a fair bit lately, so the bar is set pretty high. Alas, my gnocchi Castelmagno (£13.00) with truffle oil was a bit one-note. Not to say I wouldn’t absolutely have your hand off if you were to bring it to me in bed after a heavy night, preferably with a cup of strong black tea and a very large spoon, but, sitting at a table, during the day, completely sober, I wanted a bit more from it.
Sarah chose more wisely – her glossy, buttercup yellow parcels of pumpkin ravioli with sage butter were lighter (and more lunch appropriate for people who have things to do on a Wednesday afternoon, which sadly included the both of us).
For this same reason, we didn’t try any of the many Italian craft ales the pub is known for, so I’ll have to swing by again next time I’m in that part of town. Obviously, I’ll need to check the football fixtures first.
The only thing I know about Uzbek cuisine is that the last restaurant that tried it in London failed miserably and closed within six months.
Now someone else is giving it a go, in Knightsbridge of all places. The Russian owners apparently already own a successful sister restaurant in Dubai, so perhaps they’re sticking to what they know.
The menu at Osh, which I perused with verbena-scented cocktail in hand, reads like the culinary equivalent of crazy paving. It’s a sharing jobby (and that day I was sharing with Colleen over at Blonde Across The Pond), but there are small plates, large plates, middle-sized plates, cold plates, salad plates. Plates galore. And the food – actually billed as ‘Uzbek and Central Asian’, presumably to give the executive chef a bit more wriggle-room in a cuisine that relies heavily on the relatively unfashionable mutton and horsemeat – draws on ingredients from all over the shop. It’s more ultra-fusion than Uzbek.
For instance, the dark and broodingly delicious ‘surmi rolls’ were parcels of cabbage stuffed with rabbit and finished with shaved truffle. Cabbage rolls can be found all over Europe as well as in Iran, West Asia and some parts of China, but the only place to call them that is Bulgaria, and the rabbit and truffle filling, of course, sounds more Italian than anything else. But they were utterly fabulous and I’ve never been one for putting authenticity above actual tastiness, so who cares where they’re from?
Other dishes of unknown heritage included a bouncy aubergine, coriander and feta salad (£8.70), crispy little king prawn bites (£10.80), the kind you could eat your own weight in if left to your own devices, and a dish of impossibly red plum tomatoes (£4.80), marinaded for 24 hours with sushi ginger, which gave them a unique piquancy. Imagine the tangiest, zippiest salsa of your life, condensed into little marble-sized flavour bombs, and you’re there. I’d never had anything like it.
There was also a variety of shashlik on offer, marinated cubes of skewered meat found everywhere across Eastern Europe and Central Asian, cooked on an open fire. (We had the duck with lemongrass and ginger, and it was faultless, and there was also chicken, lamb, beef sea bass and liver.)
But there were also dishes that seemed to take their inspiration from other times as well as other places, like the mysterious ‘crab purse’ (£8.60). At first glance it looked like some re-imagined eighties dinner party horror, like a prawn cocktail that had read a few improving books and now reckoned itself a Billy Big Bollocks. I was fully prepared to hate it. But the avocado halves filled with avocado puree and crab meat were in fact a perfect exercise in creaminess and delicacy, and especially lovely after the pumping flavours of the tomatoes.
(They have got to stop calling it a ‘crab purse’ though. It sounds like an obscene Shakespearian euphemism.)
Ironically, the dish that let the side down a bit was the national dish of Uzbekistan, plov. It’s very similar to pilaf: meat – usually lamb or mutton – with spiced rice, carrots, peppers and garlic. Not especially pretty, but simple and filling. It wasn’t bad as such, just a little rustic compared to the other, more sophisticated dishes on offer. Most of it ended up being taken home and being demolished by Mike for breakfast the next day (I must say, it’s one of those dishes that seems to improve after a stint in the fridge).
Miso-glazed Chilean sea bass should have been the pièce de résistance, especially at £26.60, but it was heartbreakingly overcooked, a little dry, and lacking any of that sticky-sweet, umami mwah-mwah-mwah factor that makes anything miso-glazed properly such a treat, and the advertised ginger was missing too. I will allow that the accompanying sauce, made from the distinctly tangy, clementiney, orangey Uzbek lemons, was bloody brilliant, so if they get the fish right they’re onto a bobby-dazzler. But, when I went, I found myself thinking wistfully about that little bowl of tomatoes we had to start, now long-gone. After all, for that money I could be positively buried in the things.
