The Kings Arms

The Kings Arms

 

Take a walk down Roupell Street and you feel like you have stepped back into a different era. A street lined with nineteenth century workers cottages that have barely changed and are complemented with old-fashioned street lamps. It’s a unique and beautiful street that was even featured in the Tom Hardy Film, The Krays. 

Along this picturesque street you will find a beautiful pub called The Kings Arms. The Kings Arms has a public bar, small saloon bar, a conservatory ,where wonderful Thai food is served and upstairs rooms that are perfect for large groups and functions. My friends recently arranged a birthday gathering in the large upstairs room and it was like being in somebody house, rather than a central London pub. It was really lovely, and they were very accommodating.

The Kings Arms is a proper old-fashioned  pub serving real ales and an evolving beer list. Wine is priced from £4.90 for a glass, and bottles £17.50.

The Kings Arms is a perfect pub for winter. Cosy on a cold night with the smell of mulled wine in the air and they serve hot toddys, mulled cider and mulled wine during winter months.

If you fancy a quiz every Sunday the Kings Arms runs a pub quiz from 7.30pm.

Thai food is  served days a week and is very tasty, the menu on a Sunday has a smaller selection. I recently had a massamun curry, £7.95, and it was one of the best I’ve ever tasted.

The Kings Arms is my new favourite pub in London and I can’t wait to return to eat more of that food!

I would highly recommend a stroll down Roupell Street and to stop off at The Kings Arms for a drink, it’s only a short stroll from Waterloo or Southwark station. 

25 ROUPELL STREET, LONDON SE1 8TB

http://thekingsarmslondon.co.uk

Angel Comedy Club

Angel Comedy Club

 

The fantastic Angel Comedy Club are single-handedly responsible for shining a bright beacon of hope into the London Skyline.

After constant reports of small London businesses having to cease trading because of greedy landlords it is wonderful to see a crowd funded enterprise having fantastic success.

Angel Comedy’s  founder Barry Ferns, successfully raised  £46,643 from 1049 people  by crowd funding to get itself its own venue in Angel. Every single one of the sponsors are thanked and honoured at this new venue. Practically every item has a plaque with the name of the donor on, This even includes the toilet and every fitting in it. This touch adds to the personality and brilliance of The Angel Comedy Club. Not only did people give money but also their time to transform the previous pub ‘The Mucky Pup’ to a new comedy venue. Stand alone comedy venues are a pretty rare thing, and are usually back rooms of a pub that has many other purposes.

Bill Murray Pub is named after William Murray (first Earl of Dysart and childhood whipping boy of Charles I) rather than the one of Ghost Busters fame, although attempts were made to contact him as the dream would have been to name the pub after “someone important to us and who reflects the spirit of what we do.” The pub is down a quiet residential street with murals of comedy legends gracing the outside of the pub, so you can’t miss it.

The new dedicated home of comedy will be used as a venue, a bar, a place to learn and also to do lots of amazing community work. The Bill Murray is place for comedians to meet, rehearse, perform and socialise in. The Bill Murray will be the new U.K home to The Second City improvisation comedy courses. 

Angel Comedy is a venue for new acts to learn their craft and improve ,and for established acts to try out new material in a supportive and friendly environment,

Comedy is running 7 nights a week from both venues, at The Bill Murray and the nearby Camden Head. Most of the comedy has no door charge, but donations are collected on the way out. A small charge will be made for certain shows that are likely to sell out. 

For the launch night I was lucky enough to watch a host of comedians  Nish Kumar, Tony Law, Tom Rosenthal, Yuriko Kotani, Jamali Maddix and Jarred Christmas, hosted by Angel Comedy’s resident MC Barry Ferns.

The Bill Murray is a lovely friendly pub that opens from 5pm everyday. Everytime I have visited Angel Comedy I have had a fantastic night out. I would recommend going to watch ‘Shoot From the Hip’ impro group. Support this brilliant place, they will certainly put a big smile on your face. You really don’t have to spend much money to have a great time. 

The Bill Murray at 39 Queen’s Head St, Islington, N1 8NQ

Piano Bars in London

piano-bars-in-london

 

What song would you like to request? Asks the pianist with their fingers poised over the keys. A member of the crowd shouts ‘Billy Joel. Piano man’ The pianist frowns with the un-original suggestion. They inevitably know that everyone loves that song, except maybe them.

If you’ve ever visited a piano bar, you will know that this will always happen…..at least once. Be original, these guys love a challenge!

