Category Archives: Book a booth

Feeling like Stars at The Alchemist

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Feeling like Stars at The Alchemist

Although I’m not keen on singing in public a lot of my friends just love it, so as soon as I found out that one of my favourite pubs in London, The Alchemist, was hosting a Rockaoke Night, I just had to get them down there.

I rang up Elena, the Sales Manager for the pub to book us a table, and I’m glad I did – it was PACKED! Clearly there are a lot of stars on the rise in Houndsditch.  We sat down at our table and ordered some nibbles to start, along with a few gorgeous Cocktails to kick start the night.

Although it’s not my bag, the Rockaoke was awesome!

It was like karaoke, but instead of singing with a pre-prepared song without the words you sang with a LIVE BAND! There were some brilliant acts, as well as some that, let’s just say, should maybe stick with the day job! My friends had a go at the end of the night when the crowds had thinned a little and they said it was just amazing.

I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more Rockaoke nights to check out – if they are anything like the one at The Alchemist they are simply not to be missed!

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Shaking it up at 5 o’Clock!

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Shaking it up at 5 o’Clock!

Now, it’s been a while since we last spoke, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a whole lot going on in the party world.

Take last week for instance, a little birdie told me that the Cape Bar on Wood Street were launching their 5 o’clock club, so I had to check it out.

I knew launch night would be rammed, so I rang up Cape’s Party Planner, the lovely Ashleigh and got myself and my friends on the guest list ready for a great night.

And what a night it was! Turns out we could get our hands on 2 Cocktails for the price of 1, so naturally we took full advantage. My friend LOVES Blue Lagoons so went straight for that. It looked amazing! So blue and refreshing! I opted for the Little Miss Sunshine, simply because I am! It was delicious, the perfect blend of Mango, Passion Fruit and Orange Juice – I would definitely recommend!

The upstairs mezzanine area had been kept solely for the 5 o’clock club, giving the whole thing an amazing feeling of exclusivity. We certainly felt like V.I.P’s!

We had a great time, and it certainly helped us wind down after a day in the office! I would definitely check this out if I were you; I know I will be back for more! Check out their Cocktail Menu and decide what you’ll be having first!

Vestry, Epsom

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Vestry, Epsom

Howdy Do Dah!

This week’s blog features a newly discovered bar in Epsom of all places! I actually went to The Vestry simply because I had a business meeting/lunch scheduled there.

I had a little whip round and asked everyone beforehand if they had been there and what it’s like (call it research), and the over-riding opinion was that “It’s reet good for Ale and stuff” or “They have a good beer garden so it had better be sunny”. Both pretty good reviews – albeit brief. Ale and beer gardens are a good match anyway.

Tally Ho’ to The Vestry!

A separate area had already been reserved for us which was handy.

My colleagues were right, it does have a nice beer garden.

Looks like they have a good selection of Real Ale available too.

Do I spy 30% off food? I think so! Pass me a menu!

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Big up to manager Josh! It’s nice to see a happy Pub Manager.
Atmosphere and decoration:  It’s very nice and airy and very very well kept.
Facilities:  Again…shiny, lovely and clean!
Talent Radar:  According to Josh, a real mixture, younger on the weekends.
Fun Factor: Well I was there for a meeting but it has the potential to be a good party spot.
Perfect for: Lunch, Real Ale, sunny beer gardens, meetings
In 3 words: Two thumbs up.

We booked our area through Party at the Pub, if you want to do the same, visit their website.

Nostalgia In Leeds

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Heeeeey!

In a few of my previous entries I have recalled certain venues and places which remind me of my teenage years but there is really only one city which sums up my young princess years – Leeds.

(BTW: When pronouncing Leeds, try and say it in a short, snappy kind of way with a reeeally deep voice with an emphasis on the LE. Leeds, say it again Leeds – Good job!)

So yes Leeds was the first city where I was allowed to go shopping with my Girlfriend’s for the first time. We would get the train, hang around outside the Corn Exchange for a few hours looking super cool (An action that young people still do as it happens – Note to self, they don’t look cool, they look cold and miserable) then we would head to a pub for the remainder of the afternoon.

I have a few friends who went to Uni in Leeds, so we decided to head up to see what the students of 2012 are up to, we hadn’t been for a good 12/13 months and we felt like we were missing out – on what exactly I’m not sure…but oh well. Next stop Leeds!

