Category Archives: Party Princess

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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Cocktail Alchemy

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Cocktail Alchemy

Very few things in life give me as much pleasure, enjoyment and excitement as a cocktail. These little glasses of alcoholic alchemy are the best way to kick start a night out. I could spend a good 30 minutes nursing a cocktail in the sunshine over a long lunch with good company.

It is rare and momentous occasion when I take a lunch break but I managed to squeeze an hour’s lunch break this week. What can I say; the sun was calling me like a Greek Siren!

I work very close to The Alchemist and I have blogged about this particular pub a few times before. In my opinion, they can do no wrong. Perma thumbs up for Alchemist!

When asked “Would you like to see our cocktail menu” I pretty much snatched the menu from the poor bar girl and let my eyes pour over the menu. I opted for a French Martini, and my fellow cocktail drinkers went for a Bayou Fruit Cup and a Grass Hopper.  Three absolute crackers and all perfect for sipping in the sun over pasta and fresh salads.

French Martini (right): Vodka and Pineapple Juice mixed with Raspberry Liqueur and shaken into a Martini flute served with an orange peel. Utterly DELICIOUS. 9/10. It would have got a 10/10 if I just could have had another one!  Good price at £5.95 too.

Bayou Fruit Cup (centre): Tall cocktails are just the epitome of summer time and I may have just found something to challenge the classic Pimm’s. Berries, Southern Comfort, Martini and topped up with Ginger Ale. OH MY DAYS it was good. Like summer in a glass! Also a bargain at £5.95

Grasshopper (left): I have had these before. A big must for fans of mint Aero’s and the like. It consists of Chocolate and Mint Liqueur shaken with Cream. So naughty but SO GOOD! Once again, £5.95 a glass.

All in all, a GREAT afternoon of cocktailing. Alchemist, you will be seeing me again soon!

Check out the rest of The Alchemists cocktail menu here.

Ye Olde Griffin Spiffin.

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Ye Olde Griffin Spiffin.

It is hardly a shock to anyone that I LOVE a good pub. *Gasp!* What I like even more is what my mother calls a ‘Salt and Pepper Pub’, i.e. it goes with everything and it has everything in it! Granted it is a strange saying but actually a ‘Salt and Pepper Pub’ are exactly the right words to describe the latest notch on my party pubbing bed post.

So put your paws together and welcome Ye Olde Griffin in March. This cute pub has everything. Not only do they have 10 B+B en-suite bedrooms upstairs but they also have cracking food, a beer garden,  show sport, have a resident DJ on weekends and they know how to throw one scorcher of a party.



I have actually been invited to this pub on numerous occasions but somehow always got side tracked but I finally got round to visiting last weekend! When I arrived I was greeted by Marina, one half of the Pub Manager / Husband and Wife combo with a smile and was shown to my room upstairs.

The room was spacious, welcoming and clean. What more can you ask for!

After settling in my tummy started rumbling, dinner time!!

. I had lasagne and was SO full I could hardly move.

The bar staff told us very early on that they would be PACKED during the evening but I really believed them when we came back down from my room. That place really was RAMO.

Who fancies a Strawberry Milkshake Shot?

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Monsterly wicked! RAWR!
Atmosphere and decoration:  Very friendly, great atmosphere.
Facilities:  Didn’t use them but gathering from the rest of the pub I’m sure they were fine!
Talent Radar:  Well my partner was there….don’t tell him… but there were some VERY cute cuties.
Fun Factor: Great food, great party, great sleep!
In 3 words: Rocking, foodie, dance-y

Check out Ye Olde Griffin’s Facebook Page for upcoming events etc. 

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.

Bonobo, Burlesque, Brilliance

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Hello Party Princesses!

I’ve been a little quiet now and feel like I’ve neglected you all but I’m back with the tales of my travels and with a cracker of a party!

You may have seen my post about the Gate London – I went along, had a great time but forgot my camera and felt like a class idiot….top marks to me! WELL, I got an invite last week from the Party Planner at The Gate telling me about a Bonobos Charity Burlesque and Cabaret fundraiser and couldn’t really turn it down! Love a bit of burlesque and thankfully I took my camera this time.

Bonobos are often referred to as “the forgotten ape” but these beauts are so bloody cute! How can you not share a grin with this fella!

Burlesque nights are always an excuse to release my inner Ditta and glam up! Deep red shoes and lipstick – Check, blue leopard print waist nipping dress – Check!

Glancing over the line-up, it fair to say we were in for a treat! Burlesque dancers, exotic fan dancer’s country singers, belly dancers, retro singers and even a group of Cellists!

Niko - Party Planner for The Gate x

The pub was CHOCKA! Perhaps a little overfilled but everyone had got into the spirit and I actually ended up talking to some complete strangers and meeting lots a great people whilst being pressed against the bar!

The bar still had their “buy 2 glasses get the rest of the bottle free” promotion so of course I had to make the most of it….again!

Our first act of the night was the very funny and beautiful Ginger cupcake! She teased us with her cleaning come dancer show. Definitely gave us a few tips on how to remove our stockings and sexily remove the rubber gloves. Washing up will never be the same again!

Ginger Cupcake

In the words of Katy Perry – “Show me your Peacock” Here we have the exotic fan dancer who gave us a short but sweet show. I love her fans! 😉

Next up, a little Turkish delight (Sorry for the pun!) Belly dancing was oddly hypnotic; I wish I could twirl my hips like that.

The next act was by far my favourite of the night. The Massive Violins! A 5 piece Cello group. This is not your usual cello act though; you won’t find a Mozart number with these guys.

They rocked some classic pop songs from Queens, “bohemian rhapsody”, Jungle Books “Ape like you” and Johnny Cash classics but the surprise of the night was that 90’s school disco classic “Sex on the Beach”. My jaw hit the floor, it was incredible. Such a nice surprise and a massive round of applause! The singer – Camilla – blew the roof off The Gate, such a powerful voice for such a tiny girl!

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Attentive staff so even though it was super busy you never had to wait more than few minutes
Atmosphere and decoration:  Giddy and very excitable
Facilities:  Spick and span. Could have done with more seats but we made do!
Talent Radar: From the young to the old, something for everyone!
Fun Factor: Over exposure to goodness!
Perfect for: EVERYTHING! I had the BEST time and hope there will be another one soon!
In 3 words: Bonobo, Burlesque, Brilliance

Visit the Bonobo website and The Gate’s Facebook for upcoming events

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!