If you love your music live and relaxed, head to a piano bar. By the end of the night the atmosphere is buzzing and everybody is singing along. Don’t worry about the words, the pianists certainly don’t.

BARTS

Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DW

Barts is a 1920’s speak easy in Chelsea hidden in a residential building. Every Wednesday the brilliant Michael Moore plays any song you’d like on the piano. Read my blog here.

 

CHECKMATE PIANO BAR

Park International Hotel, 117-129 Cromwell Road, SW7 4DS

This is a little bar in a posh hotel that also has a great happy hour.
The happy hour was what lured me to this place in the first. You can get a glass of wine for £4 or draught beer for £3.50 from 5-7.30pm and buy 1 get 1 free cocktails 5-9pm. The last time I popped in for the happy hour, we were delighted that we were going to be entertained by a live pianist. What was going to be a quick drink, turned into many (many) drinks. We had such a lovely time, we just didn’t want to leave. The atmosphere is intimate and friendly.
The pianist is Sam Martin and he plays Wednesday-Friday 7-11pm. A lovely, friendly and talented guy who clearly loves what he does. He takes requests, plays his own songs or the classics.

 

PIANO

14 Long Lane, EC1A
160 Kensington High Street, W8

There are 2 branches of the piano bar, one in Kensington and one in Smithfield. There is no cover charge and either of the bars, but booking is highly recommended.
The Kensington bar is tiny, intimate and atmospheric. It’s a complete surprise as it’s up some stairs and above a shop in High Street Kensington.
You can order food, cocktails and fine wines. When it’s full to the brim the atmosphere is wonderful and everyone crowds around the grand piano. A really fun place to go for birthdays or special occasions. It’s best to book a table as this place gets so busy. There’s live music every night Tuesday until Sunday.
The Smithfield branch is open Tuesday to Saturday with music every evening.

 

PIANO WORKS

Entrance of Ray Street, 113-117 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3BX

Piano works is taking the piano bar concept to the extreme with 2 pianists and accompanying musicians playing requests only. It is a former Victorian warehouse and can hold up to 400 people. You write on your napkin and hand it to your waiter or the musicians. Entrance is free Monday-Thursday, Friday is free before 9pm and £10 after and Saturday is free before 8pm and £10 after. Get on the friends list to get half price door charges. You can book and eating or drinking table, and this place is brilliant for large groups.
There is a happy hour 5-7pm where you can get £5 cocktails, £10 bottles of wine, £15 bottles of sparkling wine and curious beer for £4. Cocktails start from £7.50, wine from £4.40 and beer from £5. They serve food and bar snacks.
Every Tuesday is emerging talent night 7.30-8.30pm  is open mic. 8.30-10.30pm emerging talent sings with the house band taking requests from the audience. Drinks are £4  and a full rack of ribs and sides is £10.

 

PLAYERS

The Arches, Villiers Street, WC2N 6NL

Being an actor, I am very familiar with this place. If you are ever looking for a late night bar in central London then you need to know about Players, as it’s open until 2.30am. There is a live pianist every night from 11pm, who’s always fantastically talented. They take requests and are very accommodating. Expect people singing full voice around the piano with the help of alcoholic lubrication.

 

 

 

Disco Yoga

Disco Yoga

 

Do you love yoga but looking for something to mix up your usual sessions. Impartial to a little boogie and a John Travolta impression? Then you need to try Disco Yoga.

Disco Yoga is about taking yoga a little less seriously, there’s a few added dance move and it’s all to the soundtrack of retro disco songs. Singing along is encouraged. It’s not all pumping and fast paced, some of the tunes are relaxed and slow also, so you still get the wonderful invigorating feeling that yoga gives you.

I tried a session at Disco Yoga’s London home during November, The Trapeze bar in Shoreditch. You are encouraged to wear a fabulous outfit and glitter up. Disco Yoga is about feeling and being fabulous.

Sarah was our bubbly and gorgeous Disco Yoga instructor who wore the most amazing disco onesie from Burnt Soul. I was never aware I needed or wanted a disco onesie until I saw how amazing these are!

Sarah started Disco Yoga as a bit of fun amongst friends, but once they experienced it they told Sarah the world needs to experience disco yoga. Sarah then teamed up with D.J Darlo and the rest is history!

Disco Yoga is still a yoga workout and still challenging, but there’s more laughs and it is more light-hearted than regular yoga classes. At some points during the class you are encouraged to let yourself go and party. This also encourages you to connect and share with fellow class go-ers.

