It’s been a busy eating week for Elldrew; we’ve lunched at old favourite ‘The Wolseley’, suppered at Bruno Loubet’s ‘Grain Store’ and last night we had the pleasure of dining at the newly reopened Quaglino’s. And despite The Wolseley retaining its crown as Elldrew’s favourite dining spot, it’s Quaglino’s that gets the honour of our attention and review.
Quaglino’s has to be one of the grande dames of the London dining scene. Currently celebrating her 85th birthday, she’s been “in” and “out” so many times that she’s rather like one of Soho’s less salubrious residents, and Elldrew remembers Quaglino’s well, from her last revival and hey-day in the nineties. Back then she was an airline hangar of a room; the jewel in Conran’s fledgling restaurant group. She was white and bright, vast and opulent, and symbolised all the decadence of the early nineties and optimism of the approaching millennium. But she withered and floundered, struggling to attract the crowds in the noughties as the new hip, young and trendy joints around the London restaurant scene emerged – like every elegant lady of a certain age she long ago needed a little bit of, errm, “cosmetic maintenance”. Fortunately for Lady Quaglino, D&D Group came to her rescue and treated her to a full workout and makeover, reopening mere weeks ago with a fierce new look and a drinks and food menu to boot!
Looking for a delicious schnitzel & spritz this weekend in central London? We recommend you head to Boopshi’s for the great taste of Austrian cuisine. A trendy little restaurant with a fantastic vibe serving delicious cocktails, schnitzels, sausages and of course traditional sides. Perfect for a catch-up with friends or just to satisfy your carnivore cravings, lunch or dinner.
With the summer season soon ending there is still time to head down to the London Wonderground, at Southbank Centre, to catch some fantastic live performances and cabaret acts inside the amazing 1920s Paradiso Spiegeltent. The Spiegeltent was originally built in Belgium in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these circular, mirrored tents are wonderfully atmospheric and authentic.
A programme packed with circus, cabaret and family entertainment, you can soak up the carnival atmosphere or just people watch under a canopy of man-made and mother natures fairy lights. Gorge on hot dogs, burgers and fairy floss, enjoy a drink on the the revolving carousel bar – it’s an experience in itself and we bet you will need a few minutes to get your land legs (but please do drink responsibly) – or take a ride on the 60-metre high ‘Star Flyer‘ for unrivalled views over London’s rooftops (if you can bear to keep your eyes open).
Hurry, it must end soon but it is a perfect end to a great London summer!
It’s not often that Planet Elldrew can claim to have reached such a lofty cultural status that we are invited to a book launch, but that’s exactly what happened during a recent visit to Edinburgh (for the sake of poetic license we won’t highlight that we were actually just the plus-one of a work colleague). As a result, we were privileged to be at the official launch of Doug Johnstone’s new book ‘The Dead Beat’ where we not only got to meet Doug, we also listened to him read an extract from his novel whilst he strummed away on his guitar (that last bit will make more sense shortly).
Elldrew adopted this Japanese restaurant as our local after the Hi-Sushi in Hampstead changed it’s menu and went a bit wacky…yes, even we frown at ourselves for sometimes eating the same food every time we go to a local favourite. But, in all fairness, we do tend to try most dishes on a menu then work out which dishes we liked the best, ordering a selection of these each visit, depending on our mood. Elldrew are more into sampling a variety of dishes vs one main meal so Spanish Tapas, Japanese, etc are the restaurants we will frequent most.
Coming back from a holiday is always a bit depressing, but here on Planet Elldrew we’re no Party Poopers so we have decided to embrace the rest of the summer full of the “joie de vivre”! To do this we are voluntarily signing ourselves up to the 100 Happy Days Foundation movement, to make the world a happier place by logging a ‘happy moment’ for every one of the next 100 days.
We’re sure all our followers have already seen plenty of other participants posts, across a mix of social media platforms, but just in case it’s new to you, here are the rules:
- Every day submit a picture of what made you happy!
- It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake from a nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day, to a favour you did for a stranger.
- It is not a happiness competition or a showing-off contest. If you try to make others jealous via your pictures then you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating.
Planet Elldrew are tweaking the rules ever so slightly and will be posting their pics one day in arrears, so that we have time to appropriately consider our best daily moment and review and edit our snaps. You’ll be able to follow our daily posts via our Twitter or Facebook pages, and we’ll present periodic updates right here on our blog also.
Anyone else joining us? Can you be happy for 100 days in a row? We hope to not join the 71% of particpants who have already failed to stay happy for 100 days. Smile and wish us luck!
So we can’t quite work out what the cover image has to do with this book by Hakan Lindquist (it’s bordering on homoerotic) but it may have something to do with the plot, which looks at the life of Paul, a 16 year old boy killed in a train accident, narrated through the eyes of his brother Jonas (who was unborn at the time but is now 18).
Well written and a interestingly light read, this book is a bit of a detective novel that reveals twists and clues for Jonas to unravel, all on a journey of discovery about his brothers life; Paul’s private thoughts and feelings discovered in a hidden diary, the revelation that Paul had a male lover (confirmed through ongoing interigation of the boys uncle), yet a life totally unknown by his parents with whom Paul seemed so close (let’s not forget he was only 16). These discoveries all lead to the fatal day and whilst they raise questions around the train ‘accident’, the reader is left with no concise ending, the writer allows the reader to conclude the story on their own terms (it definitely left us with a few niggling questions).
Originally published in Swedish and translated to English, the novel felt very Americanized, apart from a few random words here and there that made you realise this was not taking place in America. A pleasant coming of age story that also examines the bond of brotherhood and family (made more interesting as both brothers did not grow up together yet we are exposed to how one brother feels living in the shadows of the other). Well written with many layers, don’t be surprised if you find it a little hard to put down once you get into it. But like most good things, it finishes too quickly and leaves you wanting more – is there room for a sequel, maybe looking more at Jonas and his new found knowledge?
We have realised we’ve been to Berners Tavern twice now and have not said a word about it – shame on us. It’s absolutely brilliant!
Berners Tavern is the restaurant in The London Edition that opened in 2013, the first in a new luxury range of hotels from the Marriott Group, breathing new life into the former ‘Berners Hotel’. The property was originally built as a group of townhouses in 1835 and became a hotel in 1908 – famous for its grade II listed richly decorated ceilings in its marble-clad lobby and restaurant, which have been lovingly restored by its new owners. The restaurant that is Berners Tavern features walled framed pictures, a floor to ceiling bar, stunning overhead antique lighting with the marble ceiling dimly lit to create a uber luxurious dining atmosphere. “We needed to draw the eye down, we couldn’t have everyone sitting looking up at the ceiling” we were told by management.
It’s interesting writing a review for a blog about a book that in its opening chapters includes the comment:
“It made me sad when I caught myself pretending that everybody out there in cyberspace cared about what I thought, when really nobody gives a sh*t. And when I multiplied that sad feeling by all the millions of people in their lonely little rooms, furiously writing and posting to their lonely little pages that nobody has time to read because they’re all so busy writing and posting, it kind of broke my heart.”
Nao, A Tale for the Time Being.
And perhaps that’s the reason this particular review has taken so long to write? More likely is that in recent weeks Elldrew have found themselves wrapped up in 3 novels, all of which coincidentally are a blighting condemnation of the virtual world and the extent to which the internet is rapidly dominating our lives.