All the decent pre-club bars in Leeds are about a 10 minute walk away from the train station heading up towards The Light shopping/cinema complex. You have your usual suspects, Wetherspoons, Yates, Woo Woo, and of course what city would be without a Varsity and an Oceana! OOOP and would you look at that, the two just happen to be next to each other. Now that’s what you call convenient!

I tell you what – Varsity has sure changed since the last time we were there. 100% changed for the better, it looked completely different. Loved the different types of lamps over the bar and the leather chairs round a fireplace. Fixed seating had been put on a new terrace and a new dance floor had been put in at the back of the pub.

I liked that there were several different areas, each had a different feel to it and I could get a big group of mates together in one area or have a quiet dinner/drinks with one person in another.

Hands down, my favourite part of the referb is the addition of (what I now call) The Lipstick Bar in the girls toilets. It’s perfect for doing a few touch-ups and the likes.

I ordered a southern fried chicken wrap (minus the chips) which was very yummy, as was the glass of Rose Pinot Grio I washed it down with. Great promotions actually – buy two large glasses and get the rest of the bottle for free. I think that’s a pretty good deal when you spilt the rest of the bottle between two people.  The staff were really attentive and smiley which was a nice change from the grumpy faces from the others on the strip – step it up guys cuz Varsity sure have!

We had a few more drinks before moving on to Oceana, the plan was to move on to another bar but to be honest, we didn’t need to. It was comfy, with good prices and great music too.

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Service with a smile.
Atmosphere and decoration:  Great new décor, really brought it up to date and stood out in comparison to the other bars in that area
Facilities:  Beautifully clean and pretty!
Talent Radar:  Perhaps…….
Fun Factor: Great to re-visit Varsity and catch up with friends
Perfect for: Pre-clubbing, cheap food,  large parties, small parties too!
In 3 words: Var-Sit-eyyyyy

The Graduate, York

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The Graduate York

On the way back from my Newcastle/Sunderland jaunt I decided to stop over in York. No particular reason, just fancied seeing what was happening in York! My mum and I used to always go to York around Christmas time to do present shopping and Party Dress Shopping, a tradition which we still carry out now. York also brings back great memories of our annual primary school trip to the York Transport Museum and Yorvik day out. For anyone who hasn’t been to Yorkvik, its brilliant – overpriced yes but very educational – if the Vikings float your boat.

After a day of burning through my wages, I needed a place to relax. I have a reputation for being notoriously picky when it comes to finding a decent bar, though I don’t see it like that. I like somewhere clean, with a good atmosphere, good music, reasonable prices and a high potential of good eye candy!
After walking past the same old, Wetherspoons, Yates, Revolution, blah blah blah, I was getting bored and about to give up and just go back to my hotel when I fell across a really cool old bank style building called The Graduate. The music coming from inside sounded good and the decoration looked good from looking inside through a window. Funny side story actually, the window I looked through looked onto a booth style table and my friend from college’s sister was sat at the table, I waved, she didn’t recognise me and I felt really really stupid!


Back to the Graduate. I was walking around trying to find a seat but it just kept going. I would turn a corner and there would be another room, another book, another snug type room, another cluster of sofas and finally I discovered an outside beer garden. The whole bar was immaculately kept and brightly decorated. The pictures say it all really.

There were references to The Graduate the film all the way through the bar, a film poster here, a film shot here. Really cool, it had me singing “Mrs Robinson” before I knew it.

Really nice to have table service all night, I didn’t have to get up once!

It just so happened that the bar was the first on the Carnage Pub Crawl. For those who don’t know Carnage, it is a University based pub crawl that takes place all over the country. People buy the T-shirt with the pub route and have to tick off certain challenges whilst dressed in the theme of the night which in this example was Cops and Robbers. Once again, some great photos.

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Very attentive table service.
Atmosphere and decoration:  Very impressive, funky and very unique.
Facilities:  Spotless, so well kept, the staff deserve a big thumbs up.
Talent Radar:  A few robbers stole my heart! HA!
Fun Factor: Has the potential to be a massive party hot spot!
Perfect for: Food, beer garden, group bookings, small groups, pizza party
In 3 words: GO THERE NOW!

The Gate, Farringdon.

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Hellooo!