Tickets cost £15 for Disco Yoga at the Trapeze bar and this also includes a post yoga cocktail or cocktail. These are cocktails with the health benefits, but as you are also human you get optional alcohol!

We had our glitter make up done by the amazing Glitter Lips who also sell their products. This glitter does not budge through the sweat and even turned a few heads on the tube, quite a mean feat in a land where people are allergic to eye contact.

Disco Yoga is good for the body but more importantly amazing for your soul.

I loved Disco Yoga and would highly recommend heading to a class, especially with friends. I had a huge smile on my face through out. Come on everyone ‘Night Fever…night feveeeerrrr’ 

http://www.discoyoga.uk/

Keep an eye on the website for dates and times of disco yoga classes. Disco yoga is also available for private bookings including a glitter station and superfood cocktails.

Barts

Barts

 

Barts is a 1920s prohibition themed, late night speakeasy hidden in Chelsea. Barts is brought to you by the Inception Group who also created  Bunga Bunga, Cahoots and Maggies and is self-proclaimed as London’s worst kept secret.

Inception owns an ever-growing empire of themed bars across London, all boasting amazing cocktails and unique experiences. Many of Inceptions bars feature in the  most highly rated destinations in London.
Barts is hidden in a private residency called Chelsea Cloisters, a short walk from South Kensington station. Barts is located in one of the Chelsea Cloisters apartments.

Once you’ve found the bar, you’ll enter into the next doorway which is covered in cartoons. You ring the bell and through the peep-hole  you’ll need to say the secret password to be allowed entry.
Once you’ve entered you’ll find Barts is an intimate, quirky and cosy bar, buzzing from the chatter and laughter of the local Chelsea set.

Vincenzo, the bar manager, will make you feel welcome and seems to be an expert at spinning plates. He takes care of everything and makes you feel very welcome.
Barts has a new, fun, comic book cocktail menu. This new menu featuring 40 unique cocktails, and tells the story of Uncle Barts. You could spend ages reading it and deciding what you want. Although the menu is light hearted and fun, the cocktails are amazing and mixed with a high level of expertise and flair.
Barts is a quirky and unique bar with a slightly illicit vintage feel. There is a small courtyard for alfresco drinking also, or somewhere to head if you are looking for a little more privacy.

On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays you can head to Barts to hear some live music. Every Wednesday is Michael Moore on the piano playing any requests. I used to see him at the Piano Bar in Kensington, this guy is fantastic. On Thursdays Tom Bradley is on the guitar and Sundays is live blues.

Barts is open from 6pm until late every day. You can book online and your table booking lasts for 2 hours.

You can even learn how to mix cocktails at Barts for £40 per person for groups of 10 or more. Classes last an hour and a half and you’ll learn to make 3 cocktails.

BARTS, Somewhere on Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DW

Boux avenue

Free bra measuring at Boux Avenue

 

Boux Avenue is a high street and online store, selling an array of pyjamas and lingerie for women.
The ranges are affordable, good quality  and they cater for women with larger boobs who still want fashionable underwear.
I’m a woman, and I am well endowed in the chest department. It’s a fact, I find buying underwear extremely hard and frustrating. Trying to find designs that are pretty,  that fit and also that aren’t so full cup that you can see it above low cut tops is tough. Also the cost of these larger sized bras are also a lot more expensive, you can’t just be popping into Primark and spending a few quid.

On my search for affordable underwear I stumbled across Boux Avenue online. Boux Avenue constantly run many different offers that in the past have included buy 1 get 1 bra half price.

Boux Avenue now do a free, instore,  bra measuring service.  A whopping 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra.

Unfortunately this also included myself. If you are apprehensive or shy about the measuring service, you needn’t be. The staff at Boux Avenue are simply lovely and make you feel very at ease. I was lucky to have the beautiful Tayler measuring me, who usually works at the Brighton store. Tayler asked me to take my top off and stand in my bra, while she take a few measurements and checks how my current bra is fitting.  You don’t need to remove your bra to get measured. She then got me a couple of bras to try the size and the style of bra. The bra should usually fasten on the last hook, so when bra ages you can adjust the slack by making it tighter. The changing rooms in the Westfield Shepherds Bush branch even have an array of lighting to choose from including daylight, dusk and evening.

Bras are priced from £20 and there’s a large range available
You can get measured for free with no obligation to buy. If you wear the right bra, not only does it look better but also your shape is improved with your clothes on top.

