I have so many excuses: “I have been abroad”, “I have been too busy”, “work has been crazy”, “I am away from the computer giving sweets to trick or treating children”… who am I kidding?! I just did not make the time. This post will therefore be a mish mash of London things I love.
First up: the Martin Parr and Tony Ray exhibition at the Science Museum. In order to get there, you will have to battle the hoards of tourists clogging up the pavement around South Kensington, but it is worth it! Whether you know Parr or Ray’s work, this will shed a new light on both of their work as part of the exhibition is Tony Ray’s work picked and sized by Parr. As you will guess by the name ‘Only in England‘, the collection of photographs depicts the wonderful quirks and eccentricities of the British. Every photograph is both poignant and humourous, and it is a wonderful change to walk through an exhibition which makes every person in the room smile.
Moving on to food… it is never far from my thoughts! Last week end, we went to celebrate the lovely Danielle’s 19th birthday (cough…). You should read about her current adventures here, as she is blogging for Stylist magazine. Oooh, fancy! Back to the food, and we found ourselves sat at a table in Ivy’s Mess Hall. Ivy’s Mess Hall is in trendy Dalston, and just across the road from Viva – owned by the same person! Proof that good things have a great habit of multiplying. Brilliant!
Ivy’s Mess Hall is everything you would expect from hipster London in the sense that it is essentially a load of wooden tables, benches and fairy lights thrown into a room with a glass front. So far, so cute, but also so banal. We started off with some cocktails (a Margarita and a gin… something if you are asking)… and they were good. Better than good actually, they were balanced, well flavoured and hit the spot! If you have the ambition to be a hipster hot spot, you had better be serving small plates… and Ivy’s Mess Hall makes no exception to the rule! We ordered bread and olive oil, a beautiful courgette and leafy green salad, many pulled pork sliders, and some lovely roasted chorizo. None of these dishes were complicated, none of them were pretentious. It was just simple, good food to sit around and share. The service was great, and the bill was reasonable. If you are ever at a loose end in Dalston come to fill your belly here!
Finally, a quick word about Trisha’s. This is not a new kid on the block. Trisha’s has been going for ages. It is tucked behind a door that seems like the entrance to a block of flats in Soho. It has plastified table cloths on round tables, a tiny, tiny bar, the service is nothing to write home about, but there is something about Trisha’s. Something about gathering people in the know that are sometimes old, sometimes young, trendy, nerdy, rich or broke. On this occasion there was also something about the totally kitsch Halloween decor surrounding us. If you have not been to Trisha’s before, you will have to wander down the stairs into her den. I would be giving away London secrets by giving you the exact address, so all I will say is look for the non-descript door on Greek Street. Enjoy the hunt!