We left with a large Tupperware of leftover plov, feeling very full but really none the wiser as what constituted ‘authentic’ Uzbek cuisine, especially after a slab of (fantastic) homemade honey and walnut cake and a plate of Polish angel wings (shards of deep-fried pastry dusted with powdered sugar). But I can say it was for the most part authentically tasty, so maybe that’s enough.
If February was all about cheap pizza, March is the month of half-price chicken wings. Plus, there are soft launches from two poké places, Yard Sale pizza and Vivek Singh’s new Battersea restaurant.
Where: TraTra, Shoreditch
The deal: £10pp bottomless charcuterie and cheese between 5-8pm, Tuesday to Saturday, from 28th February until 14th March, and also 50% off food and house bottles of wine between Tuesday and Saturday through the same dates. Reservations recommended (email here).
Where: Ahi Poké, City of London (Bloomberg Arcade)
The deal: 50% off burgers and 28 day-aged North Yorkshire Galloway sirloin steak, Mondays and Tuesdays through March. Also, a complimentary bottle of wine when dining on Sundays (minimum two diners). Click here to book or call 020 3006 7000.
Happy Chinese New Year! So begins the Year of the Dog, which apparently is amicable and kind, cautious and prudent. I’d be quite interested to know how the Dog ended up being the emblem of caution and prudence since all the ones I know will joyfully launch themselves into a freezing bog or gorge themselves actually sick on horse poo, but I think we can all agree that the world could do with a bit more kindness and amicability these days, so count me in.
Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Yauatcha, which I bang on about often, has a new CNY menu to celebrate, so we pottered down to the Liverpool Street branch to give it a whirl. Although on paper Broadgate Circle is as fundamentally soulless as an electric trouser press, it does occupy that strange hinterland between Spitalfields’ culinary cool (see Gunpowder, Som Saa, The Kitchens and so on) and the overpriced excess of the City. So even on a Monday, Yauatcha was buzzing with all kinds of people. When we arrived, we had a pair of suits to our right, amicably negotiating who got what last pieces of dim sum (because despite their gastronomic ingenuity, some sadist in the kitchen decided three was the optimum number), and to our left a gaggle of excitable sub-21 year olds who invariably declared every dish that arrived to be ‘bangin”.
There are some things you have to order when you go to Yauatcha, even if you’re the kind of person who likes to try something different every time. Example: the venison puffs (£8.00), sweet, flaky, glossy pastries loaded with a rich and lovely gamey stew, like tiny little pies. (Assuming you’re from the South, that is. Mike is a Midlander and his idea of a pie is a curried, beak-filled monstrosity only available at the worst kind of football grounds. I am talking civilised pies.)
Also essential is the prawn toast (£12.00), which makes the flimsy triangles of your traditional Chinese takeaway look like slices of compacted shellfish slurry. I didn’t order it this time and regretted it. And, god, the prawn cheung fun (£10.00), the Colin the Caterpillar of Yauatcha (i.e. it is long and thin and wildly popular). They do two kinds and only the woefully uninformed would choose the version without the crispy bean curd. Crispy bean curd is one of the single most underrated foods in the world. When I die I want to be encrusted in it and put in a glass case as some sort of monument to the stuff.
Our waiter cautioned us against the ‘spicy’ Szechuan pork wontons (£6.00), but in terms of heat they were a walk in the park, especially compared to the fiery versions being sold up the road at Dumpling Shack. They could have used a little more sizzle, in my view, but they did have that all-important lip-slicking sensation, the kind that makes your mouth feel like a slip ‘n slide. (NB: not recommended if you’re sporting a bold red lip, unless you want a Coco the Clown incident.)
The Chinese New Year dim sum this year is a Chilean sea bass roll (£9.00), because fish are considered lucky in Chinese culture. I am generally someone who is wholly capable of eating any thing at any time (broccoli for breakfast, roast dinners on Tuesdays and Cadbury Mini Eggs whenever I can lay my ham hands on them), so the idea of a particular foodstuff being in any way auspicious always seems very novel. I loved the dim sum but the flesh and wood ear mushrooms were so delicate compared to the rock ‘n roll flavours of our other picks, I wished they’d served it first.
