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

Must.Have.Cocktails….

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I LOVE a good cocktail; those who read my Party Princess Blogs (if you don’t, shame on you, get familiar!) should know that already. This week I had a decided I would give the Smith and Jones Woo Woo cocktail a go! All Aboard, WOO WOO!

Everyone likes to splash out on a pricey cocktail every now and again but it gets to a point where I refuse to pay £10+ for a glass of something that is too strong, too sweet and too small, so small that I end up drinking in two gulps, order more, and turn up to the party a little early if you get my drift….. So I have been on the lookout for something that is value for money, tasty, and under £6 a glass.

A Woo Woo, some may say, is the designated drink of the Woo girl (Fans of How I met Your Mother will get that reference) but it’s a drink that suits pretty much everyone and fits in with most occasions.

This 90’s classic is made up of Vodka, Peach Schnapps, and Cranberry juice with a dash of Lime. Can’t say better than that really. What is even better is that it’s only £4.95 a glass or £11 for a pitcher. You can probably squeeze a good 3 to 4 glasses out of a jug so it’s better value to get the pitcher.

Scores on the royal doors:

Best for: Getting the party started!
Value for money: Heck yes!
Personal Taste Appeal: LOVE Woo Woo.

Check out the full Smith and Jones Cocktail Menu here and don’t forget to subscribe to the main Party Princess Blog! 🙂

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

Walking in a Winter Wunder Sunderland (Part 1)

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Another week – Another post!

So moving on from the bright lights of Newcastle, I headed south and towards the seaside to SUNDERLAND!

However it would just happen that I visit Sunderland on a Football Derby Day between Sunderland and Middlesbrough, not a great move on my part.

Sunderland reminded me of my University town of Eastbourne complete with the bracing sea air and high street stores. I was hoping that Sunderland had a nice bit of nightlife as well. We set ourselves a little challenge of visiting as many pubs/clubs as we could in the space of the 24 hours we were there. We decided we would create a mental list whilst having a cheeky little shop, and the locals were brimming with ideas for us, there was certainly NOT a lack of choice of places to go, quite the opposite.

Anyway, soon we had created a nice little list, we were to start at Chesters, up on Chester Road, then to Chaplins on the corner of Stockton Road, saunter over for a game of pool at the Ivy House then trotting over to Sunderland Centre to see what delights awaited us there! It was going to be a late one; Cinderella would be tucked up in her pumpkin by the time we were planning on getting home! Let the Party Princess Royal tour COMMENCE.

ChestersChesters was our first stop and was recommended was a good place to for a spot of dinner followed by several glasses of wine before heading towards the town centre.

My News Years resolution was ruined on January 10th so I sacked off the salad and dived into a Jim Bean Glaze Burger complete with curly fries and shared a pudding taster platter.

Get in ma belllly

(Clockwise) Rhubarb crumble, bread and butter pudding, chocolate fudge cake and cookie cup

The venue was huuuuuge and seemed to cater for everyone and everything. A snooker room at the back had two snooker tables and a few other tables. There were comfier seating areas with big tables on raised platforms, several sports/TV screens and a massive beer garden at the front. I can image the beer garden being choka-block in the summer.

 

There were already lots of groups of larry lads and glammed up girls pre-drinking and planning their nightly strategy. An hour or so later, with our tummies filled and after polishing off a few (THREE!) bottles of wine, we started to wander down to The Ivy House!

#Hick!

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  Jim Bean burger was AMAZING!
Atmosphere and decoration:  Buzzing, everyone was very friendly.
Facilities:  So much choice, can’t fault anything,
Talent Radar:  I’ll say! #Fitties!
Fun Factor: Great starter, now on to the main course!
Perfect for: Pre-clubbing, cheap food, Snooker, large parties, sports.
In 3 words: Big, tasty, whooper!

Part 2 coming up sooooooon!

 

PP XX