I was really impressed with the service I received , and wearing the bra in my new measured size looks so much better than the previous size I was wearing. If you can’t make it to one of their stores to get fitted, there are some handy videos available on their website to help you chose the right fit.

Boux Avenue also sell bridal underwear, great gifts and swimwear.

Boux Avenue Bra Fitting Service 

Students get 20% off Boux Avenue.

Flamenco in London

where-to-watch-flamenco dancing in london

 

If you love watching Flamenco dancing there are several places you can head to in London. You can sit back, sip on sangria, eat some tapas and pretend you are in a Spain. 

 

BAR GANSA

2 Inverness Street, NW1 5HJ

Bar Gansa is in Camden between Camden station and the markets, on Inverness Street. Bar Gansa has been in Camden for over 21 years.
Every Sunday from 8pm you can see flamenco at Bar Gansa when you enjoy your food and drinks.

 

BATTERSEA SPANISH

Battersea Spanish is a hub for everything Spanish in Battersea. Not only Spanish lessons but they run dance nights, film nights and even Spanish food events.
On the third Thursday of the month Battersea Spanish hosts a flamenco night on the wonderful Battersea Barge. The Battersea barge is a beautiful theatre boat based near Vauxhall. There’s live music, a taster class and plenty of opportunities for you to show off your moves. The tickets include the workshop and the show and costs £9.

 

PRADERA 

14 High St. London, N8 7PB

This Spanish restaurant in Crouch End that serves tapas, has live music and a bar.
There is a flamenco night every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month. There is live Cuban music every Saturday night.

 

SALVADOR AND AMANDA

Bloomsbury; 1 Vernon Place, WC1A 2EP
Covent Garden; 8 Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JA

Salvador and Amanda is a Spanish restaurant with 2 branches in central London.
You can catch Flamenco on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Sundays at the Covent Garden branch of Salvador and Amanda.
Tuesday and Wednesday show starts at 8.30pm and you will need to book a table to ensure you get a seat. Sundays show begins at 4pm

 

SAN MIGUEL TAPAS

18 Greenwich Church Street, London SE10 9BJ

San Miguel is a tapas bar in the heart of beautiful Greenwich. San Miguel has monthly free flamenco shows on the last Sunday of the month. One show is at 6.30pm and one at 7pm. Reserve a spot to watch some dancing and indulge in some Spanish food and drink.

 

 

Aquum

Aquum

Aquum is a bar, restaurant and club on Clapham High Street, that has recently been relaunched. 

Aquum now has a fresh, sleek, look, cocktail menu and Greek food restaurant. 

Aquum is easily accessible from Clapham High Street Station, Clapham Common and Clapham North.

Aquum now serves Greek inspired food from a menu designed by Anastasios Tologlou. Tologlou has used his Greek roots and experience of working in Michelin starred kitchens to come up with an innovative menu for Aquum.

You can head to Aquum for a cocktail and an intimate chat over dinner before 9pm or you can get your dancing shoes on and party until the early hours.

 

 

The lighting is low and changing pastel hues. The bars are made of natural stone and wood. The seating areas are sleek and curvy.

There are plenty of different seating areas and bars within Aqua’s 4 storeys. This includes a bar for private hire and a 75 cover restaurant.

 

The cocktail list is extensive and some cocktails sound simply incredible. I tried a Kir Noir, which is so amazing I was only going to have 1 drink but I needed more!, it is a champagne and cherry liquor mix. I also tried the refreshing spiced passion.. The cocktails include fresh takes on classics with a  mediterranean twist (£9).  There is a Birthday sex cocktail, which is a birthday cake in a glass and comes complete with a candle (£12.50) Don’t worry though, all the old favourites of Aquum are still on the menu and plenty of cocktails if you don’t partake in alcohol.

Aquum has a fantastic happy hour  Sunday-Thursday 5-11pm
and Sat and Sun 5-9pm . You can get £2.50 beers, £4 250ml Wines, £4.50 Double & Mixer and £4.50 on selected cocktails.

The new food menu consists of mezze, soups and salads. You can eat from the set menu with 3 courses for £23.50 or get a sharing board to share with a group.

If you wish to book a table for a club night the prices range from £50-£1650, including a drinks package.

You can get a £50 birthday package on a Friday night that includes 2 bottles of prossecco, which would set you back £50 alone. You also get 10 queue jump tickets, 10 cloakroom tickets, free entry and even your own snapchat filter.