My usual advice in Yauatcha is to skip the mains and simply to keep ordering dim sum until it’s time to call an ambulance, but we gave the CNY specials ago because one of them was scallops in a black bean sauce (£30) which was bloody fantastic (though also, of course, bloody expensive. It did come with some surprise baby asparagus though, which was nice.)
Mike’s stir-fried duck breast with hazelnut in mala sauce (£21) was much more reasonable and simply enormous, chunks of soft flesh contrasting with the bite of the sugar snaps and crisp red peppers.
The pastry chefs at Yauatcha do an incredible job (and their £35 birthday cakes – giant versions of some of its more elaborate puddings – are one of the city’s best-kept secrets), and my usual MO is convincing whoever I’m with to order a Chocolate Pebble so I can eat half, but for CNY they had a pudding shaped like a Haoyun lantern (£9.00) and, food in the shape of non-food things being a special weakness of mine, we had to order it. It was actually quite a delicate dish – the bit that looks like a big red sponge is a lighter-than-air soy caramel mousse, topped with a mandarin confit.
I, being a more savoury creature, rounded things off with the traditional salted egg yolk custard sesame balls (£9.00), which are on the dim sum menu though definitely definitely a pudding item. The sesame flavour was actually a little overpowering for me – but the gooey, sweet, salty egg custard in the centre was the stuff of dreams. I could have done with a straw to suck all the good stuff out with, though that would have been terribly uncouth and would probably have culminated in a firm hand at my elbow and the words ‘Madam, you’re making a scene’.
We left with a couple of takeaway macarons (Dog = kind, and I was being kind to my future self. Who doesn’t like a macaron for breakfast?), and feeling, yes, much more amicable towards the state of the world than usual. Let’s hope it lasts.
There’s no stopping the ‘mindfulness’ movement, which can be described as ‘actively trying not to piss your life away scrolling through endless feeds of memes and videos of, for example, a baby throwing up on a dog, or a montage of cute owls.
Mindfulness is undoubtedly a good thing in a world that becomes more and more meaninglessly distracting every day (though what on earth did people do to pass the time when they were having a wee before Twitter?) My problem is that once I’ve tidied up, had a nice long shower, applied a face mask and moisturised myself to within an inch of my life, it’s bedtime and I get all stressed out about all the shit I didn’t do because I was farting about with a loofah.
So when it comes to ‘self care’, I like to get stuff done. And when it comes to actually doing stuff, and making things, real things, in the real world, I tend to gravitate towards cooking. It’s easy and therapeutic, plus you can generally eat it (if you can’t, something has gone horribly wrong). Similar senses of accomplishment can be achieved by properly cleaning all your make-up brushes, putting up some shelves or attacking the cat’s favourite pooping spot with a trowel, because if you’re going to be mindful you may as well do something useful. Mike, for instance, just managed to fix our downstairs loo with the help of YouTube and something called a ‘Flush Daddy’ (???), and days later he’s still strutting around like some puffed up plumbing peacock.
Then I went to a class to learn how to crochet, which I’d been told was like knitting but easier (I can’t imagine anything more satisfying than knitting a whole blanket for yourself and parading around the house in it, naked, like a berserker, but I don’t seem to have the knack for it). And I finally began to understand how nice and soothing crafty things can be on a mind strung out on work and friends and laundry and holiday-planning and housework and other people’s weddings and that bloody cat poo problem in the back garden.
You’d think the first thing you’d learn to crochet would something really simple, like a scarf or a headband, but the ladies behind Hook-A-Monster have started their business based on the idea that amigurumi – the Japanese art of making small, yarn toys – is more fun. Which it is, just look at them all.
Now, generally speaking, the things that bond my mates and I together are mutual loves of food, wine, owl videos and so on (and/or mutual hatreds of shared acquaintances, let’s be real), but Viv, Mya and Mel are all friends through their love of crochet, which I think might be one of the nicest and most wholesome things ever.
Unlike knitting, crochet doesn’t require too much in the way of actual thought, so long as you’re following an established pattern. (When I tried knitting a snood I managed to accidentally completely reverse my stitching halfway through, creating an interesting, er, design detail that rendered the whole thing pathetically lopsided. There is a little bit of counting involved (i.e. the number of stitches you’ve done in each round), but there’s a marker so even the truly absent-minded can’t fuck it up.
