Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Birthday Boozing Bonanza

We have been told repeatedly, and really quite insistently, that we must go out as much as possible before the baby comes. And we are trying to do as we are told. After all, our months in Manhattan proved that we are really quite good at that going out thing.

TLOML notched another year up on the totem pole of his life at the weekend. So we used that as the excuse for a grown up, glammed up, Saturday night out at the Proud bar in Camden. It’s part-hipster bar, part-old school cabaret club. We noshed on beef wellington and sipped martinis (well, he did anyway) while watching a steady steam of cabaret and burlesque acts. I enjoyed a whole glass of wine and some rather risqué bresaola. Living on the edge! The show was appropriately classy and fairly PG but still counts as our raciest night out since we moved into FoxCorner and got all ‘with child’. We were home by 11pm, mind you - no stopping off for a nightcap on the way home.

On Sunday we spent the afternoon drinking (water for me, beer for him) with friends in The Grafton, a new star on the already fairly stellar NW5 drinking scene. Being of the age we are, and living as we do in London where children are welcome in pubs, we were surrounded by the small children of our friends. I think at one point the kids actually outnumbered the grown ups. They brought our table’s average age down to somewhere in the early 20s. It was quite a different vibe to the New York social scene we enjoyed, and really very lovely.

Naturally, an afternoon in the pub lead to a spontaneous curry. At least, as spontaneous as such an inevitability can be. That makes two nights out on the trot, and with an afternoon of socialising in between them too. Still, we were home and watching Homeland by 10pm.

So, I guess that’s a strong indication that our days of random late night cocktails are over. Manhattan is uniquely well set up for that sort of behaviour. With so many great bars and all open late, on any evening walk home you’re always just a few steps away from a Perfect Manhattan.

London has its fair share of great bars, of course, but wandering through Camden on Saturday night I was really quite put off by the length of the queues to get in. And of course, once you get in you’ll have to wait ages, standing up, to be served. So unappealing! Especially when the alternative is a drop of single malt (for him), and a cup of chamomile tea (for me) in the comfort of your own home.

Oh, wait, is that 'middle age' talking? Shoot. Maybe it isn’t London after all.

I’ll blame pregnancy for now. And maybe the lack of great table service in London. And I promise we’ll do our best to go out at least a few more times before the baby arrives. Then we can blame her for our lack of appetite for late nights and fabulous bars.

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