Aquum also do cocktail masterclasses for £25 per person or a premium class for £35 per person that includes a sharing board. During each class you will learn how to make 3 cocktails.

If you’re looking for a great cocktail in Clapham then look no further than Aquum. 

Aquum 

68-70 Clapham High Street

SW4 7UL

Park Kitchen

Park Kitchen

Park Kitchen is a large restaurant, bar and grill just off Harlesden High Street, a short walk from Willesden Junction.

The staff are friendly and the food is great. There are plenty of offers  and the food is high quality. Park Kitchen supports local suppliers and they ensure their food is ethically sourced.

Park Kitchen is spacious and can perfectly handle large groups for celebrations or work meetings. Park Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks, children are also welcome and there is a kids menu.

We chose off the specials menu and had sea bass with summer risotto (£11.95) and green peppercorn steak and fries (£12.95). Both accompanied with a large glass of wine! Wine starts at £17.50 a bottle and cocktails £6.25.

The food arrived quickly and was really tasty. There was no fat on my steak and it was perfectly cooked. The sea bass was delicious on a  generous bed of fresh tasting summer risotto.

We were full but the dessert menu sounded so wonderful that we couldn’t resist. I was recommended the vanilla ice cream with nuts and a hot Belgian chocolate sauce, and my friend opted for the Eton mess.

The dessert was simple yet amazing, and very generous. Both were priced at £4.25 each.

At lunchtime the Park Kitchen serves a 2 course lunch and a soft drink for £10.95 Monday-Thursday 11am-3pm. If you’re looking for a cocktail in Harlesden there is a happy hour 5-7pm with 2-4-1 cocktails or £3 pints everyday.

At weekends you can indulge in a bottomless brunch for £25 including bottomless mimosas, prosecco or bloody Marys with brunch dish of your choice. You booking lasts 2 hours, just quote ‘bottomless’ when booking. Dishes you can chose from include a full English, veggie English, eggs Benedict and pancakes.

If you visit the Park Kitchen during October, take a picture and tag on instagram to get 50% off when you dine again in October!

We really enjoyed our meal at the Park Kitchen and if you live in the area I would highly recommend giving it a try, it is a real find.

Park Kitchen

1 Manor Park Road, NW10

The We Plays

cyprus-sunsets-the-we-plays

 

 

The We Plays are 2 monologues performed by  solo actors written by Andrew Maddocks. The We Plays are currently being performed at The Hope theatre above the Hope and Anchor in Islington. The directors of the We Plays are Phil Croft and Ashley Winter.

We enter into the room to take our seats and ‘Me’ is on stage, energetically dancing to some loud music. Your mind automatically assumes he’s high, having some fun on a lads holiday. Once the audience are all in the play begins. The set and props are minimal but due to the fantastic acting, and beautifully written script, your  imagination can see and believes everything that is being described.

We start in a packed, delayed plane, full to the brim of families about to start their family package holiday. The piece is full of funny stereotypes of Brits abroad, which is fun and light-hearted. As the piece unfolds we find out that everything isn’t as it seems, and as humans we often are quick to judge and our assumption of people and their behaviour is often wrong. You instantly feel this piece is going to be light-hearted and a bit silly but the piece takes a surprising turn and you could hear a pin drop in the room. Fantastically acted, beautifully believable which I feel is especially difficult when the pieces are also written in rhyme.

Me is wonderfully played by John Seaward who is completely believable and dedicated to the piece.

The actors have no scenery or  other actors to hide behind, and many of the lines are delivered to members of the audience. The atmosphere is intimate and unforgiving, Both actors do a brilliant job of connecting to the audience.

After the first piece the audience have to leave ready to reset for the next monologue and you’re given a chance to charge your glasses in the great pub below.

irn-pru-the-we-plays-1

When we back in the room there is a red-haired scottish lass wearing a viking helmet and tartan, surrounded by Irn Bru and leaves.

We hear the story of Irn Pru who’s a bawl bag beating Scottish goddess. This goddess is searching for a job, and we hear her trials and tribulations of finding employment. Pru is fierce and funny, living up to many Scottish stereotypes and once again it starts of light-hearted. She takes her inspiration from millionaire Michelle Mone, who’s quotes punctuate the piece. Half way through we discover Irn Pru’s secret and the pressure she feels to live up to her name.

I enjoyed both pieces of well written and acted theatre. The first piece was stand out for me both in delivery and execution.

The We Plays in running until and is £15 per ticket and is suitable for over 18’s only.

The We Plays

Enjoy the best time with the money you have