Look at the adorable little crab beastie I made..! I was so proud of myself for making a thing that actually looks like a thing. So proud that when I came home I spritzed him with catnip spray and gave him to Nelson to play with. Turns out crochet doodahs make great cat toys.
The Hook-A-Monster gals run their workshops in Stockwell at £40pp, with each session lasting three hours, but you can also buy a little kit when you’re there with an idiot-proof (and I do mean idiot-proof) workbook and a bunch of different crochet hooks. (Smaller hook = tighter stitches.) I did treat myself to one of the kits as apparently it is possible to crochet a blanket, so if I keep at it I could still fulfil my DIY berserker fantasy. I’ve also just seen a pattern for crochet porgs……! Watch this space.
Everyone who knows me IRL knows that I gave up eating meat for January because I became very, very boring about it. BUT I did eat some pretty delicious shit, so I guess it was worth it.
I already make bloody amazing dal, but for Veggie January I wanted to level up and try to recreate Dishoom’s famous version. After a single Google search hours of scouring the internet, I found a recipe that comes amazingly close to the original. I personally would recommend doubling down on the spices because I find lentils suck down flavour like Piers Morgan sucks down a logical argument, but it’s up to you. It is one of the BEST things you can do with your slow cooker – leave those suckers in there for a full 24 hours for maximum effect. The girl whose recipe it is makes her own naan bread too, but I’m too lazy for that so I just buy it from the shops. So sue me.
We couldn’t eschew meat for a whole month without a trip to The Gate, one of my favourite restaurants in London. Unfortunately I didn’t notice until after we went that they have an INSANE offer for their Marylebone branch on Time Out, even though it’s always packed at full price. You have to buy a voucher in advance but it’s an amazing £24 for three courses and a glass of prosecco.
My number one weapon against the January blues is leftover Christmas pickle. My housemate Ellis and I order about 15 jars each every year because it’s bloody gorgeous, especically the Sweet & Sour Garlic with Nigella Seeds. Serving suggestion: as some sort of magical lubricant between melted cheese and a slice of toasted sourdough.
The best vegan food I had all month was at Gillray’s steakhouse, which is mad but also kind of cool. I wrote all about it here.
The worst vegan food I had was at Bloomberg Arcade’s new Koya, which was bland and flavourless, and my Kinoko Nametake marinated mushrooms were slimy and icy cold. Gross. It didn’t even have the decency to be cheap.
Tonkotsu’s Eat The Bits chilli oil is the stuff of legend. We have the massive jars and I’ll admit they’re a bit of a dick to fit in the fridge, but it’s goes on everything so the problem isn’t really a long-term one.
8. After MUCH experimentation, I have finally uncovered the recipe to the perfect falafel burger. It’s basically this recipe, with double the spices and four times the garlic, fried off and shoved in a bun with a slick of hummus, some chargrilled red pepper and garlic yogurt. And a bit of guacamole, if you’re feeling rebellious. It’s not very authentic but I don’t give a damn.
What with National Pizza Day and both Santa Maria Pizzeria and Zia Lucia (see my review here!) opening new restaurants, February is shaping up to be a pretty sweet month for cheap pizza. Read on for the most comprehensive list of February soft launches on the internet.
The deal: 50% off food between 6-16th February on pre-booked tables only. Not valid on 10th, 11th and 14th February. Restaurant closed Mondays. Bookings must be made over the phone and not via the website. To make a reservation call 020 7229 1503.
Where: Hundreds ofpizzerias all over town, including Pizza Pilgrims, Rossapomodoro, Four Hundred Rabbits, Voodoo Ray’s and more. There’s a handy map here.
You might think it’s a bit weird to book your cinema tickets nearly two months in advance, and, yeah, maybe it is, but Backyard Cinema has just announced its new ‘Mission to Mars’ season and you know what not’s weird? Getting 20% off your earlybird tickets. So get yourself organised.
I’ve always been a fan of BYC because there’s an in-auditorium bar and the bean bag chairs are ludicrously comfortable, plus all the theming they do (which has become more and more elaborate) is really good fun. The new season is space-themed and I personally will be getting dibs on one of the new Star Wars movies, or possibly one of the recent Star Treks because I can’t think of many things nicer than goggling at Chris Pine for a couple of hours with a bottle of prosecco.
The season begins on 21st March and has JUST been announced so literally everything is available, but tickets go like hotcakes and the 20% off promotion won’t last long (just enter EARLYBIRD at check-out).
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