So this will be somewhat of a strange entry. I could give the long version but frankly it would bore you and I had view numbers to think of, so the short version is: Went to a pub, had a good time, took photos, lost photos, got mad, returned and took more photos!

So, yes, I went to The Gate in Farringdon Central/East London for a few pre-clubbing glasses of wine! This place do a great offer on wine – buy two large glasses of wine (red, white or rose) and get the rest of the bottle free! You really can NOT say anything bad about that can you. You also may find it difficult to turn your nose up at 50% off all food on a Monday. I know I do, I’m heading next Monday, already booked my table.

Normally I would link my pictures with funny incidents that occurred during the evening but seeing as my stupid computer lost all my photos I can’t! I CAN however show you photos of the pub itself and hopefully from those you can see what cute, homey and soulful pub it is. So put your hands together as we introduce, The Gate!

Cute fairy lights look lovely against the dark wood

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Friendly and fast service.
Atmosphere and decoration:  Very relaxed and chilled out.
Facilities:  Had a hunt for toilet roll but everything was clean.
Talent Radar:  A few suit cladded cutesies
Fun Factor: This place will be great in the summer with a cider in the sun.
Perfect for: Wine, pre clubbing drinks, friendly meet ups
In 3 words: Great wine deals!

For other reviews, check out View London, Qype, Yelp and All In London. If 50% off food floats your boat or if you want to make use of that fantastic Wine promotion, click these guys, they will set you on the right track – Party in the Pub.

Walking in a Wunder Sunderland Part Two!

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Hey

So hopefully you have read my previous blog as this one follows on straight from it. If not, I’ll give you a short run down.  I’ve been to Newcastle, then decided to pop up to Sunderland to see what’s goin’ on. So far I’ve been to Chesters on Chester Rd for a bit of dinner and now we are moving on and ready to paint the town! We all up to speed? GOOOOOOD!

So next stop was Chaplins, on the corner of Stockton Road. This pub had a great old fashion feel to it. Very welcoming, warm and a nice row of regulars round the bar. I had the great honour of having a pint and chat with the bar’s oldest regular. For 49 years he has been coming to Chaplins for his weekly pint! 49 YEARS, that’s nuts!!

Gotta' love the locals! x

Great decor

I wouldn’t say Chaplins is a pub for pre-clubbers however I would really recommend it for anyone wanting a pint while watching the game (the pub has 4 different screens) or some good Sunday dinner. The mix grill looked pretty yummy. I came out of this pub feeling all warm and fluffy, like I had been given a big hug (that sounds weird but I’ll explain) The customers and the staff were both so lovely. If I wasn’t up my eye balls in foundation and wearing mile high heels I would have totally stayed!

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  very promising
Atmosphere and decoration:  loved the wine bottle display. It almost rivals my own!
Facilities:  Full length mirrors always get thumbs up
Talent Radar:  Not really my type
Fun Factor: Fun little stop
Perfect for: Watching the game, dinner time, drinks with the lads
In 3 words: Bright bubble (of) Happiness!

Next stop on to The Ivy House

When we were hunting around for good pubs to go to, The Ivy House came up a few times. One for its live music, two for its pool and three because it had a great indie music bar theme to it. How can you say no to that!

Most of my friends are smokers (naughty naughty guys, tut tut) so I was forced to sit in the cold beer garden which – to be fair was really cute – filled with fairy lights and posters. Loved the posters round the bar and rocked up just in time to hear the band play their first song.
I Heart Beer Garden

I’m RUBBISH at pool but decided to flaunt my…erm…”skills” with a nice group of boys and alas lost, terribly, but I meant to do that – clearly!

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  Pub doesn’t serve food
Atmosphere and decoration:  heavy music theme.
Facilities: great beer garden and pool tables
Talent Radar:  A few floppy haired fitties
Fun Factor: losing to pool is always a fun experience!
Perfect for: Chilling out with a good track, Cheeky JD and Coke in the Sun, live music
In 3 words: Quirky, relaxed atmosphere.

Next stop Varsity Sunderland. As usual Varsity NEVER cease to show me a good time. The crowd was a little older than the other Varsity’s I have been to in the past. I bagged a hottie though. (Massive joke, let’s not annoy the Boyf!) We stayed in Varsity, dancing the night away till the wee early hours of the morning!

I had a great time in Sunderland and feel we picked the best pubs Sunderland had to offer. Do challenge me though if you don’t believe me!

xxPP